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World War II

Word War II was the most savage and devastating war in the history of mankind that took that claimed more than 50 million lives,
displaced tens of millions of people, and left many people disabled. If you are interested in learning the facts and
history of World War II, we offer you all the offbeat and lesser-known aspects of military history.

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Facts on World War I worth Noting

World War I

Most individuals are quite knowledgeable about many of the critical details of World War I, including famous battles like the Somme and Passchendaele. However, some are so oddball that they have yet to make it into the textbooks. So here are the top 10 poorly known facts about World War I that could surprise you in honor of the centennial of the Great War.

An explosion was heard in London:

During the war, miners worked covertly to excavate tunnels beneath the trenches to install and explode mines there. The detonations were so loud that the prime minister, who was 140 miles distant from London, could hear them. They significantly damaged most of the German front line.

the war

Tanks were made by the British:

Top-secret work was involved! It was kept a secret from everyone, including the factory employees who put the cars together. They were informed that they were building portable water tanks for desert combat. To throw the adversary off, the name “landships” for tanks was changed to “tanks.”

The majority of people suffering from facial injuries:

Artists constructed copper masks to conceal the wounds because plastic surgery was poor at the time. Each soldier’s cover was painted to match their skin tone and was secured with spectacles. Some even had metal eyelashes that were curled.

Dogs were used as messengers:

Dogs were employed as messengers during World War I, carrying orders in capsules fastened to their bodies to the front lines. Additionally, telegraph cables were laid down by dogs.

In trenches, soldiers were housed:

In trenches, soldiers were housed. They had to dig these canals out of the dirt. The living conditions were appalling, and many soldiers were ill. Nevertheless, they resided here and made their attempts to overpower the enemy. There were trenches for the opponents as well. No Man’s Land was the name given to the area between the two.

Women’s skin became yellow:

Then, as more and more men enlisted in the military, women had to fill their positions. As a result, women were suddenly working in places like factories, offices, and buses—jobs taboo during quiet times. Moreover, because their skin would often become yellow when exposed to hazardous chemicals, the women who worked at weapons plants were given the moniker “canaries”!

the military

11th November:

Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 every year. At this time, everybody dons a red poppy. On this day, we honor all members of the military services who fought and perished in the conflict.

Apart from all these, initiating the earliest attempts at facial restoration, Harold Gillies founded the profession of plastic surgery after witnessing soldiers’ faces damaged by shrapnel, many of which were still hidden by masks. Blood transfusions for saving soldiers became commonplace, with the first blood bank opening on the front lines in 1917.

A Complete Walkthrough on U.S. Armed Forces

U.S. Armed Forces

The United States Armed Forces are also called the nation’s military forces, which help in wars. They mainly comprise the following six services – Air Force, Navy, Space Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The President heads all the forces and is the commander-in-chief for these bodies, which are governed by the Homeland Security Department and the Department of Defense policies.

All six bodies of the armed forces have shown revolutionary work since the American Revolutionary War, marking a successful history of the United States. The troops not only employed a significant role in the American Civil War but equally contributed to the Barbary Wars in preserving the union.

In terms of personnel, they are considered one of the most significant military forces, gathered from a pool of professional volunteers. Due to their large budget of $693 million, they offer services in other defense and power projection, which is one of the primary reasons for their advancement and deployment of forces, even outside the United States.

U.S. Armed Forces

Service branches of the U.S. Armed Forces

As mentioned earlier, the armed forces are divided into six coequal military service branches, five of which fall under the organizational structure of the Department of Defense military.

The Army

It is a land-service part of the U.S. Armed forces, founded on June 14, 1775. Their duties include:

  • Prompt and sustained land combats and wars
  • The combined operation of the arms
  • Special functions in times of need
  • Sustain theater for the joint forces
  • Integrate the collective, national, and multinational power on the land

Marine Corps

It is a maritime-service branch of the armed forces, which was disbanded and reestablished on July 11, 1798. The body works closely with its sister service- the Navy, and is responsible for expeditionary warfare and amphibious warfare operations. The body is divided into the fleet marine force and the supporting establishment.

The Navy

The Navy is a part of the U.S. armed forces, which is responsible for conducting all maritime operations after diving them into specific groups:

  • Power projection
  • Controlling conditions in the sea
  • Deterrence
  • Maritime security
  • Sealift

The Air Force

The U.S. Air Force is the only body that controls all the national air security activities, which started on August 1, 1907. The body performs various duties, some of which include:

  • Global air strikes
  • Global intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance
  • Air superiority
  • Global mobility
  • Air command and control

The Space Force

The Space Force

This armed forces branch is responsible for consulting all the security activities in space and was established on July 1, 1954. The primary duties of this body include:

  • Combat power projection
  • Space security
  • Information mobility
  • Space mobility and logistics
  • Awareness of the space domain

The Coastal Guard

This body of the armed forces falls under maritime security for search and rescue missions. The main functions include:

  • Waterway and port security
  • Living marine resource protection
  • Marine environment protection
  • Drug interdiction and aids for navigation

A Brief Overview of United States Air Force

Air Force

The air force is a branch of the armed forces of the United States. It was first started in 1907 as a part of the US Army Signal Corps. It is also considered the second youngest branch of the US armed forces.

The United States Air Force is associated with military service and is organized by the Department of Air force, one of the three defense departments. The head of this group is the Secretary of the Air Force, who the President generally appoints from the confirmation of the Senate.

According to the reports from 2017, the US air force operates over 5,300 military aircraft with the world’s largest budget of $56.3 billion and is also the second largest of the armed forces.

The Chief of Staff of the Air force is the highest ranking in this branch, and supervises the overall units and maintains the decorum of the entire department. In addition, the air force pilots/staff are assigned to unified combatant commands. These commanders have delegated forces that help in times of war or crisis.

The members of the US Air force conduct independent operations and provide military support for all the naval and land forces. They also offer recovery and rescue of troops in a field.

US Air Force

Missions of the US Air Force

The USAF’s purpose and missions are defined under Section 9062 of the Title 10 US Code. They are as follows:

  • To support all the national policies
  • To implement all the national objectives
  • To overcome all nations which act aggressively and imperil the security and peace of the United States.
  • To maintain security and stability in the nation
  • To provide defense against enemies whenever necessary

The group’s core missions are mentioned separately, which determines their importance among the abovementioned missions. Some of the core missions of this group include:

  • Integrated global intelligence: it is the integration of planning and plotting for the success of an operation, its processing, integration, and dissemination across global operations.
  • Air supremacy is the degree of dominance of the US air force over the others. It also includes maintaining air supremacy even in missions, including the land or sea.
  • Reconnaissance and air surveillance
  • Increasing rapid global mobility in the nation: Rapid mobility is mainly related to the deployment, redeployment, sustainment, augmentation, employment, and other capabilities of the forces across the ROMO.
  • Performing global strikes: It is mainly the ability to strike rapidly with a wide range of munitions, which creates effect across multiple domains and affects the enemies
  • Command and control: Command and control is the ability to exercise authority for the commander in charge of the accomplishment of a mission and take the necessary steps to guide the members of the troops.

 

The Most Important Battles of World War II

World War II

The Second World War is undoubtedly one of the deadliest events that mankind has ever witnessed. It was one of the most significant conflicts in history; it is almost impossible to grasp the level of destruction and damage it has inflicted upon humanity. In many ways, WW II was the first modern War and claimed over 60 million lives. World War II began in 1939 with the invasion of Nazi Germany of Poland. The invasion pitted major power countries against each other – Britain, the United States, Russia, and France against Italy, Germany, and Japan. The War lasted six long years and resulted in the fall of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan. Here are some of the most critical battles of World War II:

Battle of Midway, 1942:

Battle of Midway was a destructive naval battle in the Pacific Ocean fought entirely with aircraft. The battle lasted from 4th June 1942 to 7th June 1942, just six months after Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The United States destroyed Japan’s carrier strength and trained naval pilots during the bloody battle. The battle had a devastating effect on the Japanese fleet, from which Imperial Japan never fully recovered. The credit for the success of the fight goes to the American Cryptographers, who were quick to decipher the date and location of the planned attack, thus enabling the U.S Navy to prepare for a counter-ambush.

Battle of Moscow, 1942:

Battle of Moscow, 1942:

The battle of Moscow was fought between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the three-month period from 30th September 1941, to 7th January 1942. Moscow, the capital and the largest city of the Soviet Union, was one of the primary locations of military importance during World War II. As such, Adolf Hitler wanted to capture Moscow or, rather, be razed to the ground. Nazi Germany’s initial rapid advances were met with fierce Soviet resistance and harsh winter weather. The War ended all intentions of Nazi Germany to capture Moscow and officially marked the doom of the Third Reich.

Battle of Stalingrad, 1943:

The battle of Stalingrad was one of the major battles on the Eastern front during World War II, where Nazi Germany fought against the Soviet Union for the city of Stalingrad (now known as Volgograd). The city of Stalingrad was of immense military importance, which is precisely why Nazi Germany wanted to capture it. The city produced armaments and tractors and was a critical linking point with the southern part of the Soviet Union. The ferocious battle lasted six months and started on 23rd August 1942 to 2nd February 1943. With over 2 million causalities, the battle of Stalingrad is the deadliest battle of World War II. The battle successfully stopped the German advance into the Soviet Union and turned the War in favor of the Allies.

Major Causes of World War II

World War II

World War I was considered a war to end all wars, and when it officially ended in 1919, everyone thought the long era of conflicts and unrest had ended. But 20 years later, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, the hope for a world without wars ended. Instead, it resulted in another war that bared more consequences than the First World War.

Like all other wars in the history of humanity, World War II also broke out due to various factors. You can look into this guide to understand the factors that ultimately led to World War II.

The treaty of Versailles

With the signing of the treaty of Versailles in 1919, World War I officially ended. But this harsh peace treaty imposed on the defeated became the main reason that triggered the Second World War. The devastating effects of World War I left the victorious countries desperate to stop the repetition of the situation in the future. As a result, to protect themselves from the future attacks of Germans, they demanded reparations and demilitarization of the Rhineland region.

But the most humiliating part of the treaty was the ‘War Guilt Clause’ or Article 231, which put all the blame for the First World War on Germany. This made the German People outrageous. Instead of working on building a treaty that would ensure peace, the victors humiliated the defeated. The Weimer Government that came to power in Germany didn’t have any other option than to agree with all these humiliations.

The latter began to print German currency in huge amounts to repay the massive reparations that France imposed on Germany. Naturally, this resulted in inflammation and the collapse of the economy. Fed up by this unfair treatment and inefficiency of their government, German people were willing to support anyone who could help them stand on their feet. And at this time, Hitler and his Nazi Germany emerged as their savior.

Economic Hardships

Economic Hardships

The harsh peace treaty imposed on Germany brought hardship to the German people. The great depression 1920s worsened as the cost of essential items like bread became expensive that ordinary people couldn’t afford it. The situation got fueled by the already fragile Weimer government.

Although the government was experiencing recovery, the government became very weak with the global crash that happened in 1929. Further, conditions like widespread unemployment, as a result of the great depression, created unrest.

Rise of Nazism

Hitler and his Nazi government cleverly exploited the sense of injustice that prevailed in the mind of people after the enactment of the treaty of Versailles. They created a renewed sense of nationalism in the minds of the German people, and Hitler promised to undo all the injustices of the treaty.

Further, they introduced ‘us versus them, where ‘us’ referred to the Aryan race and ‘them’ referred to Jews, Gypsies, and other people who do not fit into of superior Aryan race. German blamed Jews for their failure in World War I and helped them with the cause of the economic hardships. By 1925, Hitler published Main Kampf, where he clearly stated his motif of uniting Germany across Europe and securing beyond this new Reich.

Even though various factors resulted in World War II, these three factors can be considered the major triggers.

Difference Between Allied and Axis Powers

Allied and Axis Powers

World War II was one of the biggest and deadliest events in the history of mankind. The conflict lasted for almost six years and started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and ended when Imperial Japan surrendered and became the last power to fall. The bloody war resulted in the death of 85 million people, an estimated 3% of the total population at the time. The terms Allied and Axis Powers originated during World War II. Several countries were involved in the conflict, which resulted in a global war against two different military alliances with the same interests. Germany, Japan, and Italy were the Axis Powers, while Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union served as the Allied Powers. The aftermath of World War II ended up in establishing the Soviet Union and the United States as the two major superpowers in the World. China was engaged in a bloody war with Japan at the time of World War II; therefore, also considered an Allied Power by some.

The underlying cause of World War II was the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Hitler wanted to establish Germany as a superpower and wanted to dominate Europe. In 1936, Nazi Germany annexed German-speaking areas of France, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, and in 1939, it invaded Poland following a breach of appeasement with Britain. Defending Poland, France, and Britain declared war on Germany, marking the official start of World War II. The Allied Power in WW II was led by Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Axis Powerswas led by Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo. It is interesting to note that the Allied Powers came together through the wartime alliance during World War I and had a much stronger bond than the Axis Powers, which came into being through the Tripartite Pact.

cause of World War II

The Allied Powers intended to defeat the invasions of the Axis Powers and end the fascist regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan at the time, while the interests of the Axis Powers were forced territorial expansion and establishing themselves as the Superpowers. One of the main differences between the Axis and Allied Powers is that Allied Powers were ruled by rather liberal and democratic governments, while the Axial Powers were ruled by authoritarian dictators who brainwashed their citizens. The Allied Powers were established through a long-time history of military and foreign policies and therefore shared a stronger bond. The Axis Power members had the same intentions of territorial expansion and world dominion, but they never developed cordial relations among themselves. Both the Allied and Axis Powers wanted to overthrow the international order established after World War I through World War II. The Allied Powers wanted to overthrow the fascist regimes, while Axis Powers wanted to overthrow the United States from the Superpower status.

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How Do You Get A Veteran's Records, History, Medals ?

National Personnel records center (NPRC) will have all the veteran's service records. They will have many records showing the veteran's service history, including their duty stations, awards, and disciplinary actions. And we are here to help you find all those documents from World War I to the present.