World War II: The bloody war spreads around the globe, 1940-1941

On April 9, 1940, Germany simultaneously invaded Norway and occupied Denmark, and the war broke out. On 10 May, German forces swept into Belgium and the Netherlands, in what became known as the "blitzkrieg" or lightning war.

Three days later, Hitler's troops crossed the Meuse River and attacked French forces at Sedan, located at the northern end of the Maginot Line, an elaborate series of fortifications built after World War I and considered an impenetrable defensive barrier. .

On June 14, the German army entered Paris; A new government formed by Marshal Philippe Pétain (French hero of World War I) requested a ceasefire two nights later.

From the late 1940s to the summer of 1941, the conflict between the nations turned into a true world war. The East African Campaign and the Western Desert Campaign both began during this period, with largely Italian and British forces fighting back and forth across the deserts of Egypt and Libya, and from Ethiopia to Kenya. The tripartite treaty – a declaration of cooperation between Germany, Italy and Japan – was signed in Berlin.

Japanese forces occupied Vietnam, established bases in French Indochina, and continued to attack China. Mussolini ordered his forces to attack Greece, starting the Greco-Italian War and the Balkan Campaign.

The Battle of Britain continued as the armies of Germany and Britain launched bombing raids and sea attacks against each other. The United States began its lend-lease program, which would eventually send $50 billion worth of weapons and materials to the Allies.

And an ominous new phase began as the Germans established walled ghettos in Warsaw and other Polish cities, besieging Jews from the surrounding areas and forcing them to move into these enclaves. Here is a collection of interesting and rare photographs documenting this period of World War II.

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