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At the beginning of the 1940s – the world woke up to the expansionist ambitions of Nazi Germany as Hitler’s forces made steady progress invading Finland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland and France. Japan, Yugoslavia, Greece and Bulgaria bolstered the Axis Forces. By 1942, a state of global war ensued; the US had entered the conflict following the Japanese attack on the US Navy at Pearl Harbour and the war spread to campaigns in the Pacific, Burma, North Africa, Russia and the Atlantic. 1943 was a tuning point for the Allies with the bloody siege of Stalingrad ending, success repelling the German forces in Tunisia and the surrender of Italy. D-Day in June 1944 saw the Normandy landings of Allied invasion troops – the world’s biggest combined land, sea and air operation. As the Allied force made progress to Berlin and eventual Victory In Europe, the grim realities of the concentration camps were revealed to a disgusted world.
Post-war, the United Nations and NATO were formed and the Iron Curtain fell and divided Europe and Berlin. In the UK, a new age of austerity began with wartime rationing continuing and a challenging balance of payments deficit with many produced goods strictly for ‘Export Only’. Princess Elizabeth married, the Welfare State and the NHS were inaugurated and the Nationalisation of core public utilities and industries began in earnest under Clement Attlee’s post-war Labour government.
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