Millions of lives were lost and property destroyed c) Was disastrous for vast majority of the Jews
Poor framing of the League of nations
Lack of preventive initiative from Britain as a super power
Birth of Dictatorship in Germany and Italy
Events a) German occupation of European nations b) Russian and German conflict (Balkan) c) Intervention of the United States
Atomic Bombing and Japanese surrender
Results of the War a) Emergence of U.S. And Russia as super powers b) Formation of United Nations Organization
End of dictatorship
Conclusion a) Bought a new global political climate b) Intensity of the war could have been reduced by proper enforcement of stipulations listed in the treaty of Versailles
World War Two
In the annals of human history the Second World War would be remembered as the greatest cataclysm. It is a pity that the quest for hegemony has such a power to override the basic human nature and drive mankind towards self-destruction.
World war two bought the greatest destruction that the world has ever witnessed. Apart from the millions of soldiers from different countries who lost their lives there were millions more of civilians who were put to death due to wartime destruction and religious and ethnic prejudice. (Millions of Jews killed) The war was so intense that literally no part of the world was spared from the grave consequences. The war, which started in September 1st 1939, continued for six full years and ended in August 1945 after the devastating atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which forced Japan to surrender. Let us study the reasons the events and the outcome of the war in a little detail.
Events that led to the War
Treaty of Versailles
One of the main reasons for the Second World War was the unjust nature of the 'treaty of Versailles'. Germany was severely punished and held responsible for the First World War when there were actually a long series of events that triggered the war. There was a huge war indemnity imposed on Germany and her colonies and territories were shared between her victors leaving them bitter and seeking vengeance for the injustice meted out to them. [Steven Schoenherr]
Failure of the League of Nations
The League of Nations, which was formed in the aftermath of the First World War, had serious loopholes and provisions for nations to resign from the league. The provisions for disarmament were not properly utilized and the leagues strategy of enforcing economic sanctions against the imperialistic nations such as Japan, Germany and Italy did not prevent their imperialistic adventures. For example Japan continued with its colonizing policies and went on to occupy Manchuria in China in 1935. Similarly Italy occupied Abyssinia and Germany annexed Austria. [Peter Young, 33]
The Rise of Dictatorship and Arms race
The rise of the Nazi party in Germany and the Fascist party in Italy created the seeds for dictatorship and soon both these nations came under the control of Hitler and Mussolini respectively leaving the democratic nations in great danger. Furthermore the principle of disarmament as charted out in the Treaty of Versailles was never practically enforced as nations were scared of their security and were not willing to disarm themselves.
Hitler's Aggressive Policies
Of all the reasons the most direct one for the breakout of the war was the Hitler's aggressive colonizing policies. In violation of the treaty of Locarno [Ben John], Hitler invaded Rhineland in 1936. This was followed by the annexure of Sudetenland and Austria in 1938. Britain signed the Munich agreement with Germany to prevent further colonization but Hitler again breached the agreement by annexing Czechoslovakia in 1939. This was followed by Hitler's demand for Danzig (in Poland), which was rejected leading to the German invasion of Poland in September 1, 1939 and marking the beginning of the Second World War. Britain and France entered the war against Germany in conformation with the pact with Poland.
Important Events of the War
War in Poland and the Western Front
Hitler conducted a lightening attack against Poland known as the Blitzkrieg. After very little resistance Warsaw, the capital city of Poland came under German control. Meanwhile Russia sent its troops along the eastern front and occupied eastern Poland. This was followed by the Russian occupation of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland. On the western front Germany occupied Denmark, Belgium, Holland and Norway. Almost all of the European nations came under German control when Hitler attacked and occupied France in 1940. [Peter Young, 36]
The Battle of Britain
After the French occupation Hitler focused his attention on Britain. The German air force (luftaffe) was regarded as the best at that time and Hitler commissioned air attacks on Britain. The German air force continuously bombed London and other major industrial regions. The fighting across the channel was very intense with heavy loss of warplanes and battleships to both sides. The British Royal air force was equal to the task and inflicted heavy loss to the German Luftaffe. The British procured arm supplies from America and this was the first indirect involvement of the Americans who were till now neutral. On the whole Britain was successful in repulsing the German air raids and the Germans never managed to land their forces. Britain was also seriously working at breaking the Enigma coding machine of the Germans, which was fruitful later on in the war. [Ralph Erskine]
Russian War against Germany
Germany and Russia, which were friends at the beginning of the war, were soon confronted with a hostile situation regarding the Balkans. In 1941 Hitler attacked Russia with a huge army and occupied Moscow but the incursion proved to be a disaster for the Germans and they lost a huge section of their army to the hostile weather and the Russian army. [Churchill, 337]
American Entry Into the War (Pearl Harbor)
The United States joined the allies against Germany when president Roosevelt and Winston Churchill jointly declared the Atlantic Charter on August 12, 1941. American entry into the war created a new imbalance and immediately Japan targeted the nation with a devastating attack on the American naval forces in Pearl Harbor. This led America to declare a war against Japan and the other Axis powers. Japan continued to extend its occupation in the Asian region and even attacked India, which was under British regime. [Winston S. Churchill, 385]
The End of the War (Atom Bomb)
Allied forces undertook a joint mission to attack the Germans and the Italians in 1944 in an operation under the code name 'DIADEM'. [Peter Young, 262]. The rest of the French forces who were hiding from the Germans also joined the mission and on June 13, 1944 the allied forces entered Rome and Mussolini was killed in the operation. Germany too surrendered on May 7th, 1945 shortly after the death of Hitler. (30th April 1945) However the war not yet over as Japan refused to oblige with the Postdam declaration. [Robert H. Ferrell]
Truman issued the authority to use the deadly atom bomb over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to bring an end to the war. It was a fateful morning (August 6th, 1945) for the people of Hiroshima as the American B29 bomber "Enola Gay" dropped the deadly atomic bomb over the city leaving almost half of the cities population of 3,50,000 dead and more than 1,40,000 suffering from burns. George Caron, Staff Sergeant, who saw the bombing from above said, "The mushroom cloud itself was a spectacular sight, a bubbling mass of purple-gray smoke and you could see it had a red core in it and everything was burning inside. It looked like lava or molasses covering a whole city."…