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n8r

World War 2 Summary

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World War II, also called Second World War, conflict that involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939–45. The principal belligerents were the Axis powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—and the Allies—France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China. The war was in many respects a continuation, after an uneasy 20-year hiatus, of the disputes left unsettled by World War I. The 40,000,000–50,000,000 deaths incurred in World War II make it the bloodiest conflict, as well as the largest war, in history.

 

Along with World War I, World War II was one of the great watersheds of 20th-century geopolitical history. It resulted in the extension of the Soviet Union’s power to nations of eastern Europe, enabled a communist movement to eventually achieve power in China, and marked the decisive shift of power in the world away from the states of western Europe and toward the United States and the Soviet Union.

 

The outbreak of war

By the early part of 1939 the German dictator Adolf Hitler had become determined to invade and occupy Poland. Poland, for its part, had guarantees of French and British military support should it be attacked by Germany. Hitler intended to invade Poland anyway, but first he had to neutralize the possibility that the Soviet Union would resist the invasion of its western neighbor. Secret negotiations led on August 23–24 to the signing of the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact in Moscow. In a secret protocol of this pact, the Germans and the Soviets agreed that Poland should be divided between them, with the western third of the country going to Germany and the eastern two-thirds being taken over by the U.S.S.R

 

Having achieved this cynical agreement, the other provisions of which stupefied Europe even without divergence of the secret protocol, Hitler thought that Germany could attack Poland with no danger of Soviet or British intervention and gave orders for the invasion to start on August 26. News of the signing, on August 25, of a formal treaty of mutual assistance between Great Britain and Poland (to supersede a previous though temporary agreement) caused him to postpone the start of hostilities for a few days. He was still determined, however, to ignore the diplomatic efforts of the western powers to restrain him. Finally, at 12:40 PM on August 31, 1939, Hitler ordered hostilities against Poland to start at 4:45 the next morning. The invasion began as ordered. In response, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3, at 11:00 AM and at 5:00 PM, respectively. World War II had begun.

Origins of World War II

No one historic event can be said to have been the origin of World War II. Japan’s unexpected victory over czarist Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) left open the door for Japanese expansion in Asia and the Pacific. The United States U.S. Navy first developed plans in preparation for a naval war with Japan in 1890. War Plan Orange, as it was called, would be updated continually as technology advanced and greatly aided the U.S. during World War II.

The years between the first and second world wars were a time of instability. The Great Depression that began on Black Tuesday, 1929 plunged the worldwide recession. Coming to power in 1933, Hitler capitalized on this economic decline and the deep German resentment due to the emasculating Treaty of Versailles, signed following the armistice of 1918. Declaring that Germany needed Lebensraum or “living space,” Hitler began to test the Western powers and their willingness to monitor the treaty’s provision. By 1935 Hitler had established the Luftwaffe, a direct violation of the 1919 treaty. Remilitarizing the Rhineland in 1936 violated Versailles and the Locarno Treaties (which defined the borders of Europe) once again. The Anschluss of Austria and the annexation of the rump of Czechoslovakia was a further extension of Hitler’s desire for Lebensraum. Italy’s desire to create the Third Rome pushed the nation to closer ties with [censored] Germany. Likewise, Japan, angered by their exclusion in Paris in 1919, sought to create a Pan-Asian sphere with Japan in order to create a self-sufficient state. 

Competing ideologies further fanned the flames of international tension. The Bolshevik Revolution in czarist Russia during the First World War, followed by the Russian Civil War, had established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), a sprawling communist state. Western republics and capitalists feared the spread of Bolshevism. In some nations, such as Italy, Germany and Romania, ultra-conservative groups rose to power, in part in reaction to communism.

Germany, Italy and Japan signed agreements of mutual support but, unlike the Allied nations they would face, they never developed a comprehensive or coordinated plan of action.

 

On September 1, 1939, World War II started when Germany invaded Poland. By November 1942, the Axis powers controlled territory from Norway to North Africa and from France to the Soviet Union. After defeating the Axis in North Africa in May 1941, the United States and its Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943 and forced Italy to surrender in September. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allies landed in Northern France. In December, a German counteroffensive (the Battle of the Bulge) failed. Germany surrendered in May 1945.

 

 

 

Wanted to start a topic on WWII :)

 

S! All vets

 

 

S! - n8r 

 

 

(feel free to comment anything you would like about WWII!)

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Did you write this for a school assignment, too?  (meaning no offense, just curious).

 

Oh, and it's Go Big Red, or On Wisconsin.  Not sure what this blue stuff is all about. ;)

 

S!

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One of the more fascinating aspects of the war was how the SU following the occupation of the Baltics and Poland went from a quasi enemy that had to be dealt with to "Uncle Joe" Stalin. The propaganda shift made by the Allies (primarily American) in the span of 12 mo the is completely fascinating.

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6 minutes ago, aismov said:

One of the more fascinating aspects of the war was how the SU following the occupation of the Baltics and Poland went from a quasi enemy that had to be dealt with to "Uncle Joe" Stalin. The propaganda shift made by the Allies (primarily American) in the span of 12 mo the is completely fascinating.

Which 12 months are we talking about, and in what direction was the propaganda portraying Uncle Joe?  

Edited by Capco

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Positive direction. For example Time in 1939 at the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (note this was written after Poland was invaded, but before the Soviet invasion a week later)

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,711757-1,00.html

"Delay by the Supreme Soviet in ratifying the communazi deal was first interpreted as springing from some hidden motive in J. Stalin's hairy and devious bosom. A few wishful thinkers even called this delay "the double-doublecross." Inaction by the Red Army except on the Asian front, where it now would have both hands free against Japan, was twisted around into an aspect of the deal actually helpful to the Democracies."

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