Russian science fiction and fantasy
Science fiction and fantasy have been part of mainstream Russian literature since the 19th century. Russian fantasy developed from the centuries-old traditions of Slavic folklore. Russian science fiction emerged in the mid-19th century and rose to its golden age during the Soviet era, both in cinema and literature, with writers like the Strugatsky brothers, Kir Bulychov, Mikhail Bulgakov, among others. Soviet filmmakers, such as Andrei Tarkovsky produced many science fiction and fantasy films. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, modern Russia experienced a renaissance of fantasy. Outside modern Russian borders, there are a significant number of Russophone writers and filmmakers from Ukraine and Kazakhstan, who have made a notable contribution to the genres. In the Russian language, science fiction and all other related genres are considered a part of a larger umbrella term, фантастика equivalent to "speculative fiction", are less divided than in the West; the Russian term for science fiction is научная фантастика, which can be translated as "scientific fantasy" or "scientific speculative fiction".
Since there was little adult-oriented fantasy fiction in Soviet times, Russians did not use a specific term for this genre until Perestroika. Although Russian language has a literal translation for'fantasy', фантазия, the word refers to a dream or imagination, not literary genre. Today, Russian publishers and literary criticians use direct English transcription, фэнтези. Gothic and supernatural fiction are referred to as мистика. While science fiction did not emerge in Russia as a coherent genre until the early 20th century, many of its aspects, such as utopia or imaginary voyage, are found in earlier Russian works. Fedor Dmitriev-Mamonov's anti-clerical A Philosopher Nobleman; the Allegory is considered prototypical to science fiction. It is a voltairean conte philosophique influenced by Micromégas. Utopia was a major genre of early Russian speculative fiction; the first utopia in Russian was a short story by Alexander Sumarokov, "A Dream of Happy Society". Two early utopias in form of imaginary voyage are Vasily Levshin's Newest Voyage and Mikhail Shcherbatov's Journey to the Land of Ophir.
Pseudo-historical heroic romances in classical settings by Fyodor Emin, Mikhail Kheraskov, Pavel Lvov and Pyotr Zakharyin were utopian. Ancient Night of the Universe, an epic poem by Semyon Bobrov, is the first work of Russian Cosmism; some of Faddei Bulgarin's tales are set in the future, others exploited themes of hollow earth and space flight, as did Osip Senkovsky's Fantastic Voyages of Baron Brambeus. Authors of Gothic stories included Aleksandr Bestuzhev with his German couleur locale, Sergey Lyubetsky, Vladimir Olin, Alexey K. Tolstoy, Elizaveta Kologrivova and Mikhail Lermontov. By the mid-19th century imaginary voyages to space had become popular chapbooks, such as Voyage to the Sun and Planet Mercury and All the Visible and Invisible Worlds by Dmitry Sigov, Correspondence of a Moonman with an Earthman by Pyotr Mashkov, Voyage to the Moon in a Wonderful Machine by Semyon Dyachkov and Voyage in the Sun by Demokrit Terpinovich. Popular literature used fantastic motifs like demons and shrinking men.
Hoffmann's fantastic tales influenced Russian writers including Nikolay Gogol, Antony Pogorelsky, Nikolay Melgunov, Vladimir Karlgof, Nikolai Polevoy, Aleksey Tomofeev, Konstantin Aksakov and Vasily Ushakov. Supernatural folk tales were stylized by Orest Somov, Vladimir Olin, Mikhail Zagoskin and Nikolay Bilevich. Vladimir Odoevsky, a romantic writer influenced by Hoffmann, wrote on his vision of the future and scientific progress as well as many Gothic tales. Alexander Veltman, along with his folk romances and hoffmanesque satiric tales, in 1836 published The forebears of Kalimeros: Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon, the first Russian novel to feature time travel. In the book, the main character rides to ancient Greece on a hippogriff to meet Aristotle and Alexander the Great. In Year 3448, a Heliodoric love romance set in the future, a traveler visits an imaginary country Bosphorania and sees social and technological advances of the 35th century. Second half of the 19th century saw the rise of realism.
However, fantasies with a scientific rationale by Nikolai Akhsharumov and Nikolai Vagner stand out during this period, as well as Ivan Turgenev's "mysterious tales" and Vera Zhelikhovsky's occult fiction. Mikhail Mikhailov's story "Beyond History", a pre-Darwinian fantasy on the descent of man, is an early example of prehistoric fiction. Fictional accounts of prehistoric men were written by popular science writers. Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin's satires use a grotesque element; the plot of Animal Mutiny by historian Nikolay Kostomarov is similar to that of Orwell's Animal Farm. Some of Fyodor Dostoevsky's short works use fantasy: The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, a doppelgänger novella The Double: A Petersburg Poem, mesmeric The Landlady, a comic horror story Bobok. Dostoevsky's magazine Vremya was first to publish Ru
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. A physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective; the Sherlock Holmes stories are considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. Doyle was a prolific writer. One of Doyle's early short stories, "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement", helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste. Doyle is referred to as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Conan Doyle, his baptism entry in the register of St Mary's Cathedral, gives "Arthur Ignatius Conan" as his given names and "Doyle" as his surname. It names Michael Conan as his godfather; the cataloguers of the British Library and the Library of Congress treat "Doyle" alone as his surname. Steven Doyle, editor of The Baker Street Journal, wrote, "Conan was Arthur's middle name. Shortly after he graduated from high school he began using Conan as a sort of surname.
But technically his last name is simply'Doyle'." When knighted, he was gazetted as Doyle, not under the compound Conan Doyle. Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 at 11 Picardy Place, Scotland, his father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was born in England, of Irish Catholic descent, his mother, was Irish Catholic. His parents married in 1855. In 1864 the family dispersed because of Charles's growing alcoholism, the children were temporarily housed across Edinburgh. In 1867, the family lived in squalid tenement flats at 3 Sciennes Place. Doyle's father died in 1893, in the Crichton Royal, after many years of psychiatric illness. Supported by wealthy uncles, Doyle was sent to England, at the Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst in Lancashire at the age of nine, he went on to Stonyhurst College until 1875. While Doyle was not unhappy at Stonyhurst, he did not have any fond memories since the school was run on medieval principles, with subjects covering rudiments, Euclidean geometry and the classics.
Doyle commented in his life that the academic system could only be excused "on the plea that any exercise, however stupid in itself, forms a sort of mental dumbbell by which one can improve one's mind." He found it harsh, citing that instead of compassion and warmth, it favoured the threat of corporal punishment and ritual humiliation. From 1875 to 1876, he was educated at the Jesuit school Stella Matutina in Austria, his family decided that he would spend a year there with the objective of perfecting his German and broadening his academic horizons. He rejected the Catholic faith and became an agnostic. A source attributed his drift away from religion to the time spent in the less strict Austrian school, he later became a spiritualist mystic. From 1876 to 1881, Doyle studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, including periods working in Aston and Ruyton-XI-Towns, Shropshire. During that time, he studied practical botany at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. While studying, Doyle began writing short stories.
His earliest extant fiction, "The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe", was unsuccessfully submitted to Blackwood's Magazine. His first published piece, "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley", a story set in South Africa, was printed in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal on 6 September 1879. On 20 September 1879, he published his first academic article, "Gelsemium as a Poison" in the British Medical Journal, a study which The Daily Telegraph regarded as useful in a 21st-century murder investigation. Doyle was the doctor on the Greenland whaler Hope of Peterhead in 1880. On July 11, 1880 John Gray's Hope and David Gray's Eclipse met up with the Leigh Smith. Photographer W. J. A. Grant took a photograph aboard the Eira of Doyle along with Smith, the Gray brothers, ships surgeon William Neale; this was the Smith exploration of Franz Josef Land that on August 18th resulted in the naming of Cape Flora, Bell Island, Nightingale Sound, Gratton Island, Mabel Island. As M. B. C. M. after his graduation from university in 1881, he was ship's surgeon on the SS Mayumba during a voyage to the West African coast.
He completed his Doctor of Medicine degree on the subject of tabes dorsalis in 1885. In 1882, Doyle joined former classmate George Turnavine Budd as his partner at a medical practice in Plymouth, but their relationship proved difficult, Doyle soon left to set up an independent practice. Arriving in Portsmouth in June 1882, with less than £10 to his name, he set up a medical practice at 1 Bush Villas in Elm Grove, Southsea; the practice was not successful. While waiting for patients, Doyle returned to writing fiction. Doyle was a staunch supporter of compulsory vaccination and wrote several articles advocating for the practice and denouncing the views of anti-vaccinators. In early 1891, Doyle attempted the study of ophthalmology in Vienna, he had studied at the Portsmouth Eye Hospital to qualify to perform eye tests and prescribe glasses. Vienna was suggested by his friend Vernon Morris as a place to spend six months and train to be an eye surgeon. Doyle found it too difficult to understand the German medica
Ivan Dmitrievich Sytin was the son of a Soligalich peasant who built the largest publishing house in pre-revolutionary Russia. Sytin went from his village to Moscow at the age of 13 and opened his own book shop in 1883, he made a fortune through printing millions of almanac-type calendars containing miscellaneous practical information. They were cheap and attractively illustrated; this venture was followed by the cheap editions of Pushkin's, Gogol's and Tolstoy's works. After their authors' rights expired, Sytin compressed their entire works into one volume that cost as little as 90 kopecks, he was the first publisher to reach the peasants all over Russia and to shape popular taste in the entire country. Maxim Gorky called Sytin the de facto "minister of people's education" whose calendars and leaflets "cut down at least by half the number of relapses into illiteracy". Leo Tolstoy proposed to edit "a cheap, simplified series that would reflect his moral teachings and not be copyrighted". Drawings for this Mediator project were contributed by Ilya Repin and Nikolai Ge, among other leading artists.
These books were sold by Sytin's peddlers to villagers for 1.5 kopecks per copy. Between 1887 and 1916 Sytin's printing house in Zamoskvorechye brought out more than 400 primers and text books, he expanded into the publication of popular encyclopaedias such as The Military Encyclopaedia in 18 volumes, The Encyclopaedia for Children in 10 volumes, the Napoleonic Wars encyclopaedia in 7 volumes. By the early 20th century, Sytin dominated the publishing industry in the Russian Empire, it was he. He commissioned numerous translations of adventure fiction by such authors as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. Russian Word, an obscure conservative newspaper, was transformed by Sytin into Russia's most popular daily. After the Russian Revolution, Sytin's printing house was nationalized but he decided against emigrating and died in obscurity in his small flat on Tverskaya Street at the age of 83; this apartment has been designated a national museum since 1989. In 1990 McGill-Queen's University Press published a study by Charles A. Ruud, Russian Entrepreneur: Publisher Ivan Sytin of Moscow, 1851-1934.
Works by or about Ivan Sytin at Internet Archive Sytin Museum in Moscow List of Sytin publications
Nicolas Camille Flammarion FRAS was a French astronomer and author. He was a prolific author of more than fifty titles, including popular science works about astronomy, several notable early science fiction novels, works on psychical research and related topics, he published the magazine L'Astronomie, starting in 1882. He maintained a private observatory at France. Camille Flammarion was born in Haute-Marne, France, he was the brother of founder of the Groupe Flammarion publishing house. He was a founder and the first president of the Société astronomique de France, which had its own independent journal, BSAF, first published in 1887. In January 1895, after 13 volumes of L'Astronomie and 8 of BSAF, the two merged, making L’Astronomie the Bulletin of the Societé; the 1895 volume of the combined journal was numbered 9, to preserve the BSAF volume numbering, but this had the consequence that volumes 9 to 13 of L'Astronomie can each refer to two different publications, five years apart from each other.
The "Flammarion engraving" first appeared in Flammarion's 1888 edition of L’Atmosphère. In 1907, he wrote that he believed that dwellers on Mars had tried to communicate with the Earth in the past, he believed in 1907 that a seven-tailed comet was heading toward Earth. In 1910, for the appearance of Halley's Comet, he believed the gas from the comet's tail "would impregnate atmosphere and snuff out all life on the planet."As a young man, Flammarion was exposed to two significant social movements in the western world: the thoughts and ideas of Darwin and Lamarck, the rising popularity of spiritism with spiritualist churches and organizations appearing all over Europe. He has been described as an "astronomer and storyteller", "obsessed by life after death, on other worlds, seemed to see no distinction between the two."He was influenced by Jean Reynaud and his Terre et ciel, which described a religious system based on the transmigration of souls believed to be reconcilable with both Christianity and pluralism.
He was convinced that souls after the physical death pass from planet to planet, progressively improving at each new incarnation. In 1862 he published his first book, The Plurality of Inhabited Worlds, was dismissed from his position at the Paris Observatory the same year, it is not quite clear. In Real and Imaginary Worlds and Lumen, he "describes a range of exotic species, including sentient plants which combine the processes of digestion and respiration; this belief in extraterrestrial life, Flammarion combined with a religious conviction derived, not from the Catholic faith upon which he had been raised, but from the writings of Jean Reynaud and their emphasis upon the transmigration of souls. Man he considered to be a “citizen of the sky,” others worlds “studios of human work, schools where the expanding soul progressively learns and develops, assimilating the knowledge to which its aspirations tend, approaching thus evermore the end of its destiny.”His psychical studies influenced some of his science fiction, where he would write about his beliefs in a cosmic version of metempsychosis.
In Lumen, a human character meets the soul of an alien, able to cross the universe faster than light, reincarnated on many different worlds, each with their own gallery of organisms and their evolutionary history. Other than that, his writing about other worlds adhered closely to current ideas in evolutionary theory and astronomy. Among other things, he believed that all planets went through more or less the same stages of development, but at different rates depending on their sizes; the fusion of science, science fiction and the spiritual influenced other readers as well. Flammarion's influence was great, not just on the popular thought of his day, but on writers with similar interests and convictions." In the English translation of Lumen, Brian Stapleford argues that both Olaf Stapledon and William Hope Hodgson have been influenced by Flammarion. Arthur Conan Doyle's The Poison Belt, published 1913 has a lot in common with Flammarion's worries that the tail of Halley's Comet would be poisonous for earth life.
Camille was a brother of Ernest Flammarion and Berthe Martin-Flammarion, uncle of a woman named Zelinda. His first wife was Sylvie Petiaux-Hugo Flammarion, his second wife was Gabrielle Renaudot Flammarion a noted astronomer. Beginning with Giovanni Schiaparelli's 1877 observations, 19th century astronomers observing Mars believed they saw a network of lines on its surface, which were named "canals" by Schiaparelli; these turned out to be an optical illusion due to the limited observing instruments of the time, as revealed by better telescopes in the 1920s. Camille, a contemporary of Schiaparelli, extensively researched the so-called "canals" during the 1880s and 1890s. Like American astronomer Percival Lowell, he thought the "canals" were artificial in nature and most the "rectification of old rivers aimed at the general distribution of water to the surface of the continents." He assumed the planet was in an advanced stage of its habitability, the canals were the product of an intelligent species attempting to survive on a dying world.
Flammarion approached spiritism, psychical research and reincarnation from the viewpoint of the scient
Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography is defined in terms of two branches: human geography and physical geography. Human geography deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Physical geography deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere; the four historical traditions in geographical research are: spatial analyses of natural and the human phenomena, area studies of places and regions, studies of human-land relationships, the Earth sciences. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical sciences".
Geography is a systematic study of its features. Traditionally, geography has been associated with place names. Although many geographers are trained in toponymy and cartology, this is not their main preoccupation. Geographers study the space and the temporal database distribution of phenomena and features as well as the interaction of humans and their environment; because space and place affect a variety of topics, such as economics, climate and animals, geography is interdisciplinary. The interdisciplinary nature of the geographical approach depends on an attentiveness to the relationship between physical and human phenomena and its spatial patterns. Names of places...are not geography...know by heart a whole gazetteer full of them would not, in itself, constitute anyone a geographer. Geography has higher aims than this: it seeks to classify phenomena, to compare, to generalize, to ascend from effects to causes, and, in doing so, to trace out the laws of nature and to mark their influences upon man.
This is ` a description of the world' --. In a word Geography is a Science—a thing not of mere names but of argument and reason, of cause and effect. Just as all phenomena exist in time and thus have a history, they exist in space and have a geography. Geography as a discipline can be split broadly into two main subsidiary fields: human geography and physical geography; the former focuses on the built environment and how humans create, view and influence space. The latter examines the natural environment, how organisms, soil and landforms produce and interact; the difference between these approaches led to a third field, environmental geography, which combines physical and human geography and concerns the interactions between the environment and humans. Physical geography focuses on geography as an Earth science, it aims to understand the physical problems and the issues of lithosphere, atmosphere and global flora and fauna patterns. Physical geography can be divided into many broad categories, including: Human geography is a branch of geography that focuses on the study of patterns and processes that shape the human society.
It encompasses the human, cultural and economic aspects. Human geography can be divided into many broad categories, such as: Various approaches to the study of human geography have arisen through time and include: Behavioral geography Feminist geography Culture theory Geosophy Environmental geography is concerned with the description of the spatial interactions between humans and the natural world, it requires an understanding of the traditional aspects of physical and human geography, as well as the ways that human societies conceptualize the environment. Environmental geography has emerged as a bridge between the human and the physical geography, as a result of the increasing specialisation of the two sub-fields. Furthermore, as human relationship with the environment has changed as a result of globalization and technological change, a new approach was needed to understand the changing and dynamic relationship. Examples of areas of research in the environmental geography include: emergency management, environmental management and political ecology.
Geomatics is concerned with the application of computers to the traditional spatial techniques used in cartography and topography. Geomatics emerged from the quantitative revolution in geography in the mid-1950s. Today, geomatics methods include spatial analysis, geographic information systems, remote sensing, global positioning systems. Geomatics has led to a revitalization of some geography departments in Northern America where the subject had a declining status during the 1950s. Regional geography is concerned with the description of the unique characteristics of a particular region such as its natural or human elements; the main aim is to understand, or define the uniqueness, or character of a particular region that consists of natural as well as human elements. Attention is paid to regionalization, which covers the proper techniques of space delimitation into regions. Urban planning, regional planning, spatial planning: Use the science of geography to assist in determining how to develop the land to meet particular criteria, such as safety, economic opportunities, the preservation of the built or natural heritage, so on.
The planning of towns, c
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo