The Brutality of World War II

World War II became more brutal as time went on. The brutality was definitely not one sided, however. All countries that participated in WWII committed acts of brutality even against the most innocent civilian. Two examples of this are the Allied bombings and the German Holocaust (Final Solution).

In the Nazi party there was the belief that there were “sub-humans” in the world. According to Hitler, these consisted of several races, particularly the Jews. Hitler had the idea and the means: “Wipe out all sub-humans.” A man named Alfred Rosenberg had the theory: “…and this is how we’ll wipe ‘em out.” Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, executed the Final Solution.

The Final Solution was mass killing of all Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and more. Brutal? Cruel? Horrible? Yes. The Einsatzgruppen were the groups who carried out almost half of these murders. Millions of deaths of all kinds of people that were considered “enemies of the state” resulted.

The Allied (British and American) bombings, mainly on Germany, but stretching to all enemy countries like Japan Continue reading

How World War II Became Global

World War II (1939-1945) began with the German invasion of Poland, and its subsequent division between the Soviets and the Germans. On the Eastern front, the war began with full-time Japanese vs. Chinese war. The Soviets then tried to invade Finland in what is known as the Winter War. They failed.

The next step was the invasion of Western Europe by Hitler and his Nazis. He invaded Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Holland and northern France. (Southern France had a government sympathetic and controlled by Hitler). The Germans also tried to takeover Britain in the Battle of Britain—an aerial battle in 1940. The Germans met with defeat in Britain. Italy then entered on the side of Hitler and took another part of France. The Germans then invaded Yugoslavia.

Throughout WWII Spain under the dictatorship of Franco remained neutral. The other countries that remained neutral throughout WWII were Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Andorra, Liechtenstein, the Vatican City and Switzerland.

The two main events that led to the globalization of WWII were the attack on Pearl Harbor and Operation Barbarossa. Continue reading

The Factors Leading Up To World War II

During World War I, Japan had been an ally of Britain, France, Italy, Russia and the U.S. After WWI, America decided to gain territories in the Pacific, and it formed the Pacific Defense Triangle. Japan also wanted to expand and it began a rivalry with the U.S. over the Pacific.

At the same time, Japan began expanding into Asia, particularly into China—a now weak country due to their revolutions and civil wars. In 1931 the Mukden Incident occurred and started sporadic warfare between Japan and China, which lasted until 1937. That same year (1937) the Marco Polo bridge incident came about. This officially started World War II in the East. From then until 1945 there was continuous warfare between China and Japan.

Adolph Hitler and his Nazis were another key factor in bringing forth World War II. Hitler was born in Austria-Hungary. His parents both died while he was still young. He made his living off of an inheritance and also painting post cards. Throughout his adolescence Hitler was involved in anti-Semitic movements. This is key because when he came into power Hitler was set upon practically wiping out the Jewish population in Germany and elsewhere. Hitler also fought in WWI and became a corporal.

After the war he was assigned to infiltrate a group called the DAP. Continue reading