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What historians and the public refer to as World War II was the joining, between 1937 and 1941, of two separate but related conflicts: the Second Sino- Japanese War, which began in July 1937, and the Second World War in Europe, which began with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. The European war ended with Germany’s unconditional surrender in May 1945, and Japan’s surrender in August 1945 ended the war in Asia and the Pacific. The Second World War claimed between 50 and 70 million lives. Of this total, the United States suffered 322,000 dead.

World War II featured two alliances, the Axis and the Allies. The primary Axis nations included Germany, Italy, and Japan, while the major Allied powers included Great Britain, the ...

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