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|World War II|
|Date: 1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945|
|Place: Europe, Pacific, Atlantic, South-East Asia, China, Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa, briefly North America|
| Outcome: Allied victory
Franklin D. Roosevelt
World War II was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, which involved most of the world's nations, including all of the great powers: eventually forming two opposing military alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread and deadliest conflict in human history, resulting in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities.
The war is generally accepted to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany, and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the British Empire. Germany set out to establish a large empire in Europe. In December 1941, Japan, which had been at war with China since 1937, and aimed to dominate Asia, attacked the United States and European possessions in the Pacific Ocean, quickly conquering much of the region.
The war in Europe ended with the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. The Japanese Navy was defeated by the United States, and invasion of the Japanese Archipelago became imminent. The war in Asia ended on 15 August 1945 with the surrender of Japan.
The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which would last for the next 46 years.
On the day of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Michael Corleone volunteered for the Marine Corps against his father's wishes. Michael was sent to fight in the Pacific and took part in the battles of Guadalcanal and Peleliu. For his bravery in battle, Michael was awarded the Navy Cross and was also featured in Life Magazine. When Michael Corleone was discharged in early 1945 to recover from a disabling wound, he had no idea that his father had arranged his release.
Michael's caporegime, Rocco Lampone, also participated in World War II. He had been wounded in North Africa and was discharged in 1943. Rocco was awarded the Purple Heart, but he was partially incapacitated by his injuries and walked with a pronounced limp ever since.
The liberation of SicilyEdit
During the war, the Mafia members not banished to Ustica by the Fascists had functioned in Sicily as the Resistance. They provided the American army with intelligence and helped them during their invasion of Sicily in 1943.
The British, who did not collaborate with the Mafia, suffered heavy casualties in their battles to take the eastern third of the island, but on the western two thirds, particularly in the regions that were Mafia strongholds, the Americans profited from superior intelligence and sustained relatively few casualties.
After the invasion, in many of the cities occupied by the Americans, the civilians installed as provisional mayors were mafiosi. When the Allies withdrew, most of the mayors stayed. And when the Dons were freed from Ustica, they returned home to find that the political power of the Mafia had increased exponentially.