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Brief history of WW2

The modern world is still living with the consequences of World War 2, the most titanic conflict in history. On September 1st 1939, Germany invaded Poland without warning. By the evening of September 3rd, Britain and France were at war with Germany and within a week, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa had also joined the war. The world had been plunged into its second world war in 25 years.

Six long and bloody years of total war, fought over many thousand of square kilometres followed. From the Hedgerows of Normandy to the streets of Stalingrad, the icy mountains of Norway to the sweltering deserts of Libya, the insect infested jungles of Burma to the coral reefed islands of the Pacific.

On land, sea and in the air, Poles fought Germans, Italians fought Americans and Japanese fought Australians in a conflict which was finally settled with the use of nuclear weapons. World War 2 involved every major world power in a war for global domination and at its end, more than 60 million people had lost their lives and most of Europe and large parts of Asia lay in ruins.

In 1939 the Admiralty regained full control of the aircraft embarked in its ships. By VJ Day (15th Aug 1945) there were 3243 operational pilots and 53 operational aircraft carriers, a far cry from the 406 operational pilots and 8 carriers with which the service began the war.

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