Causes Of World War Two
The main causes for the outbreak of World War Two are the Great Depression, which swept across the whole world in the 1930s, and the conditions which got created by peace settlements after the First World War. The depression resulted in rise of militaristic and totalitarian governments in Italy, Germany and Japan.
The countries which were adversely affected in WW I, namely Germany, Italy and Japan, were keen on regaining their power. These nations adopted different types of dictatorship thus making their states supreme and decided to expand at the cost of many neighboring states. These countries also got together as nations against communism; thus gaining confidence of the people in the early part of their regime from conservative democracies in the West. Many democracies started seeking peace which led to them being unprepared militarily. The US had defected from the League of Nations and this body could no longer promote disarmament. Long lasting economic depression in many countries saw emergence of rivalry, mistrust and fear amongst nations and susceptibility of people to promises made by demagogues.
League of Nations could not avert 2nd Sino-Japanese war that took place in 1931. Many treaties were violated and aggressive acts performed by nations. In 1933, Hitler raised the army and readied it for conquest. From 1935 to 1936, Mussolini conquered Ethiopia on behalf of Italy. 1936-1939 witnessed raging of Spanish Civil War and fascist forces were led to victory by assistance from Italy and Germany. In 1938, Austria was annexed by Germany and in the same year most of Czechoslovakia was given to Germany as per Munich Pact.
In 1939, Germany occupied Czechoslovakia fully and Italy annexed Albania. This prompted France and the UK to form anti-aggression front by alliance with Greece, Romania, Poland and Turkey. Rearmament was resumed and Italy and Germany signed complete military alliance. With the Soviet-German pact on nonaggression, a two-front war seemed improbable for Germans who got ready to attack Poland.
On 1 September 1939, Germany launched the attack, which saw the commencement of Second World War. France and the UK declared war against Germany followed by other members of the Commonwealth, other than Ireland. New technology and air warfare was used extensively. Fighting in Poland was short and the lightening war facilitated by newer techniques and better machines soon defeated Polish forces even before the arrival of the Soviet forces. This battle ended with the division of Poland. Soviet forces defeated the Finnish forces in the war which lasted for a year from 1939 to 1940. The British forces and French forces limited their action to blocking the German forces by sea.
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