Countries Who Remained Neutral in World War II

The following countries supported neither the Allied nor Axis powers in World War II.

During World War II, neutral powers were the countries that chose to not choose sides throughout the war. The neutral powers did not take any side with the hopes of avoiding attack from the countries at war. Columbia, Portugal, Switzerland, and Sweden aided the Allied Powers by supplying the UK with “voluntary” troops, whereas Spain favored the Axis and avoided the Allies. Despite efforts to stay neutral, several countries were invaded. Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands were invaded by Nazi Germany, Iceland was invaded by the British, and Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were invaded by the Soviet Union. The following countries supported neither the Allied nor Axis powers in World War II, for various reasons.

Countries Who Remained Neutral in World War II


During World War II, the Oireachtas adopted the policy of Irish neutrality once the hostilities in Europe started. The policy was maintained during the entire period of war even after several air raids by the Germans and attacks on the country’s shipping fleet by both the Axis and Allies forces.


Switzerland was a neutral country during World War II since it depended on Germany for coal and was protecting its banking interests from plunder by the Axis powers. Once in a while, the Swiss soldiers would open fire on the Axis bombers who were trying to invade their air space. On several occasions, the country shot down planes belonging to the Allied forces. Some cities in Switzerland were “unintentionally” bombed by Allied and Axis airplanes throughout World War II. Since Switzerland had established intricate fortifications and gathered numerous soldiers to wade off any invasion, Adolf Hitler could not invade the country. The extreme mountainous conditions made Hitler reconsider invading Switzerland and he opted to invade the UK instead.

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The Republic of Turkey was neutral during World War II until months before the war ended when it joined forces with the Allies. The country had signed a Mutual Aid Pact in 1939, with both Britain and France before the outbreak of World War II. Following the invasion of France by the German forces, Turkey chose to remain neutral relying on a clause that excused them from military action if it would bring contention with the USSR. In June 1941, Bulgaria permitted the German forces to move its troops through to attack Greece and Yugoslavia thus joining the Axis. Fearing for its fate, Turkey decided to sign a non-aggression pact with Germany. The country sold chromite to Germany and other Allies but in April 1944, Turkey halted its sales to Germany. By August the two countries had broken off their relations. Despite Turkey’s declaration of war on the Axis powers, no Turkish troops ever went into combat.

Vatican City

Under the leadership of Pope Pius XII, the Vatican City maintained a neutral policy throughout World War II. Despite the city of Rome being occupied by the Germans from 1943 and the Allies from 1944, Vatican City was never occupied by either. Extensive humanitarian aid was organized by the Vatican throughout the conflict’s period.

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Neutrality during war

Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, and Portugal established the concept of armed neutrality but asserted to defending their nations against any resulting incursions from the other parties at war. The four nations acquired the right to become aggressive if attacked while maintaining their neutral stance. It is essential to note that neutral countries did not take any side in a war between other parties. In return, neutral countries hoped to avoid attack from either parties.

Which Countries Were Neutral in World War II?

The following countries supported neither the Allied or Axis powers in World War II: Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey, Vatican City, and Monaco.

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Countries Who Remained Neutral in World War II

Rank Neutral WWII Countries
1 Afghanistan
2 Andorra
3 Ireland
4 Liechtenstein
5 Monaco
6 Portugal (and colonies)
7 San Marino
8 Saudi Arabia
9 Spain
10 Sweden
11 Switzerland
12 Turkey
13 Vatican City
14 Yemen

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