Second World War
The Second World War lasted from 1939 until 1945. In Europe, the war began with the German invasion of Poland. The United States were attacked at Pearl Harbor in 1941, bringing the US into the conflict. As two large alliance blocks fought, the fortunes of war went initially in favour of the axis powers and Japan. The tide of war gradually changed though. Battles in Africa, the Soviet Union, the Pacific Islands and at sea paved the way for the final stages of war. In Europe this saw Germany fighting on several fronts as the Allies landed in Normandy and Italy whilst the Soviet Army drove the Wehrmacht back. In Asia, Japanese forces were pushed back to the mainland and the final victory sealed in the days following the use of atomic weapons.