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Why isn't Canada listed as a major ally in World War I or World War II? It did train the British RAF and fight at Ypres when French forces retreated... Also, they captured Juno Beach and liberated the Netherlands. I think a listing in Commonwealth is not sufficient.

Canada is listed collectively with the other dominions of the British Empire in WWI because important aspects of foreign policy (such as declarations of war) were still directed from London, unlike when the Second World War broke out; the First World War pre-dated the establishment of separate crowns for each dominion (with the Statute of Westminster 1931). The scale of Canada's contribution in WWI is not the issue, but rather the question of whether Canada was acting independently in the war, or as part of the British Empire.

In 1939, Canada chose to declare war independently, and so should be considered separately from the UK as an Allied Power, but nevertheless Canada was not a great power at that time, being on a different level from powers such as France, the USA, Japan, Germany, the USSR, and the UK. (talk) 17:52, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Japan a minor or major ally?[edit]

I moved Japan from major to minor allies, as WWI is mostly a european war. By the way, Japan wasn't at the Versailles peace conference. yes that is right and the allies are very important

But, the Japanese had no historic claim to any European territory. They were awarded some of Germany's overseas territories. When Japan was submitted by the American forces after the attacks on Tokio and other of its cities it became a allie to the US. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Allies with regard to the World Wars, or the Iraq Wars?[edit]

I moved this from the main article; "Allies" refers to WWI WWII in all books I've read

Live is faster than books. Media are using word "allies" according to this wars.Silthor 08:47 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
But not "Allies". The Iraq thing will be forgotten in a year, but not WWx. Consider the Suez crisis, Malay emergency, Vietnam, etc. None of these are listed, but all involved alliences of western nations.
Deserts Storm was 12 years ago and term "allies" is still used. On polish wikipedia I wrote that term "allies" (in polish alianci) is often used according to wars against Iraq but we haven't got "Allies" and "allies" but alianci and sojusznicy - two different words.Silthor 11:48 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
In the 1991 Gulf War, the term Coalition Partners and Coalition Forces was used specifically in place of (non-NATO) allies. In the 2003 War I would draw no disctinction between Major/Minor, being all on the list are also NATO Allies. There could be a distintion between "major contingent" and "minor contingent"; in this I would move Poland out of the "minor" status, being its contingent in formidible relative to its available resources. Nobs 17:28, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
==1990/1991 Iraq War or Desert Storm==

==== Coalition Partners ====
=== Major Allies (NATO)===

=== Minor Allies (non-NATO) ===

==2003 Iraq War==
===Major Allies (the so-called "Coalition of the Willing")===
===Minor Allies===

Distinction between allied countries and exile governments of ex-neutrals[edit]

Ruhrjung: I don't understand your distinction between Allies and Governments in Exile. The Dutch, Belgian, Norwegian and Polish nations all fought on the Allied side before they were conquered; for that period they fought not as governments in exile, but as free nations. The same is true of the period between their liberation and the end of the war. Yugoslavia did exactly the same, yet you've not listed it as government in exile. Likewise France. I assume your omission of Poland is just an error.

I'm also puzzled by your inclusion of Brazil. My knowledge is far from comprehensive, but I've yet to hear of an incident where Brazilian troops fought alongside the other allies. I'm also puzzled as to why Newfoundland is included, but not all the many other British colonies. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa all made separate declarations of war. Newfoundland automatically entered the war when Britian did (like India and the other colonies - see pdf/bakerchronology.pdf )

Incidentally, has anyone any idea what is meant by 'moral support' allies? What did they do to get this status? DJ Clayworth 14:03, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Regarding "minor allies" in South-America and so on, I've neither expertice nor interest. Don't take me wrong, but for me personally, what counts is whos blood, lifes and homes were lost due to the war. Hence I just don't touch paragraphs on for instance Brazil. I hope that someone else, with more of interest and knowledge, can straighten out such issues.

The country of Poland, and after its occupation the Polish nation, fought on the side of the Allies. There was sort of a formal alliance, i.e. guarantees from France and Britain for the independence of Poland. That's out of question. (This was before the Soviet Union became an allied, of course!)

Regarding Norway, Belgium, Holland and Denmark, I propose you explain how and when they joined the alliance with The Allies.

Best regards!
--Ruhrjung 17:28, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

OK Ruhrjung, I'm going to explain as well as possible in a short space. Does this mean you have no objection to me removing the distinction between government in exile and other allies? DJ Clayworth 17:40, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

After you convincingly have indicated how these countries were allied before being invaded, I would have absolutely no objection. (I am, however, very curious as to why this be important to you.)
--Ruhrjung 17:48, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

May I ask where the explanation comes?
Now it's half an hour since you made the change. ;->>
--Ruhrjung 18:38, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I didn't say they were allied before being invaded.

- No, you give the impression that they became allied at the very same day as they were invaded. Do you have any source for this?--Ruhrjung 21:40, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg were all neutral up to the point they were invaded. After that they fought on the Allied side, in their homelands until they were conquered and inexile after that. Are you suggesting we separate out countries that were invaded from those that declared war before they were invaded? DJ Clayworth 20:27, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Yes. There is a huge and important difference between coming in war 1/ by being an invaded neutral country and 2/ as the consequence of an alliance with an attacked government. Fighting for the defence and recapture of one's homeland is quite another thing than waging a war as a party of an alliance.

Further, you must concider that the occupied countries weren't free to ally themselves without the occupant's agreement, why it's rather confusing to call "Holland" an ally of the Allied before it was liberated in 1944/45. How did these countries "fight on the allied side"? When did they start? When did they end? The invasion of the Benelux countries was a swift one, the subsequent occupation was however a lengthy affair, during which it's hardly meaningful to say that "the occupied countries fought on the side of the Allied" - let alone that they "were" allied. Wasn't it in reality the exiled governments, and (not to forget!) numerous exiled individuals, who were free to attach themselves to the Allies' cause, and who after the respective attacks saw reasons to do so — reasons which they hadn't acknowledged before being attacked?

Finally, I must say that your dates for France's and Britain's alliance surprices me. What source supports your notion? I don't know if you are wrong - I've not memorized anything similar. It's of course thinkable that the French and British governments allied first after the war had started, but it doesn't fit with anything I've heard of before. Please consider that this article is about Allies - not about their entry into wars.
--Ruhrjung 21:40, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

What defines the becoming of an Allied?[edit]

The dates I'm giving are for the country's entry to the war. Hitler invaded Poland on September 1st 1939, and Britain and France gave Hitler a 2 day deadline to withdraw. When he didn't, Britain and France were automatically at war with Germany, on September 3rd.

The reason I'm against making a distinction between 'governments in exile' and others is just that it's not clear cut. After all, if the government is still at war, and many of the people are still fighting, both inside and outside the country, how is that different from the country being at war? Some of the occupied countries, particularly Poland, made enormous contributions to the war while their country was still occupied. Holland, for example, had colonies that Germany did not invade, but which still considered themselves at war after the occupation. If you really think its important to make the distinction please do so, but please don't just revert my edit - I did other things than just remove the exile distinction. DJ Clayworth 13:24, 18 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Dear Clayworth, Your contribution raises several important and interesting questions. I do however chose, for the moment, to concentrate on the most confusing issue: Who was an Allied, and what defines the becoming of an Allied? From the above, one could draw the conclusion that the Allied weren't allied, but merely in war on the same side as Britain. Is this a correct understanding of your view? If so, is this an established opinion in, say, the Anglo-Saxon world?
--Ruhrjung 21:38, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I include in the WWII Allies anyone who fought against Germany, Japan or Italy. I think that's what most people would say, Anglo-Saxon world or otherwise. I'm not sure what the difference is between begin 'Allied' and 'merely in the war'. DJ Clayworth 13:34, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Well... the difference betweeen Allied and "merely in the war" is rather obvious, as the latter category includes all parties in the war, although the Axis powers surely can't be included among the Allied.

Please note the definition in the first sentense of the article: "The Allies" denotes the members of the alliances directed against [...] the Axis powers in World War II.

As for the difference between Allied and co-belligerents, I'm also sure the question is unneccessary.

Remains: countries which were neutral until being invaded during the war. With your definition of "Allies", an interesting question arises with countries which were invaded by both sides, or consecutively by one side after the other. Did the latter passively switch back and forth between being "Allies" and "liberated"?
--Ruhrjung 14:36, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Ruhrjung, I'm starting to be very confused about what you are suggesting. Why not give an example of who is Allied and who is co-belligerent, or any other classifications you have in mind? DJ Clayworth 14:57, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I wonder if it wouldn't be according to most people's understanding to regard only those countries as "Allied" whos sovereign governments had entered into an alliance with Britain (and France and Poland) against Germany and her allies.

Before being attacked most European countries (and the US) aimed at neutrality. Countries as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland belonged here. To my best knowledge, they didn't enter any alliance before their neutrality was broken by the invading Wehrmacht. The situation for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is somewhat different, and for Hungary, and Romania even more different, but as you haven't proposed them being listed as "Allied" that doesn't matter.

I suggest:

Major Allies
(later: permanent members of the UN Security Council)

Minor Allies

--Ruhrjung 15:29, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

OK, I see where you are coming from, but I think it has more problems. As I said before, most of these countries were in the fight before they were governments in exile. Norway, Holland, Belgium, Greece all defended their countries in the usual way, and only became governments in exile after they were conquered. In the case of Greece it was many months before they were occupied. I'm not even sure that Yugoslavia ever had a government in exile. Why is it important to you to make this distinction? DJ Clayworth 16:00, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Where I'm coming from is of course relevant as my mother tongue is not English, and my input from other foreign languages (in my case: French, Dutch and Scandinavian) might make me raise questions that seem strange for people totally embedded in an Anglo-Saxon sphere, but beside that, I hope also people coming from where I come from ought to be entitled to contribute to the wikipedia project.

At the moment, as I've stated before, I concentrate on the issue of what defines the becoming of an Allied? The list above was only given on your request for examples.

The difference between an allied exiled government and an allied country whos government is in control of the country's territory, administration, army and other assets is well worth considering, but think I'll leave that for later, trying to focus one issue at a time.

So, to start with: When did Poland become an Allied? When France? When Britain?
--Ruhrjung 16:20, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

As I said above, I would consider the Allies to include any country that fought against the Axis powers. I believe that that is how the term is usually used in a WWII context; most people don't worry about who signed treaties with who.

I agree pretty much with your list above; separating out the governments in exile is the only thing I disagree with, which is why I started talking about it. I think that except for that difference there is hardly any difference between the list you gave and the one currently in the article.

I guess it also might be important to mention that in general English usage you don't have to have a formal treaty to be an ally - to fight alongside someone is enough. DJ Clayworth 16:55, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Just to add an answer to one of your questions, I would consider that Britian, France and Poland became allies either in August 1939, when Britain and France declared their support, or September 3rd when they actually declared war. It depends on whether you consider the intention or the action makes someone an ally. DJ Clayworth 16:59, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I think what Ruhrjung is looking for is formal documents of alliances signed by both countries, sort-of-thingy. Of which I am sure there are many but are they the most important thing? (Britain had an alliance with Romania ntil Romania joined the Germans). Rmhermen 17:04, Sep 30, 2003 (UTC)

You see: Here you have at least one root to our different understanding. Can you please explain to me who don't understand why they didn't become Allies on April 6th, 1939?
--Ruhrjung 17:12, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

The dates I put in the article were for entry into the war, and not meant to imply that there was no treaty of alliance before then. Some of the former Empire countries had had alliances going back many years. I just thought it would be helpful to add dates of entry into the war. DJ Clayworth 17:29, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

But isn't this an article about The Allies?

Why is the dates of entry into war at all relevant?

Why only for WWII, and not for WWI?

Why in this article? Why not in List of countries involved in World War II — or in the very article on WWII?

Oughtn't it (in this article) be more relevant when they became Allies than when they were assaulted or declared war?

--Ruhrjung 16:00, 1 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Part of the problem here is that the term Allies (capital A) is not used in a technical sense of those who are allied. The Central Powers and Axis were also technical allies; however, that term is not used to describe them. It is used (as Allies) to describe their opponents and generally in the generic sense of all who opposed them. In addition, it is usually used in a strict dichotomy of them vs. us, with no account taken of the nuances of those few countries that changed sides or participated in concurrent wars. I think that the dates can be left in the more detailed List of countries involved in World War II. I wouldn't mind if this list was trimmed to the usual Soviet Union, Great Britain and Commonwealth (except Ireland), USA, China and France. Rmhermen 16:48, Oct 1, 2003 (UTC)
The important thing must be that the actual usage is reflected in the article. Preferably the contemporary usage in the English speaking world.--Ruhrjung 16:52, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)
If you look at the top of the article you will find that this difference is exactly explained. Since the article is about Allies and not allies I think the list of countries is completely appropriate. If you really feel strongly about it remove the dates, but I still think they are helpful. The article does explain what the dates mean.
But not why they are at all relevant.--Ruhrjung 16:52, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I do disagree with reducing the list. If I was Polish I would be very upset not to have Poland included in the Allies. DJ Clayworth 17:28, 1 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Ruhrjung, the current article does reflect the current English usage. For most people the date they started fighting is the date they really becaome Allies. DJ Clayworth 20:05, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Clayworth, if so, why not state that in the article? At the moment it defines:

Allies [with capital A] usually denotes the members of the alliances directed against [...] the Axis powers in World War II. (my emphasizing)

--Ruhrjung 13:19, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Youre right, and I've made a change to reflect this. DJ Clayworth 14:22, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't want to downplay the part played by Canadians in WWII, which was immense, but the usualy usage for the 'major allies' includes the big five, but no others. This was pretty much decided when allocating seats at the peace conferences, and on the UN later. The distinction was really on political grounds rather then contribution to the war, but that's the way it is. Putting anything else here would, I believe, be confusing. DJ Clayworth 17:13, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Molotov-Ribbentrop pact no peace treaty[edit]

I changed the following less lucky wording, calling the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact a peace agreement. In reality it was presented as a non-aggression treaty, though the content of the secret amendment made Nazi-Germany and the Soviet Union practically to allies in their common assault on Poland, Balticum and Finland.

  • Soviet Union (from 22 June 1941 - before that a peace agreement was signed and adopted with the Axis)

--Ruhrjung 18:53, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Hi Ruhrjung. I added Czechoslovakia back in because, as far as I can tell, although it was indeed dismembered by Hitler at the start of the war, a government in exile was formed and continued to fight on the Allied side to the best of its ability. Shouldn't they be considered Allies as much as Belgium?


DJ Clayworth 14:30, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Well, isn't this virtually a reprise of the discussion above (Sept 17...)? I do not have any other or more arguments than then. For a country to ally with another country, I think the government must be at least in control of the territory, and maybe also legitimately representative. The governments in exile didn't control their claimed territories, and hence were not recognizable as representatives of the countries in question - which leads to my view that the resistance movements and the governments in exile might well be counted as Allied, but the occupied countries not. In particular not those countries that stubbornly claimed a wish to remain neutral, i.e. non-allied, or Czechoslovakia, which had been dissolved largely due to Chamberlain's Munich accord.

The notion of these countries (contrary to governments in exile) as "Allied" shines in my eyes as extremely easy to establish as false. For any reader. You don't need to have studied history for many grades to know that much. It gives a very careless impression, which reflects badly on all of the wikipedia articles, to let such statements remain un-corrected.

Above you define Allies as "any country that fought against the Axis powers". May I guess, that according to your understanding Denmark was occupied without fighting, and hence doesn't qualify? Maybe you argue that the Czechs fought more after the the German arrival than the Danes? That inconsistency, or that with the other countries shared between Stalin and Hitler according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, is no real problem for me. My problem is with those countries that were neutral or already finished at their invasion. I agree with you, that I if I were Polish, I would be very upset if Poland, who actually had concluded a formal alliance with France and Britain, would be forgotten in a list of WWII Allies.

May I propose that the initial paragraph be worded as follows? (Largely following your and rmhermen's wordings.)

In general, allies are people or groups that have joined an alliance. In general English usage, a formal treaty is not required for being perceived as an ally - co-belligerence, to fight alongside someone, is enough. According to this usage, you become allies not when concluding an alliance treaty but when struck by war.
When spelt with a capital A, Allies usually denotes the countries that fought together against the Central Powers in World War I and against the Axis powers in World War II. The term is generally used in the generic sense of "all who opposed the enemy". In addition, it is usually used in a strict dichotomy of them vs. us, reflecting wartime propaganda, with no account taken of nuances of countries that were occupied as neutrals, changed sides or participated in concurrent wars.

Further, I think the section on "Minor allies" maybe better could be worded as follows:

Minor Allies
British, Dutch and French colonies fought alongside their mother countries.
Most countries occupied by Nazi Germany continued to fight with resistance movements under governments in exile:
  • Belgium (invaded May 10, 1940)
  • Greece (invaded October 28, 1940)
  • Holland (invaded May 10, 1940)
  • Luxembourg (invaded May 10, 1940)
  • Norway (invaded April 9, 1940)
  • Poland (invaded 1 September 1939)
  • Yugoslavia (invaded April 6, 1941)
Furthermore, most countries of the Brittish Commonwealth were considered as Minor allies, notably:
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa

--Ruhrjung 05:12, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I take your point (and I wasn't aware that the Czech government in exile wasn't just the previous government relocated). My feeling is that most people coming to this page will expect to find mentioned all the countries that fought against the Axis. Maybe the special circumstances of each country need a line or so of explanation.

DJ Clayworth 14:25, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)


It's always controversial about which members of the British Commonwealth are added to this list. For a long time now we've kept only the Dominions, i.e. those that declared war independently (Australia, Canada, New Zeland, South Africa). Nobody wants to deny that India played a large part in the war, but the question then becomes "where do we stop?". Should we list each one of the British Colonies separately? There are lots of them. What about the French colonies? I'd prefer to see us list only the four Dominions. What do other people think? DJ Clayworth 19:21, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

India was a dominion in 1939. The British declaration of war did not automatically bring India into the fighting. However, the Viceroy declared war on behalf of India without consulting other members of the Indian Government. David Newton 14:21, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Major and Minor[edit]

Please read this section before moving any of the WWII Allies between minor and major. It explains the reasons why Allies are listed as they are.

What precisely is a 'Major' ally as oppose to a 'Minor' ally? I see no definition of this anywhere, could you please explain upon what basis you make such a determination? Member of UN security Council? More committed to the war? One of the first in the war; gave more aid; had more people; more money; gave political credibility to war; was a bigger political power at time? Gave more effective aid during war?

There is no precise definition. This page has always gone with listing the members of the UN Security council as 'major' and the rest as minor, for WWII. DJ Clayworth 13:28, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
As DJ Clayworth says, there is no precise definition. However, the powers that are reckoned to be the major Allies made contributions that were vastly larger than other nations. During the war itself, the UK, US and USSR were reckoned to be the major powers, with China included with respect to its contributions against Japan. France only got to the table through some deft political and diplomatic work. The UK and US provided well over 90% of the Allied naval resources, and all of the major units such as aircraft carriers and battleships (apart from a few Soviet units which were bottled up by the Germans). The UK, US and USSR provided the vast majority of the combat troops in the ETO and MTO and Eastern Front against the Germans. No other power provided more than an Army, and even then, the Canadian First Army only had two corps. The UK and US also provided the vast majority of the effective ground forces arrayed against the Japanese, with the only other really substantial contributions coming from Indian units, which had British units integrated into their order of battle for various reasons, and Australian units. Chinese units were large in numbers, but almost as a rule incompetently lead, badly trained and ineffective in combat. The UK, US and USSR again account for the vast majority of the Allied airpower. David Newton 14:28, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

--- There are both quantitative and qualitative problems with the distinction between "major" and "minor. When you subject the various forces in WW1 and WW2 to scrutiny, the distinction, such as it is, between "major" and "minor" starts to dissolve.

For example, in WW2 only the US meets the criteria for being a "major" land, sea and air power. And many countries joined the war two years earlier than the USSR or US, a significant amount of time. Britain meets the criteria in naval forces, but in how many land campaigns were the majority of the forces actually from the UK? Contrary to popular belief, in the North African, Syrian, Malayan and Burmese campaigns, the majority of land forces were not from the UK. The Royal Air Force was also a multinational force: about a quarter of its personnel were Canadian, and about a sixth of its squadrons were Royal Canadian Air Force units. Then there were the Australian, New Zealand, Polish, etc, squadrons within the RAF.

Free French Forces were hardly any bigger in numbers -- perhaps not even bigger --- than those contributed by Canada or Australia.

And how does one measure the occasionally significant role that supposedly "minor" powers played? For example, it is a little known fact that Australians made up the vast bulk of Douglas MacArthur's land forces for most of 1942.

For all of the above reasons, I think it would be better to list the "Allies" in each conflict, with the date they joined. And perhaps a rough figure of what the numbers they contributed in personnel.Grant65 (Talk) 09:39, Jun 4, 2004 (UTC)

You are right that this is a very murky question, and the status of major or minor gets queried every few months here. I think there are really only two possible ways to do this: 1) to just list every country that participated, regardless of contribution. This seems OK, but mean that Brazil gets put in the same category as the US, which is not really giving people as much information as we could, or 2) list the permanent UN Security Council members as major Allies and the rest as minor, which is what we do. Every other solution will be highly subjective, and will mean that someone from the largest country considered 'minor' will complain that they are not 'major', wherever we make the split.
The logic of considering the UN SC members as major is basicly that's who the Allies as a whole considered the major players - for whatever practical or political reasons that was. We can always argue about who made the biggest contribution, and I would never want to downplay the massive contribution made by Canada, Australia, Poland, India etc. What we have now is a practical and workable solution, that doesn't involve arguing about how many troops of each side fought in such-and-such battle. DJ Clayworth 16:51, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)
( Grant65, you are correct in saying that many of the forces habitually thought of as British were in fact Commonwealth. What you may be neglecting to notice is how often the combined Commonwealth forces far outnumbered US forces. For example read the Battle of Normandy - you will find that the US forces were in a minority at the Landings - the British very nearly matched their contribution on land, even without the immensely important Canadian contribution. If you put a Brit, Canadian and an Australian in a room and then tell them "the US was the only major power in WWII" you're going to have some explaining to do. DJ Clayworth 02:51, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Doesn't that prove my point? The US, Soviet and Chinese land forces were far bigger than every other ally. The US and British navies were far bigger than anyone else's. The US air forces were far bigger than anyone else's. I have never argued for the US being the only "major" ally; what I have argued for is the abolition of the distinction between "major" and "minor".

On the point of the post-war permanent members of the UN security council: it seems to me that their membership was not only on the basis of them being allies but also on the size of their economies, something in which Australia could obviously not compete with France, then or now. I don't see what the UN security council has to do with the actual balance of forces in WW2. If India and Brazil become permanent members, as is being discussed at present, will they then become "major" allies? Of course not.

To revisit that comparison (France/Australia) as an example: as has been pointed out elsewhere, many of the 400,000 Free French troops were actually colonials (in exactly the same way that the Indian Army and Filipinos are often re-labelled as "British" or "American" respectively, in WW2 histories). Not many people, even in Australia, realise that the Australian Army, not counting the other services, had 724,000 people pass through its ranks in WW2; it was in serious action every day from 1940 until the last day of the war and had 18,000 dead/KIA. The RAAF was one of the world's strongest air forces by 1945. And so on.

I think it would be better to just have a list of the Allies, with some reflection of the proportions, rather than this (IMHO) over-simplistic and virtually meaningless distinction between major and minor. It is not that hard, for example, to find out numbers of personnel in uniform, 1939-45 (or 1941-45). Even bearing in mind that you have to watch for things like the RAF claiming the >15% of "its" personnel who had actually enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, etc. Grant65 (Talk) 03:48, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)

There are basically two questions to be answered:

  1. Is there a basis for distinguishing Major and Minor allies?
    Evidence for this is widely available, both in books and on the web, so undoubtedly yes
  2. Which of the allies were Major?
    Different sources name different Major allies. Those that talk about "3 major allies" usually refer to USSR, UK and USA. When discussing occupation of Japan, "3 major allies" refers to China, UK and USA. "4 major allies" (USA, UK, USSR and France) is used when discussing occupation of Germany and Austria.

USA, UK and USSR seem to have been considered Major Allies at least since 1942. Some texts mention China and UK as "two major allies" fighting against Japan in southeast Asia in 1942 [1]. These two texts from an Australian government website shed some light on how the Four Major Allies of August 1945 [2] have become the Five Major Allies by January 1946 [3]. Finally this American "top secret memorandum for the president" from August 1945 establishes the distinction between "Major Allies" and "other United Nations". All in all, I'd say that 5 Major Allies (i.e. the later UN security council) seems to be correct usage. Zocky 14:39, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

One more time: the distinction on the page between major and minor is not based on countries' respective military strength/contributions during WW2, and IMO it should be removed on that basis. Post-war diplomatic status and prestige was based on the perception of each power's potential, and had nothing to do with whether they were "major" or "minor" forces during the war itself. If the reverse was true then Canada and Australia would have been permanent members of the UN security council since day one. Grant65 (Talk) 23:34, Nov 2, 2004 (UTC)
There is a differance between Allied Forces, which may apply to forces like Armia Ludowa, Polish Home Army, Kuomingtang, Peoples Liberation Army and United Nations. We must realize the "Allies" do not refer to Nation states. France was divided also between Vichy regime and Free French. Nobs 18:01, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Just to comparate -france:5 millions of men serving in the armed force during the war. -poland: 2 millions -canada: 1,1 millions -australia: 700,000 You say that the FFL numbered 400,000 troop in june 1944 but not exactly: this are the combattants. When you count the administrative personnel, it is more like 600,000. Also, the FFL aren't the only french victors: it was also france as a full nation by august or september 1944. And french armed force numbered 1,5 millions men by the end of WW II, including 1,3 millions in the army. 412,000 of them were in Germany or Austria, 50,000 in Italy or french alps...More than the canadians or the australians.

Also for the colonials, their is a difference between the french empire and the british empire: the french colonial soldiers were part of the french army so they were french soldiers, so when the win, victory goes to france. For the british empire it is a bit different because the indian soldiers are not part of the british army but of an indian army, but which is still under britidh command. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:59, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


As far as I know, Italy switched sides and joined the Allies in 1943, just before it was invaded by Nazi Germany.

Actually just before it was invaded by the Allies, but otherwise yes. DJ Clayworth 16:51, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

--Benwing 01:49, 9 May 2004 (UTC)

British Commonwealth[edit]

The other question that gets raised here is how many countries of the British (and indeed French) Empire/Commonwealth to include as minor Allies. Usual policy is to include the Dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) in WOrld War II because they had enough autonomy to declare war on their own behalf. The others, such as India, came into WWII automatically when Britian did (correct me if I am wrong here). The trouble with including all the British non-dominions is that there are dozens of them. Should India be included but not Kenya? We have to draw the line somewhere. DJ Clayworth 16:57, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I removed India from the list of British Colonies mentioned explicitly, for the above reasons.

I WWI I believe the Empire came into the war as one, though I am prepared to be corrected. DJ Clayworth 14:37, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I don't believe there would have been any solid legal/constitutional objections if a Dominion government had decided not to go to war in 1914 (as e.g. the Irish Free State did in 1939); I think the involvement of the Dominions was simply a reflection of an overwhelming empathy with Britain by the populations of the Dominions. As I recall, something like 20-25% of the Australian soldiers in WW1 had been born in Britain. I think it was a common assumption in 1914 that a declaration of war automatically included the Dominions, but it is not necessarily an absolute fact that it did. Grant65 (Talk) 23:24, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)


Portugal was a minor ally in WW1

Western Allies[edit]

I wouldn't mind adding a sub-section to the World War II allies for the Western Allies, as it would allow us easier distinction when referring to "Allied" forces in places like Italy, North Africa or Western Europe where the Soviet Union and China weren't present.

I agree, the Western Allies (U.S. and Commonwealth) are certainly worth seperating out, especially since they tended to act collaboratively (same theatres, many joint operations etc.) and went on to form the basis of one side of the Cold War. Oberiko 16:53, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As always, the problem would be with Poland: its forces were present in all European fronts. Should it be treated as a Western Ally then? Halibutt 23:37, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
It had large army (~>200,000) under Western Allies command, so according to the below PWN definition, I think yes. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:45, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Another note (from Polish PWN Encuclopedia): "all anti-Axis countries were called Allies, however among Allied armerd forces only forces under direct command of Western Allies were counted." Thus Soviet Union was an Ally but contributed no forces to the Allies armed forces, while Poland which had 2 goverments and 2 armies (exiled one allied with Western Allies and puppet one allied with USSR) can be counted in both camps simoultanesly. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:42, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I think the distinction is spurious and politically-motivated. There were ultimately three distinct Allied commands, one headed the Combined Chiefs of Staff, one headed by the Red Army and one by Chiang Kai Shek. But US forces operated extensively in China (officially under Chiang's command), and British/Commonwealth forces ran convoys to northern Russia and co-operated with the Soviets in the occupation of Iran.Grant65 (Talk) 00:49, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

Chiang Kai Shek was fighting two wars simultaneously, (1) against Japan (2) against Soviet Mao Zedong and the PLA (part of that article needs to be rewritten). You have the same problem with France; in terms of manpower and the portion of gross economic output GDP devoted to fighting a war was greater in assisting the Axis powers, from both Occupied France and Vichy France than was what a handful of exiles contributed from London (largely with the help of American taxpayers)Nobs 02:40, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Main Allies[edit]

Why Poland is not included among major allies in WW2 ? Lysy 08:26, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If you read the talk page above you will find that questions like this have been asked over and over again (about some country or other), including by the person who thought that the US should be the only major ally. The truth is that lots of countries made enormous contributions during WW2. The only two ways to do this are to list every ally equally, regardless of contribution, or to list the allies that the allies themselves considered major players and gave seats at the UN security council. Otherwise we will just argue for ever. No insult intended to Poland (or Canada, or Czecheslovakia, or anyone). DJ Clayworth 13:17, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Certainly, I have read the discussion before I posed the question, but frankly haven't found any consensus there. I believe no insult was intended, but what is the purpose of listing "major allies" separately then ?

The particular section of the article is supposedly about allies in WW2 and not about the post-war UN Security Council, which is the subject of a separate article of its own. Using it as a key for define "major allies" here is as relevant as would be listing top five countries with largest whisky consumption instead.

Listing "major allies" and leaving Poland out will be hard to swallow for Poles, who as I'm sure you're aware, believed they've been betrayed by the other allies (Britain particularly) in course of WW2. Silently ignoring this fact in the article does not seem very NPOV (not to mention that "top" allies would be quite different when looked at in 1939, 1940, 1941 and so on).

I would suggest to either list the allies by the time they entered the war or by their military contribution (BTW: where did you get the 225 thousand Polish involvement figure from?). Being or not a free country after the end of the war is irrelevant. Not all the allies were as victorious and lucky in the end as Britain or US, but I don't think they should be conveniently forgotten just because of this. Lysy 19:51, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If you're trying to be nice to me, and take a neutral stance, accusing Britain of 'betrayal' doesn't seem to be a good way to do it. More to the point, the article is not about that. There are plenty of other articles that do talk about what happened to Poland during and after WW2, so let's not get into it here.

Well, no, the purpose was not to be nice or not to anyone but to sketch a wider context of why the current way of listing WW2 allies lacks NPOV. Please don't take this personally, I'm sure you would not betray your ally if it was for you. It's just good to realise there are other points of view than yours that could be taken into account. Lysy

The point about the UN is that it was set up by the Allies at the end of WW2. In fact United Nations meant the Allies until the war was over. When that group of countries decided who were the major players at the end of WW2, those were the five names they came up with. You can argue if you like, but that's what they decided.

I'm not arguing about the UN. Again, this article is not about the UN but about the wartime allies. The alliances were made a couple of years before anyone ever thought about UN. The history is quite hard to be changed. Lysy

Listing by military contribution seems like a good idea, but it's going to get us into more arguments. Is it peak number of troops in the field? Number of troops multiplied by time fighting? Do you get bonuses if your country fought in all theatres of the war? Plus getting accurate figures for military contributions is going to require a major research effort. I think the only way apart from what we have is to list all the countries that fought on the Allied side. Try it if you want. DJ Clayworth 12:52, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Good. I'm going to try this. I'll however remove the section headed "main allies" and try to list all in order when they entered WW2 if you don't mind. We'll see if it makes sense...
Cheers, Lysy 17:27, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have to agree with Lysy - please show me any academic publication mentioning that there is a consensus that WWII 'major allies' are defined as those who got a Security Council permanent seat. This is the first time I heard about it. Looking at the above discussion it seems to have been invented by User:Ruhrjung - i.e. it looks to me like an orginal Wikipedia invention... Or at least show me an academic consensus on the five in our article - for whatever reasons. While I agree that 'military contribution' is a rather hard thing to define *exactly*, I believe that Polish contribution to World War II warrants its inclusion as a 'major ally'. Until the war was joined by USA and USSR, it was the third most powerful ally - second after the fall of France - even after Poland territory was occupied it fielded an army larger then those of the British Commonwealth countries. Unless you can prove to me that it is commonly excluded - from other encyclopedias and scientific pulbications - I cannot agree that the current list is NPOV/incomplete. Oh, and about that 'betrayal' comment - feel free to read through Western betrayal.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:44, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I added a section on original allies as a temporary solution. Personally, I believe that all Allies should be listed either by date of signing the military pacts with one of the original members or by the date of entry into WWII. The countries that got their UN SC seat after the war might be mentioned in the article, but not necessarily, there's a separate article on that. And, above all, dividing the Allies onto major and minor seems too POV to me.
Listing them by the number of soldiers might be a decent idea as well, although it indeed might be hard to find accurate data for all the states that are usually thought of as Allies (China and Yugoslavia, anyone?). Halibutt 23:36, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
Google define results relevant to the IIWW: "the alliance of nations that fought the Axis in World War II and which (with subsequent additions) signed the charter of the United Nations in 1945", "Twenty-six nations led by the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, united to oppose the Axis powers, Germany, Italy and Japan, and their allies.", "The nations, including the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, united against the Axis powers (chiefly Germany and Italy) during World War II", "During World War 11, the group of nations including the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union, as well as the Free French, that joined in the war against Germany and other Axis countries", "Those countries fighting against the Axis powers. ie Britain, France, USA, Canada, USSR", "The anti-fascist side of World War II (listed in order of entry into the war): Republic of China (1931-45) British Empire (1939-45) Free French (1939-45) Soviet Union (1941-45) United States (1941-45) and friends. Also known as the United Nations (yep, now you know why the permanent seats on the UN Security Council were handed out as they were). They fought against the Axis Powers", "In World War Two, the Allies included the US, Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union (Russia) and other nations. The Allies fought against and defeated the Axis nations (Germany, Italy, and Japan)", "the countries that fought together against the Axis Powers in World War 2. The main Allies were the UK and British Commonwealth countries of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa; France; China; the Soviet Union; and the United States.", "In World War II the nations allied against the Axis forces, especially Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the US", Only one source mention main Allies ([4]). Other sources usually mention UK, US, some omit USSR, more omit France and China, and most use 'i.e.', including', 'friends', thus suggesting they are simply giving examples from a larger group allies'. As Google for Main Allies nets 8,000 hits, mostly Wiki mirrors and such, I definetly think that the term Main Allies was invented on Wiki, thus is POV and should be removed. List by date of joining (which should be fairly easy to find, if not - by alphabet), with note on forces size would be the best NPOV solution. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:30, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the term "main allies" is inappropriate. We may possess factual knowledge that nation "X" deployed more troops or was involved in more combat operations than nation "Y," but these criteria are entirely arbitrary (as is the drawing of the proverbial line that separates the "main allies" from the "other allies"). What constitutes a "main ally" is subjective (arguably incorporating numerous sociopolitical factors) and such speculation clearly prevents the maintenance of a neutral point of view.
In my opinion, a chronological list (based upon the dates on which the nations entered the war) would be the most logical, and an alphabetical list would be equally fair (albeit less useful to the reader).
Lifeisunfair 17:45, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Table of Allies[edit]

Ok then, let's simply fill up this table and insert it to where it belongs :) Halibutt 22:25, May 11, 2005 (UTC)

The World War II Allies

Entry into war State Approximate personnel involved Remarks
September 1, 1939 Poland About two million (both fronts and resistance) Occupied by Germany by 5 October 1939, never surrendered, contributed significant forces to Allies until the end of the war.
September 3, 1939 France ~2,800,000 until capitualtion. Capitulated to Germany on June 22, 1940
September 3, 1939 United Kingdom
September 3, 1939 Australia About one million personnel. Total number who served in all services, during 1939-45.
September 3, 1939 New Zealand
September 6, 1939 South Africa
September 10, 1939 Canada
April 9, 1940 Denmark ~ 0 invaded by Germany, previously neutral
April 9, 1940 Norway ~ 6 divisions invaded by Germany, previously neutral
May 10, 1940 Belgium invaded by Germany, previously neutral
May 10, 1940 Netherlands invaded by Germany, previously neutral
May 10, 1940 Luxembourg invaded by Germany, previously neutral
June 18, 1940 Free France French opposition to the government loyal to the Germans
October 28, 1940 Greece Invaded by Italy, independence guaranteed by the United Kingdom
April 6, 1941 Yugoslavia Invaded by Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria
June 22, 1941 Soviet Union Initially allied to Nazi Germany, invaded by it on June 21, 1941 and invited to the Allies the following day
December 8, 1941 United States Initially a supporter of the Allies, joined the war after being attacked by Japan
December 9, 1941 China 1937 Kuomintang ~1,700,000 At war with Japan since 1937
1942 Czechoslovakia Seized by Germany on September 29, 1938 as part of the Munich Agreement; Government in exile created in 1941, recognized by the Allies the following year

BTW, I suggest we added the actual (or at least approximate) number of troops rather than number of divisions. The reason is that there was a plethora of different tactical units named divisions in various armies of the time. They differed largely in both numbers (any number between 4.000 and 30.000 could fit) and equipment. Halibutt 23:55, May 11, 2005 (UTC)

I agree, and there are the navies and air forces to be considered.Grant65 (Talk) 00:44, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

It's been brought to my attention I may have accidently deleted part of the discussion for which I humbly appologize. Will be more careful next time. No harm intended. Thank you. Nobs 00:37, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps if you create a similar table for axis powers with manpower strength numbers we guage the relative differance between some of these nations fighting strength on both sides. For example, approximately 50,000 Norwegians served in German uniform, which is probably a higher number than how many fought with the Allies. Nobs 03:18, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

A very good table. I definetly vote for its adoption in place of the current erroneus major/minor distinction. An Axis table maybe an interesting future project, for an eventuall article like Chronological comparison of World Wor Two opposing forces or sth similar. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 11:52, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

I have removed the detail about Polish formations and campaigns, and used it to arrive at a figure of "about two million" Polish veterans and/or dead. Quite a few countries had forces in different theatres at different times, and such information doesn't belong in a table like this. Grant65 (Talk) 20:48, May 14, 2005 (UTC)


Poland needs to be divided into two groups; tentatively I propose Polish Home Army and Armia Ludowa. They cannot be considered as one, seeing the Armia Ludowa was organized by the same elements (NKVD & SMERSH) that murdered the Polish goevernment in exile's officer corps at Katyn. See also for background on Armia Ludowa [5]. Also, China likewise needs to be divided in a similiar fashion since the Armies of Chiang Kai-shek & Mao Zedong likewise were at war with one another will being separately supported, People's Liberation Army by the USSR and Kuomintang by the US, while at the sametime China was at war with Japan Nobs 17:53, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure dividing Poland onto separate allied states is such a good idea. After all there was only one Polish government for most of the war and both the armed forces in the West, the Armia Krajowa and the Polish Army in the USSR (the one that was later evacuated to Persia) were loyal to it. And it was that government that was part of the alliance, not the commanders of some military units, be it partisan or regular. On the other hand we might add a short info in the remarks section. Halibutt 20:25, May 12, 2005 (UTC)
I'm not certain the London Poles would consider those who murdered 14,000 of their officers "Allies", though it would be interesting to get some non-Communist Polish perspectives. The various Polish National Congress websites still have interesting discussions on the matter. Nobs 00:49, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
You have a point that by the end of the war there were two separate Polish governments and two separate armies. However, listing the Home Army as a separate state seems rather strange to me. What am I missing here? Why not simply combine it with the Polish Army and the Polish Army in the West, all of which supported the legitimate Polish government? Halibutt 03:24, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
Well, what I think may be the problem is classifying allies by nation state rather than national movement. Or put another way by state rather than force. Here's another example: India. India as a national government did not exist till 1947. Yet Indians fought both as British and German allies [6]. So trying to use a strict standard of declaring allies by government, and various successor entities will fail. Virtually all the "Minor" allies on the list did, in fact, provide more manpower in German uniform, as well as that portion of their national budgets dedicated to the military, than they did for the "Allied effort". France is the biggest offender on the list. And the fact remains the French of today know it, the Germans know it, the British and Russians all know these facts. The only people who want to continue to maintain much of the fictions of Allied wartime propaganda are the Americans. Nobs 04:27, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
Now I get it. The most important problem I have with your line of reasoning is that it were the states and the governments that signed international treaties and alliances. Perhaps an article on Allied military units and organisations during World War II would be in place, but the article on allied states should IMHO list states and not military forces. You mention the example of India, which actually proves my point here: there were lots of nations that fought on both sides of the conflict. Yet, only a fistful of states actually switched sides. Also, if we followed your logic, we'd have to include Israel as one of the Allied states, since there were many Zionists in the Polish Army in exile and many of them simply deserted while the force was stationed in the Palestine.
As to the French forces fighting for the Allies - you're wrong, the French Army in 1940 was almost 3 million men strong. Neither the Vichy France nor the French volunteer units fighting along the Germans were nowhere near that strong - ever. In the table I proposed there is a place to include all the remarks and those should be included, but the fact remains that the French forces in WWII fought mostly for the allies. And it has nothing to do with German or American propaganda. Halibutt 05:17, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
3,000,000 strong from Sept 1939 until June 1940 (who fought the Sitzkrieg or Phoney War) No way in hell did Free French field 3,000,000. France entire war effort from 1940-1944, including the strength of both Occuppied France (of which curiously there is no wiki article) and Vichy France governments was more for the German war effort, in both manpower serving in German uniform, and national budgets devoted to "Defense". France, in fact, did more for the German war effort in the four years 1940-44 than it did to defend intself in 1940, or to liberate itself from 1944-45. And all Europeans know these facts and understand these facts. Charles DeGaulle, in London, dependant on American money, with a small contingent of refugees, did not constituent the nation of France or Frances war effort in World War II. Nobs 05:35, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
Your statements about the Vichy France army being stronger than 3 million soldiers seems highly dubious to me. As far as I know it was reduced to merely 100.000 men by the Germans and never reached that number again. The Waffen SS Charlemagne division was never stronger than 8.000 men. Even if we count the 50.000 STO and Todt labourers as soldiers, it would be still nowhere near a million, not to mention three.
I have no intention of glorifying the French war effort (especially for their lack of actions in 1939 and 1940), but still the French Army was the biggest allied army for a large part of the war and the country was one of the three original Allies. Halibutt 06:41, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

Whether or not countries provided personnel to the Axis — and let's not forget the British Free Corps — is irrelevant. The article is about the Allies, not a weighing and balancing of who provided what to each side.Grant65 (Talk) 18:04, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

Here's the problem using nation state classification based on treaty alliances etc., let's start with France as an example. France under the Third Republic upto 10 July 1940 (when it voted itself out of existence as the wiki article states) was not an Ally of the United States. Thereafter, the Régime de Vichy became the legitimate government of France, being granted full diplomatic recognition by the United States with Admiral William Leahy as American ambassador. The Forces Françaises Libres, as the wiki article states, was a committee (Comité National Français), not a government. Thus the United States had no government-to-government treaty alliance obligation to defend the France in 1940, or thereafter to its legitimate successor regime. The United States granted full recognition and legitimacy to the collaborationist "puppet" Vichy Regime, and made "Allies" with a non-governmental committee or "popular liberation force" to help overthrow a legitimate government it was not at war with. Time is short so I'll deal with Poland, China, Norway, Finland, Italy, British Dominions, CZ etc later. Suffice it to say, the United States Army traces its origins to 1775, as a national fighting force it is older than the United States government itself. So the method of classification is not unusual or unprecedented. It is infact accurate. Otherwise it seems you're just trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Nobs 21:33, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
If France had three million colonial troops then they were French troops and that is worth mentioning. I'm really not sure what point you're trying to make. The table makes a distinction between "France" and "Free France", and Vichy is excluded from consideration. What's so complicated about that? Grant65 (Talk) 02:19, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
Free France was not a govt, so my arguement is Poland likewise needs the same subdivision between Polish Home Army and Polish People's Army, as well as Kuomintang and Peoples Liberation Army for China. May be others too. Regarding French estimates: the French Government itself always made a distinction between "French Soldiers", i.e. ethnic French, and "Soldiers of France", black African troops most usually Sengeles or from the Camaroon. This same dicotomy never existed when one speaks of a "German soldier". Nobs 17:36, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't see any need to stick to nation states or governments, since the main point here is the contribution of various nationalties to the Allied war effort. I mean regardless of the fact that (e.g.) India was not independent (just as the Phillipines was pretty much a de facto US colony), its soldiers were volunteers and the contribution of such countries to the Allies cannot be questioned. On that basis, India could be considered a major ally. Grant65 (Talk) 18:27, May 14, 2005 (UTC)


Members of the Commonwealth of Nations

European governments in exile (WWII)

Pacific Theatre

Remember, Allied Forces does not refer to Nation states. rough draft, still needs work. Nobs 18:12, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Brazil wasn't a member of the Commonwealth! And in any case membership is irrelevant here as the governments of the Dominions all declared war separately. In fact the Irish Free State, which was officially a member of the Commonwealth, remained neutral.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't see how France can be regarded as a major ally ahead of Canada and Australia, both of which had more personnel in uniform at the end of the war than France did.Grant65 (Talk) 00:31, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
See above. I doubt Canada or Australia fielded 3 millions of soldiers as France did. Also, if we decide to list all the military organisations rather than states that were allied to each other, then we should list all 10 major Polish resistance organisations, along with three separate armies. Halibutt 05:20, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
The point is what happened over the course of the war. How long did it field the alleged "three million" for, were they official members of the armed forces and how effective were they? I seem to recall that Free French forces numbered about 500,000 (or less) at the war's end. And the article is about Allies, which excludes Vichy forces. Grant65 (Talk) 17:27, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
3 million is a figure I presume to be for the French Third Republic (that went out of existence in 1940) that included French Colonial troops worldwide (Africa & French Indochina, etc). There were not 3 million standing on the Maginot Line waiting to defend France. Also, it must be born in mind the distinction France made between French soldiers, and Soldiers of France, i.e. African colonial troops, their fighting capability, reliability etc.

I think we agreed that we don't want any 'major' or 'minor' divisions? At least, not as a primary one? I propose to use the Halibutt's above table (date of war entry) as a primary list. We can have a paragraph on the popular use of 'major allies' term and why it is not correct under the table. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 11:50, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Guys, this is getting way too detailed. We can't possibly start getting into the level of detail we are discussing here. If you remember, the original argument was about major v minor Allies. I wrote on 15th April that if we tried to list by contribution to the war, we would get into an endless argument. I think I rest my case.

Let's try to think about what someone wants to know when they come to this article. Most likely it's "who were the Allies", and by that they mean nations, not individual forces. We owe our readers an answer to this question. Various people objected to the exclusion of some country from the 'major' allies (Poland, Canada, Australia), and those are reasonable objections, since it was always an arbitrary division. But rather than have some massively complicated ordering based on some (equally arbitrary) measure of military contribution, lets have all the Allies listed in some easy to understan order - either alphabetical or by date of entry to the war.

As for the argument about different forces fighting on different sides, I think thats pretty specious. Almost every country will have had some people who fought on the opposite side from their government, even Brits and Americans. A few countries probably deserve a small note explaining their status on the different sides of the war - France, Russia, Finland and Italy I suggest. We can write about dissidents who fought on the opposite sides of their country in the articles relevant to that country.

If we don't make this article understandable to the average reader, no-one is ever going to read it and we may as well give up. DJ Clayworth 16:55, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

I strongly agree. The goal at hand is to provide a relatively concise summary of the Allies themselves — not complex, argument-provoking descriptions of the wars in which they fought. I would prefer to see the nations listed in the order in which they entered each war (for added historical context), but an alphabetical list would be fine. As long as the pertinent information is conveyed in a clear, unbiased manner, this article will serve its intended purpose. — Lifeisunfair 19:07, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

On a separate note, I want to query the statement at the end about Republic of Ireland. Churchill notes in his history an extreme annoyance with the Irish for refusing to permit the British Navy to use Irish ports, which would have shortened the convoy routes and made a big difference to the Battle of the Atlantic. Also ROI interned several British aircraft that landed in Ireland and refused to return them. Do we have any citations for cases where ROI acted less neutrally than that, and favoured the British side? DJ Clayworth 17:02, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

I concur with the premise (unless "Allies" links to a disambig with "Allied forces", "Allied regimes" etc. Big problem however. France was not an Ally of the United States at virtually any part of the War. In fact, the case can be made that the people of France, in both manpower & economic output, assisted the Axis Powers more than the Allies. Nobs 18:46, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand what you're getting at, Nobs. On one hand you point out that France had three million soldiers and on the other you seem to say that they should be disqualified because so many French people collaborated! Why not just format the information as a table, so that the time period during which the "three million" saw action (1939-40) is clear.
DJ, we are sorting out definitions here before the article is revamped. Look at it this way, there is a lot of discontent with the way it reads at present.
A few right wing nationalists aside, the Irish definitely leaned towards the Allies. They made a show of impounding equipment and personnel from both sides who strayed into the IFS, but it was obviously easier for the Allied internees to escape, and quite a few did. There were probably thousands of Irish citizens serving in various Allied forces. But I'm not sure that anyone knows how many.Grant65 (Talk) 18:47, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
France had 3,000,000 men under arms for the 9 months Sept 1939 to June 1940 before the French govt voted itself out of existence. That defunct govt was never an Ally to (1) the Soviet Union (2) the United States. Secondly, the Allied Force of Free French was a handfull of refugees supported by foreign governments for their fighting ability. Thirdly, the people of both Occupied France and unoccupied Vichy France continued to pay taxes to support a national defense budget which was basically co-opted by the Third Reich. 18 year olds continued to turn 18 each year between 1940-44 and enlist for military service--to fight in German uniform against the Soviet Union. America was not Allied to this regime. All Europeans understand these facts. Americans for some reason still wish to propoagate Allied propoaganda of the 1940's as historical facts. Nobs 19:38, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
3 million didn't see any action, they fought the Phoney War and sat on their asses during the Sitzkrieg. Nobs 19:41, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't know which part of Europe you are from, but I am European and I disagree with what Nobs wrote above. DJ Clayworth 19:40, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

I have just moved your paragraph (immediately above) which was inserted into the middle of my last comment. I'm not sure if there is any sensible response to the rest of what you have just said. The "debate" seems to have turned into a pissing contest. Grant65 (Talk) 20:05, May 14, 2005 (UTC)

My points are these: France (Third Republic) can be considered an ally to Britain up to mid 1940, though its manpower strengths, contributions & significance is overhyped. Free French (non-governmental entity) is an ally. Polish Home Army should be treated in same manner as Free French, as an ally. Kuomingtang is an ally. Polish People's Army is an ally to the Soviet Union, and as such should be included, alongside the Polish Home Army, even though they cannot be considered allied to each other. But to insist that Poland or France, both entities who lasted in the war about 3 weeks, should be a definitive understanding of the events 1939-1945, is trying to hammer a square peg in a round hole. It will not fit. (no pissing contest). Nobs 20:50, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
Frankly speaking, my idea behind the creation of this table was to list the name of the state, the sum of all men it contributed to the Allied effort and the date of joining. IMHO additional info (like, for instance, the political differences between various factions within Polish underground), then perhaps a separate article on Allied manpower during World War II or something similar would be in place. However, the number of troops in this article is just an additional information (sort of an eye candy) and should be kept as simple and readable as possible. How about preparing a disclaimer that the numbers given are total for 1939-1945 and linking the new article just below the table? Halibutt 21:10, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
BTW, your proposals are quite inaccurate: the Polish Home Army was by no means exiled. Its predecessor was created in late September in Warsaw and its HQ was located there until after the Warsaw Uprising, when it was moved to Kraków. As to the Polish government in Exile - it was indeed located in London, though only from 1940 onwards (previously in Paris and then in some small town south of it, I forgot the name). Halibutt 21:14, May 14, 2005 (UTC)

A Proposal on Method If we look at what entities existed at the point the Alliance of the Big 3 came into existence, which would be after Pearl Harbor when Hitler declared war on the U.S. From that point on "the lines were drawn" with relatively few changes (Italy, Polish People's Army, and we can also deal with the origins of America's Two China Policy and all the problems that created later vis-avis Kuomintang and PLA.) This will leave us referencing the French Third Republic, Free French and Vichy regime and no overall France (remember, all books speak of a period of time when Britain "stood alone", their "finest hour", "never have so few..." etc. when there was no France. Personally, I prefer using the language current at the time, the governments in exile (WWII) should be simply London exiles. Overall, we are discussing Allied forces and Allied regimes. Forces Françaises Libres is a force, Comité National Français (French National Committee) is a regime. Polish government in exile was an Allied regime, its force in the field was the Polish Home Army. The CCP was an regime allied to the Soviet Union, its force in the field was the PLA. Returning to the issue of France: the French Occupation forces occuping the French Zone in 1945 were not made up of what became the legimate successor state of the Third Republic. Vichy, in fact was the legitimate successor to that regime. Ultimately, the Fourth Republic took a seat on the UN Security Council, after the Fourth Republic came into existence in 1946. To steal a phrase from Metternich, "France is a geographical entity" when discussing WWII.

Not really. Firstly, why exactly should we limit the Allies to the 1941-1945 period and exclude the 1939-1941 period? Also, the armed force of the Polish government in exile (note that the name was not used until 1946, during WWII it was simply the government of Poland) was the Polish Army. At the time in consisted of: Polish Airforce, Polish Navy, intelligence, counter-intelligence, and all other services. The land forces of the Polish government consisted of several tactical units, of which the 1st Polish Corps, 2nd Polish Corps and the Home Army were the most notable. Why should we limit the Polish contribution to World War II only to the latter army? Halibutt 05:13, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

Adding the 'manpower' info makes things way too complicated, and either results in us writing an essay (which would probably be better in a separate article) or having endless arguments about the exact numbers. Personally I don't see the big deal about the two Polish forces. One was allied to the British, one to the Soviet Union - but for the period of WWII Britain and the Soviets were allies! The precise differences between them can be covered in the Polish article.

I propose the following. For each country we list its name, it's date of entry to the war, how it got into the way, and a few notes for special cases. So for some examples:

  • Poland; 1st September 1939; Attacked by Germany;
  • Britain; 3rd September 1939; declared war on Germany
  • Holland; May 1940; attacked by Germany

(yes this should be a table but I don't have the patience to build one for a talk page). France, Russia and Italy deserve special notes. DJ Clayworth 19:40, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Well France had on May 1945 1,500,000 personnels in the army, navy and air force (and administration) 412,000 of which were in Germany. Did the canadians and Australians have so much troops at the same time ? clem78 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Big 3 or World War II Grand Alliance[edit]

The "Big Three" Allied leaders at Yalta: British Prime Minster Winston Churchill (left), U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (center), and Soviet First Secretary Joseph Stalin (right)

Halibutt: we are not really limiting it. We are gaining the overall perspective. We begin with the Big 3, Great Britain, U.S.S.R., and United States. Each member of the big three has sub-alliances, some sub-alliance members are allied outside their sub-alliance, some not. Britian rightly can be regarded as the founder of the alliance, hence we'll place them first:

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
allied to the Commonwealth

(alphabetically as in external link--yes I know USSR was not a London exile, neither did it live up to the terms of this agreement)

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

United States


Remember, we need to match regime names with force names, and not confuse the two. Both France and Poland from 1939-41 were not allied to USSR or US; neither regime alliance Free French (force name) or Polish Home Army (force name) became a successor-state that joined the UNO (yes, it is true, the Free French were reintegrated with Vichy civil service to form the new Fourth Republic, the legitimate successor of Vichy). Also, we have not begun to discuss Finland. My only recommendation is not to rely of geographic names when we are discussing political regimes and their military forces.

What is the point of the distinction between the supposed Commonwealth, US and Soviet groups? It creates the impression that they were totally separate, when they were not. Firstly, Britain was/is an equal member of the Commonwealth with the so-called Dominions, such as Australia, Canada, etc, which declared war separately and ultimately controlled their own forces. Britain had ceased to have any say in the politics of the dominions. Secondly, in 1942, the individual Commonwealth govts (including Britain) put their forces under the operational control of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. In other words they were under the day to day control of a new, joint US-British body. Grant65 (Talk) 01:11, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
The above diagram gives a good picture as to how the alliance took shape. The Triple Entente alliance which Britain and France had been members of upto 1940 ceased to be triple when Imperial Russia dropped out in 1917. Any Franco-Soviet collective security agreements were nullified by the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. So basically, forget trying to date the Alliance that survived the War and formed the UNO from 1939. It cannot be done. The alliance that met at Potsdam (and all other summits) was the alliance of the Big 3; each of the big three can be regarded as the head of its own separate system of alliances, which ultimately were fused together (or at least in theory attempted) in the United Nations Organization. Great Britain headed the Commonwealth of Nations. The United States headed the Pan American Union (also called Pan American League, to distinguish it from those members who participated in the war from those that remained neutral); the Soviet Union headed both the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, itself an alliance of 13 member states, and the Comintern, or Communist Intrernational. Some junior members of the these alliances were at war with one another, China Kuomintang & the CCP, Polish Home Army and Polish People's Army, to name two of the most conspicuous. In these unresolved alliances we have the roots both of the Cold War and Korean War and Two China Policy. Nobs 01:48, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

To say that "Britain headed the Commonwealth" is simply wrong and it represents a misunderstand of what the Commonwealth was and is. onec again: Britain and the Dominions (or later Commonwealth realms) were considered to be equals in the Commonwealth (whereas British India, in 1939, and the crown colonies were not). Hence the Dominions declared war independently of Britain in 1939 (and the Irish Free State, which was a Dominion at the time, remained neutral). Britain is not even a "first among equals". That is the difference between the Commonwealth of Nations and the British Empire. In fact, for most of the war, the vast majority of Australian forces served under Douglas MacArthur in the South West Pacific Area, rather than under British commanders anywhere else.

Similarly it is a misrepresentation to say that the United States "ran" the Kuomintang. In fact, the Americans — whose forces were technically under Chiang Kai Shek when they served in China — found it very hard to get Chiang to fight the Japanese as much as they would have liked, since he was more concerned with stockpiling weapons and materiel to fight the communists.

In short, I think the division into the Big 3 and subordinate allies is historically incorrect.

By the way, many of the so-called "London exiles" actually had their headquarters and major bases in the US or Canada (e.g. The Netherlands).Grant65 (Talk) 11:48, May 17, 2005 (UTC)

Also, I shouldn't need to point out that China was fighting Japan four years before the US joined the war. The "Big 3" is a nonsense.Grant65 (Talk) 11:53, May 17, 2005 (UTC)

By which I mean it's a nonsense to divide the Allies into three groups.Grant65 (Talk) 15:11, May 17, 2005 (UTC)

None of these alliances came into being on their own. The members were not wondering around in the dark and stumbled upon each other and coincidentally decided simultaneously to join together. Each head, Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union, provided the leadership necessary to form together. It began with an idea, than an invitation to a meeting, then an agreement to sit down and hear discussion, then coaxing, convincing and cojoling the junior partners of the necessity for such an alliance. In this sense, the Big 3 (term has its origin among newspaper headline writters as being able to communicate an idea in the least amount of space, like FDR, JFK, LBJ, Ike etc) can be rightly considered the "leaders" of the alliances (all notions to equality, except among Comintern, accepted). To carry the discussion further, the North Atlantic Alliance, another subdivsion of the Alliance of the Big 3, was an alliance of the Commonwealth and Pan American League, as cheifly represented by the US & Britain; it forged alliance with the "Soviet bloc", Comintern, or Communist International, to fight fascsim and the Axis Powers, hence the Big 3. Nobs 16:38, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

This really is an important discussion; I am essentially using information already in Wikipedia to support my arguments (though many other articles need to be written, like Two China Policy); all links are available off the above re-revised list. Good discussion. Nobs 18:35, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

There are so many things wrong with the above that I hardly know where to begin. For one, the "Big Three" did not come into being until 1942 (or later), after the tide of the war had turned. China had been fighting since 1937. Second, this schema invents political control where none existed (as in the case of the Commonwealth) and overlooks the very real military/operational commands which did exist, such as the Combined Chiefs of Staff. You could make a case for Stalin having both, when it came to communist forces, but even then Mao and Tito did pretty much what the pleased. Third, the Commonwealth barely existed as a institution, so it couldn't have been a mechanism for British political or operational control of Dominion forces, which were attached to Britsh commands in 1939-42, and only as long as the Dominion governments gave permission. (See, for example, Australia's decision to recall three Australian divisions from North Africa, to serve in the South West Pacific, against the wishes of Churchill and British commanders.) After 1942, the Dominion governments put their forces under combined Allied commands and, ultimately, under the Combined Chiefs of Staff. To give the Big 3 such importance is fictious.Grant65 (Talk) 00:41, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, all very valid criticism. Let's return to original premise: does the term "Allies" refer to political regimes or military forces. What perhaps needs to be done first is collect all regime names in a list, then divide between Axis & Ally; then attach force names to each regime name, for example United States is a political regime, its fighting force is United States Armed Forces, etc. Nobs 01:04, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

See relevent document published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 1952 gives good context for understanding how the old alliance system failed and lesson learned for forging the new alliance system. [8]Nobs01 21:32, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Purpose of article[edit]

I don't understand the aim of this article. If it is about "alliances", then it is woefully incomplete. For starters, it should list the alliances on both sides of the World Wars. However, what's the point in having these lists in this article? The articles on the individual wars would seem to be the better places to list the nations arrayed on either side. Removing the details about specific conflicts, the article would make more sense just addressing specific alliances. Lastly, to address a point made on this page some time ago, "United Nations" became a common description for the ad hoc alliance of nations fighting the Axis powers well before the end of the war. -Willmcw 22:30, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

The primary purpose of the article is to inform the reader of the nations included in the groups commonly referred to (among speakers of the English language) as the Allies. This connotation specifically refers not to allies in general, but to:
  • A. the nations that allied against the Central Powers of Europe during World War I
  • B. the nations that allied against the Axis during World War II
Lifeisunfair 22:54, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
If that is the case then the entire introductoin needs to be re-written. The connotation that you refer to is not mentioned until the fourth paragraph, and even then it never says that it is the topic of the article. -Willmcw 23:08, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
As I said, this is the primary purpose of the article. The first three paragraphs are secondary, and I agree that they (along with the fourth paragraph) should be rewritten to render this fact more obvious. — Lifeisunfair 00:18, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
I crudely moved the relevant sentence up to the top and cordoned off the "other" discussion. The sentence has it correctly, if thinly: nations that fought against the Central Powers and Axis. The intro should be explicit that these are allies in the broadest sense of the word, in many cases without any formal agreements and in one case despite a formal denial of alliance. Perhaps the specific treaty involvement of each nation could be noted. Also, the criteria for division into major and minor allies should be stated. -Willmcw 00:52, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
The "division into major and minor allies" is the subject of the NPOV dispute discussed above. Some (myself included) believe that the distinction is biased and should be eliminated. — Lifeisunfair 03:24, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Actually I don't think anyone disagrees with this. I've been the main defender of this division for many months now, and I've finally conceded that it is probably counter productive. Maybe someone should just remove it, and we'll work out the ordering and other stuff later. Wikipedia:Be bold in editing. DJ Clayworth 03:32, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Since the criteris for inclusion seems to be participation in war, would the date of entry into the conflict be a logical order? If we're re-thinking this article, let me ask this again: why are these lists here instead of in the articles on the two wars? Cheers, -Willmcw 03:39, May 16, 2005 (UTC)

I absolutely agree with Willmcw, both lists should be compiled simultaneously, this will guarantee uniformity of method.Nobs 18:11, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Honestly, I believe at the very least the allies in WWII deserves its own article. Probably allies for both WWI and WWII should each have their own article and should consist of more in-depth information of which there is plenty that could usefully be taken from the annals of history and included here. Proposed new articles: Allies of World War II (could also be called Allied Powers because I think this term was pretty exclusive to this instance; at the moment this redirects to the current Allies article); in addition Allies of World War I could also be created. At the very least I think the Allies of WWII deserves its own article since it's something that's very often referred to and there is a lot of historical material about the Allied Powers that could easily be discussed in the context of such an article. --Xaliqen 08:36, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Most definitely concur, seeing Imperial Russia left the Triple Entente alliance in 1917, and yet the arguement appears that the "Allied" duel alliance of Great Britain and France stemming from the triple alliance is what formed the common term "allies" in WWII (even though France ceased to be France in 1940. Nobs 16:37, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
OK then, does anyone oppose the creation of separate articles for WW1 and WW2? Grant65 (Talk) 12:35, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)
Agree; most definitely needs to be done, seeing the WWI alliances broke down, and WWII alliances that emerged at the end of the WWII were very diferent from the alliances that existed in 1939. Incidently, even the alliances that existed in 1939 were quite different from what existed in 1919. As to a name for WWII alliance, we must keep in mind the Grand Alliance of the Big 3 came into existence from about 1942 onwards. The problem, IMHO, is not recognizing that WWII was not so much one big war, but no less than 30 to 33 simultaneous wars. Nobs01 17:14, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

London Poles[edit]

Halibutt: You're right. But London Poles is a common journalistic phrase from the time also used in internal government communications. When researching CIA archives or Studies in Intelligence it is most common. Also, recall the "London Poles" did not go out of existence in 1945, as this document from 1961 illustrates [9]. As a common search term, it appears this term works very well. [10] Nobs 17:22, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I think it's a bad idea to have the paragraph that describes the Polish contribution after occupation. Not that I think it was unimportant, but if we keep it someone will say "if Poland gets such a paragraph then why not Holland? Or Belgium? Or France? and so on for ever, until we don't have a list of Allies but a paragraph for each. Instead why not make a link for each that takes readers to an article giving the history of that country during WWII. DJ Clayworth 17:32, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I beleive the London Poles, and many other London exiles regimes all fought on three fronts after 1940, in Africa, Italy and Normandy (perhaps elsewhere too). This is significant relevent information. Nobs 17:43, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Denmark it appears had no London exile group. It should be removed from the main page list as Exiles from occuppied Europe; secondly, it was not a co-signatory to the Atlantic Charter. According to wiki sources the legitimate govt of Denmark(Occupation of Denmark, Danish govt remained in Denmarck and joined the Anti-Comintern Pact along with Finland. Nobs 15:58, 21 May 2005 (UTC)


Perhaps a tentative reordering like this: temporarily place China on the ‘’’Other’’’ list; leapfrog ‘’’Commonwealth Allies’’’ to immediately after ‘’’Original’’’; replace ‘’’Main Allies’’’ with ‘’’Atlantic Charter Allies’’’ (include Soviet Union) and bring all ‘’’Exiles from occupied Europe’’’ under same heading (note Denmark has been removed from exile regimes to be placed elsewhere). Then a separate Commintern Allies which is nowhere near completed. Of course nothings set in concrete. If some text from the main page is missing it can be reinserted. It would look something like this: Nobs 22:08, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

===Neutrals=== (in 1939)

Oslo Group of States[edit]

Original Allies[edit]

These countries were allied to each other by a net of common defence pacts and military alliance pacts signed before the war. The Franco-British Alliance dated back to the Entente Cordiale of 1904 and the Triple Entente of 1907, active during the World War I. The Franco-Polish Alliance was signed in 1921 and then ammended in 1927 and 1939. The original allies were the states that declared war on Nazi Germany in September of 1939, thus starting the World War II.

The Commonwealth[edit]

In addition to Britain, several independent members of the Commonwealth of Nations, known as the Dominions, declared war on Germany separately, either on the same day, or soon afterwards:

India and many other crown colonies were under direct rule by the United Kingdom, and were therefore considered to be at war from the same date as the UK.

=== Atlantic Charter === The Atlantic Conference : Resolution of September 24, 1941

The dates given below are for entry into the war.

The Polish government in exile, after 1939 continued the Polish contribution to World War II on several fronts with hundreds of thousand of members in the Polish Army in France and UK, as well as the Home Army in occupied Poland. The Soviet Union however, did not recognize the government and in 1943 organized the Polish People's Army under Rokossovsky, around which eventually became the post-war successor state.

British, Dutch and French colonies fought alongside their mother countries, and many continued their contribution also when the mother countries were occupied.

The Comintern[edit]

[Others to be added too?] Sure. You may have to go back to 1935 comintern meeting and find all signatories, then compare with belligerents in 1935 Spanish Civil War, 1937 Sino-Japanese War, Soviet-Finnish War, etc.

United Nations Declaration[edit]

Declaration by United Nations, January 1, 1942

(Note from source document: During 1942 the Declaration was adhered to by Mexico, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, and Ethiopia; in the first four months of 1943, it was adhered to by Iraq, Brazil, and Bolivia.

===Tripartite Treaty of Alliance === 29 January 1942

=== Pan American Union === [12](21 members)

(Final Act of the Second Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics at Habana, Cuba, July 30, 1940)

Other Allies[edit]

From July 1944, a Brazilian Expeditionary Force of 25,000 personnel joined the Allies in the Italian campaign. The other countries in this group contributed support units, small combat forces, or to lesser degrees.

(The Irish Free State was sometimes referred to as "a neutral ally". While theoretically a neutral country, pro-Allied and anti-Axis sentiment in the population enabled the government to covertly favor the Allies in matters including supplies, shipping, and use of ports and airfields. However, a few elements of the IRA actively supported Germany due to hostility towards Britain.)

Yesterday I came across Eire declaration of neutrality ("friendly neutral"). I could recover it and post it here if anyone is interested. Nobs 14:17, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Among "Others" Albania, Burma, Egypt, Iceland, Lebanon, Liberia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Turkey remain to be considered and classified. Nobs01 20:51, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Iraq actually declared war on the UK in 1941 and was occupied following the Anglo-Iraqi War. The Independent State of Croatia was an Axis puppet regime.Albania was annexed by Italy in 1939. Burma was a British colony and Egypt is generally regarded as having been a de facto British colony (under a figurehead monarch). Iceland was something like a Danish "Dominion" and was occupied by the Allies during 1940-45[13]. Lebanon and Syria were (Vichy-controlled) French colonies in 1940-41 and were then occupied by the Allies. Thailand was invaded by Japan and coerced into becoming an official member of the Axis in 1942. Turkey was neutral. Liberia signed a defence pact with the US in 1942 and became an official ally in January 1944.Grant65 (Talk) 10:22, Jun 14, 2005 (UTC)

My personal contention is that to be an ally you need to have done at least one of these things: a) supplied troops to the Allied cause b) supplied material to the Allied cause and withheld it from the Axis or c) at the very least come out and stated categorically that you were on the side of the Allies. Now as far as I am aware Eire did none of those things. As I stated above, the Irish who joined the Allied effort did so as private citizens, and without the sanction of their government. Also, as I said, Eire denied the use of naval bases to the British, which would have been immensely helpful in the Battle of the Atlantic; they interned Allied aircraft. To call them an Ally is misleading. At best they were a sympathetic neutral. Oh, and they don't belong in the Commonwealth section. They were never part of it. DJ Clayworth 05:31, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Read the Eire article. It was the official name between 1937 and 1949, and it was a member of the Commonwealth until 1949. I agree that they weren't an ally in the technical sense. Their status as the sole exception among Commonwealth countries is worthy of explication, IMO. Grant65 (Talk) 06:46, May 22, 2005 (UTC)
My apologies, you are right. DJ Clayworth 05:18, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Has anyone done any research on which of the countries under "Other Allies" sent fighting troops? For those that didn't I think we should also file them under 'sympathisers' or similar. DJ Clayworth 05:19, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

I know that Mexico sent a squadron of fighter planes (at least) to the Pacific. It was attached to the U.S. Fifth Air Force. I don't think "fighting troops" are necessary. There were also essential roles in transport, supply, medical units, etc which may (I don't know) have been filled by these countries.Grant65 (Talk) 14:33, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
Where these planes (1) American built (2) American financed (3) piloted by Mexicans. Nobs 15:20, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
1 and 3 yes. Probably 2 also. They served in the Philippines from April 45, and in 791 sorties they lost no pilots or planes to enemy action, which is a good record, although the Allies would have had almost total air supremacy by that stage.[14]Grant65 (Talk) 16:14, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
Grant: just take note, "Dominion of Canada" & "British India" vary from the primary source document used to compile the list. Thanks. Nobs01 02:25, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)


This statement has been reverted here until source information can be provided:

"Switzerland, determined to remain independant from Germany, also supported the Allies to a great extent."

Nobs01 16:41, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ready for prime time?[edit]

This listing has greatly improved, mostly due to user:Nobs01. Is it ready to move to the main article? It seems a shame to hide this. -Willmcw 21:13, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)

Thank you. A disambig for Grand Alliance probably has to be made & a Big 3 Grand Alliance article written. Cheers!Nobs01 21:36, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Grant: just take note, "Dominion of Canada" & "British India" vary from the primary source document used to compile the list. Thanks. Nobs01 02:25, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

We don't have to follow the source word for word. And we are using full/official names for the others, although I suppose Empire of India would be more correct.Grant65 (Talk) 12:05, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)
Note on method: as the list exists now it is a valid historical document. Once alterations occur, it can be deemed by future researchers as "prejudicial", and a secondary source, which then makes any conclusions "suspect". Once deemed suspect and prejudicial, it can be rejected out of had as invalid. Also, if alterations are allowed, than other regime titles can also be allowed; for example, I am not certain the present regimes of Cuba, Panama and Nicaragua are the regimes that were cosignatories, although, Nicaragua & Panama are most probably successor states. I haven't completed research on that cause I've been preoccuppied with other regimes. To refer to Dominion of Canada and British India is what historians call, an unresearched conclusion, a telltale sign of other such methods employed within the body of the text. In compiling the list, I myself did one such unresearched conclusion regarding Dominion of New Zealand; the source document states: Government of the Dominion of New Zealand which is the name I originally used. However, upon reflection and analysis, and secondary reading of the document, I concluded (based on experience and judgement) that I had done a misreading during the initial examination. I conclude that "Government of the Dominion of New Zealand" is not the regime title, Dominion of New Zealand is proper. And it was signed as such because the person empowered to sign had only limited powers, unlike the full powers vested in all the other Foreign Ministers or authorized representatives in attendance. That under New Zealand law, a vacancy had occurred in the Office of Foreign Minister, and the person signing was only an "acting" or "interim" representative under the Laws of that state; hence by law that representative lacked full powers and was not on equal status as the other representatives, yet he did have the limited power to bind his principal. I misread the text, it does not read:
Signed on behalf of the (limited powers) Government of the Dominion of New Zealand (regime name) by FRANK LANGSTONE (authorized representative).
rather, it actually reads:
Signed on behalf of the Government of the (limited powers) Dominion of New Zealand (regime title) by FRANK LANGSTONE (authorized represeantive).
I hope to make contributions to the Diplomatic history article and International relations article, and write a series of articles for Historiography about the Historical method used in research. This is an excellent axample that can be drawn upon for illustrations, and I challenge any serious researcher to corroborate my unresearched conclusion (based upon experience and judgement), that the New Zealand representative was only in an acting capacity. After all, the only thing we authors have is our credibility. Anything that makes it suspect, can harm all our good faith efforts. Thanks you. Nobs01 14:51, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
P.S. By preserving the integrity of the document, this list then can be moved to Wikisource.Nobs01 15:03, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't think anyone would or could dispute the signatories to a UN declaration, but I understand what you're saying.Grant65 (Talk) 09:55, Jun 14, 2005 (UTC)

Oslo Group[edit]

The article is not about neutral countries. I have re-titled and re-worded this section, and added mention of Belgium and Iceland. The Oslo Group is worthy of an article in its own right. Grant65 (Talk) July 9, 2005 07:45 (UTC)

However, several of the "neutrals" became belligerents from the early days of the War and became allies to one side or the other; Luxembourg joined the London exile group; Finland joined the Anti-Comintern Part (Axis); a strong case can can be made Denmark & Norway contributed significant manpower and resources to the Axis cause. Hence, since the list begins with "Original allies", and many of the Oslo Group who in fact did not remain "neutral", were allied to one side of the other, they should be treated from the early days of the war. Also, the reason this article is necessary is becuase of the breackdown of the League of Nations and World War I alliances, and this group figures prominantly in that reallignment. Otherwise you run the risk of introducing them somewhere after a 1942 timeline (creation of the UNO) which gives an entitrely distorted picture. Nobs01 9 July 2005 17:09 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean: the ex-members of the Oslo Group are still discussed in Allies of World War II, immediately after the Commonwealth section, which is when members of those respective groups joined the war as Allies(or did not, e.g. Éire, Sweden and Finland). What sense does it make to discuss Finland in an article about the Allies of World War II? Grant65 (Talk) 01:54, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

Finland, along with the Baltic state (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) is an extremely important part of this discussion. From 23 August 1939 to 22 June 1941, the so-called Communazi period, after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and before Operation Barbarossa, the USSR and the Third Reich essentially were allied. The USSR participated in the dismemberment of Poland. The USSR 'annexed' the Baltic states in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, an action which the United States never recognized; the boundaries of the Soviet Union, where in fact, disputed by the United States of America right down to the dissolution of the Soiviet Union in 1992. Later, Finland did join the Anti-Comintern Pact. But the eriod known as the Winter War remains an embarassment for the Western Allies, because the essentially condoned a Soviet "War of aggression" against Poland, Finland, the Baltic states, and a few other territories can be added. In December of in 1939 the USSR was booted from the League of Nations for this action, and I don't recall any Nuremberg type tribunal ever being held to hold them to account. This article, without proper treatment of these various subjects from the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, will simply reproduce all the Western propaganda we've heard for 66 years and paper over the Western betrayal (it didn't begin with Yalta). The Winter War needs to integrated into this article. Also, the treatment of Denmark & Iceland might need some clarification too. Nobs01 18:40, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Splitting of article[edit]

As there were no major objections to the proposal to split the page, I have now created Allies of World War I and Allies of World War II and have moved most of the content to those pages.Grant65 (Talk) July 9, 2005 08:06 (UTC)

Merger with disambiguation page[edit]

The transfer of content to Allies of World War I and Allies of World War II, noted in the section above, was a good idea, but it leaves this article weak. More importantly, the article is about the word itself, making it a poor encyclopedia article; see The differences between encyclopedia and dictionary articles. (This is one reason the creation of the WWI and WWII pages was an improvement.) I suggest that this page become a disambiguation page, on which a lot of the current content could remain. Sections would address coalitions in war, the usage in identity politics, and miscellaneous topics (e.g. "In film"). I can do this, but I thought such a change should be proposed for discussion first. MagnesianPhoenix (talk) 23:08, 1 June 2009 (UTC)