Roy's Motel and Café
Roy's Motel and Café is a motel, café, gas station and auto repair shop, defunct for many years but now being restored, on the National Trails Highway of U. S. Route 66 in the Mojave Desert town of Amboy in California; the historic site is an example of roadside Mid-Century Modern Googie architecture. The entire town of Amboy – including the defunct Roy's complex – is owned by and under the stewardship of a private preservationist. In 1938, founder Roy Crowl opened Roy's as a gas and service station along U. S. Highway 66, in Amboy. At the time, Route 66 – the "Main Street of America" – was the primary east-west highway artery crossing the nation from Chicago through the Southwest to Los Angeles; the construction of Roy's was one consequence of a Route 66 realignment through Mountain Springs Summit, bypassing Goffs to directly connect Needles and Essex, continuing west to Amboy. In the 1940s, Crowl teamed up with Herman "Buster" Burris, they expanded the business to include a café, an auto repair garage, an auto court of small cabins for overnight rental by Route 66 travelers.
Buster Burris himself singlehandedly created the town's infrastructure, some of which remains semi-functioning today. Burris brought power to Amboy and Roy's all the way from Barstow by erecting his own poles and wires alongside Route 66 using an old Studebaker pickup truck. Postwar business boomed as families discovered the joys of motor travel after the World War II years of tire and gasoline rationing and new cars not being manufactured. Roy Crowl and Burris kept Roy's Garage and Café operating 24 hours a day – seven days a week. By the opening of the 1950s, Roy's complex employed up to 70 people; some significant aesthetic changes came to Roy's Motel and Café in 1959: the February 1 erection of the towering neon boomerang sign visible for miles approaching Amboy. These became a vital milepost modernist refuge for more than a decade; the 1972 opening of Interstate 40 in California, unconnected as well as a fair distance north of Amboy's section of Route 66, quite meant the overnight loss of business.
Burris himself was quoted as saying. Roy Crowl died in 1977, with Buster Burris continuing the business for what comparatively few travelers now used decommissioned but scenic Route 66. Burris was known to have strong prejudices against "rowdy bikers and men with long hair" and chased off many "unacceptable patrons" at gunpoint. During Amboy's decline, Roy's Motel and Café became the town's only business besides a post office and Bristol Dry Lake's chloride works, continued to attract visitors including some well-known people, long after the town's overall decline. In 1995 Timothy White leased the entire town of Roy's from Buster Burris. White was a noted New York photographer, who saw value in maintaining the property in a weathered, worn condition as a filming location. White contracted with his'high school buddy' Walt Wilson to manage the property, completed the purchase of the whole town in February, 2000 for U. S.$710,000 from Burris. Buster Burris died that year at age 91 on August 10, 2000.
Wilson and White continued to sell gasoline and Route 66 souvenirs at Roy's. However the operating hours were sporadic, the menu limited, the management surly to visitors, the gasoline and water prohibitively expensive – due to the facility's remote location and exorbitant pricing. A single glass of tap water in the café cost US$1.00. Timothy White offered Amboy for sale on eBay in 2003; the property went into foreclosure for repossession in February 2005, with Timothy White and Walt Wilson relinquishing control and returning ownership of Amboy and Roy's to Bessie Burris, Buster Burris's widow. She offered all the property for sale "on the San Bernardino County courthouse steps" but no bidders showed up. With her granddaughter Bonnie Barnes helping, Bessie Burris declared the town on the market for just one March 2005 week with sale to the highest bidder that Friday at noon; the town was sold in May 2005, to Southern California preservation patron Albert Okura, after his pledge to Bessie Burris to restore Roy's keeping its original historic Route 66 look and feel, reopen it, to open a new museum showcasing Amboy's history.
Okura acquired the 950+/- acres including the town and Roy's Motel and Café for $425,000 in cash on May 3, 2005. Albert Okura, owner of the Juan Pollo chain restaurants, faced challenges in getting basics such as electricity and water services restored and operative. Okura's restoration hurdles predominantly involved Amboy's infrastructure, most of it had been laid by Buster Burris himself and not to current building codes. Bessie Burris continued to visit and work with Albert Okura collecting memorabilia for the town and Roy's until her death at 91, May 17, 2008 in nearby Wonder Valley, California. Okura has experience with preservationist efforts and stewardship, being the owner of the Original McDonald's in San Bernardino, California which he operates as a museum. Unlike Wilson and White who wanted to maintain Roy's and Amboy in a "weathered" condition for use as in film shoots, Okura plans to restore Roy's to its former glory as a "nostalgia tourist" destination, Route 66 rest stop for travelers en route to and from Colorado River scenic and recreation areas.
The first steps, the coffee shop and gas station, have both been
U.S. Route 66 in California
U. S. Route 66 is a part of a former United States Numbered Highway in the state of California that ran from the west in Santa Monica on the Pacific Ocean through Los Angeles and San Bernardino to Needles at the Arizona state line, it was truncated during the 1964 renumbering and its signage removed in 1974. The highway is now replaced with several streets in Los Angeles, State Route 2, State Route 110, State Route 66, San Bernardino County Route 66, Interstate 15, I-40. US 66 was assigned by the American Association of State Highway Officials in November 1926 and signed in 1928 by the Automobile Club of Southern California. US 66 continued to be signed east of Pasadena until 1974, when it was removed, the remaining separate section became SR 66. In 1977, "Hotel California" alluded to Route 66 in its opening lines, "On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air, Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light, My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim, I had to stop for the night".
According to Eagles guitarist Don Felder, "Everybody had driven into Los Angeles on what used to be Route 66. And as you drive in through the desert at night, you can see the glow of Los Angeles from a hundred miles away; the closer and closer you get, you start seeing all of these images, these things pounded into our heads: the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, movie stars, palm trees and girls in bikinis."Nationally, Route 66 has been a decommissioned highway since 1985, with the last section through Williams, bypassed by I-40 in 1984. The first efforts to return the route to maps as "Historic Route 66" date to 1987 and Angel Delgadillo's Arizona Historic Route 66 Association; this initiative was soon followed in all eight US 66 states, including California. The California Historic Route 66 Association, established in December 1990 to advocate the preservation and promotion of historic Route 66 in California, is the youngest of the eight state-level Route 66 Associations; because the sections of historic Route 66 that are within urban Los Angeles are still dedicated streets, they remain as the most used and traveled Route 66 segments.
However because of the heavy traffic and non-historic development along these sections, they are the least traveled by Route 66 enthusiasts. Modern guide books that describe how to follow historic Route 66 suggest that when arriving at San Bernardino from the east, enthusiasts should enter Interstate 10 as a bypass for these segments exiting near Santa Monica to experience today's terminus. From San Bernardino to the Arizona state line US 66 followed the old National Old Trails Highway; the old highway veers away from I-15 between Victorville and Barstow, following the railroad through Oro Grande and Lenwood. Through Barstow, it is Main Street. East of Barstow, the National Old Trails Highway passes through a Marine Corps base, limiting public access and forcing traffic onto I-40. From Daggett, Historic 66 leaves I-40, crossing it three times before winding away through Bagdad and Essex. US 66 was all paved in California by 1935; this area is desert. From Essex the highway was Goffs Road through Goffs until about 1931, joining I-40 at the US 95 exit.
The alignment is now I-40 east of Essex. The original highway winds around I-40 in the Needles area, before crossing the Colorado River into Arizona; the original western terminus of Route 66 was in downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of 7th street and Broadway Ave. In 1936, the route was extended to Santa Monica. In Santa Monica, US 66 started at the intersection of Lincoln and Olympic Blvd at U. S. 101A. Route 66 headed north on Lincoln and turned east onto Santa Monica Blvd. which was, from the Santa Monica city line with Los Angeles up to US 101, added to SR 2 during the 1964 renumbering, the same name it had before 1936. In today's terms, it followed Santa Monica Boulevard until the east end, where it continued to the southeast as Sunset Boulevard up to SR 110, at the interchange with US 101. Running northwards on SR 110 to the northern terminus in Pasadena, the highway continued east onto Colorado Boulevard; when crossing North Baldwin Avenue, Colorado Boulevard becomes Colorado Street, after 0.3 miles it changes again to Colorado Place.
Prior to the opening of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, US 66 began north on Broadway which curves east, ending at Mission Avenue. The highway continues north on Mission which turns into Huntington Drive and turns north onto Fair Oaks Avenue until meeting Colorado Boulevard where it turns east. After the extension to Santa Monica, the route moved to Figueroa Street from Sunset Boulevard to Colorado Boulevard until the opening of the Arroyo Seco. In Arcadia the highway continues eastwards through Arcadia and Duarte as Huntington Drive, which it follows until the road crosses the San Gabriel River into Irwindale, becoming Foothill Boulevard after 5.7 miles. In Azusa, the highway veers away from Foothill Boulevard; the city of Glendora renamed their segment of Alosta Avenue to Route 66. Foothill Boulevard is numbered SR 66 from the interchange with SR 210 in La Verne onward until the road crosses into San Bernardino, where it becomes 5th Street. SR 66 ends at the 5th Street interchange with I-215
Interstate 40 is a major east-west Interstate Highway running through the south-central portion of the United States north of I-10, I-20 and I-30 but south of I-70. The western end is at I-15 in California. S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina, it is the third-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, behind I-80 and I-90. Much of the western part of I-40, from Oklahoma City to Barstow parallels or overlays the historic US 66, east of Oklahoma City the route parallels US 64 and US 70. I-40 runs through many major cities including New Mexico. Though I-40 is a cross-country east-west interstate, it does not nearly touch both oceans or coasts like I-10, I-80 and I-90 does; the eastern terminus touches near the Atlantic Ocean, but the western terminus doesn't touch the Pacific Ocean. Interstate 40 is a major east–west route of the Interstate Highway System, its western end is in California. Known as the Needles Freeway, it heads east from Barstow across the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County to Needles, before it crosses into Arizona southwest of Kingman.
I-40 covers 155 miles in California. A sign in California showing the distance to Wilmington, North Carolina has been stolen several times. Interstate 40 is a main route to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, with the exits leading into Grand Canyon National Park in Williams and Flagstaff. I-40 covers 359 mi in Arizona. Just west of exit 190, west of Flagstaff, is its highest elevation along I-40 in the U. S. as the road crosses just over 7,320 ft. I-40 passes through the Navajo Nation, the largest Indian reservation in the U. S. I-40 covers 374 miles in New Mexico. Notable cities along I-40 include Gallup, Albuquerque, Santa Rosa, Tucumcari. I-40 travels through several different Indian reservations in the western half of the state, it reaches its highest point of 7,275 feet at the Continental Divide in western New Mexico between Gallup and Grants. Arizona, New Mexico, Texas are the only three states where I-40 has a speed limit of 75 mph instead of 70 mph which happens in California, Arkansas and North Carolina.
In the west Texas panhandle area, there are several ranch roads connected directly to the interstate. One of the marked at-grade crossings is shown to the right; the only major city in Texas, directly served by I-40 is Amarillo, which connects with Interstate 27 that runs south toward Lubbock. I-40 has only one welcome center in the state, located in Amarillo at the exit for Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, serving both sides of the interstate. Interstate 40 goes through the heart of the state, passing through many Oklahoma cities and towns, including Erick, Elk City, Weatherford, El Reno, Oklahoma City, Del City, Midwest City, Okemah, Checotah and Roland. I-40 covers 331 miles in Oklahoma. In Downtown Oklahoma City, Interstate 40 was rerouted a mile south of its former alignment and a 10–lane facility replaced the former I-40 Crosstown Bridge. Interstate 40 runs for 284 miles in Arkansas; the route passes through Van Buren, where it intersects the southbound Interstate 540/US 71 to Fort Smith.
The route continues east to Alma to intersect Interstate 49 north to Arkansas. Running through the Ozark Mountains, I-40 serves Ozark, Russellville and Conway; the route turns south after Conway and enters North Little Rock, which brings high volume interchanges with Interstate 430, I-30/US 65/US 67/US 167, I-440/AR 440. The interstate continues east through Lonoke and West Memphis on the eastern side. Interstate 40 overlaps Interstate 55 in West Memphis before it crosses the Mississippi River on the Hernando de Soto Bridge and enters Memphis, Tennessee. More of Interstate 40 passes through 455 miles, than any other state; the interstate goes through all of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee and its three largest cities, Memphis and Knoxville. Jackson, Cookeville and Newport are other notable cities and/or towns through which I-40 passes. Before leaving the state, I-40 enters the Great Smoky Mountains towards North Carolina; the section of Interstate 40 which runs between Memphis and Nashville is referred to as the Music Highway.
During reconstruction, a long section of I-40 through downtown Knoxville near the central Malfunction Junction was closed to traffic from May 1, 2008 and not reopened until June 12, 2009 with all traffic redirected via Interstate 640, the northern bypass route. The redesigned section now has additional lanes in each direction, is less congested, has fewer accidents. In North Carolina, I-40 travels 421 miles, it enters the state as a winding mountain freeway through the Great Smoky Mountains which closes due to landslides and weather conditions. It enters the state on a north-south alignment, turning to a more east-west alignment upon merging with U. S. Route 74 at the eastern terminus of the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway. From there the highway passes through Asheville and Statesville before reaching the Piedmont Triad. Just east of the Triad city of Greensboro, North Carolina it merges with I-85 and the two roads split again
Amboy Crater is an extinct North American cinder cone type of volcano that rises above a 70-square-kilometer lava field in southern California. It is a National Natural Landmark located in the Eastern Mojave Desert and within Mojave Trails National Monument, in San Bernardino County, California, it is equidistant and about 75 miles between Barstow to the west and Needles to the east, 1.5 miles south of historic U. S. Route 66, near the town of Amboy, California in San Bernardino County, California. Amboy Crater was designated the Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark in May, 1973; the Amboy Crater's location is 2.5 miles southwest of the town of Amboy and the Route 66-National Trails Highway. The Bullion Mountains are to the west, Bristol Mountains to the northeast; this cinder cone is estimated to be 79,000 years old and was formed in layers of vesicular pahoehoe – during the Pleistocene geological period. The interior has a lava lake. Lava flows as old as Amboy Crater; the most recent eruption was 10,000 years ago.
The crater is 944 ft above about 250 ft above the surrounding basalt lava plains. The scenic and solitary Amboy Crater was a popular sight and stop for travelers on U. S. Route 66 in California before the opening of Interstate 40 in 1973. Other than a stretch of U. S. Route 66 in New Mexico, Amboy Crater was one of few extinct volcanoes along the entire route, so generations of U. S. Route 66 travelers from the 1920s through the 1960s could boast that they had climbed a real volcano. Visits decreased after Interstate 40 opened, but have increased in recent years with the nearby Mitchell Caverns, Mojave National Preserve, renewed historical tourism interest in "old Route 66." The Federal Bureau of Land Management recommends using the Western Cone Trail to reach the volcano peak's rim, a steep and rocky hiking trail. The trailhead is at the Amboy Crater day use parking area, which provides shaded and open picnic tables and public restrooms. Regular desert precautions apply here: being alert for rattlesnakes and old military explosives, having a hat, sturdy shoes, abundant drinking water.
Educational and organized groups are advised to contact the BLM before heading out to Amboy Crater. Amboy Crater was used as a location in the 1959 movie Journey to the Center of the Earth. Fires were set inside the crater to simulate a volcanic eruption; the desert around Amboy Crater was featured on the cover art of the 2008 Rush album Snakes & Arrows Live. Amboy Crater was featured in the Viceland network show Abandoned, Season 1, episode 6: "Route 66". Lavic Lake volcanic field Pisgah Crater Cima Dome & Volcanic Field National Natural Landmark Mojave National Preserve Providence Mountains State Recreation Area Roy's Motel and Café Media related to Amboy Crater at Wikimedia Commons Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark at the Bureau of Land Management website BLM: Amboy Crater
Pisgah Crater, or Pisgah Volcano, is a young volcanic cinder cone rising above a lava plain in the Mojave Desert, between Barstow and Needles, California in San Bernardino County, California. The volcanic peak is around 2.5 miles south of historic U. S. Route 66-National Old Trails Highway and of Interstate 40, west of the town of Ludlow; the volcano had a historic elevation of 2,638 feet, but has been reduced to 2,545 feet due to mining. The volcano was the site of the Mount Pisgah Volcanic Cinders Mine, a cinder quarry that produced pumice for commercial use, the primary end product being railroad ballast for the Santa Fe Railroad; the mountain is owned by Can-Cal Resources Limited, a Canadian company specializing in exploration of precious minerals in California. Mining has had a severe environmental impact; the mountain is still quarried for various cinder products, sand from the mountain was used to depict the black sands of Iwo Jima in the film Letters from Iwo Jima. The crater stands 98 meters above the surrounding High Desert terrain, has a base diameter of 488 meters.
It has lost much of its original cinder cone shape to ongoing aggregate mining operations, in addition to minor natural erosion. The mountain contains a large number of lava tubes; the most well known cave is the 1,300-foot -long SPJ Cave. Located in the Basin and Range Province, the Mojave Valley and the Cady Mountains lie to the north of the peak, while the Rodman Mountains lie to the west; the Lava Bed Mountains lie to the south, the Bullion Mountains lie to the southeast. The crater and much of the surrounding lava field are on private property. Despite this, the lava tubes in the area are a somewhat popular and accessible destination for caving. Historic Lavic Siding is with the Mojave National Preserve beyond. There is no reliable date of; some believe that Pisgah Volcano is the youngest vent, of four cinder cones, in the Lavic Lake volcanic field. There may have been activity at this site as as 2,000 years ago, it is too young for the potassium-argon dating technique used on specimens over 100,000 years old.
No charred organic material for radiocarbon dating has been found. Lava at nearby and active Amboy Crater is interbedded with Bristol Playa sediments at a depth of about 9 meters which are 100,000 years old. Recent argon-argon dating reveals an age of 18,000 years ± 5,000 years for the most recent flow. Lava flows extend 18 km to the west and 8 km to southeast of the cone, containing basalt of the pahoehoe texture, with some a'a; the flows contain numerous lava caves. The cindercone volcano itself shows signs of oxidization prominent in the reddish/orange/brown appearance of much of the upper portions; the volcano is a popular field site for geology instruction. On some weekends, it is not uncommon to find university classes and professional seminar groups around the mountain. Quarrying operations and geological survey activity occurs at the mountain every so often; the volcano erupted at least three times. All three eruptions produced porphyritic basalt, although rocks from the first eruptive phase are aphanitic.
The first eruption was a basaltic flow that created the extensive lava fields visible from Interstate 40. Due to evidence from intrusive structures, it is believed that the cinder cone was formed around this time, although rocks from this eruptive phase are not present on the surface of the cinder cone; the second phase produced extensive flows, while the third eruption produced substantial amounts of tephra. It is believed that most of the present cinder cone consists of pyroclastic material that originated from this final eruption; the lava found around the volcano consists of a'a and pahoehoe, with considerable concentrations of olivine and plagioclase. Large amounts of gypsum can be found coating rocks near the cinder cone. Lavic Lake volcanic field Amboy Crater Cima volcanic field Mojave National Preserve Providence Mountains State Recreation Area Mitchell Caverns Coso Volcanic Field Wood, Charles A.. Volcanoes of North America. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 242–243. ISBN 0-521-43811-X. Volcano World: Pisgah Crater Pisgah Crater: Virtual Tour Satellite view of Pisgah Crater
Lava is molten rock generated by geothermal energy and expelled through fractures in planetary crust or in an eruption at temperatures from 700 to 1,200 °C. The structures resulting from subsequent solidification and cooling are sometimes described as lava; the molten rock is formed in the interior of some planets, including Earth, some of their satellites, though such material located below the crust is referred to by other terms. A lava flow is a moving outpouring of lava created during a non-explosive effusive eruption; when it has stopped moving, lava solidifies to form igneous rock. The term lava flow is shortened to lava. Although lava can be up to 100,000 times more viscous than water, lava can flow great distances before cooling and solidifying because of its thixotropic and shear thinning properties. Explosive eruptions produce a mixture of volcanic ash and other fragments called tephra, rather than lava flows; the word lava comes from Italian, is derived from the Latin word labes which means a fall or slide.
The first use in connection with extruded magma was in a short account written by Francesco Serao on the eruption of Vesuvius in 1737. Serao described "a flow of fiery lava" as an analogy to the flow of water and mud down the flanks of the volcano following heavy rain; the composition of all lava of the Earth's crust is dominated by silicate minerals feldspars, pyroxenes, amphiboles and quartz. Igneous rocks, which form lava flows when erupted, can be classified into three chemical types: felsic and mafic; these classes are chemical, the chemistry of lava tends to correlate with the magma temperature, its viscosity and its mode of eruption. Felsic or silicic lavas such as rhyolite and dacite form lava spines, lava domes or "coulees" and are associated with pyroclastic deposits. Most silicic lava flows are viscous, fragment as they extrude, producing blocky autobreccias; the high viscosity and strength are the result of their chemistry, high in silica, potassium and calcium, forming a polymerized liquid rich in feldspar and quartz, thus has a higher viscosity than other magma types.
Felsic magmas can erupt at temperatures as low as 650 to 750 °C. Unusually hot rhyolite lavas, may flow for distances of many tens of kilometres, such as in the Snake River Plain of the northwestern United States. Intermediate or andesitic lavas are lower in aluminium and silica, somewhat richer in magnesium and iron. Intermediate lavas form andesite domes and block lavas, may occur on steep composite volcanoes, such as in the Andes. Poorer in aluminium and silica than felsic lavas, commonly hotter, they tend to be less viscous. Greater temperatures tend to destroy polymerized bonds within the magma, promoting more fluid behaviour and a greater tendency to form phenocrysts. Higher iron and magnesium tends to manifest as a darker groundmass, occasionally amphibole or pyroxene phenocrysts. Mafic or basaltic lavas are typified by their high ferromagnesian content, erupt at temperatures in excess of 950 °C. Basaltic magma is high in iron and magnesium, has lower aluminium and silica, which taken together reduces the degree of polymerization within the melt.
Owing to the higher temperatures, viscosities can be low, although still thousands of times higher than water. The low degree of polymerization and high temperature favors chemical diffusion, so it is common to see large, well-formed phenocrysts within mafic lavas. Basalt lavas tend to produce low-profile shield volcanoes or "flood basalt fields", because the fluidal lava flows for long distances from the vent; the thickness of a basalt lava on a low slope, may be much greater than the thickness of the moving lava flow at any one time, because basalt lavas may "inflate" by supply of lava beneath a solidified crust. Most basalt lavas are of pāhoehoe types, rather than block lavas. Underwater, they can form pillow lavas, which are rather similar to entrail-type pahoehoe lavas on land. Ultramafic lavas such as komatiite and magnesian magmas that form boninite take the composition and temperatures of eruptions to the extreme. Komatiites contain over 18% magnesium oxide, are thought to have erupted at temperatures of 1,600 °C.
At this temperature there is no polymerization of the mineral compounds, creating a mobile liquid. Most if not all ultramafic lavas are no younger than the Proterozoic, with a few ultramafic magmas known from the Phanerozoic. No modern komatiite lavas are known, as the Earth's mantle has cooled too much to produce magnesian magmas; some lavas of unusual composition have erupted onto the surface of the Earth. These include: Carbonatite and natrocarbonatite lavas are known from Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania, the sole example of an active carbonatite volcano. Iron oxide lavas are thought to be the source of the iron ore at Kiruna, Sweden which formed during the Proterozoic. Iron oxide lavas of Pliocene age occur at the El Laco volcanic complex on the Chile-Argentina border. Iron oxide lavas are thought to be the result of immiscible separation of iron oxide magma from a parental magma of calc-alkaline or alkaline composition. Sulfur lava flows up to 250 metres 10 metres wide occur at Lastarria volcano, Chile.
They were formed by the melting of sulfur deposits at temperatures as low as 113 °C
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo