On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. It was the start of a conflict that would erupt over every continent, see the deaths of tens of millions of people, much of central Europe destroyed, the development of jets, ballistic missiles and computers as well as the atomic bomb.
1945 saw the bomber offensive against Germany reach its peak with the controversial attack on Dresden, while US B-29 bombers carried out fire-bombing raids against Japanese cities and the US island-hopping campaign drew ever closer to Japan, with the Japanese resorting to intense kamikaze attacks to try and stop the invasion of Okinawa. V-2 rockets continued to land on British cities. British and US bombers dropped food supplies to Dutch civilians in famine-hit areas of the Netherlands in operations Manna and Chowhound. Forces occupying Germany discovered German advances in jet and rocket technology, and in August 1945 the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, ending the war.
In the Cold War that would start to develop not long after the end of the Second World War, the Soviets would develop their own nuclear weapons and US and Soviet jets would clash in the skies over Korea while US and British air power would help keep West Berlin supplied.