Denmark the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, is bordered to the south by Germany; the Kingdom of Denmark comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand and the North Jutlandic Island; the islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2, land area of 42,394 km2, the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2, a population of 5.8 million. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523.
The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until Denmark -- Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a developed mixed economy; the Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660.
It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948. Denmark negotiated certain opt-outs, it is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, the United Nations. Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and developed countries in the world. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and human development; the country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, is among the countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption in the world, the eleventh-most developed in the world, has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, one of the world's highest personal income tax rates.
The etymology of the word Denmark, the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as one kingdom, is a subject which attracts debate. This is centered on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending. Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave"; the -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland, with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig. The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth; the larger stone of the two is popularly cited as Denmark's "baptismal certificate", though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ tanmaurk on the large stone, genitive ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᚱ "tanmarkar" on the small stone.
The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "Danes", in the accusative. The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC; the Nordic Bronze Age in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot. During the Pre-Roman Iron Age, native groups began migrating south, the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age; the Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron; the tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands and Scania and spoke an early form of North Germanic.
Historians believe that before their arrival, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by tribal J
Promotion and relegation
In sports leagues and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between multiple divisions based on their performance for the completed season. The best-ranked team in the lower division are promoted to the higher division for the next season, the worst-ranked team in the higher division are relegated to the lower division for the next season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are used to determine rankings; this process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, so on. During the season, teams that are high enough in the league table that they would qualify for promotion are sometimes said to be in the promotion zone, those at the bottom are in the relegation zone. An alternate system of league organisation, used in the US and Canada is a closed model based on licensing or franchises; this maintains the same teams from year to year, with occasional admission of expansion teams and relocation of existing teams, with no team movement between the major league and minor leagues.
The number of teams exchanged between the divisions is always identical. Exceptions occur when the higher division wishes to change the size of its membership, or has lost one or more of its clubs and wishes to restore its previous membership size, in which case fewer teams are relegated from that division, or more teams are accepted for promotion from the division below; such variations cause a "knock-on" effect through the lower divisions. For example, in 1995 the Premier League voted to reduce its numbers by two and achieved the desired change by relegating four teams instead of the usual three, whilst allowing only two promotions from Football League Division One. In the absence of such extraordinary circumstances, the pyramid-like nature of most European sports league systems can still create knock-on effects at the regional level. For example, in a higher league with a large geographical footprint and multiple feeder leagues each representing smaller geographical regions, should most or all of the relegated teams in the higher division come from one particular region the number of teams to be promoted or relegated from each of the feeder leagues may have to be adjusted, or one or more teams playing near the boundary between the feeder leagues may have to transfer from one feeder league to another to maintain numerical balance.
The system is said to be the defining characteristic of the "European" form of professional sports league organization. Promotion and relegation have the effect of allowing the maintenance of a hierarchy of leagues and divisions, according to the relative strength of their teams, they maintain the importance of games played by many low-ranked teams near the end of the season, which may be at risk of relegation. In contrast, a low-ranked US or Canadian team's final games serve little purpose, in fact losing may be beneficial to such teams, yielding a better position in the next year's draft. Although not intrinsic to the system, problems can occur due to the differing monetary payouts and revenue-generating potential that different divisions provide to their clubs. For example, financial hardship has sometimes occurred in leagues where clubs do not reduce their wage bill once relegated; this occurs for one of two reasons: first, the club can't move underperforming players on, or second, the club is gambling on being promoted back straight away and is prepared to take a financial loss for one or two seasons to do so.
Some leagues offer "parachute payments" to its relegated teams for the following year. The payouts are higher than the prize money received by some non-relegated teams and are designed to soften the financial hit that clubs take whilst dropping out of the Premier League. However, in many cases these parachute payments just serve to inflate the costs of competing for promotion among the lower division clubs as newly relegated teams retain a financial advantage. In some countries and at certain levels, teams in line for promotion may have to satisfy certain non-playing conditions in order to be accepted by the higher league, such as financial solvency, stadium capacity, facilities. If these are not satisfied, a lower-ranked team may be promoted in their place, or a team in the league above may be saved from relegation. While the primary purpose of the promotion/relegation system is to maintain competitive balance, it may be used as a disciplinary tool in special cases. On several occasions, the Italian Football Federation has relegated clubs found to have been involved in match-fixing.
This occurred most in 2006, when the season's initial champions Juventus were relegated to Serie B, two other teams were relegated but restored to Serie A after appeal. In some Communist nations several in Europe after World War II, clubs were promoted and relegated for political reasons rather than performance; this was made evident in the late eighties by teams such as Romanian Steaua București and Yugoslav Red Star Belgrade, both winners of the European Champions League despite the rampant level of corruption in their Communist local leagues. Promotion and relegation may be used in international sports tournaments. In tennis, the Davis Cup and Fed Cup have promotion and relegation, with a'World Group' (split into two divisions in the Fe
Akademisk Boldklub Gladsaxe is a Danish professional football club from Gladsaxe north of Copenhagen playing at the 3rd highest level of Danish domestic football in the Danish 2nd Division group 1. The club was established on February 26, 1889 through a merger of Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub and Polyteknisk Boldklub. AB is nine time Danish Champions, eight time Copenhagen Champions, one time Danish Cup Champions and six times Copenhagen Cup Champions, the club is thus one of the most successful in Danish football; the club has training and club facilities in Bagsværd north of Copenhagen and plays its home matches at Gladsaxe Stadium called Stade de Lundberg, named after one of the club's pioneers, Knud Lundberg. Since the foundation, AB had an owl as mascot; the club's official fan club is named AB Forever and was founded in 1995. AB is one of the oldest football clubs in Denmark and is from Copenhagen. Here the club had training facilities on Østerbro from 1903–1922. From 1923–1965 the club had training facilities on Nørrebro.
In 1965, AB moved to Gladsaxe. Most of the club's titles were won in the time in Copenhagen in the 1890s and the 1940s; the club participated in the foundation of the Danish Football Association in 1889 and has over the years developed many football players who have played on the Danish national team, including Harald Bohr, Karl Aage Hansen, Knud Lundberg, Kresten Bjerre and René Henriksen. Akademisk Boldklub was founded on February 26, 1889 through a merger of the two academic sports clubs Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub and Polyteknisk Boldklub. Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub was a cricket club founded in 1884 by graduating students from the Latin School in Fredericia; when they became students in 1883, they moved to Copenhagen to study at the University of Copenhagen. The following year, they founded the club. Like most other clubs at the time, Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub only had cricket on the program. However, from around 1887, football became more popular in Denmark as Frederik Markmann, chairman of the board of Københavns Boldklub, took the initiative to translate the laws of the English Football Association to Danish in collaboration with three clubmates and Holger Forchhammer from Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub.
The club got football on the program from on and participated in Københavns Boldklub's Medal Football Competition. Holger Forchhammer and his brother Johannes Forchhammer were key people in Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub at that time. Holger Forchhammer took initiative to start a collaboration with Herlufsholm Kostskole, where Holger's father was the rector, to recruit talented players to the team. Holger became board member of AB's first board and chairman of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark from 1897–1899, while Johannes became chairman of the Danish Football Association from 1894–1897. With the introduction of football on the program, the club opened for admission from other schools than Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub; the number of Copenhageners in the club grew larger and the name of the club became unrepresentative of its member. Therefore, members of Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub and Polyteknisk Boldklub were convened on February 26, 1889, for a joint meeting between the two clubs in order to arrange a merger.
Polyteknisk Boldklub was a somewhat younger club from 1885 which consisted of students and graduates from Technical University of Denmark. The result of the meeting was a merger between the two clubs and the foundation of Akademisk Boldklub. In relation to the merger, new requirements for becoming a member of AB were introduced; the admission requirement was that one had an entrance examination from a Scandinavian university or from the Technical University of Denmark. However, an exemption could be granted for this requirement if the board decided unanimously to register a member or if 15 members of the club recommended a person. At the establishment of AB, the club got a new logo with an owl as a mascot; the owl has been the club's mascot since the foundation. The newly established club played in a green and white kit, as did the Fredericia Studenternes Kricketklub. Shortly after the foundation, on April 1, 1889, AB moved to new premises on Østerbro in Copenhagen where the club during the year grew to have 104 active members and 15 passive members.
On March 5, 1889, AB played its first official football match. The match was played at Blegdamsfælleden in Copenhagen, AB won 2-0 against the opponent BK Frem. In 1889, AB participated in the establishment of the Danish Football Association together with 21 football clubs from Copenhagen and five from the province. On April 27, 1889, AB won the Danish Football Association's first tournament, defeating the until invincible club Københavns Boldklub. In the period 1890–1900, AB had great success and won the Copenhagen Football Championship eight times. In 1890 AB played the first Danish-Swedish football match in the history when Halmstads BK was defeated 3-0 away from home. Football was not yet played at schools at the time, AB therefore started a junior department with the intention of recruiting talented young players. However, the department had to close again in 1897 due to the bad behavior of its members. In 1899, the club tried again and this time it had more success as the department's member count rose to 70 during the first year.
The first two members of the new junior department were brothers Niels Bohr and Harald Bohr, who both came to play on AB's first-team squad. Harald Bohr debuted at AB's first-team squad at the age of 16, where he became known as the
The Danish Superliga is the current Danish football championship tournament, administered by the Danish Football Association. It is the highest football league in Denmark and is contested by 14 teams each year, with 1–3 teams relegated. Founded in 1991, the Danish Superliga replaced the Danish 1st Division as the highest league of football in Denmark. From the start in 1991, 10 teams were participating; the opening Superliga season was played during the spring of 1991, with the ten teams playing each other twice for the championship title. From the summer of 1991, the tournament structure would stretch over two years; the 10 teams would play each other twice in the first half of the tournament. In the following spring, the bottom two teams would be cut off, the points of the teams would be cut in half, the remaining eight teams would once more play each other twice, for a total of 32 games in a season; this practice was abandoned before the 1995–96 season, when the number of teams competing was increased to 12, playing each other thrice for 33 games per Superliga season.
For the first season of this new structure, Coca-Cola became the name sponsor of the league, named Coca-Cola Ligaen. After a single season under that name, Faxe Brewery became sponsors and the league changed its name to Faxe Kondi Ligaen. Before the 2001–02 season, Scandinavian Airlines System became the head sponsor, the name of the tournament changed to SAS Ligaen. From January 2015 the Danish Superliga is known as Alka Superliga, as the Danish insurance company Alka became name sponsor. Logos used for naming rights agreements for the league: From 1996 through 2016, the league included 12 clubs which played each other three times; the two teams with the fewest points at the end of the season were relegated to the Danish 1st Division and replaced by the top two teams of that division. During this era, each team played every other team at least once at home and once away plus once more either at home or away; the top six teams of the previous season played 17 matches at home and 16 away while the teams in 7th to 10th place plus the two newly promoted teams played 16 matches at home and 17 away.
Following the 2015–16 season, the league was expanded to 14 teams, accomplished by relegating only the last-place finisher in that season and promoting the top three teams from the 1st division. The 2016–17 season was the first for the new league structure, it began with the teams playing a full home-and-away schedule, resulting in 26 matches for each team. At that time, the league split into a six-team championship playoff and an eight-team qualifying playoff. All teams' table points and goals carry over into the playoffs. In the championship playoff, each team plays the others away again; the top team at the end of the playoff is Superliga champion and enters the UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round. The second-place team enters the UEFA Europa League in the first qualifying round; the third-place team advances to a one-off playoff match for another Europa League place. The qualifying playoff is split into two groups, with the teams that finished the regular season in 7th, 10th, 11th, 14th in one group and those finishing 8th, 9th, 12th, 13th in the other.
Each group plays home-and-away within its group. The top two teams from each group enter a knockout tournament, with each match over two legs. If the Danish Cup winner is among the top two finishers in either playoff group, it is withdrawn from the knockout playoff and its opponent automatically advances to the tournament final; the winner of that tournament faces the third-place team from the championship playoff in a one-off match, with the winner entering the Europa League in the first qualifying round. The bottom two teams from each group contest a relegation playoff with several steps, centered on a separate four-team knockout playoff consisting of two-legged matches: The winners of the semifinals advance to the final; the losers of the semifinals play over two legs, with the winner remaining in the Superliga and the loser dropping to the 1st Division. The winner of the final plays the 1st Division runner-up, the loser of the final plays the third-place team from the 1st Division over two legs.
In each case, the winner plays in the next season's Superliga. The 10 most scoring players throughout the history of the Superliga. Latest update 22 May 2018. List of Danish Superliga clubs Sports league attendances Official website Guide to the Danish Superliga
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League is an annual football club competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions, it is the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League. Called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, with the change of name being a rebranding. In 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase; the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and a change in qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and, since the 2014–15 season, the following season's UEFA Champions League, entering at the group stage.
The title has been won by 28 clubs. The most successful club in the competition is Sevilla, with five titles; the current champions are Atlético Madrid, after defeating Marseille in the final to win the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971; the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup, played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA and relaunched the following season as the UEFA Cup; the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool, in 1973, who defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final. Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, reach the final again in 1980. Feyenoord Rotterdam won the cup in 1974 after defeating Tottenham Hotspur with 4-2 in aggregate.
Liverpool won the competition for the second time in 1976 after defeating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each, with Anderlecht reaching two consecutive finals, winning in 1983 and losing to Tottenham Hotspur in 1984; the year 1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs' domination, when Diego Maradona's Napoli defeated Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two all-Italian finals, in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a third time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year; the year 1995 saw a third all-Italian final, with Parma proving their consistency, after two consecutive Cup Winners' Cup finals. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996. Internazionale reached the final the following two years, losing in 1997 to Schalke 04 on penalties, winning yet another all-Italian final in 1998, taking home the cup for the third time in only eight years.
Parma won the cup in 1999. Liverpool won the competition for the third time in 2001. In 2002 Feyenoord Rotterdam won it for the 2nd time in the club history by defeating Borussia Dortmund during the final in their own stadium, Stadion Feijenoord in Rotterdam with 3-2. Porto triumphed with the latter against Portuguese team Braga. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, Sevilla succeeded on two consecutive occasions in 2006 and 2007, the latter in a final against fellow Spaniards Espanyol. Either side of Sevilla's success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final. In 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year. In 2014, Sevilla won their third cup in eight years after defeating Benfica on penalties.
Just one year in 2015, Sevilla won their fourth UEFA Cup/Europa League and, in an unprecedented feat, they defended their title a third year in a row beating Liverpool FC in the 2016 final, making Sevilla FC the most successful team in the history of the competition with 5 titles. Since the 2009–10 season, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League. At the same time, the UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA's third-tier competition, was discontinued and merged into the new Europa League. UEFA had considered adding a third-tier competition since at least 2015, believing that a bottom-level tournament could act as a means of giving clubs from lower-ranked UEFA member countries to have a chance of progressing to the stages beyond the stages they traditionally would be eliminated in the Champions League and Europa League. In mid-2018 talk of an announcement intensified, with news sources claiming an agreement had been reached for the competition to be launched and that the 48-team Europa League group stage would be split into two, with the lower-half forming the nucleus of what would be the new event.
On 2 December 2018, UEFA announced that the competition – provisionally known as "Europa League 2" or just "UEL2" – was to be launched as part of the 2021–24 three-year competition cycle, with UEFA announcing that the new tournament would bring "more matches for more clubs and more
The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are or located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members. UEFA represents the national football associations of Europe, runs nation and club competitions including the UEFA European Championship, UEFA Nations League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, controls the prize money and media rights to those competitions. Henri Delaunay was Ebbe Schwartz the first president; the current president is Aleksander Čeferin, a former Football Association of Slovenia president, elected as UEFA's seventh president at the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens in September 2016, automatically became a vice-president of the world body FIFA. UEFA was founded on 15 June 1954 in Basel, Switzerland after consultation between the Italian and Belgian associations.
The European football union began with 25 members. Until 1959 the main headquarters were located in Paris, in Bern. In 1995, UEFA headquarters were transferred to Switzerland. UEFA membership coincides for the most part with recognition as a sovereign country in Europe, although there are some exceptions; some states are not members. Some UEFA members are not sovereign states, but form part of a larger recognised sovereign state in the context of international law; these include Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Faroe Islands, Kosovo, however in the context of these countries government functions concerning sport tend to be carried at the territorial level coterminous with the UEFA member entity. Some UEFA members are transcontinental states and others are considered part of Europe both culturally and politically. Countries, members of the Asian Football Confederation were admitted to the European football association Israel and Kazakhstan. Additionally some UEFA member associations allow teams from outside their association's main territory to take part in their "domestic" competition.
AS Monaco, for example, takes part in the French League. F. C. participate in the English League. Derry City, situated in Northern Ireland, plays in the Republic of Ireland-based League of Ireland and the 7 native Liechtensteinian teams play in the Swiss Leagues. Saarland Football Union, joined Football Association of West Germany Football Association of East Germany, joined Football Association of West Germany as German Football Association Football Federation of the Soviet Union. Four other successor republics formed their own football organisations. Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro. Montenegro, which exited the union, created the Football Association of Montenegro, it competed as FR Yugoslavia until 2003 when the country changed its name to Montenegro. Football Association of Czechoslovakia, became Football Association of the Czech Republic and Slovak Football Association with the Football Association of the Czech Republic acknowledged as its direct successor. Lithuania, in 1990 sanctions were imposed due to secession of Lithuanian Football Federation from the Football Federation of Soviet Union Yugoslavia, in 1992-1998 sanctions were imposed due to the Bosnian War Italy, in 1974-1975 sanctions were imposed against SS Lazio due to its fans, Italy was restricted from the European Cup to which Lazio qualified England, in 1985-1991 sanctions were imposed against English association football clubs due to the Heysel Stadium disaster by suspending their participation in continental competitions for five years Netherlands, in 1991-1992 sanctions were imposed against AFC Ajax due to its fans, the Netherlands were restricted from the European Cup to which Ajax qualified Albania, in 1967 special sanctions were imposed against 1966–67 Albanian Superliga due to its political background 1968–69 the Warsaw Pact demonstrated political protest and imposed sanctions on clubs of its members in continental competitions (included E
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