World War II was the most destructive war in human history, thus far. By September 1945, over 60 million people lay dead and nations lay in ruins from the conflict. Germany and Japan were utterly destroyed by the combined forces of the Allies, but even the Allies were affected. The Soviet Union lost over 30 million of its population, and cities like Leningrad (today St. Petersburg) had been destroyed by siege. The British and French empires were in free fall, from which they would never recover their erstwhile prestige. Only the U.S. was relatively unscathed by the war, emerging as the political, economic, and technological “winner” from years of fighting. But even though the U.S. was on the rise, over 500,000 U.S. military personnel died. The world would have to be rebuilt, which fostered renewed suspicion between the emerging superpowers.