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

In the beginning of the war they did, that's one reason why they got so far, the only countries that could rival them was Japan and the Soviet Union, in 1939 the US wasn't all that powerful they only got there major military might after they mobilized, same with the USSR.

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.

2 United States

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.

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

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

They actually build an atomic bomb, no other country had done that before or was even close too.

3 British Empire

The British Empire should be at least 2nd on this list. The British Empire in 1939 had a population of nearly 600 million which was over 24% of the world population in 1939, 4 times the population of the USA at the time (147 million) and nearly 6 times the population as Nazi Germany which had a population of 86 million people in 1939. Yes, the Nazi's were more military focused than the British Empire at the time and perhaps even slightly more technologically advanced but the British Empire still had far more manpower and it's navy was still the largest in the world in 1939. There is a solid argument whether Nazi Germany was as powerful as the British Empire in 1939 on land, but there's no way the US was stronger than the British Empire at the time. The 1930's US War Plan Red only realistically targeted on conquering Canada, as the Americans knew they were no match for the Royal Navy. Also let's not forget that the British Empire stood alone against the might of Nazi Germany, Fascist ...more - HistoricalGuy

In 1939, Britain was the world's major superpower. It had by far the world's strongest navy, and it had an empire so large it was home to roughly a quarter of the world's population, which would be the largest empire in history. In 1939, Germany was still recovering from the Treaty of Versailles. The Red Army had proven itself to be ineffective and the USSR was still recovering from the Russian Civil War, and most of the world hatted this country. The United States did not yet have a substantial military or dominant political position, and like the rest of the world, its economy was struggling from the great depression. Japan's military was very effective, but it always suffered from various limitations, and it never really succeeded in making it onto the platform of major powers. In terms of power status, the only country that rivaled the British Empire was France, who was a British ally and major victor of the previous world war. But the following year, they proved to be incapable ...more

We stood alone for 2 years which severely hampered German ability to fight Russia we also fought the Italians yet again hampering German manpower, we had the British empire with a quarter of the world's population the world's best navy and we supplied through great cost to ourselves vital supplies and weaponry to Russia to fight Germany and it's many allies

I don't know why the US is here. It's 1939 people! They hadn't even started mass production of military materials! Sure, they were a potentially powerful nation, but did not get the number 2 spot in 1939. This spot should definitely be Britain followed by Japan, France, and maybe the Soviet Union (Just came out of wars with Japan and Finland).

4 Soviet Union

They Rip off Germany's Asses With Their Millions of Soldiers and Thousand of Tanks
Those BM-13 Katyusha Rocket Launcher Was The Power-Full Of Scaled mobile rocket launcher
Their Are the True hero of Europe Because The soldiers fought for The mother land and for the sake of Europe even they started the cold war they are more simple but more effective on plans they mass assault on enemies they are more simple than high tec but they are more powerful on other countries They are 1st on top 1 best country until United States Declare War first on them Soviet Union turned to Russia
on 1990's but I love more USSR Than USA.

They have won the civil war because russia went to democracy since 1917-18

But when the communist revolution against russian monarchy...they just lose from the feb revolution

(Tsar II is maybe a terrible monarcist but Good at defending at his civil war.)

They didn't have the best military technology or tactics (since Stalin had executed all his high-ranking generals) but the Soviets fought the Nazis with unmatched force by simply overwhelming them with their sheer numbers. The Battle of Stalingrad was easily the bloodiest battle in WWII if not of all time, resulting in over 2 million casualties, and the fact that Stalingrad still never surrendered really says something about the strength of the Soviet military. Heck, without these guys the Allies would've been complete toast facing up against the Axis. It was only after Hitler invaded Russia that things started to tip in the Allies' favor. Roosevelt and Churchill were willing to ally with Joseph "the Brutal and Paranoid Dictator" Stalin just to get the Soviets on their side. And don't forget, these guys kicked the Nazis' asses in Eastern Europe. These guys were not to be messed with, which is one of the main reasons why we were so afraid of them during the Cold War. There's a reason ...more

Duh biggest country on earth at the time

5 Japanese Empire

Japan had one of the most powerful navies in the world, second only to the U.S. and Great Britain, giving it unparalleled force projection in the Eastern Hemisphere. Isoroku Yamamoto lost Midway through bad tactical judgement, crippling the IJN carrier force. If Yamamoto had engaged the U.S. with his full fleet and maintained air superiority, the lightly escorted U.S. carriers would have been picked off by the battleships Yamato and Nagato, and the U.S. navy would not have recovered.

. 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

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 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. With a population of approximately more.

Have you already heard Polish-Russo war? Then search it.

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.

Poland Was left alone after war

Definitely number 9.

8 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

9 China

China should be in the 5th place, after GM,US,SU,GB. The national revolution army of the republic of China at 1939 is very equiped with german weapons. The army is much better than Japan's. However, Japan has a stronger navy. By the end of 1945, China is the 4th strongest, that's why China is one of the founders of the United Nations and one of the permenent member of the SC.

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

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 by area (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, more.

Best country ever

Canada is the nicest person on earth not only that... I am from here!

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.


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

They have lot of Brave and succesful Commanders

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. Its capital is New Delhi. Some other major cities are Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahemdabad. more.

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

13 Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire

has horses

The ottoman empire is the best

Very Weak

Worse Than USSR

14 Switzerland

Well I mean they were never invaded

15 Sweden Sweden Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. more.
16 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

17 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.

Philippines, being a developed country during pre-war era or before world war 2. Philippines before was one of the richest country before but sadly after WW2, Philippines' economy and country fallen because of damages during war.

Philippines is one of the most powerful country in that time till today because of United States

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

18 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!


1 Comment
19 Netherlands Netherlands

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

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

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

21 Yugoslavia

Only Nation that freed themselves from occupation.

The best country of all time - strenger92

22 Greater Nepal

Japan surrendered to Nepal in WW2

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

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 save butt of lot of European Army and back then we pretty powerful in compression to lot of other nation we got population back then that able keep japan occupied we Help in battle of Normandy. in battle of pacific we help us by giving them US base and also help them side by side in navel and land campaign we also help UK / French in Battle of French along side with US Australia should get a lot more credit then I t really does.

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

24 Czechoslovakia

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

25 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

26 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.

Bulgaria was very strong

Like Some Minor Axis Powers


27 Lithuania Lithuania

I'm lithuanian

28 New Zealand New Zealand New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. more.

What if we turn all kiwis into sheep
This is not sick as

I live here it’s cool

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

29 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

30 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 country's official language is Persian. more.
31 Ireland Ireland Formed in 1916 after the Easter uprising, Ireland is a small country with a population of roughly 5 million.

Initially an easy target for invasion, our main defense would be the fact we have good relations with all our neighbors. would most definitely be impossible to have a successful and bloodless occupation of The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (part of the U.K). The fact of the matter is guerrilla warfare would be employed against any invading force and would be a recourse draining and costly affair for any occupying force!

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 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.
33 Belgium Belgium Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. A small and densely populated country, it covers an area of 30,528 square kilometers (11,787 square miles) and has a population of more than 11 million.
34 Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan was established in 1947 and is located in South Asia. Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan. Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar are other major cities of Pakistan. Urdu and English are official languages of Pakistan. World's second highest peak (K-2) and ninth highest peak (Nanga Parbat) are 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 may not be in world Map after 2025.

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

35 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.

36 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

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.

I'm sri lankan!

38 Nepal Nepal Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a sovereign state located in South Asia. more.

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

39 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.
40 Hungary Hungary Hungary is a sovereign state in Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, Slovenia to the west, Austria to the northwest, and Ukraine to the northeast.
41 Algeria Algeria Algeria, officially People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast.

Really nibba?

42 Niger Niger Niger, officially the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River.
43 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

44 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?

45 Mexico Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal republic located in North America. The country is located between the U.S. and Central America, and is known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts, and jungles.

Mexico was never a powerful countries they did have a decent military

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