Beginning of the end: When Germany ignited World War II

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST 20 Photos
1 / 20
Germans tanks cross a river into Polish territory, in September 1939. (AFP Archive)

Germans tanks cross a river into Polish territory, in September 1939. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
2 / 20
The front page of the French daily newspaper Le Petit Parisien -- dated September 4, 1939 -- announced the entry into war of France and England against Germany. (AFP Archive)

The front page of the French daily newspaper Le Petit Parisien -- dated September 4, 1939 -- announced the entry into war of France and England against Germany. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
3 / 20
Undated and unlocated picture of then German chancellor and ‘Reichsführer’ (chief) Adolf Hitler relaxing with his partner Eva Braun. (AFP Archive)

Undated and unlocated picture of then German chancellor and ‘Reichsführer’ (chief) Adolf Hitler relaxing with his partner Eva Braun. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
4 / 20
Then German Nazi chancellor Adolf Hitler (centre) receives an ovation from the Reichstag and members of Parliament who give him the Nazi salute, for the “Anschluss” with Austria -- the ‘peaceful’ acquisition of Austria, in March 1938 in Berlin. (AFP Archive)

Then German Nazi chancellor Adolf Hitler (centre) receives an ovation from the Reichstag and members of Parliament who give him the Nazi salute, for the “Anschluss” with Austria -- the ‘peaceful’ acquisition of Austria, in March 1938 in Berlin. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
5 / 20
A pile of human bones and skulls is seen in 1944 at the Nazi concentration camp of Majdanek in the outskirts of Lublin, the second largest death camp in Poland after Auschwitz, following its liberation in 1944 by Russian troops. (AFP Archive)

A pile of human bones and skulls is seen in 1944 at the Nazi concentration camp of Majdanek in the outskirts of Lublin, the second largest death camp in Poland after Auschwitz, following its liberation in 1944 by Russian troops. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
6 / 20
Airmen from the USA and the Soviet Union prepare a joint message, reading "To the axis, from USSR and USA” to the Nazi enemy at an airbase in Russia. American aircraft have used bases in Russia since June 1944, when flying fortresses and fighter planes took off from a base in Italy, bombed German targets in Bucharest and continued to new airfields in Russia prepared to receive them. (AFP Archive)

Airmen from the USA and the Soviet Union prepare a joint message, reading "To the axis, from USSR and USA” to the Nazi enemy at an airbase in Russia. American aircraft have used bases in Russia since June 1944, when flying fortresses and fighter planes took off from a base in Italy, bombed German targets in Bucharest and continued to new airfields in Russia prepared to receive them. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
7 / 20
A picture from the family album dated 1938 shows former prisoner of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, Irina Ivannikova. (AFP Archive)

A picture from the family album dated 1938 shows former prisoner of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, Irina Ivannikova. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
8 / 20
A man carries away the bodies of dead Jews in the Ghetto of Warsaw in 1943, where people began to die of hunger in the streets. Every morning, funeral carts collected a dozen or more corpses on the streets. (AFP Archive)

A man carries away the bodies of dead Jews in the Ghetto of Warsaw in 1943, where people began to die of hunger in the streets. Every morning, funeral carts collected a dozen or more corpses on the streets. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
9 / 20
German planes fly above the crowd during an air show as part of a military parade in Germany, in 1938. From 1938, Hitler, as chief of the Wehrmacht (German army), launched the conquest of the ‘vital space’ for "Greater Germany". He annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938, and Poland in 1939, which started World War II. (AFP Archive)

German planes fly above the crowd during an air show as part of a military parade in Germany, in 1938. From 1938, Hitler, as chief of the Wehrmacht (German army), launched the conquest of the ‘vital space’ for "Greater Germany". He annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938, and Poland in 1939, which started World War II. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
10 / 20
Charles de Gaulle (centre), chief of the French Free Forces, inspects the French troops during the military parade celebrating the French National Day in London on July 14, 1940 during World War II. (AFP Archive)

Charles de Gaulle (centre), chief of the French Free Forces, inspects the French troops during the military parade celebrating the French National Day in London on July 14, 1940 during World War II. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
11 / 20
German soldiers pictured between June 1942 and February 1943 during the battle of Stalingrad. The Battle of Stalingrad was a major turning point in World War II, and is considered the bloodiest battle in human history. (AFP Archive)

German soldiers pictured between June 1942 and February 1943 during the battle of Stalingrad. The Battle of Stalingrad was a major turning point in World War II, and is considered the bloodiest battle in human history. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
12 / 20
Italian head of government Benito Mussolini is photographed signing the Munich Treaty as Hitler's secretary Martin Bormann (2nd right) and Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (right) look on, on September 29, 1938 in Munich. The Munich Treaty signed between Nazi Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom authorised Hitler to annex a Czech territory called the Sudetes. Germany finally invaded Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939. (AFP Archive)

Italian head of government Benito Mussolini is photographed signing the Munich Treaty as Hitler's secretary Martin Bormann (2nd right) and Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (right) look on, on September 29, 1938 in Munich. The Munich Treaty signed between Nazi Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom authorised Hitler to annex a Czech territory called the Sudetes. Germany finally invaded Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
13 / 20
This file photo shows Pearl Harbour, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, after 360 Japanese warplanes launched a massive surprise attack, which led to the US finally joining the war. (AFP Archive)

This file photo shows Pearl Harbour, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, after 360 Japanese warplanes launched a massive surprise attack, which led to the US finally joining the war. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
14 / 20
A picture released in London on January 2, 1948, shows German Chancellor Adolf Hitler's teared and blood stained uniform worn by the dictator on the day German officers attempted to kill him in a bomb attack in June 1944. The picture was taken just before the uniform was secretly burnt in the presence of top Allied Army officers in 1947. The suit was destroyed so that it never became a Nazi cult object. The time and place of the suit burning were also kept secret to avoid it from becoming a Nazi pilgrimage destination. (AFP Archive)

A picture released in London on January 2, 1948, shows German Chancellor Adolf Hitler's teared and blood stained uniform worn by the dictator on the day German officers attempted to kill him in a bomb attack in June 1944. The picture was taken just before the uniform was secretly burnt in the presence of top Allied Army officers in 1947. The suit was destroyed so that it never became a Nazi cult object. The time and place of the suit burning were also kept secret to avoid it from becoming a Nazi pilgrimage destination. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
15 / 20
Former British prime minister Winston Churchill (left), special representative of US president's special mission to Moscow Averell Harriman (centre), leader of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin (2nd right) and Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov (right) are seen in a 1942 picture taken during the Second Moscow Conference between the Allies. (AFP Archive)

Former British prime minister Winston Churchill (left), special representative of US president's special mission to Moscow Averell Harriman (centre), leader of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin (2nd right) and Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov (right) are seen in a 1942 picture taken during the Second Moscow Conference between the Allies. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
16 / 20
A map issued by the Nazis in 1937, found in Czechoslovakia, and published as a poster in England shows how Hitler's Third Reich aimed at conquering most of Europe, including Great Britain by 1948. The British anti-war propaganda poster reads ‘Now the Policy of Grab-Grab-Grab is at last halted’. (AFP Archive)

A map issued by the Nazis in 1937, found in Czechoslovakia, and published as a poster in England shows how Hitler's Third Reich aimed at conquering most of Europe, including Great Britain by 1948. The British anti-war propaganda poster reads ‘Now the Policy of Grab-Grab-Grab is at last halted’. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
17 / 20
A picture dated December 8, 1938 shows German Nazi aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin as it is prepared for launching at Kiel. (AFP Archive)

A picture dated December 8, 1938 shows German Nazi aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin as it is prepared for launching at Kiel. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
18 / 20
A picture taken in January 1945 depicts Auschwitz concentration camp gate and railways after its liberation by Soviet troops. (AFP Archive)

A picture taken in January 1945 depicts Auschwitz concentration camp gate and railways after its liberation by Soviet troops. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
19 / 20
US troops disembark from landing crafts during D-Day (June 6, 1944) after Allied forces stormed the Normandy beaches. D-Day is still one of the world's most gut-wrenching and consequential battles, as the Allied landing in Normandy led to the liberation of France, which marked the turning point in the Western theatre of World War II. (AFP Archive)

US troops disembark from landing crafts during D-Day (June 6, 1944) after Allied forces stormed the Normandy beaches. D-Day is still one of the world's most gut-wrenching and consequential battles, as the Allied landing in Normandy led to the liberation of France, which marked the turning point in the Western theatre of World War II. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
20 / 20
An anti-aircraft artillery unit in position on a Moscow roof in 1941. Hitler's Germany invaded the Soviet Union 22 June 1941. In April 1944, the USSR retook Odessa, German troops surrendered in the Crimea in May and in July, the Red Army retook Minsk. On May 2, 1945, Soviet troops completed the capture of Berlin and the World War II was over. (AFP Archive)

An anti-aircraft artillery unit in position on a Moscow roof in 1941. Hitler's Germany invaded the Soviet Union 22 June 1941. In April 1944, the USSR retook Odessa, German troops surrendered in the Crimea in May and in July, the Red Army retook Minsk. On May 2, 1945, Soviet troops completed the capture of Berlin and the World War II was over. (AFP Archive)

UPDATED ON SEP 01, 2016 01:14 PM IST
SHARE
Story Saved