World War II, also known as WWII and the Second World War, was a global conflict that lasted between September 1, 1939 and September 2, 1945. Its primary combatants were the Allied Powers against the Axis Powers. Succeeding World War I, World War II is the single deadliest event in human history, claiming over 100 million lives.
After German politician Adolf Hitler guided Germany out from the great depression it suffered as a direct result of World War I, he partnered with Fascist Italy's Benito Mussolini and the Empire of Japan's Hirohito Tojo to create the Axis Powers. Intending to provide the German people with more lebensraum (living space), Hitler began to forcefully colonize Europe, starting with Austria and Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement, a failed attempt at Britain and France appeasing Germany. World War II in Europe officially began with the Invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Britain and France immediately declared war on Germany for invading Poland.