The Second World War was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945 fought between the Allied Powers (Britain, France, the United States, and the U.S.S.R.) and the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan). It ended with the Allies victorious.
Fifteen years after the end of World War I (then called the "Great War"), Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany, and soon after two other members of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or the National Socialist German Worker Party, were also given important positions in office. Eventually, Hitler began to establish the NSDAP's control in Germany, leading to the oppression or elimination of any political opposition, either through intimidation or direct force.
When the previous president of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg, died on the second of August, 1934, Hitler inherited all the powers of that position, including full control of the armed forces, by popular vote. He, after the presidency and chancellorship were merged, also began to be called Führer und Reichskanzler, or "leader and chancellor", the latter part of which title gradually vanished. With this newly gained power, he first conducted an examination of the military, forcing many important leaders to resign, whom he deemed to be unloyal or unfit to hold high ranking.
Hitler was increasingly entertained by the idea of German expansion, and therefore spent great resources on the military. In October of 1933 he withdrew from the League of Nations, abandoning also the World Disarmament Conference of the same month, whereupon he authorized a large increase in Wehrmacht personnel and the creation of a Luftwaffe, both of which were in explicit violation of the Versailles Treaty. Hitler made pacts with both Italy and Japan, and commenced large scale preparations of militarization, which would eventually lead to war.
After also entering in a truce with Stalin and the Soviet Union, Germany finally invaded Poland on the first of September, 1939, a date universally recognized as the formal beginning of the war. Sixteen days after, the Soviet Union also made an invasion. Alarmed by the sudden aggression, Britain and France then declared war on Germany.
Denmark and Norway were also invaded, and shortly after in 1940 Germany attacked France, capturing several surrounding countries. Realizing Hitler's vast potential, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini consociated his forces with Hitler's, twelve days after which France surrendered to Germany. After France's defeat, the British were forced to evacuate the country by sea, through a port-town called Dunkirk. Then, Hitler sent several peace propositions to the British prime minister Winston Churchill, which, upon being denied, prompted him to launch an aerial assault on London. The attack failed, and the plan to invade Britain was postponed.
Later that year, the Tripartite Pact was signed between Japan, Germany, and Italy, thus forming the Axis powers. After failing to persuade Stalin to join him, Hitler decided to invade the Soviet Union, and ordered preparations therefore to begin at once. On the twenty-second day of June, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, operating under the code name "Operation Barbarossa".
In December of 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in order to weaken the American fleet, which, due to several errors and the lack of preparation, resulted in an utter defeat. This event incited America to declare war on Japan, and later, on the rest of the Axis powers.
Meanwhile, in August of 1942, despite the failure of Operation Barbarossa many parts of Russia were still captured, and German troops attempted to capture the city of Stalingrad. The Battle of Stalingrad is often considered one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war, leading to the almost complete annihilation of the German 6th Army. Although it was plain that no victory was possible, Hitler forbade any retreat, attempting to keep control of the city. At the beginning of 1943, the German forces finally surrendered, after running out of food and ammunition and being surrounded by the Red Army, and Stalingrad was liberated. The defeat impelled the German High Command to withdraw many of the soldiers from the western front to replenish the lost numbers.
In the same year, the Allies also began several operations against the Japanese forces in the Pacific, during which the Canadians and the Americans, along with auxiliary aid, captured a large number of islands and vital military bases. By March of the next year, most of the threat in the Pacific was neutralized.
In the east, in the middle of 1943, Hitler attacked the Soviet Union once again, once again depleting his resources and sustaining unnumbered causalities, but which was abruptly halted with the Allied invasion of Sicily in the same month, leading to the deposition of Mussolini and an armistice between Italy and the Allies. Meanwhile, the Soviets had strengthened their defenses in a highly organized manner, decreasing what chance there already was of German victory in Russia. Finally, in early 1944, the Siege of Leningrad ended when the Soviets forced the German troops from the region.
On the sixth of June, 1944 (known as D-Day), the Allies invaded northern France, while another assembly of troops attacked France from the south. Several groups of British, Canadian, and American forces landed on beaches in Normandy, which, after a period of bitter conflict, were successfully taken. Throughout the rest of 1944, they slowly pushed into Germany from the west, with occasional setbacks. In the east, the Soviets launched an assault in Belarus which greatly weakened the German military, and abolished its occupation of parts of Poland and Ukraine. In October of 1944, the Soviets amassed an army and began an attack on Hungary, then occupied by Germany.
In the Pacific, meanwhile, Allied forces won several battles in the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf, pushing back the Japanese offensive line.
In December, Hitler made a last attempt to neutralize the Allied threat, attempting to capture a major Allied port-city at Antwerp, which utterly failed. In February of 1945, Budapest was captured and German occupation in Hungary ended.
In April of of that year, Polish and Soviet forces finally captured Berlin, leading to the surrender of the German troops in Italy. A few days after, the Reichstag Building was captured. During this time, Hitler committed suicide, and Germany surrendered on the seventh of May, 1945.
The Allies still continued fighting on many islands of the Pacific, while the United States organized several air raids on Japan, including the destruction of infrastructure, meant to demoralize the people. By March, Iwo Jima was taken, and three months later Okinawa was also captured. Japan's supply ships were also cut off, leaving the country lacking in resources. It was demanded that Japan submit to unconditional surrender, lest it be promptly and utterly destroyed. Japan refused, and in August of that year, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, shortly after which, also impelled by the Soviets, who had captured several islands of the Pacific, Japan finally surrendered on the fifteenth of August, 1945. The documents were officially signed on September 2, signaling the official end of the war.
The events of World War II resulted in the pact of the Big Three, because their children were affecting the course of history too much. It was decided more demigod children would be dangerous for the mortal world.
Frederick Chase is also very knowledgeable on the subject, being a military professor.
|Not part of Riordanverse|
- World War II was the most destructive conflict in human history.
- In the series it is said that the sons of Hades / Pluto headed the losing side during World War II, while those of Zeus / Jupiter and Poseidon / Neptune were the leaders of the victors.
- The sons of Hades / Pluto were to be at the head of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Riordan however declared that Hitler was not a demigod.
- The sons of Zeus / Jupiter and Poseidon / Neptune instead had to be at the head of the United States of America, England and China.