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What were the war aims of the major participants in World War II?

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The war aims were different for each of the participants. Even nations allied with each other had different reasons for fighting in the war.

Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union fought on the side of the Allied Powers. Britain's goal was to avoid invasion and to break the German stranglehold on Europe; it had been a longstanding British foreign policy not to allow any European country gain too much power.

The United States's goal was to avoid future encirclement by both Germany and Japan that would either affect national security or trade. The United States's initial strategy was to supply the Allies with money and supplies, but after Japan's attacks on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), the United States became a full combatant in this war.

The Soviet Union's goal was also survival; out of the three major Allies, its fight against Germany was the most acute, as it was invaded. The Soviet Union also desired to create its own sphere of influence after the war by creating...

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