World War II
Dates: September 1, 1939 – September 1, 1945
Coming just two decades after the last great global conflict, the Second World War was the most widespread and deadliest war in history, involving more than 30 countries and resulting in more than 50 million military and civilian deaths. Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939 drove Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany and World War II had begun. Over the next six years, the conflict would take more lives and destroy more land and property around the globe than any previous war. Among the 45 – 60 million people killed were 6 million Jews murdered in Nazi concentration camps as part of Hitler’s diabolical “Final Solution,” now known as the Holocaust. The final Allied defeat of both Nazi Germany and Japan came in 1945.