Top Ten Most Powerful Countries In 1939

Which countries were the most powerful at the start of WW2?

The Top Ten

1 Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany in 1939 was in perfect health economically, the Nazi's had long taken Germany out of the Depression and the economy was flourishing greatly. The Nazi's being nationalistic and military-focused, had roughly 6,000 aircraft, millions of soldiers, thousands of tanks and artillery in 1939. The German military was also very advanced, probably the most advanced military in 1939. - JamesNicholls

Since I anonymous in a previous post, I will not say much here, but I can say more facts of why Nazi Germany is the most powerful nation entering 1939. Nazi Germany was already a good-sized nation, stretching from Northern and Northern Central Africa into Germany. They were already pressing into the Soviet Union with little effort, and were bombarding Britain with their air force. Although some may say that Nazi Germany propaganda says it is the most powerful nation that is the reason, but the facts speak for themselves. People who have encountered World War II will tell haunting events of German invasions of Europe or Allies' defeat at Nazi Germany. Hitler did not support propaganda like the vast Soviet Union, but he did not use propaganda at all. Instead, he got the support of the German people, telling them that they are the greatest and the so-called 'inferior' Jews are troublemakers. The Nazis lost World War II, but they left a vast trail of wreckage in their wake. The Nazis have ...more

During this time, Germany was definitely the best. Best tactics, best technology (sporks, which were more efficient than either spoon or forks, tanks, jets), intelligent commanders and determined soldiers, and a special code that no one could figure out for years at a time. They were the most note-worthy country in World War 2, being the ones that declared it in the 1st place. At the time, their main antics were simply conquering, much like the Romans far before them. They've conquered nearly all of Europe at the time, only to get stopped by the combined forces of USA, Russia (who probably was still sore at the time, since they were tricked into making a pact with Germany, only to have their selves attacked by the latter), and others. Germany also was quite the conspirator. They viewed Jews as evil, and after they conquered the world with Italy and Japan (most notably Japan. Italy was insignificant at the time), they would betray them, and conquer their countries too, respectively.

Germany was the best super power of the whole ww2 because the beat countries in weeks(Poland and France with Britain help) they were able to hold a defensive line for the greatest amount of time possible. Gave allies trouble when the allies should have stormed through Germany

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2 United States

Having been responsible for the Wall Street Crash which led to an international depression, the United States was the most economically influential world power in the world. Their population didn't 'boom' like it did in previous decades due to immigration restrictions and the United States was still in isolationism and thus not military-orientated or as Imperialistic as the European powers. Nonetheless, the United States massive economy mean't it recovered completely from the greatest financial depression in human history. - JamesNicholls

As the head of the Japanese navy during WW2 once said about America "you can't invade the US mainland, behind every blade of grass would be a rifle." Or another quote "to win a war against America we can't simply stop at Hawaii nor San Francisco we would have to march our Army into the White House and force surrender." Like it or not WW2 America was untouchable by any country during the time. You weren't fighting just the American Army Navy and Marine Corps you were fighting 237 million pissed off freedom loving patriots that brought all the US econonical and Industrial might to bare. In short you were fighting a nation with enough manpower, resources and determination to literally beat down any nation of the time.

Lets face it without the united states the allies would have probably lost world war 2 Nazi Germany took over most of europe and they were the ones that invaded normandy in operation overlord and liberated most of europe

America finished the war but in a very violent way

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3 British Empire

The British Empire wasn't quite as large as it was following the First World War, Canada and much of Ireland became independent by 1939. Nonetheless the British Empire still held a considerable bulk of the world population and land area. - JamesNicholls

In addition to the wealth and man-power of the Indian sub-continent, the United Kingdom had the military and economic strength of Canada, Australia and New Zealand at its side. Nations covering vast tracts of Africa and Asia also stood shoulder to shoulder with Britain and many other great powers were it's allies. With its international cultural domination in terms of science, sports, the arts and entertainment and with English itself being effectively the global lingua franca, The British Empire was truly a force to be reconned with.

The British Empire not only had the military of the United Kingdom, but also the massive industrial and military power of India behind it.

British is 5th in ww2 super power because they got beat in weeks in France with France help and barely held the Germans later. While japan easily to most of Asia quick and efficient like Germany did

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4 Soviet Union

The Soviet Union was the most unique military during World War II, the most effective vehicles for the allies( putting a rocket launcher on the back of a truck), the most reliable firearms, the most soldiers, though they did not have guns for every person, not to wise of attack strategy, and lost a ton of people, the Soviets being desperate made them thrive, they came up with the most brilliant ideas for being way behind in technology, yet they did practically win the war as they made it to Berlin first. The fact that the soviets really didn't believe in high technology, they made simple yet effective weapons.

The Soviet union was not as powerful in terms of sheer might however its possibilities for war (shown when the Nazis invaded) was greater than the Americans and British combined. The Soviet Union is the country that defeated the Nazis and they did about 70% of the work.Were as countries like america were near enough useless in the war only providing in the last two years of the war! The Soviet Union was also the country that did most of fighting against Japan.Yet the U.S took the credit. They pushed the Nazis back across Russia even after the take over of Moscow back into Berlin and they rescued the Auschwitz captives and this was all when they were not even ready or even expected an invasion. The Soviets moved their entire economy east (in three years) and amassed an army more powerful than a empire which focused its entire economy on war and the soviets crushed them.

There is no reason for Britain to be above the Soviet Union. The Soviet's numbers and production of cheap weaponry allowed them to push back Germany and end the European theatre.

Really? The Soviet Union was stronger than the British Empire and the United States! Only Nazi Germany was stronger and then, it is no longer there!

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5 Japanese Empire

. The Japanese Empire was now under a dictatorship, conquering Manchuria and annexing parts of China. The Japanese regime was extremely militaristic and imperialistic, greatly expanding in size from 1931-1939 as a result of a war with China. Japan also notably abandoned the Genoa Treaty, which agreed that the Japanese navy was to be three-fifths of the British and American navies. - JamesNicholls

Japanese Were unstoppable if They never attacked Hawaii and midway. They Were already in great favor And Could Have Conquered all of asia

To add onto that, Japan had also once controlled Korea and Taiwan. - Turkeyasylum

Had the most advanced fighter, the A6M Zero with a 12 to 1 kill ratio. If that is not power then I don't know what is

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6 French Empire

France still retained Indochina and African and Pacific colonies in 1939. WW1 had effected France more profoundly than perhaps any other economically, as did the Great Depression, as France's fragile economy was only beginning to recover when the Depression hit in '29. France was still very much military-orientated, comparable to its 1914 levels, as they were still extremely wary of the growing power of Germany in the east. - JamesNicholls

Considered the strongest military in Europe 1939

In 1939, French tanks were considered the best in the world. One famous example is the Char B1. Look up the Battle of Stonne.

7 Italian Empire

The Italian Empire was an Empire now that Mussolini had invaded and conquered Abyssinia (Ethiopia) at the start of 1936. Compared to the big five, though, Italy was an embarrassment industrially, barely keeping up with small European states such as Belgium and the Netherlands. Mussolini's officials were usually corrupt and disloyal, and Mussolini couldn't and didn't check whether they were doing what he told them. The Fascist regime was however, extremely military orientated, like Nazi Germany and Italy maintained a population of just under 50 million. - JamesNicholls

Mussolini, who is the creator of fascism and influenced Adolf Hitler to be fascist.

Italy was surely lacking behind the other great power such as Nazi Germany and Great Britain, but it's army size and especially navy power would surely make it one of the 10th strongest militaries of ww2

8 Poland Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) and Lithuania to the north .

Poland fought even when occupied, its government never surrendered, was attacked by USSR and Nazi Germany, fought for the survival of fatherland and lost 1/6 inhabitant during the war. Also fought in foreign armies, as in North Africa, Britain, France in 1940 and after Overlord, Italy and USSR.

Definitely number 9.

I think it was a powerful country in the world war 2 because they tried to stop the naziparty however failed, although some countries didn't even try to do anything.So big applauses to the poles for being brave.

Poland Was left alone after war

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9 China

When combined, China was still indeed a powerful country in 1939. The war with its more powerful neighbour and an ongoing civil war though deeply hurt China economically. - JamesNicholls

China was occupied by japan throughout the war not even sure how it's in 8th position it should be much lower. The performance of Chinese troops in repelling japanese forces was pathetic

They had a ton of people

Part of china was occupied. China's worst failure was battle of Wuhan when 1000000 Chinese soldiers couldn't defend against 350000 Japanese soldiers

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10 Canada Canada Canada is a country in North America that is next to the United States, and it's the 2nd largest country in the world (size is 9.985 million km²). This country has 10 provinces, and 3 territories. Canada became a dominion on July 1, 1867. Its 10 provinces are: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, more.

Canada Fought on all Fronts of the War. She Played a huge part in the battle of the Atlantic and invasion of Italy. Canada was on the beaches at Normandy and made major contributions in the air as well. Definitely made a larger contribution than France or Poland which were defeated so early in the war or India, Australia, or New Zealand who played very little roles in comparison. Pound for pound Canada lost more men percentage wise than the US. Canada is definitely more deserving to be in the top ten than a few of the nations that are already there.

Canada stood by Great Britain during its darkest hour, and sent them the help they needed during the Battle of the Atlantic and the Battle of Britain. I really doubt that Britain would have survived were it not for Canada. Unlike the United States of America and the Soviet Union, Canada was fighting against the Nazis since the very beginning of World War Two.

Modern economy and military with lots of heavy industry might and hard fighting, motivated soldiers! Not anything near the main powers but absolutely the most powerful middle power more so than Italy and the surrendered France. Should be number 7 on the list.

Canada contributed hugely to the WW2 Allied effort both on land, where a sizeable percentage of the available population was sent to serve in Italy and D-Day, and as well as in sea, where they participated in organizing convoys, bringing supplies, bombardment of positions and naval battles.

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The Contenders

11 Turkey

Mustafa Kemal was the best leader in the world

Mustafa Kemal was the one Of the most great leaders ever in the Turkey

They are awesome

I love Turkey.But why

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12 India India India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world.

India was part of the British Empire, number three on the list.

They fought back the Japanese

Indians protested British forces peacefully

I love my India

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13 Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire

Worse Than USSR

Very Weak

14 Switzerland
15 Sweden Sweden Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. more.
16 Philippines Philippines The Philippines was established in March 16, 1521 and named in honor of a Spanish King whose name is King Philip of Spain II. It is located at Asia, specifically at Southeast Asia. The capital is Manila. 89% of the people there currently are native, while 11% of people there are foreigners.

The Philippines in 1939 had a small army, small navy, and an almost non - existent navy. However, two key factors made the Philippines a very hard country to take. First of all, the American support of this country greatly prolonged the actual invasion of the Japanese. Many US troops fought until they couldn't in defending key areas such as manila bay and parts of the visayas. Secondly, the Filipino soldiers were known to be even more resilient, clever, and brutal than even the Japanese, often using stealth and surprise as weapons to butcher Japanese troops, often in painful and sanguine manners. While the Japanese might have surrounded the Philippines, the sheer number of those willing to die for their country allowed the liberation of the Philippines to be one of the easiest in the entire war. Never underestimate the cleverness, cruelty, willpower, and sheer patriotism of a Filipino soldier.

Philippine is the puppet of the USA which supplies by the USA during the occupation.

This is my Country but too Weak

They are awesome

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17 Spain Spain Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a sovereign state largely located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, with archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, and several small territories on and near the north African coast.

Spain was the biggest empire along time ago and then they lost everthing. Spain had a civil war it was Spain vs replublicanos and Spain won so franco became prime minister of Spain that's why Spain didant join the second would war

18 Netherlands Netherlands

It was stronger then Nazi Germany and Hitler knew it and made a plan to make Netherlands force to give up and the plan was to bomb Rotterdam and it was completely wiped off the map.

It fought bravely

For a small country, it was powerful with indonesia and Suriname

19 Romania Romania Romania is a sovereign state located in Southeastern Europe It borders the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, and Moldova. It has an area of 238,391 square kilometres and a temperate-continental climate. With over 19 million inhabitants, the country is the seventh-most-populous member state more.

The regional power of Balkans, it had the fourth power both in the axis and then in the Allied powers

Romania had a lot of resources and great millatary, Romania invaded the Soviet Union in 1941

One of the bravesg countries in the world!


20 Greece Greece Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known since ancient times as Hellas is a country located in southeastern Europe.

To do justice to history, I am obliged to state that, of the enemies confronting us, the Greek soldier fought with death-defying valor. He surrendered only after further resistance had become impossible and senseless. - Hitler

Greece fought back an Italian invasion in 1942 and launched a counterattack into Albania. Germany had to conquer them.

Greece Showed Italy And Albania That They Are weak (Albania was already not that strong) And Greece Had Such Victory Germany Itself Had To Face This Brave land. It Also Saved Russian Lives from stopping the invaison for awhile

Greece saved the world

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21 Greater Nepal

Greater Nepal is one of the most powerful but untold army force. I never seen about nepal army before this article. But they fought so bravely with others.

Ofc they are the strongest there is absolutely no question on that

22 Yugoslavia

Only Nation that freed themselves from occupation.

The best country of all time - strenger92

23 Australia Australia Australia, officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. Australia has a very warm climate and is very dry. The country's official language is English.

We helped sending lots to war in Europe and shut off many things so our economy wouldn't collapse

Australia is a great country it should be top 10

Should be just under Canada

We had heaps of great soilders and did a helluva lot more than some countries in front of us

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24 Bulgaria Bulgaria Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, was established in 681 ad. and since then it never changed it's name, which makes it one of the oldest countries in Europe. Located in the Balkan Peninsula between Greece, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia and Black Sea. The Capital of Bulgaria is Sofia, more.

Like Some Minor Axis Powers


25 Czechoslovakia

Czechoslovakia was as many sources say the 10th strongest economy before the Munich pact in the world.

26 Czech Republic Czech Republic Czechia, officially the Czech Republic, is a nation state in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast.

They where better equipped than the Soviet and French armies and had better training, worst list

In 1935 They Formed As Czechslovakia Its Stronger Than Nazi Germans

27 Denmark Denmark Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Europe. The southernmost of the Nordic countries, it is south-west of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany.

Strong and powerful

28 Iran Iran Iran, also known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. The capital city is Teheran and the major city is also Tehran. The language is Persian.
29 Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan was established in 1947 and is located in South Asia. Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan and is known as the world's second most beautiful capital city. Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar are other major cities of Pakistan. Urdu and English are official languages of Pakistan. World's second more.

I agree with others disagreeing with this. Pakistan was not a country until 1947. Until1947 it was still part of the British Empire as part of British India.

Pakistan is partitioned country of India in1947

Pakistan will have the strongest nuclear program in the world by 2020

Pakistan may not be in world Map after 2025.

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30 Norway Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a sovereign and unitary monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula plus the island Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard.


Norway was just above 2.000.000 people in strenght when the war broke out, but did an ok job defending themself. The goverment and soldiers fled to the UK to help and fight from there, so I think they are worthy to be mentioned. Sorry for bad enghlish.

31 Ireland Ireland Formed in 1916 after the Easter uprising, Ireland is a small country with a population of roughly 5 million.

I'm Irish and I got to say we're not so strong compared to everyone. But I'm sure we will put up a fight. I know we can't deffeat a invaison since men only had about 2.7 million people in the country. We only had an army of about 20,000. But, it would take a while to get us

32 New Zealand New Zealand

Incredibly modernised economy with citizens that punch well above their weight in every category.

33 Albania Albania Albania is a southeastern European country that is slightly larger than Maryland and near Montenegro, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, and Greece. The capital is a city called Tirana. Some other major cities in Albania are Durrës, Elbasan, Vlorë, and Shkodër. Albania gained its independence in 1912. more.
34 Lithuania Lithuania
35 Belgium Belgium
36 Nepal Nepal Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a sovereign state located in South Asia.

Even Nepal is a small country Nepali is really strongest people of the world.. GURKHA'S

37 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon, is an island country in South Asia near south-east India.
38 Yemen Yemen Yemen, officially known as the Republic of Yemen, is an Arab country in Western Asia, occupying the southwestern to the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.
39 Georgia Georgia Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region. Located at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Western Asia it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russian Federation, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The country's capital and a largest city more.

Your SSR?

40 Vatican City Vatican City Vatican City, officially Vatican City State or the State of Vatican City, is a walled enclave within the city of Rome.

Yes definitely!

It was very strong because everyone adds some $hitty country like Poland and Romania who were weak as $hit

41 Tajikistan Tajikistan Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia with an estimated 8 million people in 2013, and an area of 143,100 km2.

You Know that's SSR

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