Allied leaders of World War II: Wikis


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Three of the central Allied leaders, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin (the "Big Three") at the Yalta Conference in February 1945.

The Allied leaders of World War II listed below comprise the important political and military figures who fought or supported the Allies during World War II. Engaged in total war, they had to adapt to new types of modern warfare, on the military, psychological and economic fronts.


Belgium Belgium

  • Leopold III of Belgium reigned as King of the Belgians from 1934 until 1951. Prior to the war Leopold had made extensive preparations against such an invasion of his country. After Belgium's surrender Leopold stayed to face the invaders, while his entire government had fled to Great Britain. King Leopold rejected cooperation with the Nazis and refused to administer Belgium in accordance with their dictates. Despite his defiance of the Germans, the Belgian government-in-exile in London refused to recognize his right to rule. The Germans held him under house arrest at the royal castle in Brussels until the end of the war.
  • Victor Strydonck de Burke was a general of the Belgian Army who commanded the 1st Military Zone during the invasion of Belgium. After Belgium's surrender in 1940, he became the Commander of Belgian forces in Great Britain, and presided over the formation of the Free Belgian Forces. After the liberation of Belgium he became the Chief of the Belgian Military Mission to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force.
  • Auguste-Éduard Gilliaert was the commander of the Belgian Expeditionary Forces during the East African Campaign. The Belgian Expeditionary Forces was a unit composed of troops from Belgium and the Belgian Congo. In 1941, Gilliaert cut off the retreat of Italian General Pietro Gazzera in Ethiopia and accepted the surrender of Gazzera's 7,000 troops.

Brazil Brazil

  • Getúlio Vargas was the president of Brazil from 1930 until 1945. Despite Brazil's quasi-fascist government of Estado Novo and strong economic ties with Nazi Germany, Vargas eventually sided with the Allies after the sinking of five Brazilian ships by German U-Boats and declared war on the Axis in 1942. Vargas gave economic and military support to the Allies.

British Commonwealth

King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth with Eleanor Roosevelt in London.
  • King George VI was the reigning monarch of the British Commonwealth during the war, and thus acted as Commander-in-Chief of a number of states within that organization, including the United Kingdom and Canada. The King was, further, a symbol of national and Commonwealth unity during the war, he and his family visiting bomb sites, munitions factories, and with Commonwealth soldiers.[1]. Several members of the Royal Family, including the future Princess Elizabeth of York (later Queen Elizabeth II), served in the forces.

Australia Australia

  • Robert Menzies was the Prime Minister of Australia from 26 April 1939 until 29 August 1941. He served a second term as Prime Minister between 1949 and 1966.[2]
  • Arthur Fadden replaced Menzies as Prime Minister but was forced from office when his government collapsed on 7 October 1941. He had previously served as acting Prime Minister for long periods while Menzies was out of the country.[3]
  • John Curtin was Prime Minister from 7 October 1941 until his death on 5 July 1945. In January 1942, facing Japanese attacks, he wrote in a historic New Year message that Australia looked to the US for its security, rather than the UK. Curtin also formed a close working relationship with General MacArthur and directed the Australian military to follow MacArthur's orders as if they were his own. Curtin had several disagreements over defense policy with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.[4]
  • Frank Forde was appointed Prime Minister after Curtin's death, but lost the position on 12 July to a leadership challenge. He had served as acting Prime Minister during periods when Curtin was out of the country or unwell during 1944 and 1945.[5]
  • Ben Chifley replaced Forde and served as Prime Minister until 1949.[6]
  • Thomas Blamey was the commander in chief of the Australian Army during the war. Commander of Allied land forces in the South West Pacific, 1942-45. He became Australia's first and only Field Marshal after the war. In 1945 he signed the Japanese surrender document on behalf of Australia.

Canada Canada

New Zealand New Zealand

South Africa Union of South Africa

United Kingdom United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Dominion of Newfoundland Newfoundland

  • Sir Humphrey Walwyn was governor of Newfoundland and chairman of the Commission of Government from 1936 to 1946. A former Royal Navy Admiral, during World War II he was active in encouraging Newfoundlanders to join the war effort.

Malaysia British Malaya

Palestinian territories British Mandate of Palestine

India British Raj

Republic of China Republic of China

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
  • Chiang Kai-shek was the leader of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China and the supreme commander of the China Theatre, which also included Burma. He was the chairman of the National Military Council, the highest political organ of the wartime Chinese government. . He wished to defeat communism first before taking on Japan, but after the Xi'an Incident Chiang made a temporary truce with the communists to form a united front against Japan. After that war the truce ended and hostilities continued until his government retreated to Taiwan.
  • Mao Zedong was leader of the Communist Party of China. He formed an alliance with the Nationalist Government after the Xi'an Incident.There is controversy over the fact that he had refused to send troops against the Japanese, instead, intending to attack the Nationalist government during the ceasefire and replenish their battered forces - "Our determined policy is 70% self-development, 20% compromise, and 10% fight the Japanese". After the war, the truce ended and hostilities continued until the communists gained control of the mainland.
  • Zhang Xueliang was warlord of Manchuria after the death of his father. Nicknamed the "Young Marshal"; he was a strong opponent of the Japanese occupation of Manchuria after the Mukden Incident. He was responsible for the Xi'an incident which established a truce between the Nationalist and Communists. He fled the mainland with Nationalist government to Taiwan after the communists seize the mainland.
  • Li Zongren was the former Guangxi warlord that fought in alliance with Chiang Kai-shek during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He was the commander of the battle of Xuzhou, and commanded one of the largest and relatively better equiped regional armies that comprised the bulk of the Chinese armed forces during the war.
  • Xue Yue was the military commander that led the many successful defense of Changsha.

France French Third Republic (Until 1940)

  • Albert Lebrun was the last President of the Third Republic. In 1940, he was forced to accept the German terms of surrender of France and was replaced by Philippe Pétain as head the French state (see Vichy France). In 1944, Lebrun acknowledged de Gaulle's leadership of the restored French, provisional, government. In 1945, since he had not resigned from his presidential office, and that Pétain was not president, Lebrun thought he could be able to return to power after the liberation.[9]
  • Édouard Daladier was Prime Minister from 1938 to 1940. He led his country during the opening stages of the war. Daladier resigned on 9 May 1940, the day before the German invasion of France, because of his failure to aid Finland's defence in the Winter War.
  • Paul Reynaud succeeded Daladier as Prime Minister in 1940 and led France during the Battle of France. After Germany had occupied large parts of France, Reynaud was advised by his newly appointed Minister of State Philippe Pétain to come to separate peace with Germany. Reynaud refused to do so, and resigned.
  • Maurice Gamelin commanded the French military during the critical days of May 1940, before being removed from his position after failing to defend France from the Germans.
  • Maxime Weygand replaced Gamelin as commander of the French army in May 1940. He eventually favoured an armistice with Germany.

Free French Forces Free French Forces (and later Fighting France and Provisional government of the French Republic)

Free French Generals Henri Giraud (left) and Charles de Gaulle sit down after shaking hands in presence of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (Casablanca Conference, January 14, 1943).
  • Henri Giraud was de Gaulle's rival and the Western Allies' favourite. He escaped from Germany where he was a prisoner of war and co-founded the Free French movement with de Gaulle, though soon found himself relegated to second in command of the Free French Forces after the Casablanca Conference of 1943. He was the chief of staff of the French Army of Liberation from 1943 to July 1944.
  • Alphonse Juin became chief of staff of the French Army in July 1944 after being the commander of the French Expeditionary Corps (100,000 men) in Italy.
  • Jean de Lattre de Tassigny was the commander of the First French Army which invaded southern France with 260,000 men. His army numbered more than 320,000 men when he entered in Germany with the integration of the FFI.
  • Georges Catroux was the main French military leader in Syria and Lebanon before entering De Gaulle's government.
  • André Lemonnier was a French Admiral who served as the French Navy chief of staff in 1943 and led the French Navy's participation in Operation Dragoon (34 warships including one battleship and eight cruisers).

Greece Kingdom of Greece

  • Ioannis Metaxas was the dictator and Prime Minister of Greece from 1936 until his death in 1941. Despite his quasi-fascist tendencies and strong economic ties to Nazi Germany, he pursued a policy of pro-British neutrality. On 28 October 1940 he rejected an Italian ultimatum, and ordered the Greek Army to repel the Italian invasion of the country.
  • Alexander Papagos was a Greek General who led the Greek Army in the Greco-Italian War and the Battle of Greece. As head of the Army from 1935, he played an active role in the attempts at its reorganization and modernization. When war was declared he was named Commander-in-Chief and led Greek forces against Italy along the Albanian border and later against the invading German army. When the Greek government fled to Crete, Papagos remained behind and with other generals, was arrested and sent to concentration camps in Germany. In 1945 he was repatriated and rejoined the Army.

Mexico Mexico

  • Manuel Ávila Camacho was Brigade General and President of Mexico from 1940 till 1946. Ávila declared war against the Axis powers in 1942 after two of Mexico's ships were destroyed by German submarines. Ávila Camacho cooperated in the war effort, providing United States with 15,000 soldiers and 300,000 workers under the Bracero Program.
  • Antonio Cárdenas Rodríguez was Colonel and Commander of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Expedicionaria Mexicana (FAEM)) since January 1, 1945. He and 300 elements from de FAEM arrived on May 1 to Manila, in Luzon, principal island of Philippines, and established in the Clark Field under the 5th Air Force of the USAAF, commanded by General Douglas MacArthur. He represented Mexico at the signing of the Japanese surrender document on the USS Missouri on September 1.
  • Radamés Gaxiola Andrade was Captain and Commander of the 201th Squadron (Escuadrón 201) of the FAEM, under de 58th Group of the 5th Air Force of the USAAF. He commands the Mexican fight air operations on Luzon and recognition flies on Formosa from June 7 to August 26, 1945. In total, the FAEM made 59 missions in combat zones.

Poland Second Polish Republic (Until 1939)

  • Henryk Sucharski was a major in the Polish Army. At the outbreak of World War II, he was the commander of the Westerplatte position. Troops under his command defended Westerplatte for seven days against overwhelming odds. Sucharski survived the war and was posthumously promoted to the rank of General. Despite his efforts to improve the defences, he later tried to persuade his fellow officers to surrender and suffered a nervous breakdown which required his deputy to assume command.

Polish Government in Exile and Secret State

Władysław Sikorski.

Soviet Union Soviet Union

Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and General Secretary Joseph Stalin.
  • Vyacheslav Molotov was Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union from 1939-1949. He was responsible for the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which governed Soviet-German relations until June 1941 when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. Molotov conducted urgent negotiations with Britain and, later, the United States for wartime alliances. He secured Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill's agreement to create a "second front" in Europe.
  • Georgy Zhukov was a Soviet Field Marshal who led the Red Army to liberate the Soviet Union from Nazi occupation. He would lead the Soviets to overrun much of Eastern Europe, and to the capture of Berlin. After the war Zhukov was the supreme Military Commander of the Soviet Occupation Zone in Germany.

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia

Ibn Saud converses with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (right) onboard the USS Quincy.
  • Ibn Saud was the King of Saudi Arabia from 1932 until 1953. Ibn Saud positioned Saudi Arabia as neutral during the war until 1945. However he was generally in favor of the Allies and supplied the Allied forces with oil.[10]

United States United States of America

  • Cordell Hull was Secretary of State from 1933 until 1944. Hull was responsible for foreign relations before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He sent the Hull note to Japan prior to the attack, which was part of the United States attempt to open Chinese markets to U.S. goods against Japanese interests there. After the war he was the key architect for establishing the United Nations and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

European Front

  • Mark W. Clark was the allied commander in Italy. In 1944, Clark led the triumphal entry of United States troops into Rome, the first of three major axis cities to fall.
  • George S. Patton was one of the United States' leading generals during the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, France and Germany. He was known as "Old Blood and Guts".

Pacific Front

Puerto Rico Puerto Rico

Left to right: Major General Geiger, Corps Commander; Colonel Silverthorn, Corps Chief of Staff and Brigadier General del Valle, Corps Artillery Commander, examine a plaster relief map of Guam on board the USS Appalachian.
  • Pedro Augusto del Valle, was a highly decorated Marine Lieutenant General who played a key role in the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Battle of Guam and became the Commanding General of the First Marine Division. Del Valle played an instrumental role in the defeat of the Japanese forces in Okinawa and was in charge of the reorganization of Okinawa.[12][13][14]

Philippines Philippine Commonwealth

  • Sergio Osmeña was the second Filipino president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. As Vice President, he ascended to the presidency after Quezon's death in 1944. He returned to the Philippines the same year with General Douglas MacArthur and the liberation forces.
  • Vicente Lim commanded the Philippine Army during the early days of the war. Lim was given the rank of Brigadier General and became the top ranking Filipino under General MacArthur. He was placed in command of the 41st Philippine Division, tasked with the defense of Bataan. After the fall of the Philippines, he led resistance against Japanese occupation.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia Kingdom of Yugoslavia

  • Josip Broz Tito was a leader of Yugoslavian partisan's resistance movement, which was largest in Europe. Communist by political orientation, Tito was nevertheless able to gather nation-wide support for anti-fascist cause, and to persuade Allies' governments that only his forces were mounting credible resistance to Axes and their leaders in Yugoslavia. By the end of war, occupied Yugoslavia draw attention of no less than 20 German divisions alone, prompting several major operations 1942-1944, which were futile. Finally, with help from advancing Soviet forces, partizans liberated Yugoslavia, reaching at the final days of operations a respectable size of 800,000 soldiers.
  • Draža Mihajlović was the leader of the Chetnik guerilla that initially was designated by an exiled government to fought against the Germans, but subsequently cooperated with Germans, Italians and other occupying forces against communist movement in Yugoslavia. Chetnicks were later held accountable over a large number of atrocities committed over civilians in Yugoslavia, but nevertheless Mihailović was decorated with highest war medals by France and the USA (Legion of Merit). After the war, he was executed by the newly formed communist government of Josip Broz Tito in 1945 for high treason, war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 2004, Chetniks were rehabilitated by democratic National Assembly of Serbia.

Czechoslovakia Czechoslovak Republic

Luxembourg Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Norway Kingdom of Norway

  • Haakon VII of Norway was King of Norway and the formal head of state from 1905 to his death in 1957. Following the German invasion of Norway in 1940, Haakon refused to meet the demands of the attackers, and went into exile in London, where he stayed for the rest of the war.
  • Johan Nygaardsvold was Prime Minister during the war. His government agreed with the King not to meet the German demands, and went into exile in London. Nygaardsvold resigned shortly after the war.

Netherlands Kingdom of the Netherlands

  • Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy was Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1940 until 1945. After the Fall of France and Dirk Jan de Geer's resignation, Gerbrandy was appointed the office of Prime Minister by Queen Wilhelmina in London. After the liberation, he returned to form a new cabinet but ended up resigning.
  • Jan Joseph Godfried was second in command of the Dutch Army during the Battle of the Netherlands.

Egypt Kingdom of Egypt

Ethiopia Empire of Ethiopia

Iran Empire of Iran

Liberia Republic of Liberia

See also


  1. ^ "The History of the Commonwealth". The Commonwealth Secretariat. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  2. ^ "Robert Menzies. In office.". Australia's prime ministers. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  3. ^ "Arthur Fadden". Australia's prime ministers. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  4. ^ "John Curtin". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  5. ^ "Francis Forde". Australia's prime ministers. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  6. ^ "Ben Chifley". Australia's prime ministers. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Caidin, ibid., dates the departure of the first AVG pilots 10 December 1941.
  9. ^ Albert Lebrun's biography on the French Presidency official website
  10. ^ A Country Study: Saudi Arabia. Library of Congress Call Number DS204 .S3115 1993. Chapter 5. World War II and Its Aftermath
  11. ^ Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration (1940). "Education". Puerto Rico: A Guide to the Island of Boriquén. New York: The University Society, Inc.. 
  12. ^ Puerto Rico Archives
  13. ^ Sontag, Blind Man's Bluff.
  14. ^ "Lieutenant General Pedro A. Del Valle, USMC". History Division. United States Marine Corps. Retrieved October 10, 2006. 


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