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 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.
was the code name
for one of the principal landing points of the Allied
invasion of German-occupied France
in the Normandy landings
on June 6, 1944, during World War II
. The beach was located on the northern coast of France
, facing the English Channel
, and was 5 miles (8 km) long, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes
to west of Vierville-sur-Mer
. Landings here were necessary in order to link up the British landings to the east with the American landing to the west, thus providing a continuous lodgement on the Normandy coast. Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of United States Army
troops, with sea transport provided by the U.S. Navy
and elements of the Royal Navy
, the untested 29th Infantry Division
, joined by eight companies of U.S. Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc
, were to assault the western half of the beach. The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division
was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks, infantry and combat engineer forces, were carefully planned to reduce the coastal defences and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to land.
USS Nevada (BB-36)
, the second United States Navy
ship to be named after the 36th state
, was the lead ship
of the two Nevada-class battleships
; her sister ship was Oklahoma
was a giant leap forward in dreadnought
technology, as she showcased four new features that would be included on almost every subsequent U.S. battleship: gun turrets with three guns, anti-aircraft guns, oil in place of coal for fuel, and the "all or nothing
" armor principle. All of these new features resulted in Nevada
becoming the first U.S. Navy "super-dreadnought
served in both of the World Wars: during World War I
was based in Bantry Bay, Ireland
, for the last few months of the war to support the supply convoys that were sailing to and from Great Britain. In World War II
, she was one of the battleships that were trapped when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
on 7 December 1941. Subsequently salvaged and modernized at Puget Sound Navy Yard
served in four amphibious assaults: the Normandy Landings
and the invasions of Southern France
, Iwo Jima
, and Okinawa
. At the end of World War II, the Navy decided that Nevada
was too old to be retained in the post-war fleet, so they assigned her to be a target ship
in the Bikini atomic experiments
of July 1946. After being hit by two atomic bombs
, she was still afloat but heavily damaged and radioactive. She was sunk during naval gunfire exercise in 1948.
The Battle of Tassafaronga
, sometimes referred to as the Fourth Battle of Savo Island
or, in Japanese sources, as the Battle of Lunga Point (ルンガ沖夜戦)
, was a nighttime naval battle
that took place November 30, 1942 between United States
and Imperial Japanese Navy
warships during the Guadalcanal campaign
. The battle took place in Ironbottom Sound
near the Tassafaronga area on Guadalcanal
.In the battle, a US warship force of five cruisers and four destroyers under the command of Carleton H. Wright
attempted to surprise and destroy a Japanese warship force of eight destroyers under the command of Raizo Tanaka
. Tanaka's warships were attempting to deliver food supplies to Japanese forces on Guadalcanal.Using radar
, the US warships opened fire and sank one of the Japanese destroyers. Tanaka and the rest of his ships, however, reacted quickly and launched numerous torpedoes at the US warships. The Japanese torpedoes hit and sank one US cruiser and heavily damaged three others, enabling the rest of Tanaka's force to escape without significant additional damage but also without completing the mission of delivering the food supplies.
J. Howard Miller's poster for Westinghouse, entitled "We Can Do It!", is often associated in modern times with Rosie the Riveter, a cultural icon of the United States. The poster was not widely seen during World War II, nor was it connected to Rosie the Riveter. It was displayed only in Westinghouse factories for two weeks in early 1943, shown to female and male workers to increase worker morale and reduce labor problems for management. After it was rediscovered in 1982, the poster soon became famous. It was credited with goals it never had during the war, such as the recruitment of women workers. Modern viewers see it as a symbol of feminist solidarity, an American icon of feminism.
Air Marshal Sir George Jones KBE
(18 October 1896 – 24 August 1992) was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force
(RAAF). He rose from being a private
soldier in World War I
to Air Marshal in 1948. He served as Chief of the Air Staff
from 1942 to 1952, the longest continuous tenure of any RAAF chief. Jones was a surprise appointee to the Air Force’s top role, and his achievements in the position were coloured by a divisive relationship during World War II
with his head of operations and nominal subordinate, Air Vice Marshal William Bostock
.Jones first saw action as an infantryman
in the Gallipoli campaign
of 1915, before transferring to the Australian Flying Corps the following year. Initially an air mechanic, he undertook flying training in 1917 and was posted to a fighter
squadron in France
, achieving seven victories to become an ace
. After a short spell in civilian life following World War I, he joined the newly-formed RAAF in 1921, rising steadily through training and personnel commands prior to World War II.
It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that, in persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain is at war, and that, as a result, Australia is also at war...
There was never any doubt as to where Great Britain stood... There can be no doubt that where Great Britain stands, there stands the people of the entire British world."
- — Prime Minister Robert Menzies, 3 September 1939