Finnish Armed Forces in the Winter War 1939-40

Finnish instructor for Suomi sub-machine gun

Finnish Army The Finnish army was one of the smallest in Europe and the Red Army expected little opposition. But the Soviet invasion found the Finns well prepared; and they turned to their advantage the sub-zero temperatures and deep snow… learn more

Red Air Force and Navy 1939

Polikarpov I-16 Rata

Russian Air Force Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s the Soviet Government made enormous efforts to build up a large modern air force, but the difficulties in finding suitable designs and the machines and materials to mass produce aircraft were enormous.… learn more

Red Air Force and Navy 1941-1942

MiG-3 fighters over Leningrad

Russian Air Force 1942 The enforced lull in air operations during the winter period allowed the Red Air Force to recover from the first shocks. Training was improved and the quality of the aircrews rose generally through direct combat experience.… learn more

Japanese Navy 1939-40

Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima

Strength and organisation of the Imperial Japanese Navy The Prime Minister presided over Imperial General Headquarters (GHQ) which was split in two sections – Army and Navy. Holding positions at Imperial GHQ were the Navy Minister and the Chief of… learn more

Polish Armed Forces in Exile

Polish troops march through an English town during the summer of 1940

POLISH ARMY IN EXILE Many Polish soldiers, singly or in small groups, had evaded capture or escaped internment after the defeat in 1939, and made their way to France through the Baltic countries in the north, and through Hungary, Romania,… learn more

Polish Armed Forces

Polish soldiers at a pre-war torchlit review.

Strength and organization of the Army divisions, tank inventory, Air Force and Navy of Poland in September 1939 The Polish Forces came into existence after World War One , and, like all the armies of the newly independent states which… learn more

Danish Armed Forces

crew of a Danish anti-aircraft gun

Strength and organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Denmark The Danish Defence Act of 1937 set up a peacetime establishment of two divisions, an independent anti-aircraft and engineer regiment, an army air force, the Bornholm garrison, a… learn more

Bulgarian Armed Forces

Tsar Boris III from Bulgaria

Bulgarian Army Throughout World War II Tsarist Bulgaria was only officially at war with England and America. Her alliance with Germany was due in part to their common experiences during World War I, the hope of territorial gains, and her… learn more

Fleets 1939

battleship of the Nelson class

British Royal Navy, French Navy and German Kriegsmarine at the beginning of World War II in September 1939. The fleets in September 1939 with ship classes, ships under construction and deployment of the Royal Navy, French and German navies. ROYAL… learn more

German Kriegsmarine

Pocket-battleship 'Admiral Graf Spee'

German Kriegsmarine (Navy) at the beginning of World War II here to Part I: Fleets 1939 The Treaty of Versailles strictly limited the size of the German Navy and forbade the design or construction of submarines, aircraft carriers, naval aircraft… learn more

Romanian Armed Forces 1942

Romanian infantry in the battle of Sevastopol

Strength and Organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Romania in 1942. Romanian Army By the autumn of 1941 the Romanians had advanced – mostly on foot or on horseback – across the Ukraine and Bessarabia to the… learn more

Greek Armed Forces

Tea and bread for Greek soldiers at Canea

Strength and organization of the Armed Forces of Greece 1940-41. From 1938 until the German invasion, Greece was a constitutional monarchy under King George II, but the actual power was in the hands of her right-wing dictator-President General Metaxas. The… learn more

Finnish Armed Forces 1941-1944

Finnish Army on march

Strength and Organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Finland in the Continuation War Finnish Army Although the signing of the Moscow Treaty in March 1940, which ended the Winter War, guaranteed Finland her borders with the Soviet… learn more

US Navy in late 1941

Picture taken from a Japanese pilot during the attack on Pearl Harbor

Strength, Ships and Organization as the United States enters WW2 in December 1941 In late 1941, the US Navy consisted of: 17 battleships (+15 under construction): 1 Arkansas (1912), 2 New York class (1914), 2 Nevada class (1916), 2 Pennsylvania… learn more

Vichy France l’ Armee de l’ Armistice

Curtiss Hawks of the Vichy French Air Force

Strength and Organization of the l’ Armee de l’ Armistice of Vichy France Armed Forces of Vichy France The Franco-German Armistice of 22 June 1940 divided France into two parts. The northern and western area of the country was to… learn more

Italian Air Force and Navy

Fiat CR42 Falco

Strength and Organization of the Regia Aeronautica and Regia Navale when Italy enters Second World War in June 1940 Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) On 24 January 1923 the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) was formed as an independent… learn more

Dutch Armed Forces

Dutch mortat team in action

Strength and organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of the Netherlands in Europe in May 1940 Dutch Army During World War One Holland’s neutrality had been respected and during the inter-war years her government saw fit to reduce… learn more

Norwegian Armed Forces

Three Allied soldiers evacuated from Norway

Strength and organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Norway in April 1940 In 1939, after more than a hundred years of peace, Norway did not possess a large standing army and her government considered that effective national… learn more