Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as seeking to stop wars of aggression being waged by the Western and Eastern powers associated with the Axis.
The anti-German coalition at the start of the war (1 September 1939) consisted of France, Poland and the United Kingdom, soon to be joined by the British Commonwealth (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Newfoundland and South Africa). After 1941, the leaders of the British Commonwealth, the Soviet Union, and the United States of America known as the "Big Three", held leadership of the Allied powers. China, at that time, was also a major Ally. Other Allies included Belgium, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Greece, India (as part of the British Empire), Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway and Yugoslavia.
During December 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt devised the name "United Nations" for the Allies. He referred to the Big Three and China as a "trusteeship of the powerful", and then later the "Four Policemen". The Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942 was the basis of the modern United Nations (UN). At the Potsdam Conference of July–August 1945, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman, proposed that the foreign ministers of China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States "should draft the peace treaties and boundary settlements of Europe", which led to the creation of the Council of Foreign Ministers.
General Secretary Joseph Stalin and the government of the Soviet Union justified the Soviet war effort that resulted from the German invasion of the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa in 1941, as a defensive war being fought by patriotic Soviet people for their survival. Stalin had supported popular front movements of anti-fascists including communists and non-communists from 1935 to 1939. The popular front strategy was terminated from 1939 to 1941 when the Soviet Union cooperated with Germany in 1939 in the occupation and partitioning of Poland while the Soviet Union refused to endorse either the Allies or the Axis from 1939 to 1941, as it called the Allied-Axis conflict an "imperialist war". After the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Stalin endorsed the Western Allies as part of a renewed popular front strategy against Germany and called for the international communist movement to make a coalition with all those who opposed the Nazis.
The Soviet Union intervened against Japan and its client state in Manchuria in 1945, cooperating with the Nationalist Government of China and Nationalist Party led by Chiang Kai Shek; though also cooperating, preferring, and encouraging the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong to take effective control of Manchuria after expelling Japanese forces.
On 20 August 1939, forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics under General Georgy Zhukov, together with the People's Republic of Mongolia eliminated the threat of conflict in the east with a decisive victory over Japan at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in eastern Mongolia.
On the same day, Soviet party leader Joseph Stalin received a telegram from German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, suggesting that German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop fly to Moscow for diplomatic talks. (After receiving a lukewarm response throughout the spring and summer, Stalin abandoned attempts for a better diplomatic relationship with France and the United Kingdom.)
On 23 August Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signed the non-aggression pact including secret protocols dividing Eastern Europe into defined "spheres of influence" for the two regimes, and specifically concerning the partition of the Polish state in the event of its "territorial and political rearrangement".
On 15 September 1939, Stalin concluded a durable ceasefire with Japan, to take effect the following day (it would be upgraded to a nonaggression pact in April 1941). The day after that, 17 September, Soviet forces invaded Poland from the east. Although some fighting continued until 5 October, the two invading armies held at least one joint military parade on 25 September, and reinforced their non-military partnership with a German–Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Demarcation on 28 September.
On 30 November, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, for which it was expelled from the League of Nations. In the following year of 1940, while the world's attention was focussed upon the German invasion of France and Norway, the USSR militarily occupied the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as parts of Romania.
German-Soviet treaties were brought to an end by the German surprise attack on the USSR on 22 June 1941. The Soviet Union so entered in alliance with the United Kingdom. Following the USSR, a number of other communist, pro-Soviet or Soviet-controlled forces fought against the Axis powers during the Second World War. They were as follows: the Albanian National Liberation Front, the Chinese Red Army, the Greek National Liberation Front, the Hukbalahap, the Malayan Communist Party, the People's Republic of Mongolia, the Polish People's Army, the Tuvan People's Republic (annexed by Soviet Union in 1944), the Viet Minh and the Yugoslav Partisans.
The United States had indirectly supported Britain's war effort against Germany up to 1941 and declared its opposition to territorial aggrandizement. Material support to Britain was provided prior to American intervention in the war, via the Lend Lease Act in 1941 and authorization was given for American warships to fire upon German submarines attacking American merchant shipping headed for Britain. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt in August 1941 signed the Atlantic Charter that pledged commitment to achieving "the final destruction of Nazi tyranny".
The US opposed the Japanese war efforts in China and embargoed petroleum trade with Japan. The US indirectly supported Nationalist Government in China in its war with Japan, and provided military equipment, supplies, and volunteers to the Nationalist Government of China to assist in its war effort. Japan retaliated to the American trade embargo with the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US declared war on Japan, and Japan's allies Germany and Italy declared war on the US, bringing the US into World War II.
On 8 December 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, The United States Congress declared war on Japan at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was followed by Germany and Italy declaring war on the United States on 11 December, bringing the country into the European theatre.
The US led Allied forces in the Pacific theatre against Japanese forces from 1941 to 1945. From 1943 to 1945, the US led and coordinated the Western Allies' war effort in Europe under the leadership of General Dwight Eisenhower.
The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor followed by Japan's swift attacks on Allied locations throughout the Pacific, resulted in major US losses in the first several months in the war, including losing control of the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island and several Aleutian islands including Attu and Kiska to Japanese forces. American naval forces attained some early successes against Japan. One was the bombing of Japanese industrial centres in the Doolittle Raid. Another was repelling a Japanese invasion of Port Moresby in New Guinea during the Battle of the Coral Sea. A major turning point in the Pacific War was the Battle of Midway where American naval forces were outnumbered by Japanese forces that had been sent to Midway to draw out and destroy American aircraft carriers in the Pacific and seize control of Midway that would place Japanese forces in close proximity to Hawaii. However American forces managed to sink four of Japan's six large aircraft carriers that had initiated the attack on Pearl Harbor along with other attacks on Allied forces. Afterwards the US began an offensive against Japanese-captured positions. The Guadalcanal Campaign from 1942 to 1943 was a major contention point where American and Japanese forces struggled to gain control of Guadalcanal.
Colonies and dependencies
In the Americas
The United States held multiple island dependencies in Asia during World War II such as American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Midway Islands, Wake Island and others. These dependencies were directly involved in the Pacific campaign of the war.
Self-governing sovereign dominions or protectorates
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a sovereign protectorate referred to as an "associated state" of the United States. The Philippines were occupied by Japanese forces from late 1941 to 1944 who established a client regime there during their military occupation.
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the British government justified their intervention against Germany in September 1939, following its intervention against Poland, by stating that Germany had initiated an illegal act of aggression against Poland, Britain and France jointly declared war on Germany, resulting in World War II.
Britain claimed that it had attempted to avert war with Germany, such as by accepting German claims to the German-populated Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia through the Munich Agreement in 1938 that gave the Sudetenland to Germany; but claimed that the German invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939 was a direct violation of the Munich Agreement, and Britain guaranteed to defend Poland's independence from German aggression. When Germany waged war on Poland in 1939, Britain and France recognized the war as an act of aggression against Poland and declared war on Germany, resulting in World War II.
The United Kingdom and other members of the British Commonwealth, known as the Dominions, declared war on Germany separately, all within one week of each other; these countries were Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland and the Union of South Africa. Southern Rhodesia, while self-governing, did not have independence in foreign policy or military matters.
The first major naval confrontation in the Atlantic Ocean was between British warships of the UK's Royal Navy versus the German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee of the Kriegsmarine during the Battle of the River Plate in 1939 whereby British warships badly damaged the Admiral Graf Spee that escaped and attempted to seek refuge in the neutral port of Montevideo, Uruguay, but was refused, resulting in the Captain of the German warship evacuating the crew and scuttling it.
Upon the entry of Italy into the war on the Axis side in June 1940, the British government recognized the dangerous threat posed to the UK's possessions and interests in the Mediterranean posed by Italy's large navy, the Regia Marina, as a result the British initiated the attack on Taranto in November 1940, where British naval aircraft sank three Italian battleships in the harbour of Taranto and destroyed the seaplane base there.
Colonies and dependencies
Britain held multiple African colonies during World War II. Many West African countries participated in World War II.
In the Americas
Newfoundland was a British dominion-dependency during the war after it decided to relinquish its self-governing dominion status to a semi-autonomous dominion-dependency status in 1934.
The Falkland Islands were a British dependency during the war.
Guyana was a British dependency during the war.
Jamaica was a British dependency during the war.
The Cyprus Regiment was by the British Government during the Second World War and made part of the British Army structure. It was mostly Greek Cypriots volunteers and Turkish speaking Cypriot inhabitants of Cyprus but also included other Commonwealth nationalities. On a brief visit to Cyprus in 1943, Winston Churchill praised the "soldiers of the Cyprus Regiment who have served honourably on many fields from Libya to Dunkirk". About 30,000 Cypriots served in the Cyprus Regiment. The regiment was involved in action from the very start and served at Dunkirk, in the Greek Campaign (Battle of Greece) (about 600 soldiers were captured in Kalamata in 1941), North Africa (Operation Compass), France, the Middle East and Italy. Many soldiers were taken prisoner especially at the beginning of the war and were interned in various POW camps (Stalag) including Lamsdorf (Stalag VIII-B), Stalag IVC at Wistritz bei Teplitz and Stalag 4b near Most in the Czech Republic. The soldiers captured in Kalamata were transported by train to prisoner of war camps.
British India (including the areas and peoples covered by the later Republic of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Burma/Myanmar) and territories controlled by the Colonial Office, namely the Crown Colonies, were controlled politically by the UK and therefore also entered hostilities with Britain's declaration of war. At the outbreak of World War II, the Indian army numbered 205,000 men. Later during World War II the Indian Army became the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size. These forces included tank, artillery and airborne forces. Indian soldiers earned 30 Victoria Crosses during the Second World War. It suffered 1,500,000 civilian casualties (more than the United Kingdom), mainly from the Bengal famine of 1943 caused by the fall of Burma to the Japanese and the transfer of food to the war effort, and 87,000 military casualties (more than any Crown colony but fewer than the United Kingdom). The UK suffered 382,000 military casualties.
Kuwait was a protectorate of the United Kingdom formally established in 1920.
Self-governing sovereign dominions or protectorates
Australia was a self-governing sovereign dominion under the British monarchy under the terms of the Balfour Declaration of 1926.
Canada was a self-governing sovereign dominion under the Statute of Westminster in 1931. Canada declared war on Germany several days after Britain declared war.
New Zealand was a self-governing sovereign dominion under the British monarchy under the terms of the Balfour Declaration of 1926...
South Africa was a self-governing sovereign dominion under the British monarchy the terms of the Balfour Declaration of 1926. South Africa held authority over the mandate of South-West Africa.
Since the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War in 1927, China had been divided between the internationally-recognized Nationalist China under the leadership of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek versus Communist China under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Efforts were made between the Nationalists and the Communists to form a united front against the Japanese invasion, however the two factions remained divided between Nationalist-held and Communist-held territories of China. United States Ambassador to China Patrick J. Hurley met with both Chiang and Mao.
In the 1920s China was assisted by the Soviet Union, which helped to reorganise the ruling party, superficially at least, along Leninist lines: a unification of party, state, and army. However, following the nominal unification of China in 1928, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek purged leftists from his party and fought against the Chinese Communist Party, former warlords, and other militarist factions. A fragmented China provided easy opportunities for Japan to gain territories piece by piece without engaging in total war. Following the 1931 Mukden Incident, the puppet state of Manchukuo was established. Throughout the early to mid-1930s, Chiang's anti-communist and anti-militarist campaigns continued while he fought small, incessant conflicts against Japan, usually followed by unfavorable settlements and concessions. Following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 7 July 1937, China and Japan became embroiled in a full-scale war which continued until 1945. The Soviet Union, wishing to keep China in the fight against Japan, supplied China with some military assistance until 1941, when it signed a non aggression pact with Japan.
Prior to the alliance of Germany and Italy to Japan, the Nationalist Government held close relations with both Germany and Italy. In the early 1930s, Sino-German cooperation between the Nationalist Government and Germany in military and industrial matters. Nazi Germany provided the largest proportion of Chinese arms imports and technical expertise. Relations between the Nationalist Government and Italy during the 1930s varied, however even after the Nationalist Government followed League of Nations sanctions against Italy for its invasion of Ethiopia, the international sanctions proved unsuccessful, and relations between the Fascist government in Italy and the Nationalist Government in China returned to normal shortly afterwards. Up until 1936, Mussolini had provided the Nationalists with Italian military air and naval missions to help the Nationalists fight against Japanese incursions and communist insurgents. Italy also held strong commercial interests and a strong commercial position in China. However after 1936 the relationship between the Nationalist Government and Italy changed due to a Japanese diplomatic proposal to recognize the Italian Empire that included occupied Ethiopia within it in exchange for Italian recognition of Manchukuo, Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano accepted this offer by Japan, and on 23 October 1936 Japan recognized the Italian Empire and Italy recognized Manchukuo, as well as discussing increasing commercial links between Italy and Japan.
The Nationalist Government held close relations with the United States. The United States opposed Japan's invasion of China in 1937 that it considered an illegal violation of China's sovereignty, and offered the Nationalist Government diplomatic, economic, and military assistance during its war against Japan. In particular, the United States sought to bring the Japanese war effort to a complete halt by imposing a full embargo on all trade between the United States to Japan, Japan was dependent on the United States for 80 percent of its petroleum, resulting in an economic and military crisis for Japan that could not continue its war effort with China without access to petroleum. In November 1940, American military aviator Claire Lee Chennault upon observing the dire situation in the air war between China and Japan, set out to organize a volunteer squadron of American fighter pilots to fight alongside the Chinese against Japan, this squadron was known as the Flying Tigers. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted dispatching the Flying Tigers to China in early 1941. However, the Flying Tigers only became operational shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Soviet Union recognized the Republic of China but urged reconciliation with the Communist Party of China and inclusion of Communists in the government. The Soviet Union also urged military and cooperation between Nationalist China and Communist China during the war.
Even though the Republic of China had been fighting the longest among all the Allied powers, it only officially joined the Allies after the attack on Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek thought Allied victory was assured with the entrance of the United States into the war, and he declared war on Germany and the other Axis nations. However, Allied aid remained low because the Burma Road was closed and the Allies suffered a series of military defeats against Japan early on in the campaign. General Sun Li-jen led the R.O.C. forces to the relief of 7,000 British forces trapped by the Japanese in the Battle of Yenangyaung. He then reconquered North Burma and re-established the land route to China by the Ledo Road. But the bulk of military aid did not arrive until the spring of 1945. More than 1.5 million Japanese troops were trapped in the China Theatre, troops that otherwise could have been deployed elsewhere if China had collapsed and made a separate peace.
Communist China had been tacitly supported by the Soviet Union since the 1920s, though the Soviet Union diplomatically recognized the Republic of China, Joseph Stalin supported cooperation between the Nationalists and the Communists—including pressuring the Nationalist Government to grant the Communists state and military positions in the government. This was continued into the 1930s that fell in line with the Soviet Union's policy of popular fronts that sought to increase communists' influence in governments. The Soviet Union urged military and cooperation between Soviet China and Nationalist China during China's war against Japan. Initially Mao Zedong accepted the demands of the Soviet Union and in 1938 had recognized Chiang Kai-Shek as the "leader" of the "Chinese people". In turn, the Soviet Union accepted Mao's tactic of "continuous guerilla warfare" in the countryside that involved a goal of extending the Communist bases, even if it would result in increased tensions with the Nationalists.
Beginning in early 1930s, Germany and China became close partners in areas of military and industrial exchange. Nazi Germany provided the largest proportion of Chinese arms imports and technical expertise. Following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 7, 1937, China and Japan became embroiled in a full-scale war that continued until 1945. Initially, Germany denounced Japanese war crimes in China, such as the Nanking Massacre of 1937. However Germany also recognized that Japan was more capable of fighting the Soviet Union, and soon broke off the cooperation with China in May 1938. The Soviet Union, wishing to keep China in the fight against Japan, supplied China with some military assistance until 1941, after which it made peace with Japan to prepare for the war against Germany.
The Communist Party's position in China was boosted upon the intervention of the Soviet Union in Manchuria against the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo and Japanese military forces in China. Upon the intervention of the Soviet Union against Japan in World War II in 1945, Mao Zedong in April and May 1945 had planned to mobilize 150,000 to 250,000 soldiers from across China to work with forces of the Soviet Union in capturing Manchuria.
France experienced several major phases of action during World War II:
- The "Phoney War" of 1939–1940, also called drôle de guerre in France, dziwna wojna in Poland (both meaning "Strange War"), or the "Sitzkrieg" ("Sitting War") in Germany.
- The Battle of France in May–June 1940, which resulted in the defeat of the Allies, the fall of the French Third Republic and the creation of the rump state Vichy France which received diplomatic recognition by the major part of the international community, including the government of the United States.
- The period of French Resistance and Free French Forces, from 1940–1944, until the June 1944 D-Day invasions part of the Battle of Normandy and the August 1944 invasion of southern France in Operation Dragoon, which led to the Liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 and the liberation of France by the allies. Free France was a government-in-exile recognized, between major Allies, only by Britain.
- The political creation of the Provisional Government of the French Republic, and the military actions following the redesignation of "French Army B" as the First French Army, including the final drive on Germany, which culminated in V-E Day, on 7 May 1945.
Colonies and dependencies
In the Americas
Self-governing sovereign dominions or protectorates
The French government in 1936 attempted to grant independence to its mandate of Syria in the Franco-Syrian Treaty of Independence of 1936 signed by France and Syria. However opposition to the treaty grew in France and the treaty was not ratified. Syria had become an official republic in 1930 and was largely self-governing.
In 1941, forces loyal to the Vichy regime took control of Syria. However in 1941, a British-led invasion supported by Free French forces expelled Vichy French forces.
The invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, started the war in Europe, and the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany on 3 September. Poland fielded the third biggest army among the European Allies, after the Soviet Union and United Kingdom, but before France. The country never officially surrendered to the Third Reich and continued the war effort under the Polish government in exile. However, the Soviet Union unilaterally considered the flight to Romania of President Ignacy Mościcki and Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły on 17 September as an evidence of debellatio causing the extinction of Polish State, and consequently declared itself allowed to invade (according to Soviet position: "to protect") Eastern Poland starting from the same day. It must be noted that the Red Army had invaded the Second Polish Republic several hours before Polish president fled to Romania. The Soviets invaded on Sept. 17 at 3 a.m., while president Mościcki crossed the Polish-Romanian border at 21:45 on the same day.
Polish soldiers fought under the command of the Polish Government in Exile in many parts of the world. They were major contributors to the allies in the theatre of war west of Germany and in the theatre of war east of Germany, with the Soviet Union. They also had minor contributions in the Atlantic Ocean and in Scandinavia. The Polsh Air Force fought in the Battle of Britain. The Polish expeditionary corps played minor roles in the Battle of France, and important ones in the Italian and North African Campaigns. They are particularly well remembered for their conduct at the Battle of Monte Cassino, a conflict which culminated in the raising of a Polish flag over the ruins of the mountain-top abbey by the 12th Podolian Uhlans. The Polish forces in the theatre of war east of Germany were commanded by Lieutenant General Władysław Anders. The Polish People's Army took part in the Battle of Berlin, the closing battle of the European theater of war. They occupied the city alongside the Soviet Red Army.
Home Army, the largest underground force in Europe, and other resistance organizations in occupied Poland provided intelligence that enabled successful operations later in the war and led to uncovering the Nazi war crimes (i.e., death camps) to the Western Allies. Notable Polish units fought in every campaign in Europe and North Africa (outside the Balkans). Polish Armed Forces in the West were created in France and, after its fall, in the United Kingdom. The Soviet Union recognized the London-based government but broke diplomatic relations after the revelation of the Katyn massacre. In 1943, the Soviet Union organized the Polish People's Army under Zygmunt Berling, around which it constructed the post-war successor state People's Republic of Poland.
The Netherlands became an Allied member after being invaded in 1940 by Germany. During the ensuing campaign, the Netherlands were defeated and occupied by Germany. The Netherlands was liberated by Canadian and British forces in 1945. The Prinses Irene brigade, formed from escapees from the German invasion, took part in several actions in 1944 in Arromances and in 1945 in the Netherlands.
Colonies and dependencies
The Dutch East Indies was the principal Dutch colony in Asia. They were attacked by Japan in 1942. During the Dutch East Indies Campaign the Netherlands played a significant role in the Allied effort to halt the Japanese advance as part of the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command. After several naval battles around Java, the ABDA-fleet was mostly destroyed and the ABDA Command was dissolved. The Japanese occupied the Dutch East Indies finally in February–March 1942. Dutch troops, aircraft and escaped ships continued to fight on the Allied side, and also waged a guerrilly campaign in Timor.
Belgium, a neutral country before the war, became an Allied member after being invaded on 10 May 1940 by Germany. During the Battle of Belgium, the country worked together with the rest of the Allies to thwart the German invasion. Although the German attack onto Belgium was only a secondary effort to distract from the real German offensive through the Ardennes, Germany was able to push the Belgian Army back deep into the country. While the British and French were struggling against the fast German advance elsewhere on the front, the Belgian forces were mostly left alone on the northern flank on their own. Finally on 28 May, the Belgian King Leopold III surrendered personally to the German forces, having decided the Allied cause was lost. Belgian troops and pilots continued to fight on the Allied side as the Free Belgian Forces. Belgium was fully liberated in 1945, after the failed German's counteroffensive in the Ardennes in December 1944 (the Battle of the Bulge).
Colonies and dependencies
Belgium had one colony and one mandate dependency in Africa, the colony of the Belgian Congo and the mandate of Ruanda-Urundi. The Belgian Congo was not occupied and remained loyal to the Allies, while its uranium deposits were key to the allied efforts to develop the atomic bomb. Troops from the Belgish Congo also participated in the East African Campaign against the Italian Empire. The colonial Force Publique also served in other theatres like Madagascar, India or Burma, aiding the Allies.
Military-contributing minor powers
Yugoslavia entered the war on the Allied side after invasion by the Axis powers in 1941. The country was occupied, with the anti-Axis resistance movement split between the royalist Chetniks and the communist Yugoslav Partisans of Josip Broz Tito who fought against each other during the war. The Yugoslav Partisans managed to put up considerable resistance to the Axis occupation, forming various liberated territories during the war. In 1944, the leading Allied powers persuaded Tito's Yugoslav Partisans and the royalist Yugoslav government led by Prime Minister Ivan Šubašić to sign the Treaty of Vis that created Democratic Federal Yugoslavia that would be a federal democracy that would hold a referendum on whether to retain the monarchy or become a republic after the war was over. Tito became head of government while Ivan Šubašić became foreign minister.
The Partisans were a major Yugoslav resistance movement against the Axis occupation and partition of Yugoslavia. Initially the Partisans were in rivalry with the Chetniks over control of the resistance movement. However the Partisans were recognized by both the Eastern and Western Allies as the primary resistance movement in 1943.
The Chetniks, the short name given to the movement titled the Yugoslav Army of the Fatherland, were initially a major Allied Yugoslav resistance movement, however due to their royalist and anti-communist views, Chetniks began collaborating with the Axis as a tactical move to focus on destroying their Partisan rivals. The Chetniks presented themselves as a Yugoslav movement, but were primarily a Serb movement.
Initially, Brazil maintained a position of neutrality, trading with both the Allies and the Axis Powers, while Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas's quasi-Fascist policies indicated a leaning toward the Axis powers. However, as the war progressed, trade with the Axis countries became almost impossible and the United States initiated forceful diplomatic and economic efforts to bring Brazil onto the Allied side.
At the beginning of 1942, Brazil permitted the United States to set up air bases on its territory, especially in Natal, strategically located at the corner of the South American continent, and on 28 January the country severed diplomatic relations with Germany, Japan, and Italy. After that, 36 Brazilian merchant ships were sunk by the German and Italian navies, which led the Brazilian government to declare war against Germany and Italy on 22 August 1942.
Brazil then sent a 25,700 strong Expeditionary Force to Europe that fought mainly on the Italian front, from September 1944 to May 1945. Also, the Brazilian Navy and Air Force acted in the Atlantic Ocean from the middle of 1942 until the end of war. Brazil was the only South American country to send troops to fight in the European theatre in the Second World War.
Mexico declared war on Germany in 1942 after German submarines attacked Mexican oil tankers Potrero del Llano and the Faja de Oro that were transporting crude oil to the United States. These attacks prompted President Manuel Ávila Camacho to declare war on the Axis powers.
Mexico formed Escuadrón 201 fighter squadron as part of the Fuerza Aérea Expedicionaria Mexicana (FAEM—"Mexican Expeditionary Air Force"). The squadron was attached to the 58th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces and carried out tactical air support missions during the liberation of the main Philippine island of Luzon in the summer of 1945.
Some 300,000 Mexican citizens went to the United States to work in factories that produced war supplies and to help in any way that would benefit the Allies. Around 15,000 US nationals of Mexican origin and Mexican residents in the US enrolled in the US Armed Forces and fought in various fronts around the world.
In 1944, facing Soviet invasion, Romania abandoned the Axis and joined the Allies.
In 1944, facing Soviet invasion, Bulgaria abandoned the Axis and joined the Allies.
Declaration by United Nations
The alliance was formalised in the Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942. There were 26 signatories:
- British India
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- New Zealand
- Soviet Union
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
The United Nations began growing immediately after their formation. In 1942, Mexico, the Philippines and Ethiopia adhered to the declaration. The African nation had been restored in its independence by British forces after the Italian defeat on Amba Alagi in 1941, while the Philippines, still dependent on Washington but granted international diplomatic recognition, was allowed to join on 10 June despite their occupation by Japan.
During 1943, the Declaration was signed by Iraq, Iran, Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia. A Tripartite Treaty of Alliance with Britain and USSR formalised Iran's assistance to the Allies. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian dictator Getúlio Vargas was considered near to fascist ideas, but realistically joined the United Nations after their evident successes.
In 1944, Liberia and France signed. The French situation was very confused. Free France forces were recognized only by Britain, while United States considered Vichy France as the legal government of the country until Operation Overlord, also preparing US occupation francs. Winston Churchill urged Roosevelt restoring France in its status of a major Power after the liberation of Paris in August 1944: the Prime Minister feared that after the war, Britain could remain the sole great Power in Europe facing Communist threat, as it was in 1941 against Nazism.
During the early part of 1945, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria (these latter two French colonies had been declared independent nations by British occupation troops, despite big protests by Petain before, and De Gaulle after) and Ecuador became signatories. Ukraine and Belarus, which were not independent nations but parts of the Soviet Union, were accepted as members of the United Nations as way to provide greater influence to Stalin, who had only Yugoslavia as a communist partner in the alliance.
Charter of the United Nations
The Charter of the United Nations was agreed to during the war at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held between April and July 1945. The Charter was signed by 50 nations on 26 June (Poland had its place reserved and later became the 51st "original" signatory), and was formally ratified shortly after the war on 24 October 1945. The four leading Allied nations, namely China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States met repeatedly during the war, such as at the 1944 conference at Dumbarton Oaks where the formation and permanent seats of the United Nations Security Council were decided. The Security Council met for the first time in the immediate aftermath of war on 17 January 1946.
These are the original 51 signatories (Security Council Permanent members are asterisked):
Summary of Allied declarations of war on Axis Powers
After the German invasion of Poland
- September 1939
- Poland: 1 September 1939
- Australia: 3 September 1939
- France: 3 September 1939 
- New Zealand: 3 September 1939
- United Kingdom: 3 September 1939
- Union of South Africa: 6 September 1939
- Canada: 10 September 1939
- April 1940
After the Phoney War
- Belgium: 10 May 1940
- Luxembourg: 10 May 1940
- Netherlands: 10 May 1940
- Greece: 28 October 1940
- Yugoslavia: 6 April 1941
After the invasion of the USSR
After the attack on Pearl Harbor
- United States of America: 7 December 1941
- Panama: 7 December 1941
- Costa Rica: 8 December 1941
- Dominican Republic: 8 December 1941
- El Salvador: 8 December 1941
- Haiti: 8 December 1941
- Honduras: 8 December 1941
- Nicaragua: 8 December 1941
- China: 9 December 1941
- Cuba: 9 December 1941
- Guatemala: 9 December 1941
- Czechoslovakia: 16 December 1941
After the Declaration by United Nations
- Mexico: 22 May 1942
- Brazil: 22 August 1942
- Ethiopia: 14 December 1942
- Iraq: 17 January 1943
- Bolivia: 7 April 1943
- Colombia: 26 July 1943
- Iran: 9 September 1943
- Italy: 13 October 1943
- Liberia: 27 January 1944
- Peru: 12 February 1944
- Romania: 25 August 1944
- Bulgaria: 8 September 1944
- Thailand: 1944
- Hungary: 20 January 1945
- Ecuador: 2 February 1945
- Paraguay: 7 February 1945
- Uruguay: 15 February 1945
- Venezuela: 15 February 1945
- Turkey: 23 February 1945
- Egypt: 24 February 1945
- Lebanon: 27 February 1945
- Syria: 27 February 1945
- Saudi Arabia: 1 March 1945
- Finland: 3 March 1945 (effectively from 15 September 1944)
- Argentina: 27 March 1945
- Chile: 11 April 1945 (only declares war on Japan, participated only sending economic resources)
- Monroe Edwin Price, Mark Thompson. Forging Peace: Intervention, Human Rights, and the Management of Media Space. Bloomington, Indiana, USA: Indiana University Press, Nov 1, 2002. P. 5.
- Davies 2006, pp 150–151.
- The Real History of World War II: A .... Google Books. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- Encyclopædia Britannica (2009). "Allied Powers‑International Alliance also called Allies". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
- Hakim, Joy (1995). A History of Us: War, Peace and all that Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509514-6.
- A Decade of American Foreign Policy 1941–1949
- Doenecke, Justus D.; Stoler, Mark A. (2005). Debating Franklin D. Roosevelt's foreign policies, 1933–1945. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8476-9416-X. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- Douglas Brinkley, FDR & the Making of the U.N.
- Churchill, Winston S. (1981) . The Second World War, Volume VI: Triumph and Tragedy. Houghton-Mifflin Company. p. 561.
- Helen Rapport. Joseph Stalin: A Biographical Companion. Santa Barbara, California, USA: ABC-CLIO, 1999. P. 104.
- Paul Bushkovitch. A Concise History of Russia. Cambridge, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2012. P. 390–391.
- The Soviet Union and Communist China, 1945–1950: The Road to Alliance. P. 78.
- Overy 1997, pp 41, 43–7.
- Davies 2006, pp 148–51.
- Davies 2006, pp 16, 154.
- Khudoley, Konstantin K. (2009). "The Baltic factor". In Hiden, John. The Baltic question during the Cold War. Vahur Made, David J. Smith. Psychology Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-415-37100-1.
- Geoffrey, Roberts (2004). "Ideology, calculation, and improvisation. Sphere of influence and Soviet foreign policy 1939–1945". In Martel, Gordon. The World War Two reader. Routledge. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-415-22402-4.
- Roberts, Geoffrey (1995). "Soviet policy and the Baltic States, 1939–1940 a reappraisal". Diplomacy & Statecraft (Francis & Taylor) 6 (3): 672–700. doi:10.1080/09592299508405982.
- Toomas Alatalu. Tuva. A State Reawakens. Soviet Studies, Vol. 44, No. 5 (1992), pp. 881–895
- World War II: People, Politics, and Power. Britannica Educational Publishing. Pp. 200–201.
- Stanley Sandler. World War II in the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. New York, New York, USA; London, England, UK: Garland Publishing, Inc, 2001. P. 235.
- Chris Henry. The Battle of the Coral Sea. London, England, UK: Compendium Publishing; Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press, 2003. P. 84.
- Keegan, John. "The Second World War." New York: Penguin, 2005. (275)
- Anita J. Prazmowska. Britain and Poland 1939–1943: The Betrayed Ally. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995. P. 31.
- Thomas Power Lowry, John W. G. Wellham. The Attack on Taranto: Blueprint for Pearl Harbor. First paperback edition. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA: Stackpole Books, 2000. P. 21, 104.
- Gordon, Leonard A., Review of Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: The Famine of 1943–1944 by Greenough, Paul R., The American Historical Review, Vol. 88, No. 4 (Oct. 1983), p. 1051 <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1874145>
- G. Bruce Strang. On the fiery march: Mussolini prepares for war. Westport, Connecticut, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., 2003. Pp. 58–59.
- G. Bruce Strang. On the fiery march: Mussolini prepares for war. Westport, Connecticut, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., 2003. Pp. 59–60.
- Euan Graham. Japan's sea lane security, 1940–2004: a matter of life and death? Oxon, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2006. Pp. 77.
- Guo wu yuan. Xin wen ban gong shi. Col. C.L. Chennault and Flying Tigers. English translation. State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. Pp. 16.
- Frederic J. Fleron, Erik P. Hoffmann, Robbin Frederick Laird. Soviet Foreign Policy: Classic and Contemporary Issues. Third paperback edition. New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA: Transaction Publishers, 2009. Pp. 236.
- Dieter Heinzig. The Soviet Union and communist China, 1945–1950: the arduous road to the alliance. M.E. Sharpe, 2004. Pp. 9.
- Dieter Heinzig. The Soviet Union and communist China, 1945–1950: the arduous road to the alliance. M.E. Sharpe, 2004. Pp. 79.
- "When the US wanted to take over France‑Le Monde diplomatique‑English edition". Le Monde diplomatique. May 2003. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- "Military contribution of Poland to World War II – Wojsko Polskie – Departament Wychowania i Promocji Obronności". Wojsko-polskie.pl. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- Molotov declaration of 17 September 1939
- Radio RMF FM, 73. rocznica sowieckiej napaści na Polskę, 17.09.2012
- Prezydent Ignacy Mościcki cz 3 prof. dr hab. Andrzej Garlicki Uniwersytet Warszawski
- At the siege of Tobruk
- including the capture of the monastery hill at the Battle of Monte Cassino
- Klemen, L. "201st Mexican Fighter Squadron". The Netherlands East Indies 1941–1942.201st Mexican Fighter Squadron
- Plascencia de la Parra, E. La infantería Invisible:Mexicanos en la Segunda Guerra Mundial.México. Ed. UNAM. Retrieved 27 April 2012 
- Motter, T.H. Vail (2000) . "Chapter I: Experiment in Co-operation". The Persion Corridor and Aid to Russia. United States Army in World War II. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 8-1. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- United Nations Security Council: Official Records: First Year, First Series, First Meeting
- Government-in-exile of Free France continued fighting with Britain from 18 June 1940 to 19 August 1944. Philippe Pétain's government formally capitulated on 22 June 1940 and the Vichy regime was later an Axis supporter. Free France contributed to Allied war effort; the Provisional Government of the French Republic was officially recognized by the Allies as the legitimate government of France, on 23 October 1944 (Ordre de la Libération). Pétain's demand of surrender in 1940 was also legally nullified, as was the Vichy regime as a whole (ref)
- "DECLARATION BY UNITED NATIONS". Book Department, Army Information School, Carlisle Barrack nars, Pa., May 1946 and ibiblio. 1 January 1942.
- While its foreign and military affairs were controlled by the UK, the British government gave its administrators in India the ability to act in certain matters and India was a member of the League of Nations.
- "United Nations member States – Growth in United Nations membership, 1945–present". United Nations. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- Germany occupied Denmark in 1940 and the Danish government surrendered. The government disbanded in 1942 and Denmark was subject to direct rule by Nazi Germany. Denmark was accepted as a founding member of the UN in 1945.
- Formally member of Axis from 25 March to 6 April 1941, Yugoslavia was initially represented as an Ally by the government-in-exile of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, a signatory to the Declaration by the United Nations. Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, which would succeed the kingdom, was founded on 29 November 1943 by the communist-led Yugoslav Partisans, who were recognised as the official Yugoslav armed resistance force two days later at the Tehran Conference.
- Soldiers from that independent country fought on the Soviet-German front in 1943–44. Toomas Alatalu. Tuva. A State Reawakens. Soviet Studies, Vol. 44, No. 5 (1992), pp. 881–895.
- The US Philippine Independence Act of 1934 did not grant full independence: there was a 10-year transition to full independence, during which the US was responsible for the Philippines' foreign policy and controlled the Philippine Army. See, e.g.: Dolan, Ronald E., ed. (1991–20). "Commonwealth Politics, 1935–41", in Philippines: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0748-8.
- Philippine foreign and military affairs were limited and largely influenced by the United States. However, its government-in-exile signed the Declaration by United Nations on 10 June 1942.
- At war with the Empire of Japan since 1937.
- Government-in-exile, the state having been disbanded by Germany in March 1939. The exiled Czechs fought alongside the Allies since the very beginning of the war.
- Formerly annexed by Italy t h the Abyssinia Crisis.
- Occupied by Allies in 1941.
- Former Axis power. Italy surrendered unconditionally to the Allies on 8 September 1943, and declared war on Germany on 13 October. Italy declared war on Japan on 14 July 1945, effective from 15 July. The country did not join the United Nations during the war.
- Former Axis power. Romania accepted Allied armistice terms on 23 August 1944; declared war on Germany (25 August 1944), Hungary (7 September 1944), and Japan (7 March 1945); and signed an armistice with the Allies on 12 September. Romanian troops fought alongside the Soviets against Axis forces in Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria during 1944–45. Romania did not join the United Nations during the war.
- Former Axis power. Bulgaria declared war on Germany on 8 September 1944 and signed an armistice with the Allies on 28 October. Bulgarian troops fought alongside the Soviets against Axis forces in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Austria during 1944–45. Bulgaria did not join the United Nations during the war.
- Former Axis power. Hungary signed an armistice with the Allies and declared war on Germany on 20 January 1945. The country did not join the United Nations during the war.
- Former co-belligerent of Germany in the Continuation War. Finland signed an armistice with the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom on 19 September 1944, and fought against German forces in the Lapland War from 1 October 1944. On 3 March 1945, Finland retroactively declared war on Germany from 15 September 1944. Finland did not join the United Nations during the war.
- En consejo de gabinete se firmó el decreto que declara el estado de guerra con el Japón. El Mercurio 12 de abril 1945 (periódico chileno)
- Quedó aprobada la declaración de guerra al Japón. El Mercurio 13 de abril 1945 (periódico chileno)
- Davies, Norman (2006), Europe at War 1939–1945: No Simple Victory. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-69285-3
- Overy, Richard (1997), Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941–1945. New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-027169-4.
- R. Holland (1981), Britain and the Commonwealth alliance, 1918–1939, London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-27295-4
- Changing Alliances In the International Arena
- The Atlantic Conference: Resolution of 24 September 1941
- WWII: Key Allied Figures – slideshow by Life magazine