In 1942 the Axis powers were Germany, Italy and Japan, who had cemented their alliance in December 1941 by collectively declaring war on the US. Japan and Germany reached an agreement concerning their operational spheres, with a dividing line along the 70th meridian east line of longitude. By 1942, the Germans occupied much of continental Europe as well as Libya. Italy had a fascist regime and eagerly supported Germany until 1943 when Benito Mussolini, their dictator, was ousted. By 1942, a confident Imperial Japan had swept through much of East and Southeast Asia, occupying territories that stretched from New Guinea and Manchuria to Burma. Their enemies, the Allied forces of Russia, Great Britain, the United States and China, fought a truly global war against Axis forces, confronting them in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic Oceans. The contribution of the British Commonwealth personnel to the Allied war effort was critical, with 15 million Commonwealth men and women fighting against the Axis powers.
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