Axis countries of World War II

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The Axis countries of World War II were the countries opposed to the Allied countries of World War II. The three main countries in the Axis powers were – Germany, Italy and Japan – they were part of the military alliance that signed the Tripartite Pact on 27 September 1940. The term was first used by Benito Mussolini in November 1936, when he spoke of a Rome–Berlin axis arising out of the treaty of friendship signed between Italy and Germany.

Major Axis powers



There was war between Germany and Poland on 1 September 1939, primarily because of disagreement about Danzig. On September 3, England and France declared war on Germany. France capitulated on 25 June 1940. France was divided into a German occupation zone, a small zone was annexed by Italy, and a large remainder under the Vichy regime which cooperated with the Axis powers. Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. Their armed forces fought in the Soviet Union and were quite close to capturing the capital Moscow. The defeats at Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk in 1943 led to weakening of the German army. This, in combination with the Allied invasion of France in 1944, and Allied invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) and of Anzio (Operation Shingle) in Italy, led to a three-front war that weakened Germany with its scarce resources, leading to its defeat in 1945.


In 1940, Japan responded to France's capitulation to Germany by sending Japanese troops to occupy French Indochina. The Vichy regime, Germany's ally, accepted Japan's takeover of Indochina. The United States began a trade embargo against Japan that stopped the export of scrap iron and oil to the country, which was important to the country's war effort. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The Japanese managed to inflict a series of defeats on the Allies, but by 1943 American industrial strength became apparent and the Japanese were slowly pushed back towards their home islands. The war in the Pacific continued until the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.



Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940. During 1941, Italy suffered a series of military defeats; in Greece and against the British in Egypt. It was through German aid in Yugoslavia, in the Balkans and in North Africa that Italy managed to avert a military collapse. On 9 July 1943, the Allies invaded Italy. On 25 July 1943, Mussolini was removed from power, Italy's betrayal led to it's disarmament by the Germans (Fall Achse). On 12 September, Mussolini was rescued by the Germans during the Unternehmen Eiche (Operation Oak) led by Otto Skorzeny, and a government was installed in northern Italy. Benito Mussolini was murdered on 28 April 1945 by communist partisans.

Other countries

In addition to the three major powers, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria were also allies of Germany. Finland joined Germany in the Continuation War against the Soviet Union in 1941.

The Spanish position during the Second World War has traditionally been defined as a position of neutrality. Spain did not enter the war and, consequently, Spain maintained neutrality. This traditional thesis is not correct, or, at least, must be remarkably clarified. Once World War II broke out, Spain, like Italy, declared neutrality. As soon as Italy declared war on June 10, 1940, Spain declared non-belligerency, which meant, in practice, supporting the Axis countries.[1]

See also

External links


  1. Antonio Marquina: The Spanish Neutrality during the Second World War, in "American University International Law Review", Volume 14, Issue 1, 1998