Did World War II truly represent a world war that ...
Was World War II a continuation of World War I
Did World War II truly represent a world war that represented a continuation of World War One?
WAS WORLD WAR II A CONTINUATION OF
WORLD WAR I?
War I and World War II are one of the extreme wars witnessed on earth. These
wars were only 20 years apart, and historians do not clearly agree on the link
between them. They are divided into two different groups; one group is
convinced that WWI set the stage for WWII while the group argues that the two
wars are entirely different and were fought for different reasons. In this
paper, the link between WWI and WWII will be carefully analyzed, and a verdict
on the role of WWI setting the groundwork for the warfare that followed will be
given. An analysis of World War I will be done and the events that followed
shown. The rise of Nazism and Fascism will be discussed and the reasons that
led to World War two. Finally, an evaluation of how WWI led to WWII will be
was a war that used Europe as a battleground and started in 1914. It is also
referred to as the Great War It was a war that was based on militarism,
nationalism, and imperialism. Before the Great War, Europe had just experienced
one of the longest periods of peace without a major war. Europe had been
peaceful from 1871 to 1914, which is about four decades. It all started with
the assignation of Austria-Hungary Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife,
Sophie in his travels to the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo. They were
assassinated by Gavrilo Princip who was a Serbian nationalist.
Bosnia wanted to become independent from Austria, and the people there wanted
to set up a country of their own. This is the spark that ignited the Great War.
Archduke Ferdinand had been warned against traveling to Sarajevo but decided to
go there regardless. Within one month of Ferdinand assassination,
Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Austria-Hungary formed an alliance with
Germany and Italy to form Triple Alliance. France, Great Britain, Japan, and
Russia created the Triple Entente Alliance to prevent the aggression of Triple
Alliance and support Serbia. Triple Alliance was later renamed Central Powers
while the Triple Entente took up the name Allied Forces. At the start of the
war, the US was neutral and not keen to participate in that war. This war run
from 1914 to 1918 though many of the participants thought it would last only a
few months. Germany was fighting on two fronts; one with Russia on the Eastern
Front and the other with Great Britain and France on the other front called Western
Front. Unable to sustain the German onslaught, Russia decided to sign an
armistice in late 1917. This freed the German troops who now went to support
their other troops on the western front. However, after a couple of US ships
were sunk by the German Navy, the US joined the war and sent more than three
million troops to support the Allied Forces on the Western Front. Germany would
have easily won a battle between them and the Allied Forces, but the influx of
the American troops convinced them otherwise. Finally, on 11th November 1918,
an armistice was signed to end the WWI.
of World War II
reasons led to one of the worst wars in the history of man. The World War II
claimed millions of lives and destroyed the better part of Europe. The key reasons
leading to World War II were the League of Nations failure, the Versailles
Treaty, actions by Germany and Hitler and the Great Depression. All these
factors resulted in the bloodshed that took place only 20 years from the Great
War. All these factors listed will be discussed, and a link between them and
World War I evaluated to determine of WWII was a continuation of the WWI.
US President Woodrow Wilson went to Paris for the peace conference that
followed after the war ended. He had prepared Fourteen Points to reorder Europe
in an idealistic plan. However, Britain and France were only willing to settle
for a vengeful peace, and Wilson only major success was the League of Nations.
However, the League of Nations was ineffective and weak as it did not get the
support of the US, even though it had been proposed by their President. The
treaty was majorly formed by the Allied Forces with little participation from
Germany. Germany was arm-twisted into signing this treaty with the Allied
Forces claiming they would resume war if they did not. This treaty punished
Germany for the damages done by the Great War. Germany was forced to pay hefty
amounts which would leave her economy crippled and hence gullible to extreme
This treaty was one of the reasons for the rise of Nazism and Fascism.
According to Hitler, his country did not lose in WWI and hence did not
understand why they had to pay for damages of a war that they did not even
start. It became impossible for Germany to succeed by any peaceful means. Adolf
Hitler played with the resentment of the Germans towards the terms of the
treaty to ride to power and establish himself as a dictator.
aftermath of the First World War was the Great Depression which took place
between 1929 and 1939. This was one of the deepest and longest economic
downturns in the history of the industrialized world. In Germany, many
factories and companies either shrank or closed entirely. The unemployment
levels rose exponentially there were devastating effects on the German society.
Many individuals could not even afford food and many children suffered and died
from malnutrition or other diseases related to hunger. Unemployment affected
all classes of workers with even graduates not able to find work. The
depression put more than six million Germans out of work. The government was
unable to come up with a response to the Depression, and Adolf Hitler used the
public discontent to rise to power. The Nazi party increased popularity and
soon, Adolf Hitler rose to the power and decided to implement his radical
ideologies. The Great Depression also laid the stage for the World War II as
now the Germans were desperate to listen to the extreme ideologies of Adolf
Adolf Hitler promised to fight against Communism and promised Germans riches
and great jobs.
January 1933, Adolf Hitler became German’s Chancellor. Adolf Hitler was a
bitter man as he was a German soldier during World War I and he believed that
they had not lost the war. Within one year of him ascending to power, he had
already started forming an army and arming them. He did this secretly as the
Treaty of Versailles had restricted them against increasing the size of their
army. He created a German air force and started building warships. Hitler also
made military service compulsory. Britain and France were aware of Hitler’s
actions but decided against preventing him as they were not prepared to start another
war. They also saw that Hitler would be able to counter the rise of Communism
and prevent its spread to the West. Hitler was opposed to Communism and viewed
that not only should it be destroyed but the sources of such underhanded and
dangerous ideas exterminated. As Trotsky and Karl Max were Jewish, Hitler
viewed that Communism should be blamed on all Jews. He even proposed that all
Jews in Germany should be annihilated in his memoir.
troops were ordered by Hitler to enter the Rhineland, and though his army was
not very strong, France and Britain did nothing about it. During this year, he
made two alliances with Italy and Japan. Hitler who had expansionist ideologies
decided to take back Austria and marched into the country in 1938. Though the
Austrian leader asked aid from other countries, he did not receive it as other
countries were not willing to go to war. Hitler was not satisfied and decided
that he would also take control of Czechoslovakia, and Britain and France
agreed to that provided that he does not invade any other country. However, the
next target was Poland which had been promised protection by Britain and
France. This did not deter Hitler’s aggression, and on 1st September 1939, he
invaded Poland. This provoked France and Great Britain which declared war two
days later on Germany but were not able to save Poland from Hitler’s wrath. Poland
invasion is considered as the beginning of World War II. Hitler’s action had
provoked other countries to war that would later claim
many lives over a period of about six years.
of League of Nations
League of Nations was set up in 1919 to aid maintain world peace. Its goal was for
all states to become members and that any conflict between two countries would
be solved through negotiations rather than by force. If negotiations failed, a
trade embargo would be issued to the aggressive country with the last option
being the use of armies to fight that country. Though the League of Nations
early on, it later became a failure. It failed to prevent the Japanese army
from invading China during the Great Depression and later the invasion of
Abyssinia by Italy. The League of Nations mainly failed because not all
countries joined it. Also, the League of Nations had no army hence no power at
all. Lastly, it was usually incapable of acting swiftly in case of any
emergency, and only meeting four times a year.
causes of World War II show that indeed many factors had resulted from
unresolved issues at the end of WWI. Though the major countries that
participated were the same, one can argue that WWII is not an extension of the
Great War. WWI may have caused the second war, but that does not imply that it
was the same war. World War I was based on imperialism, national interest and
balance of power while the second war was based on ideology.
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Woodward. "Pulling out the intentional structure of action: the relation
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Cohrs, Patrick O. The unfinished
peace after World War I: America, Britain and the stabilisation of Europe,
1919-1932. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Moser, John E. "The Great Depression." A
COMPANION TO WORLD WAR II (2013): 47.
Henderson, Nicholas. "A fatal
guarantee: Poland, 1939." History Today 47, no. 10