1. World War II started on Sept. 1, 1939, when German forces under Nazi leader Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. Britain demanded that Germany withdraw, but Hitler refused, and the United Kingdom declared war on Sept. 3, along with France
2. When the UK declared war, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said he would fight injustice and oppression caused by Hitler, adding, “His action shows convincingly that there is no chance of expecting that this man will ever give up his practice of using force to gain his will. He can only be stopped by force.”Hereis his full speech.
3..World War II was the most destructive war in history.
4. About 15 million soldiers and 45 million civilians died during the conflict.
5. The Soviet Union lost the most people to the war, with an estimated 24 million dead.
6. The Axis Powers included Germany, Italy and Japan. The Allied Powers included countries like the Soviet Union, the S., China, Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, Greece and the Netherlands.
7. The Allies dropped 3.4 million tons of bombs during the war.
8. Hitler’s nephew, William, fled Nazi Germany and ended up in the S., where he joined the Navy. After the war, he changed his last name in Stuart Hoiuston and lived in New York.
9. The war officially ended on Sept. 2, 1945, V-J Day, when Japan signed surrender documents to the S. on the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
10. President Harry S Truman dedicated the victory to his predecessor Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died April 12, 1945, weeks before the war ended in Europe.