The Axis Powers was an alliance of countries that opposed the Allies in World War II. The alliance started in 1936 from diplomatic efforts from Germany, and Japan to secure their expansionist interests. Italy would join the alliance in 1937. Other countries also held membership in the alliance though they would often change sides. At the height of the war, the alliance controlled significant portions of Europe, North Africa, and East Asia. Despite this, coordination between the top three countries was minimal. With their defeat in 1945 at the hands of the Allies, the Axis Powers was dissolved.