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- The main Axis powers were Germany, Japan, and Italy.
- This alliance was formed among dictators with the intention to create new empires for themselves.
- Principal focus was on land expansion, and the alliance ensured each country a part of the world to dominate.
- Several states in Europe were pressured into joining by Germany's military including the Eastern European and Balkan states of Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Croatia.
- In Asia, Thailand was pressured by Japan to join.
- Finland never joined an alliance, but fought individually against the USSR.
- The main Allied powers were Britain, France, the U.S.S.R., the U.S., and China.
- Many members of the United Nations were at the very least loosely affiliated with the Allies.
- Following Axis threats and invasions, Britain, France, and China entered the war. The United States entered later after Japan attacked, as did the Soviet Union after Hitler's offensive.
- Germany knocked France out of the war pretty fast, and set up their own puppet government known as Vichy France.
- The U.S.S.R. remained distant from the other Allies due to the disagreement over communism and Allied military plans.
- Italy and Yugoslavia overthrew their Fascist governments and joined the Allies.
- Romania and Bulgaria were invaded and turned against Axis powers.