The Second World War was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world’s countries forming two opposing military alliances; the Allies and the Axis powers. In a total war directly involving 100 million personnel from more than 30 countries the participants threw their economic, industrial, and scientific resources behind the war effort. – Wikipedia
Although the Great War of 1914-18 cost the lives of more New Zealanders, the Second World War involved a larger mobilisation of people and resources. About 140,000 men and women served overseas, 104,000 in the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, the rest in British or New Zealand naval or air forces. In total, 194,000 men and 10,000 women served in the armed forces, with almost 12,000 of them losing their lives.