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It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries.
In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources.
World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 million to 85 million fatalities, most of which were civilians in the Soviet Union and China.
It included massacres, the deliberate genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, starvation, disease and the first use of nuclear weapons in history.
With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, Japan formally surrendered on 2 September 1945.
Thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies.
Meanwhile, the victorious Allies of World War I, such as France, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Greece, gained territory, and new nation-states were created out of the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman and Russian Empires.
From 1922 to 1925, the Fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy with a nationalist, totalitarian, and class collaborationist agenda that abolished representative democracy, repressed socialist, left-wing and liberal forces, and pursued an aggressive expansionist foreign policy aimed at making Italy a world power, promising the creation of a "New Roman Empire".
Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and to create a common identity.