Italian nationalists were angered that the promises made by Britain and France to secure Italian entrance into the war were not fulfilled with the peace settlement. From 1922 to 1925, the fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy with a nationalist, totalitarian, and class collaborationist agenda that abolished representative democracy, repressed socialist, left wing and liberal forces, and pursued an aggressive foreign policy aimed at forcefully forging Italy as a world power a "New Roman Empire." In Germany, the Nazi party led by Adolf Hitler sought to establish a fascist government in Germany. With the onset of the Great Depression, domestic support for the Nazis rose and, in 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Hitler and Mussolini supported the fascist and authoritarian. Both sides used the conflict to test new weapons and methods of warfare, with the Nationalists winning the war in early 1939. A month later, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Commenter Pact, which Italy would join in the following year. A global war was under way by 1939 and ended in 1945. It involved most of the world’s nations. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people serving in military units. In a state of "total war", the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons, it resulted in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities. These deaths make the war the deadliest conflict in history.
The years leading up to the declaration of war between the Axis and Allied powers in 1939 were tumultuous times for people across the globe. The Great Depression had started a decade before, leaving much of the world unemployed and desperate. Nationalism was sweeping through Germany, and it chafed against the punitive measures of the Versailles Treaty that had ended World War I. China and the Empire of Japan had been at war since Japanese troops invaded Manchuria in 1931. Germany, Italy, and Japan were testing the newly founded League of Nations with multiple invasions and occupations of nearby countries, and felt emboldened when they encountered no meaningful consequences. The Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, becoming a rehearsal of sorts for the upcoming World War Germany and Italy supported the nationalist rebels led by General Francisco Franco, and some 40,000 foreign nationals traveled to Spain to fight in what they saw as the larger war against fascism. In the last few pre-war years, Nazi Germany blazed the path to conflict -- rearming, signing a non-aggression treaty with the USSR, annexing Austria, and invading Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, the USA passed several Neutrality Acts, trying to avoid foreign entanglements as it reeled from the Depression and the Dust Bowl years USA was still deeply mired in the depression. Then slowly and haltingly climbed back to its 1929 level, which was finally exceeded again in 1936. Adolf Hitler's own fanatical anti-Semitism dated back to at least 1919 and official government persecution against Jews had begun almost immediately after he gained power in Germany in 1933. But that persecution had, at first, taken the form of civil-rights violations and various forms of social marginalization rather than outright violence. The situation grew steadily worse throughout the 1930s, culminating in November 1938 in the first widespread acts of coordinated violence against Jews the Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") pogrom, in which Nazi storm troopers and ordinary German citizens smashed and burned Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues throughout Germany. At least 91 Jews were killed; thousands were arrested by Hitler's special police. In an effort to maintain peace, the Allies formed...
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