Todmorden is a market town and civil parish in the Upper Calder Valley in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England. It is 17 miles north east of Manchester and in 2011 had a population of 15,481. Todmorden is at the confluence of three steep-sided Pennine valleys and is surrounded by moorlands with outcrops of sandblasted gritstone; the historic boundary between Yorkshire and Lancashire is the River Calder and its tributary, the Walsden Water, which run through the town. The administrative border was altered by the Local Government Act 1888 placing the whole of the town within the West Riding; the town is served by Walsden railway stations. The name Todmorden first appears in 1641; the town had earlier been called Tottemerden, Totmereden or Totmerden. The accepted meaning of the name is Totta's boundary-valley a reference to the valley running north-west from the town. Alternative suggestions have been proposed, such as the speculation "maybe fancifully" that the name derives from two words for death: tod and mor, meaning "death-death-wood", or that the name meant "marshy home of the fox", from the Old English.'Tod' is an informal, shorthand name for Todmorden used in everyday conversation.
In 1898 Blackheath Barrow—a ring cairn monument situated above Cross Stone in Todmorden—was excavated and proved to be a site of "surpassing archaeological interest", according to J. Lawton Russell, one of the men who carried out the excavation. Various Bronze Age items were discovered, including sepulchral urns, a human skull and hands. Russell contended that Blackheath Barrow was a religious site intended for the "performance of funeral rites", as there was no evidence that it had been settled for domestic use. Of particular interest were the four cairns, positioned at the cardinal points of the compass, it has been suggested that this indicates "a ritual evocation of the airts, or spirits of the four directions, with obvious correlates in relation to spirits in the land of the dead"; the various finds from the 1898 dig are now housed on permanent display. The earliest written record of the area is in the Domesday Book. Settlement in medieval Todmorden was dispersed. Most people living in scattered farms or in isolated hilltop agricultural settlements.
Packhorse trails were marked by ancient stones. For hundreds of years streams from the surrounding hills provided water for corn and fulling mills. Todmorden grew to relative prosperity by combining farming with the production of woollen textiles; some yeomen clothiers were able to build fine houses. Though, the area's industry turned to cotton; the proximity of Manchester, as a source of material and trade, was undoubtedly a strong factor. Another was that the strong Pennine streams and rivers were able to power the machine looms. Improvements in textile machinery, along with the development of turnpike roads, helped to develop the new cotton industry and to increase the local population. In 1801 most people still lived in the uplands. During the years 1800–1845 great changes took place in the communications and transport of the town which were to have a crucial effect on promoting industrial growth; these included the building of: better roads. This railway line incorporated the longest tunnel in the 2,885-yard Summit Tunnel.
A second railway, from Todmorden to Burnley, opened as a single line in 1849, being doubled to meet demand in 1860. A short connecting line, from Stansfield Hall to Hall Royd, completed the "Todmorden Triangle" in 1862, thus enabling trains to travel in all three directions without reversing; the Industrial Revolution caused a concentration of industry and settlement along the valley floor and a switch from woollens to cotton. One family in the area was influential on the town, they created a "dynasty" that changed the town forever by establishing several large mills, putting up assorted impressive buildings and bringing about social and educational change. A double murder took place at Christ Church, Todmorden on 2 March 1868; the victims' graves lie in the churchyard. Miles Weatherhill, a 23-year-old weaver from the town, was forbidden from seeing his housemaid sweetheart, Sarah Bell, by the Reverend Anthony John Plow. Armed with four pistols and an axe, Weatherhill took revenge first on the vicar and on Jane Smith, another maid who had informed Plow of the secret meetings.
Miss Smith died at the scene, while the vicar survived another week before succumbing to his injuries. Weatherhill seriously injured the vicar's wife. On 4 April 1868 Weatherhill became the last person to be publicly hanged in Manchester, at the New Bailey prison. Local legend has it that the face of a young woman is sometimes seen in the window of the vicarage, now in private ownership. Throughout the first decade of the 20th century, the population of the Borough of Todmorden remained constant; the ten-yearly UK census returns show figures of 25,418 in 1901 and 25,404 in 1911. Like the rest of the Upper Calder Valley, Todmorden's economy experienced a slow decline from around the end of the First World War onwards, accelerating after the Second World War until around the late 1970s. During this period there was a painful restructuring of the local economy with the closure of mills and the demise of heavy industry. On 1 January 1907, Todmorden Corporation b
Leeds railway station
Leeds railway station is the mainline railway station serving the city centre of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. It is the third-busiest railway station in the UK outside London, it is located on New Station Street to the south of City Square, at the bottom of Park Row, behind the landmark Queens Hotel. It is one of 20 stations managed by Network Rail. Leeds is an important hub on the British rail network; the station is the terminus of the Leeds branch of the East Coast Main Line and is an important stop on the Cross Country Route between Scotland, the Midlands and South West England connecting to major cities such as Birmingham, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Bristol, Exeter and Penzance. There are regular inter-city services to major destinations throughout Northern England including Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield, it is the terminus for trains running on the scenic Settle to Carlisle Line. Future expansion will link the station to the proposed High Speed 2 network. Leeds is a major hub for local and regional destinations across Yorkshire such as to York, Hull and Sheffield.
The station lies at the heart of the Metro commuter network for West Yorkshire providing services to Bradford, Dewsbury and Halifax. With over 31 million passenger entries and exits between April 2017 and March 2018, Leeds is the busiest railway station in the North of England and the third-busiest railway station in the United Kingdom outside London, after Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Central; the railway station is situated on a hill falling from the south of the city to the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal basin. Much of it is supported on Victorian brick-vaulted arches situated just off Neville Street which contain a centre consisting of cafés, restaurants and exhibition spaces called Granary Wharf, known locally as the Dark Arches; the railway station has 17 platforms, making it the largest by number of platforms in England outside London. There are six through platforms. Most platforms are subdivided into i.e. 1a, 1b, 1c etc.. All together including the numbers, there are 47 platforms.
Retail facilities in the station include coffee shops, fast food outlets, a bar, newsagents and supermarkets. A British Transport Police station on New Station Street houses officers who police the West Yorkshire railway stations. Leeds railway station retained manned ticket barriers through the 1990s until 2008 when they were replaced by automatic barriers by Northern to reduce congestion around the barriers at peak times. PlatformsPlatform usage varies depending on operational circumstances but is generally: 1–5 – Bay platforms used by MetroTrain services operated by Northern, towards Harrogate, Bradford Forster Square and Skipton. 6, 8 – 6 is a Bay Platform used for terminating London North Eastern Railway services from London, 8 is a through platform used for London North Eastern Railway services which both terminate and continue onward to Bradford and Skipton, as well as the early morning LNER departure to Aberdeen. 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16 – through platforms. CrossCountry services heading north to York and beyond depart from Platforms 8, 9 or 11.
Platforms 15 and 16 are used by north/east and south/westbound TransPennine Express services to Hull, York and Middlesbrough and Huddersfield, Manchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street. 7, 14 – Bay platforms used for local Northern services running north/east from Leeds. 10, 13, 17 – Bay platforms used for local and regional services running south/west to Manchester Victoria and Huddersfield, alongside southbound services towards Wakefield, Meadowhall and Nottingham. Leeds Interchange, located at the New Station Street exit, provides onward transport connections from the station. There are five bus stands serving Arriva and Yorkshire Tiger routes 4, 5, 16, 16A, 19, 19A, 40, 85, 87, 90, 757, 870 and DalesBus services. A 24-hour taxi rank operates at the interchange. Further bus stops are located on Neville Street below the railway station, as well as around City Square outside the railway station. Infirmary Street and Boar Lane Bus Points are a short walk for more bus connections. Leeds Interchange hosts one of the UK's first cycle hubs that allows a number of cycling services including repair and rental.
The facility opened in summer 2010 and is designed to encourage visitors and commuters into Leeds to continue their journey from the railway station by bike. Its design is based on the Dutch cyclepoint concept; the railways arrived in Leeds in 1834. It had a terminus at Marsh Lane east of the city centre. In 1840, the North Midland Railway constructed its line from Derby via Rotherham to a terminus at Hunslet Lane to the south, it was extended to a more centrally located terminus at Wellington Street in 1846, known as Wellington Station. Another railway station, Leeds Central, was opened in 1854 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway and the London and North Western Railway, or LNWR; the railway station became owned jointly by the LNWR and the North Eastern Railway, but other companies had powers to run trains there, including the Great Northern Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. In 1869 New Station opened as a joint enterprise by the North Eastern Railway, it connected the former Leeds and Selby Railway Line to the
The Pennines known as the Pennine Chain or Pennine Hills, are a range of mountains and hills in England separating North West England from Yorkshire and North East England. Described as the "backbone of England", the Pennine Hills form a more-or-less continuous range stretching northwards from the Peak District in the northern Midlands, through the South Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines up to the Tyne Gap, which separates the range from the Cheviot Hills; some definitions of the Pennines include the Cheviot Hills while excluding the southern Peak District. South of the Aire Gap is a western spur into east Lancashire, comprising the Rossendale Fells, West Pennine Moors and the Bowland Fells in North Lancashire; the Howgill Fells and Orton Fells in Cumbria are sometimes considered to be Pennine spurs to the west of the range. The Pennines are an important water catchment area with numerous reservoirs in the head streams of the river valleys; the region is considered to be one of the most scenic areas of the United Kingdom.
The North Pennines and Nidderdale are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty within the range, as are Bowland and Pendle Hill. Parts of the Pennines are incorporated into the Peak District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Britain's oldest long-distance footpath, the Pennine Way, runs along most of the Pennine Chain and is 268 miles long. Various etymologies have been proposed treating "Pennine" as though it were a native Brittonic/Modern Welsh name related to pen-. In fact, it did not become a common name until the 18th century and certainly derives from modern comparisons with the Apennine Mountains, which run down the middle of Italy in a similar fashion. Following an 1853 article by Arthur Hussey, it has become a common belief that the name derives from a passage in The Description of Britain, an infamous historical forgery concocted by Charles Bertram in the 1740s and accepted as genuine until the 1840s. In 2004, George Redmonds reassessed this, finding that numerous respected writers passed over the origin of the mountains' name in silence in works dedicated to the topological etymology of Derbyshire and Lancashire.
He found that the derivation from Bertram was believed and considered uncomfortable. In fact, he found repeated comparisons going back at least as early as Camden, many of whose placenames and ideas Bertram incorporated into his work. Bertram was responsible with popularizing the name against other contenders such as Daniel Defoe's "English Andes", his own form of the name was the "Pennine Alps", which today is used for a western section of the continental Alps. Those mountains derive their name from the Latin Alpes Pœninæ whose name has been variously derived from the Carthaginians, a local god, Celtic peninus; the St. Bernard Pass was the pass used in the invasions of Italy by the Gallic Boii and Lingones in 390 BC; the etymology of the Apennines themselves—whose name first referred to their northern extremity and later spread southward—is disputed but is taken to derive from some form of Celtic pen or ben. Various towns and geographical features within the Pennines retain Celtic names, including Penrith, the fell Pen-y-ghent, the River Eden, the area of Cumbria.
More local names result from Anglo-Saxon and Norse settlements. In Yorkshire and Cumbria, many words of Norse origin, not used in standard English, are part of everyday speech: for example, gill/ghyll, beck and dale; the northern Pennine range is bordered by the foothills of the Lake District, uplands of the Howgill Fells, Orton Fells and Cheviot Hills. The West Pennine Moors, Rossendale Valley and Forest of Bowland are western spurs of the range, the former two of which are included as part of the South Pennines; the Howgill Fells and Orton Fells are sometimes considered to be part of the Pennines, with both of them lying inside the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Pennines are fringed by extensive lowlands including the Eden Valley, West Lancashire Coastal Plain, Cheshire Plain, Vale of York, the Midland Plains. Most of the Pennine landscape is characterised by upland areas of high moorland indented by more fertile river valleys, although the landscape varies in different areas; the Peak District consists of hilly plateaus and valleys, divided into the Dark Peak with moorlands and gritstone edges, the White Peak with limestone gorges.
The South Pennines is an area of hilly landscape and moorlands with narrow valleys between the Peak District, Forest of Bowland and Yorkshire Dales. Bowland is dominated by a central upland landform of incised gritstone fells covered with tracts of heather-covered peat moorland, blanket bog and steep-sided wooded valleys linking the upland and lowland landscapes; the landscape is more mountainous in the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines. The Yorkshire Dales are characterised by moorlands, hills and mountains while the North Pennines consist of high upland plateaus, fells and valleys with most of the area containing flat topped hills while the higher peaks are in the western half. Although the Pennines cover the area between the Tyne Gap and the Peak District, the presence of the Pennine Way affects the northern and southern extents of the defined area; the Cheviot Hills, separated by the Tyne Gap and the Whin Sill, along which run the A69 and Hadrian's Wall, are not part of the Pennines but because the Pennine Way crosses them, they are treated as such.
As a result, the northern end of the Pennines may be considered to be either at the
The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against Britain in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and is the German word for'lightning'; the Germans conducted mass air attacks against industrial targets and cities, beginning with raids on London towards the end of the Battle of Britain in 1940, a battle for daylight air superiority between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force over the United Kingdom. By September 1940, the Luftwaffe had failed and the German air fleets were ordered to attack London, to draw RAF Fighter Command into a battle of annihilation. Adolf Hitler and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, ordered the new policy on 6 September 1940. From 7 September 1940, London was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe for 56 out of the following 57 days and nights. Most notable was a large daylight attack against London on 15 September; the Luftwaffe decreased daylight operations in favour of night attacks to evade attack by the RAF, the Blitz became a night bombing campaign after October 1940.
The Luftwaffe attacked the main Atlantic sea port of Liverpool in the Liverpool Blitz and the North Sea port of Hull, a convenient and found target or secondary target for bombers unable to locate their primary targets, suffered the Hull Blitz. Bristol, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Swansea were bombed, as were the industrial cities of Birmingham, Coventry, Glasgow and Sheffield. More than 40,000 civilians were killed by Luftwaffe bombing during the war half of them in the capital, where more than a million houses were destroyed or damaged. In early July 1941, the German High Command began planning Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. Bombing failed to do much damage to the war economy; the greatest effect was to force the British to disperse the production of aircraft and spare parts. British wartime studies concluded that cities took 10 to 15 days to recover when hit but exceptions like Birmingham took three months; the German air offensive failed because the Luftwaffe High Command did not develop a methodical strategy for destroying British war industry.
Poor intelligence about British industry and economic efficiency led to OKL concentrating on tactics rather than strategy. The bombing effort was diluted by attacks against several sets of industries instead of constant pressure on the most vital. In the 1920s and 1930s, airpower theorists such as Giulio Douhet and Billy Mitchell claimed that air forces could win wars, obviating the need for land and sea fighting, it was thought that bombers would always get through and could not be resisted at night. Industry, seats of government and communications could be destroyed, depriving an opponent of the means to make war. Bombing civilians would cause a collapse of morale and a loss of production in the remaining factories. Democracies, where public opinion was allowed, were thought vulnerable; the RAF and the United States Army Air Corps adopted much of this apocalyptic thinking. The policy of RAF Bomber Command became an attempt to achieve victory through the destruction of civilian will and industry.
The Luftwaffe took a cautious view of strategic bombing and OKL did not oppose the strategic bombardment of industries or cities. It believed it could affect the balance of power on the battlefield by disrupting production and damaging civilian morale. OKL did not believe air power alone could be decisive and the Luftwaffe did not have a policy of systematic "terror bombing"; the vital industries and transport centres that would be targeted for shutdown were valid military targets. It could be claimed civilians were not to be targeted directly, but the breakdown of production would affect their morale and will to fight. German legal scholars of the 1930s worked out guidelines for what type of bombing was permissible under international law. While direct attacks against civilians were ruled out as "terror bombing", the concept of attacking vital war industries—and probable heavy civilian casualties and breakdown of civilian morale—was ruled as acceptable. From the beginning of the National Socialist regime until 1939, there was a debate in German military journals over the role of strategic bombardment, with some contributors arguing along the lines of the British and Americans.
General Walter Wever championed strategic bombing and the building of suitable aircraft, although he emphasised the importance of aviation in operational and tactical terms. Wever outlined five points of air strategy: To destroy the enemy air force by bombing its bases and aircraft factories and defeat enemy air forces attacking German targets. To prevent the movement of large enemy ground forces to the decisive areas, by destroying railways and roads bridges and tunnels, which are indispensable for the movement and supply of forces To support the operations of the army formations, independent of railways, i.e. armoured forces and motorised forces, by impeding the enemy advance and participating directly in ground operations. To support naval operations by attacking naval bases, protecting German naval bases and participating directly in naval battles To paralyse the enemy armed forces by stopping production in armaments factories. Wever argued that OKL should not be educated in tactical and operational matters but in gra
Calder Valley line
The Calder Valley line is a railway route in Northern England between the cities of Leeds and Manchester as well as the seaside resort of Blackpool. It is the slower of the two main rail routes between Leeds and Manchester, the northernmost of the three main trans-Pennine routes. Passenger train services are operated by Northern and run on the following pattern: York–Leeds–Halifax–Huddersfield Leeds–Halifax–Manchester Victoria Selby–Dewsbury–Manchester Victoria Leeds–Halifax–Preston Blackburn–Burnley–Todmorden–Manchester Victoria This line, along with the Huddersfield line and York and Selby lines, is merged in national timetables to show a coast-to-coast service. Services within West Yorkshire are sponsored by West Yorkshire Metro, whose tickets can be used up to Hebden Bridge between Leeds and Blackpool, Walsden between Leeds and Manchester. Before the 1923 Grouping the first section of the line was owned by the Great Northern Railway. For the section between Halifax and Burnley the line uses the valley of the River Calder, which in fact comprises two separate valleys with rivers of the same name, that of West Yorkshire and the Lancashire River Calder thus giving the services their name.
Since the route crosses the Pennines, there are many tunnels to negotiate en route. The British Railways Board's Corporate Plan for 1983–1988 marked the routes between Milner Royd Junction and Bowling Junction. A combination of factors meant this was never implemented: the better gradients for freight than the Huddersfield trans-Pennine route. Today, Hebden Bridge and Leeds are the only stations where every service calls, the route description follows. For the initial section of the route between Leeds and Bradford, see Leeds–Bradford lines. Many stations on this route have been closed. Stations open are in bold. Original places served, notes on the route: Bowling was named Bowling Junction for its link with the GNR at this point here is Bowling Tunnel 1648 yd Low Moor a junction with GNR. Closed in 1965 and reopened in April 2017. Here was a triangular junction for the L&YR line to Dewsbury here are two tunnels: New Furnace Tunnel and Wyke Tunnel Wyke and Norwood Green here is Pickle Bridge junction for the Pickle Bridge Line to Huddersfield: now closed, there were two stations, Bailiff Bridge and Clifton Road Lightcliffe here is Lightcliffe Tunnel Hipperholme here is Beacon Hill Tunnel 1105 yd HalifaxOn 24 October 1901 as the 6.10 pm down goods train from Low Moor to Leeds to was passing through Bowling Tunnel, the rear section broke loose.
It came to a stop in the tunnel and was run into from behind by the 9.05 pm goods train from Low Moor to Laisterdyke. Wreckage blocking the up line was hit by the 9 pm passenger train from Leeds to Manchester. No one was killed but there was extensive damage to rolling stock; this route was re-opened to passengers in 2000 when Brighouse station was re-opened, two short lengths of line were relaid to enable trains to reach Huddersfield. At Dryclough Junction the Huddersfield route leaves the main line. Greetland station closed in 1962. Elland station is under consideration for reopening. Brighouse Bradley station closed in 1950, Deighton is only used by trains on the Huddersfield line. Huddersfield Many stations on this route have been closed: original stations served: here was the triangular junction for the line via Mirfield to Dewsbury. Here is Bank House Tunnel here was Copley station the line now turns west into the Calder valley, joining the original 1840 main line at Milner Royd Junction.
Sowerby Bridge at Sowerby Bridge heading west the line used to branch off to Ripponden. It was intended to continue to Littleborough but ended at Rishworth. Closed to passengers 8 July 1929. Here was Luddendenfoot railway station now closed Mytholmroyd here is Mytholmroyd Railway Viaduct Hebden Bridge here is Weasel Hall Tunnel here was Eastwood station here are: Castle Hill Tunnel. Here the line crosses into the Rochdale District of Greater Manchester Littleborough Smithy Bridge Rochdale: junction for two lines: to Bacup and to Oldham Castleton: junction for a line to Bury Middleton Junction junction for two lines: Middleton branch.
Littleborough railway station
Littleborough railway station serves the small town of Littleborough in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the Caldervale Line 13¾ miles north of Manchester Victoria towards Halifax, Bradford Interchange and Leeds; this is the last station on the Caldervale Line in the Greater Manchester area. It was one of the original Manchester and Leeds Railway station sites and for the first year of operation following its opening in July 1839, it was the temporary terminus of the line from Manchester, it did so again for some eight months after the December 1984 Summit Tunnel fire - passengers transferring between the trains to/from Manchester and a rail-replacement bus service onwards to Todmorden until repairs to the tunnel could be completed and the line reopened. The station's two platforms are staggered, with the Manchester-bound one the more southerly. Both have step-free access for disabled travellers; the station is staffed on a part-time basis, with the ticket office & waiting room on platform 2 open at these times.
There are shelters on both platforms & ticket vending machines available, so travellers can purchase tickets when the booking office is closed. Monday to Saturday daytimes, there is a half-hourly service from Littleborough to Manchester Victoria westbound and to Todmorden eastbound, with trains running alternately to Leeds via Dewsbury and to Blackburn via Burnley Manchester Road. Westbound trains continue beyond Manchester to Southport via Atherton and Wigan Wallgate since the May 2018 timetable change. In the early morning, evening and on Sundays, trains to Leeds operate via Halifax rather than Dewsbury. Train times and station information for Littleborough railway station from National Rail
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