The World War II Portal
World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict. It began as the joining of what had initially been two separate conflicts, with the first beginning in Asia in 1937 (the Second Sino-Japanese War) and the other beginning in Europe in 1939 (the German and Soviet invasion of Poland).
The war split the majority of the world's nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history, and placed the participants in a state of "total war", which erased the distinction between civil and military resources and resulted in the complete activation of a nation's economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities for the purposes of the war effort. Over 70 million people, the majority of them civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.
The Allies won the war, and as a result, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as the world's leading superpowers. This set the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 45 years. The United Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The self-determination spawned by the war accelerated decolonization movements in Asia and Africa, while Europe itself began moving toward integration.
is a popular name for an offensive operational-level military doctrine
which involves an initial bombardment followed by the employment of motorized mobile forces attacking with speed and surprise to prevent an enemy from implementing a coherent defense
. The founding principles of these types of operations were developed in the 20th century by various nations, and adapted in the years after World War I
, largely by the German Wehrmacht
, to incorporate modern weapons
and vehicles as a method to help avoid the stalemate of trench warfare
and linear warfare
in future conflicts. The first practical implementations of these concepts coupled with modern technology were instituted by the Wehrmacht in the opening theatres of World War II
.The strategy was particularly effective to Germany in the invasions of Western Europe
and initial operations in the Soviet Union
. These operations were dependent on surprise penetrations, general enemy unpreparedness and an inability to react swiftly enough to German offensive operations.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
is a four-engine heavy bomber
aircraft developed for the U.S. Army Air Corps
(USAAC). Competing against Douglas
for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both the other competitors and more than met the Air Corps' expectations. Although Boeing lost the contract due to the prototype's crash, the Air Corps was so impressed with Boeing's design that they ordered thirteen B-17s. The B-17 Flying Fortress went on to enter full-scale production and was considered the first truly mass-produced large aircraft, eventually evolving through numerous design advancements
, from B-17A to G.The B-17 was primarily employed in the daylight precision strategic bombing
campaign of World War II
industrial, civilian and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force
based in England
and the Fifteenth Air Force
based in Italy
complemented the RAF Bomber Command
's nighttime area bombing in Operation Pointblank
, to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for Operation Overlord
. This machine was nicknamed the "Flying Fortress" because of its eight machine guns and three cannons.
The Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo
was a land battle of the Pacific campaign
of World War II
, between Imperial Japanese Navy
(mainly United States (U.S.) Marine
) ground forces. It took place August 7 – August 9, 1942, on the Solomon Islands
, during the initial Allied landings in the Guadalcanal campaign
.In the battle, U.S. Marines, under the overall command of U.S. Major General Alexander Vandegrift
, successfully landed and captured the islands of Tulagi
, and Tanambogo
among which the Japanese Navy had constructed a naval and seaplane base. The landings were fiercely resisted by the Japanese Navy troops who, outnumbered and outgunned by the Allied forces, fought and died almost to the last man.At the same time that the landings on Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo were taking place, Allied troops were also landing on nearby Guadalcanal
, with the objective of capturing an airfield under construction by Japanese forces. In contrast to the intense fighting on Tulagi and Gavutu, the landings on Guadalcanal were essentially unopposed. The landings on both Tulagi and Guadalcanal initiated the six-month long Guadalcanal campaign and a series of combined-arms battles between Allied and Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area.