A term for the co-belligerents who fought against the Central and Axis Powers in World War I and World War II respectively. Strictly speaking, in World War I the Allies comprised those countries who had created a formal alliance of cooperation, principally the British Empire and France. The USA and other countries (Brazil, Bolivia, China, Tibet, etc.) entered the war without entering any official pact, and were thus officially known as Associate Powers of the Allies. In World War II, around 50 countries entered the war on the side of the Allies, though some (e.g. in Latin America) never sent any troops into battle. During the war itself, Britain, the USA, and the USSR were the dominant Allies (‘the Big Three’), and coordinated the progress of the war and its aftermath at meetings in Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam. After the war, France was accepted as a fourth main ally. The term ‘the Allies’ has been applied to military coalitions led by the US since, notably in the Gulf War and the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan of 2001–2.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.