The World War II Portal
World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict. It began as the joining of what had initially been two separate conflicts, with the first beginning in Asia in 1937 (the Second Sino-Japanese War) and the other beginning in Europe in 1939 (the German and Soviet invasion of Poland).
The war split the majority of the world's nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history, and placed the participants in a state of "total war", which erased the distinction between civil and military resources and resulted in the complete activation of a nation's economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities for the purposes of the war effort. Over 70 million people, the majority of them civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.
The Allies won the war, and as a result, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as the world's leading superpowers. This set the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 45 years. The United Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The self-determination spawned by the war accelerated decolonization movements in Asia and Africa, while Europe itself began moving toward integration.
was the overall Allied
plan for the invasion of Japan
near the end of World War II
. The operation was cancelled when Japan surrendered
following the atomic bombing
, and the Soviet Union
's declaration of war against Japan.Operation Downfall
consisted of two parts--Operation Olympic
and Operation Coronet
. Set to begin in October 1945, Operation Olympic
was intended to capture the southern third of the southernmost main Japanese island of Ky?sh?
, with the recently captured
island of Okinawa
to be used as a staging area. Later, in the spring of 1946, Operation Coronet
was the planned invasion of the Kant? plain
on the Japanese island of Honsh?
. Airbases on Ky?sh? captured in Operation Olympic
would allow land-based air support for Operation Coronet
. Japan's geography
made this invasion plan obvious to the Japanese as well; they were able to accurately deduce the Allied invasion plans and adjust their defensive plans accordingly. The Japanese planned an all-out defense of Ky?sh?, with little left in reserve for any subsequent defense operations.
was a series of light tanks
developed in Spain
between 1938 and 1954 in an attempt to replace German Panzer I
and Soviet T-26
tanks in Spanish service. The program was headed by Captain Félix Verdeja Bardales
and led to the development of four prototype vehicles, including a self-propelled howitzer
armed with a 75 mm gun. It was designed as an advanced light tank and was one of the first development programs which took into account survivability of the crew as opposed to the protection of the tank. The tank was influenced by several of the light tanks which it was intended to replace, including the Panzer I and T-26, both of which were originally used during the Spanish Civil War
. The Verdeja was considered a superior tank to the T-26 after a lengthy testing period, yet was never put into mass production.Three light tank prototypes were manufactured between 1938 and 1942, including the Verdeja 1 and the Verdeja 2. Interest in the vehicle's development waned after the end of the Second World War
. Despite attempts to fit a new engine in the Verdeja 2 and convert the Verdeja 1 into a self-propelled artillery
piece, ultimately the program was unofficially canceled in favor of adopting the US M47 Patton Tank