Reasons For Defeat of Axis Powers in World War Two

1 The axis powers were faced with internal opposition that made them vulnerable to defeat by the, a powers. Germany, Italy and Japan had dictators who could not rally and Mussolini were very unpopular, which made their own people to turn against them. This explains why Mussolini was arrested and executed by his own fellow fascists, which led to the surrender of Italy. This also partly made Hitler to commit suicide and marked the defeat of Germany as well. On the other hand, there was patriotism in allied countries due to charismatic leadership of Winston Churchill, FD Roosevelt, Truman and Stalin. Their popularity made it very easy to mobilise resources most especially manpower to fight and defeat the axis powers. '

2. Externally, the axis powers were faced with internal resistance from the countries that they invaded and occupied. By 1941, the axis powers had successfully occupied countries like Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and states of Eastern Europe. The axis rule in these states was very brutal, autocratic and full of atrocities. Such states formed resistance movements and waged a series of resistance to the axis forces e.g. local militias snipped at axis forces and blew up bridges while factory workers sabotaged industrial production through vandalism and go slow tactics. In Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Marshall Tito mobilised the Yugoslavs and successfully repulsed German troops. Such resistance diverted and weakened axis forces to the advantage of allied powers. Resistance groups also provided military information and direction to allied powers that made the defeat of Germany and her allies inevitable.

3. The naval superiority of the allied powers also explains the defeat of the axis powers. Britain and USA had the best navy in the world. They used their naval power to dominate the European coastlines and made it impossible for the axis powers to get reinforcements from Europe. In 1941, the British and American navy sunk the German sub marine and surface raiders. All these explain why Germany was very successful over her neighbours between 1939- 40 but failed in the subsequent battles like the one in Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

4. Technological superiority of allied powers also account for their success against axis powers. Britain and USA manufactured more sophisticated fighter jets, tanks^ planes, missiles, bombs and warships. In 1940, Britain produced a radar that easily detected allied warplanes and ships before they could bombard her strategic military bases. The manufacture of atomic bomb by USA and its disastrous impact on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 is what stopped Japanese stubborn resistance and ended the war.

5. Lack of foresight was also responsible for the doom that befell the axis powers. They ignored the necessity of fighter planes. Japan for instance concentrated on the production of battleships that made her vulnerable to bombings by the allied warplanes. Germany also made a mistake of concentrating on the production of "V" rockets at the expense of strengthening her air defense. On the other hand, the allied powers concentrated on the production of warplanes, missiles and radars. These tilted the military balance of power in favour of the allies and led to the defeat of the axis powers.

6. Hitler's military blunder was also responsible for the success of the allied powers. He underestimated the military strength of allied powers. Hitler invaded England with a misconception that none of the

British colonies would assist her. He and his troops were demoralised when British colonies rallied behind their master to fight against axis powers. Hitler's invasion of Russia which was code named Operation Barbarossa (June 1941) was a military disaster. Hitler also failed to realise the dangers of acute winter where temperature was as low as -40 °C and even refused to withdraw his troops from Russian territories. He did not effectively planned for winter and the German troops did not have the badly needed heavy clothes to protect them from severe cold. This exposed them to the disastrous consequences of winter, which affected the rapid advancement of Nazi troops. This is why the 6divisions of the Nazi troops failed to defeat Russia in 1942. This demystified the view that German troops were invincible and morale boosted Russian and other powers determination to fight Germany.

7. The success of the allied powers was also determined by the size of their population and number of colonies. USA was supported by the whole of North and South America, France and Britain enjoyed support from their several colonies in Africa and common wealth states like South Africa, India Egypt and East Africa. The 1919 treaty of Versailles deprived Germany of her colonies, which were given to France and Britain as mandate states. Thus the axis powers had few populations and colonies that made them to be outnumbered in the battlefield. The largescale of the war divided the axis powers into thin/smaller units that were defeated one at a time. For instance, Germany failed to consolidate her initial success against Russia because the six divisions of the Nazi troops were too few to effectively monitor the area (because the area was too wide).

8. Shortage of raw materials and supplies to the is power also accounted for the success of the allied powers. The League of Nations imposed economic embargo on Japan in 1931, Italy in 1935 and Germany in 1936. This made them unable to import the necessary war materials like rubber, cotton, copper, atomic and oil products to reinforce their military strength. It also created a serious economic crisis that affected the morale, strength and determination of the axis troops to the advantage of the allied powers.

9. Paradoxically, the allied powers were actively involved in trade and others like USA and USSR gained prosperity by producing w^ related materials. For example, Russia shifted her industries to rural mountains of the East after the German occupation of the West and produced vast quantities of arms and other war materials. USA's war industry was producing 120 warplanes and70, 000 tanks per year. By 1945, allied powers had 4 times as many tankers as the Germans. These developments compared to economic crisis of the axis powers made the axis powers unable to withstand the allies after 1942.

10. The role played by USA in the war played a decisive role in the defeat of axis powers. President FD

Roosevelt had considered World War II as a European war and promised neutrality with USA as an "arsenal of democracy" through his "cash and carry policy for arms". However, there was a radical policy change in which USA started supplying arms free of charge to Britain and France according to the Lease-lend act of March 1941. In the same year (1941), Japan invaded Hawaii Island and destroyed American pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour, which prompted USA the war against the axis powers. To join The involvement of USA boosted the allied powers with die badly needed financial, human and technical resources since she had the most stable economy. For instance, USA freely supplied tanks, warships, fighter planes and tanks that helped to halt rapid advancement of axis powers and shift the military balance of power in favour of allied powers.

11. Press propaganda through the mass media e.g. newspaper, radio and magazines also aided the success of allied nations against axis powers. Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill used the London times and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to inform the world that the allies were fighting dictatorship, persecution and barberic leadership. Franklin D Roosevelt utilised the Voice of America (VGA) to mobilise Americans and the whole world to fight the axis powers. Such press propaganda created a negative public opinion against axis powers and made it difficult to mobilise the masses for effective military campaign. It also favoured the formation of resistance movements in areas controlled by axis powers that made the success of allied powers inevitable.

12. The downfall of Italy in September 1943 and the defection of Badoglio who succeeded Mussolini was paramount in the success of allied powers against axis powers. In the aftermath of Anglo-American invasion of Italian mainland on 3rd September 1943, Badoglio withdrew Italy from the axis camp and joined the allied powers. This betrayed axis powers and led to leakage of military secrets and information to the advantage of allied powers. It also reinforced the allied camp given that Italy was used as a strategic base for aircraft and store for war materials. These played a crucial role in the subsequent defeat of Germany and Japan that marked the triumph of allied powers in World War II.

13. The death of prominent axis leaders i.e. Mussolini and Hitler also contributed to the defeat of axis powers.

By 1945, Italy and Germany could no longer withstand the fire power of allied nations and there was public outcry for immediate end of the war. In 1943, Mussolini fled to Northern Italy from where he was assassinated by disgruntled fascist supporters. He was replaced by Badogho who defected and helped the allied powers against the axis powers. In 1945, Hitler out of desperation committed suicide in a bunker. He was succeeded by a weak willed Admiral Doenitz who accepted to surrender unconditionally on 7th May 1945. The death of Mussolini and Hitler denied Japan of their inspiring leadership and support and that was why she (Japan) surrendered unconditionally in the aftermath of the dual bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

14. The role of US atomic bombings was the most instrumental in the final success of the allied powers.

Japan had occupied vast parts of the east and defeated the US troops at Pearl Harbour in 1941. They had high moral and determination to fight even after the surrender of Germany and Italy. However, they were demoralised and hence surrendered because of the USA's atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. USA used US B-29 bomber to demolish Hiroshima on 6th Aug 1945 and Nagasaki on 9th Aug 1945. These forced Japan into unconditional surrender that marked the final success of the allied powers and hence defeat of the axis powers.