In warfare, military theater is the physical geographical location in which armed conflict is taking place. Its borders are defined by areas in which no armed conflict is presently occurring.
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The Eastern Front was a theatre of war during World War I in Central and, primarily, Eastern Europe. The term is in contrast to the Western Front. Despite the geographical separation, the events in the two theatres strongly influenced one another. In Russian sources, the war was sometimes called the Second Fatherland War.
The front in the east was much longer than that in the west. The theatre of war was roughly delimited by the Baltic Sea in the west and Minsk in the east, and Saint Petersburg in the north and the Black Sea in the south, a distance of more than 1,600 kilometres (990 mi). This had a drastic effect on the nature of the warfare. While World War I on the Western Front developed into trench warfare, the battle lines on the Eastern Front were much more fluid and trenches never truly developed. This was because the greater length of the front ensured that the density of soldiers in the line was lower so the line was easier to break. Once broken, the sparse communication networks made it difficult for the defender to rush reinforcements to the rupture in the line, mounting rapid counteroffensives to seal off any breakthrough. In short, on the Eastern front the side
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania under King Carol II officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the rapidly changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval, undermined this stance. Fascist political forces such as the Iron Guard rose in popularity and power, urging an alliance with Nazi Germany and its allies. As the military fortunes of Romania's two main guarantors of territorial integrity — France and Britain — crumbled in the Fall of France, the government of Romania turned to Germany in hopes of a similar guarantee, unaware that the currently dominant European power had already granted its consent to Soviet territorial claims in a secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, signed back in 1939.
In summer 1940, a series of territorial disputes were resolved unfavorably to Romania, resulting in the loss of most of the territory gained in the wake of World War I. This caused the popularity of Romania's government to plummet, further reinforcing the fascist and military factions, who had eventually staged a coup that turned the country into a fascist dictatorship under Conducător Ion
The European Theatre of World War II was a huge area of heavy fighting across Europe from Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 until the end of the war with the German unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945 (V-E Day). The Allied forces fought the Axis powers in three sub-theatres: the Eastern Front, the Western Front, and the Mediterranean Theatre.
Germany was defeated in World War I, and the Treaty of Versailles placed punitive conditions on the country, including significant financial reparations, the loss of territory (some only temporarily), war guilt, military weakening and limitation, and economic weakening. Germany was humiliated in front of the world and had to pay very large war reparations. Many Germans blamed their country's post-war economic collapse and hyperinflation on the treaty's conditions. These resentments contributed to the political instability which made it possible for Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party to come to power, with Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany in 1933.
After Hitler took Germany out of the League of Nations, Mussolini and Hitler formed the Rome-Berlin axis, under a treaty known as the Pact of Steel. Later,
There were several separate Africa campaigns during World War II. Allied forces fought Axis forces, between 1940 and 1943, on the African mainland and in nearby waters and islands.
The bulk of the combat operations took place in the Mediterranean Basin. Here the primary combatants were Italy and Germany for the Axis; and the United Kingdom, with its Commonwealth (primarily from India and Australia), and, later, American forces.
The primary theatre was in North Africa, where the aptly-named North African campaign raged from 10 June 1940 to 16 May 1943. It was in itself composed of three near sequential campaigns, the Western Desert Campaign in Egypt and Libya; the landing of Anglo-American forces in Vichy French controlled Morocco and Algeria; and the campaign in Tunisia.
The Mediterranean Sea itself was also a stage of constant combat activity.
Outside of the Mediterranean, there was additional conflict against Vichy French controlled territories in French West Africa (Battle of Dakar), French Equatorial Africa (Battle of Gabon) and Madagascar (Battle of Madagascar).
Early in the war, there was also combat in East Africa. Initially, the Italians threatened offensive action
The Middle East Theatre of World War II is defined largely by reference to the British Middle East Command, which controlled Allied forces in both Southwest Asia and eastern North Africa. From 1943, most of the action and forces concerned were in the adjoining Mediterranean Theatre.
The region was quiet for the first few months of the war, until Fascist Italy declared war against France and Britain on June 10, 1940. It remained a major active theatre for two and a half years until the British Commonwealth Eighth Army crossed the border from Libya into Tunisia. In February 1943, command of the Eighth Army passed from the Middle East Command to the Allied Joint command for the Mediterranean, AFHQ. The Middle East Theatre remained quiet for the remainder of the war.
The Allies initially believed that the Middle East (Southwest Asia) could become a major operational theatre, because they thought that the Germans might invade the area. This did not materialise, although when Allied forces occupied much of the area, in anticipation of such an invasion, there was fighting against Vichy French forces in Lebanon and Syria, and against Iraq in the Anglo-Iraqi War.
The Italian forces in North
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It was known by many different names depending on the nation, notably the Great Patriotic War (Russian: Великая Отечественная Война) in the former Soviet Union, while known in Germany as the Eastern Front (German: die Ostfront), the Eastern Campaign (German: der Ostfeldzug) or the Russian Campaign (German: der Rußlandfeldzug).
The battles on the Eastern Front constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life variously due to combat, starvation, exposure, disease, and massacres. The Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches, ghettos, and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Of the estimated 70 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, many of them civilians, died on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front was decisive in
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the Pacific theatre of the Second World War that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East. The term Pacific War is used to encompass the Pacific Ocean theatre, the South West Pacific theatre, the South-East Asian theatre and the Second Sino-Japanese War, also including the 1945 Soviet-Japanese conflict.
It is generally considered the Pacific War began on 7/8 December 1941 with the invasion of Thailand for the invasion of British Malaya, and the attack on Pearl Harbor in the United States' Territory of Hawaii by the Empire of Japan. Some authors consider the conflict in Asia can be dated as far as 7 July 1937, beginning with the Second Sino-Japanese War between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China, or possibly 19 September 1931, beginning with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. However, it is more widely accepted that the Pacific War itself started in early December 1941, with the Sino-Japanese War then becoming part of it as a theater of the greater World War II.
The Pacific War saw the Allied powers pitted against the Empire of Japan, the latter
The African, Mediterranean and Middle East theatre encompassed the interconnected naval, land, and air campaigns fought between the Allied and Axis forces in the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and Africa. The fighting in this theatre lasted from 10 June 1940, when Italy entered World War II on the side of Germany, until 2 May 1945 when all Axis forces in Italy surrendered at the end of World War II in Europe. Fighting would, however, continue in Greece, where British troops had been dispatched to aid Greek government forces during the early stages of the Greek Civil War.
In an effort to forge an Italian Empire – or as supporters called it, the New Roman Empire, Benito Mussolini ordered his forces to invade Ethiopia during October 1935. Within seven months the country had been overrun and an empire founded. Mussolini’s next target was Albania. In April 1939 Italian forces invaded the country, and within five days secured victory. Wanting to further expand his empire and to emulate the success of Germany, Italy entered the Second World War intending to capture territories in southern France, the Balkans, east and north Africa including the Suez Canal. The armistice signed
Axis naval forces operated throughout the Indian Ocean during World War II (1939–45). These activities included unrestricted submarine warfare, airstrikes by aircraft carriers, covert raiding ships, capital ships and raids by land-based heavy bombers. Forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy, German Kriegsmarine and Italian Regia Marina struck at Allied targets in and off countries including Australia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), British India, Madagascar and South Africa.