Axis Powers

Axis Powers

Overview
The Axis powers also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

s during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 and between Germany and Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

. The "Rome-Berlin Axis" became a full military alliance in 1939 under the Pact of Steel
Pact of Steel
The Pact of Steel , known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany signed on May 22, 1939, by the foreign ministers of each country and witnessed by Count Galeazzo Ciano for Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop...

, and the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 of 1940 fully integrated the military aims of Germany, Italy, and Japan.
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Encyclopedia
The Axis powers also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

s during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 and between Germany and Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

. The "Rome-Berlin Axis" became a full military alliance in 1939 under the Pact of Steel
Pact of Steel
The Pact of Steel , known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany signed on May 22, 1939, by the foreign ministers of each country and witnessed by Count Galeazzo Ciano for Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop...

, and the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 of 1940 fully integrated the military aims of Germany, Italy, and Japan. At their zenith in the midst of World War II, the Axis powers ruled empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

s that dominated large parts of Europe, Africa, East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, but the war ended with their total defeat and dissolution. Like the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, and other nations entered and later left the Axis during the course of the war.

Origins




The term "axis" is believed to have been first coined by Hungary's fascist prime minister Gyula Gömbös
Gyula Gömbös
Gyula Gömbös de Jákfa was the conservative prime minister of Hungary from 1932 to 1936.-Background:Gömbös was born in the Tolna County village of Murga, Hungary, which had a mixed Hungarian and ethnic German population. His father was the village schoolmaster. The family belonged to the ...

 who advocated an alliance
Alliance
An alliance is an agreement or friendship between two or more parties, made in order to advance common goals and to secure common interests.See also military alliance and business alliance.-International relations:...

 of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and worked as an intermediary between Germany and Italy to lessen differences between the two countries to achieve such an alliance. Gömbös' sudden death in 1936 while negotiating with Germany in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 and the arrival of a non-fascist successor
Kálmán Darányi
Kálmán Darányi de Pusztaszentgyörgy et Tetétlen was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1936 to 1938. He also served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Hungary from 5 December 1938 to 12 June 1939 and from 15 June 1939 to 1 November 1939...

 to him ended Hungary's initial involvement in pursuing a trilateral axis, but the lessening of differences between Germany and Italy would lead to a bilateral axis being formed.

In November 1936, the term "axis" was first officially used by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 when he spoke of a Rome-Berlin axis arising out of the treaty
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 of friendship signed between Italy and Germany on 25 October 1936, around which the other states of Europe (and of the world) would revolve. This treaty was forged when Italy, originally opposed to Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, was faced with opposition to its war in Abyssinia
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire...

 from the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 and received support from Germany. Later, in May 1939, this relationship transformed into an alliance, which Mussolini called the "Pact of Steel
Pact of Steel
The Pact of Steel , known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany signed on May 22, 1939, by the foreign ministers of each country and witnessed by Count Galeazzo Ciano for Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop...

".

The "Axis powers" formally took the name after the Tripartite Pact was signed by Germany, Italy and Japan on September 27, 1940 in Berlin, Germany. The pact was subsequently joined by Hungary (November 20, 1940), Romania (November 23, 1940), Slovakia (November 24, 1940) and Bulgaria (March 1, 1941). The Italian name Robert
Robert
The name Robert is a Germanic given name, from hrod "fame" and beraht "bright". It is also in use as a surname.After becoming widely used in Continental Europe it entered England in its Old French form Robert, where an Old English cognate form had existed before the Norman Conquest...

o
briefly acquired a new meaning from "Rome-Berlin-Tokyo" between 1940 and 1945. Its most militarily powerful members were Germany and Japan. These two nations had also signed the Anti-Comintern Pact
Anti-Comintern Pact
The Anti-Comintern Pact was an Anti-Communist pact concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on November 25, 1936 and was directed against the Communist International ....

 in 1936.

Economic and military resources


The military burden of the war upon the economy of states in the war has been measured through the percentage of gross national product (GNP) devoted to war effort expenditures. Nearly one-quarter of Germany's GNP was committed to the war effort in 1939 and rose three-quarters of GNP in 1944 prior to economic collapse. In 1939, Japan committed 22 percent of its GNP to its war effort in China, it rose to three-quarters of Japan's GNP in 1944. Italy failed to mobilize its economy unlike Germany and Japan and its GNP committed to the war effort remained at the prewar levels of its German and Japanese allies.

The total gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP) of the combined Axis powers was lower than that of the total GDP of the Allied powers.

Both Italy and Japan lacked industrial capacity as their economies were small, dependent on international trade
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

, and dependent on external sources of fuels and other industrial resources. As a result, Italian and Japanese mobilization remained low even by 1943.

Among the three major Axis powers - Germany, Italy, and Japan - Japan was the poorest in the income level of its citizens while Germany and Italy had an income level comparable to the United Kingdom.

Germany


The Third Reich
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 was unofficially the leader of the alliance as it had authored the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 that formed the Axis powers. Germany was ruled at this time by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and his National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party).

German citizens felt that their country had been humiliated as a result of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 at the end of World War I in which Germany was forced to pay enormous reparations payments, and forfeit German-populated territories and its colonies. The pressure of the reparations on the German economy led to hyperinflation during the early 1920s
Inflation in the Weimar Republic
The hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic was a three year period of hyperinflation in Germany between June 1921 and July 1924.- Analysis :...

. In 1923, the French occupied the Ruhr region
Occupation of the Ruhr
The Occupation of the Ruhr between 1923 and 1925, by troops from France and Belgium, was a response to the failure of the German Weimar Republic under Chancellor Cuno to pay reparations in the aftermath of World War I.-Background:...

 as a result of late payments leading to greater feelings of discontent. Although Germany began to improve economically in the mid-1920s, the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 created more economic hardship and a rise in political forces that advocated radical solutions to Germany's woes. The Nazis under Adolf Hitler followed and promoted the nationalist stab-in-the-back legend stating that Germany had been betrayed by Jews and Communists and promised to rebuild Germany as a major power and create a Greater Germany that would include Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east...

, Austria, Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Sudetenland is the German name used in English in the first half of the 20th century for the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia being within Czechoslovakia.The...

, and other German-populated territories in Europe. In addition to this, the Nazis aimed to occupy non-German territory of Poland, Baltic countries, and the Soviet Union, to colonize with Germans as part of the Nazi policy of seeking Lebensraum
Lebensraum
was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany...

 ("living space") in eastern Europe.

With the remilitarization of the Rhineland
Remilitarization of the Rhineland
The Remilitarization of the Rhineland by the German Army took place on 7 March 1936 when German military forces entered the Rhineland. This was significant because it violated the terms of the Locarno Treaties and was the first time since the end of World War I that German troops had been in this...

 in March 1936, Germany renounced the Versailles treaty. Germany had already resumed conscription and announced the existence of a German airforce in 1935. Germany later annexed Austria in 1938
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

, the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Sudetenland is the German name used in English in the first half of the 20th century for the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia being within Czechoslovakia.The...

 from Czechoslovakia and the Memel territory from Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 in 1939. Germany then invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 in 1939, creating the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic...

 and Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 as a country.

On August 23, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

, which contained a secret protocol dividing eastern Europe into spheres of influence. Germany's invasion of its part of Poland under the Pact eight days later led to the subsequent beginning of World War II. By the end of 1941, Germany occupied a large part of Europe and its military forces
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 were fighting the Soviet Union, nearly capturing its capital of Moscow. However, crushing defeats at the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

 and the Battle of Kursk
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk took place when German and Soviet forces confronted each other on the Eastern Front during World War II in the vicinity of the city of Kursk, in the Soviet Union in July and August 1943. It remains both the largest series of armored clashes, including the Battle of Prokhorovka,...

 devastated the German armed forces. This, combined with Western Allied landings in France and Italy
Allied invasion of Sicily
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis . It was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.Husky began on the night of...

, led to a three-front war that depleted Germany's armed forces and resulted in Germany's defeat in 1945.

Japan




Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 was the principal Axis power in Asia and the Pacific. The Empire of Japan, commonly referred to as Imperial Japan, was a constitutional monarchy ruled by Hirohito
Hirohito
, posthumously in Japan officially called Emperor Shōwa or , was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order, reigning from December 25, 1926, until his death in 1989. Although better known outside of Japan by his personal name Hirohito, in Japan he is now referred to...

. The constitution prescribed that "The Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution" (article 4) and that "The Emperor has the supreme command of the Army and the Navy" (article 11). Under the imperial institution were a political cabinet and Imperial General Headquarters
Imperial General Headquarters
The as part of the Supreme War Council was established in 1893 to coordinate efforts between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during wartime...

 with two chiefs of staff.

At its height, Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a concept created and promulgated during the Shōwa era by the government and military of the Empire of Japan. It represented the desire to create a self-sufficient "bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers"...

 included Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

, large parts of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Malaysia, French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

, Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

, The Philippines, Burma, some of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, and various other Pacific Islands - specifically in the central Pacific.

As a result of the internal discord and economic downturn of the 1920s, militaristic elements set Japan on a path of expansionism. Japan had plans to establish its hegemony in Asia and thus become self-sufficient, as the Japanese home islands lacked natural resources needed for growth, by acquiring areas with abundant natural resources. Japan's expansionist policies alienated it from other countries in the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 and by the mid-1930s brought it closer to Germany and Italy, who had both pursued similar expansionist policies, which resulted in condemnation by a number of countries. Initial steps of Japan aligning militarily with Germany began with the Anti-Comintern Pact
Anti-Comintern Pact
The Anti-Comintern Pact was an Anti-Communist pact concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on November 25, 1936 and was directed against the Communist International ....

, in which the two countries agreed to ally with each other to challenge any attack by the Soviet Union.

Japan's first major action was against the Chinese
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 in 1937. The subsequent Japanese invasion and occupation of parts of China resulted in numerous atrocities against civilians such as the Nanking massacre
Nanking Massacre
The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was a mass murder, genocide and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing , the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second...

 and the Three Alls Policy
Three Alls Policy
The Three Alls Policy was a Japanese scorched earth policy adopted in China during World War II, the three alls being: "Kill All", "Burn All" and "Loot All" . In Japanese documents, the policy was originally referred to as...

. The Japanese
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 also fought skirmishes with Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

–Mongolian forces in Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

 in 1938 & 1939. Japan sought to avoid potential war with the Soviet Union by signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union later in 1941.

With European colonial powers focused on the war in Europe, Japan sought to acquire their colonies. In 1940 Japan responded to the collapse of France to the Germans, by occupying French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

. The regime of Vichy France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

, a de-facto ally of Germany, accepted Japan's takeover of Indochina. Allied forces did not respond with war. However, with the continuing war in China, the United States instituted in 1941 an embargo against Japan. This cut off the supply of scrap metal and oil needed for its industry, trade and war effort.

To isolate American forces in the Philippines
Commonwealth of the Philippines
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a designation of the Philippines from 1935 to 1946 when the country was a commonwealth of the United States. The Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934. When Manuel L...

, and American naval power, the Imperial General Headquarters
Imperial General Headquarters
The as part of the Supreme War Council was established in 1893 to coordinate efforts between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during wartime...

 ordered the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 to attack the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The Japanese forces also invaded Malaysia and Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. The Japanese initially were able to inflict a series of defeats against the Allies, however by 1943 American industrial strength was made apparent and the Japanese forces were pushed back towards the home islands. The Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

 lasted until the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

 in 1945. The Soviets formally declared war in August, 1945 and engaged Japanese forces in Manchuria and northeast China.

Italy




The Kingdom of Italy and the Italian Empire was under the leadership of the fascist
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 dictator
Dictator
A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch. When other states call the head of state of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship...

 and Head of Government Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 in the name of King Victor Emmanuel III
Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
Victor Emmanuel III was a member of the House of Savoy and King of Italy . In addition, he claimed the crowns of Ethiopia and Albania and claimed the titles Emperor of Ethiopia and King of Albania , which were unrecognised by the Great Powers...

.

During World War I, Italy entered the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

. At the close of the war, Italy made fewer gains than it had been promised in the London Pact
London Pact
London Pact , or more correctly, the Treaty of London, 1915, was a secret pact between Italy and Triple Entente, signed in London on 26 April 1915 by the Kingdom of Italy, Great Britain, France and Russia....

. The London pact was nullified with the treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

, Italian nationalists and the public saw this as an injustice and an outrage; there had been over 600,000 Italian casualties. This resentment together with internal discontent and an economic downturn allowed the Italian Fascists under Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 to rise to power in 1922.

In the late 19th century, after the reunification, a nationalist movement grew around the concept of Italia irredenta
Italia irredenta
Italian irredentism was an Italian Irredentist movement that aimed at the unification of all ethnically Italian peoples....

, which advocated the incorporation of Italian-speaking areas under foreign rule into Italy. There was a desire to annex Dalmatian territories which had formerly been ruled by the Venetians and which consequently had Italian-speaking elites. Italy's Fascist regime's intention was to create a "New Roman Empire" in which Italy would dominate the Mediterranean. In 1935-1936, Italy invaded and annexed Ethiopia
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire...

 and the Fascist government proclaimed the creation of the "Italian Empire". The League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, led by the British interests in that same area, protested, however no serious action was taken, though Italy later faced diplomatic isolation from several countries. In 1937 Italy left the League of Nations, and in the same year joined the Anti-Comintern Pact
Anti-Comintern Pact
The Anti-Comintern Pact was an Anti-Communist pact concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on November 25, 1936 and was directed against the Communist International ....

 signed by Germany and Japan the preceding year. In March/April 1939 Italian troops invaded and annexed Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

. Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel
Pact of Steel
The Pact of Steel , known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany signed on May 22, 1939, by the foreign ministers of each country and witnessed by Count Galeazzo Ciano for Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop...

 on May 22.

Italy entered World War II on June 10, 1940. In September 1940 Germany, Italy and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

. By 1941, however, the Italians had suffered multiple military defeats; in Greece
Greco-Italian War
The Greco-Italian War was a conflict between Italy and Greece which lasted from 28 October 1940 to 23 April 1941. It marked the beginning of the Balkans Campaign of World War II...

 and against the British in Egypt
Italian invasion of Egypt
The Italian Invasion of Egypt was an Italian offensive action against British, Commonwealth and Free French forces during the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. Initially, the goal of the offensive was to seize the Suez Canal. To accomplish this, Italian forces from Libya would have...

. It was only through German intervention in Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

, the Balkans and North Africa that Italy managed to avert a major military collapse. By 1943 the Italian people had lost faith in Mussolini and no longer supported the war; Italy had lost its colonies, the allies had taken North Africa in May and Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 had been invaded in July.

On July 25, 1943, King Victor Emmanuel III dismissed Mussolini, placed him under arrest, and began secret negotiations with the Allies. Italy then signed an armistice with the Allies
Armistice with Italy
The Armistice with Italy was an armistice signed on September 3 and publicly declared on September 8, 1943, during World War II, between Italy and the Allied armed forces, who were then occupying the southern end of the country, entailing the capitulation of Italy...

 on September 8, 1943 and later joined the Western Allies as a co-belligerent
Co-belligerence
Co-belligerence is the waging of a war in cooperation against a common enemy without a formal treaty of military alliance.Co-belligerence is a broader and less precise status of wartime partnership than a formal military alliance. Co-belligerents may support each other materially, exchange...

. On September 12, 1943, Mussolini was rescued by the Germans in Operation Oak and a puppet state
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

 was formed in northern Italy (see "German puppet states" below), although it exercised little real power and Italy continued as a member of the Axis Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 in name only. This resurrected Fascist state was referred to as Repubblica di Salò or the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

 (Repubblica Sociale Italiana/RSI).

Hungary



Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary (1920–1946)
The Kingdom of Hungary also known as the Regency, existed from 1920 to 1946 and was a de facto country under Regent Miklós Horthy. Horthy officially represented the abdicated Hungarian monarchy of Charles IV, Apostolic King of Hungary...

 was ruled by Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 Admiral Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya was the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary during the interwar years and throughout most of World War II, serving from 1 March 1920 to 15 October 1944. Horthy was styled "His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary" .Admiral Horthy was an officer of the...

. Hungary was the first country apart from Germany, Italy, and Japan to adhere to the Tripartite Pact, signing the agreement on 20 November 1940.

In the late 1910s and early 1920s, political instability plagued the country until a regency was established by Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya was the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary during the interwar years and throughout most of World War II, serving from 1 March 1920 to 15 October 1944. Horthy was styled "His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary" .Admiral Horthy was an officer of the...

. Horthy, who was a Hungarian nobleman and Austro-Hungarian naval
Austro-Hungarian Navy
The Austro-Hungarian Navy was the naval force of Austria-Hungary. Its official name in German was Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine , abbreviated as k.u.k. Kriegsmarine....

 officer, became Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 in 1920. In Hungary, nationalism was strong, as was anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

, which drew Hungarian nationalists to support the Nazi regime in Germany. There was a desire by Hungarian nationalists to recover the territories lost through the Trianon Treaty. Hungary drew closer to Germany and Italy largely because of the shared desire to revise the peace settlements made after the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Due to its pro-German stance, the Hungarians received favourable territorial settlements in the form of territory from German annexed Czechoslovakia in 1939 and Northern Transylvania
Northern Transylvania
Northern Transylvania is a region of Transylvania, situated within the territory of Romania. The population is largely composed of both ethnic Romanians and Hungarians, and the region has been part of Romania since 1918 . During World War II, as a consequence of the territorial agreement known as...

 from Romania in the Vienna Awards
Vienna Awards
The Vienna Awards are two arbitral awards by which arbiters of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sought to enforce peacefully the claims of Hungary on territory it had lost in 1920 when it signed the Treaty of Trianon...

 of 1940. During the invasion of Yugoslavia, the Hungarians permitted German troops to transit through their territory and Hungarian forces also took part in the invasion. Parts of Yugoslavia were annexed to Hungary; in response, the United Kingdom immediately broke off diplomatic relations.

Although Hungary did not participate initially in the German invasion of the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, on 27 June Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union. Over 500,000 troops served in the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

. All five of Hungary's field armies ultimately participated in the war against the Soviet Union; the largest and the most significant contribution was made by the Second Army
Hungarian Second Army
The Hungarian Second Army was one of three field armies raised by the Kingdom of Hungary which saw action during World War II. All three armies were formed on March 1, 1940...

.

On 25 November 1941, Hungary was one of thirteen signatories to the revived Anti-Comintern Pact
Anti-Comintern Pact
The Anti-Comintern Pact was an Anti-Communist pact concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on November 25, 1936 and was directed against the Communist International ....

. Hungarian troops like their other Axis counterparts were involved in numerous actions against the Soviets. By the end of 1943, however, the Soviets had gained the upper hand while the Germans found themselves in retreat. The Hungarian Second Army was destroyed in fighting near Voronezh
Voronezh
Voronezh is a city in southwestern Russia, the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast. It is located on both sides of the Voronezh River, away from where it flows into the Don. It is an operating center of the Southeastern Railway , as well as the center of the Don Highway...

, on the banks of the Don River
Don River (Russia)
The Don River is one of the major rivers of Russia. It rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast from Tula, southeast of Moscow, and flows for a distance of about 1,950 kilometres to the Sea of Azov....

. In 1944, with Soviet troops advancing toward Hungary, Horthy attempted to reach an armistice with the Allies. However, the Germans replaced the existing regime with a new one
Operation Panzerfaust
Operation Panzerfaust, known as Unternehmen Eisenfaust in Germany, was a military operation to keep the Kingdom of Hungary at Germany's side in the war, conducted in October 1944 by the German military...

. Eventually Budapest was taken by the Soviets, after fierce fighting. A number of pro-German Hungarians retreated to Italy and Germany where they fought until the end of the war.

Romania




When war erupted in Europe in 1939, Romania
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 was pro-British and was allied to the Poles
Polish-Romanian Alliance
The Polish–Romanian Alliance was a series of treaties signed in the interwar period by the Second Polish Republic and the Kingdom of Romania. The first of them was signed in 1921 and, together, the treaties formed a basis for good foreign relations between the two countries that lasted until World...

. However, following the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union, and the German conquest of France and the low countries, Romania found itself increasingly isolated. Pro-German and pro-fascist elements began to grow.

The August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 between Germany and the Soviet Union contained a secret protocol ceding Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

, part of northern Romania, to the Soviet Union. On June 28, 1940, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

, as well as Northern Bukovina and the Hertza region
Hertza region
Hertza region is the territory of an administrative district of Hertsa in the southern part of Chernivtsi Oblast in southwestern Ukraine, on the Romanian border...

. On August 30, 1940, Germany forced Romania to cede Northern Transylvania
Northern Transylvania
Northern Transylvania is a region of Transylvania, situated within the territory of Romania. The population is largely composed of both ethnic Romanians and Hungarians, and the region has been part of Romania since 1918 . During World War II, as a consequence of the territorial agreement known as...

 to Hungary as a result of the second Vienna Award. Southern Dobruja
Southern Dobruja
Southern Dobruja is an area of north-eastern Bulgaria comprising the administrative districts named for its two principal cities of Dobrich and Silistra...

 was also ceded to Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 in September 1940. In an effort to appease the Fascist elements with the country and obtain German protection, King Carol II
Carol II of Romania
Carol II reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria...

 appointed the General Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

 as Prime Minister on September 6, 1940.

Two days later, Antonescu forced the king to abdicate and installed the king's young son Michael
Michael I of Romania
Michael was the last King of Romania. He reigned from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930, and again from 6 September 1940 until 30 December 1947 when he was forced, by the Communist Party of Romania , to abdicate to the Soviet armies of occupation...

 (Mihai) on the throne, then declared himself Conducător (Leader) with dictatorial
Dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

 powers. Under King Michael I and the military government of Antonescu, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 on November 23, 1940. German troops entered the country in 1941 and used the country as platform for invasions of both Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 and the Soviet Union. Romania was also a key supplier of resources, especially oil and grain.

Romania joined the German led invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Nearly 800,000 Romanian troops fought on the Eastern front. Areas that were annexed by the Soviets were reincorporated into Romania. By 1943, the tide began to turn and the Soviets pushed further west closer to Romania. Foreseeing the fall of Nazi Germany, Romania switched sides during King Michael's Coup
King Michael's Coup
King Michael's Coup refers to the coup d'etat led by King Michael of Romania in 1944 against the pro-Nazi Romanian faction of Ion Antonescu, after the Axis front in Northeastern Romania collapsed under the Soviet offensive.-The coup:...

 on 23 August 1944. Romanian troops then fought alongside the Soviet Army until the end of war, reaching as far as Czechoslovakia and Austria.

Bulgaria




Bulgaria
Kingdom of Bulgaria
The Kingdom of Bulgaria was established as an independent state when the Principality of Bulgaria, an Ottoman vassal, officially proclaimed itself independent on October 5, 1908 . This move also formalised the annexation of the Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia, which had been under the control...

 was ruled by Тsar Boris III
Boris III of Bulgaria
Boris III the Unifier, Tsar of Bulgaria , originally Boris Klemens Robert Maria Pius Ludwig Stanislaus Xaver , son of Ferdinand I, came to the throne in 1918 upon the abdication of his father, following the defeat of the Kingdom of Bulgaria during World War I...

 when the country signed the Tripartite Pact on March 1, 1941. Bulgaria had been an ally of Germany in the First World War and like Germany, sought a return of lost territory, specifically Macedonia and Aegean Thrace. During the 1930s, because of traditional right-wing elements Bulgaria drew closer to Nazi Germany. In 1940, under the terms of the Treaty of Craiova
Treaty of Craiova
The Treaty of Craiova was signed on 7 September 1940 between the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Romania. Under the terms of this treaty, Romania returned the southern part of Dobruja to Bulgaria and agreed to participate in organizing a population exchange...

, Germany pressured Romania to return Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria, which was ceded in 1913. The promised reward for joining the axis powers was establishment of the Bulgaria within the borders defined by the Treaty of San Stefano
Treaty of San Stefano
The Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano was a treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed at the end of the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78...

.

Bulgaria participated in the German invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece, and annexed Vardar Banovina
Vardar Banovina
The Vardar Banovina or Vardar Banate or Vardarska Banovina was a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between 1929 and 1941. It was located in the southernmost part of the country, encompassing the whole of today's Republic of Macedonia, southern parts of Central Serbia and southeastern parts of...

 from Yugoslavia and eastern Greek Macedonia and Western Thrace
Western Thrace
Western Thrace or simply Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Epirus, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece...

 from Greece. Bulgarian forces garrisoned in the Balkans fought various resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

s. Despite German pressure, Bulgaria did not join the German invasion of the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 and never declared war on this country. However, despite the lack of official declarations of war by both sides, the Bulgarian Navy
Bulgarian Navy
The Bulgarian Navy is the navy of Republic of Bulgaria and forms part of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. It has been largely overlooked in the reforms that Bulgaria had to go through in order to comply with NATO standards, mostly because of the great expense involved and the fact that naval assaults...

 was involved in a number of skirmishes with the Soviet Black Sea Fleet
Black Sea Fleet
The Black Sea Fleet is a large operational-strategic sub-unit of the Russian Navy, operating in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea since the late 18th century. It is based in various harbors of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov....

, which attacked Bulgarian shipping.

The Bulgarian government declared war on the Western Allies
Western Allies
The Western Allies were a political and geographic grouping among the Allied Powers of the Second World War. It generally includes the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, the United States, France and various other European and Latin American countries, but excludes China, the Soviet Union,...

. However, this turned into a disaster for the citizens of Sofia
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

 and other major Bulgarian cities, which were heavily bombed by the USAAF
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 and RAF
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 in 1943 and 1944. As the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 approached the Bulgarian border, on September 2, 1944, a coup brought to power a new government, which sought peace with the Allies. However, on September 5 the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria and the Red Army marched into the country, meeting no resistance. During the coup d'état of 9 September 1944
Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944
The Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944, also known as the 9 September coup d'état and called in pre-1989 Bulgaria the National Uprising of 9 September or the Socialist Revolution of 9 September was a change in the Kingdom of Bulgaria's administration and government carried out on the eve of 9 September...

, a new government of the Fatherland Front
Fatherland Front (Bulgaria)
The Fatherland Front was originally a Bulgarian political resistance movement during World War II. The Zveno movement, the communist Bulgarian Workers Party, a wing of the Agrarian Union and the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party, were all part of the FF...

 took power and Bulgarian troops fought on the Allies' side throughout the rest of the war. Bulgaria kept Southern Dobrudja but lost the occupied parts of the Aegean region and Vardar Macedonia resulting in 150,000 Bulgarians being expelled from Western Thrace.

Finland




Although Finland never signed the Tripartite Pact and legally (de jure) was not a part of the Axis, it was Axis-aligned in its fight against the Soviet Union. Finland signed the revived Anti-Comintern Pact
Anti-Comintern Pact
The Anti-Comintern Pact was an Anti-Communist pact concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on November 25, 1936 and was directed against the Communist International ....

 of November 1941.

The August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 between Germany and the Soviet Union contained a secret protocol dividing much of eastern Europe and assigning Finland to the Soviet sphere of influence. After unsuccessfully attempting to force territorial and other concessions on the Finns, in November 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland during the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

 with the intention of establishing a communist puppet government in Finland. The conflict threatened Germany's iron-ore supplies and offered the prospect of Allied interference in the region. Despite Finnish resistance, a peace treaty was signed in March 1940, wherein Finland ceded some key territory to the Soviet Union, including the Karelian Isthmus
Karelian Isthmus
The Karelian Isthmus is the approximately 45–110 km wide stretch of land, situated between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga in northwestern Russia, to the north of the River Neva . Its northwestern boundary is the relatively narrow area between the Bay of Vyborg and Lake Ladoga...

, containing both Finland's second-largest city, Viipuri, and the critical defensive structure of the Mannerheim Line
Mannerheim Line
The Mannerheim Line was a defensive fortification line on the Karelian Isthmus built by Finland against the Soviet Union. During the Winter War it became known as the Mannerheim Line, after Field Marshal Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. The line was constructed in two phases: 1920–1924 and...

. After the war, Finland sought protection and support from the United Kingdom and neutral Sweden, but was thwarted by Soviet and German actions. This resulted in Finland being drawn closer to Germany, first with the intent of enlisting German support as a counterweight to thwart continuing Soviet pressure and later to help regain lost territories.

In the opening days of Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, which marked Germany's breaking of the Pact by invading the Soviet Union, Finland permitted German planes returning from mine dropping runs over Kronstadt
Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

 and Neva River
Neva River
The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length , it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge .The Neva is the only river flowing from Lake...

 to refuel at Finnish airfields before returning to bases in East Prussia
East Prussia
East Prussia is the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast from the 13th century to the end of World War II in May 1945. From 1772–1829 and 1878–1945, the Province of East Prussia was part of the German state of Prussia. The capital city was Königsberg.East Prussia...

. In retaliation the Soviet Union launched a major air offensive against Finnish airfields and towns, which resulted in a Finnish declaration of war against the Soviet Union on June 25, 1941. The Finnish conflict with the Soviet Union is generally referred to as the Continuation War
Continuation War
The Continuation War was the second of two wars fought between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.At the time of the war, the Finnish side used the name to make clear its perceived relationship to the preceding Winter War...

.

Finland's main objective was to regain territory lost to the Soviet Union in the Winter War. However, on July 10, 1941, Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was the military leader of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War, Commander-in-Chief of Finland's Defence Forces during World War II, Marshal of Finland, and a Finnish statesman. He was Regent of Finland and the sixth President of Finland...

 issued an Order of the Day that contained a formulation understood internationally as a Finnish territorial interest in Russian Karelia
Karelia
Karelia , the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden...

.

Diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Finland were severed on August 1, 1941, after the British bombed German forces in the Finnish city of Petsamo. The United Kingdom repeatedly called on Finland to cease its offensive against the Soviet Union, and on December 6, 1941, declared war on Finland, although no other military operations followed. War was never declared between Finland and the United States, though relations were severed between the two countries in 1944 as a result of the Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement
Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement
The Ryti–Ribbentrop letter of agreement of June 26, 1944 was a personal letter from President Risto Ryti to Führer Adolf Hitler where Risto Ryti, then President of Finland, undertook not to reach a separate peace in the war with the Soviet Union without the approval from Nazi Germany to secure...

.

Finland maintained command of its armed forces and pursued its war objectives independently of Germany, although Germans and Finns worked closely together during Operation Silverfox, a joint offensive against Murmansk. Finland refused German requests to participate actively in the Siege of Leningrad
Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military operation resulting from the failure of the German Army Group North to capture Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. It started on 8 September 1941, when the last...

, and also granted asylum to Jews, while Jewish soldiers continued to serve in its army.

The relationship between Finland and Germany more closely resembled an alliance during the six weeks of the Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement
Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement
The Ryti–Ribbentrop letter of agreement of June 26, 1944 was a personal letter from President Risto Ryti to Führer Adolf Hitler where Risto Ryti, then President of Finland, undertook not to reach a separate peace in the war with the Soviet Union without the approval from Nazi Germany to secure...

, which was presented as a German condition for help with munitions and air support, as the Soviet offensive coordinated with D-Day
Fourth strategic offensive
The Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive or Karelian offensive was a strategic operation by the Soviet Leningrad and Karelian Fronts against Finland on the Karelian Isthmus and East Karelia fronts of the Continuation War, on the Eastern Front of World War II. The Soviet forces captured East Karelia and...

 threatened Finland with complete occupation. The agreement, signed by President Risto Ryti
Risto Ryti
Risto Heikki Ryti was the fifth President of Finland, from 1940 to 1944. Ryti started his career as a politician in the field of economics and as a political background figure during the interwar period. He made a wide range of international contacts in the world of banking and within the...

, but never ratified by the Finnish Parliament, bound Finland not to seek a separate peace.

After Soviet offensives were fought to a standstill, Ryti's successor as president, Marshall Mannerheim, dismissed the agreement and opened secret negotiations with the Soviets, which resulted in a ceasefire on September 4 and the Moscow Armistice
Moscow Armistice
The Moscow Armistice was signed between Finland on one side and the Soviet Union and United Kingdom on the other side on September 19, 1944, ending the Continuation War...

 on September 19, 1944. Under the terms of the armistice, Finland was obligated to expel German troops from Finnish territory, which resulted in the Lapland War
Lapland War
The Lapland War were the hostilities between Finland and Nazi Germany between September 1944 and April 1945, fought in Finland's northernmost Lapland Province. While the Finns saw this as a separate conflict much like the Continuation War, German forces considered their actions to be part of the...

. In 1947, Finland signed a peace treaty
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
The Paris Peace Conference resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland .The...

 with the Allied powers.

Iraq



Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

 was briefly an ally of the Axis, fighting the United Kingdom in the Anglo-Iraqi War
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

 of May, 1941.

Anti-British sentiments were widespread in Iraq prior to 1941. Seizing power on April 1, 1941, the nationalist government of Iraqi Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Rashid Ali repudiated the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty
Anglo-Iraqi Treaty
The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1921 was an agreement signed by the governments of the United Kingdom and the government of Iraq. The treaty was designed to allow locals a limited share in power while allowing the British to control foreign and military policy...

 of 1930 and demanded that the British abandon their military bases and withdraw from the country. Ali sought support from Germany and Italy in expelling British forces from Iraq.

On May 9, 1941, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine. From as early as 1920, in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab state he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of a violent riot...

, the Mufti
Mufti
A mufti is a Sunni Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law . In religious administrative terms, a mufti is roughly equivalent to a deacon to a Sunni population...

 of Jerusalem and associate of Ali, declared "holy war" against the British and called on Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s throughout the Middle East to rise up against British rule. On May 25, 1941, the Germans stepped up offensive operations.
Hitler issued Order 30
Fuhrer Directive No. 30
Führer Directive No. 30 was a directive issued by German dictator Adolf Hitler during World War II.-Overview and background:Führer Directive No. 30 dealt with German intervention in support of Arab nationalists in the Kingdom of Iraq...

,

Hostilities between the Iraqi and British forces began on May 2, 1941, with heavy fighting at the RAF air base
RAF Habbaniya
Royal Air Force Station Habbaniya, more commonly known as RAF Habbaniya, was a Royal Air Force station at Habbaniyah, about west of Baghdad in modern day Iraq, on the banks of the Euphrates near Lake Habbaniyah...

 in Habbaniya
Habbaniyah
Al Habbaniyah or Habbaniya is a city in Al-Anbar Province, in central Iraq.-References:...

. The Germans and Italians dispatched aircraft and aircrew to Iraq utilizing Vichy French bases in Syria, which would later invoke fighting between Allied and Vichy French forces in Syria
Syria-Lebanon campaign
The Syria–Lebanon campaign, also known as Operation Exporter, was the Allied invasion of Vichy French-controlled Syria and Lebanon, in June–July 1941, during World War II. Time Magazine referred to the fighting as a "mixed show" while it was taking place and the campaign remains little known, even...

.

The Germans planned to coordinate a combined German-Italian offensive against the British in Egypt, Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 and Iraq. Iraqi military resistance, however, ended by May 31, 1941. Rashid Ali and the Mufti of Jerusalem fled to Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, then Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Italy and finally Germany where Ali was welcomed by Hitler as head of the Iraqi government-in-exile in Berlin. In propaganda broadcasts from Berlin, the Mufti continued to call on Arabs to rise up against the British and aid German and Italian forces. He also helped recruit Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 volunteers in the Balkans for the Waffen SS.

Thailand




Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 waged the Franco-Thai War in October 1940 to May 1941 to reclaim territory from French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

. It became a formal ally of Japan from January 25, 1942.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces invaded Thailand's territory
Japanese Invasion of Thailand
The Japanese invasion of Thailand occurred on December 8, 1941. It was fought between Thailand and the Empire of Japan. Despite fierce fighting in Southern Thailand, Thai resistance lasted only a few hours before ending in a ceasefire.-Background:...

 on the morning of December 8, 1941. Only hours after the invasion, the then prime minister Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram
Plaek Pibulsonggram
Field Marshal Plaek Pibunsongkhram , often known as Phibun Songkhram or simply Phibun in English, was Prime Minister and virtual military dictator of Thailand from 1938 to 1944 and 1948 to 1957.- Early years :...

, ordered the cessation of resistance against the Japanese. On December 21, 1941, a military alliance with Japan was signed and on January 25, 1942 Sang Phathanothai
Sang Phathanothai
Sang Phathanothai was a Thai politician, union leader, and journalist. He was one of the closest advisors to Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram....

 read over the radio Thailand's formal declaration of war on the United Kingdom and the United States. The Thai ambassador to the United States, Mom Rajawongse Seni Pramoj
Seni Pramoj
Mom Rajawongse Seni Pramoj was three times the prime minister of Thailand and a politician in the Democrat Party. A member of the Thai royal family, he was a descendant of King Rama II.-Biography:...

 did not deliver his copy of the declaration of war, so although the British reciprocated by declaring war on Thailand and consequently considered it a hostile country, the United States did not. Thereafter, Phibunsongkhram ordered the Thai military to attack the northern border states of Malaya (Perlis
Perlis
Perlis is the smallest state in Malaysia. It lies at the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and has Satun and Songkhla Provinces of Thailand on its northern border. It is bordered by the state of Kedah to the south...

, Kedah
Kedah
Kedah is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawi. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice...

 and Kelantan
Kelantan
Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. The Arabic honorific of the state is Darul Naim, ....

), to take back the states ceded to the British empire by the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909
Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909
The Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 or Bangkok Treaty of 1909 was a treaty between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Siam signed on March 10, 1909, in Bangkok. Ratifications were exchanged in London on July 9, 1909....

.

On May 10, 1942, the Thai Phayap Army
Phayap Army
Phayap Army was the Thai force that invaded the Shan States on May 10, 1942, during the Burma Campaign of World War II.- Orbat of Phayap Army 1942 :...

 entered Burma's eastern Shan State
Shan State
Shan State is a state of Burma . Shan State borders China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Burma in the west. Largest of the 14 administrative divisions by land area, Shan State covers 155,800 km², almost a quarter of the total...

, which had been claimed by Siamese kingdoms. The boundary between the Japanese and Thai operations was generally the Salween. However, the area south of the Shan States known as Karenni States, the homeland of the Karens, was specifically retained under Japanese control. Three Thai infantry and one cavalry division, spearheaded by armoured reconnaissance groups and supported by the air force, engaged the retreating Chinese 93rd Division. Kengtung, the main objective, was captured on May 27. Renewed offensives in June and November evicted the Chinese into Yunnan
Yunnan
Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...

. The area containing the Shan States
Shan States
The Shan States were the princely states that ruled large areas of today's Burma , Yunnan Province in China, Laos and Thailand from the late 13th century until mid-20th century...

 and Kengtung was annexed by Thailand in 1942. After the war, in 1946, the areas were ceded back to Burma.

The Free Thai Movement
Free Thai Movement
The Free Thai Movement was a Thai underground resistance movement against Imperial Japan during World War II. Seri Thai were an important source of military intelligence for the Allies in the region, and were notable for being the only World War II resistance movement to use fighter aircraft of its...

 ("Seri Thai") was established during these first few months, parallel Free Thai organisations were also established in the United Kingdom and inside Thailand. Queen Ramphaiphanni
Ramphaiphanni
align=right|Queen Rambhai Barni of Siam , formerly Her Serene Highness Princess Rambhai Barni Svastivatana , was the wife and Queen Consort of King Prajadhipok of Siam.-Early life:...

 was the nominal head of the British-based organisation, and Pridi Phanomyong
Pridi Phanomyong
Pridi Banomyong was a highly revered Thai politician. He was a former Prime Minister and Senior Statesman of Thailand, and was named one of the world's great personalities of the 20th century by UNESCO in 2000.-Family background:...

, the regent, headed its largest contingent, which was operating within the country. Aided by elements of the military, secret airfields and training camps were established while OSS
Office of Strategic Services
The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 and Force 136
Force 136
Force 136 was the general cover name for a branch of the British World War II organization, the Special Operations Executive . The organisation was established to encourage and supply resistance movements in enemy-occupied territory, and occasionally mount clandestine sabotage operations...

 agents fluidly slipped in and out of the country.

As the war dragged on, the Thai population came to resent the Japanese presence. In June 1944, Phibun was overthrown in a coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

. The new civilian government under Khuang Aphaiwong attempted to aid the resistance while at the same time maintaining cordial relations with the Japanese. After the war, U.S. influence prevented Thailand from being treated as an Axis country, but the British demanded three million tons of rice as reparations and the return of areas annexed from Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

 during the war. Thailand also returned the portions of British Burma and French Indochina that had been annexed. Phibun and a number of his associates were put on trial on charges of having committed war crimes and of collaborating with the Axis powers. However, the charges were dropped due to intense public pressure. Public opinion was favourable to Phibun, since he was thought to have done his best to protect Thai interests.

San Marino



Since 1923, San Marino
San Marino
San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino , is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino...

 was ruled by the Sammarinese Fascist Party
Sammarinese Fascist Party
The Sammarinese Fascist Party or Partito Fascista Sammarinese was a fascist political party that ruled San Marino from 1923 to 1943....

 (PFS) and was closely allied to Italy. On 17 September 1940, San Marino declared war on Britain though Britain and other Allied nations did not reciprocate. San Marino also restored relations with Germany as it did not attend the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. This was done to avoid a repeat of the 1936 incident when San Marino denied a Turkish student entry because he was an enemy alien
Enemy alien
In law, an enemy alien is a citizen of a country which is in a state of conflict with the land in which he or she is located. Usually, but not always, the countries are in a state of declared war.-United Kingdom:...

.

Three days after the fall of Mussolini, PFS rule collapsed and the new government declared neutrality in the conflict. The Fascists regained power on 1 April 1944 but kept neutrality intact. On 26 June, the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 accidentally bombed the country, killing 63. The Fascists and the Axis used this tragedy in propaganda about Allied aggression against a neutral country.

Retreating Axis forces occupied San Marino on 17 September but were forced out by the Allies in less than three days. The Allied occupation threw the Fascists out of power and San Marino declared war on Germany on 21 September. The newly elected government banned the Fascists on 16 November.

Yugoslavia



On 25 March 1941, fearing that Yugoslavia would be invaded otherwise, pro-Allied Prince Paul
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, also known as Paul Karađorđević , was Regent of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia during the minority of King Peter II. Peter was the eldest son of his first cousin Alexander I...

 signed the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 with significant reservations. Unlike other Axis powers, Yugoslavia was not obligated to provide military assistance, nor to provide its territory for Axis to move military forces during the war.

Two days after signing the alliance in 1941, after demonstrations in the streets, Prince Paul was removed from office by a coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

. 17-year-old Prince Peter
Peter II of Yugoslavia
Peter II, also known as Peter II Karađorđević , was the third and last King of Yugoslavia...

 was proclaimed to be of age, he was not crowned
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 nor anointed
Anointing
To anoint is to pour or smear with perfumed oil, milk, water, melted butter or other substances, a process employed ritually by many religions. People and things are anointed to symbolize the introduction of a sacramental or divine influence, a holy emanation, spirit, power or God...

 (a custom of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

). The new Yugoslavian government under King Peter II
Peter II of Yugoslavia
Peter II, also known as Peter II Karađorđević , was the third and last King of Yugoslavia...

, still fearful of invasion, attempted to indicate that it would remain bound by the Tripartite Pact. But German dictator Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 suspected that the British were behind the coup against Prince Paul and vowed to invade
Invasion
An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all, or large parts of the armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a...

 the country.

The German invasion began on 6 April 1941. Yugoslavia was a country concocted
Concoction
A concoction is, strictly speaking, a combination of various ingredients, usually herbs, spices, condiments, powdery substances or minerals, mixed up together, minced, dissolved or macerated into a liquid so as they can be ingested or drunk...

 by the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 as multi-ethnic state from its creation and was heavily dominated by peoples of the Eastern Orthodox religion. It also had unresolved questions of national identity so even the resistance to Nazi occupation was not united until major resistance groups like the partisans and Chetniks
Chetniks
Chetniks, or the Chetnik movement , were Serbian nationalist and royalist paramilitary organizations from the first half of the 20th century. The Chetniks were formed as a Serbian resistance against the Ottoman Empire in 1904, and participated in the Balkan Wars, World War I, and World War II...

 began forming and making offensives in the Balkans. Resistance crumbled in less than two weeks and an unconditional surrender was signed in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 on 17 April. King Peter II and much of the Yugoslavian government had left the country, because they did not want to cooperate with Axis.

While the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was no longer capable of being a member of the Axis, several Axis-aligned puppet state
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

s emerged after the kingdom was dissolved. Local governments were set up in Serbia
Nedic's Serbia
Serbia under German occupation refers to an administrative area in occupied Yugoslavia established by Nazi Germany following the invasion and dismantling of Yugoslavia in April of 1941...

, Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

, and Montenegro. The remainder of Yugoslavia was divided among the other Axis powers. Germany annexed parts of Drava Banovina
Drava Banovina
The Drava Banovina or Drava Banate was a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between 1929 and 1941. This province consisted of most of present-day Slovenia and was named for the Drava River...

. Italy annexed south-western Drava Banovina, coastal parts of Croatia (Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 and the islands), and attached Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 to Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 (occupied since 1939). Hungary annexed several border territories of Vojvodina
Vojvodina
Vojvodina, officially called Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is an autonomous province of Serbia. Its capital and largest city is Novi Sad...

. Bulgaria annexed Macedonia and parts of southern Serbia.

India (Provisional Government of Free India)



The Provisional Government of Free India was a government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

 led by Subhas Chandra Bose, an Indian nationalist who rejected Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

's nonviolent methods for achieving independence.

One of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

 of the time and former president of the Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

, Bose was arrested by British authorities at the outset of the Second World War. In January 1941 he escaped from house arrest, eventually reaching Germany and then in 1942 to Singapore where the Indian National Army
Indian National Army
The Indian National Army or Azad Hind Fauj was an armed force formed by Indian nationalists in 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War II. The aim of the army was to overthrow the British Raj in colonial India, with Japanese assistance...

 made up largely from Indian prisoners of war and Indian residents in south east Asia who joined their own initiative, existed.

Bose and A.M. Sahay, another local leader, received ideological support from Mitsuru Toyama, chief of the Dark Ocean Society along with Japanese Army advisers. Other Indian thinkers in favour of the Axis cause were Asit Krishna Mukherji
Asit Krishna Mukherji
Asit Krishna Mukherji was a Bengali Brahmin with National Socialist convictions who published pro-Axis journals. In order to protect her from deportation or internment, he married esoteric Hitlerist Savitri Devi in 1940....

, a friend of Bose and his wife Savitri Devi, a French writer who admired Hitler. Bose was helped by Rash Behari Bose
Rash Behari Bose
Rashbehari Bose was a revolutionary leader against the British Raj in India and was one of the key organisers of the Ghadar conspiracy and later, the Indian National Army.-Early life:...

, founder of the Indian Independence League in Japan. Bose declared India's independence on October 21, 1943. The Japanese Army assigned to the Indian National Army a number of military advisors, among them Hideo Iwakuro
Hideo Iwakuro
- Notes :...

 and Saburo Isoda.

The provisional government formally controlled the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; these islands had fallen to the Japanese
Invasion and Occupation of the Andaman Islands during World War II
The Japanese occupation of the Andaman Islands occurred in 1942 during World War II. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands , are a group of islands situated in the Bay of Bengal at about 780 miles from Kolkata, 740 miles from Chennai and 120 miles from Cape Nargis in Burma...

 and been handed over by Japan in November 1943. The government had not only made its own currency but also its own postage stamps and national anthem as well. The government would last two more years until August 18, 1945, when it officially became defunct. During its existence it received recognition from nine governments: Germany, Japan, Italy, Croatia, Manchukuo, China (under the Nanking Government of Wang Jingwei), Thailand, Burma (under the regime of Burmese nationalist leader Ba Maw
Ba Maw
Dr. Ba Maw was a Burmese political leader, active during the interwar and World War II period.-Early life and education:Ba Maw was born in Maubin. Ba Maw came from a distinguished family of mixed Mon-Burmese parentage which bred many scholars and lawyers...

), and the Philippines under de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 (and later de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

) president José Laurel.

Japanese puppet states


The Empire of Japan created a number of puppet state
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

s in the areas occupied by its military, beginning with the creation of Manchukuo in 1932. These puppet states achieved varying degrees of international recognition.

Manchukuo (Manchuria)




Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

 had been a Japanese puppet state
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

 in Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 since the 1930s and lay the northeast region of China. It was nominally ruled by Puyi
Puyi
Puyi , of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan, was the last Emperor of China, and the twelfth and final ruler of the Qing Dynasty. He ruled as the Xuantong Emperor from 1908 until his abdication on 12 February 1912. From 1 to 12 July 1917 he was briefly restored to the throne as a nominal emperor by the...

, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

, but was in fact controlled by the Japanese military, in particular the Kwantung Army. While Manchukuo ostensibly meant a state for ethnic Manchus, the region had a Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 majority.

Following the Japanese invasion of Manchuria
Mukden Incident
The Mukden Incident, also known as the Manchurian Incident, was a staged event that was engineered by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for invading the northern part of China known as Manchuria in 1931....

 in 1931, the independence of Manchukuo was proclaimed on February 18, 1932, with Puyi as "Head of State." He was proclaimed the Emperor of Manchukuo a year later. Twenty three of the League of Nations' eighty members recognized the new Manchu nation, but the League itself declared in 1934 that Manchuria lawfully remained a part of China. This precipitated Japanese withdrawal from the League. Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union were among the major powers who recognised Manchukuo. Other countries who recognized the State were the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, and Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

. Manchukuo was also recognised by the other Japanese allies and puppet states, including Mengjiang, the Burmese government of Ba Maw
Ba Maw
Dr. Ba Maw was a Burmese political leader, active during the interwar and World War II period.-Early life and education:Ba Maw was born in Maubin. Ba Maw came from a distinguished family of mixed Mon-Burmese parentage which bred many scholars and lawyers...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, the Wang Jingwei regime, and the Indian government of Subhas Chandra Bose. The Manchukuoan state ceased to exist after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945.

Mengjiang (Inner Mongolia)



Mengjiang
Mengjiang
Mengjiang , also known in English as Mongol Border Land, was an autonomous area in Inner Mongolia, operating under nominal Chinese sovereignty and Japanese control. It consisted of the then-Chinese provinces of Chahar and Suiyuan, corresponding to the central part of modern Inner Mongolia...

 (alternatively spelled Mengchiang) was a Japanese puppet state
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

 in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

. It was nominally ruled by Prince Demchugdongrub
Demchugdongrub
Prince Demchugdongrub was the leader of a Mongol independence movement in Inner Mongolia. He was the chairman of Mengjiang, a Japanese puppet state in World War II....

, a Mongol nobleman descended from Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

, but was in fact controlled by the Japanese military. Mengjiang's independence was proclaimed on February 18, 1936, following the Japanese occupation of the region.

The Inner Mongolians had several grievances against the central Chinese government in Nanking, with the most important one being the policy of allowing unlimited migration of Han Chinese to this vast region of open plains and desert. Several of the young princes of Inner Mongolia began to agitate for greater freedom from the central government, and it was through these men that Japanese saw their best chance of exploiting Pan-Mongol nationalism and eventually seizing control of Outer Mongolia from the Soviet Union.

Japan created Mengjiang to exploit tensions between ethnic Mongolians and the central government of China, which in theory ruled Inner Mongolia. The Japanese hoped to use pan-Mongolism to create a Mongolian ally in Asia and eventually conquer all of Mongolia from the Soviet Union.

When the various puppet governments of China were unified under the Wang Jingwei government in March 1940, Mengjiang retained its separate identity as an autonomous federation. Although under the firm control of the Japanese Imperial Army, which occupied its territory, Prince Demchugdongrub had his own army that was, in theory, independent.

Mengjiang vanished in 1945 following Japan's defeat ending World War II and the invasion of Soviet and Red Mongol Armies. As the huge Soviet forces advanced into Inner Mongolia, they met limited resistance from small detachments of Mongolian cavalry, which, like the rest of the army, were quickly brushed aside.

Reorganized National Government of China



A collaborationist Chinese government was founded on March 29, 1940 by Wang Jingwei
Wang Jingwei
Wang Jingwei , alternate name Wang Zhaoming, was a Chinese politician. He was initially known as a member of the left wing of the Kuomintang , but later became increasingly anti-Communist after his efforts to collaborate with the CCP ended in political failure...

, who became Head of State of this Japanese supported collaborationist government based in Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

, Japan advanced from its bases in Manchuria to occupy much of East and Central China. Several Japanese puppet states were organised in areas occupied by the Japanese Army, including the Provisional Government of the Republic of China at Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, which was formed in 1937 and the Reformed Government of the Republic of China at Nanjing, which was formed in 1938. These governments were merged into the Reorganised Government of the Republic of China at Nanjing in 1940. The government (known as the Wang Jingwei Government) was to be run along the same lines as the Nationalist regime and adopted symbols of the latter.

The Nanjing Government had no real power, and its main role was to act as a propaganda tool for the Japanese. The Nanjing Government concluded agreements with Japan and Manchukuo, authorising Japanese occupation of China and recognising the independence of Manchukuo under Japanese protection. The Nanjing Government signed the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941 and declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom on January 9, 1943.

The government had a strained relationship with the Japanese from the beginning. Wang's insistence on his regime being the true Nationalist government of China and in replicating all the symbols of the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT) led to frequent conflicts with the Japanese, the most prominent being the issue of the regime's flag, which was identical to that of the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

.

The worsening situation for Japan from 1943 onwards meant that the Nanking Army was given a more substantial role in the defence of occupied China than the Japanese had initially envisaged. The army was almost continuously employed against the communist New Fourth Army
New Fourth Army
The New Fourth Army was a unit of the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China established in 1937. In contrast to most of the National Revolutionary Army, it was controlled by the Communist Party of China and not by the ruling Kuomintang. The New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army...

.

Wang Jingwei died in a Nagoya hospital on November 10, 1944, and was succeeded by his deputy Chen Gongbo. Chen had little influence and the real power behind the regime was Zhou Fohai
Zhou Fohai
Zhou Fohai , Chinese politician, and second in command of Wang Jingwei's collaborationist Nanjing Nationalist Government Executive Yuan.-Biography:...

, the mayor of Shanghai. Wang's death dispelled what little legitimacy the regime had. The state stuttered on for another year and continued the display and show of a fascist regime.

On September 9, 1945, following the defeat of Japan, the area was surrendered to General He Yingqin
He Yingqin
He Yingqin , also spelled Ho Ying-chin, was one of the most senior generals of the Kuomintang during Republican China, and a close ally of Chiang Kai-shek.-Early years:A native of Guizhou, He was healthy and bookish in his childhood...

, a nationalist general loyal to Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

. The Nanking Army generals quickly declared their alliance to the Generalissimo, and were subsequently ordered to resist Communist attempts to fill the vacuum left by the Japanese surrender. Chen Gongbo was tried and executed in 1946.

Philippines (Second Republic)



After the surrender of the Filipino - American forces in Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor island, the Japanese established a puppet state in the Philippine in 1942. In 1943, the Philippine National Assembly
National Assembly of the Philippines
The National Assembly of the Philippines refers to the legislature of the Philippine Commonwealth from 1935 to 1941, and the Second Philippine Republic. The National Assembly of the Commonwealth of the Philippines was created under the 1935 Constitution, which served as the Philippines' fundamental...

 declared the Philippines an independent republic and elected José Laurel
Jose Laurel
José Sotero "Pepe" Laurel III, also known as José S. Laurel III, was the ambassador of the Philippines in Japan during the World War II period.-Early life:He was born on August 27, 1914...

 as President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 of the Second Republic of the Philippines
Second Philippine Republic
The Second Philippine Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , was a state in the Philippines established on October 14, 1943 under Japanese occupation....

. There was never widespread support for the state, largely because of the general anti-Japanese sentiment
Anti-Japanese sentiment
Anti-Japanese sentiment involves hatred, grievance, distrust, dehumanization, intimidation, fear, hostility, and/or general dislike of the Japanese people and Japanese diaspora as ethnic or national group, Japan, Japanese culture, and/or anything Japanese. Sometimes the terms Japanophobia and...

s amongst the populace, aside from atrocities committed by the Japanese. The Second Philippine Republic ended with the Japanese surrender. Laurel was arrested and charged with treason by the US government, but was granted amnesty by President Manuel Roxas
Manuel Roxas
Manuel Acuña Roxas was the first president of the independent Third Republic of the Philippines and fifth president overall. He served as president from the granting of independence in 1946 until his abrupt death in 1948...

. He remained active in politics, ultimately winning a seat in the post-War Philippine Senate
Senate of the Philippines
The Senate of the Philippines is the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress of the Philippines...

.

Vietnam (Empire of Vietnam)



The Empire of Vietnam
Empire of Vietnam
The Empire of Vietnam was a short-lived puppet state of Imperial Japan governing the whole of Vietnam between March 11 and August 23, 1945.-History:...

 was a short-lived Japanese puppet state that lasted from March 11 to August 23, 1945.

When the Japanese seized control of French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

, they allowed Vichy French administrators to remain in nominal control. This ruling ended on March 9, 1945 when the Japanese officially took control of the government. Soon after, Emperor Bảo Đại
Bảo Đài
Bảo Đài is a commune and village in Lục Nam District, Bac Giang Province, in northeastern Vietnam.-References:...

 voided the 1884 treaty with France and Trần Trọng Kim
Tran Trong Kim
Trần Trọng Kim was a Vietnamese scholar and politician who served as the Prime Minister of the short-lived Empire of Vietnam, a puppet state created by Imperial Japan in 1945...

, a historian, became prime minister.

Despite the state's short existence, it suffered through a famine (see Vietnamese Famine of 1945
Vietnamese Famine of 1945
The Vietnamese Famine of 1945 was a famine that occurred in northern Vietnam from October 1944 to May 1945, during the Japanese occupation of French Indochina in World War II. Between 400,000 and 2 million people are estimated to have starved to death during this time.-Causes:There were many...

) as well as succeeding in replacing French-speaking
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 schools with Vietnamese language
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

 schools taught by Vietnamese scholars.

Cambodia



The Kingdom of Cambodia was a short-lived Japanese puppet state that lasted from March 9, 1945 to April 15, 1945.

In mid-1941, the Japanese entered Cambodia, but allowed Vichy French officials to remain in administrative posts. The Japanese calls of an "Asia for the Asiatics" won over many Cambodian nationalists, despite Tokyo's policy of keeping the colonial government in nominal control.

This policy changed during the last months of the war. The Japanese wanted to gain local support, so they dissolved French colonial rule and pressured Cambodia to declare its independence within the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Four days later, King Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk regular script was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni...

 declared Kampuchea (the original Khmer
Khmer language
Khmer , or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language , with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious...

 pronunciation of Cambodia) independent. Co-editor of the Nagaravatta, Son Ngoc Thanh
Son Ngoc Thanh
Son Ngoc Thanh was a Cambodian nationalist and republican policitian, with a long history as a rebel and a government minister.-Early life:...

, returned from Tokyo in May and was appointed foreign minister.

On the date of Japanese surrender, a new government was proclaimed with Son Ngoc Thah as prime minister. However, in October, when the Allies occupied Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...

, Son Ngoc Thanh was arrested for collaborating with the Japanese and was exiled to France. Some of his supporters went to north-western Cambodia, which had been under Thai control since the French-Thai War
French-Thai War
The Franco-Thai War was fought between Thailand and Vichy France over certain areas of French Indochina that had once belonged to Thailand....

 of 1940, where they banded together as one faction in the Khmer Issarak
Khmer Issarak
The Khmer Issarak was an anti-French, Khmer nationalist political movement formed in 1945 with the backing of the government of Thailand. It sought to expel the French colonial authorities from Cambodia, and establish an independent Khmer state....

 movement, originally formed with Thai encouragement in the 1940s.

Laos



Fears of Thai irredentism led to the formation of the first Lao nationalist organization, the Movement for National Renovation, in January 1941, led by Prince Phetxarāt
Phetsarath Rattanavongsa
Prince Phetsarath Rattanavongsa was prime minister of Laos from 1942 to 1945, and was the first and last vice-king of the Kingdom of Laos.-Early life:Phetsarath was born on 19 January 1890 in Luang Prabang, the second son of...

 and supported by local French officials, though not by the Vichy authorities in Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

. This group wrote the current Lao national anthem
Pheng Xat Lao
"Pheng Xat Lao" is the national anthem of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. It was composed by Dr. Tongdee Soontornwijit in 1941 and adopted as the national anthem of the Kingdom of Laos in 1947...

 and designed the current Lao flag
Flag of Laos
The flag of Laos was adopted on December 2, 1975. The flag had previously been used by the short-lived Lao Issara government of 1945-46, then by the Pathet Lao.-Description and symbolism:...

, while paradoxically pledging support for France. The country declared its independence in 1945.

There matters rested until the liberation of France in 1944, bringing Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 to power. This meant the end of the alliance between Japan and the Vichy French administration in Indochina. The Japanese had no intention of allowing the Gaullists to take over, and in late 1944 they staged a military coup in Hanoi. Some French units fled over the mountains to Laos, pursued by the Japanese, who occupied Viang Chan
Vientiane
-Geography:Vientiane is situated on a bend of the Mekong river, which forms the border with Thailand at this point.-Climate:Vientiane features a tropical wet and dry climate with a distinct monsoon season and a dry season. Vientiane’s dry season spans from November through March. April marks the...

 in March 1945 and Luang Phrabāng
Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang, or Louangphrabang , is a city located in north central Laos, where the Nam Khan river meets the Mekong River about north of Vientiane. It is the capital of Luang Prabang Province...

 in April. King Sīsavāngvong
Sisavang Vong
Sisavang Phoulivong , was king of Kingdom of Luang Phrabang and later Kingdom of Laos from 28 April 1904 until his death on 20 October 1959.-Early life:...

 was detained by the Japanese, but his son Crown Prince Savāngvatthanā
Savang Vatthana
Savang or Sisavang Vatthana was the last king of the Kingdom of Laos. He ruled from 1959 after his father's death, until his forced abdication in 1975...

 called on all Lao
Lao people
The Lao are an ethnic subgroup of Tai/Dai in Southeast Asia.-Names:The etymology of the word Lao is uncertain, although it may be related to tribes known as the Ai Lao who appear in Han Dynasty records in China and Vietnam as a people of what is now Yunan Province...

 to assist the French, and many Lao died fighting against the Japanese occupiers.

Prince Phetxarāt, however, opposed this position, and thought that Lao independence could be gained by siding with the Japanese, who made him Prime Minister of Luang Phrabāng, though not of Laos as a whole. In practice the country was in chaos and Phetxarāt's government had no real authority. Another Lao group, the Lao Sēri (Free Lao), received unofficial support from the Free Thai movement in the Isan
Isan
Isan is the northeastern region of Thailand. It is located on the Khorat Plateau, bordered by the Mekong River to the north and east, by Cambodia to the southeast and the Prachinburi mountains south of Nakhon Ratchasima...

 region.

Burma (Ba Maw regime)


The Japanese Army and Burma nationalists led by Aung San
Aung San
Bogyoke Aung San ; 13 February 1915 – 19 July 1947) was a Burmese revolutionary, nationalist, and founder of the modern Burmese army, the Tatmadaw....

 seized control of Burma from the United Kingdom during 1942. A State of Burma
State of Burma
The State of Burma was created in 1943 under Japanese occupation.-Background:During the early stages of World War II, the Empire of Japan invaded British Burma primarily to obtain raw materials , and to close off the Burma Road, which was a primary link for aid and munitions to the Chinese...

 was then formed on August 1 under the Burmese
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

 nationalist leader Ba Maw
Ba Maw
Dr. Ba Maw was a Burmese political leader, active during the interwar and World War II period.-Early life and education:Ba Maw was born in Maubin. Ba Maw came from a distinguished family of mixed Mon-Burmese parentage which bred many scholars and lawyers...

. The Ba Maw regime established the Burma Defence Army (later renamed the Burma National Army
Burma National Army
The Burma National Army served as the armed forces of the Burmese government created by the Japanese during World War II and fought in the Burma Campaign...

), which was commanded by Aung San
Aung San
Bogyoke Aung San ; 13 February 1915 – 19 July 1947) was a Burmese revolutionary, nationalist, and founder of the modern Burmese army, the Tatmadaw....

.

Montenegro



Sekula Drljević
Sekula Drljevic
Sekula Drljević, also transcribed as Sekule Drljević , was a WWII Montenegrin Nazi-fascist collaborator....

 and the core of the Montenegrin Federalist Party
Montenegrin Federalist Party
The Montenegrin Federalist Party or Montenegrin Peasants' Federalist Movement was a Montenegrin political party in the Kingdom of Serbs,...

 formed the Provisional Administrative Committee of Montenegro on July 12, 1941, and proclaimed on the Saint Peter's Congress the "Kingdom of Montenegro
Kingdom of Montenegro (1941-1944)
The Kingdom of Montenegro or the Independent State of Montenegro existed from 1941 to 1943 as a puppet protectorate of Fascist Italy, a component of the envisioned Italian Empire...

" under protectorate of the Fascist Kingdom of Italy. The country served Italy as part of its goal fragmenting the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia, expanding the Italian Empire
Italian Empire
The Italian Empire was created after the Kingdom of Italy joined other European powers in establishing colonies overseas during the "scramble for Africa". Modern Italy as a unified state only existed from 1861. By this time France, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and the Netherlands, had already carved...

 throughout the Adriatic Sea. The country was mostly caught by the rebellion of the Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland
Chetniks
Chetniks, or the Chetnik movement , were Serbian nationalist and royalist paramilitary organizations from the first half of the 20th century. The Chetniks were formed as a Serbian resistance against the Ottoman Empire in 1904, and participated in the Balkan Wars, World War I, and World War II...

 and Drljevic was already in October 1941 expelled from Montenegro, which became under direct Italian control with the remainder of the Montenegrin collaborators. In 1943 with the Italian capitulation, Montenegro became a direct sector of occupation of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

.

In 1944, Drljević formed a pro-Ustaše
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

 Montenegrin State Council in exile based in the Independent State of Croatia with the aims of restoring rule over Montenegro. It subsequently formed a Montenegrin People's Army out of various Montenegrin nationalist troops. By then the Partisans already liberated most of Montenegro, which became a federal state of the new Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. Montenegro endured intense air bombing by the Allied air forces in 1944.

German puppet regimes


The collaborationist administrations of German-occupied countries in Europe had varying degrees of autonomy, and not all of them qualified as fully recognized sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

s. The General Government
General Government
The General Government was an area of Second Republic of Poland under Nazi German rule during World War II; designated as a separate region of the Third Reich between 1939–1945...

 in occupied Poland had control over local police forces, known as the Blue Police
Blue Police
The Blue Police, more correctly translated as The Navy-Blue Police was the popular name of the collaborationist police in the German occupied area of the Second Polish Republic, known as General Government during the Second World War...

, but did not qualify as a legitimate Polish government and was essentially a German administration. In occupied Norway
Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany
The occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany started with the German invasion of Norway on April 9, 1940, and ended on May 8, 1945, after the capitulation of German forces in Europe. Throughout this period, Norway was continuously occupied by the Wehrmacht...

, the National Government
Quisling regime
The Quisling regime, or the Quisling government are common names used to refer to the collaborationist government led by Vidkun Quisling in occupied Norway during the Second World War. The official name of the regime from 1 February 1942 until its dissolution in May 1945 was Nasjonale regjering...

 headed by Vidkun Quisling
Vidkun Quisling
Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling was a Norwegian politician. On 9 April 1940, with the German invasion of Norway in progress, he seized power in a Nazi-backed coup d'etat that garnered him international infamy. From 1942 to 1945 he served as Minister-President, working with the occupying...

 - whose name came to symbolize pro-Axis collaboration
Quisling
Quisling is a term used in reference to fascist and collaborationist political parties and military and paramilitary forces in occupied Allied countries which collaborated with Axis occupiers in World War II, as well as for their members and other collaborators.- Etymology :The term was coined by...

 in several languages - was subordinate to the Reichskommissariat Norwegen
Reichskommissariat Norwegen
The Reichskommissariat Norwegen, literally "Reich Commissariat of Norway", was the civilian occupation regime set up by Nazi Germany in German-occupied Norway during World War II. Its full title in German was the Reichskommissariat für die besetzten norwegischen Gebiete...

 : it was never allowed to have any armed forces, be a recognized military partner or have autonomy of any kind. In the occupied Netherlands, Anton Mussert
Anton Mussert
Anton Adriaan Mussert was one of the founders of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands and its de jure leader. As such, he was the most prominent national socialist in the Netherlands before and during the Second World War...

 was given the symbolic title of "Führer of the Netherlands' people", but while his National Socialist Movement
National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands
The National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands was a Dutch fascist and later national socialist political party. As a parliamentary party participating in legislative elections, the NSB had some success during the 1930s...

 formed a cabinet assisting the German administration, it was never recognized as a real Dutch government.

Slovakia (Tiso regime)




The Slovak Republic
Slovak Republic (1939-1945)
The Slovak Republic , also known as the First Slovak Republic or the Slovak State , was a fascist state which existed from 14 March 1939 to 8 May 1945 as a puppet state of Nazi Germany. It existed on roughly the same territory as present-day Slovakia...

 under President Josef Tiso signed the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

 on November 24, 1940.

Slovakia had been closely aligned with Germany almost immediately from its declaration of independence from Czechoslovakia on March 14, 1939. Slovakia entered into a treaty of protection with Germany on March 23, 1939.

Slovak troops joined the German invasion of Poland, having interest in Spiš
Spiš
Spiš is a region in north-eastern Slovakia, with a very small area in south-eastern Poland. Spiš is an informal designation of the territory , but it is also the name of one the 21 official tourism regions of Slovakia...

 and Orava
Orava (region)
Orava is the traditional name of a region situated in northern Slovakia and partially also in southern Poland . It encompasses the territory of the former Árva county.-History:...

. Those two regions (alongside with Cieszyn Silesia
Cieszyn Silesia
Cieszyn Silesia or Těšín Silesia or Teschen Silesia is a historical region in south-eastern Silesia, centered around the towns of Cieszyn and Český Těšín and bisected by the Olza River. Since 1920 it has been divided between Poland and Czechoslovakia, and later the Czech Republic...

) were divided and disputed between Poland and Czechoslovakia since 1918, until the Poles fully annexed them following the Munich agreement. After the September Campaign, Slovakia reclaimed control of those territories.

Slovakia declared war on the Soviet Union in 1941 and signed the revived Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941. Slovak troops fought on Germany's Eastern Front, with Slovakia furnishing Germany with two divisions totalling 20,000 men. Slovakia declared war on the United Kingdom and the United States of America in 1942.

Slovakia was spared German military occupation until the Slovak National Uprising
Slovak National Uprising
The Slovak National Uprising or 1944 Uprising was an armed insurrection organized by the Slovak resistance movement during World War II. It was launched on August 29 1944 from Banská Bystrica in an attempt to overthrow the collaborationist Slovak State of Jozef Tiso...

, which began on August 29, 1944, and was almost immediately crushed by the Waffen SS and Slovak troops loyal to Josef Tiso, the Catholic priest-turned-dictator of Slovakia.

After the war, Tiso was executed and Slovakia was rejoined with Czechoslovakia. The border with Poland was shifted back to the pre-war state. Slovakia and the Czech Republic finally separated into independent states in 1993.

Serbia


In April 1941, Germany invaded and occupied Yugoslavia. On April 30, a pro-German Serbian administration was formed under Milan Aćimović. In 1941, after the invasion of the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, a guerilla campaign against the Germans and Italians was launched by the communist Partisans under Josip Broz Tito. The uprising became a serious concern for the Germans as most of their forces were deployed to Russia; only three divisions of which were in the country. On August 13, 546 Serbs, including many of the country's most prominent and influential leaders, issued an appeal to the Serbian nation that called for loyalty to the Nazis and condemned the Partisan resistance as unpatriotic. Two weeks after the appeal, with the Partisan insurgency beginning to gain momentum, seventy five prominent Serbs convened a meeting in Belgrade where it was decided to form a Government of National Salvation under Serbian General Milan Nedić
Milan Nedic
Milan Nedić was a Serbian general and politician, he was the chief of the general staff of the Yugoslav Army, minister of war in the Royal Yugoslav Government and the prime minister of a Nazi-backed Serbian puppet government during World War II.After the war, Yugoslav communist authorities...

 to replace the existing Serbian administration. On August 29, the German authorities installed General Nedić and his government in power. Nedić would serve as Prime Minister, while the former Yugoslavian Regent, Prince Paul, would be recognized as its head of state. The Germans were short of police and military forces in Serbia, as a result the Germans came to rely on armed Serbian formations to maintain order By October, 1941, Serbian forces under German supervision became increasingly effective against the resistance. These Serbian formations were German armed and equipped.

Nedić's forces included the Serbian State Guards
Serbian State Guards
The Serbian State Guard , also known as Nedićevci after Serbian pro-axis leader Milan Nedić, was the name of the force that was used to complement the civil police units within Nedić's Serbia...

 and the Serbian Volunteer Corps, which were initially largely members of the fascist Yugoslav National Movement "Zbor"
ZBOR
Yugoslav National Movement "Zbor" , commonly known simply as ZBOR, was a Yugoslav fascist and conservative nationalist movement formed in 1935 by Dimitrije Ljotić. ZBOR's ideology was a blend of Italian Fascism, Nazism, and Serbian Orthodox Christian fundamentalism...

 (Jugoslovenski narodni pokret "Zbor", or ZBOR
ZBOR
Yugoslav National Movement "Zbor" , commonly known simply as ZBOR, was a Yugoslav fascist and conservative nationalist movement formed in 1935 by Dimitrije Ljotić. ZBOR's ideology was a blend of Italian Fascism, Nazism, and Serbian Orthodox Christian fundamentalism...

) party. Some of these formations wore the uniform of the Royal Yugoslav Army
Royal Yugoslav Army
The Royal Yugoslav Army was the armed force of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from the state's formation until the force's surrender to the Axis powers on April 17, 1941...

 as well as helmets and uniforms purchased from Italy, while others from Germany. These forces were involved, either directly or indirectly, in the mass killings of not only Croats, Muslims and Jews but also Serbs who sided with any anti-German resistance or were suspects of being a member of such. After the war, the Serbian involvement in many of these events and the issue of Serbian collaboration were subject to historical revisionism.
Several concentration camps were formed in Serbia and at the 1942 Anti-Freemason Exhibition
Anti-Freemason Exhibition
Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibition was the name of an antisemitic exhibition that was opened in Belgrade, in Nazi-occupied Serbia, on October 22, 1941. This exhibition was part of a propaganda campaign by the Germans to "unmask the Jewish freemason and communist conspiracy that is behind all the...

 in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 the city was pronounced to be free of Jews (Judenfrei
Judenfrei
Judenfrei was a Nazi term to designate an area free of Jewish presence during The Holocaust.While Judenfrei referred merely to "freeing" an area of all of its Jewish citizens, the term Judenrein was also used...

). On 1 April 1942, a Serbian Gestapo
Serbian Gestapo
Serbian Gestapo officially 1st Belgrade Special Combat detachment was a special police unit which was established in World War II Serbia by the German Gestapo without the knowledge of Milan Nedić.-External links:*...

 was formed.

Italy (Salò regime)


Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 formed the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

 (Repubblica Sociale Italiana in Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

) on September 23, 1943, succeeding the Kingdom of Italy as a member of the Axis.

Mussolini had been removed from office and arrested by King Victor Emmanuel III on July 25, 1943. The King publicly reaffirmed his loyalty to Germany, but authorized secret armistice negotiations with the Allies. In a spectacular raid led by German paratrooper Otto Skorzeny
Otto Skorzeny
Otto Skorzeny was an SS-Obersturmbannführer in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. After fighting on the Eastern Front, he was chosen as the field commander to carry out the rescue mission that freed the deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from captivity...

, Mussolini was rescued from arrest.

Once safely ensconced in German occupied Salò
Salò
Salò is a town and commune in the Province of Brescia in the region of Lombardy on the banks of Lake Garda. The city was the capital of Italian Social Republic from 1943 to 1945, with the ISR often being called the "Republic of Salò" .-History:Salò was founded in the Roman period as Pagus...

, Mussolini declared that the King was deposed, that Italy was a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 and that he was the new president. He functioned as a German puppet for the duration of the war.

Albania (under German control)




After Benito Mussolini was overthrown by his own Italian Grand Council, a void of power opened up in Albania
Albania under Italy
The Albanian Kingdom existed as a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy. It was practically a union between Italy and Albania, officially led by Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III and its government: Albania was led by Italian governors, after being militarily occupied by Italy, from 1939 until 1943...

. The Italian occupying forces could do nothing as the National Liberation Movement (NLM) took control of the south and National Front (Balli Kombëtar) took control of the north. Albanians in the Italian army scurried to join the guerrilla forces. In September 1943, the guerrillas moved to take the capital of Tirana
Tirana
Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania. Modern Tirana was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet, although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920 and has a population of over...

, but before they could, German paratroopers dropped into the city. Soon after a long fight, German High Command announced that they would recognize the independence of a greater Albania
Greater Albania
Greater Albania or Ethnic Albania is an irredentist concept of lands outside the borders of the Republic of Albania that are considered part of a greater national homeland by most Albanians, based on the present-day or historical presence of Albanian populations in those areas...

 and organized an Albanian government, police, and military with the Balli Kombëtar
Balli Kombëtar
Balli Kombëtar was an Albanian nationalist, anti-communist and anti-monarchy organization established in October 1939. It was led by Ali Këlcyra and Mit’hat Frashëri...

. the Axis powers had success with the Balli Kombëtar units in suppressing the communists. In addition, several Balli Kombëtar leaders held positions in the regime. The Germans did not exert heavy control over Albania's administration. Instead, they attempted to gain popular appeal by giving the Albanians what they wanted. The joint forces incorperated Chameria, Kosovo, western Macedonia, southern Montenegro and Presevo into the Albanian state. A High Council of Regency was created to carry out the functions of a head of state, while the government was headed mainly by Albanian conservative politicians. Albania is unique in that it is the only European country occupied by the Axis powers that ended World War II with a larger Jewish population than before the War. Given their autonomy, the Albanian government refused to hand over their Jewish population. Instead they provided the Jewish families with forged documents and helped them disperse in the Albanian population. Albania was completely liberated on November 29, 1944.

Hungary (Szálasi regime)



After relations between Germany and the regency of Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya was the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary during the interwar years and throughout most of World War II, serving from 1 March 1920 to 15 October 1944. Horthy was styled "His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary" .Admiral Horthy was an officer of the...

 collapsed in Hungary in 1944, Horthy was forced to abdicate after German armed forces held his son hostage, as part of Operation Panzerfaust
Operation Panzerfaust
Operation Panzerfaust, known as Unternehmen Eisenfaust in Germany, was a military operation to keep the Kingdom of Hungary at Germany's side in the war, conducted in October 1944 by the German military...

. Following Horthy's abdication, the Kingdom of Hungary was politically reorganized into a totalitarian fascist regime called the Government of National Unity in December 1944 led by Ferenc Szálasi
Ferenc Szálasi
Ferenc Szálasi was the leader of the National Socialist Arrow Cross Party – Hungarist Movement, the "Leader of the Nation" , being both Head of State and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary's "Government of National Unity" for the final three months of Hungary's participation in World War II...

 who had been Prime Minister of Hungary since October 1944 and was leader of the anti-Semitic fascist Arrow Cross Party
Arrow Cross Party
The Arrow Cross Party was a national socialist party led by Ferenc Szálasi, which led in Hungary a government known as the Government of National Unity from October 15, 1944 to 28 March 1945...

. In power, his government was a Quisling
Quisling
Quisling is a term used in reference to fascist and collaborationist political parties and military and paramilitary forces in occupied Allied countries which collaborated with Axis occupiers in World War II, as well as for their members and other collaborators.- Etymology :The term was coined by...

 regime with little authority other than to obey Germany's orders. Also, days after its inception, the capital of Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 was surrounded by the Soviet Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

. German and fascist Hungarian forces tried in vain to hold off the Soviet advance but failed. In March 1945, Szálasi fled Hungary for Germany to run the state in exile until the surrender of Germany in May 1945.

Vardar Macedonia



Ivan Mihailov
Ivan Mihailov
Ivan Mihailov Gavrilov , was a Bulgarian revolutionary in Ottoman and interwar Macedonia, and leader of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization after 1924.-Early years:...

, leader of the IMRO, wanted to solve the Macedonian Question by creating a pro-Bulgarian Macedonian nation. The Germans kept him on hold just in case relations with Bulgaria went awry. That problem began to take form on August 23, 1944, when Romania left the Axis and subsequently declared war on Germany. This opened up the way to Bulgaria for the Soviet Union. Thus the Soviets declared war on Bulgaria on September 5. While these events were taking place, Mihailov came out of hiding in the Independent State of Croatia and traveled to re-occupied Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

. The Germans gave Mihailov the green light to create his envisioned Macedonian state. To give the state legitimacy, negotiations were made with the Bulgarian government. Contacts was made with Hristo Tatarchev
Hristo Tatarchev
Hristo Tatarchev was a Bulgarian revolutionary and first leader of the revolutionary movement in Macedonia and Eastern Thrace . He wrote the memoirs The First Central Committee of the IMRO . He authored several political journalism works between the First and Second World Wars...

 in Resen, who offered Mihailov the Presidency of his state. Despite their efforts, Bulgaria switched sides on September 8, and on the 9th the Fatherland Front
Fatherland Front (Bulgaria)
The Fatherland Front was originally a Bulgarian political resistance movement during World War II. The Zveno movement, the communist Bulgarian Workers Party, a wing of the Agrarian Union and the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party, were all part of the FF...

 staged a coup and deposed the monarchy. Mihailov then refused the leadership and fled to Italy. Spiro Kitanchev took Mihailov's place and became Premier of Macedonia. He cooperated with the old, pro-Bulgarian authorities, the Wehrmacht, the Bulgarian Army and the Yugoslav Partisans from the remainder of September to October. In the middle of November, the communists won control over Vardar Macedonia
Vardar Macedonia
Vardar Macedonia is an area in the north of the Macedonia . The borders of the area are those of the Republic of Macedonia. It covers an area of...

.[4]

Independent State of Croatia



On 10 April 1941, the Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, or NDH) was declared to be a member of the Axis, co-signing the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

. The NDH remained a member of the Axis until the end of Second World War, its forces fighting for Germany even after NDH had been overrun by Yugoslav Partisans. On 24 April 1941, Ante Pavelić
Ante Pavelic
Ante Pavelić was a Croatian fascist leader, revolutionary, and politician. He ruled as Poglavnik or head, of the Independent State of Croatia , a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia...

, a Croatian nationalist and one of the founders of the Croatian Uprising (Ustaše
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

) Movement, was proclaimed Leader (Poglavnik) of the new state.

The Ustaše was actively supported by the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in Italy, which gave the movement training grounds to prepare for war against Yugoslavia as well as accepting Pavelić as an exile and allowed him to reside in Rome. Italy intended to use the movement to destroy Yugoslavia, which would allow Italy to expand its power through the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

. In Germany, Hitler did not want to engage in a war in the Balkans until the Soviet Union was defeated. But the Italian occupation of Greece was performing badly, Mussolini wanted Germany to invade Yugoslavia to save the Italian forces in Greece. Hitler reluctantly submitted and Yugoslavia was invaded, and the Independent State of Croatia was created. Relations between Germany and Croatia would improve as the Ustaše proved effective at violently repressing Serb Chetniks and the communist Yugoslav Partisans of Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

.

Pavelić led a Croatian delegation to Rome and offered the crown of Croatia to an Italian prince of the House of Savoy, who was crowned Tomislav II, King of Croatia, Prince of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Voivode of Dalmatia, Tuzla
Tuzla
Tuzla is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the time of the 1991 census, it had 83,770 inhabitants, while the municipality 131,318. Taking the influx of refugees into account, the city is currently estimated to have 174,558 inhabitants...

 and Knin, Prince of Cisterna
Cisterna
A cisterna comprises a flattened membrane disk that makes up the Golgi apparatus. A typical Golgi has anywhere from 3 to 7 cisternae stacked upon each other like a stack of dinner plates, but there are usually around 6...

 and of Belriguardo, Marquess of Voghera
Voghera
thumb|250px|The Castle of Voghera in a 19th century etching.Voghera is a town and comune of Lombardy, Italy, in the province of Pavia...

, and Count of Ponderano
Ponderano
Ponderano is a municipality with 3833 inhabitants in the Italian province of Biella, in the region of Piemont. Neighbouring communes include Borriana, Gaglianico, Mongrando, Occhieppo Inferiore and Sandigliano....

. The next day, Pavelić signed the Contracts of Rome with Mussolini, ceding Dalmatia to Italy and fixing the permanent borders between Croatia and Italy. Furthermore, Italian armed forces were allowed to control all of Croatia's coastline, effectively giving Italy total control of the Adriatic Sea coastline.

Its ruling ultra-nationalist Ustaše
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

 movement utilized the motive that Croatians had been oppressed by the Serb-dominated Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

, and that Croatians deserved to have an independent nation after years of domination by foreign empires, to draw support to their radical agenda. The Ustaše perceived Serbs to be racially inferior to Croats and saw them as infiltrators who were occupying Croatian lands, and saw the extermination of Serbs as necessary to racially purify Croatia. While in Yugoslavia, many Croatian nationalists violently opposed the Serb-dominated Yugoslav monarchy and assassinated Yugoslavia's King Alexander together with Macedonian VMRO organization. The regime enjoyed support amongst radical Croatian nationalists. Ustashe forces fought against Serbian Chetnik and communist Yugoslav Partisan guerrillas throughout the war.

Upon coming to power, Pavelić formed the Croatian Home Guard (Hrvatsko domobranstvo) as the official military force of Croatia. Originally authorized at 16,000 men, it grew to a peak fighting force of 130,000. The Croatian Home Guard included an air force and navy, although its navy was restricted in size by the Contracts of Rome. In addition to the Croatian Home Guard, Pavelić also commanded the Ustaše militia. Many Croats also volunteered for the German Waffen SS.

The Ustaše government declared war on the Soviet Union, signed the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941 and sent troops to Germany's Eastern Front, while Ustaše militia garrisoned the Balkans, battling the Chetniks and communist Partisans.

During the time of its existence, the Ustaše government applied racial laws on Serbs
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

, Jews and Romas, and after June 1941 deported them to the Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp was the largest extermination camp in the Independent State of Croatia and occupied Yugoslavia during World War II...

 (or to German camps in Poland). The exact number of victims of the Ustaše regime is uncertain due to the destruction of documents and varying numbers given by various historians vying for political clout. The estimates of the total number of victims in Jasenovac is from between 56,000 and 97,000 to 700,000 or more. The racial laws were enforced by the Ustaše militia.

Ustaše never had widespread support in Croatia, their own estimates put the number of sympathizers even in the early phase at around 40,000 out of total population of 7 million.

Greece




Following the German invasion
Battle of Greece
The Battle of Greece is the common name for the invasion and conquest of Greece by Nazi Germany in April 1941. Greece was supported by British Commonwealth forces, while the Germans' Axis allies Italy and Bulgaria played secondary roles...

 of Greece and the flight of the Greek government
Greek government in exile
The Greek government in exile was the official government of Greece, headed by King George II, which evacuated from Athens in April 1941, after the German invasion of the country, first to the island of Crete and then to Cairo in Egypt. Hence it is also referred to as the "Cairo Government"...

 to Crete and then Egypt, the Hellenic State was formed in May 1941 as a puppet state of both Italy and Germany. Initially, Italy had wished to annex Greece, but pressure from Germany to avoid civil unrest such as occurred in Bulgarian-annexed areas, resulted in Italy accepting to create a puppet regime with the support of Germany. Italy had been assured by Hitler of "prepoderanza" in Greece and most of the country was held by Italian forces, but strategic locations (Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia
Central Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the central part of the region of Macedonia. With a population of over 1.8 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after Attica.- Administration :...

, the islands of the northeastern Aegean, most of Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 and parts of Attica
Attica
Attica is a historical region of Greece, containing Athens, the current capital of Greece. The historical region is centered on the Attic peninsula, which projects into the Aegean Sea...

) were held by the Germans, who in addition seized most of the country's economic assets, and effectively controlled the collaborationist government. The puppet regime never commanded much real authority, neither did it gain the allegiance of the people, although it was somewhat successful in preventing secessionist movements like the "Principality of Pindus" (see below) from establishing themselves. By mid-1943, the Greek Resistance
Greek Resistance
The Greek Resistance is the blanket term for a number of armed and unarmed groups from across the political spectrum that resisted the Axis Occupation of Greece in the period 1941–1944, during World War II.-Origins:...

 had liberated large parts of the mountainous interior ("Free Greece"), setting up a separate administration there. After the Italian armistice, the Italian occupation zone was taken over by the German armed forces, who remained in charge of the country until their withdrawal in autumn 1944. In some Aegean islands however, German garrisons were left behind, and surrendered only after the end of the war.

Pindus and Macedonia



The Principality of Pindus and the Grand Voivodeship of Macedonia were Italian-sponsored attempts at forming client state
Client state
Client state is one of several terms used to describe the economic, political and/or military subordination of one state to a more powerful state in international affairs...

s in the regions of northern Greece (parts of Epirus
Epirus (periphery)
Epirus , formally the Epirus Region , is a geographical and administrative region in northwestern Greece. It borders the regions of West Macedonia and Thessaly to the east, West Greece to the south, the Ionian Sea and the Ionian Islands to the west and the country of Albania to the north. The...

, Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 and West Macedonia
West Macedonia
West Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the western part of Greek Macedonia. It is divided into the regional units of Florina, Grevena, Kastoria, and Kozani.-Geography:...

) inhabited by ethnic Aromanians
Aromanians
Aromanians are a Latin people native throughout the southern Balkans, especially in northern Greece, Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and as an emigrant community in Serbia and Romania . An older term is Macedo-Romanians...

 and Slavic Macedonians.

France (Vichy regime)


France and its colonial empire
French colonial empires
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

, under the so-called Vichy regime
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 of Marshal Pétain
Philippe Pétain
Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain , generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain , was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France , from 1940 to 1944...

, collaborated with the Axis from 1940 until 1944 when the regime was dissolved.

Pétain became the last Prime Minister of the French Third Republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 on June 16, 1940 as the battle of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

 following the German invasion army entering Paris on June 14. Pétain sued for peace with Germany and six days later, on June 22, 1940, his government concluded an armistice
Armistice with France (Second Compiègne)
The Second Armistice at Compiègne was signed at 18:50 on 22 June 1940 near Compiègne, in the department of Oise, between Nazi Germany and France...

 with Hitler. Under the terms of the agreement, Germany occupied approximately two thirds of metropolitan France, including Paris. Pétain was permitted to keep an "armistice army" of 100,000 men within the unoccupied southern zone. This number included neither the army based in French colonial empire nor the French fleet. In French North Africa and French Equatorial Africa
French Equatorial Africa
French Equatorial Africa or the AEF was the federation of French colonial possessions in Middle Africa, extending northwards from the Congo River to the Sahara Desert.-History:...

, the Vichy were permitted to maintain 127,000 men under arms after the colony of Gabon
Gabon
Gabon , officially the Gabonese Republic is a state in west central Africa sharing borders with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south. The Gulf of Guinea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean is to the west...

 defected to the Free French
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

. The French also maintained substantial garrisons at the French mandated territory of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, the French colony of Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 and in the French Somaliland
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

.

After the armistice, relations between the Vichy French and the British quickly deteriorated. Fearful that the powerful French fleet might fall into German hands, the British launched several naval attacks, most notable of which was against the Algerian harbour of Mers el-Kebir on July 3, 1940. Though Churchill defended his controversial decisions to attack the French Fleet, the French people themselves were less accepting of these actions. German propaganda was able to trumpet these actions as an absolute betrayal of the French people by their former allies. France broke relations with the United Kingdom after the attack and considered declaring war.

On July 10, 1940, Petain was given emergency "full powers" by a majority vote of the French National Assembly. The following day approval of the new constitution by the Assembly effectively created the French State
French state
The French state may refer to:*The Republic of France *Vichy France, 'French state' was the official name of the regime first directed by Philippe Pétain, explicitly opposed to the French Republic...

 (l'État Français) replacing the French Republic with the unofficial Vichy France; for the resort town of Vichy
Vichy
Vichy is a commune in the department of Allier in Auvergne in central France. It belongs to the historic province of Bourbonnais.It is known as a spa and resort town and was the de facto capital of Vichy France during the World War II Nazi German occupation from 1940 to 1944.The town's inhabitants...

 where Petain chose to maintain his seat of government. The new government continued to be recognised as the lawful government of France by the United States until 1942. Racial laws were introduced in France and its colonies and many French Jews
History of the Jews in France
The history of the Jews of France dates back over 2,000 years. In the early Middle Ages, France was a center of Jewish learning, but persecution increased as the Middle Ages wore on...

 were deported to Germany. Albert Lebrun, last President of the Republic, did not leave the presidential office when he moved to Vizille
Vizille
Vizille is a commune in the Isère department in south-eastern France.Vizille is home to the Musée de la Révolution Française de Vizille, a rich depository of archival and rare materials devoted to the French Revolution, housed since 1984 in the Château de Vizille, a Monument Historique. The library...

 on July 10, 1940. By April 25, 1945, during Petain's trial, Lebrun argued he thought he would be able to return to power after the fall of Germany since he had not resigned.

In September 1940, Vichy France allowed Japan to occupy French Indochina, a federation of the French colonial possessions and protectorates roughly encompassing the territory of modern day Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The Vichy regime continued to administer the colony under Japanese military occupation. French Indochina was the base for the Japanese invasions of Thailand, Malaya and Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

. In 1945, under Japanese sponsorship, the Empire of Vietnam and the Kingdom of Cambodia were proclaimed as Japanese puppet states.

The British permitted French General Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 to headquarter his Free French movement in London in a largely unsuccessful effort to win over the French colonial empire. On September 26, 1940, de Gaulle led an attack by Allied forces on the Vichy port of Dakar
Battle of Dakar
The Battle of Dakar, also known as Operation Menace, was an unsuccessful attempt in September 1940 by the Allies to capture the strategic port of Dakar in French West Africa , which was under Vichy French control, and to install the Free French under General Charles de Gaulle there.-Background:At...

 in French West Africa
French West Africa
French West Africa was a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan , French Guinea , Côte d'Ivoire , Upper Volta , Dahomey and Niger...

. Forces loyal to Pétain fired on de Gaulle and repulsed the attack after two days of heavy fighting. Public opinion in vichy France was further outraged, and Vichy France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 drew closer to Germany.

Vichy France assisted Iraq in the Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941, allowing Germany and Italy to utilize air bases in the French mandate of Syria to support the Iraqi revolt against the British
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

. Allied forces responded by attacking Syria and Lebanon in 1941
Syria-Lebanon campaign
The Syria–Lebanon campaign, also known as Operation Exporter, was the Allied invasion of Vichy French-controlled Syria and Lebanon, in June–July 1941, during World War II. Time Magazine referred to the fighting as a "mixed show" while it was taking place and the campaign remains little known, even...

. In 1942, Allied forces attacked the French colony of Madagascar
Battle of Madagascar
The Battle of Madagascar was the Allied campaign to capture Vichy-French-controlled Madagascar during World War II. It began on 5 May 1942. Fighting did not cease until 6 November.-Geo-political:...

.

There were some considerable anti-communist movements in France and as result volunteers joined the German forces in their war against the Soviet Union. Almost 7,000 volunteers joined the anti-communist Légion des Volontaires Français (LVF) from 1941 to 1944 and some 7,500 formed the Division Charlemagne
33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French)
The 33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Charlemagne and Charlemagne Regiment are collective names used for units of French volunteers in the Wehrmacht and later Waffen-SS during World War II...

, a Waffen-SS
Waffen-SS
The Waffen-SS was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich. It constituted the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel or SS, an organ of the Nazi Party. The Waffen-SS saw action throughout World War II and grew from three regiments to over 38 divisions, and served alongside...

unit, from 1944 to 1945. Both the LVF and the Division Charlemagne fought on the eastern front. Hitler never accepted that France could become a full military partner, and constantly prevented the buildup of Vichy's military strength.

Other than political, Vichy's collaboration with Germany essentially was industrial, with French factories providing many vehicles to the German armed forces.

In November 1942, Vichy French troops briefly but fiercely resisted the landing of Allied troops in French North Africa
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

, but were unable to prevail. Admiral François Darlan
François Darlan
Jean Louis Xavier François Darlan was a French naval officer. His great-grandfather was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar...

 negotiated a local ceasefire with the Allies. In response to the landings, and Vichy's inability to defend itself, German troops occupied southern France and Tunisia, a French protectorate that formed part of French North Africa. The rump French army in mainland France was disbanded by the Germans. The Bey of Tunis formed a government friendly to the Germans.

In mid-1943, former Vichy authorities in North Africa came to an agreement with the Free French and setup a temporary French government in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, known as the French Committee of National Liberation (Comité Français de Libération Nationale), initially led by Darlan. However after his assasination De Gaulle eventually emerged as the French overall leader. The CFLN raised new troops, and re-organized, re-trained and re-equipped the French military under Allied supervision.

While deprived of any armed forces, the Vichy government continued to function in mainland France until summer 1944, but had lost most of its territorial sovereignty and military assets, with the exception of the forces stationed in French Indochina. In 1943, it founded the French Militia
Milice
The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

, a paramilitary forces which gradually assisted the Germans in rounding up opponents and Jews, as well as fighting the French Resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

.

Controversial cases



States listed in this section were not officially members of Axis, but had controversial relations with one or more Axis members at some point during the war.

Argentina



During the early years of World War II, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 maintained close relations with the Axis powers while officially remaining neutral. These close relations with the Axis aggravated the United States which cancelled weapons shipments to the country while increasing shipments to Argentina's neighbour, Brazil, in an attempt to pressure the Argentine government to abandon its ties with the Axis. However, after the US cancelled weapons shipments, newly elected president Ramón Castillo
Ramón Castillo
Ramón S. Castillo Barrionuevo was a conservative Argentine politician who served as President of Argentina from June 27, 1942 to June 4, 1943...

 drew Argentina closer to the Axis. In 1942, Argentina approached Germany with the request of a purchase of airplanes, weapons shipments, and other equipment. Argentine General Domingo Martínez claimed that President Castillo was concerned over the country's relations with Brazil with Argentina facing an ultimatum from the US. The Argentine government feared a potential invasion by Brazil and Uruguay backed by the US. Castillo was initially determined to resist, and even openly join the Axis, believing that Argentina's geography would allow it to withstand war. Upon Brazil joining the Allied powers in August 1942, Argentina declared itself a non-belligerent in the war while still negotiating with Germany for weapons. Castillo was known to have believed that the Axis would triumph in World War II.

In 1943, a military coup overthrew the Argentine government and subsequently established a military junta led by Pedro Pablo Ramírez
Pedro Pablo Ramírez
General Pedro Pablo Ramírez was de facto President of Argentina from June 7, 1943 to February 24, 1944. He was the founder and leader of the Guardia Nacional, Argentina's Fascist militia....

. In 1944 the United States government labeled the Argentine government as "fascist" and enacted financial and trade restrictions against the country and urged other countries to do the same. British officials captured Argentina's envoy to Germany, creating a diplomatic disaster for Argentina. In January 1944, under pressure from Britain and the United States, Ramírez agreed to break all ties with the Axis Powers. Argentine nationalists were alarmed by this concession to the United States and forced Ramírez to resign. For the remaining year of the war, the United States continued to maintain sanctions against Argentina due to its pro-Axis leanings. Argentina declared war on Germany in March 1945, when defeat of Germany was certain.

The close ties between Argentina and Nazi Germany proved controversial nearing the end of the war and after the war, as Nazi capital and escaping personnel began to arrive in Argentina in 1944.

Denmark




On May 31, 1939, Denmark and Germany signed a treaty of non-aggression, which did not contain any military obligations for either party. On April 9, 1940, citing intended British mining of Norwegian and Danish waters
Operation Wilfred
Operation Wilfred was a British naval operation during World War II that involved the mining of the channel between Norway and her offshore islands in order to prevent the transport of swedish iron ore through neutral Norwegian waters to be used to sustain the German war effort...

 as a pretext, Germany invaded both countries
Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign...

. King Christian X
Christian X of Denmark
Christian X was King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947 and the only King of Iceland between 1918 and 1944....

 and the Danish government, worried about German bombings if they resisted occupation, accepted "protection by the Reich" in exchange for nominal independence under German military occupation. Three successive Prime Ministers, Thorvald Stauning
Thorvald Stauning
Thorvald August Marinus Stauning was the first social democratic Prime Minister of Denmark. He served as Prime Minister from 1924 to 1926 and again from 1929 until his death in 1942....

, Vilhelm Buhl
Vilhelm Buhl
Vilhelm Buhl was Prime Minister of Denmark from 4 May 1942 to 9 November 1942 as head of the Unity Government during the German occupation of Denmark of World War II, until the Nazis ordered him removed...

 and Erik Scavenius
Erik Scavenius
Erik Julius Christian Scavenius was the Danish foreign minister 1909–1910, 1913–1920 and 1940–1943, and prime minister from 1942 to 1943. His cabinet resigned in 1943 and suspended operations...

, maintained this samarbejdspolitik ("cooperation policy") of collaborating with Germany.
  • Denmark coordinated its foreign policy with Germany, extending diplomatic recognition to Axis collaborator and puppet regimes and breaking diplomatic relations with the "governments-in-exile" formed by countries occupied by Germany. Denmark broke diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact
    Anti-Comintern Pact
    The Anti-Comintern Pact was an Anti-Communist pact concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on November 25, 1936 and was directed against the Communist International ....

     of 1941.

  • In 1941, a Danish military corps, Frikorps Danmark
    Frikorps Danmark
    Free Corps Denmark was a Danish volunteer free corps created by the Danish Nazi Party in cooperation with Germany, to fight the Soviet Union during the Second World War. On June 29, 1941, days after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the DNSAP's newspaper Fædrelandet proclaimed the creation...

    was created at the initiative of the SS
    Schutzstaffel
    The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

     and the Danish Nazi Party, to fight alongside the Wehrmacht on Germany's Eastern Front
    Eastern Front (World War II)
    The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

    . The government's following statement was widely interpreted as a sanctioning of the corps. Frikorps Danmark was open to members of the Danish Royal Army and those who had completed their service within the last ten years. Between 4,000 and 10,000 Danish citizens joined the Frikorps Danmark, including 77 officers of the Royal Danish Army. An estimated 3,900 of these soldiers died fighting for Germany during the Second World War.

  • Denmark transferred six torpedo boats to Germany in 1941, although the bulk of its navy remained under Danish command until the declaration of martial law in 1943.

  • Denmark supplied agricultural and industrial products to Germany as well as loans for armaments and fortifications. The German presence in Denmark, including the construction of the Danish part of the Atlantic Wall
    Atlantic Wall
    The Atlantic Wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1944 along the western coast of Europe as a defense against an anticipated Allied invasion of the mainland continent from Great Britain.-History:On March 23, 1942 Führer Directive Number 40...

     fortifications, was paid from an account in Denmark's central bank, Nationalbanken
    Danmarks Nationalbank
    Danmarks Nationalbank is the central bank of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is a non-eurozone member of the European System of Central Banks . The bank issues the Danish currency, the krone....

    . The Danish government had been promised that these expenses would be repaid later, but this never happened. The construction of the Atlantic Wall fortifications in Jutland cost 5 billion Danish kroner.


The Danish protectorate government lasted until August 29, 1943, when the cabinet resigned following a declaration of martial law by occupying German military officials. The Danish navy
Royal Danish Navy
The Royal Danish Navy is the sea-based branch of the Danish Defence force. The RDN is mainly responsible for maritime defence and maintaining the sovereignty of Danish, Greenlandic and Faroese territorial waters...

 managed to scuttle 32 of its larger ships to prevent their use by Germany. Germany succeeded in seizing 14 of the larger and 50 of the smaller vessels and later to raise and refit 15 of the sunken vessels. During the scuttling of the Danish fleet, a number of vessels were ordered to attempt an escape to Swedish waters, and 13 vessels succeeded in this attempt, four of which were larger ships. By the autumn of 1944, these ships officially formed a Danish naval flotilla
Flotilla
A flotilla , or naval flotilla, is a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet. A flotilla is usually composed of a homogeneous group of the same class of warship, such as frigates, destroyers, torpedo boats, submarines, gunboats, or minesweepers...

 in exile In 1943, Swedish authorities allowed 500 Danish soldiers in Sweden to train themselves as "police troops". By the autumn of 1944, Sweden raised this number to 4,800 and recognized the entire unit as a Danish military brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

 in exile. Danish collaboration continued on an administrative level, with the Danish bureaucracy functioning under German command.

Active resistance to the German occupation among the populace, virtually nonexistent before 1943, increased after the declaration of martial law. The intelligence operations of the Danish resistance
Danish resistance movement
The Danish resistance movement was an underground insurgency movement to resist the German occupation of Denmark during World War II. Due to the unusually lenient terms given to Danish people by the Nazi occupation authority, the movement was slower to develop effective tactics on a wide scale...

 was described as "second to none" by Field Marshal
Field Marshal (UK)
Field Marshal is the highest military rank of the British Army. It ranks immediately above the rank of General and is the Army equivalent of an Admiral of the Fleet and a Marshal of the Royal Air Force....

 Bernard Law Montgomery after the liberation of Denmark.

Norway



In Norway, the national government
Quisling regime
The Quisling regime, or the Quisling government are common names used to refer to the collaborationist government led by Vidkun Quisling in occupied Norway during the Second World War. The official name of the regime from 1 February 1942 until its dissolution in May 1945 was Nasjonale regjering...

, headed by Vidkun Quisling
Vidkun Quisling
Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling was a Norwegian politician. On 9 April 1940, with the German invasion of Norway in progress, he seized power in a Nazi-backed coup d'etat that garnered him international infamy. From 1942 to 1945 he served as Minister-President, working with the occupying...

, was installed by the Germans as a puppet regime during the occupation
Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany
The occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany started with the German invasion of Norway on April 9, 1940, and ended on May 8, 1945, after the capitulation of German forces in Europe. Throughout this period, Norway was continuously occupied by the Wehrmacht...

, while king Haakon VII
Haakon VII
Haakon VII may refer to:People* Haakon VII of Norway , King of Norway Ships* HNoMS King Haakon VII, a Royal Norwegian Navy escort ship in commission from 1942 to 1951...

 and the previous government were in exile. Quisling encouraged Norwegians
Norwegians
Norwegians constitute both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language. Norwegian people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in United States, Canada and Brazil.-History:Towards the end of the 3rd...

 to serve as volunteers in the Waffen-SS
5th SS Panzer Division Wiking
The 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking was one of the elite Panzer divisions of the thirty eight Waffen SS divisions. It was recruited from foreign volunteers, from Scandinavia, Finland, Estonia, The Netherlands, and Belgium under the command of German officers...

, collaborated in the deportation of Jews, and was responsible for the executions of Norwegian patriots
Norwegian resistance movement
The Norwegian resistance to the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany began after Operation Weserübung in 1940 and ended in 1945. It took several forms:...

.

About 45,000 Norwegian collaborators joined the pro-Nazi party Nasjonal Samling (National Union), and some police units helped arrest many of Norway's Jews. However, Norway was one of the first countries where resistance during World War II
Resistance during World War II
Resistance movements during World War II occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non-cooperation, disinformation and propaganda to hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns...

 was widespread before the turning point of the war in 1943. After the war, Quisling and other collaborators were executed
Legal purge in Norway after World War II
When the occupation of Norway ended in May 1945, several thousand Norwegians and foreign citizens were tried and convicted for various acts that the occupying powers sanctioned...

. Quisling's name has become an international eponym
Eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

 for traitor.

Soviet Union




Relations between the Soviet Union and the major Axis powers were generally hostile before 1938. In the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, the Soviet Union gave military aid to the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

, against Spanish Nationalist
Spanish State
Francoist Spain refers to a period of Spanish history between 1936 and 1975 when Spain was under the authoritarian dictatorship of Francisco Franco....

 forces, which were assisted by Germany and Italy. However, the Nationalist forces were victorious. The Soviets suffered another political defeat when an ally, Czechoslovakia, was partitioned and partially annexed
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

, by Germany and Hungary, Poland also reclaimed a small partition taken by Czech army in 1918-1920 — with the agreement of the UK and France — in 1938-39. Meanwhile, In 1938 and 1939, the USSR fought and defeated Japan in two separate border wars, at Lake Khasan
Battle of Lake Khasan
The Battle of Lake Khasan and also known as the Changkufeng Incident in China and Japan, was an attempted military incursion of Manchukuo into the territory claimed by the Soviet Union...

 and Khalkhin Gol
Battle of Khalkhin Gol
The Battles of Khalkhyn Gol was the decisive engagement of the undeclared Soviet–Japanese Border Wars fought among the Soviet Union, Mongolia and the Empire of Japan in 1939. The conflict was named after the river Khalkhyn Gol, which passes through the battlefield...

, the latter being a Major Soviet Victory.

In 1939, the Soviet Union continued negotiations with both a Britain-France contingent and Germany regarding alliances
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact negotiations
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was an August 23, 1939 agreement between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany colloquially named after Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. The treaty renounced warfare between the two countries...

. On August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

, which included a secret protocol whereby the independent countries of Finland, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, Poland and Romania were divided into spheres of interest of the parties.

On September 1, barely a week after the pact had been signed, the partition of Poland commenced with the German invasion
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

. The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east on September 17 and on September 28 signed a secret treaty with Nazi Germany on joint coordination in fighting against any potential Polish resistance, and proceeded with their own extermination plans targeting intelligence, enterpreneurs and officers, a string of atrocities culminating in the massacre of Katyn and mass relocation to Siberian concentration camps Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

.

Soon after that, the Soviet Union occupied Baltic countries
Occupation of Baltic Republics
The occupation of the Baltic states refers to the military occupation of the three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by the Soviet Union under the auspices of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact on 14 June 1940 followed by their incorporation into the USSR as constituent republics, unrecognised...

 Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in addition, it annexed Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 and Northern Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 from Romania. The Soviet Union attacked Finland on November 30, 1939, which started the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

. Finnish defence prevented an all-out invasion, resulting in an interim peace, but Finland was forced to cede a strategically important border areas near Leningrad
Leningrad
Leningrad is the former name of Saint Petersburg, Russia.Leningrad may also refer to:- Places :* Leningrad Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, around Saint Petersburg* Leningrad, Tajikistan, capital of Muminobod district in Khatlon Province...

.

The Soviet Union supported Germany in the war effort against Western Europe through the 1939 German-Soviet Commercial Agreement and 1940 German-Soviet Commercial Agreement with exports of raw materials (phosphates, chromium
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

 and iron ore, mineral oil
Mineral oil
A mineral oil is any of various colorless, odorless, light mixtures of alkanes in the C15 to C40 range from a non-vegetable source, particularly a distillate of petroleum....

, grain
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

). These and other export goods were being transported through Soviet and occupied Polish territories and allowed Germany to circumvent the British naval blockade.

In October and November 1940, the Soviet Union approached Germany about the potential of joining the Axis
German–Soviet Axis talks
In October and November 1940, German–Soviet Axis talks occurred concerning the Soviet Union's potential entry as a fourth Axis Power. The negotiations included a two day Berlin conference between Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, Adolf Hitler and German Foreign Minister Joachim von...

, with extensive discussions taking place in Berlin. Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 later personally countered with a separate proposal in a letter later in November that contained several secret protocols, including that "the area south of Batum and Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

 in the general direction of the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 is recognized as the center of aspirations of the Soviet Union", referring to an area approximating present day Iraq and Iran, and a Soviet claim to Bulgaria. Hitler never returned Stalin's letter. Shortly thereafter, Hitler issued a secret directive on the eventual attempts to invade the Soviet Union.

Germany ended the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by invading the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 on June 22, 1941. That resulted in the Soviet Union becoming one of the main members of Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

.

Germany then revived its Anti-Comintern Pact, enlisting many European and Asian countries in opposition to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union and Japan remained neutral towards each other for most of the war by the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact
Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact
The , more extensively known as was a pact between the Empire of Japan and the Soviet Union signed on April 13, 1941, two years after the brief Soviet-Japanese Border War .- Background and history :...

. The Soviet Union ended the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact by invading Manchukuo on August 8, 1945, due to agreements reached at the Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

 with Roosevelt and Churchill.

Spain




Generalísimo Francisco Franco's
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

 Spanish State gave moral, economic
War economy
War economy is the term used to describe the contingencies undertaken by the modern state to mobilise its economy for war production. Philippe Le Billon describes a war economy as a "system of producing, mobilising and allocating resources to sustain the violence".Many states increase the degree of...

, and military assistance to the Axis powers, while nominally maintaining neutrality
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

. Franco described Spain as a member of the Axis and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941 with Hitler and Mussolini. Members of the ruling Falange
Falange
The Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive , known simply as the Falange, is the name assigned to several political movements and parties dating from the 1930s, most particularly the original fascist movement in Spain. The word means phalanx formation in Spanish....

 party in Spain held irredentist designs on Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 and Portugal. Falangists also supported Spanish colonial acquisition of Tangier
Tangier
Tangier, also Tangiers is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 . It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel...

, French Morocco
French Morocco
French Protectorate of Morocco was a French protectorate in Morocco, established by the Treaty of Fez. French Morocco did not include the north of the country, which was a Spanish protectorate...

 and northwestern French Algeria
French Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

. Spain also held ambitions on former Spanish colonies in Latin America. In June 1940, the Spanish government approached Germany with the proposal of an alliance in exchange for Germany recognizing Spain's territorial aims: the annexation of the Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

 province of Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, the incorporation of all Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, extension of Spanish Sahara
Spanish Sahara
Spanish Sahara was the name used for the modern territory of Western Sahara when it was ruled as a territory by Spain between 1884 and 1975...

 southward to the twentieth parallel, and the incorporation of French Cameroons into Spanish Guinea
Spanish Guinea
Spanish Guinea was an African colony of Spain that became the independent nation of Equatorial Guinea.-History:The Portuguese explorer, Fernão do Pó, seeking a route to India, is credited with having discovered the island of Bioko in 1472. He called it Formosa , but it quickly took on the name of...

. In 1940, Spain invaded and occupied the Tangier
Tangier
Tangier, also Tangiers is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 . It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel...

 International Zone, maintaining its occupation until 1945. The occupation caused dispute between Britain and Spain in November 1940, in which Spain conceded to protect British rights in the area and promised not to fortify the area.

Franco had won the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 with the help of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, which were both eager to establish another fascist state in Europe. Spain owed Germany over $212 million for supplies of matériel
Materiel
Materiel is a term used in English to refer to the equipment and supplies in military and commercial supply chain management....

 during the Spanish Civil War, and Italian combat troops had actually fought in Spain on the side of Franco's Nationalists.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, Franco immediately offered to form a unit of military volunteers to join the invasion. This was accepted by Hitler and, within two weeks, there were more than enough volunteers to form a division - the Blue Division
Blue Division
The Blue Division officially designated as División Española de Voluntarios by the Spanish Army and 250. Infanterie-Division in the German Army, was a unit of Spanish volunteers that served in the German Army on the Eastern Front of the Second World War.-Origins:Although Spanish leader Field...

 (División Azul in Spanish) under General Agustín Muñoz Grandes
Agustín Muñoz Grandes
Agustín Muñoz Grandes was a Spanish general, and politician, vice-president of the Spanish Government and minister with Francisco Franco several times; also known as the commander of the Blue Division between 1941 and 1943.-Biography:Born to a humble family in Madrid, Muñoz Grandes enrolled at the...

.

The possibility of Spanish intervention in World War II was of concern to the United States which investigated the activities of the Spain's ruling Falange party in Latin America, especially Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 where pro-Falange and pro-Franco sentiment was high including amongst the ruling upper classes. On the issue of Spain's foreign policy towards Latin America, the Falangists promoted the idea of supporting Spain's former colonies in fighting against American domination. On the Pacific front, prior to the outbreak of war, support for Franco and the Falange was high in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. The Falange Exterior, the international department of the Falange, collaborated with Japanese forces against US forces in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Sweden



The official policy of Sweden before, during, and after World War II was neutrality
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

. It had held this policy for over a century, since the end of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

. However, the Swedish neutrality during World War II has been much debated and challenged.

In contrast to many other neutral countries, Sweden was not directly attacked during the war. It was however subject to British and Nazi German naval blockades, which led to problems for the supply of food and fuels. From spring 1940 to summer 1941 Sweden and Finland were surrounded by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

This led to difficulties in maintaining the rights and duties of neutral states in the Hague Convention
Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907)
The Hague Conventions were two international treaties negotiated at international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands: The First Hague Conference in 1899 and the Second Hague Conference in 1907...

. Sweden violated this as German troops were allowed to travel through Swedish Territory between July 1940 to August 1943.

In spite of the fact that it was allowed by the Hague Convention, Sweden has been criticized for exportation of iron ore to Nazi Germany war industry via the Baltic and the Norwegian port of Narvik
Narvik
is the third largest city and municipality in Nordland county, Norway by population. Narvik is located on the shores of the Narvik Fjord . The municipality is part of the Ofoten traditional region of North Norway, inside the arctic circle...

. Nazi German war industry dependence on Swedish iron ore shipments was the primary reason for Great Britain to launch Operation Wilfred
Operation Wilfred
Operation Wilfred was a British naval operation during World War II that involved the mining of the channel between Norway and her offshore islands in order to prevent the transport of swedish iron ore through neutral Norwegian waters to be used to sustain the German war effort...

 and, together with France, the Norwegian Campaign
Norwegian Campaign
The Norwegian Campaign was a military campaign that was fought in Norway during the Second World War between the Allies and Germany, after the latter's invasion of the country. In April 1940, the United Kingdom and France came to Norway's aid with an expeditionary force...

 in early April 1940. By early June 1940 the Norwegian Campaign stood as a failure for the allies, and by securing access to Norwegian ports by force Nazi Germany could obtain the Swedish iron ore supply it needed for war production despite the British naval blockade.

Germany's and Italy's declaration of war against the United States



On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the naval bases in Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

, Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

. According to the stipulation of the Tripartite Pact
Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

, Nazi-Germany was required to come to the defense of her allies only if they were attacked. Since Japan had made the first move and attacked, Germany and Italy were not obliged to aid her until the United States counterattacked on December 11 after having declared war on Japan on December 8 and attacking several Japanese outposts along the Pacific. Hitler ordered the Reichstag
Reichstag (Weimar Republic)
The Reichstag was the parliament of Weimar Republic .German constitution commentators consider only the Reichstag and now the Bundestag the German parliament. Another organ deals with legislation too: in 1867-1918 the Bundesrat, in 1919–1933 the Reichsrat and from 1949 on the Bundesrat...

to formally declare war on the United States along with Italy.

Hitler made a speech in the Reichstag on December 11, 1941 three days after the United States declaration of war
Infamy Speech
The Presidential Address to Congress of December 8, 1941 was delivered at 12:30 p.m. that day to a Joint Session of Congress by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one day after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii...

 on the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 saying that
This declaration of war against the United States is believed to be one of the most disastrous mistakes made by the Axis powers as it allowed the United States to join the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in war against Germany without any limitation. Consequently, Americans participated in both the strategic bombardment of Germany and the invasion of the continent, effectively ending German domination in Western Europe. However, Hitler was aware of such plans and skeptical of American Neutrality even before the war began. Based on the information at their disposal, the Germans were well aware of Rainbow Five and the proposed American military buildup that was issued at the start of the war. As a result, the Germans expected war with the United States no later than 1943. A large naval expansion program also was initiated. As was the case in 1917, American war industries were already engaged in keeping the UK supplied in 1941, the same year that mass military recruitment also commenced.

Still, Germany's and Italy's early war policy reflected the belief that it was good strategy to avoid confrontation with the United States. Every effort was made to prevent a potential Lusitania
RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner designed by Leonard Peskett and built by John Brown and Company of Clydebank, Scotland. The ship entered passenger service with the Cunard Line on 26 August 1907 and continued on the line's heavily-traveled passenger service between Liverpool, England and New...

-like incident that could incite the American public. However, the isolationists gradually lost their hold over the country due in large part to the influence of the media. It was also widely believed that it would take some time for the Americans to mobilize and make a greater contribution to the war than they had thus far. At the time of Pearl Harbor, a quick victory over the Soviet Union also still seemed likely. Victory in the Soviet Union would have led to a Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

n sphere of influence greatly dominated by Japan (its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a concept created and promulgated during the Shōwa era by the government and military of the Empire of Japan. It represented the desire to create a self-sufficient "bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers"...

), Germany, and little by Italy due to location. Supposedly Hitler wanted to finish conquering Europe first to establish a balance of power and then eventually confront the United States after a victory over the Soviet Union among others, and he was not pleased that the US was now a full combatant in the war at the same time that the war was going on with the Soviet Union.


Hitler awarded Japanese ambassador to Nazi Germany Hiroshi Ōshima
Hiroshi Ōshima
Baron was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, Japanese ambassador to Nazi Germany before and during World War II — and unknowingly a major source of communications intelligence for the Allies. His role was perhaps best summed up by General George C...

 the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle
Order of the German Eagle
The Order of the German Eagle was an award of the German Nazi regime, predominantly to foreign diplomats. The Order was instituted on 1 May 1937 by Adolf Hitler.It ceased to be awarded following the collapse of the Nazi Government at the end of World War II....

 (1st class) after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On this occasion he said:

See also


General information
  • Allies of World War II
    Allies of World War II
    The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

  • Collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II
  • Participants in World War II
    Participants in World War II
    The participants in World War II were those nations who either participated directly in or were affected by any of the theaters or events of World War II....

  • List of pro-Axis leaders and governments or direct control in occupied territories
  • Expansion operations and planning of the Axis Powers
    Expansion operations and planning of the Axis Powers
    Planning for global territorial expansion of the Axis Powers; Germany, Italy and Japan, progressed before and during the Second World War. This included some special strike plans against the Allied nations .-1939-1940:*Fall Grün Planning for global territorial expansion of the Axis Powers; Germany,...

  • Foreign relations of the Axis of World War II
  • Axis leaders of World War II
    Axis leaders of World War II
    The Axis leaders of World War II were important political and military figures during the war. The Axis was established with the signing of the Tripartite Pact in 1940 and pursued a strong militarist, racist and nationalist ideology, with a policy of anti-communism. During the early phase of the...



Pacts and treaties
  • Tripartite Pact
    Tripartite Pact
    The Tripartite Pact, also the Three-Power Pact, Axis Pact, Three-way Pact or Tripartite Treaty was a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II...

  • Pact of Steel
    Pact of Steel
    The Pact of Steel , known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany signed on May 22, 1939, by the foreign ministers of each country and witnessed by Count Galeazzo Ciano for Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop...

  • Anti-Comintern Pact
    Anti-Comintern Pact
    The Anti-Comintern Pact was an Anti-Communist pact concluded between Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on November 25, 1936 and was directed against the Communist International ....

  • Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement
    Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement
    The Ryti–Ribbentrop letter of agreement of June 26, 1944 was a personal letter from President Risto Ryti to Führer Adolf Hitler where Risto Ryti, then President of Finland, undertook not to reach a separate peace in the war with the Soviet Union without the approval from Nazi Germany to secure...

  • Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
    Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
    The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

  • Axis power negotiations on the division of Asia during World War II
    Axis power negotiations on the division of Asia during World War II
    As the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan cemented their joint military alliance by mutually declaring war against the United States by December 11, 1941, the Japanese proposed a clear territorial arrangement with the two main European Axis powers concerning the Asian continent...



War aims
  • New Order (Nazism)
  • Greater Germanic Reich
    Greater Germanic Reich
    The Greater Germanic Reich , fully styled the Greater Germanic Reich of the German Nation is the official state name of the political entity that Nazi Germany tried to establish in Europe during World War II...

  • Greater Japanese Empire
  • Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
    Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
    The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a concept created and promulgated during the Shōwa era by the government and military of the Empire of Japan. It represented the desire to create a self-sufficient "bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers"...

  • Greater Italy
    Greater Italy
    Greater Italy , or Imperial Italy , was an ambitious project envisioned by fascist Italy in which the objective was to create an Italian empire which would expand, in addition to the irredentist claimed territories , to additional Mediterranean basin territories...

  • Hakkō ichiu
    Hakko ichiu
    was a Japanese political slogan that became popular from the Second Sino-Japanese War to World War II, and was popularized in a speech by Prime Minister of Japan Fumimaro Konoe on January 8, 1940.-Outline:...

  • Zweites Buch
    Zweites Buch
    The Zweites Buch is an unedited transcript of Adolf Hitler's thoughts on foreign policy written in 1928; it was written after Mein Kampf and was never published in his lifetime.-Composition:...



Fiction
  • Axis victory in World War II
    Axis victory in World War II
    An Axis victory in World War II is a common concept in alternate history. World War II alternate histories are one of the two most popular points of divergence in the English language...

  • Hetalia: Axis Powers
    Hetalia: Axis Powers
    is a Japanese webcomic, later adapted as a manga and an anime series, by . The series presents an allegorical trivialisation of political and historic events, particularly of the World War II era, in which the various countries are represented by stereotyped anthropomorphic characters...


External links