full color World War 2 Fact List


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World War 2 (often stylized as WWII, and commonly known as the second world war) was a major event in world history.

This second global war began in 1939, when Adolf Hitler declared war and Germany invaded Poland. The war lasted until 1945, when the concentration camps were liberated by American soldiers. WWII was not a pretty time in World History. 

Shown above, an artist's rendering of a tank used during WWII. 

Scroll down for all the basic facts you need to know about the second World War. 

Scroll further down for a link to World War 1 facts. 




25 fast facts about world war 2

  1. In June of 1919, The Treaty of Versailles was signed by all nations involved in World War 1, which was dubbed at the time "The War To End All Wars." But the Germans were pressured into signing the treaty, having lost the war to the Allies, and having suffered severe territorial and financial losses. The Versailles Treaty was signed at the Paris Peace Conference, and the League of Nations was formed at the same time. 
  2. In 1933, Austria-born Adolf Hitler came into power as the Chancellor of Germany. He promptly disregarded the Treaty of Versailles and drafted many German soldiers, in preparation for what would later be known as World War 2. 
  3. In March of 1938, Germany annexed Austria, without too much resistance from other European powers. 
  4. On September 1st of 1939, after remilitarizing the region, Hitler declared war and had Germany invade Poland. This is typically considered the start of World War 2, although the exact start date is not agreed upon by everyone. 
  5. Two days after Germany invaded Poland, the UK and France declared war on Germany. 


Above: A woman shows her adoration for Hitler.

image: allthatsinteresting.com


6.  Hitler, greedy for power, began issuing hate speeches against the British (who he viewed as hindering his political aspirations) and the Jews. What followed was a systematic use of propaganda to sway the public sentiment against certain groups of people such as Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the elderly, and the disabled, to name only a few. 

7.  The first battle of World War 2 was the Battle of Westerplatt, where German forces assaulted Poland's military base on September 1st of 1939. 

8.  When the western Allies of World War 2 established a naval blockade against Germany, Germany responded with U-Boat warfare against Allied ships. This would later become known as the Battle of the Atlantic. On September 8th, German troops reached the city of Warsaw, Poland. Around the same time, the Soviets invaded eastern Poland. 

9.  On October 6th of 1939, the Polish Army was defeated by the Germans, although they never really surrendered. 

10. In April of 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. Denmark fell within hours. Norway took about two months to conquer. 



Above: Map of the German invasion of Denmark, 1940

image: commons.wikimedia.org



11.  On June 10th of 1940, Italy invaded France and also declared war against Britain. This allowed the Germans to take over Paris without much fanfare.   

12.  In early July of 1940 the Battle of Britain began, and was fought entirely by air forces. 

13.  On December 7th of 1941, Japan dropped a bomb on Pearl Harbor. This was the catalyst for America's involvement in World War 2. 

14.  In 1943, the European landscape was dotted with notorious "concentration camps" such as Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, and Dachau. 

15.  June 6th of 1944 is known as D-Day, when western Allies invaded northern France. Paris was liberated on August 25th.  



Above: A colorized photo of World War 2 soldiers on D-Day.

image: bytesdaily.blogspot.com



16.  The prisoners of Auschwitz were liberated by Soviet troops on January 27th of 1945. January 27th has since been known as Holocaust Remembrance Day

17.  The Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated on April 15th pf 1945 by British troops. There, they discovered 60,000 starving prisoners and about 13,000 rotting corpses. 

18. On April 28th of 1945, Benito Mussolini was killed, and his body was dragged through the streets by Italian partisans. 

19.  German forces surrendered the following day, on the 29th of April, 1945, the same day that US soldiers liberated the prisoners of Dachau. 

20.  On May 8th of 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. 



Above: The liberation of the Dachau death camp

image: allthatsinteresting.com


21.  On August 6th and August 9th of 1945, following Japan's refusal to surrender, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  

22.  September 2nd of 1945 is the generally accepted Last Day of World War 2. It is known as V-J Day, for the Allied Victory over Japan. 

23.  The result of World War 2 was an Allied victory, the collapse of Nazi Germany, and the fall of the Japanese and Italian Empires, although the Allies lost many more people to the war than the Axis powers did. 

24.  World War 2 saw the deaths of more than 73 million people worldwide, civilians and soldiers alike, between 1937 and 1945. More than 45 million Allied civilians were among the dead. 

25.  In yet another effort to maintain world peace, the United Nations was established in 1945, soon after the end of World War 2. 



related links


World War 1 Fact List

War Museums In Every US State




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