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Why Did World War II Happen?

WWII

World War II was the worst conflict in human history. When World War I came to a close in 1918, the last thing anybody wanted was another war. So, why did the globe battle again barely two decades later in World War II?

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Well, that’s the central theme of this article.

On September 1, 1939, World War II officially began and finished on September 2, 1945. Though there is no definite figure for the number of persons murdered in the war, Due to the impacts, it is estimated that up to 85 million people died. All of the world’s major nations participated in the conflict, spanned practically every Continent.

Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939 provoked declarations of war from France and the United Kingdom, launching World War II. But that was just the last straw in a chain of events. For years, many other economic and political issues had been building up tension.

Two individuals ascended to prominence in Germany and Italy in the years leading up to WWII. Benito Mussolini, who became Italy’s Prime Minister in 1922, was one of them. The other was Adolf Hitler, who became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. The two guys transformed their nations into brutal dictatorships in a matter of months.

Mussolini desired the restoration of the Roman Empire. In contrast, Hitler wanted the establishment of a new German empire, the Third Reich, that would extend from the Ural Mountains in the east to the western coast of Europe.

Mussolini intended to restore the Roman Empire, but Hitler planned to create a new German empire, the Third Reich, that would extend from the Ural Mountains in the east to Europe’s west coast.

The Treaty of Versailles (1919)

In 1919, Lloyd George of England, Clemenceau of France, Orlando of Italy, and Woodrow Wilson of the United States gathered to consider how Germany would be held responsible for the destruction wrought by World War One. Those who lost the argument, on the other hand, were not permitted to attend the meeting, breaking with convention. Germany, the largest and most potent vanquished country, was particularly enraged by this.

The victorious nations—led by the United States, France, and the United Kingdom—decided what peace would look like after the war without any involvement from the Germans.

Clemenceau was seeking vengeance. He wanted to be sure that Germany would never initiate a new war.

Although Lloyd George supported Wilson, he was aware that the British public supported Clemenceau. Accordingly, he attempted to bring Wilson and Clemenceau closer together.

Germany had hoped for a settlement based on Wilson’s 14 principles, and the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles did not meet their expectations. They were, nonetheless, compelled to sign the agreement.

The Treaty of Versailles demanded Germany to take responsibility for the war, give up its overseas colonies and 13% of its European territory, restrict the size of its army and navy, and pay reparations (financial damages) to the war’s winners after months of negotiations.

The pact dissatisfied the German people, who believed it was excessively punitive. Germany was unable to pay the money, and the German people were destitute during the 1920s. There was little employment available, and food and other necessities were expensive. People were fed up with the government, so they elected a guy (Adolf Hitler) who threatened to pull up the Treaty of Versailles.

According to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, The pact was planned to kill twenty million Germans and demolish the German country. Undoing the bargain was an essential principle of the Nazi party, and campaign pledges like these helped the Party acquire support.

In January 1933, Adolf Hitler was elected German Chancellor. He began building up Germany’s army and armaments in secret almost immediately. First, he expanded the army, started constructing warships, and established a German air force in 1934. Then, in 1935, the government-mandated military duty.

Although the United Kingdom and France were aware of Hitler’s conduct, they were also concerned about the advent of Communism. Therefore, they felt that a stronger Germany would prevent Communism from spreading to the West.

Hitler authorized the invasion of the Rhineland in 1936. However, the German army was not particularly powerful and easily beaten. Neither France nor the United Kingdom, on the other hand, we’re willing to launch a new war.

During 1936, Hitler formed two significant relationships. The Rome-Berlin Axis Pact, which joined Hitler’s Germany with Mussolini’s Italy, was the first. The Anti-Comintern Pact, which linked Germany and Japan, was the second.

The next stage for Hitler was to reclaim the area seized from Germany. German forces marched into Austria in March 1938. The Austrian government was compelled to call a referendum to determine if the people wanted to join Germany.

The vote’s results were rigged, revealing that 99 percent of Austrians supported Anschluss (union with Germany). Austria’s leader sought assistance from the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. Because the other nations did not want to risk war, Hitler claimed that Anschluss would put a stop to his expansionist goals.

Hitler broke his pledge and demanded the Sudetenland portion of Czechoslovakia be turned over to Germany six months later. In September 1938, Britain’s Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, met with Hitler three times to strike an agreement that would avoid war.

Hitler did not keep his pledge and attacked the whole of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. Despite the Czechoslovak government’s pleas for assistance, neither Britain nor France was willing to take military action against Hitler. However, anticipating that Poland would be Hitler’s next target, both Britain and France agreed to intervene militarily if Hitler attacked Poland. However, on September 1, 1939, German soldiers invaded Poland.

Germany attacked Norway and conquered Denmark simultaneously, and the war officially began. Then, on May 10, German soldiers launched a “blitzkrieg,” or rapid war, that rushed across Belgium and the Netherlands.

On June 14, German soldiers occupied Paris; two nights later, a new administration led by Marshal Philippe Petain (France’s World War I hero) demanded an armistice. Following that, France was divided into two zones, one under German military control and Petain’s administration, established in Vichy, France. Hitler now shifted his focus to Britain, which benefited from being separated from the English Channel as a defensive advantage.

During the 1930s, many politicians in the United Kingdom and France realized that the Treaty of Versailles imposed unjust limits on Germany. Therefore, Hitler’s acts were justified and understood.

Many politicians believed that Germany had the right to re-arm to protect itself when it began re-arming in 1934. A stronger Germany, it was further thought, would prevent Communism from spreading to the West. In 1936, Hitler said that because France had signed a new pact with Russia, Germany was threatened by both nations. Therefore, soldiers stationed in the Rhineland were necessary for German security.

Neville Chamberlain was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in May 1937. He considered that the Treaty of Versailles had mistreated Germany and that the Treaty had several flaws that needed to be addressed. Giving up to Hitler’s demands, he believed, would avoid another war. The appeasement strategy, which Chamberlain’s administration implemented, came to be known as the policy of appeasement.

The Presidents of Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy signed the Munich Agreement, which stated that the Sudetenland would be restored to Germany and Germany would make no future territorial claims.

The Czech government, which opposed the Sudetenland’s loss, was not invited. Moreover, both Britain and France, with whom they had formed alliances, seemed to have betrayed them.

In March 1939, Hitler violated the Munich Agreement by invading Czechoslovakia. Even though the appeasement program had failed, Chamberlain was unwilling to go to war.

In the late 1920s, the entire world was afflicted by depression. When a country’s economy deteriorates, it is called depression. Trade falls, firms lose money, prices decrease, and unemployment grows.

The Great Depression struck Japan hard in 1931. People had lost trust in governance and had resorted to the army for help. Manchuria, a mineral-rich region of China, was invaded by the military. The League was contacted by China, who requested assistance.

The Japanese administration was instructed to order the soldiers out of Manchuria promptly. On the other hand, the army paid no attention to the administration and went on to conquer Manchuria.

Japanese soldiers slaughtered military captives and civilians and engaged in widespread sexual atrocities during the conflict. Between 1937 and 1945, it is believed that up to 20 million Chinese people perished. Yet, years passed before Japan’s aggression elicited international retribution, despite these techniques and global indignation over atrocities like the Nanjing Rape.

Roosevelt was anxious, though, by Japan’s rise and the European conflict. He imposed an embargo that cut Japan off from American oil in reaction to Japan’s expansionism. The fleet of Japan has barely six months’ worth of oil on hand. It was agreed that an assault plan against Western targets, including Pearl Harbor, was necessary.

One day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941. Germany and Italy (allies with Japan under the 1940 Tripartite Pact) responded on December 11 by saying the war on the US.

In many respects, the United States of the 1920s and 1930s had gone inward. In the aftermath of the First World War, which claimed so many lives, and the Great Depression, which devastated many of those who survived, the attitude back home was gloomy. Despite playing a prominent international role, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, the country mainly remained uninvolved in the violent wars across Europe and Asia.

The America First Committee, a political group founded in the early 1940s, was a staunch supporter of isolationism. The organization had over 800,000 members and was led by Charles Lindbergh, a well-known proponent. The claimed goal of the organization was to keep the United States out of the European War, which began in 1939. but it also functioned as a forum for racism and anti-Semitism.

According to a May 1940 public opinion poll, 93 percent of Americans opposed the US initiating war on Germany. The debate over whether or not to fight ended on December 7, 1941. The United States was prepared for war in Europe and Asia after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the German declaration of war.

By 1943, British and American forces in North Africa had defeated the Italians and Germans. Mussolini’s administration fell in July 1943 after an Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy. However, Allied warfare against the Germans in Italy continued until 1945.

On the Eastern Front, a Soviet counteroffensive begun in November 1942 put an end to the terrible Battle of Stalingrad, which saw some of World War II’s most ferocious fighting. Winter’s arrival, along with depleting food and medical supplies, signaled the end of German forces in the area, and the last of them surrendered on January 31, 1943.

The Allies launched a massive invasion of Europe on June 6, 1944, commemorated as “D-Day,” with 156,000 British, Canadian, and American troops landing on Normandy, France. As a result, Hitler threw the entirety of his army’s remaining power into Western Europe, assuring Germany’s loss in the east.

An intense aerial bombardment preceded the Allied land invasion of Germany in February 1945, and by the time Germany formally surrendered on May 8, Soviet forces had captured much of the nation. Hitler committed suicide in Berlin On April 30.

End of the Deadliest War

President Harry S. Truman, Churchill, and Stalin reviewed the ongoing war with Japan and the peace deal with Germany at the Potsdam Conference in July-August 1945. In postwar Germany, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France would govern four occupation zones.

Because they needed Soviet backing in the war against Japan, Churchill and Truman acquiesced to Stalin on the contentious question of Eastern Europe’s future.

The atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August as part of a top-secret operation code-named The Manhattan Project. On August 15, the Japanese government announced that they would accept the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration. On September 2, US General Douglas MacArthur received Japan’s official surrender in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri.

How Many Died in WWII?

The Soviet Union alone lost about 27 million people during the conflict, including 8.7 million soldiers and 19 million civilians. Germany suffered 5.3 million military casualties, the majority of which occurred on the Eastern Front and during the last engagements in the country.

Between 11 and 17 million individuals perished as a direct or indirect result of Hitler’s discriminatory policies, which included the mass murder of around 6 million Jews, Roma, and homosexuals. In addition, millions of Poles and other Slavs (including Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians) and other ethnic and minority groups have been slaughtered.

Conclusion

With 39 million people killed in Europe alone, World War II was one of the most significant events of the twentieth century. During six years of land fighting and airstrikes, much physical capital was lost.

Many people were compelled to abandon or give up their land without compensation to relocate to new regions. Even in relatively prosperous Western Europe, food shortages were more regular. Many children lost their fathers as a result of long-term family separation. Many people, especially children, would see the horrors of war firsthand as fights and bombings occurred in their neighborhoods.

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