"The Big Three": Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meeting at the Tehran Conference in 1943The Allied leaders of the Asian and Pacific: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill meeting at the Cairo Conference in 1943Charles de Gaulle sits down with rival Henri Giraud (left) after shaking hands with him in the presence of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at the Casablanca Conference, 14 January 1943.The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies became involved in World War II either because they had already been invaded, were directly threatened with invasion by the Axis or because they were concerned that the Axis powers would come to control the world.
The anti-German coalition at the start of the war (1 September 1939) consisted of France, Poland and the United Kingdom, soon to be joined by the British dominions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Newfoundland and South Africa). After 1941, the leaders of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, and the Soviet Union known as the "Big Three", held leadership of the allied powers. China,at that time, was also a major Ally. Other Allies included Belgium, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Greece, India (as part of the British Empire), Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada.
During December 1941, US President Franklin Roosevelt devised the name "United Nations" for the Allies. He referred to the Big Three and China as a "trusteeship of the powerful", and then later the "Four Policemen". The Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942 was the basis of the modern United Nations (UN). At the Potsdam Conference of July–August 1945, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman, proposed that the foreign ministers of China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States "should draft the peace treaties and boundary settlements of Europe", which led to the creation of the Council of Foreign Ministers.
Main article: Second Sino-Japanese WarGeneralissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Madame Chiang with Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell in 1942, BurmaRepublic of China (Nationalist Government)Since the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War in 1927, China had been divided between the internationally-recognized Nationalist China under the leadership of Kuomintang (KMT) leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek versus Soviet China of Communist leader Mao Zedong. Efforts were made between the Nationalists and the Communists to form a united front against the Japanese invasion, however the two factions remained divided between Nationalist-held and Communist-held territories of China. United States Ambassador to China Patrick J. Hurley met with both Chiang and Mao.
In the 1920s China was assisted by the Soviet Union, which helped to reorganise the ruling party, superficially at least, along Leninist lines: a unification of party, state, and army. However, following the nominal unification of China in 1928, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek purged leftists from his party and fought against the Chinese Communist Party, former warlords, and other militarist factions. A fragmented China provided easy opportunities for Japan to gain territories piece by piece without engaging in total war. Following the 1931 Mukden Incident, the puppet state of Manchukuo was established. Throughout the early-to-mid 1930s, Chiang's anti-communist and anti-militarist campaigns continued while he fought small, incessant conflicts against Japan, usually followed by unfavorable settlements and concessions. Following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 7 July 1937, China and Japan became embroiled in a full-scale war which continued until 1945. The Soviet Union, wishing to keep China in the fight against Japan, supplied China with some military assistance until 1941, when it signed a non aggression pact with Japan.
Prior to the alliance of Germany and Italy to Japan, the Nationalist Government held close relations with both Germany and Italy. In the early 1930s, Sino-German cooperation between the Nationalist Government and Germany in military and industrial matters. Nazi Germany provided the largest proportion of Chinese arms imports and technical expertise. Relations between the Nationalist Government and Italy during the 1930s varied, however even after the Nationalist Government followed League of Nations sanctions against Italy for its invasion of Ethiopia, the international sanctions proved unsuccessful, and relations between the Fascist government in Italy and the Nationalist Government in China returned to normal shortly afterwards. Up until 1936, Mussolini had provided the Nationalists with Italian military air and naval missions to help the Nationalists fight against Japanese incursions and communist insurgents. Italy also held strong commercial interests and a strong commercial position in China. However after 1936 the relationship between the Nationalist Government and Italy changed due to a Japanese diplomatic proposal to recognize the Italian Empire that included occupied Ethiopia within it in exchange for Italian recognition of Manchukuo, Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano accepted this offer by Japan, and on 23 October 1936 Japan recognized the Italian Empire and Italy recognized Manchukuo, as well as discussing increasing commercial links between Italy and Japan.
The Nationalist Government held close relations with the United States. The United States opposed Japan's invasion of China in 1937 that it considered an illegal violation of China's sovereignty, and offered the Nationalist Government diplomatic, economic, and military assistance during its war against Japan. In particular, the United States sought to bring the Japanese war effort to a complete halt by imposing a full embargo on all trade between the United States to Japan, Japan was dependent on the United States for 80 percent of its petroleum, resulting in an economic and military crisis for Japan that could not continue its war effort with China without access to petroleum. In November 1940, American military aviator Claire Lee Chennault upon observing the dire situation in the air war between China and Japan, set out to organize a volunteer squadron of American fighter pilots to fight alongside the Chinese against Japan, this squadron was known as the Flying Tigers. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted dispatching the Flying Tigers to China in early 1941. However, the Flying Tigers only became operational shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Soviet Union recognized the Republic of China but urged reconciliation with the Communist Party of China and inclusion of Communists in the government. The Soviet Union also urged military and cooperation between Nationalist China and Communist China during the war.
Even though the Republic of China had been fighting the longest among all the Allied powers, it only officially joined the Allies after the attack on Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek thought Allied victory was assured with the entrance of the United States into the war, and he declared war on Germany and the other Axis nations. However, Allied aid remained low because the Burma Road was closed and the Allies suffered a series of military defeats against Japan early on in the campaign. General Sun Li-jen led the R.O.C. forces to the relief of 7,000 British forces trapped by the Japanese in the Battle of Yenangyaung. He then reconquered North Burma and re-established the land route to China by the Ledo Road. But the bulk of military aid did not arrive until the spring of 1945. More than 1.5 million Japanese troops were trapped in the China Theatre, troops that otherwise could have been deployed elsewhere if China had collapsed and made a separate peace.
Main article: Soviet China (1927–1949)Soviet ChinaMao Zedong (second from left in a dark uniform) and Communist Party of China (CPC) officials meeting with United States Ambassador to China, Patrick Hurley (at center - in bow tie), at CPC headquarters in Yan'an, 1945.After the invasion of China by Japan, Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong attempted to put aside their differences and create a truce in order to form a common front against Japanese forces.
Soviet China had been tacitly supported by the Soviet Union since the 1920s, though the Soviet Union diplomatically recognized the Republic of China, Joseph Stalin supported cooperation between the Nationalists and the Communists—including pressuring the Nationalist Government to grant the Communists state and military positions in the government. This was continued into the 1930s that fell in line with the Soviet Union's policy of popular fronts that sought to increase communists' influence in governments. The Soviet Union urged military and cooperation between Soviet China and Nationalist China during China's war against Japan. Initially Mao Zedong accepted the demands of the Soviet Union and in 1938 had recognized Chiang Kai-Shek as the "leader" of the "Chinese people". In turn, the Soviet Union accepted Mao's tactic of "continuous guerilla warfare" in the countryside that involved a goal of extending the Communist bases, even if it would result in increased tensions with the Nationalists.
The Communist Party's position in China was boosted upon the intervention of the Soviet Union in Manchuria against the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo and Japanese military forces in China. Upon the intervention of the Soviet Union against Japan in World War II in 1945, Mao Zedong in April and May 1945 had planned to mobilize 150,000 to 250,000 soldiers from across China to work with forces of the Soviet Union in capturing Manchuria.
Main articles: Anglo-Polish military alliance, Franco-Polish Military Alliance, and Entente cordialeMain article: Polish contribution to World War IIThe original anti-German coalition was formed by France, Britain and Poland, the countries that linked themselves in a military defense pact in August 1939, following Adolf Hitler's explicit threats against Poland, triggering the war.
These countries were allied to each other by a net of common defense pacts and military alliance pacts signed before the war. The Franco-British Alliance dated back to the Entente cordiale of 1904 and the Triple Entente of 1907, active during World War I. The Franco-Polish Alliance was signed in 1921 and then amended in 1928 and 1939. The Polish-British Common Defense Pact, signed on 25 August 1939, contained promises of mutual military assistance between the nations in the event either was attacked by Nazi Germany. The Anglo-French alliance had ended after France had been defeated as a result of German and Italian invasion during the Battle of France.
Republic of PolandThe invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, started the war in Europe, and the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany on 3 September. Poland fielded the third biggest army among the European Allies, after the Soviet Union and United Kingdom, but before France. The country never officially surrendered to the Third Reich and continued the war effort under the Polish government in exile. However, the Soviet Union unilaterally considered the flight to Romania of President Ignacy Mościcki and Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły on 17 September as an evidence of debellatio causing the extinction of Polish State, and consequently declared itself allowed to invade (according to Soviet position: “to protect”) Eastern Poland starting from the same day.
Home Army, the largest underground force in Europe, and other resistance organizations in occupied Poland provided intelligence that enabled successful operations later in the war and led to uncovering the Nazi war crimes (i.e., death camps) to the Western Allies. Notable Polish units fought in every campaign in Europe and North Africa (outside the Balkans). Polish Armed Forces in the West were created in France and, after its fall, in the United Kingdom. The Soviet Union recognized the London-based government but broke diplomatic relations after the revelation of the Katyn massacre. In 1943, the Soviet Union organized the Polish People's Army under Zygmunt Berling, around which it constructed the post-war successor state People's Republic of Poland. The Polish People's Army took part in the Battle of Berlin, the closing battle of the European theater of war.
Churchill and the leaders of the Commonwealth allianceFurther information: Military history of Australia during World War II, India in World War II, Military history of Canada during the Second World War, Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II, Military history of New Zealand during World War II, and Military history of South Africa during World War IIThe United Kingdom and other members of the British Commonwealth, known as the Dominions, declared war on Germany separately, all within one week of each other; these countries were Canada, Australia, New Zealand , Newfoundland and the Union of South Africa. Southern Rhodesia, while self-governing, did not have independence in foreign policy or military matters.
Following the Statute of Westminster in 1931, the Dominions of the British Empire had been granted independence in foreign policy. Australia and New Zealand accepted and reiterated the British declaration of war on Germany. The South African Prime Minister, Barry Hertzog, refused to declare war, leading to the collapse of his coalition government on 6 September; the new Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, declared war that same day. Canada declared war on Germany on 10 September; this was necessary as Canada had ratified the Statute. The Dominion of Newfoundland's commission of government decarled war Following Britain's declaration.
Cap badge of The Cyprus RegimentThe Cyprus Regiment was initiated by the British Government during the Second World War and made part of the British Army structure. It was mostly Greek Cypriots volunteers and Turkish speaking Cypriot inhabitants of Cyprus but also included other Commonwealth nationalities. On a brief visit to Cyprus in 1943, Winston Churchill praised the "soldiers of the Cyprus Regiment who have served honourably on many fields from Libya to Dunkirk". About 30,000 Cypriots served in the Cyprus Regiment. The regiment was involved in action from the very start and served at Dunkirk, in the Greek Campaign (Battle of Greece) (about 600 soldiers were captured in Kalamata in 1941), North Africa (Operation Compass), France, the Middle East and Italy. Many soldiers were taken prisoner especially at the beginning of the war and were interned in various POW camps (Stalag) including Lamsdorf (Stalag VIII-B), Stalag IVC at Wistritz bei Teplitz and Stalag 4b near Most in the Czech Republic. The soldiers captured in Kalamata were transported by train to prisoner of war camps.
British IndiaBritish India (including the areas and peoples covered by the later Republic of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Burma/Myanmar) and territories controlled by the Colonial Office, namely the Crown Colonies, were controlled politically by the UK and therefore also entered hostilities with Britain's declaration of war. At the outbreak of World War II, the Indian army numbered 205,000 men. Later during World War II the Indian Army became the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size. These forces included tank, artillery and airborne forces. Indian soldiers earned 30 Victoria Crosses during the Second World War. It suffered 1,500,000 civilian casualties (more than the United Kingdom), mainly from the Bengal famine of 1943 caused by the fall of Burma to the Japanese and the transfer of food to the war effort, and 87,000 military casualties (more than any Crown colony but fewer than the United Kingdom). The UK suffered 382,000 military casualties.
- The "Phoney War" of 1939–1940, also called drôle de guerre in France, dziwna wojna in Poland (both meaning "Strange War"), or the "Sitzkrieg" ("Sitting War") in Germany.
- The Battle of France in May–June 1940, which resulted in the defeat of the Allies, the fall of the French Third Republic and the creation of the rump state Vichy France which received diplomatic recognition by the major part of the international community, including the government of the United States.
- The period of French Resistance and Free French Forces, from 1940–1944, until the June 1944 D-Day invasions part of the Battle of Normandy and the August 1944 invasion of southern France in Operation Dragoon, which led to the Liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 and the liberation of France by the allies. Free France was a government-in-exile recognized, between major Allies, only by Britain.
- The political creation of the Provisional Government of the French Republic, and the military actions following the redesignation of "French Army B" as the First French Army, including the final drive on Germany, which culminated in V-E Day, on 7 May 1945.
Kingdom of BelgiumBelgium, a neutral country before the war, became an Allied member after being invaded on 10 May 1940 by Germany. The Belgian colony in Africa, the Belgian Congo, was not occupied and its uranium deposits were key to the allied efforts to develop the atomic bomb. Belgium was fully liberated in 1945, after the failed German's counteroffensive in the Ardennes in December 1944 (the Battle of the Bulge). Belgian pilots also fought in the RAF during the war.
Kingdom of the NetherlandsThe Netherlands became an Allied member after being invaded in 1940 by Germany. Dutch eastern possessions, including the Dutch East Indies were invaded and occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1942. The Netherlands was liberated by Canadian and British forces in 1945. The Prinses Irene brigade, formed from escapees from the German invasion, took part in several actions in 1944 in Arromances and in 1945 in Holland.
Kingdom of NorwayThe Oslo Group was an organisation of officially neutral countries. Four members later joined the Allies, as governments in exile: the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
The Republic of Finland was attacked by the USSR on 30 November 1939. The war was concluded in March 1940 with Finland ceding 12% of its territory. The uneasy Interim Peace that followed held for a little over a year. Since 25 June 1941 Finland was again engaged in the war against the Soviet Union and in November 1941 signed the renewed Anti-Comintern Pact together with the Germany-occupied Kingdom of Denmark.
The Kingdom of Sweden remained officially neutral. Following the Moscow armistice of September 1944, Finland effectively helped the Allies and expelled German forces. This led to a series of armed campaigns called the Lapland War.
Denmark was invaded by Germany on 9 April 1940. The Danish government did not declare war and it surrendered the same day, on the understanding that it retains control of domestic affairs, but it was disbanded by Germany in 1943. No government-in-exile was formed. Danes fought with both Allied and Axis forces. Iceland, Faroe Islands and Greenland, which were respectively in union with Denmark and a Danish colony, were occupied by the Allies for most of the war. British forces took control in Iceland on 10 May 1940, and it was used to facilitate the movement of Lend Lease equipment. Forces from the United States, although they were officially neutral at the time, occupied Greenland on 9 April 1941. The US also took over in Iceland on 7 July 1941. Iceland declared full independence from Denmark in 1944, but never declared war on any of the Axis powers. Finally, Denmark, only after its liberation on high 5 May 1945 officially joined the Allies, immediately.
Although Portugal remained officially neutral, and the Salazar dictatorship admired Fascist regimes, there was the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance – the world's oldest military alliance (1373) – reactivated by the United Kingdom during World War II, leading to the establishment of an Anglo-American base in Lajes, Terceira Island, Azores, which Salazar finally accepted (in December 1943). From 1940, both Churchill and Roosevelt were facing the possibility of a preventive occupation of the Azores. Portugal also protested the occupation of Portuguese Timor by Allied forces in 1942 but did not actively resist. The colony was subsequently occupied by Japan. Timorese and Portuguese civilians assisted Australian commandos in resisting the Japanese.
Kingdom of Yugoslavia.Democratic Federal Yugoslavia.Yugoslavia entered the war on the Allied side after invasion by the Axis powers in 1941. The country was occupied, with the anti-Axis resistance movement split between the royalist Chetniks and the communist Yugoslav Partisans of Josip Broz Tito who fought against each other during the war. The Yugoslav Partisans managed to put up considerable resistance to the Axis occupation, forming various liberated territories during the war. In 1944, the leading Allied powers persuaded Tito's Yugoslav Partisans and the royalist Yugoslav government led by Prime Minister Ivan Šubašić to sign the Treaty of Vis that created Democratic Federal Yugoslavia that would be a federal democracy that would hold a referendum on whether to retain the monarchy or become a republic after the war was over. Tito became head of government while Ivan Šubašić became foreign minister.
Union of Soviet Socialist RepublicsOn 20 August 1939, forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics under General Georgy Zhukov, together with the People's Republic of Mongolia eliminated the threat of conflict in the east with a decisive victory over Japan at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in eastern Mongolia.
On the same day, Soviet party leader Joseph Stalin received a telegram from German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, suggesting that German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop fly to Moscow for diplomatic talks. (After receiving a lukewarm response throughout the spring and summer, Stalin abandoned attempts for a better diplomatic relationship with France and the United Kingdom.)
On 23 August Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signed the non-aggression pact including secret protocols dividing Eastern Europe into defined “spheres of influence” for the two regimes, and specifically concerning the partition of the Polish state in the event of its "territorial and political rearrangement".
On 15 September 1939, Stalin concluded a durable ceasefire with Japan, to take effect the following day (it would be upgraded to a nonaggression pact in April 1941). The day after that, 17 September, Soviet forces invaded Poland from the east. Although some fighting continued until 5 October, the two invading armies held at least one joint military parade on 25 September, and reinforced their non-military partnership with a German–Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Demarcation on 28 September.
On 30 November, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, for which it was expelled from the League of Nations. In the following year of 1940, while the world's attention was focussed upon the German invasion of France and Norway, the USSR militarily occupied the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as parts of Romania.
German-Soviet treaties were brought to an end by the German surprise attack on the USSR on 22 June 1941. The Soviet Union so entered in alliance with the United Kingdom. Following the USSR, a number of other communist, pro-Soviet or Soviet-controlled forces fought against the Axis powers during the Second World War. They were as follows: the Albanian National Liberation Front, the Chinese Red Army, the Greek National Liberation Front, the Hukbalahap, the Malayan Communist Party, the People's Republic of Mongolia, the Polish People's Army, the Tuvan People's Republic (annexed by Soviet Union in 1944), the Viet Minh and the Yugoslav Partisans.
United States of AmericaPrior to entering the war, the United States supported China, France, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union through commerce and military trade through the Lend Lease Act and consolidated support with the UK through the Atlantic Charter. The US also actively supported Chinese forces in their war against Japan, including cutting off trade of strategic resources to Japan and moving the U.S. Pacific Fleet from San Diego to Hawaii to address the threat of Japan.
On 7 December 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, The United States Congress declared war on Japan at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was followed by Germany and Italy declaring war on the United States on 11 December, bringing the country into the European theatre.
The US led Allied forces in the Pacific theatre against Japanese forces from 1941 to 1945.
BrazilMain article: Brazilian Expeditionary ForceInitially, Brazil maintained a position of neutrality, trading with both the Allies and the Axis Powers, while Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas's quasi-Fascist policies indicated a leaning toward the Axis powers. However, as the war progressed, trade with the Axis countries became almost impossible and the United States initiated forceful diplomatic and economic efforts to bring Brazil onto the Allied side.
At the beginning of 1942, Brazil permitted the United States to set up air bases on its territory, especially in Natal, strategically located at the corner of the South American continent, and on 28 January the country severed diplomatic relations with Germany, Japan, and Italy. After that, 36 Brazilian merchant ships were sunk by the German and Italian navies, which led the Brazilian government to declare war against Germany and Italy on 22 August 1942.
Brazil then sent a 25,700 strong Expeditionary Force to Europe that fought mainly on the Italian front, from September 1944 to May 1945. Also, the Brazilian Navy and Air Force acted in the Atlantic Ocean from the middle of 1942 until the end of war. Brazil was the only South American country to send troops to fight in the European theater in the Second World War.
United Mexican StatesMexico declared war on Germany in 1942 after German submarines attacked Mexican oil tankers Potrero del Llano and the Faja de Oro that were transporting crude oil to the United States. These attacks prompted President Manuel Ávila Camacho to declare war on the Axis powers.
Mexico formed Escuadrón 201 fighter squadron as part of the Fuerza Aérea Expedicionaria Mexicana (FAEM—"Mexican Expeditionary Air Force"). The squadron was attached to the 58th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces and carried out tactical air support missions during the liberation of the main Philippine island of Luzon in the summer of 1945.
Some 300,000 Mexican citizens went to the United States to work in factories that produced war supplies and to help in any way that would benefit the Allies. Around 15,000 US nationals of Mexican origin and Mexican residents in the US enrolled in the US Armed Forces and fought in various fronts around the world.
The Atlantic Charter was negotiated at the Atlantic Conference by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, aboard warships in a secure anchorage at NS Argentia, Newfoundland (located on Placentia Bay) and was issued as a joint declaration on 14 August 1941.
The Atlantic Charter established a vision for a post–World War II world, despite the fact the United States had yet to enter the war.
In brief, the nine points were:
- No territorial gains sought by the United States or the United Kingdom;
- Territorial adjustments must be in accord with wishes of the people;
- The right to self-determination of peoples;
- Trade barriers lowered;
- Global economic cooperation and advancement of social welfare;
- Freedom from want and fear;
- Freedom of the seas;
- Disarmament of aggressor nations, postwar common disarmament;
- Defeat of Germany and other Axis powers.
The Atlantic Charter proved to be one of the first steps towards the formation of the United Nations.
The United States of America joined the Allies following the attack on Pearl Harbor, on 7 December 1941. The Declaration by United Nations, on 1 January 1942, officially united 26 nations as Allies. The informal Big 3 alliance of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States emerged in the later half of the war, and their decisions determined Allied strategy around the world.
The members of the Pan American Union, who were all neutral between 1939 and 1941, formed a mutual defense pact at a conference of foreign ministers at Havana, from 21 to 30 July 1940. The "Declaration on Reciprocal Assistance and Cooperation for the Defense of the Nations of the Americas" was part of the Final Act of the Second Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics at Havana, Cuba, July 30, 1940. There were twenty-one signatories:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- United States
From this group, three countries contributed military forces to the Allied war effort:
- United States of America
- Brazil, from 1942, participated in anti-submarine warfare in the South and Central Atlantic and; in July 1944 sent an Expeditionary Force of 25,000 army and air force personnel to the Italian campaign;
- Mexico, in March 1945 sent an air force unit, Escuadrón 201 to join the US Far East Air Force, during the Philippines campaign.
The other 18 countries from this group contributed given support in many ways on such as providing necessary metals and other raw materials towards the war effort.
Wartime poster for the United Nations, created in 1942 by the US Office of War Information, showing the 26 members of the allianceThe alliance was formalised in the Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942. There were 26 signatories:
- British India
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- New Zealand
- Soviet Union
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Wartime poster for the United Nations, created in 1943 by the US Office of War InformationThe United Nations began growing immediately after their formation. In 1942, Mexico, the Philippines and Ethiopia adhered to the declaration. The African nation had been restored in its independence by British forces after the Italian defeat on Amba Alagi in 1941, while the Philippines, still dependent on Washington but granted international diplomatic recognition, was allowed to join on 10 June despite their occupation by Japan.
During 1943, the Declaration was signed by Iraq, Iran, Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia. A Tripartite Treaty of Alliance with Britain and USSR formalised Iran's assistance to the Allies. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian dictator Getúlio Vargas was considered near to fascist ideas, but realistically joined the United Nations after their evident successes.
In 1944, Liberia and France signed. The French situation was very confused. Free France forces were recognized only by Britain, while United States considered Vichy France as the legal government of the country until Operation Overlord, also preparing US occupation francs. Winston Churchill urged Roosevelt restoring France in its status of a major Power after the liberation of Paris in August 1944: the Prime Minister feared that after the war, Britain could remain the sole great Power in Europe facing Communist threat, as it was in 1941 against Nazism.
During the early part of 1945, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria (these latter two French colonies had been declared independent nations by British occupation troops, despite big protests by Petain before, and De Gaulle after) and Ecuador became signatories. Ukraine and Belarus, which were not independent nations but parts of the Soviet Union, were accepted as members of the United Nations as way to provide greater influence to Stalin, who had only Yugoslavia as a communist partner in the alliance.
Main article: Charter of the United NationsThe Charter of the United Nations was agreed to during the war at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held between April and July 1945. The Charter was signed by 50 nations on 26 June (Poland had its place reserved and later became the 51st "original" signatory), and was formally ratified shortly after the war on 24 October 1945. The four leading Allied nations, namely China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States met repeatedly during the war, such as at the 1944 conference at Dumbarton Oaks where the formation and permanent seats of the United Nations Security Council were decided. The Security Council met for the first time in the immediate aftermath of war on 17 January 1946. The first version of the UN flag, introduced in April 1945These are the original 51 signatories (Security Council Permanent members are asterisked):
Further information: Invasion of Poland (1939);September 1939
- Poland: 1 September 1939
- United Kingdom: 3 September 1939
- France: 3 September 1939 
- Australia: 3 September 1939
- New Zealand: 3 September 1939
- Union of South Africa: 6 September 1939
- Canada: 10 September 1939
- April 1940
- Luxembourg: 10 May 1940
- Netherlands: 10 May 1940
- Greece: 28 October 1940
- Yugoslavia: 6 April 1941 
- Panama: 7 December 1941
- Costa Rica: 8 December 1941
- Dominican Republic: 8 December 1941
- El Salvador: 8 December 1941
- Haiti: 8 December 1941
- Honduras: 8 December 1941
- Nicaragua: 8 December 1941
- China: 9 December 1941 
- Guatemala: 9 December 1941
- Cuba: 9 December 1941
- Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea: 9 December 1941 
- Czechoslovakia: 16 December 1941 
- Brazil: 22 August 1942
- Ethiopia: 14 December 1942 
- Iraq: 17 January 1943 
- Bolivia: 7 April 1943
- Colombia: 26 July 1943
- Iran: 9 September 1943 
- Italy: 13 October 1943
- Liberia: 27 January 1944
- Peru: 12 February 1944
- Bulgaria: 8 September 1944
- Hungary: 20 January 1945
- Ecuador: 2 February 1945
- Paraguay: 7 February 1945
- Uruguay: 15 February 1945
- Venezuela: 15 February 1945
- Turkey: 23 February 1945
- Egypt: 24 February 1945
- Lebanon: 27 February 1945
- Syria: 27 February 1945
- Saudi Arabia: 1 March 1945
- Finland: 3 March 1945 (effectively from 15 September 1944)
- Argentina: 27 March 1945
- Chile: 11 April 1945 (only declares war on Japan)
Soviet Union: 20,000,000
United States of America: 16,400,000
United Kingdom: 4,700,000
Republic of China: 4,400,000
Soviet China: 1,200,000
The Netherlands: 500,000
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- ^ After the Statute of Westminster of 1931, Dominions were granted full independence in their foreign relationships. Only treaties signed by the United Kingdom before that year could link them.
- ^ Keith Sword. British Reactions to the Soviet Occupation of Eastern Poland in September 1939. The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 69, No. 1 (Jan., 1991), pp. 81-101
- ^ Eleanor M. Gates. End of the affair: the collapse of the Anglo-French alliance, 1939-40.c University of California Press, 1981, ISBN 0-520-04292-1, ISBN 978-0-520-04292-6, p. xiii.
- ^ "Military contribution of Poland to World War II – Wojsko Polskie – Departament Wychowania i Promocji Obronności". Wojsko-polskie.pl. http://www.wojsko-polskie.pl/articles/view/2339. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- ^ Molotov declaration of 17 September 1939
- ^ Gordon, Leonard A., Review of Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: The Famine of 1943–1944 by Greenough, Paul R., The American Historical Review, Vol. 88, No. 4 (Oct., 1983), p. 1051 <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1874145>
- ^ "When the US wanted to take over France‑Le Monde diplomatique‑English edition". Le Monde diplomatique. May 2003. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. http://mondediplo.com/2003/05/05lacroix. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- ^ League of Nations' Expulsion of the USSR, 14 December 1939
- ^ Kenneth G. Weiss, The Azores in Diplomacy and Strategy, 1940–1945, Center for Naval Analyses, 1980, Alexandria, VA
- ^ Overy 1997, pp 41, 43–7.
- ^ Davies 2006, pp 148–51.
- ^ Davies 2006, pp 16, 154.
- ^ Khudoley, Konstantin K. (2009). "The Baltic factor". In Hiden, John. The Baltic question during the Cold War. Vahur Made, David J. Smith. Psychology Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-415-37100-1.
- ^ Geoffrey, Roberts (2004). "Ideology, calculation, and improvisation. Sphere of influence and Soviet foreign policy 1939-1945". In Martel, Gordon. The World War Two reader. Routledge. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-415-22402-4. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=E-w9nzoRI3wC&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- ^ Roberts, Geoffrey (1995). "Soviet policy and the Baltic States, 1939–1940 a reappraisal". Diplomacy & Statecraft (Francis & Taylor) 6 (3): 672–700. doi:10.1080/09592299508405982.
- ^ Toomas Alatalu. Tuva. A State Reawakens. Soviet Studies, Vol. 44, No. 5 (1992), pp. 881–895
- ^ Klemen, L. "201st Mexican Fighter Squadron". The Netherlands East Indies 1941–1942. http://www.dutcheastindies.webs.com/201squadron.html. 201st Mexican Fighter Squadron
- ^ Plascencia de la Parra, E. La infantería Invisible:Mexicanos en la Segunda Guerra Mundial.México. Ed. UNAM. Retrieved 27 April 2012 
- ^ http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/decade/decad058.htm
- ^ Motter, T.H. Vail (2000) . "The Persion Corridor and Aid to Russia". United States Army in World War II. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 8-1. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/persian/index.htm#contents. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- ^ United Nations Security Council: Official Records: First Year, First Series, First Meeting
- ^ a b "DECLARATION BY UNITED NATIONS". Book Department, Army Information School, Carlisle Barrack nars, Pa., May 1946 and ibiblio. 1 January 1942. http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1942/420101a.html.
- ^ While its foreign and military affairs were controlled by the UK, the British government gave its administrators in India the ability to act in certain matters and India was a member of the League of Nations.
- ^ a b "United Nations member States – Growth in United Nations membership, 1945–present". United Nations. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. http://www.un.org/en/members/growth.shtml. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- ^ Government-in-exile of Free France continued fighting with Britain from 18 June 1940 to 19 August 1944. Philippe Pétain's government formally capitulated on 22 June 1940 and the Vichy regime was later an Axis supporter. Free France contributed to Allied war effort; the Provisional Government of the French Republic was officially recognized by the Allies as the legitimate government of France, on 23 October 1944 (Ordre de la Libération). Pétain's demand of surrender in 1940 was also legally nullified, as was the Vichy regime as a whole (ref)
- ^ Germany occupied Denmark in 1940 and the Danish government surrendered. The government disbanded in 1942 and Denmark was subject to direct rule by Nazi Germany. Denmark was accepted as a founding member of the UN in 1945.
- ^ Formally member of Axis from 25 March to 6 April 1941, Yugoslavia was initially represented as an Ally by the government-in-exile of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, a signatory to the Declaration by the United Nations. Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, which would succeed the kingdom, was founded on 29 November 1943 by the communist-led Yugoslav Partisans, who were recognised as the official Yugoslav armed resistance force two days later at the Tehran Conference.
- ^ Soldiers from that independent country fought on the Soviet-German front in 1943-44. Toomas Alatalu. Tuva. A State Reawakens. Soviet Studies, Vol. 44, No. 5 (1992), pp. 881-895.
- ^ The US Philippine Independence Act of 1934 did not grant full independence: there was a 10-year transition to full independence, during which the US was responsible for the Philippines' foreign policy and controlled the Philippine Army. See, e.g.: Dolan, Ronald E., ed. (1991-20). "Commonwealth Politics, 1935-41", in Philippines: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0748-8.
- ^ Philippine foreign and military affairs were limited and largely influenced by the United States. However, its government-in-exile signed the Declaration by United Nations on 10 June 1942.
- ^ At war with the Empire of Japan since 1937.
- ^ "Declaration of War against Japan and pursuing the War of Liberation (대일 선전포고와 광복전쟁 추진)". i815.or.kr (The Independence Hall of Korea). http://www.i815.or.kr/media_data/chong_new/e0018/e0018_23.htm. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- ^ Government in exile in Chongqing
- ^ Government-in-exile, the state having been disbanded by Germany in March 1939. The exiled Czechs fought alongside the Allies since the very beginning of the war.
- ^ Formerly annexed by Italy through the Abyssinia Crisis.
- ^ a b Occupied by Allies in 1941.
- ^ Former Axis power. Italy surrendered unconditionally to the Allies on 8 September 1943, and declared war on Germany on 13 October. Italy declared war on Japan on 14 July 1945, effective from 15 July. The country did not join the United Nations during the war.
- ^ Former Axis power. Romania accepted Allied armistice terms on 23 August 1944; declared war on Germany (25 August 1944), Hungary (7 September 1944), and Japan (7 March 1945); and signed an armistice with the Allies on 12 September. Romanian troops fought alongside the Soviets against Axis forces in Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria during 1944-45. Romania did not join the United Nations during the war.
- ^ Former Axis power. Bulgaria declared war on Germany on 8 September 1944 and signed an armistice with the Allies on 28 October. Bulgarian troops fought alongside the Soviets against Axis forces in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Austria during 1944-45. Bulgaria did not join the United Nations during the war.
- ^ Former Axis power. Hungary signed an armistice with the Allies and declared war on Germany on 20 January 1945. The country did not join the United Nations during the war.
- ^ Former co-belligerent of Germany in the Continuation War. Finland signed an armistice with the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom on 19 September 1944, and fought against German forces in the Lapland War from 1 October 1944. On 3 March 1945, Finland retroactively declared war on Germany from 15 September 1944. Finland did not join the United Nations during the war.
- Davies, Norman (2006), Europe at War 1939–1945: No Simple Victory. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-69285-3
- Overy, Richard (1997), Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941–1945. New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-027169-4.
- R. Holland (1981), Britain and the Commonwealth alliance, 1918-1939, London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-27295-4