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Sign-O-Pedia: WWII

About the tag

Historical Background

The war took place between the years 1939-1945, and is considered the greatest war of all time. The main parties in the war were the Allies: Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union, against the Axis countries: Germany, Italy and Japan.
During the war, 64.5 million soldiers and civilians were killed.
The war took place on several continents, mainly in Europe and East Asia, but also in the Middle East, North Africa and other places.

After Germany’s defeat in World War I and in light of the economic crisis Germany experienced, the democratic regime in Germany (Weimar Republic) fell, and the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler (1932). Hitler advocated the ideology that Germany should conquer territories in Europe and establish a new order in them. In preparation for this, the Germans made an alliance with Japan, and fought together with Italy in the Spanish Civil War.
In 1938 Austria was united with Germany (Anschluss), and in 1939 (September) Germany invaded Poland, which marked the beginning of World War II. Following the invasion, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany, but in the meantime no fighting took place between the parties.
At this point, the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Germany (Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact), after which the Soviet Union took over parts of Poland, Lithuania and other countries.
In 1940, Germany occupied Denmark and Norway, the Allies failed in their attempt to occupy Norway. As a result of these failures, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill was elected in his place.
In May 1940, the Germans occupied Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, a move that allowed an invasion of France.
In June 1940, after the German victories, Italy declared war on France and Great Britain.
France surrendered two weeks later, with its northern part under German control, while its southern part was ostensibly independent, but actually under German control (the Vichy government).
Beginning in August 1940, the Germans began bombing British cities, especially London (the Battle of Britain)
Bulgaria and Romania later joined the alliance with the Germans.
In 1941 Yugoslavia was occupied by the German army, in April 1941 Greece was occupied.
In June 1941, the Germans canceled the agreement with the Soviet Union and went to war against the Russians. The Germans advanced quickly in the occupation of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa), and reached Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) where they imposed a siege that lasted for about 3 years .
The Germans also occupied Ukraine, and came close to the capital Moscow.

Japan invaded China back in 1937 (Second Sino-Japanese War) when China enjoyed the support of the United States. In 1940, the Japanese signed an alliance agreement with Germany and Italy. The United States imposed an embargo on Japan. In December 1941, the Japanese attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, an attack in which 19 ships were sunk. Following the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and the other Axis countries, and also joined the war in Europe at the same time as the war in Japan.

During all the years until 1945, difficult battles were fought mainly in Europe and Asia. In April 1945 the British and American forces met with the Soviet forces on German soil and in May 1945 Germany surrendered.

In August 1945, the United States dropped 2 atomic bombs on Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and on August 15 Japan surrendered.

Great Britain
Great Britain and in particular London suffered from repeated bombings by the German Air Force , ,

In the naval arena, the forces of the Royal Navy operated under the command of Andrew Cunningham Mainly in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

In the air arena, the Royal Air Force operated under the leadership of Charles Portal . The Air Force bombed German cities, and defended British cities (mainly London) in the "Battle of Britain", a battle between Luftwaffe planes and Royal Air Force planes. One of the famous pilots in the "Battle of Britain" and who was the champion of aborts in the First World War, was Sir Keith Park of New Zealand, who commanded Fighter Group No. 11, which defended London and South East England

A siege of about 900 days on Leningrad, over a million perished, among them hundreds of thousands of children

France was occupied by the Germans in 1940. After the occupation, a collaborationist government (Vichy government) was established. At the same time, the Free French government was established, led by Charles de Gaulle , which operated until 1944 outside the borders of France, mainly in London , From there she led the fight against the Germans.
The Free French Army also operated in the air arena, thus initiating a counter-attack to the German attack on the city of York, caused the withdrawal of the German planes and participated in the liberation of Paris by the forces of General Philippe Leclerc

The Vichy government collaborated with the Nazis , and even established an office to deal with Jewish affairs .
At the same time, many in France acted against the Germans through the underground, and many found their deaths, mainly in August 1944 in the struggle to liberate Paris , , , ,

Italy under the rule of Mussolini, fought on the side of the Germans after the "Alliance of Steel" signed between the two countries in 1939.

After the surrender of Italy to the Allies in 1943, while the war with Germany continued, Italian forces worked for the Allies. For example, in 1945 naval commando forces sank Italy’s first aircraft carrier, Aquila, so that the Germans would not use it to block the port of Genoa

Following the Munich Agreement signed before World War II (1938), Czechoslovakia was divided and the Sudetenland was handed over to the Germans. In March 1939, despite the Munich Agreement, the Germans invaded and controlled the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Towards the end of World War II (May 5-9, 1945), as part of the Prague uprising, underground forces operated against the German government . The uprising was partially successful, and Prague was liberated with the entry of Red Army forces on May 9

The front in Asia
After Japanese forces took over Burma, the Chindit forces acted against them - commando forces under the command of Ord Charles Wingate

The Naval War
In the naval war, many civilian ships were also damaged, among them also emigration ships (most of them by misidentified Soviet submarines): Mafkura , Struma

Land of Israel
In the Mediterranean arena, the Germans and Italians fought against Great Britain and the United States. Fighting in the region began with Italy’s entry into the war (June 1940), in light of Mussolini’s ambitions to expand Italy’s territories into the Mediterranean.
As the fighting spread to the Western Desert front in North Africa, the British concentrated large forces in Egypt and Israel. Among the forces was also the expeditionary force of Australia

The headquarters of the British forces was in the community house in Sarona in Tel Aviv , and other military personnel lived in other buildings in the colony , the headquarters of the British Air Force was in the Italian hospital in Jerusalem, which was confiscated by the British Mandate government due to it being the property of the Italian enemy

The Levant Fair complex that was expropriated for the benefit of the British forces became a training base Including the training of 23 boatmen (Operation Boatswain)
The port of Tel Aviv was used by the British naval forces. Minesweepers were built in the harbor anchorages that helped the British navy protect the Mediterranean coast from the mines of the German army. A unit for underwater work also operated in the port .

In Nahalal, the Beit Ha’am was used by the British Army as a fuel depot for planes parked at the nearby airport
In Kibbutz Be’eri, the sulfur factory and mines were used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) .

In September 1940, the city of Tel Aviv was attacked from the air by Italian planes, 130 civilians were killed in the bombing. In June 1941, the city was attacked once more, and this time 13 civilians were killed

In May 1941, 23 members of the Haganah went on a raid on the fuel facilities on the coast of Tripoli in Lebanon which were under the control of the Nazis. The 23 warriors who sailed to the shore perished, and their fate is unknown (Operation Boatswain)

Some of the Templars - the German Protestant movement, who were in Israel from the middle of the 19th century, expressed their loyalty to Nazi Germany, for example in Bnei Atarot (Wilhelme), the dairy supplied cheeses to the German army .

In this war the importance of the tank became clear. Both the German tanks (usually of the Panzer type), which managed to destroy thousands of Soviet tanks, and the American Sherman tanks.
The British Comet tank was created near the end of the war and was one of the few tanks of the British Army that managed to deal with the German tanks .

The 25 liter cannon was first introduced by the British in this war. The cannon was defined as the best cannon of its time, and combined options for direct and indirect installation .

Bren Carrier, a caterpillar vehicle that was produced starting in 1934 and was the most common armored vehicle in World War II .

The Germans tried to develop an atomic bomb, and worked to produce heavy water, atomic reactors mostly in German territories. There was also a heavy water plant in the Telemark district of Norway, a plant blown up in 1943 by a Norwegian commando team .

The Partisans and the Underground
Irregular forces that fought the Nazi occupation. The partisans came mainly from Soviet Russia, but also from Poland, Yugoslavia and more.
In Poland, the "Armia Krajowa" - "Army of the Motherland" - operated underground. The underground operated from the occupation of Poland in 1939 until the end of World War II. Jan Karsk, a fighter of the underground, was the contact person between the underground and the allied forces, he was sent many times to London and other places, and brought to their attention both the situation of the Polish underground, and also about the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust
Many Jews joined the partisan forces, and this was their only way to fight the Nazi regime. This is the case, for example, in Ukraine .

In 1936 David Frankfurter assassinated Wilhelm Gustloff - the leader of the Nazis in Switzerland and caused his death .

The most famous uprising of the Jews was in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In this revolt that took place in the months of April-May 1943, the Jews tried to prevent their being sent to the extermination camps. The rebellion was headed by Mordechai Anilevich who was the commander of the ŻOB organization (Jewish Combat Organization) . The head of a second organization - ŻZW (Jewish Military Union) that was close to the revisionist movement was Pavel Frankel.
Although the revolt was suppressed, the Jews caused losses to the Nazis and their collaborators.

In the Second World War, the defense companies that dropped behind enemy lines are mostly known. Hana Szenes and Chaviva Reik who were caught after their parachute drop and executed by the Germans.

Saving Jews
More than 1,200 Jews from Germany and Austria fled to the Philippines in 1939-1941
Righteous Among the Nations - non-Jews from countries that were usually under the control of the Nazis, who hid and saved Jews while risking their lives .

The rescue shipments of Jewish children (mainly) from German territories and occupied countries to Great Britain. These shipments were conducted between the years 1938-1939 and within them approximately 12,000 children were saved. Each of the children was allowed to take only one suitcase.
Monuments indicating the shipments were placed at various stations of the journey: Gdansk, Berlin, Hook of Holland From there the children boarded the ships that sailed to London and London - at the Liverpool Street station where the children arrived .

After the war
A number of countries mobilized to help German refugees after the war (mainly children), such as in Ireland in Operation Shamrock organized by the Irish Red Cross in which German refugee children were transferred to Ireland .

Many monuments were erected in different places to commemorate the soldiers and civilians killed in World War II:
Bat Yam, Israel - for the Jewish soldiers in the armies of Poland, Russia, the Allies, the partisans, the Jewish Brigade and more ,
Nes Ziona, Israel - in memory of the Jewish soldiers who fought the Nazis . Tel Aviv, London Garden as a sign of solidarity with the British nation that suffered bombings during the "Blitz" .
Rishon Lezion - a memorial to the children of Leningrad under siege
Givatayim - commemorating the Jewish partisans and fighters from Vahlin (Ukraine)
Rehovot - a memorial to the Jews who fought the Nazis .

Great Britain: London - St. Paul’s Churchyard, in memory of the citizens of London who were killed in the German Blitz , at the "London Bridge" railway station there is a plaque commemorating the railway workers who fell in the World Wars , the Guards Brigade monument
Cambridge - a monument to commemorate the men of Cambridge who fell in the world wars .
Durham - Commemoration of Isidore Newman, British secret agent

United States: New York - Flagpole commemorating the soldiers in World War II , memorial plaque for the public library personnel who served in World War II

Canada: Ottawa - commemorative plaque for the city’s Jewish fighters
Greece: Crete - Memorial to those who fell in the war from the village of Voulgaro
Biot - a monument to the local people who fell in the battles, the monument states August 24, 1944, the day the city was liberated from the Nazis
La Chevrolière - a street named after an underground fighter who was executed by the Nazis
Paris - , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Czech Republic:
Prague - Commemorative plaque for postal workers murdered by the Nazis , commemorative plaque for the 21 executed by the Nazis in the Prague Uprising , sign on the old-new synagogue

Austria - Vienna - a monument dedicated to the victims of the Nazi military justice, which tried mostly deserters , the commemoration of the British military police force that operated as part of the international force at the end of the war . Commemorative plaque at the place where a freedom fighter died against the German annexation .
Italy - Anacapri - Memorial to those who fall in the First and Second World Wars
Netherlands - Rotterdam - Memorial statue to the people of Rotterdam who fell in the struggle for the liberation of the Netherlands in World War II

The places on the site that refer to the concept WWII (1-25  of 107)
1 Prague - Memorial plaque for RUDOLF ZEDNÍK
2 Tel Aviv - Sarona complex - buildings for preservation - Community hall and school
3 Tel Aviv - Sarona complex - buildings for preservation - Glenk House
4 Rome - Commemorative plaque for Guido Rattoppatore
5 Operation Boatswain - Commemoration of Underground Movements in Tel Aviv
6 Tel Aviv - Levant Fair - The 1936 Fair
7 Tel Aviv - Levant Fair - The 1936 Fair (2)
8 History in Tel Aviv Port - Port in time of war
9 Nahalal - Heritage Sites in Israel - People’s House
10 Bat Yam - a memorial plaque to Jewish fighters in WWII
11 Tel Aviv - A Memorial to the Fallen in Air Bombings on Tel Aviv in World War II
12 Raanana - The Watchtower
13 London - The Royal Tank Regiment Memorial
14 London - A plaque before the Royal Tank Regiment Memorial
15 Ness Ziona - Heroes’ Garden - a monument in memory of the Jewish soldiers who fought the Nazis
16 Tel Aviv - London Garden
17 Tel Aviv - London Garden - The story of the illegal immigration - The ship "Patria"
18 Tel Aviv - London Garden - The story of the illegal immigration - The ship "Salvador"
19 Tel Aviv - London Garden - The story of the illegal immigration - The Kladovo-Sabac Affair
20 Tel Aviv - London Garden - The story of the illegal immigration - The ship "Mafkura"
21 Tel Aviv - London Garden - The story of the illegal immigration - The ship "Struma"
22 London - St Paul’s Cathedral - Memorial to the Londoners Killed in the Blitz
23 Rishon Lezion - Open Doors Monument
24 Rishon Lezion - a memorial monument to the children of Leningrad under siege
25 Rishon Lezion - Righteous Among the Nations Ave - Czech Republic
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