6. Tripartite Pact
The Tripartite Pact was an agreement signed between the three countries ofGermany, Japan, and Italy on September 27, 1940, inBerlin. The pact's provisions included mutual assistance if any of the nations in the pact gets attacked by the allied forces. The original members of the Tripartite Pact acknowledged each others' dominance in Europe and Asia. On November 1940, Hungary was also involved in the pact by Germany. Later, allies of Germany and its client states also joined the Tripartite Pact against the Allied forces headed by the US. The pact's primary aim was to influence the United States against joining the Allied forces.
5. Nazi Germany
The years from 1933-1945 marked the rule of the Third Reich or Nazi Germany under Adolph Hitler. Hitler headed the Nazi Party of Germany and rose to power and prominence in 1933 after being appointed to the Chancellery by President Paul von Hindenburg. After Hindenburg's death in 1934, Hitler moved to consolidate his powers by also declaring himself president of the republic. Then, his Nazi Party started their terror campaign to kill the opposition. On August 1934, he held a referendum that ensured he was the uncontested leader of Germany. The declaration of the Aryan race as the master race triggered a massive genocide which claimed millions of lives. The Holocaust witnessed hundreds of thousands of Jews sentenced to death in gas chambers.
4. Fascist Italy
Things were also moving at a fast pace in Italy. Between 1922-1943, Benito Mussolini has turned Italy into a fascist state. Hitler's influence soon arrived in Italy where from 1943-1945, it became a puppet state of Germany, the Italian Social Republic, still under the rule of Mussolini. Mussolini obviously influenced by Hitler's racism went on a rampage of his own against the Slovene people and the Jewish community. Later Mussolini orchestrated more hatred for the so-called inferior races he was afraid would take over Europe arguing over the low birth rates among the Aryan race. He pushed for the extermination of these inferior races until 1933 when he changed his tone, admitting that the race concept was not a reality but just a feeling. Mussolini added that national pride has no need for the delirium of race.
3. Imperial Japan
Imperial Japan was the period in Japanese history from 1868 during the Meiji Restoration till the implementation of the Constitution of modern Japan in 1947. The military buildup and economic prosperity that powered the colonial expansion in Asia began in the 1920s. As soon as Japan achieved industrialization, it went into improving its military organization. The colonialist aims of Japan went into full gear as its military might spread out into the surrounding countries until its expansive conquests annexed a total area of 2,857,000 square miles in Asia. Thus, Japan's enormous influence in Asia gave it enough clout to join the Tripartite Pact.
2. Other Allies and Client States
Hungary, Romania,Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia later joined the Tripartite Pact. One of Germany’s client states, Slovakia also became part of the agreement. A coup d'etat happened in Yugoslavia which Germany and Italy answered by invading Yugoslavia and dividing it. Croatia was the newborn state after Yugoslavia's partitioning who also joined the Tripartite Pact. The Soviet Union was also invited to be a part of the Tripartite Pact but due to Hitler's commitment to invade the Soviet Union, nothing came out of it. Later, the Soviet Union joined the Allied forces against the Axis. Finland was a reluctant ally due to its relations with the US. Thailand was a US ally and refused to sign the pact. Italy, Germany, and Japan also had other allies and client states, but most of them were hesitant in joining the war against the Allied forces.
1. Demise and Legacy
Japan's defeat in Asia came as sudden as it launched its early morning attack at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The end of the Japanese Empire was triggered by the atomic bombing ofHiroshima by the US. Germany's dominance in Europe was not to last as the Allied forces dropped bombs into Germany's territory where Hitler was hiding in a bunker. Perhaps realizing that the end was inevitable, Hitler took his own life. Unfortunately, the Allied forces gained ground in Italy. Mussolini was arrested but German special forces rescued him. In 1945, however, he was caught by Italian communists and summarily executed. After the deaths and defeats of the Axis nations, World War II ended. Although it ended, significant damage had already been done. The world was a picture of misery and suffering. The three great genocidal events and the atomic bombings also left a scar in peoples' hearts that was to stay for years to come.