Enraged at British Prime Minister Tony Blair's stance during last week's summit talks about the EU constitution, Germany lashed out by invading several European nations, and attacked London with wave after wave of propeller-driven bomber planes.
British troops trapped near Dunkirk, in northwestern France, were miraculously rescued with a flotilla of boats before the German troops could encircle and capture them. However, France fell to the invading Germans, who then marched into Paris.
Initially reluctant to be drawn into the conflict, the Americans first supported the British indirectly, but eventually sent troops to fight the Germans.
Fighting has spread to North Africa, and pretty well every European nation. German submarines (called "U-boats") have sunk dozens and dozens of U.S. & British merchant marine vessels.
Japan has allied itself with Germany in this conflict, and is engaged in hostilities with the United States.
Britain's Prime Minister has made several inspiring comments about the crisis, here are concluding excerpts from a speech given shortly after Germany invaded France:
"In this crisis I think I may be pardoned if 1 do not address the House at any length today, and I hope that any of my friends and colleagues or former colleagues who are affected by the political reconstruction will make all allowances for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act.
"I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.
"You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
"Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move forward toward his goal.
"I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength."