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World War II
World War II started on 1 September 1939 when the German Wehrmacht rolled into Poland. Over the course of the next six years, over 50 million people died in the largest war in history. The main Allies consisted of the United States, Britain, Soviet Union, France, and China. The main Axis had Germany, Japan, and Italy (until they switched to the Allies in 1943). Battlefields stretched across the world from under the surface of the Atlantic, to the hedge groves of France, to the deserts of North Africa, to the skies over western Europe, to the vast wide open Russian steppe, to the jungles of Asia, and to island beaches of the Pacific. The war ended with the surrender of Germany on 8 May 1945 (9 May in the Soviet Union) and Japan on 2 September 1945.