World War II was marked by two major international alliances: the Nazi-led Axis powers and the Allies, which ultimately developed into the contemporary United Nations. As a result, not every nation, at least not openly, took sides in the conflict.
Only a handful of countries classified as neutral powers refused to support either side in the conflict. These countries chose a neutral stance to avoid being attacked, invaded, and occupied.
This method was often unsuccessful. A pre-war policy of neutrality was in place in countries including Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Despite this, Germany attacked all five nations on April 9-10, 1940, ignoring their objectives.
As a result of these agreements, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia were occupied by the Soviet Union and eventually annexed by the Soviet Union.
Several nations were conscripted into their occupiers’ armies after they were taken over by their occupiers and surrendered control of commerce, territory, resources, and military bases.
In World War II, the following countries remained neutral:
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Vatican City
Unofficial bias was frequently the result of formal neutrality.
The majority of countries that proclaimed themselves neutral in the conflict nevertheless aided or supported one side.
There were brigades of volunteer-only troops from Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland that supported the Allies, and Sweden helped the Allies decode a secret German code.
Axis forces were also supplied with raw resources by the likes of Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland, and Turkey simultaneously.
One of just a few nations to help the Axis and the Allies in different ways was Argentina, which acted as a bridge between the two sides.
Also See: How Many Countries Has the Us Invaded 2022
For more than two years, the United States proclaimed its neutrality in the First World War, but it also found ingenious methods to supply Great Britain and its allies with supplies like ammunition, aircraft, and battleships.
However, the assault on Pearl Harbor in 1941 caused the United States to relinquish its neutrality and enlist in World War II as an official participant.
|Afghanistan||Remained neutral, but traded with Axis||40754.3880|
|Andorra||Remained neutral, but served as smuggling route for Axis||77.4630|
|Argentina||Remained neutral, but maintained trade relations with UK and allowed Argentinians to volunteer to serve in Allied forces. Technically declared war on Japan, and by extension Germany in March. 1945, but the war's outcome had already been decided and Argentina took no military action||46010.2340|
|Bhutan||Remained neutral, but sent India "friendship gift" of 100000 rupees at start of war"||787.9410|
|Estonia||Remained neutral, but was occupied by both Russia, which established a puppet government and annexed the state; and Germany, which conscripted thousands of Estonians into the German army||1321.9100|
|Iceland||Remained neutral, but was occupied first by the U.K. and later the U.S. and cooperated with its occupiers||345.3930|
|Iran||Remained neutral, but refused to expel German residents and was subsequently invaded and occupied by Britain and Russia||86022.8370|
|Ireland||Remained neutral, but did send fire engines to England and share intelligence and naval repair yards with Allies||5020.1990|
|Latvia||Remained neutral, but was occupied by both Russia and Germany and eventually annexed by Russia||1848.8370|
|Liechtenstein||Remained neutral, gave asylum to both Jewish refugees and pro-Axis Russian soldiers||38.3870|
|Lithuania||Remained neutral, but was occupied by and eventually annexed by Russia||2661.7080|
|Monaco||Remained neutral, but was occupied by Italy and Germany, secretly warned suspects when German Gestapo was on the way to arrest them||39.7830|
|Portugal||Remained neutral, but sold tungsten to Germany (but in limited amounts), allowed U.K. and U.S. to build/use bases in Portuguese territory (which arguably flipped its status from neutral to "Allied non-combatant") served as safe haven and transit point for Jews seeking to escape Nazi persecution"||10140.5700|
|San Marino||Remained neutral, very briefly occupied when battle spilled into San Marino's territory, technically declared war on Germany in late 1944, but to no great effect||34.0850|
|Saudi Arabia||Remained neutral, but sold oil to Allies and allowed U.S. to build airbase on Saudi land. Technically declared war on Germany in Feb. 1945, but the war's outcome had already been decided and Saudis took no military action||35844.9090|
|Spain||Initially claimed neutrality, but then switced to "non-belligerent" and assisted the Axis with tungsten and volunteer troops re-establised neutrality once it became clear Axis were likely to lose"||46719.1420|
|Sweden||Began neutral, but switched to "non-belligerent" and sold iron to Axis and reluctantly allowed Axis forces to pass through Swedish territory shared intelligence and later airbases with Allies took in refugees leased naval vessels to Britain,||10218.9710|
|Switzerland||Remained neutral, but captured any soliders from either side who landed at Swiss airfields, shot down aircraft from both sides that violated its airspace, and maintained trade and financial relationships with both sides.||8773.6370|
|Turkey||Remained neutral, but signed friendship agreements and sold chromite to both sides. Technically declared war on Germany in Feb. 1945, but the war's outcome had already been decided and Turkey took no military action||85561.9760|
|Vatican City||Remained neutral as it was legally bound to do by the Lateran Treaty of 1929||0.7990|
|Yemen||Remained neutral despite pre-existing alliance with Italy||31154.8670|
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