World War Two, which lasted from 1939 until 1945, was firmly rooted in the political developments across Europe that occurred in the 1920s and 1930s. These developments consisted of the increase of power for fascist leaders, first in Italy, with Benito Mussolini, and later in Germany, with Adolf Hitler. These two leaders were linked to the Communist government of Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union, in that all three were totalitarian to a certain degree. Fascism eventually came to a head with democracy with Hitler's invasion of Poland in September of 1939 and the beginning of the war. The Allies (Great Britain, Russia, France, and the United States) fought long and hard against the Axis (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and finally achieved victory with the capture of Berlin in 1945. The war left Europe split in two, between Communism and democracy, leading directly into the Cold War that would run until the end of the 20th century.