450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now
Starting from 3 hours delivery
World War II also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from September 1, 1939 to September 2, 1945. The war conflicts began earlier, it involved the vast majority of the world’s countries. They formed two opposing military alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. The Allies leaders were Joseph Stalin from Russia, Franklin D. Roosevelt from United States of America, Winston Churchill from Great Britain and Chiang Kai-Shek from the Republic of China. The Axis leaders were Adolf Hitler from Germany, Hirohito from Japan and Benito Mussolini from Italy.
Before the war, there were a few events that occurred. The first one was the Invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Before the war began, the invasion of the Ethiopian Empire was committed by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy, which was launched from Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. The event resulted in the military occupation of Ethiopia and its annexation into the newly created colony of Italian East Africa in addition it exposed the weakness of the League of Nations as a force to preserve peace. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations, but the League did nothing when the former clearly violated the League’s Article X. Germany was the only major European nation to support the invasion. Italy subsequently dropped its objections to Germany’s goal of absorbing Austria.
The Second event was the Spanish Civil War in 1936 to 1939. When the civil war broke out in Spain, Hitler and Mussolini lent military support to the Nationalist rebels, led by General Francisco Franco. The Soviet Union supported the existing government, the Spanish Republic. Over 30,000 foreign volunteers,
known as the International Brigades, also fought against the Nationalists. Both Germany and the USSR used this war as an opportunity to test in combat their most advanced weapons and tactics. The Nationalists won the civil war in April 1939; Franco, now dictator, remained officially neutral during World War II but generally favored the Axis. His greatest collaboration with Germany was the sending of volunteers to fight on the Eastern Front.
The third event was the Japanese Invasion of China. In July 1937, Japan captured the former Chinese imperial capital of Peking after instigating the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which culminated in the Japanese campaign to invade all of China. The Soviets quickly signed a non-aggression pact with China to lend materiel support, effectively ending China’s prior cooperation with Germany. From September to November, the Japanese attacked Taiyuan as well as engaging the Kuomintang Army around Xinkou and Communist forces in Pingxingguan. General Chiang Kai-shek deployed his best army to defend Shanghai, but, after three months of fighting, Shanghai fell. The Japanese continued to push the Chinese forces back, capturing the capital Nanking in December 1937. After the fall of Nanking, thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants were murdered by the Japanese in that invasion.
The fourth event was the Soviet and Japanese border conflict. During 1930 to 1939, Japanese forces in Manchukuo had border clashes with the Soviet Union and the Mongolian Republic. The Japanese doctrine of Hokushin-ron, which highlight Japan’s expansion, was favoured by the Imperial Army during this time. The Japanese defeat at Khalkin Gol in 1939, the ongoing Second Sino-Japanese War and ally Nazi Germany pursuing neutrality with the Soviets, this policy would prove difficult to maintain. Japan and the Soviet Union eventually signed a Neutrality Pact in April 1941, and Japan adopted the doctrine of Nanshin-ron, promoted by the Navy, which took its focus to the south, eventually leading to its war with the United States and the Allies
The fifth event was European occupations and agreements. In Europe, Germany and Italy were becoming more aggressive. In March 1938, Germany annexed Austria, again provoking little response from other European powers. Hitler began pressing German claims on the Sudetenland, an area of Czechoslovakia with a predominantly ethnic German population. Later, Britain and France followed the counsel of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and conceded this territory to Germany in the Munich Agreement, which was made against the wishes of the Czechoslovak government, in exchange for a promise of no further territorial demands. Soon afterwards, Germany and Italy forced Czechoslovakia to cede additional territory to Hungary and Poland annexed Czechoslovakia’s Zaolzie region.
During the war, in Europe, occupation came under two forms. In Western, Northern, and Central Europe Germany established economic policies through which it collected roughly 69.5 billion reichmarks by the end of the war, this figure does not include the sizeable plunder of industrial products, military equipment, raw materials and other goods. Thus, the income from occupied nations was over 40 per cent of the income Germany collected from taxation, a figure which increased to nearly 40 per cent of total German income as the war went on.
In the East, the intended gains of Lebensraum were never attained as fluctuating front-lines and Soviet scorched earth policies denied resources to the German invaders. Unlike in the West, the Nazi racial policy encouraged extreme brutality against what it considered to be the “inferior people” of Slavic descent. Most German advances were thus followed by mass executions. Although resistance groups formed in most occupied territories, they did not significantly hamper German operations in either the East or the West until late 1943.
In Asia, Japan termed nations under its occupation as being part of the Greater East Asia Cooprosperity Sphere, essentially a Japanese hegemony which it claimed was for purposes of liberating colonised peoples. Although, Japanese forces were originally welcomed as liberators from European domination in some territories, their excessive brutality turned local public opinion against them within weeks. During Japan’s initial conquest it captured 4,000,000 barrels of oil left behind by retreating Allied forces and by 1943 they were able to get production in the Dutch East Indies up to 50 million barrels, 76 per cent of its 1940 output rate.
During the war, there were a lot of advanced technology aircraft used for reconnaissance, as fighters, bombers, and ground-support, and each role was advanced considerably. Innovation included airlift and strategic bombing. Anti-aircraft weaponry also advanced, including defenses such as radar and surface-to-air artillery, such as the German 88 mm gun. The use of the jet aircraft was pioneered and, though late introduction meant it had little impact, it led to jets becoming standard in air forces worldwide.
Advances were made in nearly every aspect of naval warfare, most notably with aircraft carriers and submarines. Although aeronautical warfare had relatively little success at the start of the war, actions at Taranto, Pearl Harbor, and the Coral Sea established the carrier as the dominant capital ship in place of the battleship.
The aftermath of World War II was the beginning of an era defined by the decline of the old great powers and the rise of two superpowers: the Soviet Union and the United States of America. Allies during World War II, the USA and the USSR became competitors on the world stage and engaged in the Cold War, so called because it never resulted in overt, declared hot war between the two powers but was instead characterized by espionage, political subversion and proxy wars. Western Europe and Japan were rebuilt through the American Marshall Plan whereas Eastern Europe fell under the Soviet sphere of influence and eventually an “Iron Curtain”. Europe was divided into a US-led Western Bloc and a Soviet-led Eastern Bloc. Internationally, alliances with the two blocs gradually shifted, with some nations trying to stay out of the Cold War through the Non-Aligned Movement. The Cold War also saw a nuclear arms race between the two superpowers; part of the reason that the Cold War never became a “hot” war was that the Soviet Union and the United States had nuclear deterrents against each other, leading to a mutually assured destruction standoff.
Remember! This is just a sample.
You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.Get custom essay
121 writers online
Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.
450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now
Starting from 3 hours delivery
We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:
By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.
Where do you want us to send this sample?
Be careful. This essay is not unique
This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before
Download this Sample
Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts
Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.
Please check your inbox.
We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!
Are you interested in getting a customized paper?Check it out!