Art Spiegelman is an American cartoonist and comics advocate best known for his graphic novel Maus. His work as co-editor on the comics magazines Arcade and Raw has been influential, from 1992 he spent a decade as contributing artist for The New Yorker, he is the father of writer Nadja Spiegelman. Spiegelman began his career with the Topps bubblegum card company in the mid-1960s, his main financial support for two decades, he gained prominence in the underground comix scene in the 1970s with short and autobiographical work. A selection of these strips appeared in the collection Breakdowns in 1977, after which Spiegelman turned focus to the book-length Maus, about his relationship with his father, a Holocaust survivor; the postmodern book depicts Germans as cats, Jews as mice, ethnic Poles as pigs, took 13 years to create until its completion in 1991. It won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and has gained a reputation as a pivotal work, responsible for bringing scholarly attention to the comics medium.
Spiegelman and Mouly edited eleven issues of Raw from 1980 to 1991. The oversized comics and graphics magazine helped introduce talents who became prominent in alternative comics, such as Charles Burns, Chris Ware, Ben Katchor, introduced several foreign cartoonists to the English-speaking comics world. Beginning in the 1990s, the couple worked for The New Yorker, which Spiegelman left to work on In the Shadow of No Towers, about his reaction to the September 11 attacks in New York in 2001. Spiegelman advocates for greater comics literacy; as an editor, a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, a lecturer, Spiegelman has promoted better understanding of comics and has mentored younger cartoonists. Art Spiegelman's parents were Andzia Spiegelman, his father was born Zeev Spiegelman, with the Hebrew name Zeev ben Avraham. Władysław was his Polish name, Władek was a diminutive of this name, he was known as Wilhelm under the German occupation, upon immigration to the United States he took the name William.
His mother was born Andzia Zylberberg, with the Hebrew name Hannah. She took the name Anna upon her immigration to the US. In Spiegelman's Maus, from which the couple are best known, Spiegelman used the spellings "Vladek" and "Anja", which he believed would be easier for Americans to pronounce; the surname Spiegelman is German for "mirror man". In 1937, the Spiegelmans had one other son, who died before Art was born at the age of five or six. During the Holocaust, Spiegelman's parents sent Rysio to stay with an aunt with whom they believed he would be safe. In 1943, the aunt poisoned herself, along with Rysio and two other young family members in her care, so that the Nazis could not take them to the extermination camps. After the war, the Spiegelmans, unable to accept that Rysio was dead, searched orphanages all over Europe in the hope of finding him. Spiegelman talked of having a sort of sibling rivalry with his "ghost brother"—he felt unable to compete with an "ideal" brother who "never threw tantrums or got in any kind of trouble".
Of 85 Spiegelman relatives alive at the beginning of World War II, only 13 are known to have survived the Holocaust. Spiegelman was born Itzhak Avraham ben Zeev in Stockholm, Sweden, on February 15, 1948, he immigrated with his parents to the US in 1951. Upon immigration his name was registered as Arthur Isadore, but he had his given name changed to Art; the family settled in Norristown and relocated to Rego Park in Queens, New York City, in 1957. He imitated the style of his favorite comic books, such as Mad. At Russell Sage Junior High School, where he was an honors student, he produced the Mad-inspired fanzine Blasé, he was earning money from his drawing by the time he reached high school and sold artwork to the original Long Island Press and other outlets. His talent was such that he caught the eyes of United Features Syndicate, who offered him the chance to produce a syndicated comic strip. Dedicated to the idea of art as expression, he turned down this commercial opportunity, he attended the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan beginning in 1963.
He met Woody Gelman, the art director of Topps Chewing Gum Company, who encouraged Spiegelman to apply to Topps after graduating high school. At 15 Spiegelman received payment for his work from a Rego Park newspaper. After he graduated in 1965, Spiegelman's parents urged him to pursue the financial security of a career such as dentistry, but he chose instead to enroll at Harpur College to study art and philosophy. While there, he got a freelance art job at Topps, which provided him with an income for the next two decades. Spiegelman attended Harpur College from 1965 until 1968, where he worked as staff cartoonist for the college newspaper and edited a college humor magazine. After a summer internship when he was 18, Topps hired him for Gelman's Product Development Department as a creative consultant making trading cards and related products in 1966, such as the Wacky Packages series of parodic trading cards begun in 1967. Spiegelman began selling self-published underground comix on street corners in 1966.
He had cartoons published in underground publications such as the East Village Other and traveled to San Francisco for a few months in 1967, where the underground comix scene was just beginning to burgeon. In late winter 1968 Spiegelman suffered a brief but intense nervous breakdown, which cut his
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Frank Thomas (animator)
Franklin Rosborough "Frank" Thomas was an American animator and pianist. He was one of Walt Disney's team of animators known as the Nine Old Men. Born in Santa Monica, California to Frank Thomas, a teacher, Ina Gregg, he had two older brothers and Welburne. He grew up in Fresno. Frank Thomas attended Stanford University, where he was a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and worked on campus humor magazine The Stanford Chaparral with Ollie Johnston. After graduating from Stanford in 1933, he attended Chouinard Art Institute joined The Walt Disney Company on September 24, 1934 as employee number 224. There he animated dozens of feature films and shorts, was a member of the Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two, playing the piano, his work in animated cartoon shorts included "Brave Little Tailor", in which he animated scenes of Mickey Mouse and the king and the bear in "The Pointer", German dialogue scenes in the World War II propaganda short "Education for Death". During World War II he was assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit.
In feature films, among the characters and scenes Thomas animated were the dwarfs crying over Snow White's "dead" body, Pinocchio singing at the marionette theatre and Thumper on the ice and the Tramp eating spaghetti, the three fairies in Sleeping Beauty and Arthur as squirrels and the "wizard's duel" between Merlin and Madam Mim in The Sword in the Stone, King Louie in The Jungle Book, the dancing penguins in Mary Poppins, Winnie The Pooh and Piglet in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. Thomas was directing animator for several memorable villains, including the evil stepmother Lady Tremaine in Cinderella, the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, Captain James Hook in Peter Pan, story consultant in Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland.. He retired from Disney on January 31, 1978. In the 1980s and 1990s, Thomas served on the advisory board of the National Student Film Institute and was a presenter at the annual film festival's award ceremonies. Thomas co-authored, with fellow Disney legend Ollie Johnston, the comprehensive book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, first published by Abbeville Press in 1981.
Regarded as the definitive resource book on traditional hand-drawn character animation, the book has been republished numerous times, is considered "the bible" among character animators. The book summarized the Disney approach to animation through the so-called 12 basic principles of animation. Thomas and Johnston were profiled in the 1995 documentary Frank and Ollie, which screened at the 20th Toronto International Film Festival, directed by Thomas's son Theodore Thomas; the film profiled their careers, private lives, the personal friendship between the two men. In 2012, Theodore Thomas directed another short documentary, "Growing up with Nine Old Men", included in the Diamond edition of Disney's Peter Pan DVD. Thomas' last appearance in an animated film before his death was in The Incredibles, although he voiced a character, rather than animating one. Frank and his friend and colleague Ollie Johnston voiced and were caricatured as two old men saying "That's old school..." "Yeah, no school like the old school."
The pair had been heard, caricatured, as the two train engineers in Bird's The Iron Giant. Frank Thomas died in La Cañada Flintridge, California on September 8, 2004, his widow, Jeanette A. Thomas died on September 29, 2012; the 2001 biography Walt Disney's Nine Old Men & The Art of Animation by John Canemaker chronicles Thomas' life. On the Animation Podcast, Disney director John Musker discussed Frank Thomas, mentioned that at one time, fellow animation great Chuck Jones had christened Thomas the "Laurence Olivier of animators." Snow White and the Seven Dwarves-Dwarves crying over Snow White, Dwarves being sent to wash Pinocchio-Pinocchio on stage Bambi-Bambi and Thumper ice-skating The Three Caballleros-The Flying Gauchito segment The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad-Ichabod riding home, Katrina Von Tassel, Brom Bones Cinderella-Lady Tremaine Alice in Wonderland-Queen of Hearts, Doorknob Peter Pan-Captain Hook Lady and the Tramp- Lady and Tramp eating spaghetti, Jock Sleeping Beauty- Flora and Merryweather One Hundred and One Dalmatians-Pongo, Puppies The Sword in the Stone-"Higitus Figitus", Squirrel Scene, Madam Mim, Wizard's Duel The Jungle Book-Mowgli, Bagheera, King Louie, Flunkey Monkey The Aristocats-Duchess, Thomas O' Malley, Lafayette Robin Hood-Robin Hood disguised as stork, Sheriff of Nottingham, Maid Marian, Skippy The Rescuers-Bernard, Chairmouse, Brutus The Fox and the Hound-Tod, Copper The Chipmunk Adventure- Special Thanks Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland- Story Consultant The Iron Giant- Special Thanks/Additional Voices The Incredibles- Special Thanks/Additional Voices Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life Too Funny For Words: Disney's Greatest Sight Gags The Disney Villain Bambi: The Story and the Film, accompanied by a flip book Working with Disney Interviews with Animators and Artists Frank Thomas on IMDb Frank and Ollie's official site Disney Legends Camouflage - A Cartoon in Technicolor, World War II animated training film directed by Frank Thomas, via the Internet Archive
Boleslav William Felix Robert Sienkiewicz, better known as Bill Sienkiewicz, is an American artist known for his work in comic books—particularly for Marvel Comics' The New Mutants, Moon Knight, Elektra: Assassin. Sienkiewicz's work in the 1980s was considered revolutionary in mainstream US comics, due to his stylized art that verged on abstraction and made use of oil painting, collage and other forms uncommon in comic books. Sienkiewicz was born May 1958, in Blakely, Pennsylvania; when he was five years old, he moved with his family to Hainesville, New Jersey, where he attended elementary and secondary school. Sienkiewicz began drawing "when was about four or five", continued doing and learning about art throughout his childhood, his early comic-book influences include artist Curt Swan Superman comics, artist Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four. Sienkiewicz received his classical art education at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts in Newark, New Jersey. After art school, he showed a portfolio of his work to DC Comics' art director Vince Colletta, which led to his entering the comics field at age 19.
The artist recalled in 1985, "They didn't have any work for me. I just figured that if comics didn't work out I'd have done illustration. Vinnie called Neal Adams. Soon after that I was drawing Moon Knight, in The Hulk magazine", his art style was influenced by Neal Adams. Sienkiewicz continued as artist of the Moon Knight color comics series, starting with the first issue, his eclectic art style helped shed the early perception of Moon Knight as a mere Batman clone. Four years after a stint as artist on the Fantastic Four, he became the artist on Marvel's X-Men spin-off New Mutants, beginning with issue No. 18, producing cover paintings and character designs. From this period on, Sienkiewicz's art evolved into a much more expressionistic style, he began experimenting with paint and mixed media, he illustrated New Mutants from 1984 to 1985. Sienkiewicz produced covers for a range of Marvel titles, including Rom, The Mighty Thor, Return of the Jedi and The Transformers, drew the comic adaptation of Dune.
Sienkiewicz's own first writing credit was for the painted story "Slow Dancer" in Epic Illustrated in 1986. Sienkiewicz both wrote and illustrated the 1988 miniseries Stray Toasters, an idiosyncratic work published by Epic Comics about a criminal psychologist investigating a series of murders, his first major interior work for DC Comics was contributing to Batman #400. He illustrated the 1986-87 eight-issue Elektra: Assassin limited series and the Daredevil: Love and War graphic novel which were both written by Frank Miller. After this, he collaborated with writer Andy Helfer on the first six issues of DC Comics' The Shadow series. In 1988, he contributed to the Brought to Light graphic novel with writer Alan Moore. In 1990, Sienkiewicz and Moore published the first two issues of the uncompleted series Big Numbers. Sienkiewicz painted the Classics Illustrated adaptation of the novel Moby-Dick. Sienkiewicz was the subject of a 2008 full-length documentary/interview produced by Woodcrest Productions, The Creator Chronicles: Bill Sienkiewicz.
In 2007, Sienkiewicz penciled 30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow. In 2008, Sienkiewicz illustrated a story for The Nightmare Factory - Volume 2 graphic novel; that same year, he inked the Reign in Hell limited series for DC. In 2010-2012, he inked several issues of Neal Adams' Batman: Odyssey project for DC Comics. In October 2012, Sienkiewicz teamed with fellow artists Klaus Janson and David W. Mack on the eight-issue Marvel mini-series Daredevil: End of Days. Regarding the contrast in art styles, Sienkiewicz related that it was deliberate, in order to "give a definite break from the “everyday reality” that Klaus’ art is meant to portray, as well as the impression of a flashback."In June 2014, Sienkiewicz was the guest of honor at ceremony for the 2014 Inkwell Awards at HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to his work in comics, Sienkiewicz has worked in numerous other media in the music and trading card industries, his artwork has been published in magazines including Spin. In 1998, he collaborated with writer Martin I. Green to produce the children's book Santa, My Life & Times.
In 1989, Sienkiewicz painted the art for the "Friendly Dictators" card set published by Eclipse Comics which portrayed various foreign leaders such as Mobutu Sese Seko, Ferdinand Marcos, Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Sienkiewicz has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. In 2004, Sienkiewicz contributed to card art for VS System, a collectible card game published by Upper Deck Entertainment. In 1995, he illustrated Voodoo Child: The Illustrated Legend of Jimi Hendrix the biography of Jimi Hendrix by Martin I. Green. In 1996, he provided the artwork for the Bruce Cockburn album The Charity of Night. Additional Sienkiewicz album covers include RZA's Bobby Digital in Stereo, EPMD's Business as Usual, Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon: The End of Day. In 2006, Sienkiewicz teamed with Neal Adams to create art for former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, their artwork was utilized as video projections for live performances of Waters' song "Leaving Beirut". Sienkiewicz has worked on character design for animation.
His work on the television series Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? received two Emmy Award nominations in 1995 and 1996. In 2006, Sienkiewicz designed the layout and art for The Venture Bros. season one DVD set
Comic book convention
A comic book convention or comic con is an event with a primary focus on comic books and comic book culture, in which comic book fans gather to meet creators and each other. Comic conventions are multi-day events hosted at convention centers, hotels, or college campuses, they feature a wide variety of activities and panels, with a larger number of attendees participating in cosplay than most other types of fan conventions. Comic book conventions are used as a vehicle for industry, in which publishers and retailers represent their comic-related releases. Comic book conventions may be considered derivatives of science-fiction conventions, which began in the late 1930s. Comic-cons were traditionally organized by fans on a not-for-profit basis, though nowadays most events catering to fans are run by commercial interests for profit. Many conventions have award presentations relating to comics. At commercial events, comic book creators give out autographs to the fans, sometimes in exchange for a flat appearance fee, sometimes may draw illustrations for a per-item fee.
Commercial conventions are quite expensive and are hosted in hotels. This represents a change in comic book conventions, which traditionally were more oriented toward comic books as a mode of literature, maintained a less caste-like differentiation between professional and fan; the first official comic book convention was held in 1964 in New York City and was called New York Comicon. Early conventions were small affairs organized by local enthusiasts, featuring a handful of industry guests; the first recurring conventions were the Detroit Triple Fan Fair, which ran from 1965–1978, Academy Con, which ran from 1965–1967. Many recurring conventions begin as single-day events in small venues, which as they grow more popular expand to two days, or three or more every year. Many comic-cons which had their start in church basements or union halls now fill convention centers in major cities. Nowadays, comic conventions are big business, with recurring shows in every major American city. Comic book conventions in name only, the biggest shows include a large range of pop culture and entertainment elements across all genres, including horror, anime, toys, collectible card games, video games and fantasy novels.
San Diego Comic-Con International, a multigenre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego since 1970, is the standard bearer for U. S. comic-cons. According to Forbes, the convention is the "largest convention of its kind in the world. According to the San Diego Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the convention has an annual regional economic impact of $162.8 million, with a $180 million economic impact in 2011. However, in 2017, SDCC lost its record of the largest annual multigenre convention to São Paulo's Comic Con Experience. Internationally, the largest European comic book festivals are Lucca Comics & Games and the Angoulême International Comics Festival; the world's largest comic book convention, in terms of attendees, is Japan's Comiket, which boasts annual attendance of over half a million people. In 1961 or 1962, Jerry Bails was vital in the formation of the Academy of Comic-Book Fans and Collectors, the first official organization of comic book enthusiasts and historians.
The ACBFC brought fans of the medium together, administered the first industry awards, assisted in the establishment of the first comic book conventions. The Academy's first order of business was to administer the Alley Awards, which traced their origin to "a letter to Jerry dated October 25, 1961," by fellow enthusiast Roy Thomas, in which he suggested to Bails that his fanzine Alter-Ego create its own awards to reward fandom's "favorite comic books in a number of categories" in a manner similar to the Oscars; the first Alley Awards, given for the calendar year 1961, were reported in Alter Ego No. 4. On March 21–22, 1964, the first annual "Alley Tally" by ACBFC members was organized by Bails at his house in Detroit, with the purpose of counting "the Alley Award ballots for 1963." This became notable in retrospect as the first major gathering of comics fans, predating the earliest comic book conventions, which were held in the year. Attendees included Ronn Foss, Don Glut and Maggie Thompson, Mike Vosburg, Grass Green.
Comics historian Bill Schelly notes that the Alley Tally and "even larger fan meetings in Chicago... helped build momentum" for these earliest conventions. In addition, an unnamed convention held May 24, 1964, in the Hotel Tuller, Michigan, was organized by teenagers Robert Brusch and Dave Szurek, with assistance from Bails and members of the Michigan Science Fiction Society; this gathering featured about 80 fans of the comic book medium. The first recorded "official" comic book convention took place in 1964 in New York City. Known as the "New York Comicon", it was held July 1964, at the Workman's Circle Building. A one-day convention organized by 16-year-old Bernie Bubnis and fellow enthusiast Ron Fradkin, official guests of the Tri-State Con included Steve Ditko, Flo Steinberg, Tom Gill. Reports were of over 100 attendees. Continuing the mo
San Michele in Foro
San Michele in Foro is a Roman Catholic basilica church in Lucca, central Italy, built over the ancient Roman forum. Until 1370 it was the seat of the commune's most important assembly, it is dedicated to Archangel Michael. The church is mentioned for the first time in 795 as ad foro, it was rebuilt after 1070 by will of Pope Alexander II. Notable is the façade, from the 13th century, with a large series of sculptures and inlays, numerous of which remade in the 19th century; the lower part has a series of blind arcades. The upper part, built using plenty of iron materials to counter wind, has four orders of small loggias. On the summit, flanked by two other angels, is the 4 m-tall statue of St. Michael the Archangel. According to a legend, an angel's finger would have a huge diamond. On the lower right corner of the façade is a statue of the Madonna salutis portus, sculpted by Matteo Civitali to celebrate the end of the 1476 plague; the church interior has two aisles with transept and semicircular apse.
From the southern transept rises the bell tower, built in the 12th-14th centuries, with a series of single and triple mullioned windows. The last floor was demolished during the rule of Giovanni dell ` Doge of Pisa. Amongst the artworks in the interior, are a Madonna with Child terracotta by Luca della Robbia and a panel with Four Saints by Filippino Lippi. Romanesque architecture Saint Michael Page with numerous sculpture details HD 360° Panoramic Interactive Photo of San Michele in Foro Square Made by Hans von Weissenfluh for Tuscany tourism promotion official website
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