What world countries were not heavily involved in World War II?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The name World War II seems to indicate that ever country around the globe was involved in some way. However, there were a few countries who were able to keep out of the war, or at least remain less involved than others.

It is important to remember that just because a country was “neutral” does not mean that it wasn’t involved in the conflict somehow. There were eight countries that declared neutrality; Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, The Vatican, Andorra, Ireland and Liechtenstein. However, all of these countries were still involved in small ways.

Switzerland was neutral, but collaborated with the Nazi regime financially by hiding German wealth in its banking system.

Sweden allowed German troops to use its railroads during their invasion of Russia. They also allowed Norwegian and German soldiers to travel across the country frequently. Later, they allowed Danish and Norwegian refugees to train in their country for the eventual liberation of their countries.

Lichtenstein remained very much out of the conflict, but because of their historical ties to Austria and Germany , they had lands expropriated by Allied nations at the war’s end. They also, like their neighbor Switzerland, became a depository of treasures and heirlooms.

Spain was too torn up from their own Civil War to get involved, but sent aid to their fellow fascist nations throughout the war.

Ireland’s people overwhelmingly voted for neutrality, but 34,000 Irishmen volunteered to fight for Britain and the Allies.

Portugal exported goods to both fascist and allied nations during the war.

Andorra was used as a smuggling route between Spain and Vichy France and was eventually occupied by Charles du Galle when he retook France with the allies.

The Vatican remained untouched during the war despite harassment from both Germany and Italy. It gave refuge to some jews and allowed its walls to be used for communication between the axis and the allies.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial