World War II was a conflict like no other in human history. Everything that had made the First World War such a monumental event was soon eclipsed by the colossal scale and impact of the next. World War II involved more nations and soldiers than any major war before or since. The technology was grander and more deadly. The villains were easily identifiable, worthy adversaries bent on global domination. The resistance to the Axis Powers; comprised of Germany, Japan, and Italy; was pushed to their limit in terms of providing soldiers and war materiel. The epic battles of World War II on land, through the air, and at sea were waged with ferocity unlike any other war--on two fronts.
The political and economic fallout from the First World War and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles did not bring about the lasting peace that was hoped. Rather, the outcome of World War I left the German nation a major power in Europe--and bitter over their defeat. The worldwide effects of the Great Depression had a major impact on the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany, but the effects were most notably felt in Germany.
This discontent led to the rise of Adolf Hitler, his Nazi Party, and the creation of the Axis. Determined to re-establish Germany as the true superpower in Europe, the Germany military sprung into action, conquering large amounts of Western Europe before many of the neighboring countries could realize what had happened. At the same time, Italy invaded North Africa and Japan began to expand its influence by conquering many islands in the Pacific.
The effects of World War II cannot be underestimated, as they still impact lives and nations to this very day. The political re-structuring that occurred following the defeat of the Axis Powers left the world a very different place: the creation and use of nuclear arms, the establishment of the nation-state of Israel, the division of much of Eastern Europe, the rapid expansion of Communism throughout much of Asia and Europe, the division of Germany, America's rise to superpower status, and far more. Clearly, the impact of this greatest of wars cannot be emphasized enough.