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May 31, 2005
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All Participants of World War II
On May 9, 1945, the troops of the USSR jointly with the Allies defeated the German army in the Second World War. Germany’s allies conceded defeat in September 1945. All in all there were 57 countries involved in the war*. Vlast presents a catalogue with the information on their participation: where, when and how they fought; what they lost and gained.
*The independent states (or the states that gained independence during the war) that officially announced about entering the war.

The authors and compilers: Ekaterina Adamova, Anna Inozemtseva, Olga Kalinina, Kirill Novikov, Dmitry Pugachenko, Aleksandr Serebryakov, Maksim Sukhmansky

Australia

Period of participation: September 3, 1939 – September 2, 1945 (2191 days).

Population: 7,7 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 80 thousand people; 164 planes; 6 battle ships (1939).

Leadership: prime ministers Robert Menzies (April 26, 1939 – August 28, 1941), Arthur Fadden (August 28 – October 7, 1941), John Curtin (October 7, 1941 – January 30, 1945), Ben Chifley (provisional April 30 – July 6, 1945; July 13, 1945 – December 19, 1949), Frank Ford (July 6 – July 13, 1945).

History of participation: on September 3, 1939 as a dominion that was obliged to render military support to the parent state Australia declared war on Germany after the declaration of war by the government of Great Britain. During January 1940 – February 1943 Australians participated in the operations in North Africa, Greece and in the Middle East. The Australian 6th and 9th infantry divisions under the command of General Leslie Morshed made their mark in defending the Torbuk Libyan city from the German troops (April 1941 – June 1942). By February 1943 the land forces were called back to Australia in connection with the threat of the Japanese invasion. During 1939-1945 four hundred and fifty Australian pilots participated in the operations in Europe in the composition of the British Air Force. During the period of September 1941 – September 1945 together with the British and then the Americans the Australians fought on the Malay Peninsula, the islands of Sumatra, Timor, New Guinea, Yava, Kalimantan, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands. In June 1942, they held off the Japanese offensive in Port Moresby (New Guinea). Had the Japanese captured Port Moresby this would have allowed them to create the beachhead in Australia. In July 1943, Australian ships were involved in the Allied invasion of Sicily. During January 1941-August 1945 the Australian Navy participated in the battles and transportation operations in the Pacific.

Losses: 39,4 thousand military and 735 civilians perished.

Results: during the years of the war Australia’s dependence upon Great Britain was weakened. The country became USA’s key ally in the Pacific region. The Australian Navy and Air Force increased (up to 150 ships and 3,1 thousand planes accordingly). The development of the military industry stimulated the economic growth in the country.

Argentina

Period of participation: March 27, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (160 days).

Population: 15,39 million (1945).

Armed Forces: 66 thousand people, 28 ships (1945).

Leadership: president Edelmiro Julian Farrell (February 24, 1944 – June 4, 1946)

History of participation: prior to the war Argentina actively cooperated with Germany. There were more than 200 thousand Germans living in the country. That was why on September 4, 1939 the country declared its neutrality. However, under the pressure of the USA that applied economic sanctions in 1942 the country’s leadership allowed the American Air Force to use the Argentinean ports. On January 26, 1944 Argentina broke off diplomatic relations with Germany and Japan and on March 27, 1945 when the defeat of the Axis countries became obvious Argentina declared war on them. At the same time beginning with 1945 German submarines with high-ranking Nazis and valuables secretly arrived in the country. In 1946-1950 more than 180 higher German officers moved to Argentina. The majority of them were appointed to the Armed Forces of Argentina.

Losses: not registered.

Results: maneuvering between the warring parties Argentina not only got investments from the USA and nationalized German enterprises but also enriched itself thanks to the valuables exported by the Nazis from Germany.

Belgium

Period of participation: May 10, 1940 – May 8, 1945 (1824 days).

Population: 8,367 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 600 thousand people; 18 infantry divisions, 2 cavalry divisions, 2 Ardennes chasseurs divisions; 185 planes, 1338 pieces of artillery and mortars (1940).

Leadership: the head of the state – King Leopold III (February 23, 1932 – July 16, 1951); prime ministers Hubert Pierlot (February 22, 1939 – February 12, 1945; headed the government in exile from May 20, 1940 to September 8, 1944), Achille van Acker (February 12, 1945 – March 13, 1946).

History of participation: at the beginning of the war Belgium maintained neutrality but its territory was attacked by the Germans on May 10, 1944. Belgium asked England and France for help. The Belgian command planned to contain the Germans until the Allies arrived falling back upon the line of defence along the Albert Canal and the Maas River and five fortified areas. However, already on May 10 the Germans captured the bridges that were defended by 1200 Belgian soldiers and officers. On May 28, the troops of the country capitulated. Leopold III stayed in the country and cooperated with the Nazis. The Germans used the territory of Belgium to station FAU-2 missiles, which afterwards were fired at London. During the years of the occupation there was an anti-fascist underground in Belgium. It passed to active operations after the Allied landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944. The fighters of the Belgian guerilla army independently captured a number of inhabited localities in the district of Liege, Esne and Recogne. On September 2, 1944 the Allies liberated Brussels, by September 8 the territory of the country was mostly set free. Starting with the end of 1944 until the April of 1945 the Germans systematically fired at Belgian cities; around 5 thousand FAU-2 missiles were fired at Antwerp and Liege. Units of Belgian Resistance participated in the battles on the territory of Germany in the composition of Canadian troops.

Losses: 13 thousand military and around 75 thousand civilians perished.

Results: after the war King Leopold III lost his throne but the country retained its monarchy. The damage to the economy of Belgium was relatively insignificant.

Bulgaria

Period of participation: December 13, 1941 – May 7, 1945 (1241 days).

Population: 6,3 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 230 thousand people (16 infantry divisions, 2 cavalry divisions, 1 motorized brigade), around 300 planes, 8 attack boats (1941).

Leadership: the head of the state – Tsar Boris III (October 3, 1918 – August 28, 1943), Tsar Simeon II (August 28, 1943 – September 15, 1946). Prime minister Bogdan Filov (February 15, 1940 – September 9, 1943), Petr Dimitrov Gabrovsky (September 9 – September 14, 1943), Dobri Bozhilov (September 14, 1943 – June 1, 1944), Ivan Bagryanov (June 1 – September 2, 1944), Konstantin Vladov Muraviev (September 2 – September 9, 1944), Kimon Georgiev (September 9, 1944 – September 15, 1946).

History of participation: on March 1, 1941, Bulgaria joined the Hitler block. It rendered its territory for the deployment of the German troops. On April 9, 1941, Germany attacked Greece and Yugoslavia from this foothold. Once they were destroyed Bulgaria got a large part of the Yugoslavian Macedonia, Frakia and part of the South-Eastern Serbia. Bulgarian troops occupied these territories and fought against the Yugoslavian guerilla fighters in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Despite Germany’s pressure Bulgaria did not declare war on the USSR but on December 13, 1941 it declared war on Great Britain and the USA. On August 26, 1944 the country announced its neutrality and required that the German troops be withdrawn from its territory. On September 5, 1944, the USSR declared war on Bulgaria. On September 8-9, the Fatherland Front that consisted of the leftist parties staged a coup in the country. On October 28, 1944, the new government of Kimon Georgiev signed a truce with the USSR. The Bulgarian troops participated in the battles against the Germans in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Slovenia.

Losses: according to difference sources, 10 to 25 thousand military perished; irreparable losses of the civilian population – 10 to 50 thousand people.

Results: the Bulgarian monarchy fell, the country got into the sphere of influence of the USSR.

Bolivia

Period of participation: April 7, 1943 – September 2, 1945 (879 days).

Population: 2,8 million (1943).

Armed Forces: 15 thousand people (1938).

Leadership: presidents Enrique Penaranda del Castillo (April 15, 1940 – December 20, 1943), Gualberto Villarroel Lopez (December 20, 1943 – July 22, 1946).

History of participation: on April 7, 1943 under the pressure exerted by the USA the country’s leadership issued a decree on the declaration of war on the Axis countries. The decree was ratified on December 4. Bolivia delivered tin to the Allies and did not participate in operations. In December 1943, as a result of the coup Villarroel Lopez came to power. He had been supported by the pro-Nazi forces. However, in exchange for the recognition of his government by Washington he was compelled to remain at war with Germany and to oust the advocates of the Nazi ideology from the cabinet.

Losses: not registered.

Results: once Lopez came to power America suspended its assistance to Bolivia. This resulted in an economic crisis and another change of power: in July 1946 Tomas Monje Gutierrez took the place of the assassinated Villarroel.

Brazil

Period of participation: August 22, 1942 – September 2, 1945 (1107 days).

Population: 43,1 million (1942).

Armed Forces: 93 thousand people (1942).

Leadership: president Getulio Dornelles Vargas (July 20, 1934 – October 29, 1945).

History of participation: at the beginning of the war Brazil maintained neutrality because in the 1930-s Germany had been its key trade partner. However, when German and Italian submarines held a series of attacks against Brazilian ships dissatisfaction in the country began growing. Soon German enterprises were closed and banking assets frozen. On August 22, 1942, Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy. Brazil bound itself to only render its territory to the USA for its Air Force and Naval bases. However, already in September 1942 the Brazilian fleet was under the control of the Americans and the country became the only state in the Latin America that sent its troops to the front. The Brazilian expedition corps (25 334 men) joined the USA 5th army that fought in Italy. In the winter of 1944/45 the Brazilians participated in the battle for the Monte Castello heights the victory in which allowed the Allies to penetrate into the North of Italy. During the eight months of battles the Brazilian corps took 20 573 prisoners. Apart from that there was a group of Brazilian P-47 fighters in Italy.

Losses: 1189 people perished; 3 ships, 22 fighters, 31 traders were destroyed.

Results: the war cut Brazil off from its trade partners in Europe, which resulted in the growth of the country’s dependence upon the USA. However, the American assistance improved the economic situation in the country, deliveries of weapons to the sum of $ 200 million made it possible to modernize the army. Participation in the war raised the army’s authority and in October 1945, War Minister Pedro Monteiro staged a coup and came to power.

Canada

Period of participation: September 10, 1939 – September 2, 1945 (2182 days).

Population: 11,5 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 61,6 thousand people; 53 planes, 6 destroyers, 5 minesweepers (1939). During the time of the war more than 1 million people were conscripted to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Leadership: prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (October 23, 1935 – November 14, 1948).

History of participation: as Great Britain’s dominion on September 10, 1939 Canada entered the war against Germany. In October 1939, its troops were moved to Great Britain. They first participated in the warfare in August 1942 at the time of the abortive British assault landing on the French coast near Dieppe (3 thousand Canadians died). On July 10, 1943, Canadian troops participated in the Allied invasion of Sicily and then during July-September of the same year – in the operations on the territory of Italy. In June 1944 – May 1945 Canadian 3-d infantry division and 2-d armoured brigade participated in the assault landing in Normandy, in the warfare on the territory of France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Canadian planes fought in Europe from July 1940 to May 1945. The ships of the Canadian Navy escorted Allied fleet and fought against German submarines in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans from September 1939 to May 1945. Canada sent planes, cars, armored vehicles, military ships, transports and food to Great Britain, the USSR and the USA. The pilots for the British Commonwealth were trained on the territory of the country – 130 thousand pilots all in all. Beginning with September 1942 Canada supplied the USA with uranium, which was used for the creation of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Losses: 42 thousand military perished, 54,4 thousand were wounded, 8,9 thousand – taken as prisoners. Material losses constituted around $ 45 billion (in prices of 1945).

Results: the war helped Canada to overcome the consequences of the Great Depression – by 1941 thanks to military orders all the facilities of the country were working, production growth began. By May 1945, 90 shipbuilding yards were built (126 thousand jobs), 4 thousand military and civil ships were launched, around 800 thousand automobiles and armoured cars were produced. By the end of 1945 Canada had one of the largest armies of the world (730 thousand people) and 1,5 thousand planes. In 1945, Canadian Navy was the third in the world after the USA and Great Britain and counted 365 military ships. Canada became one of the countries that founded UNO, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Chile

Period of participation: February 15, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (200 days).

Population: 5,54 million (1945).

Armed Forces: 24 thousand people, 23 ships (1945).

Leadership: president Juan Antonio Rios Morales (April 2, 1942 – June 27, 1946).

History of participation: before the war the country had actively cooperated with Germany, there were 90 thousand Germans living in it. This was why in 1939 Chile preferred to declare its neutrality. However, the political pressure and the military-economic assistance on the part of the USA (in particular, in March 1943 Chile received weaponry to the sum of $ 50 million) made the country’s leadership dismiss pro-fascist officers and liquidate German enterprises. On May 19, 1943, the diplomatic relations with Germany and Italy were severed. On February 15, 1945, war on Germany was declared, on April 11 – war on Japan.

Losses: not registered.

Results: the increase in the demand for the copper ore and oil produced in Chile contributed to the development of its industry.

China

Photo: AP
In the war against Japan China stuck to the formidable defense strategy, which was why its troops were passive. As for the Polish soldiers, they on the contrary took active part in the assault upon Berlin.
Period of participation: September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945 (2224 days).

Population: around 580 million (1937).

Armed Forces: 6,2 million people; 280 infantry divisions, 12 cavalry divisions, 49 infantry brigades, 8 cavalry brigades, 32 artillery regiments.

Leadership: president Chiang Kai-shek (April 12, 1927 – January 21, 1949).

History of participation: on July 7, 1937 the Japanese troops from Manchuria began operations against China. On July 28, 1937 Peking surrendered and on December 13 the Japanese captured Nanking where they destroyed around 300 thousand people. The Chinese troops retreated into the country thanks to which they avoided a complete destruction. In March 1938, they managed to beat back a Japanese offensive in the Tsinan area and in September 1939 – to stop the Japanese under the Changsha city. Trying to put an end to the deliveries of munitions to China Japan instituted control over practically the whole of the country’s coastline but they could not make the Chinese capitulate. In March 1944, Japan defeated the Chinese army another time but they again failed to make China give up the fighting. China stuck to defensive strategy, which was why its troops were rather passive. Since Japan’s resources were limited it concentrated its attention mainly on the war against the USA and Great Britain. China remained a secondary theatre of operations.

Losses: around 1,3 million military perished; irreparable losses of the civilian population – around 10 million people.

Results: after the war China officially restored its sovereignty over Manchuria that had been occupied by Japan as far back as 1931 but actually this territory turned out to be controlled by the communists who were not subordinated to the central government. The Formosa island (Taiwan) that belonged to the Japanese was transferred to China. The country became a permanent member of the UN Security Council. However, it turned out impossible to retain stability in China: in 1946 there began a civil war, which ended in 1949 with the victory of the communists headed by Mao Zedong.

Colombia

Period of participation: November 26, 1943 – September 2, 1945 (646 days).

Population: 9,7 million (1943).

Armed Forces: 17 thousand people (1938).

Leadership: presidents Alfonso Lopez Pumarejo (August 7, 1942 – August 7, 1945), Alberto Lleras Camargo (August 7, 1945 – August 7, 1946).

History of participation: on December 8, 1941 (the next day after the attack against Pearl Harbor) Colombia broke off diplomatic relations with Japan as a sign of support of its influential neighbor. On December 19, the country severed diplomatic relations with Germany and Italy. When in June 1942, a German submarine sank Colombian schooner Resolute and its crew was shot, the government began freezing the accounts of German enterprises. The attack of the German U-505 submarine against schooner Ruby on November 26, 1943 and the execution of its whole crew became the official grounds for the declaration of war on Germany and its allies. The Germans who lived in Colombia were placed in reservations; German schools and enterprises were closed down. The troops did not participate in the warfare but a number of volunteers joined foreign battalions of the USA army. Apart from that Colombia helped the USA to patrol the Caribbean Sea and the Panama Canal and allowed to use its territory for military transit.

Losses: not registered.

Results: the economic instability that was a result of the war brought about the change of the power in July 1945 - radically-minded politicians stepped forth on the political arena; president Lopez Pumarejo was compelled to resign and Alberto Lleras Camargo came to power.

Costa Rica

Period of participation: December 8, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1364 days).

Population: 647 thousand (1941).

Armed Forces: 1 thousand people (1938).

Leadership: presidents Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia (May 8, 1940 – May 8, 1944), Teodoro Picado Michalski (May 8, 1944 – April 20, 1948).

History of participation: Rafael Guardia was supported by the communist party, which was why Costa Rica was one of the few Latin American countries that did not sympathize with the Nazis. As far back as October 1941, the German enterprises in the country were nationalized. On December 8, 1941, after the attack against Pearl Harbor war on Japan was declared, on December 11 – on Germany and Italy. Participation in the war boiled down to the deliveries of food to the Allies. Apart from that Costa Rica granted the permission for the USA to equip an airfield on Cocos Islands.

Losses: not registered.

Results: USA’s financial assistance improved the economic situation in the country.

Cuba

Period of participation: December 9, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1363 days).

Population: 4,3 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 20 thousand people (1939).

Leadership: president Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar (October 10, 1940 – October 10, 1944), Ramon Grau San Martin (October 10, 1944 – October 10, 1948).

History of participation: on December 9, 1941, Cuba that was completely dependent upon the USA declared war on Japan, on December 11 – on Germany and Italy. The country’s authorities froze or confiscated all the assets of the Axis countries. Nazis and everyone who was suspected of sympathizing with them were deported or placed into the concentration camp under Havana. The Guantanamo Bay base became the key American Navy base for the protection of the Caribbean region. New American bases were deployed on the island – San Julian and San-Antonio de Banos. In August 1942, the Cuban government began putting together lists of conscripts but nobody was sent to the front. Only one case of Cuba’s participation in operations is known: on May 15, 1943, in the Caribbean a Cuban CS 13 anti-submarine ship supported by the American aviation sank a German U-176 submarine by depth bombs.

Losses: not registered.

Results: at the beginning of the war thanks to the increase of the demand for Cuban goods the economy was on the rise. By 1944 because of the cuts in export (the bulk of the Cuban merchant fleet had been sunk by German submarines or affreighted by the USA) the situation aggravated, which resulted in the change of the power.

Czechoslovakia

Period of participation: September 1, 1939 – May 11, 1945 (2075 days).

Population: 15,3 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 2 million people; 45 divisions, 469 tanks, 1582 planes, 5700 pieces of artillery and mortars (1938).

Leadership: presidents Emil Hacha (November 30, 1938 – March 15, 1939), Edvard Benes (June 18, 1940 – June 7, 1948; until April 3, 1945 – in emigration). Parallel to that from October 7, 1938 to April 3, 1945 – president of Slovakia Jozef Tiso (collaborator).

History of participation: when Great Britain and France signed the Munich pact with Germany and Italy (September 29, 1938), Czechoslovakia handed over to Germany the Sudeten territory with mostly German population. On March 15, 1939, the country was occupied by the German troops and was turned into the protectorates of Czechia and Moravia. Slovakia was turned into a puppet state headed by Jozef Tiso; part of Slovakia’s border territories went to Hungary and Poland. Slovakia declared war on the USSR on June 23, 1941 and sent its troops to the front. On December 13, 1941, it declared war on Great Britain and the USA. Czechoslovakian volunteers fought against Germany in Poland, France and North Africa. The Czechoslovakian corps of Ludvik Svoboda was shaped in the USSR. On August 29, 1944, there was an anti-fascist revolt in Slovakia. Part of the army joined in but the Germans managed to suppress it. A revolt began in Prague on May 5, 1945, as the Soviet troops were approaching the city. On May 11, the battles were over.

Losses: according to various data, 6,6 to 46 thousand military perished; the irreparable losses of the civilian population constituted around 300 thousand people.

Results: after the war Czechoslovakia was transformed into a federative state. The country got into the sphere of USSR’s influence; on May 9, 1948, Czechoslovakia was declared a “people’s democracy” and got down to the construction of socialism.

Denmark

Period of participation: April 9, 1940 – April 9, 1940 (1 day).

Population: 3,6 million (1940).

Armed Forces: 14,5 thousand people; 2 divisions, 36 planes, 2 patrol crafts, 6 attack boats, 7 submarines, 3 minesweepers (1940).

Leadership: the head of the state – King Christian X (May 14, 1912 – April 20, 1944), prime ministers Thorvald Stauning (April 28, 1929 – May 4, 1942), Vilhelm Buhl (May 4 – November 10, 1942; May 5 – November 8, 1945), Erik Scavenius (November 10, 1942 – August 20, 1943).

History of participation: on April 9, 1940, the German troops invaded Denmark having crossed the land boundary and made an amphibious assault. Resistance was insignificant. The government of Thorvald Stauning agreed to cooperate with the invaders. King Christian X stayed in the country. The bulk of the Danish merchant fleet went into the hands of the Allies. Beginning with 1942 there was a Resistance movement in the country. Until the end of the occupation the Resistance carried out more than 2,7 thousand diversions. Since the Danish government opposed the persecution of Jews in the summer of 1943 the German administration in the face of Reich Commissioner Werner Best assumed all the fullness of the authority. By that time the majority of the Danish Jews had managed to flee to Sweden. The country remained occupied by the Germans until the end of the war.

Losses: 16 military perished, 20 were wounded; irreparable losses of the civil population – around 3 thousand people.

Results: Denmark was affected by the war less than other countries; its economy almost did not suffer and its political system was not changed.

Dominican Republic

Period of participation: December 8, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1364 days).

Population: 1,7 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 8 thousand people (1938).

Leadership: president Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (August 16, 1930 – May 30, 1961).

History of participation: Trujillo was a dictator of a fascist orientation. However, the economic dependence of the republic upon the USA made him declare war on Japan on December 8, 1941 and on Germany and Italy on December 11. The republic rendered practically no assistance to the Allies. They only froze the assets of the Axis countries. In 1943, the USA stationed its military mission in the Dominican Republic. Apart from that the country actively received the Jewish refugees from Europe.

Losses: not registered.

Results: during the time of the war the demand for the key export commodity of the Dominican Republic – sugar cane – began growing. This resulted in the economic growth in the country, which consolidated Trujillo’s positions. He stayed in power for another 15 years.

Ecuador

Period of participation: February 2, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (213 days).

Population: 2,78 million (1945).

Armed Forces: 8 thousand people (1945).

Leadership: president Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra (May 31, 1944 – August 23, 1947).

History of participation: the economic and political pressure brought to bear by the USA compelled Ecuador to break off its diplomatic relations with Italy, Germany and Japan in January 1942 and to allow the Americans to use the Galapagos Islands for the set-up of a military base. In exchange in April 1942 the USA delivered to Ecuador weaponry to the sum of $ 17 million. In February 1945, Ecuador declared war on Germany and Japan. After that the property of the Germans and the Japanese who were living in the country was nationalized.

Losses: not registered.

Results: the American investments have considerably enriched Ecuador. In 1943, the USA invested $10,8 million into the country’s economy; in 1945 the American investments reached $ 14 million.

Egypt

Photo: AP
Period of participation: February 24, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (190 days).

Population: 16,5 million (1939).

Armed Forces: up to 100 thousand people (1939-1945).

Leadership: King Faruk (April 28, 1936 – July 26, 1952).

History of participation: on September 1, 1939 King Faruk broke off diplomatic relations with Germany fulfilling allied obligations to Great Britain. Martial law was introduced in Egypt. Though formally the country maintained neutrality the British used Cairo and Alexandria as military bases proceeding from the agreement on the protection of the Suez Canal. The Egyptian armed forces were used in anti-aircraft defense, combat engineering, provision of communication and transportation. On June 10, 1940, the country severed diplomatic relations with Italy. In September 1940, the Italian troops invaded Egypt but already in December they were squeezed out by the British. In May 1942, the Italian-German army under the command of Erwin Rommel fought through the British defense and reached El Alamein where it was defeated. It was only on February 24, 1945, that Egypt declared war on Germany and Japan – by that time operations had been lead outside the country for quite a while already.

Losses: not registered.

Results: by the autumn of 1944 the country’s economic resources were exhausted, which resulted in the growth of nationalist sentiments. Great Britain was weakened by the war and actually lost control over the situation in Egypt but continued viewing the country as its satellite. On July 23, 1952, nationalist-minded officers staged a coup, made King Faruk relinquish the Crown and announced that Egypt would no longer tolerate Great Britain’s attempt to influence the policy of the country.

El Salvador

Period of participation: December 8, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1364 days).

Population: 1,8 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 4 thousand people (1941).

Leadership: presidents Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez (March 1, 1935 – May 9, 1944) and Salvador Castaneda Castro (March 1, 1945 – December 14, 1948), provisional president Andres Ignacio Menendez (May 9 – October 21, 1944) and Osmin Aguirre y Salinas (October 21, 1944 – March 1, 1945).

History of participation: president Hernandez Martinez sympathized with the Nazi leaders but under the pressure of the USA was compelled to declare war on Japan on December 8, 1941 and on Germany and Italy on December 13. El Salvador’s participation boiled down to the supplies of food (coffee, cocoa, bananas), hemp, timber and rubber to the Allies. The country’s authorities also instituted control over the enterprises that belonged to the Germans and Italians. After the war they were returned to the owners.

Losses: not registered.

Results: during the war the USA rendered financial assistance to El Salvador to keep up inner stability. However, in 1944 the dissatisfaction with the dictatorial regime of Martinez resulted in the change of several leaders. In 1945 it was General Castro that came to power.

Ethiopia (Abyssinia)

Period of participation: September 1, 1939 – May 8, 1945 (2074 days).

Population: 28 million (1935).

Armed Forces: 350 thousand people; 250 pieces of artillery, 600 machine-guns, 5 tanks, 7 planes (1935).

Leadership: emperor Haile Selassie (April 3, 1930 – September 12, 1974).

History of participation: on October 3, 1935, Italy invaded the territory of Ethiopia without declaration of war. The Ethiopian troops offered serious resistance but the forces were unequal: the Italians had tanks and planes; they used chemical weapons (yperite). On April 9, 1936, the Ethiopian troops were finally destroyed at Lake Ascianghi. On May 5, 1936, the Italians entered Addis Ababa and Haile Selassie fled to the British in Palestine. On June 1, 1936, Italy announced about the annexation of Ethiopia. Throughout the years of occupation there was a guerilla war in the country. During the Second World War the Italians delivered blows to Sudan and the British Somali from the territory of Ethiopia. However, the British together with the Ethiopian units under the command of Haile Selassie managed to win the country back. On April 6, 1941, they entered Addis Ababa and the power of the emperor was restored. Officially Ethiopia remained at war against the Axis countries until 1945.

Losses: 16 thousand military perished.

Results: Ethiopia regained independence. The annexation of Eritrea in 1952 was one of the distant consequences of the war. Eritrea was annexed from Italy in 1945; provisional control over the territory was transferred to Great Britain. The question about Eritrea was considered by UNO and was solved in favor of Ethiopia in 1952.

Finland

Period of participation: June 26, 1941 – May 7, 1945 (1411 days).

Population: 4 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 650 thousand people; 16 infantry divisions, 2 chasseur brigades, 1 cavalry brigade; 86 tanks, 22 armoured vehicles, 307 planes, 2 patrol crafts, 4 gunboats, 5 submarines, 6 minesweepers, 16 attack boars (1941).

Leadership: president Risto Ryti (December 21, 1940 – August 4, 1944), president Carl Mannerheim (August 5, 1944 – March 11, 1946).

History of participation: in the course of the Soviet-Finnish war (November 30, 1939 – March 12, 1940) Finland maintained its independence but was compelled to give away 34 thousand square km of its territory to the USSR. On June 26, 1941, Finland declared war on the USSR. Its fleet participated in the mining of the Gulf of Finland; the land power approached Leningrad from the North and occupied part of Karelia. After that the line of the front stabilized. In the North of Finland there was a German group involved in the warfare against the USSR. On June 10, 1944, the Soviet troops began their advance against the Finns and on June 20 they captured Vyborg, on June 22 – Petrozavodsk. On September 4, the Finnish troops ceased resistance. On September 19, Finland signed a truce. Starting with September 28, 1944, the Finns held operations against the Germans who remained in the North of the country. On March 4, 1945, Finland formally declared war on Germany. The German troops were ousted from the Finnish territory only by April 27, 1945.

Losses: 82 thousand military perished; irreparable losses of the civilian population – around 2 thousand.

Results: Finland handed over to the USSR the Pechenga region, leased out the Porkkala-Udd territory (the coast of the Gulf of Finland) and paid reparation of $ 300 million. At the same time Finland was the only one of all Hitler’s allies that avoided occupation. The country’s social-political system remained unchanged.

France

Period of participation: September 3, 1939 – May 8, 1945 (2074 days).

Population: 41,6 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 2,44 million people; 104 divisions, 2789 tanks, 1648 planes, 11,2 thousand pieces of artillery and mortars, 7 battleships, 1 aircraft-carrier, 19 cruisers, 32 destroyers, 38 torpedo boats, 77 submarines. Around 5 million people were mobilized during the time of the war.

Leadership: president Albert Lebrun (May 10, 1932 – July 11, 1940), president Henri Philippe Petain (collaborator, July 11, 1940 – August 20, 1944), chairman of provisional government Charles de Gaulle (June 2, 1944 – November 20, 1945). From June 2, 1944 to November 11, 1944 the governments of Petain and de Gaulle existed parallel to each other.

History of participation: in the pre-war years France was trying to avoid a war in Europe. Premier Edouard Daladier signed the Munich Pact, according to which, France actually gave up its allied obligations to Czechoslovakia. However, on September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland and on September 3, 1939 France and England declared war on Germany. The French counted upon the Maginot line –a heavily fortified line along the French-German border. Prior to April 1940 the operations were not too intense. On April 14, there was an English-French landing in Norway, which had been invaded by the Germans. However, already on June 8 the Allies withdrew the troops. On May 10, 1940, the Germans unexpectedly launched an offensive against Belgium and the Netherlands. Germany delivered a blow to the tank units through the Belgian Ardennes (a mountainous district that was viewed as impossible to traverse for tanks) in the direction of Sedan. On June 14, the Germans entered Paris without a battle. The French government had declared Paris to be an open city because they wanted to avoid its destruction. On June 22, 1940, truce with Germany was signed. Germany occupied the North and the West of France leaving the Southeastern territories of the country under the control of the French government. In May-June 1940, 84 thousand French were killed and 1,5 million were taken prisoners whereas the Germans lost only 45,5 thousand. The French troops were evacuated to England. On June 18, 1940, de Gaulle founded the Free French movement (since 1942 - the Fighting French), which proclaimed that the war was not over. On July 1, the government of marshal Petain was shaped in Vichy. It established cooperation with Germany. The British feared that the French fleet would go into the hands of Germany and on July 3, 1940 they attacked the fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, sank several ships and interned the French ships in their ports. In September 1940, the administration of a number of French colonies (Gabon, Cameroon, Congo, Ubangi Shari and Chad) sided with the Free French. In June-July 1941, the Free French force together with the British participated in the battles against the Vichy supporters in Syria. In July-September 1941, on the consent of Vichy the Japanese occupied the French Indochina. On November 8, 1942, the Americans and the British landed in the French colonies of Morocco and Algeria (the Torch operation). The French offered weak resistance, the Vichy commander admiral Jean Darlan sided with the Allies. On June 11, 1942, the Germans occupied the whole territory of France, actually depriving Petain of power. The French sailors in Toulon sank the remainders of the fleet. In March 1943, the Committee for National Liberation was set up in Algeria. It was headed by de Gaulle and General Henri Giraud. The Committee became the French provisional government in exile. In June 1944, there was a successful English-American landing in Normandy after which the Resistance forces in France stepped up their activity. The Germans responded by toughening their repressions. On June 10, 1944, SS-soldiers burnt 642 citizens of the Oradour village alive. The Resistance fighters liberated Bordeaux, Corsica and a number of other districts. On August 20, 1944, there began a rebellion against the invaders in Paris and on August 25 the city was liberated. However, the French contingents continued fighting on the side of the Allies until the end of the war.

Losses: 201 568 military perished, 140 thousand were wounded, 140 thousand – missing; irreparable losses of the civilian population – around 400 thousand people. The cost of the destruction - $ 21 billion.

Results: human casualties in France were relatively small but the economic damage and the loss of prestige were considerable. The army was actually destroyed; the fleet was seriously damaged. Nevertheless, France was recognized a victor-state and got a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Germany

Period of participation: September 1, 1939 – May 8, 1945 (2076 days).

Population: 76 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 1,6 million people; 47 infantry divisions, 4 light divisions, 4 motorized, 7 tank divisions; 2,8 thousand tanks, 6 thousand pieces of artillery and mortars, 2 thousand planes, 2 battleships, 11 cruisers, 22 destroyers, 15 torpedo boats, 57 submarines (1939).

Leadership: Reichskanzler, fuehrer of the German nation Adolf Hitler (January 30, 1933 – April 30, 1945), president Karl Donitz (April 30 – May 23, 1945).

History of participation: when in 1933 Hitler came to power, Germany began active rearmament and preparation for the war. On March 12, 1938, it annexed Austria. On September 29, according to the Munich pact, Czechoslovakia ceded the Sudeten territory to Germany. In March 1939, Germany completely occupied Czechoslovakia. On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland. In the course of the “Fall Weiss” operation the Germans pursued the Blitzkrieg tactic, which envisaged gaining superiority in the air and smashing through the enemy’s defense line on a narrow front with the use of large armoured units and motorized infantry (with subsequent disorganization of the enemy’s rear and the seizure of strategically important objects). On September 3, England and France declared war on Germany but failed to start active operations. Poland was defeated in the course of 30 days. On April 9, 1940, Germany occupied Denmark without any battle and landed its troops in Norway. The English-French paratroopers that came to Norway’s rescue were of no help. Norway capitulated on June 10. On the same day Vermacht launched its offensive on Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France (operation “Fall Gelb”). For the attack Germany concentrated 136 divisions, 2580 tanks, 3824 planes and more than 7 thousand pieces of artillery. The plan of the operation worked out by general Erich von Manstein envisaged a diversionary attack against Belgium and Holland to be followed by an offensive of armoured and motorized units through the Ardennes (Belgium) in the direction of Calais. France capitulated on June 22, 1940. Belgium and Holland were occupied. England was the next target. Germany’s plan was to crush the country through regular bombing and then – in case it did not capitulate – to organize assault landing. However, Germany could not defeat the Royal Air Force – during the period of August-October 1940 the Germans lost 1103 planes against British losses of only 642 and the landing was cancelled. On April 6, 1941 the Germans attacked Yugoslavia (where on the eve the pro-German government had been deposed) and Greece (where Mussolini was waging an unsuccessful war). Both countries were defeated. Beginning with February 1941 there was Erwin Rommel’s German Afrika Corps operating in the North Africa. It was developing an offensive against Egypt. On May 20, the Germans dropped their paratroops on Crete where the British and the remainders of the Greek army had occupied heavily fortified positions. They conquered the island after heavy fighting. On June 22, 1941, Germany attacked the USSR realizing the Barbarossa plan. One hundred twenty one divisions that counted 3,3 million people participated in the invasion. Army Group North (Wilhelm von Leeb) advanced in the direction of Leningrad, Army Group Center (Fedor von Bock) – in the direction of Moscow, Army Group South (Gerd von Rundstedt) – Kiev. Vermacht managed to disorganize the Soviet troops and occupy Byelorussia, a considerable part of the Ukraine and the Baltic states. However, the Germans – who were exhausted and had no supplies - were stopped under Moscow. On December 11, 1941, Germany declared war on the USA hoping that in response Japan would deliver a blow to the USSR. The offensive that began in the spring of 1942 in the Southern flank of the Eastern front ended with a disaster for the Germans under Stalingrad (the losses constituted around 1,5 million people – ¼ of all the German forces in the Eastern front). In the summer of 1943, Germany lost the battle of the Kursk Salient. After that it could no longer contain the Soviet troops. In the West the Germans were leading a large-scale submarine war against the British and the Americans – during the years of the war they sank around 2 thousand ships, their total displacement being 13,5 million tons. The submarines suffered losses too though: of the 1162 submarines built by the Germans 791 were sunk and 2 were captured. In September 1943, a new front took shape in Italy where English-American forces had landed. But it was stabilized. On June 6, 1944, the British and the Americans landed in Normandy and by the end of the summer Germany lost almost all of France. On December 16, 1944, hoping to smash the Allied forces the Germans delivered a blow through the Ardennes in the direction of Antwerp. However, despite a temporary success the operation failed: 120 thousand troops as well as 1,6 thousand planes and 700 tanks were lost. The Reich actually lost its reserves because of the defeats in the Eastern front. Its cities lay in shambles because of the raids of the English and the American Air Forces. On April 25, 1945, the Soviet troops surrounded Berlin. On April 30, Hitler committed suicide and on May 7-8 the Germans signed the Act of Military Surrender with the Western allies and then with the USSR.

Losses: 3,25 million military perished in battle; non-combat losses – 3,35 million; 7,25 million wounded; 1,3 million missing in action. The irreparable losses of the civilian population – 2,44 million people. The spending on the operations - $272 billion.

Results: Germany was split into four occupation zones (Soviet, British, American and French). Poland was to administer the territories to the East of the Oder and Neisse rivers (Silesia, East Prussia and Pomerania). Austria regained its independence and the Sudeten territory went back to Czechoslovakia. In the autumn of 1949, two states – the FRG and the GDR - as well as a special political formation – Western Berlin (that was not in the jurisdiction of either of these states) - emerged on the territory of Germany.

Great Britain

Period of participation: September 3, 1939 – September 2, 1945 (2191 days).

Population: 47,961 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 395 thousand people, 310 tanks, 1837 airplanes, 1350 pieces of artillery and mortars, 20 battleships, 7 aircraft-carriers, 64 cruisers, 184 destroyers, 58 submarines.

Leadership: King George VI (December 11, 1936 – February 6, 1952). Prime ministers Neville Chamberlain (May 28, 1937 – May 10, 1940), Winston Churchill (May 10, 1940 – May 23, 1945), Clement Attlee (July 26, 1945 – October 26, 1951).

History of participation: at the end of the 1930-s Great Britain was trying to avoid participation in the war. That was why it pursued the policy of appeasing Hitler. London allowed Germany to remilitarize the Rhine zone and annex Austria. On September 29, 1938, premier Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact with Hitler and Mussolini. According to the Pact, Germany could annex the Sudeten territory of Czechoslovakia. Two days after Germany’s attack against Poland on September 1, 1939 together with France Great Britain declared war on Germany. British expedition corps was sent to France but no operations were held yet. In April 1940, when the Germans invaded Norway and Denmark the British contingent was transferred to Norway. But after heavy fighting on June 8 it was evacuated. On May 10, the Germans fought through the Allied defence line in Belgium and separated the Allied troops into two parts. Having left their munitions behind, the English contingent and the remainders of the French troops were evacuated from the French Dunkirk to England on May 26-June 4. On July 10, the air battle for Britain began. The British exhausted Luftwaffe. They did not let their enemy gain supremacy in the air and prepare a paratroop assault on the islands. The Royal Air Force systematically bombed German cities; the Germans unleashed a total submarine war destroying the sea communications of the British. English cities also experienced regular bombardments. Thus, during the night of November 14-15 in 1940, 509 Luftwaffe bombers destroyed the English Coventry city (around 400 people died). At the beginning of 1941, the British defeated the Italian troops in the North Africa and the corps of General Erwin Rommel was transferred to Africa to help the Italians. General Rommel managed to tie up considerable forces of the British. On May 26, 1941 the British delivered a major blow to the Germans on the sea – they sank the Bismarck battleship. Attempts to keep the German from defeating Greece failed. But the British did win the battle for Malta, which was regularly attacked by the German and Italian Air Forces. The Italian Navy was actually neutralized by the actions of the British fleet. The next day after the attack of the Japanese against Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) Great Britain declared war on Japan. On February 7, 1942 having offered insignificant resistance the key British base in the East – Singapore – surrendered to the Japanese. This allowed Japan to occupy Burma and approach the borders of the British India. In October 1942, the troops of Bernard Montgomery defeated Rommel under El Alamein (Egypt). Jointly with the Americans who landed in Africa in November 1942 the British destroyed the Italian-German African group and on July 10, 1943 participated in the invasion of Sicily and then in the operations on the Apennine peninsula. In the Atlantic the British learned to efficiently oppose German submarines, which stabilized the situation. Despite the fact that the German army continued to bomb and shell London with FAU-1 and FAU-2 missiles the intensity of the English air raids on the cities of Germany kept increasing. On February 14, 1945 seven hundred and ninety six British strategic bombers destroyed Dresden by dropping fire bombs on the city. The next day the city was bombed already by the Americans. Around 50 thousand people died in Dresden. English commando held daring operations in many European countries (mainly in France). Thus, on December 31, 1942, Major John Frost’s company attacked a French town of Bruneval and having liquidated a German garrison captured the equipment for the latest German radar. The company did not lose a single of its fighters. In the North Africa in the course of 1942 English diversionists attacked the enemy airfields and destroyed more than 400 planes. The British troops participated in the Allied landing in Normandy (June 6, 1944). On November 14, 1944, the British destroyed the Tirpitz battleship – the most powerful German battleship. As for the Asian theatre, the British managed to squeeze the Japanese out of Burma in 1944.

Losses: 264 443 military perished, 46 079 were missing in action; 60 595 civilians were killed. Material losses – around $120 billion.

Results: in the course of the war Great Britain lost a considerable part of its merchant fleet. Many cities, including London, suffered major destruction. The country’s forces were substantially undermined and it was no longer a great power. In the course of the following 20 years the bulk of the colonies of the British Empire gained independence. Nevertheless Britain did get a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Greece

Photo: AP
It is unlikely that when invading the territory of Poland the Germans (left) supposed that there would be Canadian soldiers standing against them on the territory of Italy (right).
Period of participation: October 28, 1940 – May 8, 1945 (1653 days).

Population: 7,4 million (1940).

Armed Forces: 414 thousand people; 19 infantry divisions, 1 motorized division, 1 cavalry division; 257 planes, 1 cruiser, 2 light cruisers, 8 destroyers, 6 submarines, 15 attack boats.

Leadership: the head of the state – King George II (November 4, 1935 – November 7, 1947); prime ministers Ioannis Metaxas (April 13, 1936 – January 29, 1941), Alexandros Korizis (January 29 – April 18, 1941), Emmanouil Tsouderos (April 18 – April 23, 1941), Georgios Tsolakoglu (collaborator, April 29, 1941 – December 2, 1942), Konstantinos Logothetopoulos (collaborator, December 2, 1942 – April 7, 1943), Ioannis Rallis (collaborator, April 7, 1943 – October 4, 1944), Sophoklis Venizelos (October 4 – October 18, 1944), George Papandreou (October 18, 1944 – January 3, 1945), Nikolaos Plastiras (January 3 – April 9, 1945), Petros Voulgaris (April 9 – October 17, 1945).

History of participation: on October 28, 1940, Italian troops invaded the territory of Greece from Albania. The Greek army beat back the attack and on November 14 assumed the offensive. On April 6, 1941, the German troops invaded Greece from Bulgaria. On April 23, the Greek army crumpled up on the continent. On April 27, the Germans occupied Athens. The Greek units that managed to survive defended Crete together with the British. However, as a result of a German paratroop operation on May 20, 1941 they had to leave the island. Greece was occupied by the German, Italian and Bulgarian troops. The remainders of the Greek troops continued fighting in the North Africa. The guerilla movement in Greece began in November 1942. Part of the guerilla fighters were communists. In October 1944, Germany withdrew its troops from Greece because the Soviet troops that were advancing in the Balkans could block them. Their place was taken by the British. Civil war broke out in the country between the communists and the adherents of monarchy. The war continued until February 1945. The adherents of monarchy won.

Losses: according to various data, 17 to 100 thousand military perished; the irreparable losses of the civilian population constituted around 400 thousand people.

Results: thanks to the support of the British and then the Americans Greece managed to avoid the fate of being enlisted into the social camp. In 1946, the civil war in Greece resumed and continued until 1949. As a result of the civil war the communist movement was suppressed and the country remained a monarchy.

Guatemala

Period of participation: December 8, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1364 days).

Population: 2,2 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 2 thousand people (1938).

Leadership: president Jorge Ubico y Castaneda (February 14, 1931 – July 4, 1944), provisional president Federico Ponce Vaides (July 4 – October 20, 1944), president Juan Jose Arevalo (March 15, 1945 – March 15, 1951).

History of participation: on December 8, 1941 under the pressure of the USA the government of Guatemala declared war on Japan, on December 11 – on Germany and Italy. After that it placed its naval and air force bases at the disposal of the Americans. In the pre-war time president Castaneda had supported German entrepreneurs but after 1941 many coffee plantations that belonged to them were confiscated. Guatemala’s Armed Forces did not participate in the war.

Losses: not registered.

Results: American investments contributed to the economic development of the country.

Haiti

Period of participation: December 8, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1364 days).

Population: 2,8 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 2 thousand people (1938).

Leadership: president Elie Lescot (May 15, 1941 – January 11, 1946).

History of participation: on December 8, 1941 former ambassador in Washington Elie Lescot declared war on Japan and on December 12 – on Germany and Italy. Since the country entered the war this provided Lescot with the legal grounds for the introduction of the state of emergency. He introduced amendments to the constitution, extend the term of his authorities and assumed the right to appoint members of the parliament. Haiti’s participation in the war boiled down to the deliveries of food to the Allies.

Losses: not registered.

Results: the political instability generated by the president’s attempts to introduce dictatorship resulted in the change of power in the January of 1946.

Honduras

Period of participation: December 8, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1364 days).

Population: 1,1 million (1940).

Armed Forces: 2 thousand people (1938).

Leadership: president Tiburcio Carias Andino (February 1, 1933 – February 1, 1949).

History of participation: on December 8, 1941 under the pressure of the USA the leadership of the country issued a decree on the declaration of war on the Axis countries. Participation in the war boiled down to the supply of raw materials and food to the Allies. The armed forces of Honduras did not participate in the operations.

Losses: not registered.

Results: the American investments contributed to the economic development of the country.

Hungary

Period of participation: June 27, 1941 – May 8, 1945 (1411 days).

Population: 9,2 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 400 thousand people (27 infantry divisions, 2 motorized brigades, 2 chasseur brigades, 2 cavalry brigades, 1 mountain brigade), around 300 tanks, 269 planes.

Leadership: regent Miklos Horthy (March 21, 1920 – October 15, 1944), the nation’s leader Ferenc Szalasi (October 16, 1944 – April 4, 1945). Parallel to that from December 22, 1944 to November 15, 1945 there was a pro-Soviet provisionary government in Debrecen headed by provisional prime minister Bela Miklos.

History of participation: though Hungary maintained formal neutrality in 1938 its troops occupied the South of Slovakia and in 1941 – the North of Yugoslavia. On June 27, 1941 Hungary declared war on the USSR and sent its troops to help the Germans. They participated in the operations in the Ukraine – in particular they fought against the guerilla movement in the German rear. On March 19, 1944, Germany occupied the country trying to prevent Hungary from withdrawing from the war. In August 1944, Horthy began negotiations on an armistice with the USSR. In September, the Soviet troops entered the territory of Hungary. On October 15, 1944, Horthy was deposed by the Germans and replaced with the leader of the Hungarian fascists, Ferenc Szalasi. On February 13, 1945, the Soviet troops captured Budapest, the Hungarian troops ceased resistance. The real power in the country was concentrated in the hands of the Soviet administration.

Losses: according to different data, 120-200 thousand military perished; irreparable losses of the civilian population constituted around 450 thousand people.

Results: around 24% of the Hungarian industry was destroyed. After the war the country paid $200 million reparations to the USSR, $50 million - to Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia each. Hungary lost all the territories it acquired during the war and got into the sphere of USSR’s influence.

India

Period of participation: September 3, 1939 – September 2, 1945 (2191 days).

Population: 390 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 160 thousand people; 8 divisions, 30 light bombers, 8 destroyer escorts and minesweepers (1939). During the time of the war the strength of the army increased to 2,5 million.

Leadership: governor-generals viceroys of India Victor Hope, Marquess of Linlithgow (April 18, 1936 – October 1, 1943), Archibald Wavell (October 1, 1943 – February 21, 1947).

History of participation: on September 3, 1939, viceroy Linlithgow announced that India was at war. In 1940-1943, the troops of India participated in the operations against the Germans and the Italians in the composition of the British Armed Forces in the North Africa and in the Middle East. Indian subdivisions were part of the British troops that occupied Iran in 1941. In 1943-1944 together with the Allies they fought in Italy, in 1942-1945 they constituted more than half of the manpower of the 14th British army, which liberated Burma and Malaya from the Japanese occupation. This allowed the British command to concentrate the main forces in the North Africa and Europe.

Losses: 36 thousand military perished, 64,3 thousand were wounded, 80 thousand were captured. There were no direct losses among the civilian population but a number of researchers think that the death of 3 million Indians during the 1943 famine – which was caused by the increase of food deliveries to the British army – was a direct result of the war.

Results: in August 1942, at the time of the fastest advance of the Japanese troops the Indian nationalists who were headed by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru managed to get the British parliament to promise that the country would gain independence once the war was over. On August 15, 1947, India got the status of an independent state. During the years of the war the strength of the Indian army, fleet and the Air Force drastically increased. In 1947, the latter constituted the nucleus of the Armed Forces of the independent India.

Iran (Persia)

Period of participation: August 25, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1469).

Population: 15 million (1938).

Armed Forces: 120 thousand people; 9 divisions, 5 separate infantry brigades, an anti-aircraft battalion; 200 planes, around 20 ships (1940).

Leadership: Shah Reza Pahlavi (March 12, 1935 – September 16, 1941), Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (September 16, 1941 – January 16, 1971).

History of participation: when the war began, Iran declared its neutrality. However, according to the Allies, it sympathized with Germany. On August 17, 1941, Great Britain and the USSR demanded that Iran should observe its neutrality, should oust German agents and provide the Allies with access to communications. The answer was negative and on August 25, 1941 the British and the Soviet troops entered Iran. By August 26 the British who had advanced from the South and the West gained control over the oil fields of Kermanshah and Huzestan. The Soviet armies advanced to Teheran from the North. On September 8, Iran accepted British-Russian armistice terms. On September 16, the Shah abdicated the throne in favor of his son and the next day the Allies entered Teheran. On January 29, 1942, Great Britain, Iran and the USSR signed an agreement in Teheran. According to the agreement, the 6th English army was billeted on the territory of the country to repel a possible attack of Vermacht from the Caucasus. After the Stalingrad battle Germany no longer possessed the resources for such an offensive and the British transferred the majority of the troops from Iran to Europe. The Soviet units stayed in the country until 1946. The Allied supplies to the USSR went through Iran. On September 9, 1943, Iran declared war on Germany and on March 1, 1945 – on Japan but it did not participate in operations.

Losses: 8 ships; there is no data on human casualties.

Results: Iran remained an independent state but got into the area of influence of the USA (by that time the USA had signed a number of profitable oil contracts with Teheran) and the USSR. The country’s infrastructure was improved at the expense of the Allies but the economic situation in Iran aggravated. The presence of foreign troops in the country until 1946 generated a number of nationalist actions and stimulated the growth of separatism in Kurdistan and in the Iranian Azerbaijan.

Iraq

Period of participation: April 19, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1597 days).

Population: 3,8 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 41 thousand people; 56 planes (1941).

Leadership: prime-minister Rashid Ali al-Kaylani (April 1 – May 30, 1941), Jamil al-Midfai (June 4 – October 9, 1941), Nuri as-Said (October 9, 1941 – June 4, 1944), Hamdi al-Bajaji (June 4, 1944 – February 23, 1946).

History of participation: on September 2, 1939 after Britain entered the war Iraq that was under its protectorate and had the treaty of alliance with it broke off diplomatic relations with Germany. But on April 1, 1941, as a result of a coup the nationalist government of Rashid Ali al-Kaylani came to power in the country. They asked Germany for support in their struggle for independence. In response to that on April 19, 1941 the 10th Indian division landed in Basra and units of the British Arab legion invaded Iraq from Jordan. Germany and Italy could send only several planes to help Iraq. On May 3-5, the Iraqis attacked the British military base at Habbania but were smashed and offered no major resistance since. On June 1, the British entered Baghdad, Kaylani’s government fell. Iraq became the springboard for the deployment of the Allied troops in preparation for the attack against Syria (June 1941) and Iran (August 1941). All in all in 1942 there were 16 English divisions on the territory of Iraq that were transferred to Europe once the threat of the German breakthrough to the Middle East through Caucasus was removed. On January 17, 1943, Iraq declared war on Germany, Italy and Japan but it did not participate in the warfare.

Losses: 20 planes; there is no information on human casualties.

Results: Iraq’s dependence on Great Britain was retained. With the help of the Allies the pro-British government managed to improve the economic situation in the country.

Italy

Period of participation: June 10, 1940 – May 8, 1945 (1793 days).

Population: 44,233 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 1,1 million people; 43 infantry divisions, 17 mobile, 3 light, 5 Alpine, 2 motorized, 3 tank; around 1,5 thousand tanks and tankettes, 2132 planes, 6 battleships, 22 cruisers, 123 torpedo boats, 115 submarines (1940).

Leadership: the head of the state – King Victor Emmanuel III (July 29, 1900 – May 9, 1946), prime ministers Benito Mussolini (October 29, 1922 – July 25, 1943), Pietro Badoglio (July 27, 1943 – June 9, 1944), Ivanoe Bonomi (June 9, 1944 – June 25, 1945), parallel to that: the head of the Republic of Salo in the North of Italy – Benito Mussolini (September 18, 1943 – April 26, 1945).

History of participation: Italy was the first country of the world where fascist dictatorship was introduced. The leader of the fascists, Benito Mussolini, made militarism the official ideology of the country and started preparing Italy for a war beginning with the first years of his rule. On October 3, 1935, Italy attacked Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and occupied it. Starting with 1936 Italy began rendering assistance to Spanish nationalists. In April 1939, it occupied Albania. After Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 Italy announced itself a non-belligerent state but on June 10, 1940 Mussolini declared war on the British and the French. The Italians invaded France but were stopped. When France capitulated, Hitler refused to transfer Corsica and Tunis to the Italians but he did give them Nice. In June 1940, the Italian Air Force began bombing the English Malta, which was the key to the whole Mediterranean. However, the Italians never plucked up the courage to attack the island. On July 10, 1940, the Italian fleet ran into a British squadron at the Calabria peninsula and suffered major losses. In the summer of 1940, Italy sent a big expedition corps to Libya. On September 13, 1940, the Italians advanced to Egypt planning to seize the Suez Canal. However, already on September 16 despite the absence of resistance they began digging in. They erected several strongholds that were not connected with each other. Parallel to that the Italian troops in Ethiopia launched operations against Sudan and Kenya that belonged to Great Britain. On October 28, 1940, Mussolini attacked Greece without informing Hitler. Mussolini delivered a blow from Albania but the offensive was quickly exhausted. On November 11, 1940, the English shipborne aviation attacked Taranto. The Cavour battleship was destroyed; the Littorio and Duilio battleships were damaged. On December 9, 1940, the British assumed the offensive in Egypt and defeated the troops of marshal Rodolfo Graziani. They took more than 130 thousand prisoners and captured more than 400 tanks. The British themselves lost only 470 people. On April 6, 1941, the Italian troops rendered assistance to the Germans who had invaded Yugoslavia. On May 18, 1941, the Italian troops in Ethiopia surrendered to the British. On June 22, 1941, Italy declared war on the USSR. It sent 3 divisions, 60 tanks, 70 planes (all in all 60,9 thousand people) against the Soviet Union. Later on the contingent was increased. In the course of the counter-offensive launched by the Soviet troops under Stalingrad (November 19, 1942 – February 2, 1943) the Italian expedition corps in Russia suffered heavy losses. On May 13, 1943, the Axis forces in the North Africa capitulated. On July 10, 1943, the English-American troops landed on Sicily. Two weeks later the King of Italy Victor Emmanuel III displaced Mussolini and arrested him. On September 3, 1943, Italy signed a truce with the Allies and on September 9 they landed under Salerno. The same day the Germans launched the operation on the disarmament of the Italian troops. They met little resistance in the process. The Germans occupied the Northern part of Italy. On September 12, 1943, Otto Skorzeny’s commando set Mussolini free and on September 18 the latter announced about the set-up of a “social republic” in the North of Italy, Salo being its capital. The King and the Allies controlled the Southern Italy. On October 13, the royal government declared war on Germany whereas Mussolini remained faithful to Hitler. The Italian regulars no longer played a substantial role in the war. Italian guerilla fighters were active in the North that was occupied by the Germans. On April 28, 1945, the guerilla fighters detained Mussolini and executed him.

Losses: according to various data, 150-400 thousand military perished, 131 thousand were missing; the irreparable losses of the civilian population – 60-152 thousand people. The spending on operations and on the reconstruction of the destroyed economy - $94 billion.

Results: as a result of the war the Italian monarchy fell, the economy was seriously destroyed, and the Armed Forces practically ceased their existence. The Dodecanese islands were transferred to Greece, the Istria peninsula to the East of Trieste – to Yugoslavia, and four small plots of land next to the Northwestern border – to France. Trieste was announced a free territory under the auspices of UNO but in 1954 it was returned to Italy.

Japan

Photo: AP
The Soviet and Japanese soldiers were shooting at each other already on the eve of the World War II – in 1938 at Lake Khasan and in 1939 at the Khalkin Gol river. However, it was only on August 9, 1945, that the USSR officially declared war on Japan.
Period of participation: December 7, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1365 days).

Population: 71,4 million (1939).

Armed Forces: around 2 million people; 51 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry brigade, 18 separate tank regiments; more than 1700 planes, around 1 thousand tanks, 10 battleships, 10 aircraft-carriers, 18 heavy cruisers, 20 light cruisers, 121 destroyers, 65 submarines, 575 shipborne aircrafts.

Leadership: the head of the state emperor Hirohito, prime ministers Tojo Hideki (October 18, 1941 – July 18, 1944), Koiso Kuniaki (July 22, 1944 – April 5, 1945), Suzuki Kantaro (April 7 – August 15, 1945), Higashikuni Naruhiko (August 17 – October 5, 1945).

History of participation: beginning with 1937 Japan was waging war against China. It badly needed resources – especially oil and rubber. Japan’s government decided to seize the English and Dutch colonies in the Southern Seas (Malaysia and Indonesia) taking advantage of the fact that the European states were distracted by the war. The USA was viewed as a potentially hostile state so it was decided that its fleet should be destroyed. On December 7, 1941, a group of ships under the command of admiral Chuichi Nagumo in the composition of 6 aircraft carriers (353 planes), 2 battleships, 3 cruisers and 9 destroyers supported by 27 submarines attacked USA’s main Pacific base – Pearl Harbor on the Oahu island. Of the 8 American battleships that were on the base two were destroyed – Arizona and Oklahoma, 3 battleships sank but were later raised, 3 were damaged. Three hundred and eleven American planes were destroyed on the airfields, around 2,5 thousand Americans died. The Japanese lost only 29 planes. Japan began conquering Asia and the Pacific having dropped its troops in the Philippines and in Malaya. The British fleet in the Southern Seas was neutralized in December when the Japanese Air Force sank battleships Prince of Whales and Repulse. By the end of December 1941 the Japanese had seized Hong-Kong and in February 1942 they captured Singapore having attacked it from the jungles where the British had no defences. During the first half of 1942 the Japanese seized Dutch colonies on the Sunda Islands and a number of islands in the Pacific. They tried to finish up the American fleet by a sudden attack on the base at the Midway Island. However, the Americans translated out of cipher the enemy’s radiograms and were prepared for the Japanese. On June 3, 1942, next to Midway the Japanese lost 4 aircraft carriers, 2 heavy cruisers, 3 destroyers, several auxiliary ships and 253 planes. It was impossible to make up for the damage and the Japanese went to strategic defense. In July-November 1942, the fight for the Solomon Islands began. The Americans landed at the Guadalcanal Island. The Japanese had to leave the island. On June 19-21, by the Saipan Island the Japanese used the main forces of their fleet. Of the 9 aircraft carriers that participated in the battle the Japanese lost 3 and 4 more were badly damaged whereas the Americans did not lose a single large ship. On October 24, 1944, the battle by the Leyte Island (Philippines) began. Japan lost 4 aircraft carriers, 3 battleships, 10 cruisers and 9 destroyers whereas the Americans lost only 3 aircraft carriers, 3 torpedo boats. It was then that kamikaze pilots were first used. On April 1, 1945, the Americans launched the assault upon the Japanese Okinawa Island and came against fierce resistance: 350 kamikaze planes were sent against them. They managed to sink 26 American planes. On June 22, 1945, the Okinawa Island fell. On August 6, the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, on August 9 – on Nagasaki. On August 9, the USSR declared war on Japan and soon the Japanese army in Manchuria was defeated. On September 2, 1945, the Japanese delegation signed an Act of Military Surrender on board the American Missouri battleship.

Losses: 1270 thousand military perished, non-combat losses – 620 thousand, wounded – 140 thousand, missing – 85 thousand people; the irreparable losses of the civilian population – 380 thousand people.

Results: Japan’s plan on the set-up of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere failed. Its territory was occupied by the Americans. All colonies including the Kuril Islands and the South of Sakhalin were lost. Monarchy was retained but the power of the emperor became nominal. Clauses were included into the Constitution, according to which, the country could not send its troops abroad. Under the authority of the American occupation administration the country’s economic and social structure underwent major changes. Demonopolization was held; the economic life was liberalized.

Liberia

Period of participation: January 27, 1944 – September 2, 1945 (584 days).

Population: 800 thousand (1944).

Armed Forces: no information.

Leadership: president William V.S.Tubman (January 3, 1944 – July 23, 1971).

History of participation: in October 1939, Liberia declared its neutrality. The political and economic dependence upon the USA became the reason why on January 27, 1944 the country’s leadership declared war on Germany and Japan. Involvement in the war boiled down to the deliveries of strategic resources to the USA – natural rubber. Liberian troops did not participate in the warfare.

Losses: not registered.

Results: the increase in the demand for the main export commodity – natural rubber – resulted in the growth of the state’s proceeds.

Lebanon

Period of participation: February 27, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (187 days).

Population: 1,3 million (1940).

Armed Forces: no information.

Leadership: president Bechara El-Khoury (September 21, 1943 – September 18, 1952).

History of participation: on September 2, 1939, the state of siege was declared in Lebanon and Syria that were under France’s protectorate. The French army that numbered up to 300 thousand troops was concentrated on the territory of the two states. In July 1940, when France was defeated in the war, the Vichy colonial administration took control over the country. The Vichy government was subordinated to Germany. The Axis countries instituted control over the Lebanese resources (including the military bases). The need to maintain the German and Italian troops generated a wave of civil unrest. On June 8, 1941, the English troops together with the Free French Forces entered the territory of Lebanon and a month later the Italians and the Germans were squeezed out of the country. On November 26, 1941, Charles de Gaulle declared Lebanon’s independence, which was limited by the martial law. The regime that came to power as a result of the elections on September 21, 1943, stood for immediate complete independence. On November 9, 1943, the French arrested Bechara El-Khoury who had been elected president and the leading members of the government. However, because of the popular tumult and pressure brought by Great Britain they were set free. In February 1945, as an independent state Lebanon declared war on Germany and Japan but did not participate in the warfare.

Losses: not registered.

Results: Lebanon gained complete independence in 1944 and all the state functions were transferred into the hands of the national government; in 1946 the English and the French troops were withdrawn from the country.

Luxembourg

Period of participation: May 10, 1940 – February 7, 1945 (1734 days).

Population: 301 thousand (1940).

Armed Forces: 300 frontier troops.

Leadership: the head of the state, Grand Duchess Charlotte (January 15, 1919 – November 12, 1964), prime minister Pierre Dupong (January 15, 1919 – November 12, 1964; May 10, 1940 – September 1, 1944 – in exile).

History of participation: on May 10, 1940, the German troops invaded the territory of Luxembourg. The Armed Forces of the country offered no resistance. The government and Grand Duchess Charlotte fled to France. Germany annexed Luxembourg as “Gau Moselland” and extended conscription to the country, the Luxemburgers began serving Vermacht. Beginning with 1944 a battery of Luxemburgers fought in the composition of the Allied troops. During the years of the occupation there were strikes on the territory of the country; there was the movement of Resistance. On September 11, 1944, Luxembourg was liberated by the Americans but on December 16 of the same year the Germans once again invaded its territory in the course of the offensive in the Ardennes. On February 7, 1945, the country was finally liberated.

Losses: around 5 thousand military and 1 thousand of civilians perished.

Results: Luxembourg regained independence; no changes were introduced to the political system of the country.

Mexico

Period of participation: May 22, 1942 – September 2, 1945 (1199 days).

Population: 21 million (1942).

Armed Forces: 50 thousand people; 1 patrol craft, 10 patrol vessels, 11 gunboats (1938).

Leadership: presidents Lazaro Cardenas del Rio (December 1, 1934 – November 30, 1940), Manuel Avila Camacho (December 1, 1940 – November 30, 1946).

History of participation: in October 1939, the Mexican government declared the country’s neutrality but it tended to support the Allies. In September 1940, because of the threat of the Japanese invasion from the Western coast Mexico was forced to mobilize the Air Forces to patrol the country’s coast. On May 22, 1942, under the pressure of the USA the government of Mexico announced that the country was at war with Japan, Germany and Italy. On December 29, 1944, the Mexican Senate decreed that the Armed Forces should be sent to the area of the conflict. On February 22, 1945, the Mexican 201st squadron (300 men on American P47 Thunderbolt fighters) was sent to the Pacific front to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese occupation. The squadron was assigned to the 58th fighter group of the American Air Force. In June-July 1945, the Mexicans supported the offensive of the American army on the Luzon Island. In July, they were assigned raids against Japanese objects on the Formosa island (presently Taiwan). According to some data, all in all there were around 14 thousand volunteers fighting in the ranks of the American army.

Losses: there is no precise information on the losses among the military. We know about the death of five pilots and the destruction of five fighters of the 201st Mexican squadron. Twenty-two civilians became the victims of the war.

Results: the financial and technical assistance on the part of the USA allowed the country to modernize its railroads and industrial objects. At the expense of high prices on oil Mexico managed to accumulate currency reserves, which were channeled for the needs of industrialization.

Mongolia

Period of participation: August 10, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (23 days).

Population: 774 thousand (1945).

Armed Forces: no information.

Leadership: prime minister Horloogiyn Choybalsan (March 24, 1939 – January 26, 1952).

History of participation: on May 11, 1939, the Japanese 6th army invaded the territory of Mongolia. In compliance with the agreement on mutual assistance the USSR rendered military support to the country. In September 1939, the Soviet 11th tank brigade and the Mongolian 6th cavalry division under the command of Georgy Zhukov defeated the Japanese. This was a decisive victory. As a result the USSR, Japan and Mongolia signed the agreement on the cessation of arms, which the Japanese observed until the end of the war. In June 1941, after Germany’s attack against the USSR Mongolia set up a Soviet army relief fund. The “Revolutionary Mongolia” tank column in the USSR and the “Mongolian Arat” aircraft squadron were formed with the means of the fund. Sixty thousand horses and various goods were sent to the USSR. On August 10, 1945, Mongolia declared war on Japan – two days after the declaration of war by the USSR – and sent 80 thousand soldiers to the front. The Mongols participated in the Manchuria operation in the course of which the Japanese army was destroyed.

Losses: no information.

Results: thanks to the participation in the war Mongolia’s independence was recognized by China and the Western states.

The Netherlands

Period of participation: May 10, 1940 – May 8, 1945 (1824 days).

Population: 8 million (1940).

Armed Forces: 350 thousand people; 9 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry division; 120 planes, 656 pieces of artillery and mortars; 5 cruisers, 9 destroyers, 27 submarines, 4 gunboats, 6 minesweepers, 1 patrol craft (1940).

Leadership: the head of the state Queen Vilhelmina (November 23, 1890 – September 4, 1948); prime ministers Dirk Jan de Geer (August 10, 1939 – September 4, 1940, from May 13, 1940 to September 3, 1940 – in exile), Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy (September 3, 1940 – June 23, 1945). The head of the collaborationist government – Anton Mussert (December 13, 1940 – September 4, 1944).

History of participation: on May 10, 1949, Germany invaded the territory of the neutral Holland. The defense plan envisaged the withdrawal of troops into the so-called Fortress Holland – the district of the Hague and Amsterdam protected by the Grebbeline and Peel-Raamline defense lines. The Dutch countered the attempt of the German paratroopers to seize Amsterdam and arrest the Royal family; they also won back the Waalhaven airfield from the German paratroops. However, they capitulated on May 14. On January 11, 1942, Japan declared war on the Netherlands and invaded Indonesia. By the end of February the Dutch colony was captured. In September 1944, through a paratroop assault the English-American troops tried to capture the strategically important bridges on the rivers Meuse, Waal and Rein on the territory of the Netherlands (Market-Garden operation). However, the English paratroops came against the surpassing forces of the Germans under Arnhem and were almost completely destroyed. The Netherlands were liberated only on May 5, 1945.

Losses: 13,7 thousand military and 236 thousand civilians perished.

Results: Holland retained its independence. Monarchy was preserved in the country. The Armed Forces of Holland were actually destroyed; considerable damage was inflicted upon the economy. Indonesia declared its independence from the Netherlands on August 17, 1945.

Nicaragua

Period of participation: December 11, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1361 days).

Population: 884 thousand (1941).

Armed Forces: 2,5 thousand people (1941).

Leadership: president Anastasio Somoza Garcia (January 1, 1937 – May 1, 1947).

History of participation: under the pressure of the USA whose capital held the key positions in Nicaragua’s economy the country’s government declared war on the Axis countries on December 11, 1941. Nicaragua’s participation in the war boiled down to food supplies to the Allies and to the patrolling of the coastland.

Losses: not registered.

Results: during the years of the war Garcia introduced a progressive Labor Code, allowed the activity of the Nicaraguan socialist party and established diplomatic relations with the USSR. When the war was over he promised to continue the reforms but failed to keep his promises. The country became the first in the world to ratify the United Nations Charter (July 6, 1945).

New Zealand
Period of participation: September 3, 1939 – September 2, 1945 (2191 days).

Population: 1,7 million (1939).

Armed Forces: around 200 thousand people were mobilized, 104 thousand of them were in the New Zealand second expedition corps (1939).

Leadership: prime minister Michael Joseph Savage (December 5, 1935 – March 27, 1940), Peter Fraser (April 1, 1940 – December 13, 1949).

History of participation: British dominion New Zealand declared war on Germany following its parent state. On July 11, 1940, New Zealand declared war on Italy, and on December 8, 1941 (the next day after the raid on Pearl Harbor) – on Japan. New Zealanders fought in the British army. Apart from that on November 1, 1940 New Zealand’s 8th infantry brigade was sent to Fiji to defend the island from the Japanese. New Zealand’s light cruiser Achilles engaged with the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee on December 13, 1939 near Argentina. The battleship left for the waters of the neutral Uruguay and was sunk by the crew. On July 13, 1943, New Zealand’s cruiser Leander together with two American ships sank the Japanese Jintsu cruiser near the Solomon Islands. New Zealand’s second expedition corps under the command of General Bernard Freyberg (the future governor-general of New Zealand) raised the tomahawk in March 1941 in Greece. After the defeat on May 1, the corps was evacuated to Crete. On May 20, the Germans landed their troops on the island and after a month of battles the Allies left Crete. Nine hundred sixty two New Zealanders perished in Greece; more than 4 thousand were captured. In the summer of 1941, the corps arrived in the North Africa where it participated in the battles against the African corps of General Rommel in Egypt, Syria (January 1942), Tunis (May 1943). In October 1943, New Zealanders were transferred to Italy where in the course of a year and a half they participated in the capture of Cassino, Arezzo, Florence, Padua and Trieste.

Losses: according to various data, 11 to 13 thousand military perished. The irreparable losses among the civilian population constituted 2 thousand people.

Results: among the British dominions New Zealand suffered the greatest losses per capita. However, no direct blows were delivered to the country and the economic consequences were not as grave as those experienced by the European states.

Norway

Photo: AP
Period of participation: April 9, 1940 – May 8, 1945 (1855 days).

Population: 3,1 million (1940).

Armed Forces: 15,5 thousand people; 6 divisions; 180 planes; 30 torpedo-boats, 4 patrol crafts, 11 minelayers, 9 small submarines, 50 guard-ships (1940).

Leadership: the head of state – King Haakon VII (November 8, 1905 – September 21, 1957), prime minister Johan Nygaardsvold (March 19, 1935 – May 8, 1945, from June 7, 1940 until the end of the war – in exile). Parallel to them from February 2, 1942 to May 9, 1945 prime minister Vidkun Quisling (collaborator).

History of participation: on April 9, 1940, the Germans invaded Norway through a paratroop and an amphibious assault. The Norwegian troops offered resistance and the coastal batteries sunk armoured cruiser Blucher. However, the Germans managed to capture Oslo, Trondheim and a number of other important points in the country in the course of the first days. On April 14, an English-French group landed in Norway. They established themselves in the district of Narvik and launched an offensive. However, on June 8, when it became clear that the Allies would be defeated in France, the group left. On June 10, the Norwegians ceased resistance. Haakon VII and the government moved to England from where they coordinated the struggle of the evacuated Norwegian units. Norwegian ships guarded British convoys and participated in a number of sea operation. Thus, on December 26, 1943 destroyer Stord played an important role in the destruction of the German Scharnhorst battle cruiser. The Little Norway Norwegian squadron fought as part of the British Air Force. The Norwegian troops also participated in the landing in Normandy. Meanwhile the Germans used the territory of Norway to carry out operations against the convoys sent to the USSR. On August 16, 1943, Quisling’s collaborationist regime declared war on the USSR but could render no substantial assistance to Germany. After Germany’s defeat Quisling surrendered to the police on May 9, 1945.

Losses: according to various data, 1,7 to 4,7 thousand military perished; the irreparable losses of the civilian population constituted from 3 to 7 thousand people.

Results: Norway retained its independence and suffered minimal losses. Monarchy has been preserved in the country; the economy has practically not suffered.

Panama

Period of participation: December 7, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1365 days).

Population: 620 thousand (1940).

Armed Forces: 1,3 thousand people (1941).

Leadership: president Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia Arango (October 21, 1941 – June 15, 1945), provisional president Enrique Adolfo Jimenez Brin (June 15, 1945 – August 7, 1948).

History of participation: since the beginning of the century Panama – with the canal between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans going through its territory – had been dependent upon the USA. That was why already on December 7, 1941 right after the raid on Pearl Harbor the republican government declared war on Japan and on December 12 – on Germany and Italy. The USA built new floodgates for aircraft-carriers on the Panama Canal. One hundred thirty four American military bases were built in the country during the years of the war. Panama’s forces did not participate in the warfare.

Losses: not registered.

Results: with the help of the USA the transportation infrastructure was improved. At the same time the country’s dependence upon the American policy and the role of the American capital in the economy was strengthened.

Paraguay

Period of participation: February 7, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (208 days).

Population: 1,18 million (1945).

Armed Forces: 9 thousand people; 4 infantry regiments, 1 cavalry regiment; 2 artillery batteries; 6 patrol vessels, 2 armoured vessels (1945).

Leadership: president Higinio Morinigo Martinez (September 8, 1940 – June 3, 1948).

History of participation: at the beginning of the 1940-s, Paraguay’s foreign policy was pro-German. It helped the Axis countries with food and raw materials but in January 1942 having complied with the decisions of the Pan American Conference in Rio de Janeiro Paraguay severed its economic and political connections with the Axis powers. On February 2, 1945, war on the Axis countries was declared. However, the country’s authorities secretly continued to render assistance to Germany and after the war received the Nazis (together with Argentina).

Losses: not registered.

Results: the victory of the Allies over Germany forced president Martinez to temporarily democratize the political regime. He allowed the ousted political leaders back into the country and even shaped a coalition government.

Peru

Period of participation: February 12, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (203 days).

Population: 7,28 million (1945).

Armed Forces: 32 thousand people; 10 ships (1945).

Leadership: president Manuel Prado y Ugarteche (December 8, 1939 – July 28, 1945).

History of participation: the policy pursued by president Prado y Ugarteche who was elected in 1939 was originally pro-American. In May 1940, the contract with the Italian aviation mission was broken, Italian enterprises were nationalized and Italian police advisors were deported. In 1941, the Peruvian government annulled its contract with the German Lufthansa airline. The USA leased four planes to Peru so that its own airline could be set up. In April 1941, an American military advisor was appointed to the Peruvian military ministry. Having reoriented its foreign trade at the USA, in 1942 Peru deported more than a thousand Japanese from the cotton-producing regions of the country. In 1941-1942, Peru actively supplied the USA with raw materials and food that were necessary for the wartime. In 1942, an American military base was deployed in the North of the country. Peru broke off its diplomatic relations with the Axis countries on February 15, 1942 but the pro-fascist sentiments in the society postponed the declaration of war until 1945 when the defeat of Germany and Japan became obvious.

Losses: not registered.

Results: investments of the USA helped in the development of the country. Lawyer Jose Luis Bustamanto y Rivero won in the 1945 presidential elections. Under him censorship was cancelled, civil rights were restored and political prisoners were discharged from prison. The government consolidated the state sector of the economy, launched house-building programs, took measures on the development of education and closed down the American military base in El Pato.

Poland

Period of participation: September 1, 1939 – May 8, 1945 (2076 days).

Population: 34,325 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 1 million people; 49 infantry divisions, 2 mountain troops divisions; 870 tanks and tankettes, 407 planes, more than 4 thousand pieces of artillery and mortars (1939).

Leadership: president Ignacy Moscicki (June 4, 1926 – September 18, 1939), president in exile Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz (September 18, 1939 – April 20, 1947).

History of participation: on March 21, 1939, Germany demanded that the city of Danzig (Gdansk) should be passed over to it but was turned down. On August 31, an SS-unit staged an attack of the Poles on the German city of Gleiwitz and on September 1 German units invaded the Polish territory. Germany sent 62 divisions, 2800 tanks, 2 thousand planes and 1,6 million people against Poland. The Polish troops were stretched out along the borders, which made it possible for the Germans to quickly break through the front. On September 17, the Soviet troops entered Poland. On September 18, Poland shaped its government in exile on the territory of France. On September 29, after a three-day bombing Warsaw surrendered. Germany annexed the Western part of Poland with the population of 10 million people and established its protectorate over the central part (the institution of governor-generals for the occupied Polish provinces). The Eastern regions (12 million people) went to the USSR. There emerged concentration camps on the territory of Poland (Oswiecim, Treblinka, Majdanek and others). Several million people - mostly Jews - were destroyed in them. In 1940, in France Polish units were shaped (the strength of 80 thousand people). They fought in Norway, France and in the North Africa. In 1943, the Polish army (Voisko Polskoye) was set up on the territory of the USSR. In 1944, it counted 300 thousand people. There were Resistance forces on the territory of Poland – Armia Krajowa and Armia Ludowa. On April 19, 1943, the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto raised a revolt and managed to hold out until May 8. On July 21, 1944, the Soviet troops entered Poland. On August 1, 1944, the Warsaw uprising began. The Germans managed to suppress the uprising only on October 2. At that time the Soviet troops were on the other bank of Vistula. On January 17, 1945, they did liberate Warsaw. The Poles participated in the assault on Berlin.

Losses: according to different data, from 123 to 850 thousand military perished, the irreparable losses of the civilian population constituted around 6,5 million people.

Results: after the war Poland got Silesia, the Eastern part of Pomerania and the western part of East Prussia. In the East the border went along the so-called Kerzon line. The USSR annexed the Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia as well as the Vilnius district (that had been occupied by the Poles before the war). Compared to its pre-war territory Poland decreased by 78 thousand square km; the country was moved to the West. Poland got into the sphere of USSR’s influence; there was a communist regime established.

Romania

Period of participation: June 22, 1941 – May 7, 1945 (1415 days).

Population: 17,4 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 703 thousand people; 21 infantry divisions; 236 tanks; 1050 planes; 3850 pieces of artillery and mortars; 2 auxiliary cruisers, 4 destroyers, 3 torpedo boats, 1 submarine, 3 motor gunboats, 3 attack boats, 13 minesweepers (1941).

Leadership: the head of the state – King Michael I (September 6, 1940 – December 30, 1947), conductor (military dictator) Ion Antonescu (September 14, 1940 – August 23, 1944), prime minister Iuliu Maniu (23-27 August, 1944), Constantin Sanatescu (August 27 – December 2, 1944), Nicolae Radescu (December 2, 1944 – February 25, 1945), Petru Groza (March 6, 1945 – December 30, 1947).

History of participation: in 1940, Romania lost a considerable part of its territory - in June Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina were annexed by the USSR, in August-September the Southern Dobruja went to Bulgaria and the North of Transylvania – to Hungary. In September 1940, General Ion Antonescu shaped a new government and removed King Carol II. Antonescu became Hitler’s satellite and on June 22, 1941 Romania participated in the assault upon the USSR. Romania sent 13 divisions to the war. From August 13 to October 16, 1941 the Romanian troops assaulted Odessa. From November 1941 to June 1942 together with the Germans they besieged Sebastopol. During the years of the war Romania was the main source of oil for Germany. In the Stalingrad battle Romanians covered the flanks of the German group that stormed the city and in the course of the Soviet counter-offensive the third and fourth Romanian armies were destroyed. In March 1944, the Soviet troops entered the territory of Romania. On August 23, 1944, Antonescu was arrested. On August 25, 1944, Romania declared war on Germany after which the Romanian army participated in the battles against the Germans.

Losses: according to different data, from 300 to 520 thousand military perished, the irreparable losses among the civilian population constituted from 200 to 460 thousand.

Results: after the war Romania lost Bessarabia (it went to the USSR) but did get Transylvania back. The country found itself in the sphere of USSR’s influence. On December 30, 1947, Romania became a republic.

San Marino

Period of participation: June 26, 1944 – September 20, 1944 (86 days).

Population: 15 thousand, around 100 thousand refugees (1944).

Armed Forces: 300 people.

Leadership: Captains Regent Francesco Balsimelli and Sanzio Valentini (April 1, 1944 – October 1, 1944).

History of participation: when Mussolini came to power in Italy, it was a pro-fascist regime that was established in San Marino. However, when the war began the republic declared its neutrality. On June 26, 1944, the country was subject to a raid of the British aviation. On September 4, 1944, having met no resistance the Germans occupied the country and deployed its artillery batteries in it. On September 19 and 20, there were battles between the Germans and the British on the territory of San Marino. After that the territory of the republic was liberated.

Losses: 60 civilians perished.

Results: after the war it was the coalition of leftist forces that came to power in San Marino. It remained in power until 1957.

Saudi Arabia

Period of participation: March 1, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (185 days).

Population: 2,97 million (1945).

Armed Forces: no information.

Leadership: King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud (January 15, 1902 – November 9, 1953).

History of participation: on September 1, 1939, Saudi Arabia declared its neutrality because the kingdom had a treaty of friendship with Germany but it was the countries of the British empire that were its main foreign trade partners. Troops were brought to the borders with Iraq, Kuweit and Transjordan. However, in May 1941 they were withdrawn in order to avoid provocations. In April 1941, Hitler sent a personal message to ibn Saud in which he suggested launching a joint attack against Great Britain. In return he promised the king the “crown of the king of all Arabs” but the latter refused. After the successes of the Allies in Iraq, Syria and Ethiopia in September 1941 the kingdom severed diplomatic relations with Germany. In February 1943, the country that badly needed money received financial assistance from the USA to the sum of $99 million. In exchange Saudi Arabia allowed the deployment of the Allied aircraft bases on its territory. On February 14, 1945, at a meeting with the American president Franklin Roosevelt on board the CA-71 USS Quincy heavy cruiser ibn Saud allowed the Allies to use the ports in the Persian Gulf and to deploy a military base in the country. On March 1, 1945 Saudi Arabia declared war on Germany but did not participate in the warfare.

Losses: not registered.

Results: the operations did not affect Saudi Arabia but the army consumed a considerable part of the state’s profits and the economic situation in the country was significantly aggravated.

Syria

Period of participation: February 26, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (188 days).

Population: 4 million (1945).

Armed Forces: in 1945 the Armed Forces were just being formed.

Leadership: presidents Shaykh Taj ad-Din al-Hasani (September 16, 1941 – January 17, 1943), Shukri al-Kuwatli (August 17, 1943 – March 30, 1949).

History of participation: when France was defeated, the French administration of Syria recognized the authority of the Vichy government. When on April 13, 1941, the pro-German government of Rashid Ali al-Kaylani was established in Iraq the Germans began moving their aviation to Iraq through the Syrian airfields. The British troops and the forces of the Free French movement invaded Syria. On September 27, 1941, the country received independence but the English and French presence was preserved until 1946.

Losses: not registered.

Results: thanks to the weakening of France Syria gained independence.

Turkey

Period of participation: February 23, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (191 days).

Population: 18,79 million (1945).

Armed Forces: up to 900 thousand people (1945).

Leadership: president Ismet Inonu (November 11, 1938 – May 22, 1950).

History of participation: on September 11, 1939, Turkey declared its neutrality but already on October 19 it signed a treaty of alliance and mutual assistance with Britain and France. The army was already embattled and the economy was oriented at military needs. In July 1941, Turkey concluded a trade agreement with Germany, according to which, it increased deliveries of food and strategic resources (chromium ore in particular) to the Germans. The Turks repudiated the agreement with the British. When on June 22, 1941 Germany attacked the USSR, Turkey once again announced its neutrality but in reality it continued supplying the German troops. In 1941-1943, Germany and Turkey signed several more agreements. The Turks provided the Germans with ore, blister copper, cotton, wool and hide. In exchange they received substantial credits. In violation of the Straits Convention Turkey let German military ships into the Black Sea. The USSR and Britain demanded that Turkey should comply with the Convention and offered guarantees of protection against Germany. In 1941, in order to make Turkey side with the Allies the USA extended the law on lend-lease to the country. According to the law, the country got weapons to the sum of $90 million. However, Turkey’s leadership refused to enter the war. Only on August 2, 1944, when the Soviet troops approached the borders of the Balkan countries Turkey broke off its diplomatic relations with Germany. On February 23, 1945, the defeat of the Axis countries became inevitable and Turkey entered the war. The country’s troops did not participate in the warfare.

Losses: not registered.

Results: since during the wartime Turkey cooperated with both sides and received support from them, the country’s economy developed quite successfully and Turkey managed to equip its army with contemporary armaments.

United States of America

Photo: AP
In August 1944, the French leadership reviewed the American troops in Paris. This allowed the USA to substantially consolidate its authority.
Period of participation: December 7, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1365 days).

Population: 132,122 million (1939).

Armed Forces: 1,68 million people; 26 infantry divisions, 2 cavalry divisions, 1 motorized division, 4 tank divisions; 15 battleships, 5 aircraft carriers, 8 heavy cruisers, 19 light cruisers, 200 destroyers, 111 submarines (1941).

Leadership: president Franklin Roosevelt (March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945), president Harry Truman (April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953).

History of participation: despite its neutrality in September 1940 the USA started helping Great Britain with weapons and ceased supplies of weapons and strategic resources to Japan. On December 7, 1941, Japan delivered a blow to the American Pearl Harbor base in the Pacific. The bulk of the ships were damaged. The Japanese seized the American islands of Guam and Wake and landed on the Philippines, which were in the sphere of influence of the USA. Germany and Italy declared war on the USA on December 11, 1941. In the Philippines the troops of General Douglas McArthur offered obstinate resistance but in May 1942 the archipelago was lost (30 thousand Americans and around 100 thousand Filipinos were taken as prisoners). On June 3, 1942, the USA Navy (the group of Admiral Chester Nimitz) defeated the Japanese fleet at the Midway Island – the Americans managed to take out enemy aircraft carriers by bombing when the bombers were on their decks. The USA continued rendering assistance to the Allies. During the years of the war Great Britain received assistance to the sum of $ 31 billion on lend-lease, the USSR – to the sum of $ 11 billion, China –$ 5 billion, 35 other countries –$ 3 billion. On August 7, 1942, the Japanese managed to defeat the Americans at Guadalcanal by sinking three heavy cruisers but the balance of forces was quickly changing in favor of the USA thanks to the production growth (USA’s GDP was increasing on average by $100 billion a year). In the summer of 1942, the American Air Force started carrying out raids against Germany. On November 8, 1942, American troops under General Dwight Eisenhower’s command with the support of the British landed in the French North Africa. In 1943, together with the British they captured Sicily and landed in Italy. On June 6, 1944, the landing in Normandy took place (operation Overlord). It was with this operation that the liberation of France began. In December 1944, in the Ardennes by a sudden strike the Germans broke through the American front but failed to capture Bastogne that was defended by the American 101st airborne division. In the Pacific the Americans kept winning back from the Japanese one island after another. They enjoyed absolute supremacy in the military force (in October 1944, in the battle at the Leyte island America had 30 aircraft carriers, 112 battleships, 20 cruisers, 104 destroyers and 47 submarines against 4 aircraft carriers, 9 battleships, 19 cruisers, 33 destroyers and 28 submarines of the enemy). In 1944, kamikaze pilots became a major threat for the American Navy but engineering measures (armoured decks, the improvement of the ships’ anti-aircraft systems) helped to reduce the damage to minimum. On August 6, the USA dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and on August 9 – on Nagasaki (the total number of victims – around 230 thousand people). On September 2, 1945, Japan capitulated.

Losses: 293 986 military perished; non-combat losses – 112 842 people, wounded – 670 846 people, irreparable losses of the civilian population – 6 thousand people. Costs of operations - $341 billion.

Results: the USA managed to win with relatively small losses. At the same time the country built most powerful Armed Forces and consolidated its international prestige. After the war the USA became one of the two super-powers (together with the USSR) having gained recognition as the leader of the “free world”. Since the times of World War II the USA has retained military presence in Europe, Japan and South Korea.

Union of South Africa

Period of participation: September 6, 1939 – September 2, 1945 (2188 days).

Population: 11,4 million (1939).

Armed Forces: up to 6900 people, 104 planes (of them 8 battle planes), 19 ships (1939). By the end of 1940 at the expense of the mobilization of civil aviation the Air Force counted 1700 planes and 31 thousand personnel. All in all during the years of the war up to 410 thousand people were mobilized.

Leadership: prime ministers James Barry Munnik Hertzog (June 30, 1924 – September 5, 1939), Jan Christiaan Smuts (September 6, 1939 – June 4, 1948).

History of participation: as the war between Great Britain and Germany began there was a split in the South-African government. On September 5, 1939, the parliament voted for entering the war and premier James Hertzog - who stood for neutrality - resigned. The new premier Jan Smuts declared war on Germany. On December 8, 1941, war on Japan was declared but the troops were not sent to the Pacific theatre of operations. The 1st, 2-d and 3-d South-African divisions were shaped. In the middle of 1940, the 1st division was sent to help the British in Somali, Kenya and Sudan. The South-Africans entered the battle on December 16, 1940: the first brigade of the division (in the composition of the English 11th and 12th African divisions) drove an Italian corps from El Wak (Kenya). In April-May 1941, the brigade participated in the destruction of the Italian troops in Ethiopia. In January 1941, the 1st and then the 2-d divisions were transferred to Egypt where in the composition of the 8th British army they clashed with the African corps of General Rommel. In June 1942, in the battle for Torbuk the Germans defeated the British. Out of 25 thousand prisoners of war 10 722 were the South Africans. The 2-d division ceased to exist, the 1st division managed to retreat to Egypt. Already in October 1942 it became one of the four divisions that gave a checkmate to Rommel under El Alamein. When the Italian and German troops capitulated, the 1st division returned home at the beginning of 1943. In June-November 1942, the 7th South-African infantry brigade (the 3-d division) participated in the liberation of the Madagascar Island from the troops of the French Vichy regime. On February 1, 1943, the 6th South-African tank brigade was shaped; in April 1944, it was sent to the front in Italy. The South-Africans participated in capturing Rome (June 6, 1944) and Florence (August 4). When in May 1945 the Germans capitulated in Italy, the South-Africans returned home.

Losses: 3863 people perished; 7236 wounded; missing and prisoners of war - 12 271.

Results: the industrial production had to be increased because of the military needs. The majority of the new workers were black - as a result they began dominating in the cities. In 1948, the dissatisfaction on the part of the white population and the lack of suffrage with the black population brought to power the National party (at the beginning of the war it supported Germany). The party established the regime of apartheid.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Photo: Iosif Fetisov
Period of participation: June 22, 1941 – September 2, 1945 (1533 days).

Population: 190 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 3 289 851 people; 190 divisions including 19 mountain divisions and two vehicular divisions; 25 479 tanks, 59 787 pieces of artillery and mortars, 10 743 planes, 3 battleships, 7 cruisers, 54 destroyers, 212 submarines, 287 attack boats (1941).

Leadership: General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Iosif Stalin (April 3, 1922 – March 5, 1953).

History of participation: during the pre-war years the Soviet Union was in an international isolation. Twice its troops engaged with the forces of Japan – one of the Axis countries. In 1938, at Lake Khasan and in 1939 at the Khalkin Gol river. On August 23, 1939, the USSR signed a non-aggression pact with Germany that demarcated the spheres of interests in the Eastern Europe. On September 17, 1939, the Soviet troops entered the territory of the already defeated Poland and on the agreement with Germany the USSR annexed the Eastern regions of this country. As a result of the war with Finland (November 30, 1939 – March 13, 1940) the USSR got the Karelian Isthmus and a number of border regions. In June 1940, the USSR detached Bessarabia from Romania and in August it annexed Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. On June 22, 1941, the German troops invaded the territory of the USSR. Hungarian, Italian, Romanian and Finnish troops were also assaulting the USSR. As a result of the air strikes delivered to the Soviet airfields the bulk of the Soviet aviation was destroyed and the Germans gained superiority in the air. Significant forces of the Western special military district (Army General Dmitry Pavlov) turned out surrounded under Belostok and Minsk (330 thousand people were taken prisoners, more than 3 thousand pieces of artillery and 3332 tanks were captured). By July 10, the Germans advanced by 360-600 km inland. In September, jointly with the Finnish troops the Germans besieged Leningrad. On September 19, Kiev surrendered. On October 2, Army Group Center fought through the front under Vyazma and started its advance on Moscow. In the course of the struggle for Moscow (October 1941 – April 1942) the Germans were stopped and hurled back from the capital. In May 1942, in the course of an abortive offensive under Kharkov the troops of the South-Western and Southern fronts suffered heavy losses, the Germans once again seized the initiative. On August 19, they forced Don and on August 23 reached Volga. On September 13, the 6th German army of General Friedrich von Paulus and 4th panzer army of General Gott launched an assault on Stalingrad, which was defended by the 62-d army under the command of General Vasily Chuikov. In the course of stubborn battles Mamayev Kurgan - the dominant height overseeing the city – changed hands 12 times, the city train station – 13 times. On November 19, the Soviet troops began their offensive to the North-East of Stalingrad and on November 22 they surrounded the group of Paulus (around 265 thousand people), which capitulated on February 2, 1943. In the summer of 1943, the Germans tried to take a revenge for Stalingrad. They launched an offensive with the purpose of surrounding the Soviet troops under Kursk. In the course of the Kursk battle (July 5 – August 23) the troops of the Central, Voronezh and Stepnoy fronts (Konstantin Rokossovsky, Nikolai Vatutin and Ivan Konev accordingly) received the blow delivered by the Army Group Center (Günther von Kluge) and the Army Group South (Erich von Manstein) and assumed the offensive. They defeated the enemy. The Germans lost more than 500 thousand people, 1,5 thousand tanks, more than 3,7 thousand planes, around 3 thousand pieces of artillery. They were no longer able to hold major offensive operations in the Eastern front. In October, the Soviet troops forced Dnepr and on November 6 they liberated Kiev. On January 27, 1944, the blockade of Leningrad was lifted. In the course of 1944 the territory of the USSR was almost completely liberated. In 1945, the Soviet troops continued with offensive operations in Europe: on February 13, Budapest was taken, on April 9 – Koenigsberg, on April 13 – Vienna. On April 16, the assault upon Berlin began. It ended on May 2 with the capitulation of the garrison. On May 8, the Germans signed the Act of Military Surrender. On August 9, the USSR declared war on Japan. The forces of the Zabaikalie front, of the 1st and 2-d Far-Eastern fronts (1,6 million people) delivered a blow to the Japanese army (443 thousand people) in Manchuria. The Japanese were defeated and on September 2, 1945 they capitulated.

Losses: 5 177 410 military perished; 1 100 327 people died from wounds; non-combat irreparable losses – 540 580 people; missing, captured, unaccounted-for losses – 4 454 709 people. Civilian losses - 13,7 million people died. Total material losses - $2569 billion (30% of all the national riches); military spending - $ 192 billion.

Results: after the war the Eastern Europe, Manchuria and the North of Korea ended up in the sphere of USSR’s influence. The annexation of the Western Ukraine, Western Byelorussia and Moldavia were internationally recognized. The USSR got the Northeastern part of the East Prussia with the city of Koenigsberg, the Southern part of Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, the Pechenga region (from Finland). However, the huge casualties and heavy material losses hampered the development of the country for many years.

Uruguay

Period of participation: February 15, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (200 days).

Population: 2,76 million (1945).

Armed Forces: 10 thousand people, 7 ships (1945).

Leadership: president Juan Jose de Amezaga (March 1, 1943 – March 1, 1947).

History of participation: at the beginning of the war the country declared its neutrality but it stuck to a pro-German policy. In December 1939, after an engagement with British ships German battleship Admiral Graf Spee sought refuge in Montevideo. However, under the pressure exerted by the Allies the country’s authorities demanded that the ship should leave the port. The Germans were compelled to sink the ship. Fearing a German aggression the government of Uruguay tended to support the USA. In 1940, there were purges held in the country’s establishments – the civil servants sympathizing with the Nazis were ousted. In 1942, the diplomatic relations with the Axis countries were severed. However, it was only in 1945 – when the defeat of Germany and Japan became obvious - that the government of Uruguay decided to enter the war.

Losses: not registered.

Results: in the course of the war the state restored the regulating functions in the country’s economy, began promoting the development of the social legislation and strengthened social guarantees.

Venezuela

Period of participation: February 15, 1945 – September 2, 1945 (199 days).

Population: 4,3 million (1945).

Armed Forces: 15 thousand people (1938).

Leadership: president Isaias Medina Angarita (May 5, 1941 – October 19, 1945).

History of participation: on September 4, 1939, Venezuela declared its neutrality in the war. In May 1941, after the change of power the new pro-American president announced the severance of diplomatic relations with the Axis countries. However, it was only when the defeat of Germany and Japan became obvious that he plucked up the courage to enter the war – on February 15, 1945.

Losses: not registered.

Results: the war stimulated the demand for oil. Its production in Venezuela increased from 21,6 million tons in 1942 to 56,5 million tons in 1946, which – quite naturally – resulted in the increase of the export proceeds.

Yugoslavia

Period of participation: April 6, 1941 – May 8, 1945 (1493 days).

Population: 15,5 million (1941).

Armed Forces: 1,2 million people; 28 infantry divisions, 3 cavalry divisions; 110 tanks, 416 planes, 3 destroyers, 6 submarines, 14 attack boats, 5 minesweepers, 6 minelayers (1941).

Leadership: the head of the state – king Peter II (October 9, 1934 – August 10, 1945), prime ministers Dusan Simovich (March 27 – April 15, 1941), Iosip Broz Tito (March 7, 1945 – May 4, 1980; beginning with April 7, 1963 – the president). Parallel to that in London there were governments of Dusan Simovich (1941-1942), Slobodan Jovanovic (1942-1943), Milos Trifunovic (1943), Bozidar Puric (1943- 1944), Ivan Subasic (1944) and Drago Marusic (1945).

History of participation: on March 25, 1941, Yugoslavia’s prime minister Dragisa Cvetkovic signed the protocol, according to which, the country joined the Axis countries. On March 27, the cabinet of Cvetkovic was toppled and replaced with the government of Dusan Simovich who turned down the union with the Germans. On April 6, 1941, the troops of Germany, Italy and Hungary invaded the country and quickly defeated the poorly armed and badly organized Yugoslavian army. On April 17, Yugoslavia capitulated. Dalmatia, Kosovo and Montenegro ended up in Italy’s sphere of influence, Vojvodina went to Hungary, Bulgaria got Macedonia, Slovenia was shared by Germany and Italy. Puppet states were set up in Croatia and Serbia. Already in the spring of 1941 there emerged guerilla units on the territory of Yugoslavia. Draza Mihailovic headed the movement of chetniks – the guerilla fighters who supported the king and Iosip Broz Tito headed the communist units. By the autumn of 1944 four hundred thousand guerilla fighters controlled the bulk of the country. On October 19, 1944, the Yugoslavian forces together with the Soviet troops liberated Belgrade. Until the end of the war the Yugoslavs participated in the battles against the Germans.

Losses: around 300 thousand military perished; the irreparable losses of the civilian population constituted around 1,4 million people.

Results: as a result of mass terror on the part of the invaders and the local nationalists, almost 10% of the country’s population died. The economy was almost completely destroyed. After the war Yugoslavia remained a united state. Monarchy was replaced by a communist regime.


All the Article in Russian as of May 09, 2005

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