World War II Summary
WORLD WAR II 7
TheSecond World War was fought by a total of 30 countries. The warmainly took place in Europe and involved the allied and the axisforces. The war was caused by Hitler’s ambitions, expansionistambitions by different countries, a weak League of Nations andeconomic recession. The world powers tried to avoid war by all meansand they thus used all tactics to avoid confrontation. Hitler tookadvantage of this and decided to expand Germany’s territory byinvading other territories. The war resulted in advanced militarytechnologies which were a way of protecting the nations and ensuringsuccess. The war saw the introduction of nuclear weapons to militarycombat and caused the largest number of deaths in history. The warforced the world to rethink peace strategies that continue toinfluence international policy on peace and conflict.
TheSecond World War was a sociopolitical war that was fought forpurposes of territorial expansion. The main expansionist states wereJapan and Germany. The two countries took advantage of the fact thatthe world was not keen on fighting another war and they thus expandedtheir territories indiscriminately. Hitler in particular wasinterested in taking over Western Europe and the world leaders triedto appease him so as to avoid another war. The war saw the use ofmilitary technology in as countries went to great lengths to win thewar. It was during this war that the world experienced the first useof nuclear weaponry when America bombed two Japanese cities ofNagasaki and Hiroshima. This was also the end of the war as worldleaders chose to cease war and find alternative means of maintainingpeace.
WorldWar II was the most severe, extensive, and most widely referred inthe modern times. It involved more than thirty nations, 100 millionpeople, and led to death of more than 50 million people. Lastingbetween 1939 and 1945, this war changed the status of the worldeconomically, socially, politically, and has held lasting impacts todate (Paxton, 2011). The war resulted in some of the most atrocioushuman rights abuses and this was among the main reasons why most ofthe most important decisions regarding peace keeping were made afterthe war. This research will explore the causes, mechanism andresults of World War II for the nations of the world today
Thecause of World War II involved multiple nations’ interests, manypolitical organizations’ influence, as well as individualinterests. One of the leading sources was the rise to power of theNazi leader Adolf Hitler, as well as his efforts to make an Aryanrace supremacy territory spanning the whole world and also, toethnically cleanse the world of all Jews, homosexuals, and thehandicapped (Kershaw, 2007). Other contributing factors includetension between United States and Japan, as well as conflictsinvolving the European and Asian countries. The research will focuson the ideological and philosophical causes of World War II.
Anotherdirect facilitator of World War II was the policy of appeasing ofHitler, who had expansionist dreams about Germany. Hitler wasinterested in expanding Germany’s territory and he did everythingin his power to expand its territory. On the other hand, France,Britain, and the United States were weary of war and they easily fellinto Hitler’s tricks so as to appease him and avoid war. This madesure that every time Hitler occupied new lands, the three stateswould allow him on the promise that it was the last time for Hitle(Kershaw, 2007)r. However, Chamberlain signed an agreement withHitler in 1939 in which Hitler promised not to occupy the whole ofCzechoslovakia. At the same time, Chamberlain agreed with Poland thathe would come to its aid if Hitler tried to occupy Poland. In 1939,Hitler expanded into Poland and as promised, Chamberlain had to cometo its rescue (Paxton, 2011).
Theworld formed the League of Nations in 1919 as a way of maintainingworld peace through peaceful negotiations. However, the membercountries did not allow Germany and Russia to join and thus, the twonations were not under the guidelines of the League. Additionally,other countries did not join while others joined much later. Thisprevented the League of Nations from having total control over theworld. Some nations such as Germany and Russia were thus in aposition to flout the rules set by the league with no repercussions(Steiner, 2011). Japan also ignored the warning from the league towithdraw from Chinese territory as the world could not imposeeconomic sanctions on it.
TheLeague of Nations also lacked an army and thus relied on the kindnessof the member states to provide an army when needed. The aggressionof Germany and Japan came at a period when the entire world wasundergoing an economic recession and thus, most countries could notsustain an army in foreign countries (Paxton, 2011). The league wasthus a toothless dog as it only issued threats, but could notaggressively implement its threats. When Germany invaded Poland andJapan invaded Chinese territory, the league just watched as eventsbrought the world closer to war.
Additionally,Italy invaded Ethiopia and the League of Nations had no power to stopthe Italian regime from its expansionist intentions (Petersen, 2002).The Italian regime sought to expand its territory into the Africancountry and the League of Nations, just like it had done with Japan,only issued empty threats. Additionally, the League of Nations couldnot use economic sanctions against the country as the world wasexperiencing an economic recession and thus, the world nations werelooking to strengthen their economies (Kershaw, 2007).
Themajority of the super powers, today, participated in the World WarII, in varying extents and at different stages. Most of the Europeannations were directly involved, mainly in resisting the invasion andadvance of Nazi Germany, and later in supporting the Allied forces.The Americans, Japan, and a couple of other countries joined the waronly to support different sides, but were not directly invaded oraffected (Steiner, 2011). This portion will explore the war in termsof participants, resource mobilization, costs and losses.
TheSecond World War had two main sides the allied forces and the axisforces. The allied forces comprised of countries allied to Britainand her allies and the axis forces comprised of Germany and herallies (Steiner, 2011). The war was mainly fought in Europeanterritory with each side sending forces to its European counterpart(Petersen, 2002). Germany invaded Poland, Norway, and Denmark whileItaly invaded France and Britain. The United States was never invadedby she fought alongside the allied forces.
Thewar led to numerous countries becoming crippled by the economy, newalignments -both political and economic-formed, and financialdifficulties introduced for Germany. The war left most countries inruins, notably Germany and Japan (Kaillis, 2000). Japan had two ofits cities bombed and this caused Japan to officially withdraw fromthe war. Another direct effect of the war was numerous deaths.Historians estimate that an average of about 100 million people wasdirectly involved in the war. The deaths were thus massive as itinvolved a total of thirty countries, which were directly involved inthe war. The war also led to advancement in war technologies ascountries sought to outdo each other in the war.
TheUnited Nations was also a direct result of the war. Following thefailure to the League of Nations, there was a necessity for apowerful international body that would be charged with internationalsecurity. The United Nations was formed with a stronger mandate andthe body also has a standing army that can be used in combat when theneed arises (Steiner, 2011). The world also resolved never to appeaseany person as this was how the war started as world leaders sought toappease Hitler so as to stop his expansionist ambitions. There wasalso a resolution on the amount of arms that countries can possess ata given time.
Inconclusion, the Second World War was mainly between the axis forcesand the allied forces. The war was mainly caused by the policy ofworld nations to appease Hitler, invasion of Chinese territory byJapan, expansionist ambitions, and a weak League of nations. The warresulted in numerous deaths, advancement in military technologies andthe formation of the United Nations. The effects of the war shouldguide the decisions of all nations today, as well as act as a bank ofknowledge for policy developers and diplomats. It has far reachingeffects today, which will last many centuries to come.
Kaillis,A. (2000). FascistIdeology.London: Routledge.
Kershaw,I. (2007). FatefulChoices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940–1941.London: Allen Lane.
Paxton,R, O. (2011). Europein the Twentieth Century.United States: Wadsworth.
Petersen,R, D. (2002). Understandingethnic violence: Fear, hatred, and resentment in twentieth-centuryEastern Europe. Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press.
Steiner,Z. (2011). TheTriumph of the Dark: European International History, 1933–1939.London:OxfordHistory of Modern Europe.