Perang Dunia II, atau Perang Dunia Kedua (biasa disingkat PDII) adalah konflik militer global yang terjadi pada 1 September 1939 sampai 2 September 1945 yang melibatkan sebagian besar negara di dunia, termasuk semua kekuatan-kekuatan besar yang dibagi menjadi dua aliansi militer yang berlawanan: Sekutu dan Poros. Perang ini merupakan perang terbesar sepanjang sejarah dengan lebih dari 100 juta personil. Dalam keadaan "perang total," pihak yang terlibat mengerahkan seluruh bidang ekonomi, industri, dan kemampuan ilmiah untuk melayani usaha perang, menghapus perbedaan antara sipil dan sumber-sumber militer. Lebih dari tujuh puluh juta orang, mayoritas warga sipil, tewas. Hal ini menjadikan Perang Dunia II sebagai konflik paling mematikan dalam sejarah manusia.
Umumnya dapat dikatakan bahwa peperangan dimulai saat Jerman menginvasi Polandia pada tanggal 1 September 1939, dan berakhir pada tanggal 14 Agustus 1945 pada saat Jepang menyerah kepada tentara Amerika Serikat. Secara resmi PD II berakhir ketika Jepang menandatangani dokumen Japanese Instrument of Surrender di atas kapal USS Missouri pada tanggal 2 September 1945, 6 tahun setelah perang dimulai.
Perang Dunia II berkecamuk di tiga benua tua; yaitu Afrika, Asia dan Eropa. Berikut adalah data pertempuran-pertempuran dan peristiwa penting di setiap benua.
Sumber : www.wikipedia.org
It is perhaps a sad irony that the creativity demonstrated by the model makers during World War II should flourish during a period of horrifying death and destruction. This irony was not lost on those who worked at Medmenham. Leonard Abrams writes: While our total effort in model making was Focused on making deliberate destruction and loss of human life a more efficient and effective process, our work was done in the quiet of the model shop; while we were constantly aware of the gravity of our mission, we were physically removed from the violence associated with it (Abrams 1991, p. 46). However, it is also clear that models saved lives. Planners were provided with invaluable information that might lead to the canceling of an operation if heavy losses seemed likely, particularly if casualties might be civilian. Furthermore, aircrews familiar with their specific target through the study of models were better able to minimize collateral damage. Given the sensitivity of the information,
It is not surprising that the model-making section at Medmenham was one of the Allies’ most secret departments. The work of the model makers contributed vitally to the planning of important operations throughout the war. The section was privy to information, sometimes supplied years in advance of an operation. The availability of aerial photography for photo interpretation was a major factor in providing sufficient intelligence for the armed forces. Even so, air photos were notoriously difficult to interpret by untrained eyes, which made the terrain model an effective visual aid to solving the problems inherent in air-photo terrain interpretation. Models permitted all-directional comprehension of the terrain and eliminated false impressions of relief due to the variation of incidence of light on air photos. Furthermore, the three-dimensional representation of urban landscapes allowed side elevations of prominent buildings to be depicted, an important facet of terrain models. World War II demonstrated that the individual effectiveness of terrain models and aerial photography could be enhanced significantly in combination. The war also established terrain modeling as a significant element in post-war military research and development.
Use of terrain models to support military operations has a long history and is by no means purely an artifact of the twentieth century. According to Isabell Warmoes (1999), the production of scale models of fortified towns is a European tradition dating from the early sixteenth century. The Musée des plans-reliefs in Paris holds a collection of one hundred models of fortified towns situated along former French frontiers or subject to French rule that represent “portraits in relief ” of towns and their surrounding countryside within range of artillery fire and enemy approach works, such as trenches, in case of siege. The levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail have seldom been exceeded. During the twentieth century the three-dimensional terrain model played a significant role in many theatres of both world wars. According to Archibald Clough (1952), the static nature of World War I (1914-1918) demanded relief models of enemy defense positions for planning offensive assault operations. Campaign maps at a scale of 1:20,000 were made of the Western Front by a new model-making subdivision of the Ordnance Survey for General Headquarters in France.