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World War 2


Introduction

The World War 2 which is also known as the Second World War was a global conflict between the Axis forces made up of Germany, Italy and Japan on one hand and the Allied Forces made up of the UK, France and the US on the other. It was a conflict which involved more than a hundred million people in thirty countries in a state of total war for about six years. The war lasted from 1939 to 1945 and the casualty estimate ranges between 50 million and 80 million people, including 11 million Jews that perished in the Holocaust. This war is recognized as the most widespread war in history covering the entire Continental Europe, the British Isles, the Pacific, the Atlantic, and part of mainland Asia, North Africa and The Horn of Africa. By reason of the unprecedented military and civilian casualties, World War II is the bloodiest conflict in all of history. It is also the most destructive and the costliest with belligerents targeting industrial and economic infrastructure and also civilian population centres.

The Main Causes of the World War 2

The Second World War was the consequence of the aftermath of the First World War. Germany, the Austrio-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire lost the First World War to the Allied Forces and as a consequence, lost out in several important aspects when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Germany was viewed as the aggressor and so lost about thirteen percent of its territory and all of its oversea colonies. Germany was also made to pay heavy reparations and limits were imposed on the size and capabilities of its armed forces. As a result of this, strong nationalist sentiments persisted in several European nations and in Germany in particular which Adolf Hitler exploited to rise to power through the Nazi Party and whipping up fervor of national sentiment worked towards building up Germany’s military capabilities with the unavowed intention of reversing these losses. Hitler eventually triggered off the onset of the war by invading Poland in September 1939.

For the first two years of the war the Axis Forces were on the ascendancy, gaining territories and annexing nation states. Japan attacked the US fleet in the Pacific and swept off all that was before them. Germany on its part overran Poland, France, Luxembourg, Denmark, Holland and much of Eastern Europe. By 1942, the Allied Forces began to gain the upper hand with the Axis Forces suffering reversals and entering into strategic defeat and defense. In 1945, the Allied Forces and Soviet troops invaded Germany from the Western and Eastern fronts respectively and Germany surrendered. In 1946, Japan was twice bombed with atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and they also surrendered, signaling the end of the war.

The Aftermath of the World War 2

The war led to a new world order with the victorious Allied Forces and the Soviet Union making up the permanent security council of the United Nations, Germany was partitioned into East and West with the Berlin wall. It also saw the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as rival super powers with competing economic ideologies as well as the advent of the cold war.

 

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