In 1940, World War II was in full swing. Germany, Italy, and Japan had created the “Tri Parte Pact,” bonding them together as the “Axis Powers.” They waged war against the Allies, and though they shared
a common bond, they all had different reasons for entering the war.
Under the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler, Germany entered the war with the goals of gaining more land and power and creating, the “perfect race.” According to Nazi policy, this would mean blonde hair, blue eyes, and Aryan blood. Hitler’s plan was to disguise his preparation for war by confronting the “Internal Enemies” of Germany, which consisted of ideological enemies, moral enemies, and Jews, rebuild the economy, and achieve agreements with other nations. After acquiring both Austria and Czechoslovakia from Britain and France, who desperately did not want a repeat of bloodshed after World War I, Hitler decided he wanted Poland also. Britain and France would not give this up as easily. Hitler made a pact with the Soviet Union called the “Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact” so that he could invade Poland and eliminate the threat of an attack. He appointed Heinrich Himmler to plan the attack on Poland that would be known as “Blitzkrieg.” Britain and France gave Hitler an ultimatum, either pull out of Poland or they would go to war. Hitler had gotten exactly what he wanted.
In Italy, Mussolini had just come into power and promised the country he would improve economic conditions, so economic viability played a major part in why they wanted war. Italy needed markets for her industries and one way was to have dependent territories much like the British view of the American Colonies. Being just as greedy as Hitler, he looked up to him and liked the way he ran his dictatorship. He wanted just as much power and saw the war as a way to gain more land and thus, more power over a larger territory. He wanted to build a new Roman Empire and gain the land at Frances expense. Mussolini desperately wanted to seize territory from France in retaliation for World War One, especially the Island of Corsica and several provinces in North Italy that France had refused to relinquish after World War One. He also wanted to seize chunks of North Africa, including Egypt which was rich in resources. Mussolini also knew that if he was not with Hitler, he would be overrun by him.
Japan too entered the war with the hope of gaining land and power. Because Japan was primarily a military-ruled government, the top military officials promoted imperial expansion. They were seeking to dominate and imperialize Asia because as a small island country they lacked land mass to provide necessary natural resources for competing economically with the other industrial superpowers of the time. Japan was bitter at this time because they received very little aid from the Allied countries after WWI. They decided they could claim the land they needed if they helped the Axis, and establish a vast empire. Emporer Hirohito is also claimed to have had similar racial superiority views as Hitler. Japan invaded China in 1937 after decades-long Japanese imperialist policy aiming to dominate China politically and militarily to secure its vast raw material reserves and other resources. The United States then refused to sell Japan oil unless they pulled out of China. Japan wanted to enter war with the United States and retaliated by bombing Pearl Harbor in hopes that if they wiped out their Pacific fleet, they would not stand a chance in war.
The three major Axis powers, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan were part of a military alliance on the signing of the Tripartite Pact in September 1940, which officially founded the Axis powers. Though they had several different reasons for wanting war, they were mainly focused on gaining more land and power for themselves. They wanted to increase their recourses and make their economies more productive. They may have bonded together to enter the war, but really each thought their race was more superior to the other and would have most likely ended up fighting each other in the end. At their height, the Axis powers ruled empires that dominated large parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific Ocean, but World War II ended with their total defeat.