Template:Message box When spelt with a capital A, Allies usually denotes the countries that fought together against the Central Powers in World War I and against the Axis Powers in World War II.


Other uses

In general, allies are people or groups that have joined an alliance and are working together to achieve some common purpose. In general English usage, those who share a common goal and whose work toward that goal is complementary may be viewed as allies for various purposes even when no explicit agreement has been worked out between them. Similarly, when the term is used in the context of war or armed struggle, a formal military alliance is not required for being perceived as an ally — co-belligerence, to fight alongside someone, is enough. According to this general usage, allies become allies not when concluding an alliance treaty but when struck by war.

In the context of diversity politics, an ally has been defined as "a person of one social identity group who stands up in support of members of another group; typically a member of dominant group standing beside member(s) of a group being discriminated against or treated unjustly; e.g., a male arguing for equal pay for women." (This definition is adapted from one developed by the Arizona State University Intergroup Relations Center (

Yet another meaning of allies is found in the books of Carlos Castaneda, describing a race of non-human but human-appearing beings which inhabit the earth, and only infrequently interfere with human endeavors. Similar beings exist in various other fictional (and possible non-fiction) works including the book The Holy by author Daniel Quinn, in which one character refers to these beings as "you-whos". These beings may also be related or identical to descriptions of demons or nephilim.

The term is generally used in the generic sense of "all who opposed the enemy". In addition, it is usually used in a strict dichotomy of them vs. us, reflecting wartime propaganda, with no account taken of nuances of countries that were occupied as neutrals, changed sides or participated in concurrent wars.

In previous major European wars, e.g., those against the declarers of war Louis XIV of France, Louis XV of France, and Napoleon, the term coalition was used because these were not considered total wars, and the sovereign nations could enter and leave belligerency with diplomatic agreements with the enemy.

World War I

Main Allies

France, Russia and Britain joined the war as the Triple Entente.

US President Woodrow Wilson and his administration were determined not to define USA as an ally. The United States declared war on Germany on the grounds of German violations of American neutrality, and was not at war with Turkey at all. Therefore, the U.S. entered the war as an "associated power" rather than as an ally of France and Britain, and maintained that distance through the war and the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.

Other Allies

(Norway is at times referred to as "The Neutral Ally". While theoretically a neutral country, British pressure and anti-German sentiment in the population enabled the government to highly favour Britain in matters concerning the large Norwegian shipping fleet and vast fish supplies.)

World War II

After Nazi Germany had occupied the remains of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, the British ambassador was recalled from Berlin and Neville Chamberlain declared that if Hitler attacked Poland, considered next in turn for an assault by the Third Reich, then the UK and France would give Poland "all support in their power", a promise soon also given to Greece and the later Axis member Romania after Italy's conquest of Albania on April 7, 1939.

A formal military alliance was concluded between the UK, France and Poland on April 6th, 1939, whereafter also the Soviet Union initiated alliance negotiations, although unsuccessfully. The Soviet Union instead agreed with Nazi-Germany in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 23 August 1939. In the latter part of the war the Allies were often referred to as "the United Nations" from the 1942 Declaration by the United Nations. The name was given to what was initially known as the United Nations Organization (later the United Nations) when it was formed following the war. The founding members of the United Nations Organization were the Allies, at least in the sense of having declared war on Germany before the end.

Original Allies

These countries were allied to each other by a net of common defence pacts and military alliance pacts signed before the war. The Franco-British Alliance dated back to the Entente Cordiale of 1904 and the Triple Entente of 1907, active during the World War I. The Franco-Polish Alliance was signed in 1921 and then ammended in 1927 and 1939. The original allies were the states that declared war on Nazi Germany in September of 1939, thus starting the World War II.

Main Allies

The dates given below are for entry into the war.

Not all of these countries were major pre-war powers; but in the post-war years they formed the UN Security Council, since they were reasonably expected to be the major post-war powers.

The inclusion of France here may be regarded as contentious, since it surrendered to Nazi Germany on June 22, 1940, and the forces of Free France were numerically much smaller than those of some "other allies" listed below. (Vichy France became a de facto Axis member, following the destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir on July 3, 1940.)

The Soviet Union was initially an ally of Nazi Germany, but switched sides in 1941, after it was invaded by Axis forces.

China had been involved in an undeclared war against the Empire of Japan forces since July 7, 1937. However, this conflict — which eventually merged with World War II — is generally known as the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Although the contribution to the Allied cause by people from India, Poland, Canada and Australia, throughout the period of 1939-45, was arguably more significant than some of the above countries, they were excluded from membership of the Security Council by their relatively dimunitive political and/or economic status.

The Commonwealth

In addition to United Kingdom, the other member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations were Allies, except ire (a member of the Commonwealth until 1949), which remained neutral.

Several independent members of the Commonwealth, known as the Dominions, declared war on Germany separately, either on the same day as the UK, or soon afterwards:

India and many other crown colonies were under direct rule by the United Kingdom, and were therefore considered to be at war from the same date as the UK.

Exiles from occupied Europe

Most countries occupied by the Axis powers continued the fight with resistance movements and/or governments in exile, with personnel and units integrated into Allied formations.

The Polish government in exile, after 1939 continued the Polish contribution to World War II on several fronts with hundreds of thousand of members in the Polish Army in France and UK, as well as the Home Army in occupied Poland. The Soviet Union however, did not recognize the government and in 1943 organized the Polish People's Army, around which eventually became the post-war successor state.

British, Dutch and French colonies fought alongside their mother countries, and many continued their contribution also when the mother countries were occupied.

Other allies

From July 1944, a Brazilian Expeditionary Force of 25,000 personnel joined the Allies in the Italian campaign. The other countries in this group contributed support units, small combat forces, or to lesser degrees.


Some countries, while remaining neutral, managed to favour the Allies in certain respects. This includes ire, where popular support favoured the Allies. It is estimated that 70,000 people from ire served in various Allied armed forces, whereas almost none served with Axis forces.

See also

af:Geallieerdes de:Alliierte fa:نیروهای_متفقین fr:Allis ga:Comhghuaillithe he:בעלות הברית it:Alleati ja:連合国 nl:Geallieerden pl:Alianci sl:Zavezniki zh:同盟国


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