List of World War II puppet states

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During World War II a number of countries were conquered and controlled. Some of these countries were then given new names, and assigned new governmental leaders which were loyal to the conquering country. These countries are known as puppet states. Germany and Japan were the two countries with the most puppet states. Italy also had several puppet states. Most of the Allies (with the exception of the Soviet Union) did not have many puppet states.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

A puppet state, puppet regime, or puppet government is a state that is de jure independent but is de facto completely dependent upon an outside power. It is nominally sovereign but effectively controlled by a foreign or otherwise alien power, for reasons such as financial interests, economic or military support.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.



Soviet Union

The Soviet Union had only one puppet state prior to World War II, the Tuvan People's Republic, but it acquired many more during the war.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Tuvan Peoples Republic 1921-1944 republic in Asia

The Tuvan People's Republic (or People's Republic of Tannu Tuva; Tuvan: Тыва Арат Республик, translit. Tıwa Arat Respublik; Uniform Turkic Alphabet: Tьva Arat Respuʙlik, IPA: [tʰɯˈʋa aˈɾatʰ resˈpʰuplik]; 1921–1944; was a partially recognized puppet state in the territory of the former Tuvan protectorate of Imperial Russia also known as Uryankhaisky Krai.

  Puppet states created before World War II
  Puppet states created during World War II
CreatedDisestablishedPuppet StateFlagCountry/territoryNotes
Flag of the Tuvan People's Republic (1933-1939).svg Tannu Uriankhai, part of China Also known as "Tuva," Russia had been sending people (mainly farmers and fishermen) into Tuva since 1860. In 1921, Russian-backed Bolsheviks stormed Tuva, after recently having declared its independence during the Mongolian Revolution of 1921. It was later annexed into the Tuvan Autonomous Oblast, per request of the "Little Khural," the executive committee of the Great Khural. [1]
Flag of Finland.svg Finland Encompassing the Hanko Peninsula, Suursaari, Seiskarim Lavansaari, Tytärsaari, and "Great and Little Koivisto", the Finnish Democratic Republic (sometimes also called the "Terijoki Government," because Terjoki was the first town to be captured by the Soviets) was created during the Winter War, and later merged with the Karelian ASSR to make the Karelo-Finnish SSR. [2]
Flag of Lithuanian SSR.svg Lithuania

Following the 1926 Lithuanian coup d'état, Lithuania was led by what was known as the "Smetona regime," named after the leader of the coup, Antanas Smetona. [3] It was only in Soviet hands just under a year when German forces captured the Lithuanian SSR, and incorporated it into the Reichskommissariat Ostland. The Soviets retook the LSSR during the Baltic Operation. The LSSR gained its independence before any of the other Baltic states taken over by Russia, with the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania in 1990, though the Soviet Union refused to recognize its independence until 6 September 1991. [4]

Flag of Latvian SSR.svg Latvia In 1920, the Latvian War of Independence was over, and Latvia gained its independence from Russia. Latvia, along with Estonia and Lithuania, signed the Baltic Entente in 1934, a plan for the countries to politically support each other. On 5 October 1939, Latvia signed the Soviet–Latvian Mutual Assistance Treaty, allowing the Soviet Union to build military bases on Latvian soil. On 17 July 1940, the Soviet Union invaded. Four days later, Kārlis Ulmanis, then-president of Latvia, stepped down, and gave the pro-Soviet Augusts Kirhenšteins the seat. Kirhenšteins requested the incorporation of Latvia into the Soviet Union, as the Latvian SSR on 5 August 1940. After being taken by the Germans 10 July 1941, it remained part of Ostland until the Soviet counterattack, when the last German forces in Latvia (Army Group Courland in the Courland Pocket) were defeated. [5] [6] It remained under Russian control until the 10 March 1990, when the Latvian Declaration of Sovereignty was adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia. Its independence was fully restored after the failed 1991 Soviet coup. [5] :167
Flag of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg Estonia In 1918, Estonia began its war of independence. Using troops that had been assembled by the Germans after their invasion and subsequent occupation of Germany, Johan Laidoner lead the Estonian War of Independence. The Soviet Union and Estonia then signed the Treaty of Tartu, making Estonia independent. The Soviet Union invaded Estonia a second time, twenty years later, on 17 June 1940. A puppet state was set up four days later. Almost a year later, Germany invaded during Operation Barbarossa, and incorporated Estonia into Ostland. Estonians welcomed the Germans, but quickly began to dislike them. During the Soviet invasion, Estonia was liberated from German occupation, and again became a Soviet puppet state. It remained under Soviet control until its declaration of independence, the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration. [7]
Flag of the Second East Turkestan Republic.svg The Ili, Tarbagatay, and Altay districts of China In 1944, the Soviet-backed Ili Rebellion helped rebel forces take control of the area. [8] In the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance, the Soviet Union agreed that it would no longer support the ETR, in return for China letting the Soviet Union keep the Mongolian People's Republic. [9] In 1949, several of the ETR's leaders died in a plane crash while on their way to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. China, who had been eyeing the area since its 1944 rebellion, seized the moment and took control of the area, where most of the remaining leadership accepted the area's incorporation into China. [10]
Azerbaijan people's government flag.svg Iranian Azerbaijan During World War II, the Soviet Union, aided by Armenian and Azeri forces, managed to keep German forces out of Azerbaijan. Despite this, the Soviet Union invaded Iranian Azerbaijan in mid-1941, during the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. This occupation helped lead to nationalism among the people of the Iranian Azerbaijan, which was encouraged by the Soviets. After World War II, the Soviets were forced by the other allies to withdraw. [11] The Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, led by Ja'far Pishevari, declared Azerbaijan as an autonomous government. While the people's discontent was growing, Iran appealed to the UN for help with a Soviet removal from their territory. The Soviets left in May 1946. [12]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom only had two puppet states during World War II, both of which were in the Middle East; one in Iraq, and one in Iran.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Iraq Republic in Western Asia

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

Iran Country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.

  Puppet states created during World War II
CreatedDisestablishedPuppet StateFlagCountry/territoryNotes
Flag of Iraq (1921-1959).svg Iraq The United Kingdom had shown interest in Iraq since 1921, when the Cairo Conference had created the British-backed "Kingdom of Iraq." After Iraq's 1932 admittance into the League of Nations, British mandate of the area was ended. By March 1940, Iraqis had elected a government with strong Arab sentiments, with Rashid Ali al-Gaylani as the leader. In April 1941, al-Gaylani began a revolt, led by the Golden Square, a group of colonels. The rebels believed that they would get support from Germany, however, Germany was preoccupied fighting Russia. After the rebellion, the British lost their main source of oil, and invaded in May 1941. [13] In February 1958, Iraq joined the short-lived Arab Federation. Shortly after, the 14 July Revolution ended the Arab Federation, and Iraq was again its own country, the Republic of Iraq. [14]
State Flag of Iran (1964-1980).svg Southern Iran Though Iran was invaded by Great Britain and the Soviet Union, neither of the countries had any immediate interests in Iran. The reasons they invaded were simple; keep the Germans out, maintain the flow of oil, and assist the Soviets with transportation across the Trans-Iranian Railway. Because of this, British control over Iran was fairly light, save internal security. After the invasion, Rezā Shāh was dethroned, and his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was put on the throne. [15] After the Soviet's northern Iran became the Azerbaijan People's Government, there became increasing civil unrest in the country. In 1953, Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically elected prime minister, was overthrown by the United States and Britain in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état, also known as the 28 Mordad coup. The Shah was reinstated two days later. [16]



Empire of Japan had been creating puppet states in China since the 1931 Mukden Incident. It established a puppet state in 1932.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Mukden Incident event in which Lt. Suemori Kawamoto of the Japanese Army detonated dynamite on a Japan-owned railway line near Mukden (now Shenyang) in 18 Sept. 1931, blamed by Japan on Chinese dissidents and used as a pretext for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria

The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was an event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the Japanese invasion in 1931 of northeastern China, known as Manchuria.

  Puppet states created before World War II
  Puppet states created during World War II
CreatedDisestablishedPuppet StateFlagCountry/territoryNotes
Flag of Manchukuo.svg Manchuria, China Manchuria had long been a location of unrest, and the Mukden Incident was the perfect excuse for a Japanese occupation. The Mukden Incident, in essence, was when the Kwantung Army set off a bomb along the South Manchuria Railway, and used the explosion as an excuse to occupy Manchuria, blaming Chinese forces. [17] Manchukuo was created in March 1932. Despite the Japanese control of the area, they couldn't annex Manchuria into Japan due to their signing of the Nine-Power Treaty. After creating Manchukuo, Japan and Manchukuo signed several treaties allowing Japan to mobilize Manchuria's people and resources as it liked. [18] It was disestablished after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. [18] :90
Flag of the Republic of China (1912-1928).svg Northern China The East Hebei Autonomous Council, also sometimes called the East Ji Autonomous Council or the East Hopei Autonomous Anti-Communist Council, was headed by Yin Rugeng in 1935 to help protect economic interests in north China. [19] East Hebei protected Japan's economic interests by prohibiting the export of silver and the circulation of the notes of the Central Bank of China. They also set up their own Central Bank and began to issue notes which were supported by several banks, and were widely circulated in Tientsin, against the orders of the Chinese central government. Following Japan's control of East Hebei, the region broke into reported "lawlessness," with the puppet state purportedly selling drugs to raise money. [20] On February 1, 1938, East Hebei was merged with the Provisional Government of the Republic of China. [21]
Flag of the Mengjiang.svg Inner Mongolia On 22 December 1935, part of Inner Mongolia split from China, and became an independent state. The Mongol Military Government was formed in May 1936. The military government operated under Chinese sovereignty, but Japanese control. [22] In 1937, its name was changed to the Mongol United Autonomous Government. In 1939, the United Mongolian Autonomous Government, the Northern Shanxi Autonomous Government, and the Southern Chahar Autonomous Government merged to become known as Mengjiang. Mengjiang was later merged with other puppet states to create the Provisional Government of the Republic of China. [23]
Flag of the Dadao Municipal Government of Shanghai.svg Pudong, China The Great Way Municipal Government (GWMG) was created to help administer the occupied suburbs of Shanghai in December 1937. [24] The GWMG was very small, consisting of nothing more than an office building in Pudong. Because of its association with the Japanese government, the GWMG had difficulty attracting any politicians of reputation. It had difficulty creating an administration for Shanghai, and was - after just under five months - merged with a new occupation regime in Nanjing. [25]
Flag of the Republic of China 1912-1928.svg Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, Honan, and Jiangsu, China Many parts of China were invaded after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, and the Provisional Government was set up just over six months later, on the day after the fall of Nanking. Before the country was even created, in October 1937, Japan created the North China Development Company to exploit China's resource-rich North. [26] On 30 March 1940, the Provisional Government was merged into the Nanjing Nationalist Government. [22] :379
Flag of Reformed Government of the Republic of China.svg Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Nanjing, and Shanghai, China The Reformed Government of the Republic of China (RGRC) was created in Nanking, after the Battle of Nanking on 28 March 1938. [27] The RGRC was made to have the appearance to legitimacy, and had Wang Jingwei as the first Chairman of the RGRC. [28] Despite this, the government was filled with "nonentities who posed no threat to the Japanese exercise of real power." It was merged into the Reorganized National Government of China in 1940. [29]
Flag of the Republic of China-Nanjing (Peace, Anti-Communism, National Construction).svg Reformed Government of the Republic of China, Provisional Government of the Republic of China, and Mengjiang Japan wanted to make Wang Jingwei, the former leader of the Provisional Government of China, the leader of a new puppet government. But, contrary to what was expected, Wang set up a new Nationalist government, based on the reunified Nationalist government of 1927. He requested that the Three Principles be reinstated, among other things. The Japanese initially denied this request, viewing the Three Principles as "Western ideas," but eventually accepted, with some exceptions: removal of the requested 5-branch system, and replacing it with a one-party system. The Nationalist Government retained independence as far as financial matters and economy were concerned, but Japan controlled its politics. [30] Despite this, the country had no real power, and was mainly used as a propaganda tool. The country was ended in August 1945. [22] :383
Flag of the State of Burma (1943-45).svg British Burma Initially, Burma was invaded with the sole objectives of cutting off the Burma Road, a route through which the United States and Great Britain supplied Chiang Kai-shek, and gaining the resources of Burma, mainly rice and gas. After Japan's successful conquest of Burma, which was completed in May 1942, they began driving the British out, using the Burmese Independence Army. Once the British were entirely out of Burma, Burma was granted nominal independence, which essentially meant that Burma was called independent, but was really under Japanese control, as part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. After several years, growing dissent in the country led to growing popularity of Thakins and other anti-government groups like it. By 1944, they had organized an underground Anti-Fascist Organization, and on 27 March 1945, Aung San led these and other forces to rise up against the Japanese. The uprising is remembered as a struggle against "imperialist British" and "fascist Japanese." [31]
Flag of the Philippines (1943-1945).svg Philippines Following Japan's invasion of the Philippines in 1941, the Japanese tried to present themselves as liberators from their "colonial repression." In 1942, a group of influential Filipino politicians tried to negotiate with the Japanese for the creation of a new national government, but this led to nothing more than the creation of the puppet state. A second factor in the creation of the puppet state was the turning tide of the war: the Japanese believed that the creation of a government that appeared free would boost civilian morale. On 20 October 1944, US forces began the re-invasion of the Philippines. The Philippines were effectively under United States control by July 1945, and a new government set up in August. [32]
1931 Flag of India.svg British India The Provisional Government of India, sometimes also called the Provisional Government of Azad Hind, was created by Indian nationalists-in-exile in October 1943. [22] :411 According to Subhas Chandra Bose in a proclamation issued on 4 April 1944, the government was formed in Syonan-to (formerly Singapore) after an invasion of Singapore. This invasion was wanted "by the unanimous will of the three million Indians in East Asia." Additionally, he stated that the Provisional Government had but one mission: "to expel the Anglo-American armies from the sacred soil of India by armed force and then to bring about the establishment of a Permanent Government of Azad Hind, in accordance with the will of the Indian people." He also claimed that "the Indian people will co-operate wholeheartedly with our Ally, the Nippon Army, who are giving us unstinted and unconditional assistance in defeating our enemies." Bose was also "fully convinced [of] Nippon's sincerity towards India." He also claimed that, given the Government's rapid advance into India, "the circumstances have...rendered it borrow from the Nipponese Government the currency...already in its possession and to use that money as a temporary measure." [33] The Provisional Government was ended shortly after Subhas Rose died in a plane crash on the way to Taiwan, in August 1945. With his death, much of the Indian National Army surrendered. [34] Despite Japan's strong influence in the area, some historians consider the Azad Hind a free and independent government. [35]
Flag of the Empire of Vietnam (1945).svg Cochinchina and Vietnam On 10 May 1940, Germany began its invasion of France. Following victory over France on 22 June 1940, Philippe Pétain was given control of Vichy France. Japan had been placing pressure for facilities and bases in Vietnam before France had fallen, and the fall of France made Japan even more eager. [36] Japan occupied Vietnam for much of World War II, and this set up a climate favorable to more radical ideas and revolutionary nationalism. Starting in the spring of 1945, the Viet Minh began carving out a small "liberated zone" along the borderlands of Vietnam. In an effort to save downed American pilots lost in Vietnam, the US agreed to aid the Viet Minh army, and train their technicians. After the first revolution, on 9 March 1945, the French governor of Indochina Jean Decoux was arrested, and replaced (by the Japanese government) with Bảo Đại. [37] Despite its local backing, the government had no military power of its own. Bảo Đại later wrote that, while working there, he "felt isolated in a dead capital city." [37] :358 In August 1945, the August Revolution brought freedom to Vietnam, just days before the Japanese surrendered. [38]
Flag of Cambodia under French protection.svg Cambodia In October 1940, the Franco-Thai War broke out between Vichy France and Thailand. The Japanese, using their power in the area (gained after the Japanese invasion of French Indochina), mediated the ceasefire, and got Vichy France to cede disputed territories to Thailand. On 8 December 1941, Japanese forces invaded Thailand, using bases in Cambodia.[ citation needed ] By July 1942, nationalists were growing more upset with the French rule in the area, and were planning a march against the French, when, on 17 July, their leader, Hem Chieu, was arrested after mentioning his ideas of a march to a Cambodian militiaman. This outraged the nationalists, and they staged a Japanese-backed rally on 20 July. The French reacted harshly, tracking down as many people as possible who attended the protest, and then trying them. After the allied invasion of France, Japan began to grow fearful that the Free French Forces would align Cambodia with the allied cause. On 9 March 1945, Japan seized control of Cambodia in a coup d'état in French Indochina. On 13 March, Norodom Sihanouk agreed with Japanese wishes, and declared that Cambodia was now the independent Kingdom of Kampuchea, and nullified all Franco-Cambodian agreements. Within a day of the surrender of Japan, Cambodia was returned to French hands. [39]


German Reich had a large number of puppet states after the start of World War II. Some were countries that once supported it, but fell to the Allies. Others were countries that Germany invaded.

German <i>Reich</i> official name for the German nation state from 1871 to 1949

Deutsches Reich was the official name in the German language for the German nation state that existed from 1871 to 1945. The Reich became understood as deriving its authority and sovereignty entirely from a continuing unitary German 'national people'; with that authority and sovereignty being exercised at any one time over a unitary German 'state territory' with variable boundaries and extent. Although commonly translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not in itself have monarchical connotations. The word Kaiserreich is applied to denote an empire with an emperor; hence the German Empire of 1871–1918 is termed Deutsches Kaiserreich in standard works of reference. From 1943 to 1945, the official name of Germany became – but was not formally proclaimed – Großdeutsches Reich on account of the further German peoples and associated territories annexed into the state's administration during and before the Second World War.

Allies of World War II Grouping of the victorious countries of World War II

The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.

  Puppet states created before World War II
  Puppet states created during World War II that were not taken from Italy
  Puppet states taken from Italy after the Armistice of Cassibile
CreatedDisestablishedPuppet StateFlagCountry/territoryNotes
Flag of First Slovak Republic 1939-1945.svg Slovakia, Czechoslovakia Hitler had been having meetings with the Czechoslovakians for years, and had long had plans of making Slovakia a puppet state. In early March, rumors (planted by Germans) began reaching Slovakian leaders that Germany would give Slovakia economic support if Slovakia gained independence. German troops began moving in on Slovakia. On 10 March, diplomatic talks between the Czech Republic and Slovakia had broken down, and Hitler was growing nervous about his plans of a Slovakian puppet state. He threatened that Slovakia should either declare its independence, or be abandoned. Later, Germany received a telegram stating Slovakia's independence, along with a request for German assistance. [40] Shortly after Slovakia's "independence," Hungary (looking to gain land from militarily-weak Slovakia) attacked Slovakia, in what became known as the Slovak–Hungarian War. During the war, which lasted from 23 March [41] to 4 April 1939, Germany failed to protect Slovakia (in direct violation of their treaty), forcing Slovakia cede 400 square miles (1,036 square kilometers) of land to Hungary. [41] :51–52 Despite this, there was at least one plus to German rule: it improved the Czech business sector. [41] :111[ clarification needed ] Some historians date the end of the Slovak Republic as 11 April 1945, when the Slovak National Council was instated after the Soviet invasion. Others date it at 8 May 1945, when the Slovak government signed the surrender document. [42]
Flag of Bohmen und Mahren.svg Bohemia and Moravia, Czechoslovakia On 29 September 1938, after the completion of the Munich Agreement, all of the ethnic-German territories inside Czechoslovakia were given to Germany, which were then incorporated into the Reich. This occurred after the invasion of Austria, and many requests for the ethnic German land of Czechoslovakia. To appease Germany, the leaders of the Munich Conference gave Germany portions of Czechoslovakia, and hoped Hitler would be satisfied. On 3 October 1938, the Slovaks requested independence, incited to do so by the large number of Nazi sympathizers in their country. By 19 November, the remainder of Czechoslovakia was divided into 3 groups: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Carpatho-Ukraine. Despite this, the Slovakian state wanted autonomy. After a failure to reach a deal, the Czech state broke off all negotiations on March 8, 1939. On March 14, the Slovak Republic announced its independence. The rest of Czechoslovakia became German territory after Czechoslovakian president Emil Hácha was forced by Hitler to cede the land of the Czech Republic to Germany. [43]
Flag of France.svg France and its colonies Officially called the French State, Vichy France was established shortly after the German victory over France following the armistice of 22 June 1940 in the non-occupied zone libre. Hitler's had a number of reasons behind capturing France, however, the most prevalent among them were France's future use as a stepping stone to Great Britain, and France's rich natural resources. However, despite Hitler's intentions of invading Great Britain (namely Operation Sea Lion) could not be realized until Hitler had won air superiority, which was a goal Hitler had trouble attaining. On top of the lack of air support, much of France continued to fight, despite the surrender. [44] Occupied France was divided into several parts. Northern France and Pas-de-Calais were combined with Belgium as the Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France. It was additionally divided into several administrative districts, such as Gau Westmark. Finally, there was Vichy France, which was technically independent from Germany, acting in appeasement of Germany in an effort to prevent itself the same fate as Poland. Philippe Pétain was placed as the head of the government, and instituted a number of Fuhrer principles. In November 1942, Germany invaded Vichy France. Despite the invasion, the Vichy Regime was not replaced with a military government, and the German authorities merely supervised and enforced laws with the aid of the Gestapo. [43] :171 The Germans continued to occupy France in such a fashion until the near-end of World War II, after the allied invasion of France. Though Vichy France was disestablished in 1944, Germany continued to hold to French land until Vichy France's capital-in-exile Sigmaringen was captured by allied forces on 22 April 1945. [45]
Flag of Independent State of Croatia.svg Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, southern Dalmatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. [note 1] Invaded on 6 April 1941 as part of the invasion of Yugoslavia by Germany, Italy, and Hungary. Slavko Kvaternik, one of the founders of the Fascist Ustaše movement, announced the creation of the Independent State of Croatia (often abbreviated NDH) on 10 April 1941. Ante Pavelić, the leader of Ustaše, entered Croatia from his exile in Italy for the first time in twelve years on 13 April, and he was placed in the position of Poglavnik, the leader of the NDH, just two days later, on the 15th, when he reached the capital of Zagreb. On 18 May 1941, Pavelić and Mussolini reached an agreement, known as the Rome Agreement, where most of Dalmatia in the NDH's possession, along with most of their Adriatic Islands, were handed over to Italy. Years later, after the Capitulation of Italy, the land was returned to the possession of the NDH. Additionally, Međimurje was under Hungarian control, though this area was also returned to Croatian control, after the Siege of Budapest. The puppet state fell on 25 May 1945.
Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg Greece Following Benito Mussolini's invasion of Albania, Italy continued to expand in the Mediterranean, and, on 28 October 1940, presented Greece with an ultimatum. Italy's ambassador to Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, presented the ultimatum to Greece's dictator, Ioannis Metaxas, who responded curtly with Greek : "όχι", which is Greek for "no." 28 October is now remembered as "Ohi Day" (occasionally "Oxi Day") in Greek communities. Using land gained in Albania, the Italian army invaded Greece on Ohi Day. The Greek Army, however, put up steadfast resistance. Beginning in January 1941—following Metaxas' death—the British offer for help was accepted, however, their efforts were largely uncoordinated. On 6 April, Germany launched Operation Marita, which was the dual invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia. The small Greek and British forces remaining quickly succumbed to the dual-invasion, and by 9 April, had surrendered. In 1943, the early conflicts which later sparked the Greek Civil War occurred, further dividing the country during the period of Axis rule. On 1 October 1944, British commando units landed on the beaches of Greece, and further Allied attacks began days later. By 12 February 1945, Greece was liberated by the Allies; however, Greece soon collapsed into Civil War. [46]
Flag of Nasjonal Samling.svg Reichskommissariat Norwegen, previously Norway On 9 April 1940, Germany began Operation Weserübung, and invaded Norway and Denmark. Reichskommissariat Norwegen was set up after the successful invasion, which was completed by 10 June. With the Norwegian government having fled, Vidkun Quisling announced via radio that there had been a coup, and that he was the new Prime Minister of Norway. However, the German government had other plans, and appointed Josef Terboven as the Reichskommissar of the territory on 24 April 1940. [47] Initially, the German plans were to depose all Norwegian government, as evidenced by the ousting of Quisling from power in June, however, by September, Terboven had announced that all political parties except Quisling's Nasjonal Samling, which was a mirror of Hitler's Nazi Party, were banned. On 1 February, Terboven declared Quisling as the Premier of Norway, making his leadership of the country official, though his direct control of the country remained as minimal as before. Quisling remained in his position of power until the surrender of Germany, on 9 May 1945. [48]
Flag of Russian Liberation People's Army.svg Orel, Kursk, and Bryansk of the Soviet Union On 22 June 1941, Germany initiated Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. Upon reaching Orel, Kursk, and Bryansk, the invading forces were greeted by the ardent anti-communist Bronislav Kaminski and his forces, who were actively fighting the Soviets. [49] His force, known as the Russkaya Osvoboditelnaya Narodnaya Armiya, meaning Russian National Liberation Army and abbreviated RONA, was composed of Red Army deserters, anti-communist white Russian collaborators, and a rag-tag group of expatriates. [50] RONA's forces were allowed control of the area at some point in November 1941 by Rudolf Schmidt, though it is unclear whether he was acting on his own accord or on another officer's orders. Though Lokot was initially headed by the founder of RONA, Konstantin Voskoboinik, after Voskoboinik was killed in early 1942, control of the region was transferred to Kaminski. [51] In April 1942, the Lokot region was given limited autonomy. While in charge, Kaminski's forces rooted out partisan activity with notorious ruthlessness, and became incorporated into the SS as S.S. Sturmbrigade R.O.N.A.. In May 1942, after gaining support from Alfred Rosenberg, the region was granted increased autonomy. By 1943, however, RONA began to suffer many desertions, due to Russia's improved position against Germany, and the Lokot Autonomy was evacuated by August 1943. [50] :347
Flag of Albania (1943-1944).svg Italian Albania Originally under the control of Italy, the Albanian Kingdom came under the control of Germany after the Armistice of Cassibile on 8 September 1943. Living conditions were already very poor in the area due to the Communist leadership of the area, but were worsened due to the wartime occupation conditions. [52] Albania was freed from German control on 29 November 1944, when Albanian Communist Partisans liberated the last German-controlled city, Shkodër. As Germany resistance was either fled or was captured or killed, the city grew increasingly desolate. The Communists began to reassert themselves over Albania, and Shkodër was considered by one Albanian as a "dead city." The Communists were so aggressive people were afraid to go outdoors. [53]
War flag of the Italian Social Republic.svg parts of the Kingdom of Italy Benito Mussolini, the leader of Italy, was one of Hitler's early allies in World War II, and initially his only willing ally, signing the Pact of Steel on 22 May 1939, which formed a military and political alliance between Germany and Italy. Many Italian citizens and soldiers disagreed with Mussolini and his views, but their frustration was fully reached by 1943. These views were strengthened by the Allied bombings in Italy, which destroyed large amounts of food and fuel. This, added to rampant inflation, led to numerous strikes throughout Italy. Italy's global position became even worse after the Allies forced Italy out of Africa, and, from the African shore, launched the Invasion of Sicily on 10 July 1943. Numerous important figures in Italian politics at the time, including Victor Emmanuel III, the King of Italy, had decided that the Axis was going to lose the war, and that negotiations would be impossible with Mussolini in power. On 23 July, a meeting was organized to determine how Mussolini should be removed from office, and, following that meeting, Mussolini was told he was dismissed as prime minister, but also arrested. Mussolini's replacement, Pietro Badoglio, was welcomed, as many Italians assumed Mussolini's ousting would mean an end to the war. But Badoglio announced he would honor the Pact of Steel and the Tripartite Pact, and stay in the war. At the same time, Germany was increasing the number of forces in the area (from two divisions to seven), obviously preparing for Italy to be implementing a secret deal with the Allies, as was being planned. On 3 September 1943, Italy officially surrendered by signing the Armistice of Cassibile, though their surrender was not announced until 8 September, because the Armistice stated it "should come into force at a moment most favorable by the Allies." The German reaction to the news was almost immediate, with over 600,000 Italian soldiers captured and sent to Germany as prisoners of war, and all of central and northern essentially occupied, in a matter of hours, and the puppet state of the Italian Social Republic was set up. [54] So despite Italy's surrender, the Italian Campaign lasted on for another year and a half. On 25 April, after significant battling, the Italian Social Republic was defeated, and on 2 May 1945, Germany surrendered, and the Italian Campaign was won. [55]
Flag of Belarus (1918, 1991-1995).svg Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Soviet Union After Operation Barbarossa, Germany controlled much of the Soviet Union's satellite states, including Belarus. The German occupation of Belarus began on the same day as Operation Barbarossa (22 June 1941) due to its proximity to the German-Soviet Border. Initially, the land was included in Reichskommissariat Ostland . Early on, much of the state's work was done by either pro-Nazi or anti-communist Belorussian Self-Help battalions, but in April 1943 the chief of German security police in Belarus demanded that all Self-Help groups be disbanded. [56] On 21 December 1943, the Belarusian Central Rada (sometimes called the Belarusian Central Council) was formed, and placed under the leadership of Radasłaŭ Astroŭski. [57] The puppet state was destroyed with the Soviet Operation Bagration. [58]
Flag of Hungary (1920-1946).svg Hungary Beginning in the fall of 1943, Hitler was becoming increasingly fearful that Romania or Hungary would try to collaborate with the Allies, as Italy had. Viewing Hungary's distancing itself from the Axis as a key sign of impending collaboration, Hitler devised a plan known as Operation Margarethe. By September, a plan was devised, and a second plan, Operation Margarethe II, was devised to occupy Romania simultaneously, but was later dropped because the German Operations Staff believed there would not be enough men to engage both countries at once. [59] On 18 March 1944, Hungary's Regent Miklós Horthy met with Hitler, while German troops simultaneously silently crossed the Hungarian border. [60] During his meeting with Hitler, Horthy was informed of the situation and forced to accept changes to his government—namely replacing Prime Minister Miklós Kállay(who was known to have been talking with the West) with Döme Sztójay. [61] Later in 1944, on 20 August, the Soviet Union began the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, which saw the Romanian Army switch sides. On 23 August, Romania joined arms with the Soviet Union to fight Nazi Germany, who was their ally at the beginning of the operation. This had dramatic repercussions, as now Hungary had to defend their borders against both the Soviet Union and Romania. The Romanians also had extra incentive to invade Hungary in the form of an age-old territorial dispute. On 24 September, the situation in Hungary was so dire that Horthy hand-wrote a letter to Stalin pleading for peace with the Soviet Union, going as far as claiming he was misinformed about the Bombing of Kassa, an event which was used to bring Hungary to war against the Soviet Union. Hungary had planned on leaving the Axis on 15 October, however, German leaders discovered the plan and seized Hungary the day of. Ferenc Szálasi and his party, leader of the fascist Arrow Cross Party, was placed in control of the government, with members of his party taking over many governmental jobs. The Government of National Unity was officially set up two days later. The Government of National Unity remained a state under Germany's control until the end of World War II, when it was invaded by the Allies on 7 March 1945. [61] :715–716


Italy did not have nearly as many puppet states as its partner Axis countries, however, Italy did co-administer some countries in the Balkans with Germany, Greece, in particular. Italy's puppet states were captured by Germany after the Armistice of Cassibile.

Balkans Geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe

The Balkans, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria from the Serbian-Bulgarian border to the Black Sea coast. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea on the northwest, the Ionian Sea on the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south and southeast, and the Black Sea on the east and northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range.

Armistice of Cassibile armistice between the Kingdom of Italy and the Allies

The Armistice of Cassibile was an armistice signed on 3 September 1943 by Walter Bedell Smith and Giuseppe Castellano, and made public on 8 September, between the Kingdom of Italy and the Allies during World War II. It was signed at a conference of generals from both sides in an Allied military camp at Cassibile in Sicily, which had recently been occupied by the Allies. The armistice was approved by both King Victor Emmanuel III and Italian Prime Minister Pietro Badoglio. The armistice stipulated the surrender of Italy to the Allies.

  Puppet states created before World War II
  Puppet states created during World War II
CreatedDisestablishedPuppet StateFlagCountry/territoryNotes
Flag of Albania (1939-1943).svg Albanian Kingdom Benito Mussolini viewed Albania as strategically important, began Italian invasion of Albania in 1939. Lost to the Germans after Italy surrendered [62]
Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg Greece Italy invaded Greece on 28 October 1940. After failing to conquer Greece for around five months, Germany invaded Greece, and completed the invasion in under twenty five days. This led to both Germany and Italy controlling the Greek government. Germany gained full control after the Italians surrendered. [63]

Related Research Articles

Axis powers Alliance of countries defeated in World War II

The Axis powers, also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.

The Indian National Army was an armed force formed by Indian nationalist Rash Bihari Bose in 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War II. Its aim was to secure Indian independence from British rule. It formed an alliance with the Empire of Japan in the latter's campaign in the Southeast Asian theatre of WWII. The army was first formed in 1942 under Rash Behari Bose, Mohan Singh, by Indian PoWs of the British-Indian Army captured by Japan in the Malayan campaign and at Singapore. This first INA collapsed and was disbanded in December that year after differences between the INA leadership and the Japanese military over its role in Japan's war in Asia. Rash Behari Bose handed over INA to Subhas Chandra Bose It was revived under the leadership of Subhash Chandra Bose after his arrival in Southeast Asia in 1943. The army was declared to be the army of Bose's Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind. Under Bose's leadership, the INA drew ex-prisoners and thousands of civilian volunteers from the Indian expatriate population in Malaya and Burma. This second INA fought along with the Imperial Japanese Army against the British and Commonwealth forces in the campaigns in Burma, in Imphal and at Kohima, and later against the successful Burma Campaign of the Allies.

Subhas Chandra Bose Indian nationalist leader and politician

Subhas Chandra Bose was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India, but whose attempt during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a troubled legacy. The honorific Netaji, first applied in early 1942 to Bose in Germany by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin, was later used throughout India.

India in World War II

During the Second World War (1939–1945), India was controlled by the United Kingdom, with the British holding territories in India including over five hundred autonomous Princely States; British India officially declared war on Nazi Germany in September 1939. The British Raj, as part of the Allied Nations, sent over two and a half million soldiers to fight under British command against the Axis powers. The British government borrowed billions of pounds to help finance the war. India also provided the base for American operations in support of China in the China Burma India Theater.

Azad Hind provisional government established by Subhas Chandra Bose during World War II

The Provisional Government of Free India, or, more simply, Free India, was an Indian provisional government established in occupied Singapore in 1943 and supported by the Empire of Japan, Nazi Germany, Italian Social Republic, and their allies.

Jai Hind is a salutation and slogan that means "Victory to India" or "Long live India". Coined and used during India's freedom movement from the British Raj, it emerged as a form of national greeting under Jawaharlal Nehru, and a battle cry particularly among Indian army personnel and in political speeches.

Emilie Schenkl secretary to Subhas Chandras Bose

Emilie Schenkl was the wife of Subhas Chandra Bose—a major leader of Indian nationalism—and the mother of their daughter, Anita Bose Pfaff. Schenkl, an Austrian, and her baby daughter were left without support in wartime Europe by Bose, following his departure for Southeast Asia in February 1943 and death in 1945. In 1948, both were met by Bose's brother Sarat Chandra Bose and his family in Vienna in an emotional meeting. In the post-war years, Schenkl worked shifts in the trunk exchange and was the main breadwinner of her family, which included her daughter and her mother.

I-29, code-named Matsu, was a B1 type submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy used during World War II on two secret missions with Germany. She was sunk while returning from the second mission.

Sugata Bose Indian historian

Sugata Bose is an Indian historian and politician who has taught and worked in the United States since the mid-1980s. His fields of study are South Asian and Indian Ocean history. Bose taught at Tufts University until 2001, when he accepted the Gardiner Chair of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University. Bose is also the director of the Netaji Research Bureau in Kolkata, India, a research center and archives devoted to the life and work of Bose's great uncle, the Indian nationalist, Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose is the author most recently of His Majesty's Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle against Empire (2011) and A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire (2006).

Death of Subhas Chandra Bose

The death of Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose occurred from third-degree burns on 18 August 1945 after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in Japanese-occupied Formosa. However, many among his supporters, especially in Bengal, refused at the time, and have refused since, to believe either the fact or the circumstances of his death. Conspiracy theories appeared within hours of his death and have persisted since then, keeping alive various martial myths about Bose.

Indian Legion Indian volunteer unit in Nazi Germany

The Indian Legion, officially the Free India Legion or Infantry Regiment 950 (Indian) and later the Indian Volunteer Legion of the Waffen-SS, was a military unit raised during the Second World War in Nazi Germany. Intended to serve as a liberation force for British-ruled India, it was made up of Indian prisoners of war and expatriates in Europe. Because of its origins in the Indian independence movement, it was known also as the "Tiger Legion", and the "Azad Hind Fauj". Initially raised as part of the German Army, it was officially assigned to the Waffen-SS from August 1944. Indian independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose initiated the legion's formation, as part of his efforts to win India's independence by waging war against Britain, when he came to Berlin in 1941 seeking German aid. The initial recruits in 1941 were volunteers from the Indian students resident in Germany at the time, and a handful of the Indian prisoners of war who had been captured during the North Africa Campaign. It would later draw a larger number of Indian prisoners of war as volunteers.

Anita Bose Pfaff German economist and politician

Anita Bose Pfaff is a German economist, who has previously been a professor at the University of Augsburg as well as a politician in the Social Democratic Party of Germany. She is the daughter of Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose (1897–1945) and his wife, or companion, Emilie Schenkl.

Political views of Subhas Chandra Bose

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose 's political views were in support of complete freedom for India at the earliest, whereas most of the Congress Committee wanted it in phases, through a Dominion status. Even though Bose and Mohandas K. Gandhi had differing ideologies, the latter called Bose the "Prince among the Patriots" in 1942. Bose admired Gandhi, recognising his importance as a symbol of Indian nationalism; he called him "The Father of Our Nation" in a radio broadcast from Rangoon in 1944, in which he stated, "I am convinced that if we do desire freedom we must be prepared to wade through blood", a statement somewhat at odds with Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence. Thus, although they shared the goal of an independent India, by 1939 the two had become divided over the strategy to achieve Indian Independence, and to some degree the form which the post-Independence state should take: Gandhi was hostile to industrialisation, while Bose saw it as the only route to making India strong and self-sufficient. Jawaharlal Nehru disagreed with Gandhi on this point as well, though not over the tactics of protest.

United Bengal political ideology

United Bengal is a political ideology for a unified Bengali-speaking nation in South Asia. The ideology developed among Bengali nationalists after the first partition of Bengal in 1905. The British-ruled Bengal Presidency was divided into Western Bengal and Eastern Bengal and Assam to weaken the independence movement; after much protest Bengal was reunited in 1911.

Anuj Dhar Indian activist, journalist

Anuj Dhar is an Indian author and former journalist. He has published several books around the locus of death of Subhas Chandra Bose that propounds conspiracy theories about his' living for several years after the purported plane crash, thus contradicting the current scholarly consensus. Dhar is also the founder-trustee of a not for profit organisation Mission Netaji which campaigns for the declassification of documents concerning Bose.

Tokyo Boys

The Tokyo Cadets or the Tokyo Boys, was the name given to the group of forty five youth recruits of the Indian National Army who were sent to the Imperial Japanese Army Academy or Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Academy to train as fighter pilots in 1944 by Subhas Chandra Bose. The cadets were captured as prisoners of war after Japan surrendered, but were released in 1946 after the end of the INA trials. The cadets became officers in the Indian forces, Burma Navy, Pakistan forces, and private pilots. Some of them became general officers.

The Azad Hind Dal was a branch of the Indian Independence League that was formed during World War II to take administrative control of the Indian territories to fall to the Indian National Army starting with the latter's Imphal campaign. The branch was created by Subhas Chandra Bose to replace the Indian Civil Service in areas of British India, and is also thought to have been the nascent concept of a one-party political, bureaucratic and civil administrative system similar to that of the Soviet Union or the Fascist states of the time. During the brief period that Azad Hind was in possession of small Indian territories around Imphal and Kohima during the U Go offensive between April and May 1944, parties of the Azad Hind Dal were sent along with the INA contingents to take administrative charge and rehabilitation of these areas.

Propaganda and India in World War II

Throughout World War II, both the Axis and Allied sides used propaganda to sway the opinions of Indian civilians and troops, while at the same time Indian nationalists applied propaganda both within and outside India to promote the cause of Indian independence.

Leonard Abraham Gordon is a historian of South Asia, especially of Bengal, whose 1990 book Brothers Against the Raj: A Biography of Indian Nationalist Leaders Sarat and Subhas Chandra Bose is considered the definitive biography of Subhas Chandra Bose.

<i>The Springing Tiger</i> book by Hugh Toye

The Springing Tiger is a historical account of the Indian National Army published in 1959 by Col Hugh Toye. The book was published in London by Cassell Publishers, and is considered one of the first Sympathetic Western accounts of the army. Toye worked as an intelligence officer in World War II in Burma, and was tasked with interrogating captured soldiers of the INA by the CSDIC(I). The book is provided with a foreword by Phillip Mason, who in 1946 was the Secretary of the War department in India. The book describes in detail the formation of the INA under the auspices of the F Kikan of Japanese intelligence through the collapse and subsequent revival of the army under Subhas Chandra Bose, its role in the Battles of Imphal and Kohima and the subsequent collapse in the face of Allied Burmese offensive before ending with the death of Subhas Chandra Bose.


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  1. These districts are historical districts, and not the direct predecessors of the Independent State of Croatia. They are presented in this way to give the least confusion possible, as the provinces immediately prior were purposely drawn as to avoid historical and ethnic lines, which was what the borders of the NDH were based upon.
  2. Though the state was officially called the "National Government," it is frequently referred to as the Quisling Regime or the Quisling Government.