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World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict. It began as the joining of what had initially been two separate conflicts, with the first beginning in Asia in 1937 (the Second Sino-Japanese War) and the other beginning in Europe in 1939 (the German invasion of Poland).

The war split the majority of the world's nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history, and placed the participants in a state of "total war", which erased the distinction between civil and military resources and resulted in the complete activation of a nation's economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities for the purposes of the war effort. Over 70 million people, the majority of them civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.

The Allies won the war, and as a result, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as the world's leading superpowers. This set the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 45 years. The United Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The self determination spawned by the war accelerated decolonization movements in Asia and Africa, while Europe itself began moving toward integration.

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EnterpriseBurningHellcat
<center> Credit: United States Navy

Crash landing of an F6F Hellcat into the port side 20mm gun gallery of the USS Enterprise, November 10, 1943. Lieutenant Walter L. Chewning, Jr., USNR, the Catapult Officer, is climbing up the plane's side to assist the pilot from the burning aircraft. The pilot, Ensign Byron M. Johnson, escaped without significant injury. Note the plane's ruptured belly fuel tank. </center>

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Did you know...

DYKSquare
  • ...that the World War II Italian submarine Cappellini was in all three major Axis navies, before being captured by the U.S. Navy?
  • ...that the Polish Second Army was the second major formation of the Peoples' Army of Poland fighting alongside the Soviet Union in the Second World War?
  • ...that U-106, was one of Germany's most successful submarines, sinking 22 Allied ships in World War II?
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    DYKSquare
  • ...that the World War II Italian submarine Cappellini was in all three major Axis navies, before being captured by the U.S. Navy?
  • ...that the Polish Second Army was the second major formation of the Peoples' Army of Poland fighting alongside the Soviet Union in the Second World War?
  • ...that U-106, was one of Germany's most successful submarines, sinking 22 Allied ships in World War II?
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    From the World War II task force of the Military history WikiProject:

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    {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/World War II task force/Article alerts}}
    Attention needed 
    ...to referencing and citation...to coverage and accuracy...to structure...to grammar...to supporting materials
    Cleanup needed 
    Battle of Kiev (1943)Raid on DrvarColditz Castle
    Requested articles 
    A ForceAtlantic Black GapBattle of Elaia-KalamasBattle_of_Uhtua-KiestinkiBattles_of_Repola-RukajärviBattle_of_PorlammiBattle_of_SiiranmäkiBattle_of_TuulosBattle_of_ŁuckBattle_of_RówneBattle_of_Włodzimierz_WołyńskiBattle_of_LubartówBattle_of_Kock_(1944)Battle_of_MiednikiBattle_of_Rudniki_ForestBattle_of_JodłaBattle_of_CeberFrancis BlanchainProsper DesitterShinshou DraengerChrister Lyst HansenHolocaust slave labor litigationHorten Ho IIIHorten Ho VIGaribaldi BrigadesItalian Spring OffensiveOve KampmanLeague for Combat PolicyJulien MelineOperation RayonOperation BigotOperation FischreiherOperation HardboiledOperation IlonaOperation MittelmeerOperation OttoOperation RichardOperation SchamilOperation ScherhornOperation WaterfallOtto ProgramAladar PaasonenMartin PoppelRoehm's AvengersDorothy TartierePoul BruunRaoul BoulangerSerge Asher-RavanelBattle of West Ukraine (1941)Battle of XinfengBattle of ZunyiBattle of Sittang River BridgeJack G. "Tex" Wheelis
    Expansion needed 
    Battle_of_Bay_of_ViipuriBattle of BruneiBattle of LabuanBattle of North BorneoDemilitarisation; Martha DesrumeauxMochitsura HashimotoOperation CascadeOperation Tan No. 2Burma Area ArmyBattle of CourlandBattle of Voronezh (1943)First Battle of KharkovRace to BerlinMarie FourcadeVictor Strydonck de BurkelDonald BlakesleeOperation NorthwindBattle of Skerki BankMichael Sinclair (soldier)Battle of MaastrichtBattle of The AfsluitdijkBattle of ZeelandLanding at Saidor
    Translation needed 
    de:Josef Meisingernl:Type 5 Na-To
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