The Persian Gulf is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest; the Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline. The body of water is and internationally known as the "Persian Gulf"; some Arab governments refer to it as the "Arabian Gulf" or "The Gulf", but neither term is recognized internationally. The name "Gulf of Iran" is used by the International Hydrographic Organization; the Persian Gulf was a battlefield of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers. It is the namesake of the 1991 Gulf War, the air- and land-based conflict that followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; the gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive reefs, abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has been damaged by industrialization and oil spills. The Persian Gulf resides in the Persian Gulf Basin, of Cenozoic origin and related to the subduction of the Arabian Plate under the Zagros Mountains.
The current flooding of the basin started 15,000 years ago due to rising sea levels of the Holocene glacial retreat. This inland sea of some 251,000 square kilometres is connected to the Gulf of Oman in the east by the Strait of Hormuz. In Iran this is called "Arvand Rood", where "Rood" means "river", its length is 989 kilometres, with Iran covering most of the northern coast and Saudi Arabia most of the southern coast. The Persian Gulf is about 56 km wide in the Strait of Hormuz; the waters are overall shallow, with a maximum depth of 90 metres and an average depth of 50 metres. Countries with a coastline on the Persian Gulf are: Iran. Various small islands lie within the Persian Gulf, some of which are the subject of territorial disputes between the states of the region; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the Persian Gulf's southern limit as "The Northwestern limit of Gulf of Oman". This limit is defined as "A line joining Ràs Limah on the coast of Arabia and Ràs al Kuh on the coast of Iran".
The gulf is connected to Indian Ocean through Strait of Hormuz. Writing the water balance budget for the Persian Gulf, the inputs are river discharges from Iran and Iraq, as well as precipitation over the sea, around 180mm/year in Qeshm Island; the evaporation of the sea is high, so that after considering river discharge and rain contributions, there is still a deficit of 416 cubic kilometers per year. This difference is supplied by currents at the Strait of Hormuz; the water from the Gulf has a higher salinity, therefore exits from the bottom of the Strait, while ocean water with less salinity flows in through the top. Another study revealed the following numbers for water exchanges for the Gulf: evaporation = -1.84m/year, precipitation = 0.08m/year, inflow from the Strait = 33.66m/year, outflow from the Strait = -32.11m/year, the balance is 0m/year. Data from different 3D computational fluid mechanics models with spatial resolution of 3 kilometers and depth each element equal to 1–10 meters are predominantly used in computer models.
The Persian Gulf and its coastal areas are the world's largest single source of crude oil, related industries dominate the region. Safaniya Oil Field, the world's largest offshore oilfield, is located in the Persian Gulf. Large gas finds have been made, with Qatar and Iran sharing a giant field across the territorial median line. Using this gas, Qatar has built up a substantial liquefied natural petrochemical industry. In 2002, the Persian Gulf nations of Bahrain, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE produced about 25% of the world's oil, held nearly two-thirds of the world's crude oil reserves, about 35% of the world's natural gas reserves; the oil-rich countries that have a coastline on the Persian Gulf are referred to as the Persian Gulf States. Iraq's egress to the gulf is narrow and blockaded consisting of the marshy river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, where the east bank is held by Iran. In 550 BC, the Achaemenid Empire established the first ancient empire in Persis, in the southwestern region of the Iranian plateau.
In the Greek sources, the body of water that bordered this province came to be known as the "Persian Gulf". During the years 550 to 330 BC, coinciding with the sovereignty of the Achaemenid Persian Empire over the Middle East area the whole part of the Persian Gulf and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the name of "Pars Sea" is found in the compiled written texts. In the travel account of Pythagoras, several chapters are related to description of his travels accompanied by the Achaemenid king Darius the Great, to Susa and Persepolis, the area is described. From among the writings of others in the same period, there is the inscription and engraving of Darius the Great, installed at junction of waters of Red Sea and the Nile river and the Rome river which belongs to t
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War. The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German and Italian aggression. At the start of the war on 1 September 1939, the Allies consisted of France and the United Kingdom, as well as their dependent states, such as British India. Within days they were joined by the independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. After the start of the German invasion of North Europe until the Balkan Campaign, the Netherlands, Belgium and Yugoslavia joined the Allies. After first having cooperated with Germany in invading Poland whilst remaining neutral in the Allied-Axis conflict, the Soviet Union perforce joined the Allies in June 1941 after being invaded by Germany; the United States provided war materiel and money all along, joined in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
China had been in a prolonged war with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, but joined the Allies in 1941. The alliance was formalised by the Declaration by United Nations, from 1 January 1942. However, the name United Nations was used to describe the Allies during the war; the leaders of the "Big Three"—the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States—controlled Allied strategy. The Big Three together with China were referred as a "trusteeship of the powerful" were recognized as the Allied "Big Four" in the Declaration by United Nations and as the "Four Policemen" of the United Nations. After the war ended, the Allied nations became the basis of the modern United Nations. Members The origins of the Allied powers stem from the Allies of World War I and cooperation of the victorious powers at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. Germany resented signing Treaty of Versailles; the new Weimar Republic's legitimacy became shaken. However, the 1920s were peaceful. With the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, political unrest in Europe soared including the rise in support of revanchist nationalists in Germany who blamed the severity of the economic crisis on the Treaty of Versailles.
By the early 1930s, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler became the dominant revanchist movement in Germany and Hitler and the Nazis gained power in 1933. The Nazi regime demanded the immediate cancellation of the Treaty of Versailles and made claims to German-populated Austria, German-populated territories of Czechoslovakia; the likelihood of war was high, the question was whether it could be avoided through strategies such as appeasement. In Asia, when Japan seized Manchuria in 1931, the League of Nations condemned it for aggression against China. Japan responded by leaving the League of Nations in March 1933. After four quiet years, the Sino-Japanese War erupted in 1937 with Japanese forces invading China; the League of Nations initiated sanctions on Japan. The United States, in particular, was sought to support China. In March 1939, Germany took over Czechoslovakia, violating the Munich Agreement signed six months before, demonstrating that the appeasement policy was a failure. Britain and France decided that Hitler had no intention to uphold diplomatic agreements and responded by preparing for war.
On 31 March 1939, Britain formed the Anglo-Polish military alliance in an effort to avert a German attack on the country. The French had a long-standing alliance with Poland since 1921; the Soviet Union sought an alliance with the western powers, but Hitler ended the risk of a war with Stalin by signing the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact in August 1939. The agreement secretly divided the independent nations of Eastern Europe between the two powers and assured adequate oil supplies for the German war machine. On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. On 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east. A Polish government-in-exile was set up and it continued to be one of the Allies, a model followed by other occupied countries. After a quiet winter, Germany in April 1940 invaded and defeated Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Britain and its Empire stood alone against Mussolini. In June 1941, Hitler broke the non-aggression agreement with Stalin and Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
In December, Japan attacked the Britain. The main lines of World War II had formed. During December 1941, U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt devised the name "United Nations" for the Allies and proposed it to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he referred to the Big Three and China as a "trusteeship of the powerful", later the "Four Policemen". The Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942 was the basis of the modern United Nations. At the Potsdam Conference of July–August 1945, Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman, proposed that the foreign ministers of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States "should draft the peace treaties and boundary settlements of Europe", which led to the creation of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the "Big Five", soon thereafter the establishment of those states as the permanent members of the UNSC. Great Britain and other members of the British Commonwealth, most known as the Dominions, declared war on Germany separately from 3 September 1939 with the UK first, all within one week of each other.
British West Africa and the British colonies in E
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between Iran and Iraq, beginning on 22 September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, ending on 20 August 1988, when Iran accepted the UN-brokered ceasefire. Iraq wanted to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state, was worried that the 1979 Iranian Revolution would lead Iraq's Shi'ite majority to rebel against the Ba'athist government; the war followed a long history of border disputes, Iraq planned to annex the oil-rich Khuzestan Province and the east bank of the Arvand Rud. Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of Iran's post-revolutionary chaos, it made limited progress and was repelled. For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive until near the end of the war. There were a number of proxy forces—most notably the People's Mujahedin of Iran siding with Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdish militias of the KDP and PUK siding with Iran; the United States, Soviet Union and most Arab countries provided support for Iraq, while Iran was isolated. After eight years, war-weariness, economic problems, decreased morale, repeated Iranian military failures, recent Iraqi successes, Iraqi use of weapons of mass destruction and lack of international sympathy, increased U.
S.–Iran military tension all led to a ceasefire brokered by the United Nations. The conflict has been compared to World War I in terms of the tactics used, including large-scale trench warfare with barbed wire stretched across fortified defensive lines, manned machine guns posts, bayonet charges, Iranian human wave attacks, extensive use of chemical weapons by Iraq, deliberate attacks on civilian targets. An estimated 1,000,000 Iraqi and Iranian soldiers died, in addition to a smaller number of civilians; the end of the war resulted in border changes. The Iran–Iraq War was referred to as the Gulf War until the Persian Gulf War of 1990 and 1991, after which it was known as the First Persian Gulf War; the Iraq–Kuwait conflict, known as the Second Persian Gulf War became known as the Gulf War. The Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 has been called the Second Persian Gulf War. In Iran, the war is known as the Holy Defense. State media in Iraq dubbed the war Saddam's Qadisiyyah, in reference to the seventh-century Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, in which Arab warriors overcame the Sasanian Empire during the Muslim conquest of Persia.
The relationship between the governments of Iran and Iraq improved in 1978, when Iranian agents in Iraq discovered plans for a pro-Soviet coup d'état against Iraq's government. When informed of this plot, Saddam ordered the execution of dozens of his army's officers, in a sign of reconciliation, expelled from Iraq Ruhollah Khomeini, an exiled leader of clerical opposition to the Shah. Nonetheless, Saddam considered the 1975 Algiers Agreement to be a truce, rather than a definite settlement, waited for an opportunity to contest it. Tensions between Iraq and Iran were fueled by Iran's Islamic revolution and its appearance of being a Pan-Islamic force, in contrast to Iraq's Arab nationalism. Despite Iraq's goal of regaining the Shatt al-Arab, the Iraqi government seemed to welcome the Iranian Revolution, which overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, seen as a common enemy, it is difficult to pinpoint when tensions began to build, but there were frequent cross-border skirmishes at Iran's instigation.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called on Iraqis to overthrow the Ba'ath government, received with considerable anger in Baghdad. On 17 July 1979, despite Khomeini's call, Saddam gave a speech praising the Iranian Revolution and called for an Iraqi-Iranian friendship based on non-interference in each other's internal affairs; when Khomeini rejected Saddam's overture by calling for Islamic revolution in Iraq, Saddam was alarmed. Iran's new Islamic administration was regarded in Baghdad as an irrational, existential threat to the Ba'ath government because the Ba'ath party, having a secular nature, discriminated against and posed a threat to the fundamentalist Shia movement in Iraq, whose clerics were Iran's allies within Iraq and whom Khomeini saw as oppressed. Saddam's primary interest in war may have stemmed from his desire to right the supposed "wrong" of the Algiers Agreement, in addition to achieving his desire of annexing Khuzestan and becoming the regional superpower. Saddam's goal was to replace Egypt as the "leader of the Arab world" and to achieve hegemony over the Persian Gulf.
He saw Iran's increased weakness due to revolution and international isolation. Saddam had invested in Iraq's military since his defeat against Iran in 1975, buying large amounts of weaponry from the Soviet Union and France. By 1980, Iraq possessed 2,000 tanks and 450 aircraft. Watching the disintegration of the powerful Iranian army that frustrated him in 1974–1975, he saw an opportunity to attack, using the threat of Islamic Revolution as a pretext. On 8 March 1980, Iran announced it was withdrawing its ambassador from Iraq, downgraded its diplomatic ties to the charge d'affaires level, demanded that Iraq do the same; the following day, Iraq declared Iran's ambassador persona non-grata, demanded his withdrawal from Iraq by 15 March. Iraq soon after expropriated the properties of 70,000 civilians believed to be of Iranian origin and expelled them from its territory. Many, if not most, of those expelled were in fact Arabic-speaking Iraqi Shias who had little to no family ties with Iran; this caused tensions between the two nations to increase further.
Iraq began planning offensives, confident
Daniel Howard Yergin is an American author, energy expert, economic historian. Yergin is vice chairman of IHS Markit, a research and information company which absorbed his own energy research consultancy Cambridge Energy Research Associates in 2004, he has authored or co-authored several books on energy and world economics, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil and Power and The Quest: Energy and the Remaking of the Modern World. Yergin's articles and op-eds on energy and the economy have been published in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times. All of Yergin's books have been drafted in long-hand. A director on entities such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the United States Energy Association, he is a trustee of the Brookings Institution and a long-term advisor to several U. S. administrations. He is chairman of the annual CERAWeek energy conference. Daniel Howard Yergin was born on February 1947 in Los Angeles, California.
His father Irving Yergin worked at Warner Brothers and was editor of The Hollywood Reporter and a former journalist in Chicago, while his mother Naomi Yergin was a sculptor and painter. Yergin attended Beverly Hills High School, he received his BA from Yale University in 1968, where he wrote for the Yale Daily News and was founder of The New Journal in 1967. He received his M. A. in 1970 and his PhD in international history from Cambridge University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. While at Cambridge he wrote for various British magazines as well as The Atlantic, where he was a contributing editor, The New York Times Magazine, he has honorary doctorates from Dartmouth College, Colorado School of Mines, University of Houston, the University of Missouri. Early in his career, Yergin worked as a contributing editor for New York Magazine. Through 1980 he was a lecturer at the Harvard Business School and, until 1985, a lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Yergin's first book, Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State, was based upon his PhD dissertation and focused on the origins of the Cold War.
It was named "best book of the year" by the National Historical Society. In the mid-1970s, while a post-doctoral fellow, he began to take a particular interest in energy in his writing. Basing the book on four years of research, with Robert B. Stobaugh he co-authored and co-edited Energy Future: The Report of the Energy Project at the Harvard Business School in 1979. According to the Los Angeles Times, the book “caused a considerable stir with its optimistic view of the possibilities of energy conservation and such alternative sources as solar power." It proved to be a The New York Times bestseller selling 300,000 copies in six languages. Within its first year of release and Stobaugh were called to Washington D. C. several times to testify before Congressional committees. He advised James Schlesinger, the first US energy secretary, around the time of the Iranian revolution. According to Reuters, ”since he has given advice to every administration.” He founded Cambridge Energy Research Associates with Jamey Rosenfield in 1982 with the purchase of a $2 file cabinet from The Salvation Army.
With Yergin as president, the energy research and consulting firm was created as a "quasi think-tank and source of energy industry analysis.”Yergin is arguably best known for his fourth book, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil and Power. It became a number-one bestseller that won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1992 and the Eccles Prize for the best book on economics for a general audience, selling around 700,000 copies in 17 languages; the book was adapted into a PBS/BBC series seen by around 100 million viewers both domestically and internationally, with Yergin as the principal storyteller. His next book was Russia 2010 and What It Means for the World, written with Thane Gustafson, which provided scenarios for the development of Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, his 2002 book The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, written with Joseph Stanislaw, described in narrative form the struggle over the "frontier" between governments and markets and the rise of globalization.
In the "first major PBS series on business in more than a decade,” he led the team that created a prize-winning six-hour PBS/BBC television series based on the book, serving as executive producer and co-writer and interviewing individuals such as Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Vicente Fox, Mikhail Gorbachev. CERA was acquired by the information company IHS Inc. in 2004, with Yergin becoming an executive of the combined company and remaining chairman of CERA. Described as a sequel to his book The Prize, Yergin's The Quest: Energy and the Remaking of the Modern World continued his history of the global oil industry but addressed energy security, natural gas, electric power, climate change and the search for renewable sources of energy. Like his previous books, it was drafted in long-hand. In 2011 it was shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. In July 2012, he became vice chairman of IHS. IHS merged in 2016 with Markit to become IHS Markit, with Yergin remaining IHS vice chairman.
As of 2017, he remains chairman of IHS Markit’s annual CERAWeek energy conference. Yergin's articles and op-eds on energy and the economy have been published in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, Forbes, he has been interviewed about energy policy and international politics on var
. The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known collectively as the mujahideen, as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government in the rural countryside; the mujahideen groups were backed by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, making it a Cold War proxy war. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees to Pakistan and Iran; the war derives from a 1978 coup when Afghanistan's communist party took power, initiating a series of radical modernization reforms throughout the country that were forced and unpopular among the more traditional rural population and the established traditional power structures. The regime's nature of vigorously suppressing opposition, including executing thousands of political prisoners, led to the rise of anti-government armed groups, by April 1979 large parts of the country were in open rebellion.
The ruling party itself experienced deep rivalries, in September 1979 the President, Nur Mohammad Taraki, was murdered under orders of the second-in-command, Hafizullah Amin, which soured relations with the Soviet Union. The Soviet government, under leader Leonid Brezhnev, decided to deploy the 40th Army on December 24, 1979. Arriving in the capital Kabul, they staged a coup, killing president Amin and installing Soviet loyalist Babrak Karmal from a rival faction; the deployment had been variously called an "invasion" or a legitimate supporting intervention on the basis of the Brezhnev Doctrine. In January 1980, foreign ministers from 34 nations of the Islamic Conference adopted a resolution demanding "the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Soviet troops" from Afghanistan; the UN General Assembly passed a resolution protesting the Soviet intervention by a vote of 104 to 18, with 18 abstentions and 12 members of the 152-nation Assembly absent or not participating in the vote. Afghan insurgents began to receive massive amounts of aid and military training in neighboring Pakistan and China, paid for by the United States and Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf.
As documented by the National Security Archive, "the Central Intelligence Agency played a significant role in asserting U. S. influence in Afghanistan by funding military operations designed to frustrate the Soviet invasion of that country. CIA covert action worked through Pakistani intelligence services to reach Afghan rebel groups." Soviet troops occupied the cities and main arteries of communication, while the mujahideen waged guerrilla war in small groups operating in the 80 percent of the country, outside government and Soviet control exclusively being the rural countryside. The Soviets used their air power to deal harshly with both rebels and civilians, levelling villages to deny safe haven to the mujahideen, destroying vital irrigation ditches, laying millions of land mines; the international community imposed numerous sanctions and embargoes against the Soviet Union, the U. S. led a boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow. The boycott and sanctions exacerbated Cold War tensions and enraged the Soviet government, which led a revenge boycott of the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles.
The Soviets planned to secure towns and roads, stabilize the government under new leader Karmal, withdraw within six months or a year. But they were met with fierce resistance from the guerillas, were stuck in a bloody war that lasted nine years. By the mid-1980s, the Soviet contingent was increased to 108,800 and fighting increased, but the military and diplomatic cost of the war to the USSR was high. By mid-1987 the Soviet Union, now under reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, announced it would start withdrawing its forces after meetings with the Afghan government; the final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, ended on February 15, 1989, leaving the government forces alone in the battle against the insurgents, which continued until 1992 when the former Soviet-backed government collapsed. Due to its length, it has sometimes been referred to as the "Soviet Union's Vietnam War" or the "Bear Trap" by the Western media; the Soviets' failure in the war is thought to be a contributing factor to the fall of the Soviet Union.
In 1885, Russian forces seized the disputed oasis at Panjdeh south of the Oxus River from Afghan forces, which became known as the Panjdeh Incident. The border was agreed by the joint Anglo-Russian Afghan Boundary Commission of 1885–87; the Russian interest in the region continued on through the Soviet era, with billions in economic and military aid sent to Afghanistan between 1955 and 1978. After the Saur Revolution in 1978, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was formed on April 27, 1978; the government was one with a pro-farmer socialist agenda. It had close relations with the Soviet Union. On December 5, 1978, a treaty of friendship was signed between Afghanistan. In February 1979, the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, was kidnapped by Setami Milli militants and was killed during an assault carried out by the Afghan police, assisted by Soviet advisers. Dubs' death led to a major deterioration in Afghanistan–United States relations. In Southwestern Asia, drastic changes were taking place concurrent with the upheavals in Afghanistan.
In February 1979, the Iranian Revolution ousted the American-backed Shah from Iran, losing the United States as one of its most powerful allies. The United S
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