World War II, also known as the Second World War or WWII for short, was an Earth-wide conflict, lasting between 1939 and 1945 and resulting in the death of some estimated 60 million people, making it the deadliest conflict humanity had seen in its history to that point. Until World War III, World War II was the most widespread war Earth had ever seen, with over 100 million soldiers from 61 nations participating in battles over 20 million square kilometers of the planet's surface.
Nations participated in one of two sides: the Allies (including the United States of America, Great Britain, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, amongst many others) or the Axis (including Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan). The Axis started the conflict through ambitions for more territory and lost the conflict in 1945 through various battles and strategies, including Japan being the victim of the first use of a nuclear weapon in a war on Earth.
Many atrocities occurred during this war, including the Holocaust.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 halted the United States of America's neutrality in the conflict, leading to their full entry into the war a day later. (TNG: "The Enemy"; DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")
At the war's end, American general Douglas MacArthur said: "Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we've won in war." Admiral William Ross repeated these words at the end of the Dominion War in 2375. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
The United States of America and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics emerged as the dominant powers throughout the majority of the 20th century, keeping each other and other nations in check to avoid another active war; this was called the Cold War. (DS9: "Little Green Men", "Our Man Bashir")
Good did come to the planet in the war's aftermath: the formation of the United Nations helped provide a forum for nations to resolve disputes instead of resorting to war.
According to Enterprise-D captain Jean-Luc Picard, in the role of Dixon Hill, the dominant USA also culturally influenced the second half of the 20th century. The war also spurred invention and technological advancements, including in fission and rocketry. (TNG: "Manhunt")
Members of Daniel Radke's family fought on both sides of the conflict, and some of his relatives were victims of the Nazis. A recording of his ancestors' recollections of the horrors of Nazi Germany continued to haunt him throughout his life, even shaping the Starfleet officer he would become. (Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions: "Catalyst, Part Two")
Captain Jonathan Archer and the Enterprise crew, thrown back in time from 2154, found an alternate reality where the Nazis were successful in pushing further, taking northeastern North America (including New York City), parts of Russia (including Moscow), Great Britain and northern Africa. Archer and the Enterprise crew found the Nazis being assisted by an alien race called the Na'kuhl and were successful in defeating them, destroying their leader Vosk's time machine, restoring history to the right path. (ENT: "Storm Front", "Storm Front, Part II")
A delusional Dr. Leonard McCoy, from the future via the Guardian of Forever, saved Depression-era pacifist Edith Keeler from being killed by a truck in 1930, creating an alternate timeline whereby Keeler later met with then-US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and convinced him to not enter the war. Without the USA's help, the Allies quickly fell to the Axis, with Germany completing the first atomic bomb and dominating the world. In the alternate history, the Federation never formed. Stranded in the future on the Guardian's planet, USS Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk and first officer Spock traveled back to 1930 to stop McCoy from saving Keeler. They were successful, returning history to its correct path. (TOS: "City on the Edge of Forever")
|Major Earth wars|
|Crusades - American Revolutionary War - American Civil War - World War I - World War II - Earth Cold War - Eugenics Wars - World War III - Earth-Kzin Wars - Earth-Romulan War|