World War II (WWII) was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It was the most destructive war in history. It involved all major nations. It was fought between the Axis and the Allies.
The Axis consisted of Germany, Russia, Japan, and Italy. The Allied Powers, on the other hand, included France, Britain, and the United States. The United States was established as a superpower.
World War I, also known as The Great War, began in August 1914. Europeans welcomed the outbreak of war with jubilation. They believed that the war would serve as a means to protect their treaties.
The Germans began to advance towards Belgium and northern France. The French counter-attacked in August. The British and Italians responded in September and October. The Germans, however, continued to advance in east and southeast Europe.
The Allies, on the other hand, were determined to conquer German colonies and prevent them from becoming bases for military operations. They used their powerful naval forces in major amphibious operations. They also sent millions of civilians to participate in the war effort.
The war took a huge toll on Africa directly, and indirectly. The outbreak of influenza, which began in 1918, helped exacerbate the spread of the disease. In addition, many Africans became victims of armed revolts.
The war also sparked a large-scale exodus of European personnel from Allied colonies in Africa. Some of these men were recalled to their regiments. In 1918, Blaise Diagne, a high commissioner for recruitment of black troops, was appointed. His teams recruited more than 63,000 men.