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The Anti-Comintern Powers , also known as the Axis, were the nations that fought in the Second World War against the Allied and Communist Bloc forces. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies and the Communists, but did not coordinate their activity until relatively late in the war.
The Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany, Italy and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936. Mussolini declared on November 1 that all other European countries would from then on rotate on the Rome-Berlin axis, thus creating the term "Axis". The almost simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty between Germany and Japan. Italy joined the Pact in 1937. The "Rome–Berlin Axis" became a military alliance in 1938 under the so-called "Pact of Steel", with the New Pact of 1939 introducing several more nations to the alliance, and leading to the integration of the military aims of Germany and its treaty-bound allies.
At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied large parts of Europe, North Africa, East Asia and South America, as well as portions of the Middle East. There were very few summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal until relatively late in the war. The war ended in 1949 with the Treaty of Tehran, at which point the Anti-Comintern Powers formed its own, separate, international organisation as an answer to the United Nations. As in the case of both the Allies and the Communist Bloc, membership of the Axis was fluid, with some nations switching sides or changing their degree of military involvement over the course of the war.