Template:Color box Axis powers
|Political structure||Military alliance|
|Historical era||World War II|
|-||Anti-Comintern Pact||25 November 1936|
|-||Pact of Steel||22 May 1939|
|-||Tripartite Pact||27 September 1940|
|-||Dissolved||2 September 1945|
The Axis powers (German: AchsenmächteScript error, Italian: Potenze dell'AsseScript error, Template:Lang-ja), also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was the alignment of nations that fought in the Second World War against the Allied forces. The Axis grew out of the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty signed by Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan in 1936. The Kingdom of Italy joined in 1937. The "Rome–Berlin Axis" became a military alliance in 1939 under the Pact of Steel, with the Tripartite Pact of 1940 leading to the integration of the military aims of Germany and its two treaty-bound allies. At their zenith during World War II, the Axis powers presided over empires that occupied large parts of Europe, Africa, East and Southeast Asia, and islands of the Pacific Ocean. The war ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Axis powers and the dissolution of the alliance. Like the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, with nations fighting and not fighting over the course of the war.
The Axis made various justifications for their war against the Western and Eastern Allies. Adolf Hitler in 1941 described the outbreak of World War II as the fault of the intervention of Western powers against Germany during its war with Poland, describing it as the result of "the European and American warmongers". In particular, Hitler focused his blame on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, claiming that Churchill had wanted a war with Germany. Benito Mussolini described Italy's intervention in the war against the Western Allies as the following: "We are going to war against the plutocratic and reactionary democracies of the West who have invariably hindered the progress and often threatened the very existence of the Italian people...".
The term "axis" is believed to have been first coined by Hungary's fascist prime minister Gyula Gömbös, who advocated an alliance of Germany, Hungary, and Italy. He worked as an intermediary between Germany and Italy to lessen differences between the two countries to achieve such an alliance.
Gömbös' sudden death in 1936 while negotiating with Germany in Munich and the arrival of Kálmán Darányi, a non-fascist successor to him, ended Hungary's initial involvement in pursuing a trilateral axis. The lessening of differences between Germany and Italy led to the formation of a bilateral axis.
Italy under Duce Benito Mussolini had pursued a strategic alliance of Italy with Germany against France since the early 1920s. Mussolini, prior to becoming head of government in Italy, as leader of the Italian Fascist movement, had advocated alliance with recently-defeated Germany after the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 settled World War I. He believed that Italy could expand its influence in Europe by allying with Germany against France. In early 1923, as a goodwill gesture to Germany, Italy secretly delivered weapons to Germany for use in the German Army that had faced major disarmament under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1923, Mussolini offered German Chancellor Gustav Stresemann a "common policy", he sought German military support against potential French military intervention over Italy's diplomatic dispute with Yugoslavia over Fiume, should an Italian seizure of Fiume result in war between Italy and Yugoslavia. over Italy's diplomatic dispute with Yugoslavia and its ally France over the city of Fiume. The German ambassador to Italy in 1924 reported that Mussolini saw a nationalist Germany as an essential ally to Italy against France, and hoped to tap into the desire within the German army and the German political right for a war of revenge against France.
Italy since the 1920s had identified the year 1935 as a crucial date for preparing for a war against France, as 1935 was the year when Germany's obligations to the Treaty of Versailles were scheduled to expire. Mussolini stressed one important condition that Italy must pursue in an alliance with Germany, that Italy "must...tow them, not be towed by them".
In 1934, with the accession of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party to power in Germany, resulted in Germany and Italy setting out to establish an alliance. However relations between the two countries collapsed later that year after Hitler's subordinate Nazis in Austria assassinated Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dolfuss, an ally of Italy. Italy's foreign policy suddenly reversed, with Mussolini condemning the murder of Dolfuss and condemning Germany for being responsible. Relations between Germany and Italy recovered due to Hitler's support of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, while other countries condemned the invasion and advocated sanctions against Italy.
In November 1936 the term "axis" was used by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini when he spoke of a Rome-Berlin axis arising out of the treaty of friendship signed between Italy and Germany on 25 October 1936. This treaty was forged when Italy, originally opposed to Nazi Germany, was faced with opposition to its war in Abyssinia from the League of Nations and received support from Germany. Later, in May 1939, this relationship transformed into an alliance, which Mussolini called the "Pact of Steel".
The "Axis powers" formally took the name after the Tripartite Pact was signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan on 27 September 1940, in Berlin. The pact was subsequently joined by Hungary (20 November 1940), Romania (23 November 1940), Slovakia (24 November 1940), and Bulgaria (1 March 1941).
Its most militarily powerful members were Germany and Japan. These two nations had also signed the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936.
Economic resources Edit
The total Axis population in 1938 was 258.9 million, while the total Allied population (excluding the Soviet Union and the United States, who later joined the Allies) was 689.7 million.
Thus the Allied powers at that time outnumbered the Axis powers in terms of population by 2.7 to 1.
The leading Axis states had the following domestic populations: Germany (including recently annexed Austria, with a population of 6.8 million) had 75.5 million, Japan (excluding its colonies) had a population of 71.9 million, and Italy had 43.4 million. The United Kingdom (excluding its colonies) had a domestic population of 47.5 million and France (excluding its colonies) had 42 million.
The total GDP of the Allied powers in 1941 was $1,798 billion – with the United States alone providing $1,094 billion, more GDP than all the Axis powers combined.
The burden of the war upon the economies of the participating countries has been measured through the percentage of gross national product (GNP) devoted to military expenditures.
Nearly one-quarter of Germany's GNP was committed to the war effort in 1939, and this rose three-quarters of GNP in 1944, prior to the collapse of the economy.
In 1939, Japan committed 22 percent of its GNP to its war effort in China; this rose to three-quarters of Japan's GNP in 1944.
Italy did not mobilize its economy; its GNP committed to the war effort remained at prewar levels.
Italy and Japan lacked industrial capacity; their economies were small, dependent on international trade, external sources of fuel and other industrial resources.
As a result, Italian and Japanese mobilization remained low, even by 1943.
Among the three major Axis powers – Germany, Italy, and Japan – Japan had the lowest per capita income, while Germany and Italy had an income level comparable to the United Kingdom.
Participating nations Edit
At the end of World War I, German citizens felt that their country had been humiliated as a result of the Treaty of Versailles, in which Germany was forced to pay enormous reparations payments and forfeit German-populated territories and all its colonies. The pressure of the reparations on the German economy led to hyperinflation during the early 1920s. In 1923 the French occupied the Ruhr region when Germany defaulted on its reparations payments. Although Germany began to improve economically in the mid-1920s, the Great Depression created more economic hardship and a rise in political forces that advocated radical solutions to Germany's woes. The Nazis, under Adolf Hitler, promoted the nationalist stab-in-the-back legend stating that Germany had been betrayed by Jews and Communists. The party promised to rebuild Germany as a major power and create a Greater Germany that would include Alsace-Lorraine, Austria, Sudetenland, and other German-populated territories in Europe. The Nazis also aimed to occupy and colonize non-German territories in Poland, the Baltic states, and the Soviet Union, as part of the Nazi policy of seeking Lebensraum ("living space") in eastern Europe.
Germany renounced the Versailles treaty and remilitarized the Rhineland in March 1936. Germany had already resumed conscription and announced the existence of a German air force in 1935. Germany annexed Austria in 1938, the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, and the Memel territory from Lithuania in 1939. Germany then invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia in 1939, creating the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the country of Slovakia.
On 23 August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which contained a secret protocol dividing eastern Europe into spheres of influence.
Germany's invasion of its part of Poland under the Pact eight days later
triggered the beginning of World War II. By the end of 1941, Germany occupied a large part of Europe and its military forces were fighting the Soviet Union, nearly capturing Moscow. However, crushing defeats at the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk devastated the German armed forces. This, combined with Western Allied landings in France and Italy, led to a three-front war that depleted Germany's armed forces and resulted in Germany's defeat in 1945.
The Empire of Japan, a constitutional monarchy ruled by Hirohito, was the principal Axis power in Asia and the Pacific. The Japanese constitution prescribed that "the Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution" (article 4) and that "The Emperor has the supreme command of the Army and the Navy" (article 11). Under the emperor were a political cabinet and the Imperial General Headquarters, with two chiefs of staff.
At its height, Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere included Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, large parts of China, Malaysia, French Indochina, Dutch East Indies, The Philippines, Burma, some of India, and various Pacific Islands in the central Pacific.
As a result of the internal discord and economic downturn of the 1920s, militaristic elements set Japan on a path of expansionism. As the Japanese home islands lacked natural resources needed for growth, Japan planned to establish hegemony in Asia and become self-sufficient by acquiring territories with abundant natural resources. Japan's expansionist policies alienated it from other countries in the League of Nations and by the mid-1930s brought it closer to Germany and Italy, who had both pursued similar expansionist policies. Cooperation between Japan and Germany began with the Anti-Comintern Pact, in which the two countries agreed to ally to challenge any attack by the Soviet Union.
Japan entered into conflict against the Chinese in 1937. The Japanese invasion and occupation of parts of China resulted in numerous atrocities against civilians, such as the Nanking massacre and the Three Alls Policy. The Japanese also fought skirmishes with Soviet–Mongolian forces in Manchukuo in 1938 and 1939. Japan sought to avoid war with the Soviet Union by signing a non-aggression pact with them in 1941.
Japan's military leaders were divided on Japan's diplomatic relationships with Germany and Italy and the attitude towards the United States. The Imperial Japanese Army was in favour of war with the United States, and the Imperial Japanese Navy was generally strongly opposed. When Prime Minister of Japan General Hideki Tojo refused American demands that Japan withdraw its military forces from China, a confrontation became more likely.
War with the United States was being discussed within the Japanese government by 1940.
Commander of the Combined Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was outspoken in his opposition, especially after the signing of the Tripartite Pact, saying on 14 October 1940: "To fight the United States is like fighting the whole world. But it has been decided. So I will fight the best I can. Doubtless I shall die on board Nagato [his flagship]. Meanwhile Tokyo will be burnt to the ground three times. Konoe and others will be torn to pieces by the revengeful people, I [shouldn't] wonder. "
In October and November 1940, Yamamoto communicated with Navy Minister Oikawa, and stated, "Unlike the pre-Tripartite days, great determination is required to make certain that we avoid the danger of going to war. "
With the European powers focused on the war in Europe, Japan sought to acquire their colonies. In 1940 Japan responded to the German invasion of France by occupying French Indochina. The Vichy France regime, a de facto ally of Germany, accepted the takeover. The allied forces did not respond with war. However, the United States instituted an embargo against Japan in 1941 because of the continuing war in China. This cut off Japan's supply of scrap metal and oil needed for industry, trade, and the war effort.
To isolate the American forces stationed in the Philippines and to reduce American naval power, the Imperial General Headquarters ordered an attack on the U. S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 7 December 1941. They also invaded Malaya and Hong Kong. Initially achieving a series of victories, by 1943 the Japanese forces were driven back towards the home islands. The Pacific War lasted until the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Soviets formally declared war in August 1945 and engaged Japanese forces in Manchuria and northeast China.
During World War I, Italy was at war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. At the close of the war, Italy made fewer gains than it had been promised in the London Pact, which was nullified with the Treaty of Versailles. Italian nationalists and the public saw this as an injustice and an outrage; there had been over 600,000 Italian casualties. This resentment, together with internal discontent and an economic downturn, allowed the Italian fascists under Benito Mussolini to rise to power in 1922. The Kingdom of Italy fell under the leadership of the fascist dictator and Head of Government Mussolini, in the name of King Victor Emmanuel III.
In the late 19th century, after Italian unification, a nationalist movement had grown around the concept of Italia irredenta, which advocated the incorporation into Italy of Italian-speaking areas under foreign rule. There was a desire to annex Dalmatian territories, which had formerly been ruled by the Venetians, and which consequently had Italian-speaking elites. The intention of the Fascist regime was to create a "New Roman Empire" in which Italy would dominate the Mediterranean. In 1935–1936 Italy invaded and annexed Ethiopia and the Fascist government proclaimed the creation of the "Italian Empire".
Protests by the League of Nations, especially the British, who had interests in that area, led to no serious action. Italy later faced diplomatic isolation from several countries. In 1937 Italy left the League of Nations and joined the Anti-Comintern Pact, which had been signed by Germany and Japan the preceding year. In March/April 1939 Italian troops invaded and annexed Albania. Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel on May 22.
Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940. In September 1940 Germany, Italy, and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact.
Italy was ill-prepared for war, in spite of the fact that it had continuously been involved in conflict since 1935, first with Ethiopia in 1935–1936 and then in the Spanish Civil War on the side of Francisco Franco's Nationalists.
Military planning was deficient, as the Italian government had not decided on which theatre would be the most important. Power over the military was overcentralized to Mussolini's direct control; he personally undertook to direct the ministry of war, the navy, and the air force. The navy did not have any aircraft carriers to provide air cover for amphibious assaults in the Mediterranean, as the Fascist regime believed that the air bases on the Italian Peninsula would be able to do this task.
Italy's army had outmoded artillery and the armoured units used outdated formations not suited to modern warfare.
Diversion of funds to the air force and navy to prepare for overseas operations meant less money was available for the army; the standard rifle was a design that dated back to 1891.
The Fascist government failed to learn from mistakes made in Ethiopia and Spain; it ignored the implications of the Italian Fascist volunteer soldiers being routed at the Battle of Guadalajara in the Spanish Civil War.
Military exercises by the army in the Po Valley in August 1939 disappointed onlookers, including King Victor Emmanuel III.
Mussolini who was angered by Italy's military unpreparedness, dismissed Alberto Pariani as Chief of Staff of the Italian military in 1939.
Italy's only strategic natural resource was an abundance of aluminum. Petroleum, iron, copper, nickel, chrome, and rubber all had to be imported.
The Fascist government's economic policy of autarky and a recourse to synthetic materials was not able to meet the demand.
Prior to entering the war, the Fascist government sought to gain control over resources in the Balkans, particularly oil from Romania. The agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland between them resulted in Hungary that bordered the Soviet Union after Poland's partition, and Romania viewing Soviet invasion as an immediate threat, resulting in both countries appealing to Italy for support, beginning in September 1939. Italy - then still officially neutral - responded to appeals by the Hungarian and Romanian governments for protection from the Soviet Union, by proposing a Danube-Balkan neutrals bloc. The proposed bloc was designed to increase Italian influence in the Balkans, it met resistance from France, Germany, and the Soviet Union that did not want to lose their influence in the Balkans; however Britain that still hoped that Italy would not enter the war on Germany's side, supported the neutral bloc. The efforts to form the bloc failed by November 1939 after Turkey made an agreement that it would protect Allied Mediterranean territory, along with Greece and Romania.
Mussolini refused to heed warnings from his minister of exchange and currency, Felice Guarneri, who said that Italy's actions in Ethiopia and Spain meant the nation was on the verge of bankruptcy.
By 1939 military expenditures by Britain and France far exceeded what Italy could afford.
By 1941 the Italians had suffered defeats in Greece and against the British in Egypt. The Germans intervened in Yugoslavia, the Balkans, and North Africa to attempt to stave off the Allied advances. By 1943 the Italian people had lost faith in Mussolini and no longer supported the war; Italy had lost its colonies, the allies had taken North Africa in May, and Sicily had been invaded in July.
On 25 July 1943, King Victor Emmanuel III dismissed Mussolini, placed him under arrest, and began secret negotiations with the Allies. An armistice was signed on 8 September 1943, and Italy joined the Allies as a co-belligerent. On 12 September 1943, Mussolini was rescued by the Germans in Operation Oak and placed in charge of a puppet state called the Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana/RSI, or Repubblica di Salò) in northern Italy. He was killed by Communist partisans on 28 April 1945.
Political instability plagued the country until Miklós Horthy, a Hungarian nobleman and Austro-Hungarian naval officer, became regent in 1920. Hungarian nationalists desired to recover territories lost through the Trianon Treaty. The country drew closer to Germany and Italy largely because of a shared desire to revise the peace settlements made after World War I.
Many people sympathized with the anti-Semitic policy of the Nazi regime. Due to its pro-German stance, Hungary received favourable territorial settlements when Germany annexed Czechoslovakia in 1938–1939 and received Northern Transylvania from Romania via the Vienna Awards of 1940. Hungarians permitted German troops to transit through their territory during the invasion of Yugoslavia, and Hungarian forces took part in the invasion. Parts of Yugoslavia were annexed to Hungary; the United Kingdom immediately broke off diplomatic relations in response.
Although Hungary did not initially participate in the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union on 27 June 1941. Over 500,000 soldiers served on the Eastern Front. All five of Hungary's field armies ultimately participated in the war against the Soviet Union; a significant contribution was made by the Hungarian Second Army.
On 25 November 1941, Hungary was one of thirteen signatories to the revived Anti-Comintern Pact. Hungarian troops, like their Axis counterparts, were involved in numerous actions against the Soviets. By the end of 1943, the Soviets had gained the upper hand and the Germans were retreating. The Hungarian Second Army was destroyed in fighting on the Voronezh Front, on the banks of the Don River. In 1944, with Soviet troops advancing toward Hungary, Horthy attempted to reach an armistice with the Allies. However, the Germans replaced the existing regime with a new one. After fierce fighting, Budapest was taken by the Soviets. A number of pro-German Hungarians retreated to Italy and Germany, where they fought until the end of the war.
When war erupted in Europe in 1939, the Kingdom of Romania was pro-British and allied to the Poles. Following the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union, and the German conquest of France and the Low Countries, Romania found itself increasingly isolated; meanwhile, pro-German and pro-Fascist elements began to grow.
The August 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union contained a secret protocol ceding Bessarabia, part of northern Romania, to the Soviet Union.
On June 28, 1940, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed Bessarabia, as well as Northern Bukovina and the Hertza region.
On 30 August 1940, Germany forced Romania to cede Northern Transylvania to Hungary as a result of the second Vienna Award. Southern Dobruja was ceded to Bulgaria in September 1940. In an effort to appease the Fascist elements within the country and obtain German protection, King Carol II appointed the General Ion Antonescu as Prime Minister on September 6, 1940.
Two days later, Antonescu forced the king to abdicate and installed the king's young son Michael (Mihai) on the throne, then declared himself Conducător ("Leader") with dictatorial powers. Under King Michael I and the military government of Antonescu, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact on November 23, 1940. German troops entered the country in 1941 and used the country as platform for invasions of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Romania was a key supplier of resources, especially oil and grain.
Romania joined the German-led invasion of the Soviet Union on June 2,2 1941; nearly 800,000 Romanian soldiers fought on the Eastern front. Areas that were annexed by the Soviets were reincorporated into Romania, along with the newly established Transnistria Governorate. After suffering devastating losses at Stalingrad, Romanian officials began secretly negotiating peace conditions with the Allies. By 1943, the tide began to turn. The Soviets pushed further west, retaking Ukraine and eventually launching an unsuccessful invasion of eastern Romania in the spring of 1944. Foreseeing the fall of Nazi Germany, Romania switched sides during King Michael's Coup on August 23, 1944. Romanian troops then fought alongside the Soviet Army until the end of the war, reaching as far as Czechoslovakia and Austria.
The Kingdom of Bulgaria was ruled by Тsar Boris III when it signed the Tripartite Pact on 1 March 1941. Bulgaria had been on the losing side in the First World War and sought a return of lost ethnically and historically Bulgarian territories, specifically in Macedonia and Thrace. During the 1930s, because of traditional right-wing elements, Bulgaria drew closer to Nazi Germany. In 1940 Germany pressured Romania to sign the Treaty of Craiova, returning to Bulgaria the region of Southern Dobrudja, which it had lost in 1913. The Germans also promised Bulgaria — in case it joined the Axis — an enlargement of its territory to the borders specified in the Treaty of San Stefano.
Bulgaria participated in the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece by letting German troops attack from its territory and sent troops to Greece on April 20. As a reward, the Axis powers allowed Bulgaria to occupy parts of both countries—southern and south-eastern Yugoslavia (Vardar Banovina) and north-eastern Greece (parts of Greek Macedonia and Greek Thrace. The Bulgarian forces in these areas spent the following years fighting various nationalist groups and resistance movements. Despite German pressure, Bulgaria did not take part in the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union and actually never declared war on the Soviet Union. The Bulgarian Navy was nonetheless involved in a number of skirmishes with the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, which attacked Bulgarian shipping.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Bulgarian government declared war on the Western Allies. This action remained largely symbolic (at least from the Bulgarian perspective), until August 1943, when Bulgarian air defense and air force attacked Allied bombers, returning (heavily damaged) from a mission over the Romanian oil refineries. This turned into a disaster for the citizens of Sofia and other major Bulgarian cities, which were heavily bombed by the Allies in the winter of 1943–1944.
On 2 September 1944, as the Red Army approached the Bulgarian border, a new Bulgarian government came to power and sought peace with the Allies, expelled the few remaining German troops, and declared neutrality. These measures however did not prevent the Soviet Union from declaring war on Bulgaria on 5 September, and on 8 September the Red Army marched into the country, meeting no resistance. This was followed by the coup d'état of 9 September 1944, which brought a government of the pro-Soviet Fatherland Front. After this, the Bulgarian army (as part of the Red Army's Third Ukrainian Front) fought the Germans in Yugoslavia and Hungary, sustaining numerous casualties. Despite this, the Paris Peace Treaty treated Bulgaria as one of the defeated countries. Bulgaria was allowed to keep Southern Dobrudja, but had to give up all claims to Greek and Yugoslav territory. 150,000 ethnic Bulgarians were expelled from Greek Thrace alone.
On 25 March 1941, fearing that Yugoslavia would be invaded otherwise, Prince Paul signed the Tripartite Pact with significant reservations. Unlike other Axis powers, Yugoslavia was not obligated to provide military assistance, nor to provide its territory for Axis to move military forces during the war. Yugoslavia's inclusion in the Axis was not openly welcomed; Italy did not desire Yugoslavia to be a partner in the Axis alliance because Italy had territorial claims on Yugoslavia.
Germany, on the other hand, initially wanted Yugoslavia to participate in Germany's then-planned Operation Marita in Greece by providing military access to German forces to travel from Germany through Yugoslavia to Greece.
Two days after signing the alliance in 1941, after demonstrations in the streets of Belgrade, Prince Paul was removed from office by a coup d'état. Seventeen-year-old Prince Peter was proclaimed to be of age and was declared king, though he was not crowned nor anointed (a custom of the Serbian Orthodox Church). The new Yugoslavian government under King Peter II, still fearful of invasion, stated that it would remain bound by the Tripartite Pact. Hitler, however, suspected that the British were behind the coup against Prince Paul and vowed to invade the country.
The German invasion began on 6 April 1941. Royal Yugoslav Army was thoroughly defeated in less than two weeks and an unconditional surrender was signed in Belgrade on 17 April. King Peter II and much of the Yugoslavian government had left the country because they did not want to cooperate with the Axis.
While Yugoslavia was no longer capable of being a member of the Axis, several Axis-aligned puppet states emerged after the kingdom was dissolved. Local governments were set up in Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro. The remainder of Yugoslavia was divided among the other Axis powers. Germany annexed parts of Drava Banovina. Italy annexed south-western Drava Banovina, coastal parts of Croatia (Dalmatia and the islands), and attached Kosovo to Albania (occupied since 1939). Hungary annexed several border territories of Vojvodina and Baranja. Bulgaria annexed Macedonia and parts of southern Serbia.
Various countries fought side by side with the Axis powers for a common cause. These countries were not signatories of the Tripartite Pact and thus not formal members of the Axis.
Japanese forces invaded Thailand's territory on the morning of 8 December 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Only hours after the invasion, prime minister Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram ordered the cessation of resistance against the Japanese. On 21 December 1941, a military alliance with Japan was signed and on 25 January 1942, Sang Phathanothai read over the radio Thailand's formal declaration of war on the United Kingdom and the United States. The Thai ambassador to the United States, Mom Rajawongse Seni Pramoj, did not deliver his copy of the declaration of war. Therefore, although the British reciprocated by declaring war on Thailand and considered it a hostile country, the United States did not.
On 21 March, the Thais and Japanese also agreed that Shan State and Kayah State were to be under Thai control. The rest of Burma was to be under Japanese control, On 10 May 1942, the Thai Phayap Army entered Burma's eastern Shan State, which had been claimed by Siamese kingdoms. Three Thai infantry and one cavalry division, spearheaded by armoured reconnaissance groups and supported by the air force, engaged the retreating Chinese 93rd Division. Kengtung, the main objective, was captured on 27 May. Renewed offensives in June and November evicted the Chinese into Yunnan. The area containing the Shan States and Kayah State was annexed by Thailand in 1942. The areas were ceded back to Burma in 1946.
The Free Thai Movement ("Seri Thai") was established during these first few months. Parallel Free Thai organizations were also established in the United Kingdom. Queen Ramphaiphanni was the nominal head of the British-based organization, and Pridi Phanomyong, the regent, headed its largest contingent, which was operating within Thailand. Aided by elements of the military, secret airfields and training camps were established, while Office of Strategic Services and Force 136 agents slipped in and out of the country.
As the war dragged on, the Thai population came to resent the Japanese presence. In June 1944, Phibun was overthrown in a coup d'état. The new civilian government under Khuang Aphaiwong attempted to aid the resistance while maintaining cordial relations with the Japanese. After the war, U. S. influence prevented Thailand from being treated as an Axis country, but the British demanded three million tons of rice as reparations and the return of areas annexed from Malaya during the war. Thailand also returned the portions of British Burma and French Indochina that had been annexed. Phibun and a number of his associates were put on trial on charges of having committed war crimes and of collaborating with the Axis powers. However, the charges were dropped due to intense public pressure. Public opinion was favourable to Phibun, since he was thought to have done his best to protect Thai interests.
Although Finland never signed the Tripartite Pact and legally (de jure) was not a part of the Axis, it was Axis-aligned in its fight against the Soviet Union.
Finland signed the revived Anti-Comintern Pact of November 1941.
The August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union contained a secret protocol dividing much of eastern Europe and assigning Finland to the Soviet sphere of influence.
After unsuccessfully attempting to force territorial and other concessions on the Finns, the Soviet Union invaded Finland in November 1939 during the Winter War, intending to establish a communist puppet government in Finland.
The conflict threatened Germany's iron-ore supplies and offered the prospect of Allied interference in the region.
Despite Finnish resistance, a peace treaty was signed in March 1940, wherein Finland ceded some key territory to the Soviet Union, including the Karelian Isthmus, containing Finland's second-largest city, Viipuri, and the critical defensive structure of the Mannerheim Line. After this war, Finland sought protection and support from the United Kingdom
 and neutral Sweden,
but was thwarted by Soviet and German actions. This resulted in Finland being drawn closer to Germany, first with the intent of enlisting German support as a counterweight to thwart continuing Soviet pressure, and later to help regain lost territories.
In the opening days of Operation Barbarossa, Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, Finland permitted German planes returning from mine dropping runs over Kronstadt and Neva River to refuel at Finnish airfields before returning to bases in East Prussia. In retaliation, the Soviet Union launched a major air offensive against Finnish airfields and towns, which resulted in a Finnish declaration of war against the Soviet Union on 25 June 1941. The Finnish conflict with the Soviet Union is generally referred to as the Continuation War.
Finland's main objective was to regain territory lost to the Soviet Union in the Winter War. However, on 10 July 1941, Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim issued an Order of the Day that contained a formulation understood internationally as a Finnish territorial interest in Russian Karelia.
Diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Finland were severed on 1 August 1941, after the British bombed German forces in the Finnish village and port of Petsamo. The United Kingdom repeatedly called on Finland to cease its offensive against the Soviet Union, and declared war on Finland on 6 December 1941, although no other military operations followed. War was never declared between Finland and the United States, though relations were severed between the two countries in 1944 as a result of the Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement.
Finland maintained command of its armed forces and pursued war objectives independently of Germany. Germans and Finns did work closely together during Operation Silverfox, a joint offensive against Murmansk. Finland refused German requests to participate actively in the Siege of Leningrad, and also granted asylum to Jews, while Jewish soldiers continued to serve in its army.
The relationship between Finland and Germany more closely resembled an alliance during the six weeks of the Ryti-Ribbentrop Agreement, which was presented as a German condition for help with munitions and air support, as the Soviet offensive coordinated with D-Day threatened Finland with complete occupation. The agreement, signed by President Risto Ryti but never ratified by the Finnish Parliament, bound Finland not to seek a separate peace.
After Soviet offensives were fought to a standstill, Ryti's successor as president, Marshall Mannerheim, dismissed the agreement and opened secret negotiations with the Soviets, which resulted in a ceasefire on 4 September and the Moscow Armistice on 19 September 1944. Under the terms of the armistice, Finland was obligated to expel German troops from Finnish territory, which resulted in the Lapland War. Finland signed a peace treaty with the Allied powers in 1947.
San Marino Edit
Since 1923, San Marino was ruled by the Sammarinese Fascist Party (PFS) and was closely allied to Italy. On 17 September 1940, San Marino declared war on Britain; Britain and the other Allied nations did not reciprocate. San Marino restored relations with Germany, as it did not attend the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. This was done to avoid a repeat of the 1936 incident when San Marino denied a Turkish student entry because he was an enemy alien.
Three days after the fall of Mussolini, PFS rule collapsed and the new government declared neutrality in the conflict. The Fascists regained power on 1 April 1944, but kept neutrality intact. On 26 June, the Royal Air Force accidentallyScript errorScript error bombed the country, killing 63. The Fascists and the Axis used this tragedy in propaganda about Allied aggression against a neutral country.
Retreating Axis forces occupied San Marino on 17 September, but were forced out by the Allies in less than three days. The Allied occupation removed the Fascists from power, and San Marino declared war on Germany on 21 September. The newly elected government banned the Fascists on 16 November.
Anti-British sentiments were widespread in Iraq prior to 1941. Seizing power on 1 April 1941, the nationalist government of Prime Minister Rashid Ali repudiated the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930 and demanded that the British abandon their military bases and withdraw from the country. Ali sought support from Germany and Italy in expelling British forces from Iraq.
against the British and called on Arabs throughout the Middle East to rise up against British rule. On 25 May 1941, the Germans stepped up offensive operations.
Hitler issued Order 30: "The Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle East is our natural ally against England. In this connection special importance is attached to the liberation of Iraq ... I have therefore decided to move forward in the Middle East by supporting Iraq. "
Hostilities between the Iraqi and British forces began on 2 May 1941, with heavy fighting at the RAF air base in Habbaniyah. The Germans and Italians dispatched aircraft and aircrew to Iraq utilizing Vichy French bases in Syria, which would later invoke fighting between Allied and Vichy French forces in Syria.
The Germans planned to coordinate a combined German-Italian offensive against the British in Egypt, Palestine, and Iraq. Iraqi military resistance ended by 31 May 1941. Rashid Ali and the Mufti of Jerusalem fled to Iran, then Turkey, Italy, and finally Germany, where Ali was welcomed by Hitler as head of the Iraqi government-in-exile in Berlin. In propaganda broadcasts from Berlin, the Mufti continued to call on Arabs to rise up against the British and aid German and Italian forces. He also helped recruit Muslim volunteers in the Balkans for the Waffen-SS.
Japanese puppet states Edit
The Empire of Japan created a number of puppet states in the areas occupied by its military, beginning with the creation of Manchukuo in 1932. These puppet states achieved varying degrees of international recognition.
Manchukuo (Manchuria) Edit
Manchukuo, in the northeast region of China, had been a Japanese puppet state in Manchuria since the 1930s. It was nominally ruled by Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty, but was in fact controlled by the Japanese military, in particular the Kwantung Army. While Manchukuo ostensibly was a state for ethnic Manchus, the region had a Han Chinese majority.
Following the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the independence of Manchukuo was proclaimed on 18 February 1932, with Puyi as head of state. He was proclaimed the Emperor of Manchukuo a year later. The new Manchu nation was recognized by 23 of the League of Nations' 80 members. Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union were among the major powers who recognised Manchukuo. Other countries who recognized the State were the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Vatican City. Manchukuo was also recognised by the other Japanese allies and puppet states, including Mengjiang, the Burmese government of Ba Maw, Thailand, the Wang Jingwei regime, and the Indian government of Subhas Chandra Bose. The League of Nations later declared in 1934 that Manchuria lawfully remained a part of China. This precipitated Japanese withdrawal from the League. The Manchukuoan state ceased to exist after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945.
Mengjiang (Inner Mongolia) Edit
Mengjiang was a Japanese puppet state in Inner Mongolia. It was nominally ruled by Prince Demchugdongrub, a Mongol nobleman descended from Genghis Khan, but was in fact controlled by the Japanese military. Mengjiang's independence was proclaimed on 18 February 1936, following the Japanese occupation of the region.
The Inner Mongolians had several grievances against the central Chinese government in Nanking, including their policy of allowing unlimited migration of Han Chinese to the region. Several of the young princes of Inner Mongolia began to agitate for greater freedom from the central government, and it was through these men that Japanese saw their best chance of exploiting Pan-Mongol nationalism and eventually seizing control of Outer Mongolia from the Soviet Union.
Japan created Mengjiang to exploit tensions between ethnic Mongolians and the central government of China, which in theory ruled Inner Mongolia. When the various puppet governments of China were unified under the Wang Jingwei government in March 1940, Mengjiang retained its separate identity as an autonomous federation. Although under the firm control of the Japanese Imperial Army, which occupied its territory, Prince Demchugdongrub had his own independent army.
Mengjiang vanished in 1945 following Japan's defeat in World War II. As Soviet forces advanced into Inner Mongolia, they met limited resistance from small detachments of Mongolian cavalry, which, like the rest of the army, were quickly overwhelmed.
Reorganized National Government of China Edit
During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan advanced from its bases in Manchuria to occupy much of East and Central China. Several Japanese puppet states were organized in areas occupied by the Japanese Army, including the Provisional Government of the Republic of China at Beijing, which was formed in 1937, and the Reformed Government of the Republic of China at Nanjing, which was formed in 1938. These governments were merged into the Reorganized National Government of China at Nanjing on 29 March 1940. Wang Jingwei became head of state. The government was to be run along the same lines as the Nationalist regime and adopted its symbols.
The Nanjing Government had no real power; its main role was to act as a propaganda tool for the Japanese. The Nanjing Government concluded agreements with Japan and Manchukuo, authorising Japanese occupation of China and recognising the independence of Manchukuo under Japanese protection. The Nanjing Government signed the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941 and declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom on 9 January 1943.
The government had a strained relationship with the Japanese from the beginning. Wang's insistence on his regime being the true Nationalist government of China and in replicating all the symbols of the Kuomintang led to frequent conflicts with the Japanese, the most prominent being the issue of the regime's flag, which was identical to that of the Republic of China.
The worsening situation for Japan from 1943 onwards meant that the Nanking Army was given a more substantial role in the defence of occupied China than the Japanese had initially envisaged. The army was almost continuously employed against the communist New Fourth Army.
Wang Jingwei died on 10 November 1944, and was succeeded by his deputy, Chen Gongbo. Chen had little influence; the real power behind the regime was Zhou Fohai, the mayor of Shanghai. Wang's death dispelled what little legitimacy the regime had. The state stuttered on for another year and continued the display and show of a fascist regime.
On 9 September 1945, following the defeat of Japan, the area was surrendered to General He Yingqin, a nationalist general loyal to Chiang Kai-shek. The Nanking Army generals quickly declared their alliance to the Generalissimo, and were subsequently ordered to resist Communist attempts to fill the vacuum left by the Japanese surrender. Chen Gongbo was tried and executed in 1946.
Philippines (Second Republic) Edit
After the surrender of the Filipino and American forces in Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island, the Japanese established a puppet state in the Philippines in 1942. The following year, the Philippine National Assembly declared the Philippines an independent Republic and elected José Laurel as its President. There was never widespread civilian support for the state, largely because of the general anti-Japanese sentiment stemming from atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army.Script errorScript error The Second Philippine Republic ended with Japanese surrender in 1945, and Laurel was arrested and charged with treason by the US government. He was granted amnesty by President Manuel Roxas, and remained active in politics, ultimately winning a seat in the post-war Senate.
India (Provisional Government of Free India) Edit
The Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind, the Provisional Government of Free India, was a government in exile led by Subhas Chandra Bose, an Indian nationalist who rejected Mohandas K. Gandhi's nonviolent methods for achieving independence.
One of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement of the time and former president of the Indian National Congress, Bose was arrested by British authorities at the outset of the Second World War. In January 1941 he escaped from house arrest, eventually reaching Germany. He arrived in 1942 in Singapore, base of the Indian National Army, made up largely from Indian prisoners of war and Indian residents in south east Asia who joined their own initiative.
Other Indian thinkers in favour of the Axis cause were Asit Krishna Mukherji, a friend of Bose, and Mukherji's wife, Savitri Devi, a French writer who admired Hitler.
Bose was helped by Rash Behari Bose, founder of the Indian Independence League in Japan. Bose declared India's independence on October 21, 1943. The Japanese Army assigned to the Indian National Army a number of military advisors, among them Hideo Iwakuro and Saburo Isoda.
The provisional government formally controlled the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; these islands had fallen to the Japanese and been handed over by Japan in November 1943. The government created its own currency, postage stamps, and national anthem. The government would last two more years, until 18 August 1945, when it officially became defunct. During its existence it received recognition from nine governments: Germany, Japan, Italy, Croatia, Manchukuo, China (under the Nanking Government of Wang Jingwei), Thailand, Burma (under the regime of Burmese nationalist leader Ba Maw), and the Philippines under de facto (and later de jure) president José Laurel.
Vietnam (Empire of Vietnam) Edit
The Empire of Vietnam was a short-lived Japanese puppet state that lasted from 11 March to 23 August 1945.
When the Japanese seized control of French Indochina, they allowed Vichy French administrators to remain in nominal control. This French rule ended on 9 March 1945, when the Japanese officially took control of the government. Soon after, Emperor Bảo Đại voided the 1884 treaty with France and Trần Trọng Kim, a historian, became prime minister.
The Kingdom of Cambodia was a short-lived Japanese puppet state that lasted from 9 March 1945 to 15 April 1945.
the Japanese entered Cambodia in mid-1941, but allowed Vichy French officials to remain in administrative posts. The Japanese calls for an "Asia for the Asiatics" won over many Cambodian nationalists.
This policy changed during the last months of the war. The Japanese wanted to gain local support, so they dissolved French colonial rule and pressured Cambodia to declare its independence within the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Four days later, King Sihanouk declared Kampuchea (the original Khmer pronunciation of Cambodia) independent. Co-editor of the Nagaravatta, Son Ngoc Thanh, returned from Tokyo in May and was appointed foreign minister.
On the date of Japanese surrender, a new government was proclaimed with Son Ngoc Thah as prime minister. When the Allies occupied Phnom Penh in October, Son Ngoc Thanh was arrested for collaborating with the Japanese and was exiled to France. Some of his supporters went to northwestern Cambodia, which had been under Thai control since the French-Thai War of 1940, where they banded together as one faction in the Khmer Issarak movement, originally formed with Thai encouragement in the 1940s.
Fears of Thai irredentism led to the formation of the first Lao nationalist organization, the Movement for National Renovation, in January 1941. The group was led by Prince Phetxarāt and supported by local French officials, though not by the Vichy authorities in Hanoi. This group wrote the current Lao national anthem and designed the current Lao flag, while paradoxically pledging support for France. The country declared its independence in 1945.
The liberation of France in 1944, bringing Charles de Gaulle to power, meant the end of the alliance between Japan and the Vichy French administration in Indochina. The Japanese had no intention of allowing the Gaullists to take over, and in late 1944 they staged a military coup in Hanoi. Some French units fled over the mountains to Laos, pursued by the Japanese, who occupied Viang Chan in March 1945 and Luang Phrabāng in April. King Sīsavāngvong was detained by the Japanese, but his son Crown Prince Savāngvatthanā called on all Lao to assist the French, and many Lao died fighting against the Japanese occupiers.Script errorScript error
Prince Phetxarāt opposed this position. He thought that Lao independence could be gained by siding with the Japanese, who made him Prime Minister of Luang Phrabāng, though not of Laos as a whole. The country was in chaos, and Phetxarāt's government had no real authority. Another Lao group, the Lao Sēri (Free Lao), received unofficial support from the Free Thai movement in the Isan region.
Burma (Ba Maw regime) Edit
The Japanese Army and Burma nationalists, led by Aung San, seized control of Burma from the United Kingdom during 1942. A State of Burma was formed on 1 August under the Burmese nationalist leader Ba Maw. The Ba Maw regime established the Burma Defence Army (later renamed the Burma National Army), which was commanded by Aung San.
Italian puppet states Edit
Italy occupied several nations and set up puppet states in those regions to carry out administrative tasks and maintain order.
Sekula Drljević and the core of the Montenegrin Federalist Party formed the Provisional Administrative Committee of Montenegro on 12 July 1941, and proclaimed on the Saint Peter's Congress the "Kingdom of Montenegro" under a protectorate of the Fascist Kingdom of Italy. The country served Italy as part of its goal of fragmenting the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia, expanding the Italian Empire throughout the Adriatic. The country was caught up in the rebellion of the Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland. Drljevic was expelled from Montenegro in October 1941. The country came under direct Italian control. With the Italian capitulation of 1943, Montenegro came directly under the control of Nazi Germany.
In 1944 Drljević formed a pro-Ustaše Montenegrin State Council in exile based in the Independent State of Croatia, with the aim of restoring rule over Montenegro. The Montenegrin People's Army was formed out of various Montenegrin nationalist troops. By then the partisans had already liberated most of Montenegro, which became a federal state of the new Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. Montenegro endured intense air bombing by the Allied air forces in 1944.
In spite of Albania's long-standing protection and alliance with Italy, on 7 April 1939 Italian troops invaded Albania, five months before the start of the Second World War. Following the invasion, Albania became a protectorate under Italy, with King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy being awarded the crown of Albania. Albanian troops under Italian control were sent to participate in the Italian invasion of Greece and the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia. Following Yugoslavia's defeat, Kosovo was annexed to Albania by the Italians.
After the Italian capitulation in September 1943, the country was occupied by the Germans until the end of the war.
A minor fascist regime was established in Monaco after the Italian army occupied the country in the aftermath of Case Anton. Monaco was finally liberated after the Allies landed on Western Europe.
German puppet regimes Edit
The collaborationist administrations of German-occupied countries in Europe had varying degrees of autonomy, and not all of them qualified as fully recognized sovereign states. The General Government in occupied Poland did not qualify as a legitimate Polish government and was essentially a German administration. In occupied Norway, the National Government headed by Vidkun Quisling – whose name came to symbolize pro-Axis collaboration in several languages – was subordinate to the Reichskommissariat Norwegen. It was never allowed to have any armed forces, be a recognized military partner, or have autonomy of any kind. In the occupied Netherlands, Anton Mussert was given the symbolic title of "Führer of the Netherlands' people". His National Socialist Movement formed a cabinet assisting the German administration, but was never recognized as a real Dutch government.
Slovakia (Tiso regime) Edit
Slovakia had been closely aligned with Germany almost immediately from its declaration of independence from Czechoslovakia on 14 March 1939. Slovakia entered into a treaty of protection with Germany on 23 March 1939.
Slovak troops joined the German invasion of Poland, having interest in Spiš and Orava. Those two regions, along with Cieszyn Silesia, had been disputed between Poland and Czechoslovakia since 1918. The Poles fully annexed them following the Munich Agreement. After the invasion of Poland, Slovakia reclaimed control of those territories.
Slovakia invaded Poland alongside German forces, contributing 50,000 men at this stage of the war.
Slovakia declared war on the Soviet Union in 1941 and signed the revived Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941. Slovak troops fought on Germany's Eastern Front, furnishing Germany with two divisions totaling 80,000 men. Slovakia declared war on the United Kingdom and the United States in 1942.
Slovakia was spared German military occupation until the Slovak National Uprising, which began on 29 August 1944, and was almost immediately crushed by the Waffen SS and Slovak troops loyal to Josef Tiso.
After the war, Tiso was executed and Slovakia was rejoined with Czechoslovakia. The border with Poland was shifted back to the pre-war state. Slovakia and the Czech Republic finally separated into independent states in 1993.
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Edit
The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was created on 16 March 1939 by proclamation of Adolf Hitler from Prague Castle following the declaration of establishment of the independent Slovak Republic on 14 March 1939. The protectorate was abolished after the German surrender at the end of WWII.
Government of National Salvation Edit
In April 1941 Germany invaded and occupied Yugoslavia. On 30 April a pro-German Serbian administration was formed under Milan Aćimović. Forces loyal to Yugoslav government in exile organised resistance movement on Ravna Gora Mountain on 13 May 1941, under command of colonel Dragoljub Draza Mihailovic. In 1941, after the invasion of the Soviet Union, a guerilla campaign against the Germans and Italians was launched also by the communist partisans under Josip Broz Tito. The uprising became a serious concern for the Germans, as most of their forces were deployed to Russia; only three divisions were in the country. On 13 August 546 Serbs, including some of them country's prominent and influential leaders, issued an appeal to the Serbian nation that condemned the partisan and royalist resistance as unpatriotic. Two weeks after the appeal, with the partisan and royalist insurgency beginning to gain momentum, 75 prominent Serbs convened a meeting in Belgrade and formed a Government of National Salvation under Serbian General Milan Nedić to replace the existing Serbian administration. Former Yougoslav army general and minister of defence accepted to take a position of Prime minister only after Germans let him known that the rest of Serbia will be divided beetwen Independent State of Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Greater Albania. On 29 August the German authorities installed General Nedić and his government in power. The Germans were short of police and military forces in Serbia, and came to rely on poor armed Serbian formations to maintain order. Those forces were not able to defeat royalist forces, and for the most of the war large parts of Serbia were under control of the Yugoslav Army in Fatherland. Most of administration helped resistance movement, and some of them like colonel Milan Kalabic from Serbian State Guardswere shot by the Gestapo as British agents and supporters of the royalist forces. Because of the large scale resistance taking place on Serbian soil, Germany installed a brutal regime of repraisals, resulting in the shooting 100 Serbs for one killed German solider, and 50 for one wounded. Large scale shootings took place in the Serbian towns of Kraljevo and Kragujevac on October 1941.
Nedić's forces included the Serbian State Guards and the Serbian Volunteer Corps, which were initially largely members of the Yugoslav National Movement "Zbor" (Jugoslovenski narodni pokret "Zbor", or ZBOR) party. Some of these formations wore the uniform of the Royal Yugoslav Army as well as helmets and uniforms purchased from Italy, while others had equipment from Germany mostly with obsolete equipement from occupied European states such as Belgium.
German forces conducted mass killings of the Serbian Jews who mostly lived in Belgrade and Sabac. By Spring of 1942. most of the Serbian Jews were killed by SS, SD and Gestapo in Sajmiste concentration camp (on the territory of Independent State of Croatia) and Jajinci near Belgrade. By June 1942. Germans proclaimed Belgrade ad Judenfreei.
Italy (Italian Social Republic) Edit
Mussolini had been removed from office and arrested by King Victor Emmanuel III on 25 July 1943. After the Italian armistice, in a spectacular raid led by German paratrooper Otto Skorzeny, Mussolini was rescued from arrest.
Once restored in power, Mussolini declared that Italy was a republic and that he was the new head of state. He was subject to German control for the duration of the war.
Albania (under German control) Edit
After the Italian armistice, a void of power opened up in Albania. The Italian occupying forces could do nothing, as the National Liberation Movement took control of the south and National Front (Balli Kombëtar) took control of the north. Albanians in the Italian army joined the guerrilla forces. In September 1943 the guerrillas moved to take the capital of Tirana, but German paratroopers dropped into the city. Soon after the fight, the German High Command announced that they would recognize the independence of a greater Albania. They organized an Albanian government, police, and military with the Balli Kombëtar. The Germans did not exert heavy control over Albania's administration, but instead attempted to gain popular appeal by giving the Albanians what they wanted. Several Balli Kombëtar leaders held positions in the regime. The joint forces incorporated Kosovo, western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, and Presevo into the Albanian state. A High Council of Regency was created to carry out the functions of a head of state, while the government was headed mainly by Albanian conservative politicians. Albania was the only European country occupied by the Axis powers that ended World War II with a larger Jewish population than before the war.
The Albanian government had refused to hand over their Jewish population. They provided Jewish families with forged documents and helped them disperse in the Albanian population. Albania was completely liberated on November 29, 1944.
Hungary (Szálasi regime) Edit
Relations between Germany and the regency of Miklós Horthy collapsed in Hungary in 1944. Horthy was forced to abdicate after German armed forces held his son hostage as part of Operation Panzerfaust. Hungary was reorganized following Horthy's abdication in December 1944 into a totalitarian fascist regime called the Government of National Unity, led by Ferenc Szálasi. He had been Prime Minister of Hungary since October 1944 and was leader of the anti-Semitic fascist Arrow Cross Party. In power, his government was a Quisling regime with little authority other than to obey Germany's orders. Days after the government took power, the capital of Budapest was surrounded by the Soviet Red Army. German and fascist Hungarian forces tried to hold off the Soviet advance but failed. In March 1945, Szálasi fled to Germany to run the state in exile, until the surrender of Germany in May 1945.
Norway (Quisling regime) Edit
In Norway, the national government, headed by Vidkun Quisling, was installed by the Germans as a puppet regime during the occupation, while king Haakon VII and the legal government were in exile. Quisling encouraged Norwegians to serve as volunteers in the Waffen-SS, collaborated in the deportation of Jews, and was responsible for the executions of members of the Norwegian resistance movement.
About 45,000 Norwegian collaborators joined the pro-Nazi party Nasjonal Samling (National Union), and some police units helped arrest many of Norway's Jews. However, Norway was one of the first countries where resistance during World War II was widespread before the turning point of the war in 1943. After the war, Quisling and other collaborators were executed. Quisling's name has become an international eponym for traitor.
Ivan Mihailov, leader of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), wanted to solve the Macedonian Question by creating a pro-Bulgarian state on the territory of the region of Macedonia in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Romania left the Axis and declared war on Germany on 23 August 1944. and the Soviets declared war on Bulgaria on 5 September. While these events were taking place, Mihailov came out of hiding in the Independent State of Croatia and traveled to re-occupied Skopje. The Germans gave Mihailov the green light to create a Macedonian state. Negotiations were undertaken with the Bulgarian government. Contact was made with Hristo Tatarchev in Resen, who offered Mihailov the Presidency. Bulgaria switched sides on 8 September, and on the 9th the Fatherland Front staged a coup and deposed the monarchy. Mihailov refused the leadership and fled to Italy. Spiro Kitanchev took Mihailov's place and became Premier of Macedonia. He cooperated with the pro-Bulgarian authorities, the Wehrmacht, the Bulgarian Army, and the Yugoslav Partisans for the rest of September and October. In the middle of November, the communists won control over the region. Script errorScript error
The Belarusian Central Rada was established in Belarus after the region was occupied by invading German forces. The regime maintained local security forces, namely the Biełaruskaja Krajovaja Abarona. The state ended its existence in 1944 when the Red Army drove the retreating Nazi German forces from Belarus.
Province of Ljubljana Edit
In 1943 a small local government was established in German occupied Slovenia.
So-called self-administrations were also set up in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, with various paramilitary organizations formed under them. They were no status as state or formal regime, as thet were there only for the local administration.
Joint German-Italian puppet states Edit
Independent State of Croatia Edit
On 10 April 1941, the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, or NDH) was declared to be a member of the Axis, co-signing the Tripartite Pact. The NDH remained a member of the Axis until the end of Second World War, its forces fighting for Germany even after NDH had been overrun by Yugoslav Partisans. On 16 April 1941, Ante Pavelić, a Croatian nationalist and one of the founders of the Ustaša – Croatian Liberation Movement, was proclaimed Poglavnik (leader) of the new state.
The Ustaše was actively supported by Mussolini's Fascist regime in Italy, which gave the movement training grounds to prepare for war against Yugoslavia, as well as accepting Pavelić as an exile and allowing him to reside in Rome. Italy intended to use the movement to destroy Yugoslavia, which would allow Italy to expand its power through the Adriatic. Hitler did not want to engage in a war in the Balkans until the Soviet Union was defeated. The Italian occupation of Greece was not going well; Mussolini wanted Germany to invade Yugoslavia to save the Italian forces in Greece. Hitler reluctantly submitted; Yugoslavia was invaded and the Independent State of Croatia was created. Relations between Germany and the NDH would improve as the Ustaše proved effectiveScript errorScript error at violently repressing Serb Chetniks and the communist Yugoslav Partisans of Tito.
Pavelić led a delegation to Rome and offered the crown of Croatia to an Italian prince of the House of Savoy, who was crowned Tomislav II, King of Croatia, Prince of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Voivode of Dalmatia, Tuzla and Knin, Prince of Cisterna and of Belriguardo, Marquess of Voghera, and Count of Ponderano. The next day, Pavelić signed the Contracts of Rome with Mussolini, ceding Dalmatia to Italy and fixing the permanent borders between the NDH and Italy. Italian armed forces were allowed to control all of the coastline of the NDH, effectively giving Italy total control of the Adriatic coastline.
The platform of the Ustaše movement proclaimed that Croatians had been oppressed by the Serb-dominated Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and that Croatians deserved to have an independent nation after years of domination by foreign empires. The Ustaše perceived Serbs to be racially inferior to Croats and saw them as infiltrators who were occupying Croatian lands. They saw the extermination of Serbs as necessary to racially purify Croatia. While part of Yugoslavia, many Croatian nationalists violently opposed the Serb-dominated Yugoslav monarchy, and assassinated Alexander I of Yugoslavia, together with the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization. The regime enjoyed support amongst radical Croatian nationalists. Ustashe forces fought against Serbian Chetnik and communist Yugoslav Partisan guerrillas throughout the war.
Upon coming to power, Pavelić formed the Croatian Home Guard (Hrvatsko domobranstvo) as the official military force of the NDH. Originally authorized at 16,000 men, it grew to a peak fighting force of 130,000. The Croatian Home Guard included an air force and navy, although its navy was restricted in size by the Contracts of Rome. In addition to the Croatian Home Guard, Pavelić was also the supreme commander of the Ustaše militia, although all NDH military units were generally under the command of the German or Italian formations in their area of operations. Many Croats volunteered for the German Waffen SS.
The Ustaše government declared war on the Soviet Union, signed the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941, and sent troops to Germany's Eastern Front. Ustaše militia were garrisoned the Balkans, battling the Chetniks and communist partisans.
The Ustaše government applied racial laws on Serbs, Jews, and Romas, and after June 1941 deported them to the Jasenovac concentration camp or to German camps in Poland. The racial laws were enforced by the Ustaše militia. The exact number of victims of the Ustaše regime is uncertain due to the destruction of documents and varying numbers given by historians. The estimates range between 56,000 and 97,000  to 700,000 or more.
Ustaše never had widespread support among the population of the NDH. Their own estimates put the number of sympathizers, even in the early phase, at around 40,000 out of total population of 7 million. However, they were able to rely on the passive acceptance of much of the Croat population of the NDH.
Following the German invasion of Greece and the flight of the Greek government to Crete and then Egypt, the Hellenic State was formed in May 1941 as a puppet state of both Italy and Germany. Initially, Italy had wished to annex Greece, but was pressured by Germany to avoid civil unrest such as had occurred in Bulgarian-annexed areas. The result was Italy accepting the creation of a puppet regime with the support of Germany. Italy had been assured by Hitler of a primary role in Greece. Most of the country was held by Italian forces, but strategic locations (Central Macedonia, the islands of the northeastern Aegean, most of Crete, and parts of Attica) were held by the Germans, who seized most of the country's economic assets and effectively controlled the collaborationist government. The puppet regime never commanded any real authority, and did not gain the allegiance of the people. It was somewhat successful in preventing secessionist movements like the Principality of the Pindus from establishing themselves. By mid-1943, the Greek Resistance had liberated large parts of the mountainous interior ("Free Greece"), setting up a separate administration there. After the Italian armistice, the Italian occupation zone was taken over by the German armed forces, who remained in charge of the country until their withdrawal in autumn 1944. In some Aegean islands, German garrisons were left behind, and surrendered only after the end of the war.
Axis collaborator states Edit
France (Vichy regime) Edit
The German invasion army entered Paris on June 14, 1940, following the battle of France. Pétain became the last Prime Minister of the French Third Republic on 16 June 1940. He sued for peace with Germany and on 22 June 1940, his government concluded an armistice with Hitler. Under the terms of the agreement, Germany occupied two-thirds of France, including Paris. Pétain was permitted to keep an "armistice army" of 100,000 men within the unoccupied southern zone. This number included neither the army based in the French colonial empire nor the French fleet. In French North Africa and French Equatorial Africa, the Vichy were permitted to maintain 127,000 men under arms after the colony of Gabon defected to the Free French.
The French also maintained substantial garrisons at the French-mandated territory of Syria and Lebanon, the French colony of Madagascar, and in French Somaliland.
After the armistice, relations between the Vichy French and the British quickly deteriorated. Fearful that the powerful French fleet might fall into German hands, the British launched several naval attacks, most notable of which was against the Algerian harbour of Mers el-Kebir on 3 July 1940. Though Churchill defended his controversial decision to attack the French Fleet, the French people were less accepting. German propaganda trumpeted these attacks as an absolute betrayal of the French people by their former allies. France broke relations with the United Kingdom and considered declaring war. Script errorScript error
On 10 July 1940, Petain was given emergency "full powers" by a majority vote of the French National Assembly. The following day approval of the new constitution by the Assembly effectively created the French State (l'État Français), replacing the French Republic with the unofficial Vichy France, named for the resort town of Vichy, where Petain maintained his seat of government. The new government continued to be recognised as the lawful government of France by the United States until 1942. Racial laws were introduced in France and its colonies and many French Jews were deported to Germany. Albert Lebrun, last President of the Republic, did not leave the presidential office when he moved to Vizille on 10 July 1940. By 25 April 1945, during Petain's trial, Lebrun argued that he thought he would be able to return to power after the fall of Germany, since he had not resigned.
In September 1940, Vichy France allowed Japan to occupy French Indochina, a federation of the French colonial possessions and protectorates roughly encompassing the territory of modern day Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The Vichy regime continued to administer the colony under Japanese military occupation. French Indochina was the base for the Japanese invasions of Thailand, Malaya, and Borneo. In 1945, under Japanese sponsorship, the Empire of Vietnam and the Kingdom of Cambodia were proclaimed as Japanese puppet states.
French General Charles de Gaulle headquartered his Free French movement in London in a largely unsuccessful effort to win over the French colonial empire. On 26 September 1940, de Gaulle led an attack by Allied forces on the Vichy port of Dakar in French West Africa. Forces loyal to Pétain fired on de Gaulle and repulsed the attack after two days of heavy fighting. Public opinion in vichy France was further outraged, and Vichy France drew closer to Germany.
Vichy France assisted Iraq in the Anglo–Iraqi War of 1941, allowing Germany and Italy to utilize air bases in the French mandate of Syria to support the Iraqi revolt against the British. Allied forces responded by attacking Syria and Lebanon in 1941. In 1942 Allied forces attacked the French colony of Madagascar.
There were considerable anti-communist movements in France, and as result, volunteers joined the German forces in their war against the Soviet Union. Almost 7,000 volunteers joined the anti-communist Légion des Volontaires Français (LVF) from 1941 to 1944, and some 7,500 formed the Division Charlemagne, a Waffen-SS unit, from 1944 to 1945. Both the LVF and the Division Charlemagne fought on the eastern front. Hitler never accepted that France could become a full military partner,
and constantly prevented the buildup of Vichy's military strength.
Vichy's collaboration with Germany was industrial as well as political, with French factories providing many vehicles to the German armed forces.
In November 1942 Vichy French troops briefly but fiercely resisted the landing of Allied troops in French North Africa, but were unable to prevail. Admiral François Darlan negotiated a local ceasefire with the Allies. In response to the landings and Vichy's inability to defend itself, German troops occupied southern France and Tunisia, a French protectorate that formed part of French North Africa. The rump French army in mainland France was disbanded by the Germans. The Bey of Tunis formed a government friendly to the Germans.
In mid-1943, former Vichy authorities in North Africa came to an agreement with the Free French and setup a temporary French government in Algiers, known as the French Committee of National Liberation (Comité Français de Libération Nationale, CFLN), initially led by Darlan. After his assassination De Gaulle emerged as the French leader. The CFLN raised more troops and re-organized, re-trained and re-equipped the French military, under Allied supervision.
While deprived of armed forces, the Vichy government continued to function in mainland France until summer 1944, but had lost most of its territorial sovereignty and military assets, with the exception of the forces stationed in French Indochina. In 1943 it founded the Milice, a paramilitary force which assisted the Germans in rounding up opponents and Jews, as well as fighting the French Resistance.
Controversial cases Edit
States listed in this section were not officially members of Axis, but had controversial relations with one or more Axis members at some point during the war.
During the early years of World War II, Argentina maintained close relations with the Axis powers while officially remaining neutral. These close relations with the Axis irritated the United States, which cancelled weapons shipments to the country while increasing shipments to Argentina's neighbour, Brazil, in an attempt to pressure the Argentine government to abandon its ties with the Axis.
Newly elected president Ramón Castillo drew Argentina closer to the Axis; in 1942 Argentina approached Germany with a request to purchase airplanes, weapons, and other equipment.
Argentine General Domingo Martínez claimed that President Castillo was concerned over the country's relations with Brazil, with Argentina facing an ultimatum from the US.
The Argentine government feared a potential invasion by Brazil and Uruguay backed by the US.
Castillo was initially determined to resist, and openly joined the Axis, believing that Argentina's geography would allow it to withstand war.
Upon Brazil joining the Allied powers in August 1942, Argentina declared itself a non-belligerent, while still negotiating with Germany for weapons.
Castillo believed that the Axis would triumph in World War II.
In 1943 a military coup overthrew the Argentine government. A military junta was established, led by Pedro Pablo Ramírez. In 1944 the United States government labeled the Argentine government as "fascist" and enacted financial and trade restrictions against the country, urging other countries to do the same.
British officials captured Argentina's envoy to Germany, creating a diplomatic disaster for Argentina.
In January 1944, under pressure from Britain and the United States, Ramírez agreed to break all ties with the Axis powers.
Argentine nationalists were alarmed by this concession and forced Ramírez to resign.
For the remaining year of the war, the United States continued to maintain sanctions against Argentina due to its pro-Axis leanings.
Argentina only declared war on Germany in 1945, about a month before the end of the war.
The close ties between Argentina and Nazi Germany proved controversial near the end of the war and afterwards, as Nazi personnel and capital began to arrive in Argentina in 1944.
On 31 May 1939, Denmark and Germany signed a treaty of non-aggression, which did not contain any military obligations for either party. On April 9, 1940, citing the intended laying of mines in Norwegian and Danish waters as a pretext, Germany invaded both countries. King Christian X and the Danish government, worried about German bombings if they resisted occupation, accepted "protection by the Reich" in exchange for nominal independence under German military occupation. Three successive Prime Ministers, Thorvald Stauning, Vilhelm Buhl, and Erik Scavenius, maintained this samarbejdspolitik ("cooperation policy") of collaborating with Germany.
Denmark coordinated its foreign policy with Germany, extending diplomatic recognition to Axis collaborator and puppet regimes, and breaking diplomatic relations with the governments-in-exile formed by countries occupied by Germany. Denmark broke diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941.
In 1941 a Danish military corps, the Frikorps Danmark, was created at the initiative of the SS and the Danish Nazi Party, to fight alongside the Wehrmacht on Germany's Eastern Front. The government's following statement was widely interpreted as a sanctioning of the corps.
Frikorps Danmark was open to members of the Danish Royal Army and those who had completed their service within the last ten years. Between 4,000 and 10,000 Danish citizens joined the Frikorps Danmark, including 77 officers of the Royal Danish Army. An estimated 3,900 of these soldiers died fighting for Germany during the Second World War. Script errorScript error
Denmark transferred six torpedo boats to Germany in 1941, although the bulk of its navy remained under Danish command until the declaration of martial law in 1943.Script errorScript error
Denmark supplied agricultural and industrial products to Germany as well as loans for armaments and fortifications. The German presence in Denmark, including the construction of the Danish part of the Atlantic Wall fortifications, was paid from an account in Denmark's central bank, Nationalbanken. The Danish government had been promised that these costs would be repaid, but this never happened. The construction of the Atlantic Wall fortifications in Jutland cost 5 billion Danish kroner. Script errorScript error
The Danish protectorate government lasted until 29 August 1943, when the cabinet resigned following a declaration of martial law by occupying German military officials. Germany declared war on Denmark and attacked the Danish military bases which led to 13 Danish soldiers dead in the fighting. The Danish navy scuttled 32 of its larger ships to prevent their use by Germany. Germany seized 14 larger and 50 smaller vessels, and later raised and refitted 15 of the sunken vessels. During the scuttling of the Danish fleet, a number of vessels attempted an escape to Swedish waters, and 13 vessels succeeded, four of which were larger ships. By the autumn of 1944, these ships officially formed a Danish naval flotilla in exile. In 1943 Swedish authorities allowed 500 Danish soldiers in Sweden to train as police troops. By the autumn of 1944, Sweden raised this number to 4,800 and recognized the entire unit as a Danish military brigade in exile. Danish collaboration continued on an administrative level, with the Danish bureaucracy functioning under German command.
Active resistance to the German occupation among the populace, virtually nonexistent before 1943, increased after the declaration of martial law. The intelligence operations of the Danish resistance was described as "second to none" by Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery after the liberation of Denmark.
Soviet Union Edit
Relations between the Soviet Union and the major Axis powers were generally hostile before 1938. In the Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union gave military aid to the Second Spanish Republic, against Spanish Nationalist forces, which were assisted by Germany and Italy. However, the Nationalist forces were victorious. The Soviets suffered another political defeat when their ally Czechoslovakia was partitioned and partially annexed by Germany and Hungary via the Munich Agreement. In 1938 and 1939, the USSR fought and defeated Japan in two separate border wars, at Lake Khasan and Khalkhin Gol, the latter being a major Soviet victory.
In 1939 the Soviet Union considered forming an alliance with either Britain and France or with Germany.
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939 between the Soviet Union and Germany included a secret protocol whereby the independent countries of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania were divided into spheres of interest of the parties.
On 1 September, barely a week after the pact had been signed, Germany invaded Poland. The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east on 17 September and on 28 September signed a secret treaty with Nazi Germany to arrange coordination of fighting against Polish resistance. The Soviets targeted intelligence, entrepreneurs, and officers, committing a string of atrocities that culminated in the Katyn massacre and mass relocation to Siberian concentration camps (Gulags).
Soon after that, the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania,
and annexed Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina from Romania. The Soviet Union attacked Finland on 30 November 1939, which started the Winter War.
Finnish defences prevented an all-out invasion, resulting in an interim peace, but Finland was forced to cede strategically important border areas near Leningrad.
The Soviet Union supported Germany in the war effort against Western Europe through the 1939 German-Soviet Commercial Agreement and the 1940 German-Soviet Commercial Agreement, with exports of raw materials (phosphates, chromium and iron ore, mineral oil, grain, cotton, and rubber). These and other export goods transported through Soviet and occupied Polish territories allowed Germany to circumvent the British naval blockade.
In October and November 1940, Nazi-Soviet talks about the potential of joining the Axis took place in Berlin.
Joseph Stalin later personally countered with a separate proposal in a letter later in November that contained several secret protocols, including that "the area south of Batum and Baku in the general direction of the Persian Gulf is recognized as the center of aspirations of the Soviet Union", referring to an area approximating present day Iraq and Iran, and a Soviet claim to Bulgaria.
Hitler never returned Stalin's letter.
Shortly thereafter, Hitler issued a secret directive on the eventual attempts to invade the Soviet Union.
Germany ended the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by invading the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa on 22 June 1941.
That resulted in the Soviet Union becoming one of the main members of Allies.
Germany then revived its Anti-Comintern Pact, enlisting many European and Asian countries in opposition to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union and Japan remained neutral towards each other for most of the war by the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact. The Soviet Union ended the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact by invading Manchukuo on 8 August 1945, due to agreements reached at the Yalta Conference with Roosevelt and Churchill.
Caudillo Francisco Franco's Spanish State gave moral, economic, and military assistance to the Axis powers, while nominally maintaining neutrality. Franco described Spain as a member of the Axis and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941 with Hitler and Mussolini. Members of the ruling Falange party in Spain held irredentist designs on Gibraltar.
Falangists also supported Spanish colonial acquisition of Tangier, French Morocco and northwestern French Algeria.
Spain also held ambitions on former Spanish colonies in Latin America.
In June 1940 the Spanish government approached Germany to propose an alliance in exchange for Germany recognizing Spain's territorial aims: the annexation of the Oran province of Algeria, the incorporation of all Morocco, the extension of Spanish Sahara southward to the twentieth parallel, and the incorporation of French Cameroons into Spanish Guinea.
In 1940 Spain invaded and occupied the Tangier International Zone, maintaining its occupation until 1945.
The occupation caused a dispute between Britain and Spain in November 1940; Spain conceded to protect British rights in the area and promised not to fortify the area.
Even during the midst of World War II, the Spanish government held expansionist plans towards Portugal that it made known to the German government. In a communiqué with Germany on 26 May 1942, Franco declared that Portugal should be made part of a Greater Spain.
Franco won the Spanish Civil War with the help of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, which were both eager to establish another fascist state in Europe. Spain owed Germany over $212 millionScript errorScript error for supplies of matériel during the Spanish Civil War, and Italian combat troops had actually fought in Spain on the side of Franco's Nationalists.
When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Franco immediately offered to form a unit of military volunteers to join the invasion. This was accepted by Hitler and, within two weeks, there were more than enough volunteers to form a division – the Blue Division (División Azul) under General Agustín Muñoz Grandes.
The possibility of Spanish intervention in World War II was of concern to the United States, which investigated the activities of Spain's ruling Falange party in Latin America, especially Puerto Rico, where pro-Falange and pro-Franco sentiment was high, even amongst the ruling upper classes.
The Falangists promoted the idea of supporting Spain's former colonies in fighting against American domination.
Prior to the outbreak of war, support for Franco and the Falange was high in the Philippines.
The Falange Exterior, the international department of the Falange, collaborated with Japanese forces against US forces in the Philippines.
The official policy of Sweden before, during, and after World War II was neutrality. It had held this policy for over a century, since the end of the Napoleonic Wars. However, the Swedish neutrality during World War II has been much debated and challenged.
In contrast to many other neutral countries, Sweden was not directly attacked during the war. It was subject to British and Nazi German naval blockades, which led to problems with the supply of food and fuels. From spring 1940 to summer 1941 Sweden and Finland were surrounded by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
This led to difficulties in maintaining the rights and duties of neutral states in the Hague Convention. Sweden violated this, as German troops were allowed to travel through Swedish territory between July 1940 to August 1943.
In spite of the fact that it was allowed by the Hague Convention, Sweden has been criticized for exporting iron ore to Nazi Germany via the Baltic and the Norwegian port of Narvik. German dependence on Swedish iron ore shipments was the primary reason for Great Britain to launch Operation Wilfred and, together with France, the Norwegian Campaign in early April 1940. By early June 1940 the Norwegian Campaign stood as a failure for the allies. Nazi Germany could obtain the Swedish iron ore supply it needed for war production despite the British naval blockade by securing access to Norwegian ports by force.
German, Japanese and Italian World War II cooperation Edit
German-Japanese Axis-cooperation Edit
Germany's and Italy's declaration of war against the United States Edit
On 7 December 1941, Japan attacked the naval bases in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. According to the stipulation of the Tripartite Pact, Nazi Germany was required to come to the defense of her allies only if they were attacked. Since Japan had made the first move, Germany and Italy were not obliged to aid her until the United States counterattacked. Hitler ordered the Reichstag to formally declare war on the United States.
Italy also declared war.
Hitler made a speech in the Reichstag on 11 December, saying that:
The fact that the Japanese Government, which has been negotiating for years with this man (President Roosevelt), has at last become tired of being mocked by him in such an unworthy way, fills us all, the German people, and all other decent people in the world, with deep satisfaction ... Germany and Italy have been finally compelled, in view of this, and in loyalty to the Tri-Partite Pact, to carry on the struggle against the U. S. A. and England jointly and side by side with Japan for the defense and thus for the maintenance of the liberty and independence of their nations and empires ... As a consequence of the further extension of President Roosevelt's policy, which is aimed at unrestricted world domination and dictatorship, the U. S. A. together with England have not hesitated from using any means to dispute the rights of the German, Italian and Japanese nations to the basis of their natural existence ... Not only because we are the ally of Japan, but also because Germany and Italy have enough insight and strength to comprehend that, in these historic times, the existence or non-existence of the nations, is being decided perhaps forever.
Historian Ian Kershaw suggests that this declaration of war against the United States was one of the most disastrous mistakes made by the Axis powers, as it allowed the United States to join the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in war against Germany without any limitation.
Americans played a key role in the strategic bombardment of Germany and the invasion of the continent, ending German domination in Western Europe. The Germans were aware that the Americans had drawn up a series of war plans based on a plethora of scenarios, and expected war with the United States no later than 1943.
You gave the right declaration of war. This method is the only proper one. Japan pursued it formerly and it corresponds with his own system, that is, to negotiate as long as possible. But if one sees that the other is interested only in putting one off, in shaming and humiliating one, and is not willing to come to an agreement, then one should strike as hard as possible, and not waste time declaring war.
See also Edit
- Axis leaders of World War II
- Axis power negotiations on the division of Asia during World War II
- Axis victory in World War II
- Expansion operations and planning of the Axis Powers
- Foreign relations of the Axis of World War II
- Greater Germanic Reich
- Imperial Italy
- Greater Japanese Empire
- Hakkō ichiu
- List of pro-Axis leaders and governments or direct control in occupied territories
- New Order (Nazism)
- Participants in World War II
- Zweites Buch
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Lewis Copeland, Lawrence W. Lamm, Stephen J. McKenna. The World's Great Speeches: Fourth Enlarged (1999) Edition. Pp. 485.
- ↑ John Whittam. Fascist Italy. Manchester, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Manchester University Press. P. 165.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 MacGregor Knox. Common Destiny: Dictatorship, Foreign Policy, and War in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Cambridge University Press, 2000. Pp. 124.
- ↑ MacGregor Knox. Common Destiny: Dictatorship, Foreign Policy, and War in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Cambridge University Press, 2000. Pp. 125.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 MacGregor Knox. Common Destiny: Dictatorship, Foreign Policy, and War in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Cambridge University Press, 2000. Pp. 139.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Neville Wylie. European Neutrals and Non-Belligerents during the Second World War. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Pp. 143.
- ↑ Neville Wylie. European Neutrals and Non-Belligerents during the Second World War. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Pp. 142=143.
- ↑ Thailand and the Second World War
- ↑ British Foreign Office Archive, 371/24809/461-556.
- ↑ "San Marino Ends Old War On Reich to Fight Britain". The New York Times, 18 September 1940.
- ↑ "Southern Theatre: San Marino In". Time Magazine, 30 September 1940.
- ↑ "San Marino Army of 900 Enters War Against Reich". The New York Times, 23 September 1944.
- ↑ Churchill, Winston (1950). The Second World War, Volume III, The Grand Alliance. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, p.234; Kurowski, Franz (2005). The Brandenburger Commandos: Germany's Elite Warrior Spies in World War II. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Book. ISBN 978-0-8117-3250-5, 10: 0-8117-3250-9. p. 141
- ↑ org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%205725.pdf Shoah Research Center – Albania
- ↑ Jasenovac United States Holocaust Memorial Museum web site
- ↑ Albert Lebrun's biography, French Republic Presidential official websiteScript error[dead link]
- ↑ "Den Dansk-Tyske Ikke-Angrebstraktat af 1939". Flådens Historie. (Danish)Script error
- ↑ Script error
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- ↑ Søværnets mærkedage – August
- ↑ Flåden efter 29 August 1943
- ↑ Den danske Flotille 1944–1945
- ↑ Den Danske Brigade DANFORCE – Den Danske Brigade "DANFORCE" Sverige 1943–45
- ↑ dk/temaer/befrielsen/jubel/index.html "Jubel og glæde". befrielsen1945.dk. (Danish)Script error
- ↑ http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/nazsov/sesupp1.htm
- ↑ German Declaration of War
- ↑ United States Navy and WWIIScript error[dead link]
- ↑ Nuremberg Trial transcripts, December 11, 1945. More details of the exchanges at the meeting are available online at nizkor.org
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Further reading Edit
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- Axis History Factbook
- Full text of The Tripartite Pact
- Silent movie of the signing of The Tripartite Pact
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