World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, involving the vast majority of the world’s nations – including all of the great powers – eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. Continue reading to see twenty more historic World War II photos that have been beautifully restored and colorized.

It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people serving in military units from over 30 different countries. In a state of “total war”, the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources.

Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These deaths make World War II the deadliest conflict in human history.

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