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The battle of Marne marked the end of the German onslaught. It was the end of the period when the German domination. The battle took place near river Marne in the Champagne province. The onslaught was a last attempt by the German soldiers to push the allies to the background since they were increasingly turning out to be real concerns (Adams, 2001). This was the second battle fought in the region, and it was the decision factor on whether the allied forces would survive or not. An often-neglected information about the battle is the role played by the American forces in the battle (Botstein et al., 2007).
The German onslaught was led by General Ludendorff. The general was convinced that the best way of attaining any victory was through the attack in the Flanders region that stretched from the northern part of France into Belgium. The battle of Marne was a diversionary tactic aimed at luring the allies to the south away from the northern frontline, which was the main event. The attack was launched by the 23 divisions of the Germans. The general fought on two fronts in bid to divide and conquer the French forces (Strachan, 2001).
The Germans used the artillery bombardment of the trenches to launch the attacks. This traditional approach had been working all along for the Germans. However, in this particular instance, the French armies had created diversionary retrenches that were undermanned. The diversionary tactic reduced the firepower of the Germans to a minimal level such that when they reached the real trenches they were counteracted with a lot of fire powers that they could not match (Botstein et al., 2007). The real front was manned by the weakened French forces and the new reinforcement of over 85000 American troops (Strachan, 2001). The real trenches were the actual battlefield. The Germans suffered many casualties since they were surrounded and overpowered.
On July 18, the French armies attacked from the west. The attack encompassed the effective use of tanks. The leaders of the advance were American troops. The attack on the salient led to the decision by the German high command of the salient in order to avoid any chances of a rout. On July 19, the American troops located south of Soissons encountered heavy resistance from the German air force (Strachan, 2001). This indicates that the American expeditionary forces played a vital role in the defense and later advances. While working under the command of the French, the American forces managed to stage numerous onslaughts in the war such that the battle of Marne was won. The American soldiers were capable of fighting full regiments of German army since they were not as spent as their French counterparts. They had just moved into the war while the French forces had been in the trenches for over three years (Botstein et al., 2007).
The German soldiers were capable of pushing in one the rest of the army until they encountered the American soldiers. They attributed the cause of the success of the American soldiers to their fresh nature in the army and their masses. Their weapons also contributed to their success. With the arrival of the American troops, the Allies were now confident that they could win the war. The numbers that the men brought were sufficient for the allies to launch counter attacks against the German army (Botstein et al., 2007). The ability of the American troops to reduce the certainty of the German salient increased the chances of success in the battle (Adams, 2001).
The tanks had been developed to facilitate the movement of the troops over the trench systems. The battle of Marne used the tanks as the means of support to the infantry. The first-time mustard gas was used was in 1915. The gas gained popularity since it was ideal for the reduction of the artillery power of the forces. The gas was developed by the Germans, and they would propel it using gas canisters (Adams, 2001). It affected the artillery and mortar teams such that the initial and the most important aspects of a resistance would fail.
The allied forces had to use the gas masks to protect themselves. The gas was also ideal for the trenches. Other weapons used in the battle include the bolt-action rifles. The bolt-action rifles were predominant in the American troops. The Germans used the Mauser Gewehr. Both sides used machine guns. The machine guns were ideal for the defensive operations since they required operating by a team. Therefore, moving them was difficult or impossible (Adams, 2001). Both teams had canons. The Germans used large and cumbersome canons that were difficult to use in the field.
The war was fought under degrading conditions. The main hideout for either side was the trenches. Given the weather in Europe, the trenches were unbearable (Strachan, 2001). During the rainy seasons, the trenched were filled with runoff such that the soldiers’ quarters were flooded. The increased wetness led to the spread of waterborne diseases among the troops. The soldiers also had to sleep in congested places. The squalid nature of the trenches led to the increase in the lice outbreak. The other hardship that the soldiers underwent was the increased boredom. There was limited action since the battles did not last for long (Adams, 2001).
Dealing with the boredom was difficult for the soldiers. They used traditional ways of amusing themselves such as storytelling and singing. They could not leave their posts without permission since the war was unpredictable. The final things that the soldiers missed was the conjugal rights (Botstein et al., 2007). The new forces in the war were unaccustomed to the long durations of loneliness. They were the worst affected by this issue.
Adams, S. (2001). World War 1. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Botstein, S., Ward, G., Burns, K., Novick, L., David, K., & Hanks, T. et al. (2007). The war. [United States]: PBS Home Video.
Strachan, H. (2001). The First World War. Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press.
World war two lasted from 1939 to 1945. It was a global war having been fought in America, Africa, Europe and Asia. The war involved a considerable majority of the world nations including all of the great powers which were divided into two military alliances, the Allies and the Axis (Adamthwaite). The war resulted into an estimated 50-80 million fatalities. The war was considered the deadliest and scariest conflict in human history. The Japanese empire had an aim to dominate the eastern Asia countries that resulted to an outbreak of battle of Wanjialing in 1937 (David and Lawrence). The war however, began officially on 1st September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland after which France and United Kingdom declared subsequent wars against Germany.
Germany and Italy teamed to form the axis power which subdued much of continental Europe. The United Kingdom and other members of the British Commonwealth formed the major allies which fought the Axis in the battle that took place in North Africa and the Atlantic (Ivan).
In June 1941, the Axis invaded the Soviet Union leading to the largest theater ever in the earth and Japan joined the axis powers in December 1941 attacking the United States and European territories in the Pacific Ocean.
The axis however, stopped to advance in the war. In 1942, Japan lost in Hawaii; the Germans were defeated both in North Africa and Stalingrad in Russia which brought about Italy’s surrender making the Axis retreat in all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded France; the Soviet regained its territories from Germany and its Allies. During 1944 and 1945, the United States conquered Japanese Navy and recaptured the Pacific territories. The war in Europe ended with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies, and the Soviet Union culminating the capture of Berlin by Polish and Soviet Troops and subsequent Germany surrender on 8th May 1945 (Ivan).
Potsdam declaration was a statement that called for surrender of all Japanese armed forces during World War II. United States president Harry S Truman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Chairman of Nationalist Government of China Chiang Kai-shek issued the document which stipulated the terms of surrender to the empire of Japan as per the Potsdam conference (Scoenberger). The ultimatum stated that Japan should surrender failure to which she could face “Prompt and utter destruction”.
Potsdam declaration terms of 1945
On July 26, 1945, the Potsdam declaration announcing the terms for Japan surrender was released with a warning of non deviation and denial of choice for alternatives. The terms required for the elimination of those who had deceived the people of Japan and misled them to the war. It stated the occupation of points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies. Its sovereignty was to be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. It also required that the Japanese Military to be disarmed completely. The declaration also called for justice against all the war criminals.
The decision to drop atomic bombs
Japan emperor Hirohito ignored the ultimatum and the terms of the Potsdam declaration. The United States had one day before the Potsdam conference tested its nuclear weapons successfully in New Mexico after the completion of the Manhattan project (ushistory.org). Hurry Truman learned of the success of the project and knew that he faced a decision of unprecedented gravity. He had the capacity to end the war in Japan which would involve unleashing the most terrible weapon ever in history.
The U.S military Policy committee had to make a decision on where to drop the bomb, either Germany or Japan, and on September 18, 1944, the U.S and British leaders agreed to use the bomb against Japan (ushistory.org)
The postwar struggle in Europe.
After Germany’s surrender, tense ties mounted between the U.S and the Soviet Union regarding the disposition of postwar Europe. The Americans had worries on the increasing soviet influence. If the Soviets had joined the war against Japan in mid August as planned, it would had made it worse for the Americans.
At the Yalta conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union secretly agreed to join the war against Japan within three months of Germany’s surrender. The United States wanted to force Japan to surrender before the Soviet Union could enter the war to secure a strong political position after the war.
The U.S believed that if it ended the war through the atomic bomb, it would establish postwar supremacy over the Soviets (Anne).
The expenditure of two billion dollars and mobilization of 120,000 people could be only had been justified by linking this weapon to the end of the war (ushistory.org). The Manhattan project, launched in August 1942, aimed to produce an atomic bomb. The first nuclear test in the world was done in New Mexico desert. America wanted to use the weapon to measure its effectiveness (Anne).
Spirited Japanese army culture
The American army was becoming weary from four years of war, yet the Japanese army was not giving up the fight. Japan had an army of two million strongly stationed in the islands guarding against the invasion.
On July 28, 1945, two days after the issuing of Potsdam declaration, the Prime minister of Japan Suzuki Kantaro declared a press conference and declared the Potsdam communiqué a rehash of the Cairo declaration stating that the government intended to ignore it. This statement appealed to both the Japanese and foreign media as a clear rejection of the declaration. Emperor Hirohito made no move change the government position.
The terms given to Japan in the Potsdam declaration provided for unconditional surrender; which the Japanese military command rejected (ushistory.org).
Truman ironically argued that dropping the bomb saved Japanese lives, as well. The Japanese kamikaze raids of over 3,500 had already brought great destruction to the American lives stating that he had no option to prolong the war further. Truman defended his decision stating that if he could not have used the bomb the war could have led to devastating effects to the American lives. Truman did not, however, differentiate between fire bombing effects in Tokyo and the radiation effects in Nagasaki and Hiroshima (ushistory.org).
The United States wanted to force Japan surrender as quickly as possible to minimize American casualties.
Bombings in Hiroshima
The bombings happened on August 6, 1945; the United States used a massive ten foot atomic bomb, “Little boy”. The mission kicked off from Tinian, a North pacific island in the Marianas, south of Japan. The bomber plane Enola Gay had twelve- man crew, and it hung the bomb on its ceiling. Tibbets was the pilot of Enola Gay.
The Manhattan project navy captain William Parsons was in charge of the weapon in the plane. Approximately fifteen minutes into the flight he began to arm the atomic bomb. The bomb had been created using radioactive elements. The bomb contained 64 kgs of uranium and it took 43 seconds to fall from the plane. It took Parsons fifteen minutes to arm the bomb.
At 8:15 am the Enola Gay’s door sprung open and released the bomb missing the target Aioi Bridge by only 800 feet. The casualties estimates that 70000 people died immediately. Fatalities extended to an estimate of 70000 people, who died later from radiation. The goal for the raid was not on a military installation but the entire city (Michael).
Hiroshima bombings aftermath
After the bombing of Hiroshima, Harry Truman issued a statement warning Japan to accept their terms failure to which Japan should expect a rain of ruin from the air the kind that have never occurred (Library). The Japanese government did not react. Emperor Hirohito, the government and the council of war considered four conditions for surrender. They included, non occupation of Japanese islands, Korea or Formosa and the delegation of the punishment of war crimes to the government (Herbert).
On 9 august, the soviet infantry, armor and air forces had launched the Manchurian strategic operation. The soviets invaded the Manchuria region of Japan. Word reached Tokyo of the Soviet Union official declaration of war. This prompted the senior leadership of Japanese Army to conduct martial law all over Japan aiming to stop anyone making peace.
With no indications of surrendering, the United States decided to proceed with dropping a second bomb.
Nagasaki was among the largest sea ports in Japan. It was not in the schedule for large-scale bombing prior to August 9. The seaport had a variety of large companies in Japan which included Mitsubishi Shipyards, Electrical Shipyards, Arms plant and steel and Arms works. It is estimated that, during the time of bombing, the population in Nagasaki was 263000 (Robert).
The bombing aimed at Kokura as the primary target, but due to poor visual resulting from earlier bombings and the technical hitches in the bombardier plane, the planes moved to the secondary target, Nagasaki and dropped 6.4 kilograms of Plutonium over the industrial valley (Robert).
Surrender of Japan
After the attacks on August 9, Hirohito held an imperial conference during which he authorized notifications to the Allies that he would accept their terms on one condition that the declaration does not compromise the sovereignty of Japan. On August 14, the Emperor announced his surrender an announcement made to the Japanese nations.
United States used the Atomic bombs against Japan who had endured in the war for four years with no indicators of surrender. The Japanese had a spirited squad making American army wary of the power it possessed.
The surrender of Germany one of the Axis great powers shifted focus to Japan with competition for military superiority between Soviet Union and U.S.A taking course. America decided to drop the bombs early before the Soviets declared war against Japan. The atomic bombs brought to an end the scariest conflict in the history of the world but left significant effects including the rise of two super powers and cold war.
Adamthwaite, Anthony P. TheMaking of the Second World War. New York: Routledge, (1992).
Anne, Applebaum. Gulag: A History of The Soviet Camps. London: Allen Lane, 2003.
David, Barret and Shyu Lawrence. China In The Anti Japanese War. New York: Viking, 2001.
Herbert, Bix. "Japan's Delayed Surrender: A Reinterpretation." in Hogan, Michael J. Hiroshima in History And Memory. New York: Cambridge UniversityPress, 1996.
Ivan, Berend. Central and Eastern Europe, Detour from Periphery to Periphery. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Library, Presidential. "Statement by the president announcing the use of A-bomb at Hiroshima." New York: Presidential library and museum, 6 august 1945.
Michael, Gordon. Five Days In August: How World War II Became Nuclear War. Princetown, New Jersey: Princetown University Press, 2007.
Robert, Johnstone. Nagasaki Atomic Bombing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Scoenberger, Walter. Decision Of Destiny. Columbus: Ohio University Press, 1969.
Ushistory.org. The Decision To Drop The Bomb. 13 11 2013. Wednesday November 2013
In Utmost Savagery: The three days of Tarawa, the author who is Marine combat veteran takes a fresh look at what can be described as one of the bloodiest battles when it came to the Pacific war. It is critical to realize that his gripping narrative uses Japanese documents, and they are interpreted in the significance of what happened at the time. The first trial that is referred to as the trial by fire is the America’s fledgling amphibious assault doctrine, and it culminated into a violent three-day attack on Tarawa.
Tarawa was often considered as being an invisible Japanese island fortress that had barely three hundred acres, and it left around six thousand people dead. The book can be said to offer an authoritative account regarding the tactics that were used, the leadership, the innovation and the weapons which were employed by both antagonists. The author continues to state that without what can be described as the vital lessons of Tarawa, the larger victories that came at Saipan, Okinawa and Iwo Juma would not have been in any way possible.
It is critical to realize that to the U.S Marines who were clustered in an amphibious landing craft, the bombardment that occurred on Betio Island could only be described as being awesome. The American Aircraft and Warships were able to pound successfully Japanese fortifications. Thick clouds of smoke were seen to be boiling from the 2-mile long strip of the Island, and this was the part of the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands of the Central Pacific.
It is critical to understand that Tarawa Atoll and Betio island played a huge role in the Allied strategies in the year 1943. Betio Island, for example, boasted an airfield that the Japanese could easily use when they needed to attack nearby sea lanes as well as threaten vital Marshall Islands. The photos that had been taken previously showed that the Island was indeed a veritable fortress that was manned by crack troops who in turn were backed by what can be described as an impressive deadly array of firepower. For Betio to be taken, there was a need for American forces to use an amphibious assault that at the time was made even hazardous by the unpredictable tides. The Marines finally were able to hit the beach; however the neap tide played havoc with the landing craft. To makes matters worse, they soon found out that Japanese defenders had been barely affected by the bombardment. The fortifications on Betio were thousands of armed Japanese soldiers, and the result was a perilous attempt to wade ashore while at the same time being confronted with murderous fire. Bombarding Betio proved to be an extremely hard task.
This is because the Japanese defenders at the time were well concealed, and consequently they offered few targets. This consequently proved the U.S Navy bombing ineffective. There were different miscalculations in terms of range, trajectory as well as the deflection. And in fact, there have been several observes that argued that half the projectiles that were used went out to the sea and they consequently exploded in the ocean.
To the Marines who aboard one of the crafts referred to as the amtracs, everything at the time seemed to be going wrong. This is because the tide had refused to rise, and this has forced many American soldiers to wade hundreds of yard to the shore under a galling fire. Further, the other amphibian crafts that did not hit the beach came up against what can be stated to be a half-constructed sea wall that was menaced by the enemy artillery fire. Further, there was also a discord in communications, and there were scores of assault teams which, unfortunately, died in the water.
It is critical to realize that by the date November 20, the Marines had been exhausted, and they clung to dear hope as they fought both on the beach and the jungle. It is of the essence to note that although the fighting continued, the Japanese did not in any way counterattack, and this was a huge tactical error. This was especially in light of the precarious position that the invaders (the United States) had. The communication of the Japanese had been destroyed and consequently this might be the reason as to why the attack had not been mounted.
On the beach, the Marine Colonel David Shoup faced several tasks and one o the most important o them was to regain attack momentum in the war. The colonel also faced the task of bringing in reinforcements as well as supply as well as being able to evacuate successfully the incredible number of casualties. It is critical to realize that over the next three days, reinforcements were able to arrive, and the blockhouses of the Japanese were destroyed one by one. The surviving Japanese soldiers retreated to the narrow tail of Betio, and they fought to the death.
The Battle for Betio can be said to by a mixed victory of sorts. This is because more than 3,000 Marines and Navy were killed or wounded in the context. Most casualties occurred at close range from machine gun fire or small arms. There are several lessons that can be learned from the Battle for Betio.
The first is that there is a need for preparation that is adequate and that the enemy should never be in any way be underestimated. This is because in the battle for Betio, there were several mistakes that were made and the first included an inadequate pre-attack bombardment as well as shortage of men as well as material in the early stages of the campaign.
Further, it also of the essence to note that there was the need to improve communications, and the future landings would include more medium tanks as well as flamethrowers, and this were lacking at Tarawa. It is important that Americans on the home front were extremely shocked by the photos of dead Marines and floating along Betio’s beaches.
Initially, there was anger regarding the heavy casualties that suffered or what seemed such a trivial piece of coral. But as the true picture of the battle started being unveiled, the public began to realize the Japanese would be able to fight to the end, and the war in the Pacific could be described as one of virtual extermination.
It is critical that more than 1,000 U.S troops were killed in action, and more than 2,000 were wounded in only three days of fighting when it came to Tarawa. There were several important things that were learned from the war, and they were applied to future atoll wars.
They included the need for better reconnaissance, additional amphibious landing vehicles, and better communication strategies. It can be described as interesting to speculate on what might have happened at Tarawa had the landing force been provided with more tractors as well as shipping to launch them effectively. Their successful use in every increasing number in later operations can be said to serve as a point a beacon toward Tarawa.
There were also another many lesson that were learned at Tarawa and they forever changed the way in which the United States went into attacking mode. Many historians agree that there had to be a Tarawa. This was the inevitable point where an untried doctrine had to be tried in the crucible of battle. The lessons that were learned at Tarawa had to be learned somewhere and in the course o the war, it can be said to be now providential that they were learned so early in the war. If they had been learned later, there would have been a greater cost.
Tarawa can be described as being the key to the Gilberts, and it was in turn one of the keys that was able to unlock the Marshalls. It is critical to realize that the key to victory in Tarawa can be said to be the individual Marine. It was the discipline, fighting ability and courage that came into sharper focus more than ever before in the World War II. This is one of the stories that are told to Marines in training because it shows the positive power of the mind in amidst impending doom. The strength of the Marine also found real effectiveness in the overall collective effort.
Today, when the Marines think about the history of amphibious warfare, the first image that comes to their mind is Tarawa. Even for those who know next nothing to battle in America, the very name can be said to evoke heroism and the great sacrifice that occurred against incredible odds and the pride that comes with being a Marine.
The battle can be described as the closest call where the Marines have ever come into being forced back in the sea during an amphibious assault attack. Modern Marines in the United States often tend to cite Tarawa as a justification for continued reliance on technology. In fact, this doctrine has not changed from that in use in November 1943. Therefore, technology has taken a front place when it comes to any attack that is carried out in the United States.
In conclusion, unique among all other different operations in the war in the Pacific and with implications that were extremely broad and far-reaching, Tarawa was much more than a successful battle. It can be said to be a departure from anything that had ever been done before.
At Tarawa, success could only come when the Island, which was under attack, was taken in entirety. This is because Betio was so small that as to preclude the possibility of seizing the beachhead. The battle led to the death of more than 1,000 marines, and 2,000 were seriously injured. It was a break from tradition, and it showed the resilience and the bravery of the Marine. The term Tarawa in the United States evokes a sense of patriotism and respect for the armed forces.
The Battle of Tarawa. 1995. Washington, D.C.: Navy & Marine Corps WWII Commemorative committee, Navy Office of Information.
Donner, Simon. 2012. "Sea level rise and the ongoing Battle of Tarawa". Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union. 93 (17): 169-170.
Wukovits, John. 2010. "World War II in Asia and the Pacific". 194-221.
Alexander, Joseph H. 1995. Utmost savagery: the three days of Tarawa. Annapolis, Md: Naval Institute Press.
"A new battle heats up on Tarawa Atoll". 2002. INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE. 32: 4.
Alliances were being made before 1914, and these alliances were pivotal to the start of the World War I. It is important to realize that the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand is what set into motion a series of international events that eventually led to the World War I. The Archduke was born in the City of Graz and after his cousin as well as father died, he became the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. His uncle referred to as Franz Joseph was the emperor of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (Hedley 62). In the South of Empire lied Bosnia, and many of the Bosnians wanted their country and did not want to be ruled by the Austria-Hungary. Further, another country referred to as Serbia was also in need of the freedom of the Bosnia. It is important to realize that at the time, there were several alliances that had been formed all around the world. Serbia was a powerful ally with the then-Mighty Russian Empire and on the other hand Austria-Hungary was allied with Germany.
The Archduke arranged a trip to Sarajevo, and the Bosnia nationalists saw an opportunity to strike at the Austria-Hungary Empire (Ganeri 33). With the help of Serbia, assassins were easily recruited, and they were trained to kill the Archduke as he travelled through Sarajevo. On June 28, 1914, the archduke was travelling with his wife in a motorcade through Sarajevo. The Bosnian nationalist had placed several assassins in several positions along the route. On the way to the Town Hall, there was the first assassination attempt where a bomb was thrown into the car with the Archduke. However, the bomb was able to bounce off the car, and it landed on the next car that was in the motorcade (Hedley 74).
The car that at the time was carrying the Archduke was able to speed away and eventually made it safely to the Town Hall. However, the assassins were adamant, and they did not give up and on the return trip, the motorcade, unfortunately, took a wrong turn, and when the driver began to back up, another assassin with the name of Gavrilo Princip happened to be next right to the car (Hedley 38). He took the opportunity and fired at the Archduke, he was able to fire twice, and he hit the archduke together with his wife. Princip was arrested by the police after the crowd jumped on him
The Austria-Hungary government saw the assassination of the Archduke as a direct attack on the country. They had sufficient reason to believe that indeed the Serbian had helped the Nationalists from Bosnia to carry out the attack. They consequently made very harsh demands on the Serbians which the Serbians rejected. It is at this time that the powerful alliances that the countries had made began to play out (King 43).
Russia started to mobilize its army to protect Serbia, it vowed to keep Serbia safe and stated that Serbia was not to be blamed for the death of the Archduke. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and it was now clear that Russia would intervene in the war and take the side of Serbia. A few days later, the Germans declared war on Russia in a bid to help its ally Austria-Hungary (Ganeri 38). The alliances began to form up, and France began to mobilize its forces to help its ally Russia. Germany on the other went ahead and declared war on France and World War II had officially begun.
The Allies of World War I referred to as Entente Powers and they were the countries that were opposed to the central powers. The members of the original Entente Alliance were the Russian Empire, the British Empire and the French Republic. Italy was also another important member, and it had been able to end its alliance with Central Powers. Japan was also another important member. The countries such as Romania, Greece, Serbia, Belgium and Montenegro can be described as secondary members of the Entente powers. It is critical to realize that the U.S declared war on Germany in the year 1917, it stated that Germany had violated the U.S neutrality by attacking international shipping.
The United States entered the war as an associated power as compared to being a formal ally of either France of the United Kingdom. The central powers in the World War I was composed of Germany, the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria (King 23). It is critical to realize that the Power’s origin began in 1879, and it started with the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary (Ganeri 32). Bulgaria as well as the Ottoman Empire did not join the alliance until the World War I had begun. Therefore, it can be seen clearly that these alliances were pivotal when it came to the start of the World War I. The assassination of the archduke was just a trigger that occurred between the alliances. There was a struggle to show which alliance was stronger for it to consolidate more power.
Ganeri, Anita. Events That Changed the World. London: Franklin Watts, 2009. Print.
Hedley, P W. World War I (causes). , 2010. Print.
King, Greg, and Sue Woolmans. The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the
Romance That Changed the World. , 2013. Print.
The Second War resulted from the rise of totalitarian and militaristic regimes in Japan, Italy, and Germany. After the first World War, a subdued Germany, an ambitious Japan, and a disappointed Italy tried as hard as possible to regain and increase their power. In fact, all the three countries eventually adopted different forms of dictatorship.
The first situation of World War II was the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty was not lenient to Germany, but it was also not too harsh to prevent Germany from becoming a dominant continental power again (Leckie 32). The Treaty of Versailles placed the blame square on Germany and Austria-Hungary and therefore, they were punished for having the largest responsibility for the war. The treaty, in fact, provided harsh monetary reparations that also caused ethnic resettlement.
The German territories were captured during the war and this wounded Germans. It is important to realize that the lack of an obvious military defeat in the World War I was one of the pillars that held the Nazis together and showed the Germans that indeed they could able to regain their power and become a continental power (Churchill & Kelly 38). Therefore, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power, Germans were desperate for someone to turn around their economy as well as restore their pride. It is of the essence to realize that Hitler offer the German people hope and in fact, in the year 1934, Hitler was proclaimed as the Fuhrer of Germany (Leckie 54). He resented the restriction on Germany, and while talking about peace, Hitler began to rearm Germany effectively. He allied Germany with Mussolini and Italy.
Hitler wanted to expand his empire and took over Austria in the year 1938, and the League of Nations did nothing to prevent him. Hitler became bolder and invaded Poland in the year 1939. It is important to understand that indeed World War 1, the nations of Europe were seen weary and did not want any other war (Dowswell 18). Therefore, when Germany and Italy became aggressive, and they started to take over their neighbors and build up their armies, the countries such as France and Britain hoped to keep peace through appeasing the aggressors. This, therefore, meant that they tried to make Germany as well as Hitler happy as compared to trying to stop him. Regrettably, the policy of appeasement did not work, and it only backfired. Hitler was growing bolder and this time of appeasement gave him enough time to build up a powerful army.
It is of the essence to realize that the period before World War II can be described as a time of great economic suffering throughout the world that is called the Great Depression. Many people at the time were out of work and struggling to survive. This therefore created what can be described as unstable governments and worldwide turmoil and it was the one that helped to lead to the World War II (Churchill & Kelly 46).
On the other side of the World, Japan was expanding and growing rapidly. However, Japan as an Island nation and they did not have the natural resources that were required to sustain their growth. It is in this regard that Japan began to look to grow their empire and get new resources (Dowswell 22). They invaded Manchuria in the year 1931 and the year 1937 they invaded China. This, therefore, was creating a lot of tension between the two countries and it was also being observed that countries were annexing into others without any intervention from the League of Nations.
The League of Nations was a mess and the fact that it did not have any power and had no army meant that it could not be able to tackle the aggressive forces. Further, it is essential to realize that although the idea of the League of Nations originally came from Woodrow Wilson, the United States government did not sign the Treat because the new elected Republican Government had refused to join (Dowswell 73). The Council of the League of Nations only met four times a year, and the decisions were supposed to be agreed by all the nations. When the Countries called for the League to intervene, there was a need for the League to set up an emergency meeting. The process was long, and this, therefore, meant that the League could not act quickly enough to stop an act of aggression.
The World War II began in the year 1939, when Germany without any declaration of war, decided to invade Poland. Britain, as well as France, announced war on Germany on September 3rd, 1939 (Dowswell 29). Further, all other members of the Commonwealth except Ireland followed suit.
In conclusion, the World War II broke out because of several causes. Firstly, there was the Versailles Treaty, which Germany saw as unfair, secondly, there was the rise of Adolf Hitler and other dictators that wanted expansion, a weak League of Nations and the failure of the appeasement policy by Britain and France.
Dowswell, Paul. The Causes of World War Ii. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2003. Print.
Churchill, Winston, and Denis Kelly. Memoirs of the Second World War: An Abridgement of the
Six Volumes of the Second World War. New York: Bonanza Books, 1978. Print.
Leckie, Robert. The Story of World War Ii. New York: Random House, 1964. Print.
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