Allies of World War II
The Allied Powers (or Allies of World War II) were a group of nations that fought against the Axis countries in World War II. They were successful in defeating the Axis nations. The war ended in 1945. The group of nations was later named the United Nations by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. The main great powers, sometimes called "The Big Three", were the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union.
The Big Three:
- The Polish Underground State was allied with United Kingdom and United States. It fought against Axis Powers (mostly Germany), Soviet Union and the Polish Committee of National Liberation (PKWN). However the PKWN was allied with the Soviet Union and fought against Germany and the Polish Underground State.
- Edvard Beneš, president of the First Czechoslovak Republic, fled the country after the 1938 Munich Agreement saw the Sudetenland region annexed by Germany. In 1939 a German sponsored Slovak Republic seceded from the post-Munich Second Czechoslovak Republic, providing justification for the establishment of a German protectorate over the remaining Czech lands (the rump Carpathian Ruthenia region being annexed by Hungary). Following the outbreak of war later the same year, Beneš, in his exile, formed a Czechoslovak National Liberation Committee which after some months of negotiations regarding its legitimacy became regarded as the Czechoslovak government-in-exile by the Allies.
- France declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, two days after the German invasion of Poland. It was a member of the Allies until its defeat in the German invasion of France in June 1940. Unlike the other governments-in-exile in London, which were legitimate governments that had escaped their respective countries and continued the fight, France had surrendered to the Axis. The "Free French Forces" were a section of the French army which refused to recognize the armistice and continued to fight with the Allies. They worked towards France being seen and treated as a major allied power, as opposed to a defeated and then liberated nation. They struggled with legitimacy vis-a-vis the German client state "Vichy France", which was the internationally recognized government of France even among the Allies. A National Liberation Committee was formed by the Free French after the gradual liberation of Vichy colonial territory, which led to the full German occupation of Vichy France in 1942. This started a shift in Allied policy from trying to improve relations with the Vichy regime into full support to what was now the Provisional Government of the French Republic.
- The Ethiopian Empire was invaded by Italy on 3 October 1935. On 2 May 1936, Emperor Haile Selassie I fled into exile, just before the Italian occupation on 7 May. After the outbreak of World War II, the United Kingdom recognized Haile Selassie as the Emperor of Ethiopia in July 1940 and his Ethiopian exile government cooperated with the British during their invasion of Italian East Africa in 1941. Through the invasion Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia on 18 January, with the liberation of the country being completed by November the same year.