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Axis Powers

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The Axis Powers is a term for the World War II alliance which included Germany, Italy and Japan and associated countries.

The term was first used by Benito Mussolini, in November 1936, when he spoke of a Rome-Berlin axis in reference to the treaty of friendship signed between Italy and Germany on October 25, 1936. Later, in May 1939, Mussolini would describe the relationship with Germany as a Pact of Steel, which he had earlier referred to as a Pact of Blood.

The conditions of the pact changed on March 18, 1940 when Adolf Hitler and Mussolini met at Brenner Pass in the Alps and agreed to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom.

The Axis was extended to include Japan as a result of the the Tripartite Treaty of September 27, 1940. It was subsequently joined by Hungary (November 20, 1940), Romania (November 23, 1940), Slovakia (November 24, 1940) and Bulgaria (March 1, 1940). Yugoslavia joined on March 25, 1941 but withdrew following a coup two days later, leading to a German-led invasion in April.

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