The Axis Powers
World War II was started by the Axis Forces, which were comprised of Germany, Italy, and Japan. They fought against the combined might of almost the entire world, and, but for a supreme combined effort on the part of America, the USSR, and Britain, almost won. During the war, the Axis Powers were totalitarian states, controlled by their respective leader or leaders. These are their stories.
During World War II, there were three men who were controlling the Japanese government, none of which liked each other. The first, Emperor Hirohito, born in 1901, was ruler from 1926 to 1989, the last divine imperial leader of Japan. During the first nineteen years of his reign he gave over power of the government to a militant party. The result of this was the war with China from 1937 to 1945 and adherence to the Axis Powers. At the end of the war Hirohito wanted peace and, in 1945, he unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.
The second, Isoroku Yamamoto, born in 1884, was the reluctant Commander-in-Chief of Japan's naval forces during WW II. He had a clear grasp of the situation and predicted that against a country like the U.S. or Britain, Japan would quickly lose the war. He died in 1943, shot down by the U.S. 13th Air Force in a surgical assassination strike.
The last, Tojo Hideki, was born in 1884, and was the most violent of the three. He was the leader of the militaristic party that controlled the government from 1926 to 1945, and the one who commanded the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1937. He controlled all government and military campaigns until 1944, when, as a result of bad military defeats, he resigned as Prime Minister. Tojo was later arrested, tried, and convicted by an...