adolf hitler and the reconstruction of the events in 1943 ending the Battle of Stalingrad

  • What Were The Main Causes Of World War II?

World War II  began on September 1, 1939, when  Germany invaded Poland . However, while this invasion was the sparkplug for the conflict, its underlying roots went back decades. Indeed, the legacy of the  First World War , economic turmoil in  Germany ,  Adolf Hitler 's worldview, Allied incompetence, and Japanese territorial expansion all contributed to the beginning of the war. 

World War I And The Conspiracies It Fostered 

World War I ended in November 1918. Having failed to win any sort of decisive victory on the Western Front, Germany signed the November 11 armistice as the loser in the conflict. However, this outcome angered many Germans, causing widespread domestic unrest that included mutinies, attempted coups, and assassinations. Amidst this turmoil, conspiracy theories emerged about what "actually" happened at the war's end. The most popular of these theories was the "stab-in-the-back" myth, the notion that Jewish and communist politicians had betrayed the army by accepting the armistice. Drawing on these beliefs, the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP, or Nazi Party) eventually rose to power.

The Consequences Of The Treaty Of Versailles

Demonstration against the treaty in front of the Reichstag

One must also consider the  Treaty of Versailles , the peace treaty signed after World War I when assessing the causes of World War II. The terms of this agreement were as follows: Germany needed to give up all of its colonies and a significant portion of its European territory. There was also a stipulation that the German Army would be reduced to 100,000 men and that the Rhineland would be demilitarized. Germany was also forced to pay the equivalent of 33 billion American dollars in reparations to the Allied countries and take sole responsibility for the war. Much like the November Armistice, anger towards the Treaty of Versailles helped the Nazis rise to power. Furthermore, as will now be demonstrated, the agreement led to economic catastrophe in Germany. 

German Economic Turmoil In The 1920s And 1930s

Food riots in Berlin, 1918. A looted shop in Invalidenstrasse.

To pay off the aforementioned reparations payments, the German government began printing money, resulting in  hyperinflation . Thus, by November 1923, one American dollar was worth 4.2 trillion Reichsmark (RMS). But, following the introduction of a new currency, the Retenmark, and the Dawes Plan, a more manageable series of reparations payments, the economy began to stabilize in 1924. This was all undone, however, with the onset  Great Depression  in 1929, and 33% of the working population was unemployed by February 1932. When combined with lingering anger toward the Treaty of Versailles and memories of the early 1920s, this paved the way for the rise of the Nazis. Indeed, after several elections in which they gained more and more support, Adolf Hitler was finally named chancellor on  January 30, 1933 . With the Nazis in power, Europe was now significantly closer to war. 

Hitler's Worldview

In 1934, Hitler became Germany's head of state with the title of Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor of the Reich).

The major reason this was the case can be attributed to Hitler's worldview. To Hitler, "struggle," specifically struggle between races, characterized the nature of the world. Furthermore, he believed that gaining access to living space ( Lebensraum ) in the East, in particular the  Soviet Union  (USSR), was critical for the victory of the "Aryan race." This belief needs to be understood in conjunction with his understanding of Slavs and Jews. To Hitler, Slavs were inferior to Aryans, whereas Jews stood outside his racial hierarchy. Thus, "the Jews" were able to subvert the struggle-based nature of the world by introducing ideas, democracy, human rights, capitalism, and communism. Hitler thought that this was what happened in the First World War and was obsessed with preventing another such subversion of nature. This obsession, paired with the belief that the USSR was a Slavic state run by Jews, informed most of the Nazis' foreign policy decisions.

The Failure Of Appeasement

Cheering crowds greet the Nazis in Vienna.

Another major reason for the Second World War was the Allies' failure to stop Hitler's aggressive foreign policy. For instance, in 1935, he reintroduced conscription. Then, on March 7, 1936, Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland. Despite these actions clearly violating the Treaty of Versailles, the Allies did nothing, hoping that giving Hitler what he wanted would prevent another war. However, this inaction only made him more aggressive. In March 1938,  Germany annexed Austria.  The Sudetenland, a region of  Czechoslovakia  that contained mostly German speakers, was  annexed in the autumn of 1938 , followed by an invasion of the rest of the country in early 1939. Ultimately, the invasion of  Poland  on September 1, 1939 was the final straw for the Allies, with  France  and the  United Kingdom  (UK) declaring war on Germany days later. By all accounts, appeasement had failed.

Japan's Desire For Territorial Expansion

Japanese troops in the ruins of Shanghai.

Germany was not the only world power making aggressive foreign policy maneuvers during this period. Indeed, in the second half of the 1800s,  Japan  experienced massive population and economic growth. However, a lack of good farmland and few natural resources necessitated imperialism to sustain this prosperity. Thus, in the late 1920s, after years of military and diplomatic pressures, China gave Japan control of Manchuria's railways. Japanese forces then invaded Manchuria in September 1931 following a  self-inflicted railway bombing  and set up a puppet regime. Finally, following an exchange of fire between Chinese and Japanese soldiers near Peking in July 1937, Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China. With that, the  war in Asia  began.

In conclusion, the legacy of World War I needs to be understood as a cause of World War II. Furthermore, Hitler's worldview should be considered when assessing the motivations of key actors. Moreover, the Allies' desperation to avoid another conflict ultimately contributed to increasing tensions. Finally, Japan's desire for territorial expansion was the sparkplug for war in Asia. 

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World War Ii: Causes, Events, Impact

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Causes of world war ii, key events leading to the outbreak of war, war on the eastern front, war in the pacific, holocaust and genocide, the home front and civilian experience, allied victory and the end of the war.

  • References> History.com Editors. "World War II." History. A&E Television Networks, 2010. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/world-war-ii-history United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Introduction to the Holocaust." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introduction-to-the-holocaust Rossonian, Stanley. "The Causes of World War II." The American Historical Review, vol. 56, no. 1, 1950, pp. 1-23. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1841789.

References> History.com Editors. "World War II." History. A&E Television Networks , 2010. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/world-war-ii-history United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Introduction to the Holocaust." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introduction-to-the-holocaust Rossonian, Stanley. "The Causes of World War II." The American Historical Review, vol. 56, no. 1, 1950, pp. 1-23. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1841789.

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World War II

By: History.com Editors

Updated: March 13, 2024 | Original: October 29, 2009

Into the Jaws of Death

World War II, the largest and deadliest conflict in human history, involved more than 50 nations and was fought on land, sea and air in nearly every part of the world. Also known as the Second World War, it was caused in part by the economic crisis of the Great Depression and by political tensions left unresolved following the end of World War I.

The war began when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and raged across the globe until 1945, when Japan surrendered to the United States after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By the end of World War II, an estimated 60 to 80 million people had died, including up to 55 million civilians, and numerous cities in Europe and Asia were reduced to rubble.

Among the people killed were 6 million Jews murdered in Nazi concentration camps as part of Hitler’s diabolical “Final Solution,” now known as the Holocaust. The legacy of the war included the creation of the United Nations as a peacekeeping force and geopolitical rivalries that resulted in the Cold War.

Leading up to World War II

The devastation of the Great War (as World War I was known at the time) had greatly destabilized Europe, and in many respects World War II grew out of issues left unresolved by that earlier conflict. In particular, political and economic instability in Germany, and lingering resentment over the harsh terms imposed by the Versailles Treaty, fueled the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and National Socialist German Workers’ Party, abbreviated as NSDAP in German and the Nazi Party in English..

Did you know? As early as 1923, in his memoir and propaganda tract "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle), Adolf Hitler had predicted a general European war that would result in "the extermination of the Jewish race in Germany."

After becoming Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Hitler swiftly consolidated power, anointing himself Führer (supreme leader) in 1934. Obsessed with the idea of the superiority of the “pure” German race, which he called “Aryan,” Hitler believed that war was the only way to gain the necessary “Lebensraum,” or living space, for the German race to expand. In the mid-1930s, he secretly began the rearmament of Germany, a violation of the Versailles Treaty. After signing alliances with Italy and Japan against the Soviet Union , Hitler sent troops to occupy Austria in 1938 and the following year annexed Czechoslovakia. Hitler’s open aggression went unchecked, as the United States and Soviet Union were concentrated on internal politics at the time, and neither France nor Britain (the two other nations most devastated by the Great War) were eager for confrontation.

Outbreak of World War II (1939)

In late August 1939, Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin signed the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact , which incited a frenzy of worry in London and Paris. Hitler had long planned an invasion of Poland, a nation to which Great Britain and France had guaranteed military support if it were attacked by Germany. The pact with Stalin meant that Hitler would not face a war on two fronts once he invaded Poland, and would have Soviet assistance in conquering and dividing the nation itself. On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland from the west; two days later, France and Britain declared war on Germany, beginning World War II.

On September 17, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east. Under attack from both sides, Poland fell quickly, and by early 1940 Germany and the Soviet Union had divided control over the nation, according to a secret protocol appended to the Nonaggression Pact. Stalin’s forces then moved to occupy the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and defeated a resistant Finland in the Russo-Finnish War. During the six months following the invasion of Poland, the lack of action on the part of Germany and the Allies in the west led to talk in the news media of a “phony war.” At sea, however, the British and German navies faced off in heated battle, and lethal German U-boat submarines struck at merchant shipping bound for Britain, sinking more than 100 vessels in the first four months of World War II.

World War II in the West (1940-41)

On April 9, 1940, Germany simultaneously invaded Norway and occupied Denmark, and the war began in earnest. On May 10, German forces swept through Belgium and the Netherlands in what became known as “blitzkrieg,” or lightning war. Three days later, Hitler’s troops crossed the Meuse River and struck French forces at Sedan, located at the northern end of the Maginot Line , an elaborate chain of fortifications constructed after World War I and considered an impenetrable defensive barrier. In fact, the Germans broke through the line with their tanks and planes and continued to the rear, rendering it useless. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was evacuated by sea from Dunkirk in late May, while in the south French forces mounted a doomed resistance. With France on the verge of collapse, Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini formed an alliance with Hitler, the Pact of Steel, and Italy declared war against France and Britain on June 10.

On June 14, German forces entered Paris; a new government formed by Marshal Philippe Petain (France’s hero of World War I) requested an armistice two nights later. France was subsequently divided into two zones, one under German military occupation and the other under Petain’s government, installed at Vichy France. Hitler now turned his attention to Britain, which had the defensive advantage of being separated from the Continent by the English Channel.

To pave the way for an amphibious invasion (dubbed Operation Sea Lion), German planes bombed Britain extensively beginning in September 1940 until May 1941, known as the Blitz , including night raids on London and other industrial centers that caused heavy civilian casualties and damage. The Royal Air Force (RAF) eventually defeated the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) in the Battle of Britain , and Hitler postponed his plans to invade. With Britain’s defensive resources pushed to the limit, Prime Minister Winston Churchill began receiving crucial aid from the U.S. under the Lend-Lease Act , passed by Congress in early 1941.

Hitler vs. Stalin: Operation Barbarossa (1941-42)

By early 1941, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria had joined the Axis, and German troops overran Yugoslavia and Greece that April. Hitler’s conquest of the Balkans was a precursor for his real objective: an invasion of the Soviet Union, whose vast territory would give the German master race the “Lebensraum” it needed. The other half of Hitler’s strategy was the extermination of the Jews from throughout German-occupied Europe. Plans for the “Final Solution” were introduced around the time of the Soviet offensive, and over the next three years more than 4 million Jews would perish in the death camps established in occupied Poland.

On June 22, 1941, Hitler ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union, codenamed Operation Barbarossa . Though Soviet tanks and aircraft greatly outnumbered the Germans’, Russian aviation technology was largely obsolete, and the impact of the surprise invasion helped Germans get within 200 miles of Moscow by mid-July. Arguments between Hitler and his commanders delayed the next German advance until October, when it was stalled by a Soviet counteroffensive and the onset of harsh winter weather.

World War II in the Pacific (1941-43)

With Britain facing Germany in Europe, the United States was the only nation capable of combating Japanese aggression, which by late 1941 included an expansion of its ongoing war with China and the seizure of European colonial holdings in the Far East. On December 7, 1941, 360 Japanese aircraft attacked the major U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii , taking the Americans completely by surprise and claiming the lives of more than 2,300 troops. The attack on Pearl Harbor served to unify American public opinion in favor of entering World War II, and on December 8 Congress declared war on Japan with only one dissenting vote. Germany and the other Axis Powers promptly declared war on the United States.

After a long string of Japanese victories, the U.S. Pacific Fleet won the Battle of Midway in June 1942, which proved to be a turning point in the war. On Guadalcanal, one of the southern Solomon Islands, the Allies also had success against Japanese forces in a series of battles from August 1942 to February 1943, helping turn the tide further in the Pacific. In mid-1943, Allied naval forces began an aggressive counterattack against Japan, involving a series of amphibious assaults on key Japanese-held islands in the Pacific. This “island-hopping” strategy proved successful, and Allied forces moved closer to their ultimate goal of invading the mainland Japan.

Toward Allied Victory in World War II (1943-45)

In North Africa , British and American forces had defeated the Italians and Germans by 1943. An Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy followed, and Mussolini’s government fell in July 1943, though Allied fighting against the Germans in Italy would continue until 1945.

On the Eastern Front, a Soviet counteroffensive launched in November 1942 ended the bloody Battle of Stalingrad , which had seen some of the fiercest combat of World War II. The approach of winter, along with dwindling food and medical supplies, spelled the end for German troops there, and the last of them surrendered on January 31, 1943.

On June 6, 1944–celebrated as “D-Day” –the Allies began a massive invasion of Europe, landing 156,000 British, Canadian and American soldiers on the beaches of Normandy, France. In response, Hitler poured all the remaining strength of his army into Western Europe, ensuring Germany’s defeat in the east. Soviet troops soon advanced into Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania, while Hitler gathered his forces to drive the Americans and British back from Germany in the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944-January 1945), the last major German offensive of the war.

An intensive aerial bombardment in February 1945 preceded the Allied land invasion of Germany, and by the time Germany formally surrendered on May 8, Soviet forces had occupied much of the country. Hitler was already dead, having died by suicide on April 30 in his Berlin bunker.

World War II Ends (1945)

At the Potsdam Conference of July-August 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman (who had taken office after Roosevelt’s death in April), Churchill and Stalin discussed the ongoing war with Japan as well as the peace settlement with Germany. Post-war Germany would be divided into four occupation zones, to be controlled by the Soviet Union, Britain, the United States and France. On the divisive matter of Eastern Europe’s future, Churchill and Truman acquiesced to Stalin, as they needed Soviet cooperation in the war against Japan.

Heavy casualties sustained in the campaigns at Iwo Jima (February 1945) and Okinawa (April-June 1945), and fears of the even costlier land invasion of Japan led Truman to authorize the use of a new and devastating weapon. Developed during a top secret operation code-named The Manhattan Project, the atomic bomb was unleashed on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August. On August 15, the Japanese government issued a statement declaring they would accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, and on September 2, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan’s formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

African American Servicemen Fight Two Wars

A tank and crew from the 761st Tank Battalion in front of the Prince Albert Memorial in Coburg, Germany, 1945. (Credit: The National Archives)

World War II exposed a glaring paradox within the United States Armed Forces. Although more than 1 million African Americans served in the war to defeat Nazism and fascism, they did so in segregated units. The same discriminatory Jim Crow policies that were rampant in American society were reinforced by the U.S. military. Black servicemen rarely saw combat and were largely relegated to labor and supply units that were commanded by white officers.

There were several African American units that proved essential in helping to win World War II, with the Tuskegee Airmen being among the most celebrated. But the Red Ball Express, the truck convoy of mostly Black drivers were responsible for delivering essential goods to General George S. Patton ’s troops on the front lines in France. The all-Black 761st Tank Battalion fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and the 92 Infantry Division, fought in fierce ground battles in Italy. Yet, despite their role in defeating fascism, the fight for equality continued for African American soldiers after the World War II ended. They remained in segregated units and lower-ranking positions, well into the Korean War , a few years after President Truman signed an executive order to desegregate the U.S. military in 1948.

World War II Casualties and Legacy

World War II proved to be the deadliest international conflict in history, taking the lives of 60 to 80 million people, including 6 million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust . Civilians made up an estimated 50-55 million deaths from the war, while military comprised 21 to 25 million of those lost during the war. Millions more were injured, and still more lost their homes and property. 

The legacy of the war would include the spread of communism from the Soviet Union into eastern Europe as well as its eventual triumph in China, and the global shift in power from Europe to two rival superpowers–the United States and the Soviet Union–that would soon face off against each other in the Cold War .

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the causes of world war 2 essay

The Road to War: Understanding the causes of World War II

Causes of WWII

The Second World War was one of the deadliest and most devastating conflicts in human history, claiming the lives of tens of millions of people across the globe.

However, the war's causes were a combination of factors, including economic instability, political tensions, and territorial ambitions, contributed to the outbreak of hostilities in 1939.

World War II officially began when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on the 1st of September 1939.

However, this single action was not the only reason why the world fell into a global conflict for the second time.

Instead, there were both long-term and short-term causes that meant that the attack on Poland began the war. 

Long-term verses short-term causes

Every historical event occurs because of a series of events that happened beforehand. Things that directly lead to another event are called ‘Causes’.

Some causes occurred immediately before the event began, while others existed for several years before they caused the event.

  • Causes that occurred only a few hours, days or weeks before the event are called 'Short Term Causes'
  • Causes that existed for years, decades or centuries before the event are called 'Long Term Causes' 

Long-term causes of WWII

1. the treaty of versailles.

When World War One ended in 1918, the various countries involved had to decide how to punish Germany for starting the war.

To do this, leaders from countries across the world met at the Palace of Versailles in France in 1919 to create an official document to outline the specific punishments.

This document was called the Treaty of Versailles .

Each of the leaders had different desires for what to do to Germany. Prime Minister Clemenceau of France wanted the punishment to be severe so that Germany would not have the strength or resources to start another war.

On the other hand, the President of America, Woodrow Wilson, had a 14-point strategy that he believed would create world peace in a way that wasn't too harsh to Germany. 

However, the final treaty was particularly cruel. There were five things in the document that enraged a lot of Germans:

  • Germany had to accept full blame for starting World War One
  • Germany had to pay 6,600 million pounds for starting the war
  • Germany was not allowed an army larger than 100,000 men, and was allowed no tanks, air force, nor submarines.
  • Germany had to give up control of a region called the Rhineland, which was an important industrial centre.
  • Various parts of Germany were handed over to other countries and Germany was banned from ever joining with Austria (called the Anschluss )

These terms sent Germany into a deep economic crisis in the 1920s, with many people losing jobs and struggling to feed their families.

Just when Germany was recovering at the end of the decade, the Great Depression hit, which sent Germans into poverty again.

The German people were outraged and blamed the Treaty of Versailles for their suffering.

In the hope of finding a solution to their problems, the German people voted for  Adolf Hitler , who promised to undo the terms of the treaty.

Germans in the 1920s

2. Hitler's military aggression

After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, he immediately began ignoring the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

First, i n 1934, he increased the size of the army beyond the 100,000 limit and created a German air force.

He also started investing in the latest military equipment and strategies for his armed forces.

The rest of the world were fully aware that these things were occurring, but they didn't intervene to enforce the terms of the treaty, because many people in other countries had come to believe that the treaty was too harsh, and they were willing to give Germany some flexibility.

Then, in 1936, Hitler marched German troops back into the Rhineland. This was a direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles and was a clear moment of military aggression: it may have been a test to see what the rest of the world would do.

Even though the rest of Europe was alarmed and voiced concern, no punishments were handed to Germany, and they were allowed to occupy the region again.

Britain in particular didn't respond to Hitler's actions, as it was preoccupied with its own domestic economic and political issues at the time.

The British politicians believed that the general public did not want to engage in another costly conflict so soon after the devastation of World War I.

Additionally, the British government believed that Germany's actions were not necessarily aggressive, but rather an attempt to restore its own territorial integrity.

Hitler was now more confident that he could expand further, and aimed to take back former German lands that had been taken away after World War One.

In March 1938, he marched into Austria, where Hitler forced the Austrian people to vote on whether they would like to join with Germany into a single country.

The results of the vote indicated that 99% of Austrians wanted Anschluss , which Hitler then promised to create.

However, these results are widely considered to have been manipulated by the Nazi authorities.

In this context, 'Anschluss' was the term used to describe the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany.

Alarmed, Austrian leaders called on Britain and France to intervene. When these countries sent their concerns to Hitler, he simply promised that the Anschluss was the end of his military invasions.

However, Hitler had no intention of stopping there and, six months later, he sent a demand to the neighbouring country of Czechoslovakia to hand back the former German region of the Sudetenland or face invasion.

Sudetenland was strategically important due to its mountainous terrain forming a natural defense line and its industrial resources, which were crucial for Germany’s war preparations.

Short-term causes of WWII

1. chamberlain's appeasement strategy.

The Prime Minister of Britain, Neville Chamberlain, thought that Hitler's threat was too much of a warning to ignore.

As a result, he met with Hitler three times during September of 1938 to try and find a way of preventing any future war.

Most of Europe still remembered the horror of the First World War, and Chamberlain believed that the world should do anything they could to avoid a repeat of that.

Chamberlain believed that he could 'appease' Hitler, which meant that he wanted to find a way to make Hitler happy enough that he wouldn't start another war. 

Following their meetings, Hitler and Chamberlain signed the ' Munich Agreement ', which stated that Hitler would be given the Sudetenland if he promised not to invade Czechoslovakia.

At the time, it was celebrated by many in Britain and France as a successful avoidance of war.

Chamberlain was pleased that Hitler had signed a promise to do no further military conquests, while Hitler was pleased that he had been able to take back a former German region at no cost.

Neville Chamberlain and Hitler in discussions

2. Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia

Following their meeting, Hitler first took over the Sudetenland as per the agreement. 

Unfortunately, Hitler had lied to Chamberlain. In March 1939, he invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia anyway, which was not covered by the Munich Agreement.

Despite the promise made to Chamberlain, no European country stepped in to stop Germany.

Therefore, Hitler came to believe that Europe was so afraid of war that he could continue to invade other countries and there would be no punishments.

However, the rest of Europe began to realise that fear of war was simply allowing one country to do whatever they wanted, and that something had to be done.

When information began circulating that Hitler was now preparing to invade Poland, a number of European countries realised that war might be a real option.

3. Hitler's invasion of Poland

Both Britain and France made a formal declaration to Hitler that if he invaded Poland, that they would declare war on him.

Chamberlain was convinced that the clear threat of war would be enough to scare Hitler.

Hitler, by contrast, was convinced that Britain and France were bluffing. He thought that his recent experience with these countries showed that they were too afraid of another world war to follow through on their threats. 

So, on the 1st of September 1939, German troops invaded Poland . Upon receiving word of this attack, Britain declared war on Germany and the Second World War began.

German troops crossing into Poland

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The causes of World War Two

Part of History World War Two and the Holocaust

Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He had aggressive and ambitious foreign policy aims.

Britain initially pursued a policy of appeasement, seeking to give Hitler some of what he wanted in order to preserve peace.

When Hitler broke the agreement made at the Munich Conference, it became clear appeasement had failed, and war broke out following the invasion of Poland in September 1939.

Hitler’s foreign policy aims

Hitler's three main foreign policy aims starting on the left with uniting all german speakers, achieving leabenstraum in the centre and destroying the treaty of versailles on the right.

Hitler had three main aims in his foreign policy:

To unite all German-speaking people.

To achieve ‘Lebensraum’ close Lebensraum The German word for 'living space', used to describe Hitler's aim of expanding Germany by taking land from the east. , which was more living space for the German people. This was based on the Nazis’ close Nazi An abbreviation for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) and its members. The term was originally thought up by political opponents of the party. The Nazi Party's main ideas were based on racism, including antisemitism, and hostility towards democracy and other political systems, such as communism and socialism. racist policies, which were rooted in the idea that ‘Aryan’ close 'Aryan race' An idea developed in the 1800s, believed by Hitler and the Nazis, that people from northern and western Europe were racially 'superior' to other groups. There is no scientific basis for this idea. people were ‘superior’ to Eastern Europeans.

To destroy the Treaty of Versailles , the peace document that was signed in 1919 following World War One. It placed much of the blame for the events of the war on Germany.

These aims, and carrying them out, was one of the major contributing factors to the outbreak of World War Two in September 1939.

The Rhineland and the Anschluss

Hitler had already broken some terms of the Treaty of Versailles by 1938. He sent soldiers into the Rhineland area of Germany in 1936, which was supposed to be a demilitarised close demilitarised The removal of all military forces from an area. area. Britain did nothing, saying that Hitler was ‘marching into his own backyard’. This showed that Britain saw the Rhineland as German land anyway, so they were not too concerned.

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Deciphering World War II: Causes, Key Events, and Consequences

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There may be few topics in history with diverse interpretations and profoundly insightful viewpoints, like World War II. It is perceived as the war that turned the world around, shaped the politics of this day, and ultimately defined a course of development of humanity in different ways. Moreover, this topic needs to generate more diversity of opinions, like the D-Day topic. With each country presenting its ideas and historians continuing to shape modern opinions, it is imperative to analyze the World War II topic again. In this pursuit, this study analyzes World War II political causes, war front aspects, and social challenges in the aftermath, extensively interrogating various historical perspectives on D-Day.

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Unraveling the Political Catalysts of the Global Conflict

To understand various opinions that shaped perspectives on World War II, it is imperative to consider the political causes that triggered this 5-year armed conflict. Historians reckon that World War II was a series of multifaceted events influenced by numerous factors and consequently having multiple causes. Nonetheless, they agree to a series of events by considering what they call ‘proximate causes’. Moreover, there is an agreement among historians that political factors which led to World War II were the Treaty of Versailles, the failure of Appeasement, the League of Nations’ failure, and Hitler’s actions.

The Versailles Treaty: A Peace Pact or Prelude to War?

Regarding the Treaty of Versailles, historians look for the causes of World War II in World War I through remedies sought to prevent another war. Under the Treaty of Versailles, four political leaders from England (Lloyd George), Italy (Orlando), France (Clemenceau), and the US (Woodrow) met in 1919 to discuss ways of making Germany pay for the damage it had done in World War I. Historians point out a disagreement between the approaches since France wanted revenge, while the US proposed a 14 point-plan. Since Lloyd knew that the British public shared France’s sentiments and agreed with Woodrow, so he reached a middle-ground compromise between two extremes.

Consequently, the treaty’s terms included clauses on war guilt, reparations, disarmament of Germany, and non-union with Austria (Anschluss), among other requirements. Historians named it an unbalanced treaty with postulations that only forced crippling peace. It greatly influenced Germany’s economy and is seen by historians as closely related to Hitler’s rise to power. Historians opine that global depression, despite being non-political, shaped political events in Europe by creating unfavorable economic conditions, which also became political. It is against this background that Hitler ascended to power in 1933. Historians opine that Hitler’s rise to power was the most likely cause of the war. However, many add that the rise did not happen in a vacuum. The treaty made Germans breathe anger and betrayal, and Hitler’s appeal to them was about his promise of restoring the honor of Germans stripped by the treaty.

Moreover, Hitler knew that citizens viewed the lopsided deal in the treaty as shameful and punitive. The reparations to rebuild Belgium and parts of France destroyed in the war and the restriction of its army to only a defensive skeleton army gave Hitler a campaigning ticket. Hitler promised to rip the Treaty of Versailles and explained the German predicament resulting from Jewish, Bolsheviks, and corrupt politicians’ betrayal. He insisted that Germany never lost the war and convinced citizens not only to vote for him but convinced them that pursuing military glory was the country’s way to honor him. Upon his rise to power, Hitler started to pursue his long-term objectives of conquering Europe, which historians call akin to eating an artichoke leaf by leaf. They note that Hitler’s ambitions beyond Germany can be traced in his writings in prison when he asserted the ‘Lebensraum’ call for expanding Germany’s living space. Upon his ascension to power, his politics, supported by the Weimar Republic’s right wings, established a totalitarian regime, started a rearmament program, and pursued Hitler’s dream since the 1920s.

Historian Ted Townley writes that Hitler’s wish to control space and race could only be achieved through war. This would allow him to expel Jews and conquer Europe until he established an economic system to support Nazis in the war. Consequently, he created an economy to support his military aims and politics. Townley also notes that some reasons for war-related to Hitler’s political actions included his revision of the Versailles treaty. His moves were politically calculated, as indicated by his signing of the ‘Non-Aggression Pact” with Poland. In his book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, historian William Shirer opines that this was Hitler’s part of advancing his conquest by securing the eastern border to undermine the alliance of France in Eastern Europe known as the Little Entente. It succeeded by countering the 1925 Franco-Polish Alliance. Thus, Hitler led to the war by advancing dangerous political issues while portraying his intentions as ultimately peaceful.

However, although some of Hitler’s actions, such as unifying Germany with Austria, were the hallmark of contravening the Versailles treaty and served as an indication of his long-term plan, some historians view his first attempts as an indication of a lack of a long-term strategy. Though they accept that Hitler had some Nazi support in Austria that murdered Chancellor Engelbert, his retreat after being warned by Mussolini is evidence of what they term “improvisation”. Therefore, by their contention that Hitler was not ready to enforce his ambitions for expansion, they indicated that his immediate political activities were building a Nazi state, which ultimately fuelled the war.

Furthermore, historical evidence indicates that politics regarding the European response were also key causes of war, as indicated by Britain’s self-interest politics. Upon Britain, France and Italy’s knowledge of Germany’s huge army, they met and signed the Stresa Front agreement. However, Britain disregarded this and signed the Anglo-German Naval agreement, which not only condoned Germany’s rearmament. It was a betrayal to its partners and a silent victory for Hitler. Thus, Hitler manipulated international occurrences such as Italy’s withdrawal from the League of Nations following its invasion of Abyssinia. He proceeded to attack Austria, Rhineland, and Czechoslovakia. This occurred within a political period when dictators had arisen in Italy and Japan. Politically, allies came to exist between Hitler and other dictators, especially France’s Mussolini, through the Spanish civil war. This popular alliance, known as the Rome-Berlin Axis, was followed by the Comintern Pact with Japan in November 1936. Thus, political reasons for dictatorial alliances were the likely causes of the war.

In addition, the politics of the controversial Nazi-Soviet Pact as a retort to Britain’s threat to attack Germany, where they aimed to attack Poland, is termed by historians as an immediate cause. Since Germans never accepted Polish Corridor being free or the independence of Poland under the supervision of the League of Nations, its attack on Poland resonates with many as the ultimate cause of World War II in Europe. However, it is preserved by many historians about the role of Appeasement in the war. The British policy of compromise is viewed as having encouraged Hitler’s acts. Such views are held by historian A. J. Taylor, who emphasizes the role of European nations in the war. He postulates that Hitler’s actions were not planned but were responses to European actions. These views conclude political reasons for war encompassing Hitler’s actions, reactions, outside political policies, allies, and complacency.

Controversial Perspectives: Was World War II a Jewish Creation?

Controversy over the causes of the war continues to rage, but some historians have added their voices, with some stating that it was Jewish creation. They opine that the Jewish community’s vast influence on business and other areas, followed by a call by Jewish leadership to boycott German goods, led to the war. Jews are quoted by many Generals and Ambassadors as having had an effective system of propaganda that succeeded in dividing the world into two camps of war. Moreover, they opine that anti-Semitism in Germany is understandable by the then-American Ambassador in Berlin, Hugh Wilson. This is because, before the Nazi regime, Jews filled top positions and were closely allied to Russian Bolshevists. They opine that their hatred for Hitler emanated from his push to destroy communism and that Jews represented over 50% of revolutionaries despite their percentage in the Russian population. Thus, post-World War I, European revolutions had strong Jewish elements, whether in central Europe, Hungary, Russia, Bavaria, or Berlin. In addition, the Bolshevist party leadership had Jews in it.

Historian A. J. P. Taylor has demonstrated that Hitler’s only aim was to rectify the effects of the Versailles and end the Communist threat to Germany, but not a primarily larger conquest. They opine that Britain and France went to war with Germany to Hitler’s push, and signs of his quest for peace are evident. For instance, historian of the British army Liddell Hart states that Hitler did not capture British soldiers when he had a chance but instead expressed his admiration, only requesting Britain’s recognition of Germany’s place in the world. David Irvin corroborates this by stating that at no time did Hitler intend to threaten the British Empire. Thus, the role of Jews is brought out, and a history of official and unofficial censorship of some truths appears apparent.

Battlefront Chronicles: The Famed D-Day

Blueprint for victory: strategic preparations and operations.

Certain events during the war remain etched in the minds of various participants. It is worth noting that military history and World War II have many D-days. However, none compares to the popular D-Day campaign synonymous with the Allied forces’ invasion of Normandy. This was not only the battle that changed the direction of World War II; it was a battle to gain a footing in a continent and remains the largest invasion over the sea in all military history. As discussed earlier, the war was not without politics and divided attention, with Britain focusing on Africa, the battle stalemate in Rome persisting, but not without the pressure from the US and the Soviets to end Hitler’s move, who had now advanced to France from Poland. Further, it is imperative to appreciate the massive planning that preceded operations, such as the choice of Normandy, data gathering, and synergy in alliances, among other strategic aspects. Pre-planning took a decisive turn upon the appointment of General Eisenhower to implement the operation that was termed OVERLORD.

Among the prominent plans preceding D-Day was the destruction of the transport system to paralyze the movement of Germans. However, many historians opine that Hitler prepared against an attack in September 1942 by building the popular Atlantic Wall. However, his attack on the Soviet Union weakened his forces through diverted supplies and men. Field Marshal Rommel was in charge of preventing the invasion of Germany. He hoped to succeed as he had defeated the British earlier in Africa. However, disagreement between Rommel and Marshal Rundstedt made Hitler retain control personally. Nonetheless, Germany reinforced its defense levels to lethal levels for attackers.

It is well documented that the activities of D-Day started on 6th June 1944 with allied forces from the US, UK, Canada, and a few from France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Netherlands, and Greece. The attack began in the early morning when paratroopers from American airborne divisions began landing. Due to bad weather that led Hitler to downplay the possibility of an attack that soon, and the lack of pattern in the manner of paratroopers’ landing, his soldiers were through into confusion. They could not stop the landing. Moreover, the operation employed decoys to confuse Germans about the real landing areas of interest.

Consequently, landing troops had gained control over strategic areas in the 80-kilometer stretch by 6:30 AM. These areas were Utah, Omaha, Sword, and Juno. The plan was in progress, having been expeditiously planned. It involved over 160,00 troops, 5000 ships, air support, naval fire support and a transport system for materials and soldiers. The plan involved overlapping operations, such as Operation Neptune, representing the assault phase.

Allied Forces: The Order of Battle and Their Distinct Roles

The battle was implemented by strategically dividing roles and target areas for different troops in an East-to-West approach. British Second Army was deployed in several areas: the 6th airborne division took charge of the left flank and landed to the east of Orne River, the leftmost part was taken care of by the 1st Service Brigade landing at in Queen Red Quistreham sector, a 3rd Infantry at Lion-sur-Mer, and no.41 commando landing to the West of Sword Beach. At Juno Beach, three Canadian forces pushed from Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer to Courseulles-sur-Mer with an offshore reserve division. Gold Beach witnessed over 25,000 troops with special services for recovery, assault, and mine-clearing. The last part of the 2nd Army comprised over 83,000 troops, with a majority of over 61,000 being British.

On the other hand, American forces landed at Omaha and Utah beaches. The first contingent to Omaha was the 1st Infantry Division moving from Honorine-des-Pertes to Vierville-sur-Mer, while the second was the 5th Ranger Battalion stationed at Point du Hoc. At Utah Beach, over 23,000 men landed around La Madeleine and Pouppeville. In addition, an airborne division at Vierville supported the landings, while a parachute division at Sainte-Mere-Englise protected the right flank. Thus, the US Army had 73,000 troops, of which 15,600 were airborne.

On the part of the German defense, their four-year refined plan involved an interlocking-firing method of protecting areas under heavy fire. They utilized large bankers with concrete hideouts fitted with large caliber weapons and machine guns. They had an extensive integration of hills and cliffs overlooking the beaches in their fighting style. It was evident that Germany had placed its first line of defense in the English Channel, compounded by the extensive Atlantic Wall. However, allied forces attacked the 7th and 15th German army boundary, where their landing sectors faced four German divisions. These divisions included the 716th Infantry Division consisting of mostly unfit soldiers for the Eastern Front war. This was due to their medical issues or being Soviet captives. Their weakness and dubious loyalty were an enhancement to allied attacks. The other division was the 352nd Infantry Division of well-trained soldiers defending Omaha Beach. Due to their fighting experience on the Eastern front and their well-equipped force, the clash had the highest number of casualties. The third division consisted of the 1057th and 1058th regiments of transportable artillery located in the Cotentin peninsula, where American parachutes were dropped. Lastly, four battalions were coastal defenses for the Utah beach, eastern, and northern coasts of the Cotentin peninsula.

The D-Day Operation: A Close Encounter

Sword beach: the dawn of the longest day.

The attack on the beach began around 03:00 with aerial bombardment of Hitler’s artillery sites and coastal defenses. Supported by a later naval bombardment, three groups of Allied forces reached the beach, where they only had light casualties. Despite this achievement, the land troop’s commander Gen. Montgomery had ambitious plans to take Caen. However, this was not achieved despite over 8-kilometer advances since by the end of D-Day, Caen was still under Hitler, and this was only to change on 20th July with Operation Atlantic. Nevertheless, soldiers were undeterred by the far-off likelihood of securing Caen. They moved inland, with the 1st Special Service Brigade going first and then French troops. The two troops had different targets: the French were to secure the Casino and a Block House, while British troops focused on two batteries overlooking the beach. The blockhouse was a challenge, unlike the Casino. However, upon succeeding, both teams moved inland to join the others.

Juno Beach: Canada’s Crucial Confrontation

This clash suffered the second-highest casualties as Canadian troops came under heavy fire, huge fortifications, seawalls, and pillboxes. The casualties were at 50%, but they succeeded in using armor. Within hours they had started advancing inland. The Canadian unit had even reached the final objective line, only to retreat due to a lack of infantry support. However, they only secured the Douvres radar station from Germans, a later arrival of British commandoes. Shortcomings notwithstanding, Canadian troops reported the highest penetration in France and landed over 30,000 troops by the end of D-Day. It is, however, notable that in their advance, they had come under heavy resistance from the 12th SS Hitlerjugend, German 21st, and Panzer divisions.

Gold Beach: The Brits’ Golden Hour

The casualties were significant at over 400 due to village fortification at the beach, bad weather, and delayed Sherman DD tanks. Over 25,000 British soldiers fought against the odds to advance into Bayeux’s outskirts by the close of D-Day. Their objective was high and could only be matched by Canadians at Juno Beach. Another British unit, no.47, landed later and had to proceed inland, then turn west towards Port en Bessin, where they would attack the high chalk cliff-sheltered territory.

Omaha Beach: The American Struggle for Survival

US forces were to face the most fortified beach guarded by German forces with Russian volunteers and teenagers that had just been formed. The allied intelligence needed to know that the 100 km beach stretch was now divided into two and was defended by a double complement of defenders. The beach was fortified and defended with machine guns, mortals, and artillery. Therefore, aerial bombardment and pre-landing had little effect. Additionally, due to navigation difficulties, there was a huge eastward drift. This led to missing the target sectors, followed by heavy casualties to initial assaults such that out of 16 tanks landing on the beach’s shores, only two survived. Many historians recount it as a battle for survival in a leaderless company. At Omaha Beach, the challenge extended to the subsequent landing since few beach obstacles had been cleared in the initial hours. There was a thought to abandon the beachhead until some small infantry units supporting the naval artillery managed to infiltrate coastal defenses. Further landing exploited the progress; however, the casualties for Americans were high at 5000, with 1200 deaths for Germany. Nevertheless, a footing was secured, which helped expand the beachhead on day three.

Utah Beach: A Fortunate Mislanding

Lastly, the events of D-Day could only have achieved a little if the East and the West had worked on the plan: the West, for the most part, was the clash at Utah Beach. The 4th Infantry Division was charged with the action at Utah, but they, fortunately, landed southeast of their intended point of Tare Green and Red sector. Their landing at Victor sector, which faced little resistance, had minimal casualties of the day, and they could press through beach exits. Thus, by afternoon, the troops had marched far into the inland.

Residual Shadows of War: Lingering Social Problems

In addition to the heroic and breathtaking story of D-Day, World War II also had other aspects that continue to attract the attention of humanity. It does not only stand out as an event that changed the course of history; it also resulted in the highest number of deaths in human history and the 21st century in particular. Indeed, World War II stands out as having brought numerous social problems that the world is still grappling with its vast effects across various countries. For instance, an article titled The Unspoken Secretes on Sexual Violence in the War postulates that sexual problems accompany combat because 90% of war victims are usually civilians. World War II was not an exception: the events preceding and following D-Day had a significant social effect on vulnerable children and women. For instance, the medical evidence indicates vast traces of a traumatized society 6-7 decades after the war. This is a social problem written in a people’s history that they had to live with every day.

To further compound social issues, there is widespread evidence of sexual violence in World War II that had a vast social impact. An estimated 1.4 million German women were raped during the war, mostly by the soldiers of the Red Army. This has led to widespread social problems of over 200,000 children borne out of rape, fatherless children, and mixed-race children conceived during brutal acts of violence, among other issues that permeate the core of society. Some facts, such as that over 10% of women committed suicide due to rape by US and French soldiers, have effects that do not fade with war. Furthermore, the abovementioned problems created a more complex issue when coupled with inexcusable atrocities against Jewish women and the Jewish community. Moreover, it is still evident that German society has not outlived traumatizing effects of persecution of its citizens. This has created a massive state of sequential trauma that impacted society’s overall well-being.

In addition to apparent social problems hurting the individual well-being of children and women, the war resulted in many refugees displacing over 40 million people in Europe from their countries. Major European countries, such as Austria, are still grappling with over 700,000 refugees, with most having escaped Poland. A social effect related to the movement of refugees has also created vast constraints in Canada to the extent that it is still struggling to maintain its fabric and accept immigrants. Moreover, historians such as Antony Beever have produced many works on D-Day. Part of these works touches on atrocities that resulted in social problems. He has expressively stated that D-Day was the epicenter of World War II. However, he says that over 3000 civilians died that day due to a lack of evacuation. He connects the acts to war crimes with vast social consequences.

Final Reflections: Unpacking the Profound Impacts of World War II

It is not in contention that World War II sets itself apart as a historical military confrontation with outcomes and lessons that permeate modern systems to the core. It is unique for bringing a shift in world power, shaping foreign policy, and even contributing to economic booms in countries like the US and Canada. However, it also stands out as a historical event that claimed the most lives: civilians and combatants. It is worth noting that it is not only this profile that makes it a subject of interest. Rather it is also numerous social problems that it brought to humanity, which have outlived it’s coming to an end. The study indicates that it brought vast and widespread social challenges to the European community regarding refugees, trauma to children, and orphans, sexual violence, and horrors to children and women survivors.

The challenges notwithstanding, this paper appreciated the history written in a single day and thus took time to explore the events of D-Day. It asserted that the event provided an immense source of diverse historical perspectives on this historical event. Moreover, the accounts are central to understanding the twists of war and have been touted by historians as the epicenter of the century event. Indeed, Hitler, the man at the center of the global conflict, had stated way back in 1942 that the landing of forces in France would spell doom for him. Therefore, by exploring the war and the effect of this man’s actions on its course, the study described various factors that were primary reasons for the conflict. It concluded that the D-Day event did not only mark an event but was also an indication of human sacrifice for the sake of humanity’s future. It denoted resilience on the part of the forces, especially due to bad weather. Moreover, this day stands out as one of the few when world powers stood up for the sake of the weak: British and American fighter bombers flew miles that day, destroying the enemy’s defenses. Canadian forces pushed forward in determination not seen before and gained independence, and Americans fought on the beaches with young soldiers who amazed their superiors with their determination. This study concludes that D-Day is the climax of the war of generations. It is not just an event narrated to appease a nation for its heroic act. It represents man’s defiance even to nature in fighting for the right course.

📎 References:

1. Emmert, James Clinton. Operation Overlord. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University. (2002). 2. Kuwert, Philipp and Harald Jurgen Freteberger. “The Unspoken Secret: Sexual Violence in World War II”. International Psychogeriatrics, no.19 (2007): 782-784. 3. Newman, Edward and Joanne van Selm. Refugees and Forced Displacement International Security, Human Vulnerability, and the State. Tokyo: United Nations University Press. (2003). 4. Rogers, Keely and Jo Thomas. History: Causes, Practices and Effects of Wars for the IB Diploma (Oxford: Pearson Education, 2010). 5. Waddington, Lorna Louise. Hitler’s Crusade Bolshevism and the Myth of the International Jewish Conspiracy. London: Tauris Academic Studies. (2007). 6. Weber, Mark, “The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia’s Soviet Regime: Assessing the Grime Legacy of Soviet Communism”, The Journal for Historical Review, no.14 (1994). 7. Keely Rogers, and Jo Thomas. History: Causes, Practices and Effects Wars for the IB Diploma (Oxford: Pearson Education, 2010), 112. 8. Lorna Louise Waddington. 2007. Hitler’s Crusade Bolshevism and the Myth of the International Jewish Conspiracy. London: Tauris Academic Studies. 9. Mark Weber, “The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia’s Soviet Regime: Assessing the Grime Legacy of Soviet Communism,” The Journal for Historical Review 14, no. 4 (1994), 4-6. 10. James Clinton Emmert. 2002. Operation Overlord. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University. 11. Emmert, James Clinton. 2002. Operation Overlord. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University. 12. PhilippKuwert and Harald Jurgen Freyeberger. 2007. “The Unspoken Secret: Sexual Violence in World War II”. International Psychogeriatrics, no.19, 783. 13. Edward Newman and Joanne van Selm. 2003. Refugees and Forced Displacement International Security, Human Vulnerability, and the State. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

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205 World War 2 Essay Topics & Examples

Looking for good World War 2 topics to explore? Look no further! In this list, we’ve collected the best topics of WW2 for middle school, high school, and college students. No matter what aspect you’re interested in, you will definitely find here something for yourself.

In addition to WWII topics, we’ve also included some helpful tips and essay examples. Check them out below!

🤫 Secrets of Powerful Essay on World War 2

  • 🏆 Best WW2 Topic Ideas & Essay Examples

👍 Good Essay Topics on World War 2

  • 🥇 Most Interesting WW2 Topics to Write about

🔎 Simple & Easy World War 2 Essay Topics

❓ ww2 essay questions, ✅ world war 2 research topics, ✍️ world war 2 topics for a project.

From diplomacy and espionage to battlefield events and the fate of nations, World War 2 essay topics are broad in range and require their writer to have an in-depth knowledge of various details.

Thus, writing a World War 2 essay may seem daunting due to the weight of the necessary historical analysis. However, writing an excellent paper is as easy as keeping in mind a few minor but cornerstone circumstances.

WWII Topics: Important Events

Everyone knows about the Atlantic and D-Day, but World War 2 essay prompts go further than the standardized level of knowledge. Paying due attention to the topic of the Eastern Soviet front, the French Vichy government, and the Blitz over Britain should be essential centerpieces of your essay.

All Ally members, just like all Axis partners, had their crucial moments and roles to play, and focusing on standalone countries does a disservice to a war that involved more than 30 countries.

Even if your central theme centers on a single country, you can gauge the independence of their politics and tactics per its allies. Remember that all events are interconnected and each action creates a reaction!

Creating a timeline, or finding one, will help you understand the continuity of the war’s narrative.

You should frame for yourself the time between events, the countries affected by them, and their outcome. Doing so, regardless of the problem you are tackling, will make your paper flow smoothly from one subject to another, touching upon interconnected ideas.

Topics of WW2: Prominent Personalities

When writing about World War 2, most essayists focus only on Adolf Hitler’s adverse role and outright criminal actions. However, you can and should go beyond even Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill.

Focus on the country that you are tackling; find what connections it had, and what tactics it pursued, and note its leader.

For example, if you are writing about the Eastern front, then mentioning the characters of Zhukov for war-related events, Molotov for diplomacy, and Kalinin for internal affairs will illustrate that you have a comprehensive knowledge of various interconnected topics.

Do your research keeping in mind the essentiality of the personal factor, even in worldwide affairs.

WW2 Topics: The Positive and Negative Consequences

Even today, there are demographic implications and political repercussions of the war. Thus, World War 2 essay questions should demonstrate all consequences of such an event, if possible with vivid examples.

Use quotations, studies, and book and journal titles to support the information you are presenting.

From the accounts of the event’s contemporaries to photo materials and recordings, there are millions of sources on the circumstances of World War 2, many of which are readily available online.

Let your bibliography be representative of your academism and include relevant, credible, and varied sources in it.

Paper Structure

Creating an outline for your paper in the pre-writing stages will help you overview the planned working process and see its weak aspects. Doing so includes seeing what themes are underdeveloped and which you have overpowered with information, as well as correcting this issue promptly.

Furthermore, doing so gives you an understanding of excellent World War 2 essay titles, which are pivotal in getting your readers interested in your work.

If you feel like your paper is lacking something, structurally or informatively, then you can read sample essays on similar issues and judge for yourself what you can apperceive from them.

Does your paper still feel daunting? Let IvyPanda give you some inspiration! Get motivated, writing, and graded “excellent”!

🏆 Best World War 2 Topic Ideas & Essay Examples

  • The World War 2 Positive and Negative Repercussions The Effects Of The 2nd World War: The fall of world major powers: The war did not just end, but it had some positive and negative effect to the countries both involved and those that […]
  • Miscommunication Problems: the US and Japan in World War II At the beginning of 1945, the leaders of such countries as the United States, the United Kingdom, and China offered the document that outlined the conditions of the Japanese surrender under which Hirohito could stay […]
  • Propaganda During World War II The Second World War was a complicated time for both the general public and the authorities since while the former worried for their safety, family, and homeland, the latter needed to maintain the national spirit […]
  • Could the US Prevent the Start of World War II? Some believe that the United States of America could prevent the outbreak of the war. Therefore, it is possible to assume that the USA could not have prevented the start of the Second World War […]
  • Causes of World War II Therefore the desire by the Germans under Hitler to conquer other countries and the desire by the Japanese to expand their territory was the key cause of the war in Europe and subsequently the World […]
  • World War 2 Consequences The major causes of this Great War were the unresolved issues that resulted from the World War 1. Another thing that led to the World War 2 was the failure of the League of Nations.
  • World War II Innovations Named as the Manhattan Project during World War II, the nuclear program of the Allies led to catastrophic consequences for the Axis forces, particularly in the context of the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which […]
  • World War II Propaganda Posters in America The imagery of the boot stepping on the American church is not just a threat to the religious ideals of the country but a threat to freedom itself as the church often doubled as the […]
  • Shintoism and World War II in Japan The impact of religions on the world throughout history is undeniable, it can be seen how different religions include in their teachings all of the life aspects and affect them in a way or another.
  • World War II, Causes and Outcomes: Lesson Plan It includes the key concepts, objectives, materials, and the description of the activities that teachers can use to introduce new material to the students in the 11th and 12th grades.
  • Effects of the Pact of Steel Agreement on World War II He was a strong believer in the strength of the people as the backbone of the country and not the strength of the individual.
  • The Role Played by Texans in World War II Involvement in the war was expected because the US was against Japan’s entry into Middle East, and colonization of Africa and certain regions of Europe by Germany and Italy. The US was greatly perturbed after […]
  • How Cars Changed the United States After World War II The national rail network allowed the farmers to become part of the national economic recovery that started at the beginning of the Second World War and continued throughout 1960.
  • Causes of WWI and WWII: Comparing and Contrasting In the following paper, Kenneth Waltz’s levels of analysis will be used for the comparison and contrast of causes of WWI and WWII. The second similarity refers to the distribution of power and the division […]
  • World War 2 Leaders Comparison: Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler World War 2 remains one of the most significant and historically important events in the entire world because the United States of America, Japan, and the majority of European countries were involved in it.
  • World War II Propaganda and Its Effects The purpose of this paper is to examine the confrontation between the German and the Soviet propaganda machines during the period of the Second Patriotic War, outline the goals and purposes of each, and identify […]
  • The Office of Strategic Services Operational Groups in World War II The study of the importance of O.S. To investigate the impact of O.S.
  • Nationalism in World War II Another critical “nation-statehood making” is the break of the Soviet Union and the end of cold war between Soviet Union republic and the United States.
  • The Neutrality of Vatican City During World War II Despite the moves made by the Pope Pius XII for the Vatican City to remain neutral in the World War II, the actions he made were seen as a great violation of stance.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower: World War II Hero and U.S. President In addition to his leading role as a peace and desegregation crusader, prior to his election as the 34th American president and even after his rise to the top seat, Eisenhower was a well known […]
  • Doing Academic World War II Research Researchers can use the information on the authors at Britannica to determine the reliability of the information provided on the website.
  • World War II in “Slaughterhouse-Five“ Novel by Kurt Vonnegut To make a detailed description of the expressed opinion and to prove it, we should consider the characteristic features of the heroes and the general perception of novels which are directed at the description of […]
  • Women in World War II The involvement of women in the war was quite significant to the women as they were able to have a strong arguing point after the war and this made it possible for the women to […]
  • The World War II Propaganda Techniques All the parties to the war, including Germany, the Soviet Union, and Britain, invested many resources in propaganda, but the present essay will focus on the United States’ effort. Furthermore, propaganda messages were created to […]
  • Culture and Customs of Japan After WWII It must be admitted, however, in the interests of truth, that the traditional mode of living and ways of thinking, both good and bad, are deeply rooted in the life of the Japanese people of […]
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Role in World War II That is why historians and the public pay much attention to the discussion of the role in this war of those personalities who persistently led the Western anti-Hitler coalition to the victory over Nazi Germany […]
  • The Causes and Consequences of World War Two Some studies reported that the war caused around 62 to 80 million deaths, and this made it the deadliest fighting in the global history in terms of reported number of deaths compared with the world […]
  • The Impacts of the Second World War on Asia The period after the Second World War saw the emergence and expansion of the world economies. Countries such as Japan and China started rebuilding their economies so as to compete with the rest of the […]
  • V-2 Rocket and Its Impact on World War II and Today US Army The V-2 rocket was influential not only in the Second World War but also shaped the concept of the future of the US Army and is the prototype for many modern weapons.
  • US Holocaust Policy During World War II However, the anti-Nazi campaign was not successful, and the main reason for this was the harsh foreign policy of the USA.
  • Canada’s Role and Experiences in World War II The book emphasized the painful experiences the victims of the soldiers went through and the traumatizing memories they had. In the accompaniment of readers, the authors describe strategic bombing as a series of military activities, […]
  • The Bonds or Bondage World War II Poster Analysis The current paper explores an example of a poster created in the early years of the war. During WWII, tax increases did not cover the military spending enough, and Henry Morgenthau, Jr, Secretary of the […]
  • Important Questions on America Since World War II A significant part of Truman’s failures happened due to the inconsistency of his actions and his unwillingness to commit to social change.
  • The US Foreign Policy in the Post-World War II Era In other words, rather than concentrating on maintaining peace in the region, the government deployed military troops to alleviate the domination of any power hostile to the US and its citizens.
  • German Strategy During the Beginning of WWII The German’s use of the Nine Variables – Elements of Strategy aided them with great success at the beginning of the war from 1939 – 1941, and the failure to accurately access the Nine Constants […]
  • World War II and the US Decision to Stay Out The United States was not involved in the war until 1941 since it had a Neutrality Act which established limits to the sale of weapons to fighting parties.
  • The Result Japan’s Fall in World War II The Allies needed to stop the advance of the Imperial Japanese army along the Solomon Islands and prevent the occupation of New Guinea.
  • The Role of Propaganda During World War II The poster encourages men to enroll in the army to protect the peaceful lives of women and children. By manipulating emotions and feelings, propaganda influenced people to enroll in the army or work harder.
  • Researching of Turning Points in WWII The most discussed battles that possibly created or marked the momentum of the remaining part of the war are the battle of Midway, where the United States were able to gain advance, and the battles […]
  • The Effectiveness of WWII Bombing Campaigns The German trial with two-engine fighters was a failure; the American one, on the other hand, was notably effective in the Pacific because of the broader range.
  • Wartime Conferences of World War II The wartime conferences of World War II were genuinely significant in deciding the strategy undertaken by the Allies but also helped shape the world order during and in the aftermath of the world.
  • D-Day: The Role in World War II By the end of 1944, Paris was released after the Allies approached the Seine River. D-Day became a significant event that influenced the pace of World War II.
  • Promoting Production During World War II As the fighting continued, there arose the need to produce equipment to sustain the war: this came to be called wartime production.
  • The World War II Discussion: The Convoy Tactics The last year of the war accounted for 60% of the total volume of military supplies that passed along the path of the polar convoys.
  • World War Two and Its Ramifications The United States imposed economic sanctions on Japan in order to deter Japanese aggression and force the evacuation of Japanese soldiers from Manchuria and China.
  • South Africa During World War II Years Clark’s topic is the impact of World War II on the independence of South Africa. The main point of the author is that South Africa’s history during and immediately after World War II is underresearched.
  • Contribution to World War II of Chinese and Native Americans Despite the dire conditions many of them lived in and white Americans’ discrimination against them, they used the war as the opportunity to prove themselves as loyal patriots.
  • The Role of the United States in World War II The policy worked under the terms that the United States could sell arms provided that the buyer could pay in cash and seek their means of transportation.
  • The Use of Radio in German Propaganda During the World War II One of the techniques used by the Nazis to persuade German people and shape their worldview was the use of such media as radio.
  • Arguments Against the Use of Nuclear Weapons in World War II The firebombing campaign was against the use of atomic weapons in the form of nuclear bombs as it was aimed at urban centers and completely discriminatory.
  • The European Theatre of Operations in WWII The Eastern front fought against the Western front, demonstrating various air and land campaigns. Battle of the Bulge.
  • The Significance of the Iron Curtain at World War II and the Cold War Churchill encouraged the US and the UK to unite and ensure that they ended the actions that the Soviet Union was exercising.
  • Soviet and American Perspectives on World War II Through Movies The theme is the same to show the rise and fall of the German Nazi empire. The first remarkable feature of the movie is the humor with which Mikhail Romm, the director of the movie, […]
  • Pre-World War II South Africa: Centuries-Old Exploitation Afrikaners: from agriculture to “white-collar” work 1970s: 90 per cent of state top executive and managerial positions are taken by Afrikaners.
  • Wikipedia: Posts About World War II There have been arguments voiced against the reliability of internet sources such as Wikipedia as a source of scholarly information. Wikipedia commands a huge following on the internet as a source of information.
  • Winston Churchill, a Leader During the World War II He faced this disorder before the development of effective medication, and hence had to live with untreated Bipolar Mood Disorder throughout his life.
  • Battle of Kursk: Germany’s Lost Victory in World War II Although the fighting efficiency of the Nazi troops decreased due to a decrease in the number of available equipment and the transfer of auxiliary units to the front, it was still a formidable force.
  • The Decolonization in Asia and Africa in the Post-WW2 Period According to Tignor et al, WW2 resulted in the following – the war itself left the unresolved issues of WW1 and heightened them, such as plans of Germany and Japan to expand their political impact […]
  • Kurt Vonnegut. Wailing Shall Be in All Streets and Slaughterhouse-Five. Reflections on World War II The two literature pieces under consideration in the following paper can be acclaimed as a strong attack to the motives of those participating in the World War II along with the use of powerful irony.
  • The World War II: Impact and Consequences The Allies and the Axis were reluctant to follow any line that risked running into the antagonism of the other for fear of alienating their ally and therefore endangering one of the precepts of their […]
  • Comparing World War II to September 11th Both attacks were condemned on a global scale, and a huge fraction of the rest of the world rallied behind the US. Over 16 million soldiers were deployed to settle the score with the Japanese, […]
  • Americanization in Germany Post WWII Most of these changes have indeed played a major role in improving the status of Germany only that the Germans now have little to be proud of in terms of heritage as most of it […]
  • World War Two Marked the End of Modern Age All major countries in the whole world were eventually involved in the war that remarkably led to the transfer of the title of the ‘world’s superpower’ from Western Europe to USSR.
  • Women in Canada During World War II The analysis of the role of Canadian women in the most devastating war of the century presents special interest for us due to nontrivial results concerning the place of women in history that can be […]
  • World War II and Germany’s Invasion Plans The invasion of Great Britain was important to Adolf Hitler because in this way the great air force power of Great Britain would have been destroyed.
  • American Culture in the Post World War II Years Further still, the improvisation of Jazz music set a stage for new music culture in the American society that incorporated and appreciated the works of the black population.
  • Women’s Role in World War II The significance of this event is not only due to the destruction and the great number of people that were killed in the said conflict but also the numerous precedents that help changed the course […]
  • The Nature of the Fighting in World War I and World War II So, the results of this war were awful, but still, speaking about the losses of the World War II, it can be said, that it was the bloodiest conflict in human history. The most obvious […]
  • Soviet Strategy Before World War II A closer look at the soviet strategy before WWII reveals that the government has almost destroyed the ability of the people to become the army as the program of collectivism, hunger, and the increasing dissatisfaction […]
  • The Influence of the Second World War on the 20th and 21st Centuries’ Cinema The movie follows the lives of a German Wehrmacht infantry platoon as they are shuttled from the North African front to Italy and finally to the Russian front where they find themselves part of the […]
  • Anti-Japanese Propaganda During World War II The content of propaganda was much the same as that of broadcast propaganda: emphasis on the Allies’ growing war potential, ridicule of the more preposterous assertions of the National Socialists, evidence of self-contradictions in the […]
  • American Economic History After World War II In the beginning, it’s been the United States displacing Great Britain as the world’s largest economy and in the end it’s the globalization that made the biggest noise.
  • Politics and Warfare of World War II Realism in the background of international relations includes a diversity of hypotheses and advances, all of which allocate a belief that states are chiefly inspired by the desire for military and financial power or safety, […]
  • WWII to 1965: Administration, Policies, Preeminence The legislation that created it aimed to unify and streamline the governance between the whole army while in turn maintaining the individuality of the various army units.
  • Issue of World War II Regarding Comfort Women In 1991, the issues regarding comfort women exploded in the public when a woman from South Korea came out to the public and testify the issue regarding comfort women.
  • Impacts of the Pacific War and World War II in Japan Japan surged with the inversion trend undeterred, in 1937, it launched a large-scale inversion of China and four years later in 1941, it attacked the US, triggering the entry of America to the Second World […]
  • Could the World War II Have Been Avoided? First of all, arguing on the matters of the inevitability of World War II it is necessary to point out, that the causes of it take the roots at the end of World War I, […]
  • Nazi’s Crimes Against Jews During World War II The holocaust of the 20th century was the worst persecution of the European Jews by the Nazis in German between 1933 and 1945.

🥇 Most Interesting World War 2 Topics to Write about

  • Newspaper Coverage of Japan-America Internment in WW2 and the Civil Rights Movement The media covered this because this movement persuaded whites to join them in their mass protests and they were killed in the event.
  • Post-World War II Propaganda Art According to Arendt, the “who” is revealed in the narratives people tell of themselves and others. We humanize what is going on in the world and in ourselves only by speaking of it, and in […]
  • The United States From the World War II to the 1990s From the economic boom enjoyed in the 1950s, to the rise of civil rights movement in the 1960s, to the concern about the Vietnam War in 1970s, to the end of the Cold War in […]
  • Politics, the Israel-Palestine Conflict, and Oil: After the WWII In retrospect, the current situation regarding the confrontations between the ME and Israel, as well as the tensions in the ME’s political arena, can be seen as the inevitable side effects of the self-determination process.
  • Shifting Images of Chinese Americans During World War II Therefore, it is important to elaborate on the history of relationships between Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans in the period between 1920 and 1940. Thus, the tendency for the distinguishing and distancing of the Chinese […]
  • World War II and Its Impact on Asian Americans In general, most Asian Americans benefited from war as the Filipino, the Chinese, and Indians were wartime allies of the United States.
  • Atomic Bomb as a Necessary Evil to End WWII Maddox argued that by releasing the deadly power of the A-bomb on Japanese soil, the Japanese people, and their leaders could visualize the utter senselessness of the war.
  • Women Photojournalists During World War II Her photographs worked as evidence of indignities at the camps, and due to this, her work was greatly censored by the then government.
  • The Marshall Plan’ Effects on Post WW2 Design To, some extent, the impacts of the Marshall on design can be explained by the economic situation in Europe at that time, and especially the necessity to reduce the costs of production.
  • Deindustrialization After the World War II The battle for equality in different working environments led to the passage of the Fair Employment Practices Commission. The tightening labor market in the country also resulted in new employment patterns.
  • The Major Pivot of Post-WWII American History Nowadays, it became a commonplace assumption among many Americans that the causes, behind the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, during the course of the 20th century’s sixties, had to do with the fact that […]
  • World War II Facts in Wikipedia Article This article will use the information from the article written by Harris to evaluate Wikipedia’s article on World War II with the aim of establishing if the information from the site can be regarded as […]
  • Civilians as Victims of World War II The aim of this paper is to explore the suffering of civilians in the pursuit of victory in World War II.
  • Post-World War II and Modern Women in the US I would be used to the things that, according to Dubois and Dumenil, the society demanded of women at the time, and I would readily stay at home and take care of my children, husband, […]
  • Racism in the United States: Before and After World War II The U.S.government went from supporting racism against African Americans in the New Deal era to fight against racism by the 1960s because of World War II.
  • World War II: A Very Short Introduction The questions addressed in the book were not very often discussed previously, as the author states in the introduction; Weinberg examines Germany’s responsibility for World War II, the reasons behind the eventual victory of the […]
  • Australian Workforce Changes After WWII It should be noted, however, that the Australian male breadwinner model is of particular concern, as in the early fifties the model was totally revaluated.
  • Roosevelt’s New Deal and Joining World War II It led to the restructuring of the American economy and the establishment of the new model of relations between business, labor force, and the state.
  • American Homefront During World War II The people who remained at home also had to change their lives to suit the war. On the same note, the people left at the homefront had to work together in order to survive.
  • France Before World War I and After World War II To overcome the negative consequences of the Franco-Prussian War, France needed to focus on new perspectives for the state’s economic and political development, and such an approach could provide the state with the necessary resources […]
  • Hitler’s and British Policies in World War II Britain was among the countries that did not welcome the idea of another war due to the bloodshed that had ensued in the World War I.
  • Child Labor, Great Depression and World War II in Photographs The impression is of isolation and yearning for daylight, freedom, and a childhood foregone, in the midst of a machine-dominated world.
  • American Women in World War II: Oral Interview In fact, the participation of women in the event was prepared during the First World War. Interviewee: Yes, I will give you any information that you may want because I was part of the historical […]
  • Invasion of Normandy in World War II One of such legendary operations is the one that happened on D-Day, the day that shifted the balance of powers of the whole war, the put the beginning to the victorious march of the armies […]
  • World War II in “Our Secret” by Susan Griffin The details she provides about various events and the manner in which she chooses her words clearly points out that this is not a work of fiction.
  • Japanese Americans Internment During the WWII Besides, the treatise reviews the historical dynamics that allowed for the internment of Japanese Americans and the impacts of internment in the Japanese American communities during and after the end of WW II.
  • World War II in Eurasia and America The war ended with the defeat of the far rights; however, conflicts of interests of the winners led to the tension that persisted for long years after the war.
  • The Life of a Freedom Fighter in Post WWII Palestine As World War II was coming to an end, the Zionist Movement leaders were hopeful that the British government would amend the White Paper policy, allow the Jews to migrate to Eretz, Israel, and govern […]
  • WWII History: How Hitler Died From the onset of the war, Hitler proved to be a trustworthy leader. In the US, tests done on a part of the skull purported to be Hitler’s have given unconvincing results.
  • Has Security Been the Main Driver Behind European Integration Since World War Two? Backed with the spirit of its member states and the United States, the Union has continuously executed its mandate and enlarged in order to advance and augment its efficacy in its operations.
  • The Post World War II Nuclear Arms Race Costs The nuclear arms race led to a monumental increase in the military expenditure of the US and the Soviet Union.
  • Peace and Normalisation Treaties Signed After World War II The treaty that was signed by Japan and Taiwan and the one between Japan and Korea had the same specificity. Treaties signed between Japan, Korea, Taiwan and People’s Republic of China each have unique characteristics […]
  • The Art of Being Lonely: A Portrayal of the Lives of Chinese Women of the Post-WWII Generation. Wang Anyi’s “The Song of Everlasting Sorrow” Analysis Because of their being not ready for the shift from a WWII to the post-WWII environment and the change in values, Chinese women were highly susceptible and extremely vulnerable to the lures of the “New […]
  • WW II and Hitler’s Army After the massive defeat and deaths of the German army in the war that took place in the eastern side, it was evident that the traditional groups of the army were no longer working as […]
  • “The Second World War: A Short History (Struggle for Survival)” by Robert Alexander Clarke The author traces the cause of the war from the Europeans and the Germans who were the key participants in the crisis.
  • Was the American Use of the Atomic Bomb Against Japan in 1945 the Final Act of WW2 or the Signal That the Cold War Was About to Begin Therefore, to evaluate the reasons that guided the American government in their successful attempt at mass genocide of the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one must consider not only the political implications behind the actions […]
  • Japanese Soldiers in the World War II Japanese recruits were forced to torture and maim their victims by their seniors to display their commitment and loyalty. Japanese soldiers thought they were highly respected by other Japanese civilians because of their willingness to […]
  • United States – China Relations During World War II The war involved the greatest number of nations with all the major countries in the world playing a role in the war.
  • Military Fascism in Pre-WWII Japan The military fascism was a way of expressing the Japanese economic, power and policy dissatisfaction by the west, and it hence contributed in some ways to the rise of World War II.
  • Nazi Germany and Jewish Question The main theme of the entire speech made by SS in which we shall be analyzing in this section of the paper is about this group’s mission and strategies towards the implementation of orders handed […]
  • The Influences of Neutral Countries in WW2 The validity of this suggestion can be illustrated, in regards to what historians know about the influences of the mentioned countries on WW2: Sweden Up until the year 1944, Sweden used to be in the […]
  • Motivation in Combat: The German Soldier in World War II Omer Bartov’s Hitler’s army: Soldiers, Nazis, and war in the Third Reich represents a good example of such a literature, because in it, the author had made a point in trying to reveal the conceptual […]
  • “The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread The Strategic Realities of World War II” by John Mosier In order to present a clear picture of German participation in the war and the reasons, which provoked these people to fight and kill, it is necessary to concentrate on various sources and perspectives and […]
  • Role of WWII in Shaping America’s History Boost to the Economy The entry of the United States into WWII was a major boost to the economy that was still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression of 1930.
  • Controversies of World War II It is believed that Roosevelt wanted to engage Japan in war and the only way to achieve this was by allowing Japan to attack the Harbor.
  • Western Women in World War Two The only means to win the war was to involve large population of women in employment since millions of men were at war and the rest of the male population was not enough to occupy […]
  • Critical Analysis of “Walking Since Daybreak: A Story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the Heart of Our Century” by Modris Eksteins The author presents a story of a people mixed with fear, anxiety and hope as the main characters of the book are caught in the traumatic experience of the war.
  • Development Theories After Second World War Consequently, the rate of growth and development could be measured by the level of savings and investment in physical capital in the country. This theory has included changes in technology into the model of growth […]
  • World War II History The consequences of the war had an impact on the political affairs of the world and resulted in a major change of the course of the history of the world.
  • New Zealands Diplomatic Relations With China Since World War II The Interaction between China and New Zealand became formal in 1976, as a mechanism for curbing USSR influence.”This event was marked when Muldoon travelled to Peking in 1976 to meet Mao Zedong”.”It was plainly stated […]
  • Historical and Geographical Dynamics That Had Shaped China by the End of World War II The end of the World War II was made possible by the initiation of the so-called development processes in the nations that had been involved in the rapid wars, i.e, the implementation of policies that […]
  • The Arab States After the Second World War and the Six-Day War The paper will also discuss the events that led to the six-day war, the major events of the war, the outcome of the war and its contribution to the current political situation in the Middle […]
  • World War II as the Most Devastating War in World History The devastation of the war was mainly due to the advanced military weapons used, from the infantry on the front line to the ships in the sea and the planes in the sky, these weapons […]
  • World War II and Humanism Considering the problem of the effects of the World War II in the long term period it is also possible to find the remnants of the humanistic effect, if it was, or to come across […]
  • The Second World War Unrest The Second World War was the greatest world unrest in the history of humanity. The war came at the time in which the global economy was recovering from a deep depression.
  • European History During World War II This concept was crucial in the Second World War in Europe as there was a “large-scale mobilization of state resources for war to anticipate the modern concept of total war that was typically associated with […]
  • The Major Powers of the Second World War After the First World War, the victors stated that they would do everything to preserve peace in the world. The countries that resisted Hitler’s ambition were referred to as the Allies of the Second World […]
  • The Effects of the Second World War on US The war provided Americans with an opportunity to take control of the world and stamp authority in regions that belonged to other world powers.
  • Analysis of Some US Documents in the Second World War The importance of this speech is in the statement of the reasons of the war, the development of the USA before its intrusion in the war and the betrayal of Japan which attacked the USA […]
  • United States and the Second World War According to article 25-1, the attack on the Pearl Harbor was one of the reasons that forced the US to join the war.
  • America in World War II – Experiences and Impacts During the World War II, aggression of Adolf Hitler and Nazi party led to persecution of Jews who lived in Germany.
  • American History During World War Two The Nazi under the leadership of Hitler is ready to kill all the Jews as witnessed in the atrocities against them.
  • Use of Arts in the Second World War by Nazi The films featured several themes such as the virtue of the Nordic or Aryan, the strength of the military and the German industry, and the evils of those who were perceived to be enemies.
  • Second World War in U.S. History Studies on the Second World War have yielded varied perspectives; according to Erdelja, “there is no other experience that was more crucial to the development of the U.S.and Europe in the 20th century than the […]
  • Race in World War II During the war and after the incarceration of the Japanese Americans, the American public was shown video footage and pictures that justified the confinement of Japanese Americans in the concentration camps.
  • Pearl Harbor in the World War II Pearl Harbor is very significant in the history of the World War II because it is the place where the war started. This was another factor that contributed to the World War II, which began […]
  • Political Causes of WWII for America and Germany This paper is an examination of the causes of involvement of America and Germany in the WWII. He is, in fact, said to be the person responsible for the start of the war.
  • Thinking Government: Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism in Post World War II Canada This leads to the second implication which was summarized by political scientists in the following statement: “nothing can be guaranteed in life and that all individuals are also free to fail, to stumble to the […]
  • Challenges and Suggestions That British and American Government Faced After the Second World War In order to overcome these problems, the British politician insists on the necessity to singly out clearly the purposes, to grant simplicity of the decisions made, and declare the human rights and freedoms on the […]
  • Foreign Policy: What Has Been the Main Emphases of America’s Foreign Policy From World War 2 to the Present Day? The main emphases of the foreign policy of the United States from World War 2 to the present day have been the containment of the Soviet Union and its allies, military domination, expansion of economy, […]
  • Baby Boomers After World War II The government is campaigning for extension of retirement age, as this would boost the capacity of the social security trust fund to pay retirees.
  • The Bombing of Dresden in World War II The first planes from the Royal Air force started the journey from 1,100 kilometers away and they were tasked with the role of identifying Dresden and releasing Magnesium flares to light up the areas that […]
  • Developing Economy in Russian Federation After World War II Despite the presence of the war, Russia was able to sustain production in parts that were not affected by the war and this trend continued even after the war.
  • Japanese Internment in the US During World War II The Japanese moved fast to occupy the territories previously in the hands of the US, and the more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry in the west coast raised issues for the president’s cabinet.
  • War Crimes During the World War II It is clear that the holocaust was a war crime by the fact that, these were innocent civilians who were targeted specifically because of the hatred that Hitler had for them.
  • Sexual Slavery and Prostitution During WWII and US Occupation in Japan He is the sole author of five titles, all of which are related to wars of the past and crimes against persons committed during the time.
  • Was the Second World War Necessary?
  • Why Did the British Government Decide to Evacuate Children From Britain’s Major Cities in the Early Years of the Second World War?
  • Was London Prepared for the Outbreak of the Second World War?
  • What Role Technology Played in the Second World War?
  • How Far Did the Aims of Nazi Propaganda Change During the Course of WW2?
  • Was the Second World War Inevitable and What Caused the Second World War?
  • How the Relationship Between Australia and Japan Changed After WW2?
  • Why Did the United States Fail the Second World War?
  • Was Hitler Primarily Responsible for the Outbreak of the Second World War?
  • How Did the Treaty of Versailles Help Contribute to the Start of WW2?
  • How the Great Depression Ended by United States Entry Into the Second World War?
  • How Did WW2 Affect American Society?
  • How Did Germany Lose WW2?
  • How Did WW2 Start?
  • Was the Holocaust Planned During the Second World War?
  • What Were the Cold War Fears of the American People After the Second World War?
  • How Responsible Was Hitler for the Outbreak of WW2?
  • Why Did Germany Lose WW2?
  • How Did the Second World War Affect America?
  • Why Did Germany Lose the Second World War?
  • Was the Second World War a Consequence of Appeasement as an Aggressive German Foreign Policy?
  • How Did WW2 Impact Canada?
  • Were Japan and Germany Treated Differently by the United States During the Second World War?
  • Was the Cold War in Europe the Direct and Logical Outcome of the Second World War?
  • Which Factor Was the Most Important in Causing the End of the Second World War?
  • How the United States Got Involved in WW2?
  • How Did the First World War Set the Global Stage for the Second World War?
  • How Did the Second World War Affect Family Life in Britain?
  • How Did the Roles of Women Change During WW2?
  • Women’s Contributions to World War II
  • Battles and Strategies in the War against Japan
  • The Complex Factors That Triggered World War 2
  • How Technology Impacted Warfare and Military Strategies in WWII
  • The Holocaust and Its Horrific Consequences
  • How the Battle of Stalingrad Became the Turning Point of WW2 on the Eastern Front
  • The Atomic Bomb and Its Impact on the Second World War
  • The Nuremberg Trials and the Post-War Pursuit of Justice for War Crimes
  • The Role of Propaganda in Shaping Public Opinion During WW2
  • The Home Front and Civilian Experience During World War II
  • Resistance Movements and Underground Networks during World War II
  • The Global Economic Consequences of World War II
  • The Strategies of Allied Commanders
  • The African-American Experience in World War 2
  • Espionage and Intelligence in World War 2
  • The Scientific Legacy of Technology Transfer During WW2
  • World War II and the Birth of the United Nations
  • How Did Civilians Survive the German Air Raids?
  • Post-War Reconstruction of Europe and Japan
  • The Impact of World War 2 on Art and Popular Culture
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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IvyPanda . "205 World War 2 Essay Topics & Examples." March 1, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/world-war-2-essay-examples/.

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the causes of world war 2 essay

Bud Anderson, last triple ace pilot of World War II, dies at 102

Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson Jr., a military pilot whose aerial derring-do spanned from World War II, when he personally shot down 16 German planes in dogfights over occupied Europe, to experimental flights in the era of the jet, died May 17 at his home in Auburn, Calif. He was 102.

His daughter, Kitty Burlington, confirmed his death but did not cite a cause.

In military parlance, a flying ace is an aviator credited with downing five or more enemy planes. With his 16 “kills” — 16¼ to be precise, including one that was a group effort — Mr. Anderson earned the title three times over.

He was the last surviving triple ace pilot from World War II and a symbol among military aviation buffs of the courage that propelled a generation of young American pilots into epic aerial combat thousands of miles from home.

Mr. Anderson retired from the Air Force in 1972 as a colonel and two years ago received an honorary promotion to the rank of brigadier general. Drawn to the skies since he was a boy, he enlisted in the Army Air Forces practically the moment he became eligible, at age 20, six weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor precipitated the U.S. entry into World War II.

After training, Mr. Anderson arrived in Europe in late 1943. He was stationed in England and became one of the first pilots to fly the P-51 Mustang, a propeller fighter plane that was introduced amid intense battle with the German air force, known as the Luftwaffe, and helped change the tide of the air war in Europe.

Earlier U.S. fighter planes lacked the range to escort bombers deep into German territory and back, which left the bombers vulnerable to attack and resulted in substantial U.S. losses, said John Curatola, a military historian at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

The introduction of the P-51 Mustang “helped turn the tables on the German Luftwaffe,” Curatola said. The plane could protect the bombers on their missions from start to finish. And, with its superior maneuverability and formidable firepower, he added, “in the hands of a skilled pilot like Anderson … it’s an extremely deadly weapon.”

Mr. Anderson named his P-51 “Old Crow.” Raised by teetotaling parents, he professed in some company that the name referred to “the smartest bird in the sky.” Friends in other circles knew that the moniker was, in fact, a nod to his preferred brand of bourbon.

P-51 pilots flew alone. By the time Mr. Anderson was flying, their mission was twofold: to escort bombers to their targets and get them safely home, and to go after Luftwaffe planes and take them down.

Dogfights, lasting only a minute or two, were spectacular bursts of marksmanship as well as airmanship, with pilots guiding their planes while simultaneously firing machine guns located in their wings.

“Death comes quickly and violently in the air war,” Curatola said. “There aren’t many aces because it’s a very difficult skill to shoot down another aircraft moving at 300 to 400 miles per hour while you’re moving at 300 to 400 miles per hour.”

One of Mr. Anderson’s squadron mates was Chuck Yeager , who later became a test pilot and broke the sound barrier in 1947.

“On the ground, he was the nicest person you’d ever know,” Yeager wrote of Mr. Anderson in a 1985 autobiography, “but in the sky, those damned Germans must’ve thought they were up against Frankenstein or the Wolfman; Andy would hammer them into the ground, dive with them into the damned grave, if necessary, to destroy them.”

During two tours in Europe, Mr. Anderson flew 116 missions totaling 480 hours in combat. In all, he was credited with 16¼ confirmed kills and two probable kills in addition to damaging two more enemy planes, according to the American Fighter Aces Association.

Clarence Emil Anderson Jr. — always known as Bud — was born on Jan. 13, 1922, in Oakland, Calif., and grew up in Newcastle, northeast of the state capital of Sacramento. His mother worked as a secretary to several California governors, and his father was a rancher.

Mr. Anderson earned his pilot’s license in 1941, at age 19, through the Civilian Pilot Training Program . His best friend also became a pilot and was killed in Germany in 1943 on one of his first missions.

Years later, in an interview for the film series Memoirs of World War II, Mr. Anderson said that one of the most painful experiences of his life was visiting the man’s grieving widow when he was home on leave. Consoling one another, they agreed to stay in touch by mail.

In February 1945, when Mr. Anderson was home after his second tour in Europe, they were married. Eleanor Cosby Anderson died in 2015. Besides their daughter, of Raleigh, N.C., survivors include a son, Jim Anderson of Mesa, Ariz.; a brother; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Of the 28 pilots who deployed with Mr. Anderson at the outset of his service, half were killed or taken prisoner by the end of the war, he said. “You come home and there’s an empty bunk over there at night,” he said . “Each guy had to figure out how to cope with that. Some guys just could pull the shade down and ignore it. Some people would not make friends — close friends — because of it.”

After World War II, Mr. Anderson became a military test pilot, serving as chief of fighter operations at what is now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. He commanded a fighter squadron in Korea and a tactical fighter wing during the Vietnam War. He received, by the end of his career, two awards of the Legion of Merit, five awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal and 16 awards of the Air Medal.

Following his military retirement, Mr. Anderson joined the McDonnell Douglas aircraft corporation as manager of the company’s flight test facility. According to his website , he flew more than 130 types of aircraft, accumulating more than 7,500 flying hours. With Joseph P. Hamelin, he wrote an autobiography, “To Fly and Fight: Memoirs of a Triple Ace.”

Although proud of his membership in the elite group of triple aces, Mr. Anderson was quick to note that World War II was not won alone by the heroes who most often receive the glory. Among those who shared the credit for his achievements, he said, were the members of his ground crew.

Once, he told the publication Aviation History, he returned from a wintertime flight over Germany and made an offhand comment that perhaps Old Crow’s olive-green paint should be replaced with a color that provide better camouflage in the snow.

The next morning, he awoke to see the sunlight glinting off the plane’s original aluminum. The crew had “stayed up the whole night through, hand-rubbing the paint off with rags soaked in gasoline,” he said. “In the process, they had rubbed most of the skin off their hands.”

“No one asked them to do that. No one expected it,” Mr. Anderson continued. “Old Crow was as much their plane as mine. They took as much pride in the things it accomplished as I did.”

Bud Anderson, last triple ace pilot of World War II, dies at 102

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Skeletons from a former Hitler base were too decayed to determine who they were and how they died

FILE - Tourists visit the ruins of Adolf Hitler's headquarters the "Wolf's Lair" in Gierloz, northeastern Poland, July 17, 2004 where his chief of staff members made an unsuccessful attempt at Hitler's life on July 20, 1944. Polish prosecutors have discontinued an investigation into human skeletons found at Wolf's Lair where German dictator Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders spent time during World War II because the advanced state of decay made it impossible to determine the cause of death, a spokesman said Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

FILE - Tourists visit the ruins of Adolf Hitler’s headquarters the “Wolf’s Lair” in Gierloz, northeastern Poland, July 17, 2004 where his chief of staff members made an unsuccessful attempt at Hitler’s life on July 20, 1944. Polish prosecutors have discontinued an investigation into human skeletons found at Wolf’s Lair where German dictator Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders spent time during World War II because the advanced state of decay made it impossible to determine the cause of death, a spokesman said Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish prosecutors have ended an investigation into human skeletons found at a site where German dictator Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders spent time during World War II because their advanced decay made it impossible to determine the cause of death, a spokesman said Monday.

The remains were found Feb. 24 at Wolf’s Lair, which served as Hitler’s chief headquarters from 1941-44 when the area was part of Germany. The compound of about 200 Nazi bunkers and military barracks hidden in deep woods was the site of the failed assassination attempt on Hitler by Col. Claus Stauffenberg on July 20, 1944. The site is now a tourist attraction.

The spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in nearby Ketrzyn town, Daniel Brodowski, said police officers secured the remains after they were found by a local group, Latebra, which searches for historical objects.

A forensic medical expert examined them under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office, which was trying to determine if manslaughter had occurred. It discontinued the investigation in late March due to a lack of evidence that a crime had been committed, Brodowski told The Associated Press in an emailed statement.

FILE - Defendant Timothy Rankine talks on Sept. 18, 2023, in Tacoma, Wash., to codefendant Matthew Collins and an attorney during the pre-trial motion in the trial at Pierce County Superior Court of Tacoma Police Officers Christopher Burbank, Collins and Rankine in the killing of Manny Ellis. Rankine, one of the Washington state police officers cleared of criminal charges in the 2020 death of Ellis — a Black man who was shocked, beaten and restrained facedown on a sidewalk as he pleaded for breath — is taking steps to sue local and state officials for $94 million over alleged defamation. (Brian Hayes/The News Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

“The expert stated that the preserved bone remains were of human origin and came from at least four people, three of whom were most likely middle-aged men, and the fourth was a child several years of age whose sex cannot be determined,” Brodowski wrote.

But due to advanced decay of the remains, it was no longer possible to determine the cause of death, he said, noting that at least several dozen years had passed.

The investigation didn’t address who the people might have been, due to the conditions of the remains and passage of time.

the causes of world war 2 essay

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Iran’s president has died in office. here’s what happens next.

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Editor’s Note: A version of this story appears in CNN’s Meanwhile in the Middle East newsletter, a three-times-a-week look inside the region’s biggest stories.  Sign up here.

Once seen as a likely successor to Iran’s Supreme Leader, President Ebrahim Raisi has died in office , leaving the Islamic Republic’s hardline establishment facing an uncertain future.

An ultraconservative president, 63-year-old Raisi was killed Sunday, along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other high-ranking officials, in a helicopter crash in Iran’s remote northwest. Their death comes at a delicate time for a country that faces unprecedented challenges at home and from abroad.

The Islamic Republic’s economy remains crippled by American sanctions, its young population is becoming growingly restive, and the country faces increasingly belligerent adversaries in the Middle East and beyond.

Raisi’s death will “trigger elections at a time when the IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran) is at the nadir of its legitimacy and zenith of its exclusionary policies,” Ali Vaez, Iran Project Director at the International Crisis Group think tank, said on X .

Here’s what comes next.

Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber speaks during Iran's government cabinet on Monday in Tehran, Iran.

Who steps in as president?

Power has now been transferred to Mohammad Mokhber, who had served as Raisi’s vice president and was on Monday approved as acting president by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the final arbiter of domestic and foreign affairs in the Islamic Republic.

Not as well known as Raisi, Mokhber is “another administrator,” Sanam Vakil, director of the Middle East and North Africa program at the Chatham House think tank in London, told CNN’s Becky Anderson. “He is close to the IRGC, close to the levers of power,” Vakil said, adding that he is likely to present a model of “business as usual” in the coming days.

But the country must, by law, hold elections within the next 50 days. On Monday, Iranian state news IRNA said Iran’s presidential elections will take place Friday, June 28. Candidates can register from May 30 to June 3, and campaigning will run from June 12 until the morning of June 27, it added.

Experts say that the elections are likely to be hastily organized, with poor voter participation. In March, Iran recorded its lowest electoral turnout since the Islamic Republic’s founding in 1979, despite government efforts to rally voters ahead of the ballot.

That vote — for seats in the parliament, or Majles, and the 88-member Assembly of Experts, which is tasked with picking the Supreme Leader — brought in mostly hardline politicians.

“The population has by and large lost faith in the idea that change can come through the ballot box,” Trita Parsi, co-founder and Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft in Washington, DC, wrote Sunday on X.

Rescue team members work at the scene of the helicopter crash carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Varzaghan, in northwestern Iran on Monday.

The March election also barred more moderate politicians from running — including former President Hassan Rouhani, once a regime stalwart — tightening the small circle of hardliners to continue the Supreme Leader’s conservative rule after he dies.

“Real alternatives to Iran’s hardliners have simply not been allowed to stand for office in the last few elections,” Parsi said on X, adding that “those alternatives have in the eyes of the majority of the population lost credibility anyways, due to the failure to deliver change.”

Until the Supreme Leader is replaced, however, little change is expected to follow Raisi’s death, particularly on foreign policy.

“It is really the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards who make the final decisions, and even in the region mostly implement Iran’s regional policy,” Vaez said, adding that “overall we will see more continuity than change.”

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi places his hands on his heart as a gesture of respect to the crowd during a funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran, on  January 5, 2024.

What are the longer-term implications of Raisi’s death?

Raisi’s death has raised questions about who will eventually succeed Iran’s 85-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the most powerful man in the country.

The Iranian clerical establishment had invested heavily in Raisi during his presidency, seeing him as a potential successor to Khamenei. Observers say he had been groomed to be elevated to the Supreme Leader’s position.

Raisi’s death will create “a succession crisis in Iran,” Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote on X.

The late president upheld some of the regime’s most hardline policies, quashing the 2022 mass protests that sought to challenge repressive laws, such as the compulsory hijab.

In this photo provided by Moj News Agency, rescue teams' vehicles are seen near the site of the incident of the helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Varzaghan in northwestern Iran, Sunday, May 19, 2024.

Related live-story Iran’s President Raisi killed in helicopter crash

According to the constitution, the 88-member Assembly of Experts picks the successor to the Supreme Leader after his death. Members of the Assembly itself are, however, pre-vetted by Iran’s Guardian Council, a powerful 12-member body charged with overseeing elections and legislation.

The Assembly of Experts has become increasingly hardline over the years. In the March vote, Raisi was re-elected to the assembly, and the Guardian Council barred Rouhani from contesting a seat.

While there are procedures to selecting the Supreme Leader, discussions about successions are always “very opaque,” Vakil said, adding that they take place “within a very close circle of individuals.”

Some have pointed to the incumbent Supreme Leader’s son Mojtaba Khamenei, a midlevel cleric, as a potential contender for the top post, but that would be a shift from the principles of the Islamic Republic, which overthrew a repressive monarchy in 1970 and has prided itself for shaking off hereditary rule.

Allowing Mojtaba to replace his father may, however, spur theories that Raisi’s death was not accidental, Sadjadpour said.

Raisi’s rivals are also likely to try to fill the vacuum he leaves, Vaez said.

“(This) definitely throws all the plans that offices of the Supreme Leader probably had out the window,” Vaez told CNN’s Paula Newton.

He added, however, that Iran has no shortage of political actors who are “subservient and belong to the old guard of the Islamic Republic” who can replace Raisi.

the causes of world war 2 essay

How will it impact Iran’s foreign relations?

Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian oversaw a turnaround in Iran’s relations with its Arab neighbors, helping normalized relations with longtime foe Saudi Arabia, with China’s assistance. But they also saw the Islamic Republic initiate a large-scale direct attack on Israel for the first time, after a suspected Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Syria. That prompted Israel to launch an unprecedented retaliation, bringing the shadow war between the two nations out into the open.

Experts say that Raisi’s death is unlikely to have an impact on the regime’s foreign policy, which is almost exclusively the domain of the Supreme Leader.

Iran’s foreign policy is decided by the Supreme National Security Council and can be vetoed by the Supreme Leader, Mohammad Ali Shabani, Iran expert and editor of the Amwaj.media news outlet, told CNN’s Anderson. “We will see continuity in terms of how Iran approaches the regional files, collaboration with regional allies.”

He added that a similar trajectory is likely to be seen on the nuclear program.

Could the upcoming presidential election bring change to Iran?

Some experts say that the election presents an opportunity for the regime to bring back sidelined moderates. While Khamenei is likely to maintain conservative rule, he “has always emphasized voter turnout as a litmus test of the legitimacy of the system,” Shabani said. “That election can be a watershed moment for Iran.”

Raisi came to power in elections that many Iranians saw as a foregone conclusion. With moderate candidates squeezed out, voter turnout was extremely low, highlighting the regime’s waning legitimacy.

“If the Supreme Leader chooses to use these early elections as a watershed moment to open up the political space, to get people to vote again, that could be a massive gamechanger,” Shabani said, adding that this would also impact succession to the Supreme Leader.

What are the funeral plans?

Multi-day funeral ceremonies for Raisi will begin on Tuesday in Tabriz and continue in Qom, Tehran and Mashhad, according to Mohsen Mansouri, the head of the funeral planning committee and and Iran’s vice president of executive affairs.

Speaking to  state television  on Monday, Mansouri said funeral prayers will begin in the northwestern city of Tabriz at 9:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday. There will be a procession from the Tabriz Martyr’s Square to the Tabriz Mosallah (prayer hall).

Later on Tuesday, the bodies of the victims of the helicopter crash will be transferred to the holy Shiite city of Qom, where funeral prayers will take place at 4:30 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) outside the Fatima Masumeh Shrine. Afterwards, on Tuesday evening, the bodies will be transferred to Tehran’s Grand Mosallah Mosque, according to Mansouri.

On Wednesday, large ceremonies are planned in Tehran at the Grand Mosallah. One or two other ceremonies will be announced later, according to Mansouri.

On Thursday morning, funeral prayers will begin in Birjand, South Khorasan province, where Raisi served as the Supreme Leader’s representative. Later on Thursday, Raisi’s body will be transferred to the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad where Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will conduct prayers over Raisi’s body, according to Mehr news.

On Thursday night, Raisi’s body will be buried in Mashhad, according to Mansouri.

Mansouri also announced the closure of offices on Wednesday all over the country, and said the governors in the provinces where processions will take place can declare public holidays on Wednesday.

CNN’s Tamara Qiblawi contributed to this report.

The Two Sides of World War I: Allies and Central Powers

This essay is about the two primary alliances in World War I: the Allies and the Central Powers. It explains the composition and motivations of each side, with the Allies including countries like France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, later joined by the United States and others, while the Central Powers included Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. The essay discusses how the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand triggered the war, leading to a global conflict characterized by trench warfare and technological advancements in weaponry. The involvement of the United States helped tip the balance in favor of the Allies, leading to the eventual collapse of the Central Powers. The essay also covers the aftermath of the war, including the Treaty of Versailles and its long-term impact.

How it works

The First World Conflict, also acknowledged as the Grand Warfare, unfolded as a worldwide confrontation spanning from 1914 to 1918, embroiling numerous paramount powers globally, segregating them into two principal coalitions: the Allied Forces and the Central Blocs. Comprehending these dichotomous factions proves indispensable in apprehending the intricacy and magnitude of the warfare, alongside its profound reverberations on the 20th century.

The Allied Forces, originally labeled the Triple Entente, comprised France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Gradually, they were augmented by Italy, Japan, the United States, and sundry other nations.

The bedrock of the Allied Forces lay in a succession of treaties and reciprocal defense compacts contrived to offset the might of the Central Blocs. France and Russia had forged an alliance in the twilight of the 19th century, while the United Kingdom aligned with them in the nascent phase of the 20th century due to escalating tensions with Germany. The Allied forces were impelled by a confluence of defensive maneuvers, colonial aspirations, and the aspiration to sustain equilibrium of authority in Europe.

The Central Blocs, initially identified as the Triple Alliance, encompassed Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, notwithstanding Italy defecting to join the Allied Forces in 1915. The Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria subsequently aligned with the Central Blocs. Germany, the preponderant constituent of this coalition, endeavored to assert its hegemony in Europe and extend its sphere of influence globally. Austria-Hungary, a heterogeneous empire, confronted internal and external exigencies, precipitating its union with Germany. The Ottoman Empire, grappling to retain its extensive territories, perceived the conflict as a prospect to reclaim lost lands and prestige. The Central Blocs were impelled by an amalgam of territorial aspirations, strategic concerns, and mutual defense obligations.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in June 1914 catalyzed a chain of events escalating swiftly into a full-fledged war. Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war on Serbia activated a labyrinth of alliances drawing in all the preeminent European powers. Germany’s backing of Austria-Hungary and Russia’s endorsement of Serbia laid the groundwork for an overarching conflagration. When Germany invaded Belgium to circumvent French defenses, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, cementing the schism between the two factions.

The conflict expeditiously permeated beyond Europe, enmeshing colonies and territories across the globe. The Allied Forces and Central Blocs skirmished on myriad fronts, including the Western Front, the Eastern Front, and in locales such as the Middle East and Africa. Trench warfare, distinguished by appalling conditions and elevated casualty rates, emerged as a defining facet of the Western Front. Technological innovations in armaments, encompassing machine guns, tanks, and chemical weaponry, exacerbated the lethality and destructiveness of the conflict.

The intervention of the United States in the conflict in 1917 furnished a substantial impetus to the Allied Forces. Galvanized by German unrestrained submarine warfare and the Zimmermann Telegram, which laid bare Germany’s overture for a military coalition with Mexico against the United States, American engagement brought in fresh troops and resources to the beleaguered Allied Forces. The infusion of American forces tilted the scales in favor of the Allied Forces, precipitating a succession of triumphant offensives against the Central Blocs.

The disintegration of the Central Blocs commenced in late 1918. Internal discord, economic adversity, and military setbacks undermined the capacity of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria to perpetuate the struggle. The Allied Forces, reinforced by American support and superior resources, unleashed a sequence of decisive assaults breaching German defenses. The armistice on November 11, 1918, heralded the cessation of hostilities, yet the ramifications of the war would resonate for decades to come.

The Treaty of Versailles, concluded in 1919, formally terminated the conflict and imposed punitive measures on Germany, encompassing substantial territorial cessions, military constraints, and indemnity payments. The treaty aspired to forestall future conflicts but instead sowed the seeds of animosity and economic hardship in Germany, contributing to the ascendance of Adolf Hitler and the eruption of World War II.

The legacy of World War I is profound and extensive-reaching. The war engendered redrawing of national boundaries, precipitated the dissolution of empires, and reshaped the geopolitical panorama of Europe and the Middle East. The human toll was staggering, with myriad soldiers and civilians succumbing or sustaining injuries. The psychological aftermath of the war, dubbed “shell shock” at the time, underscored the severe mental and emotional repercussions on survivors.

In summation, the duality of World War I, epitomized by the Allied Forces and the Central Blocs, was propelled by a convoluted nexus of alliances, strategic imperatives, and historical grievances. The unprecedented scale and devastation of the war left an indelible imprint, persistently influencing global politics and society. The Great War serves as a sobering testament to the perils of modern warfare and underscores the significance of international collaboration and diplomacy in averting future conflicts.

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Struggling on Front Lines, Ukraine Strikes Harder at Russian Energy

A huge drone attack targeted southwestern Russia and the Russian-occupied peninsula of Crimea, hitting oil facilities and a substation, leading to rolling blackouts.

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An oil tanker moored near a coastline with industrial facilities.

By Constant Méheut and Andrés R. Martínez

Constant Méheut reported from Kyiv, Ukraine, and Andrés R. Martínez from Seoul.

Struggling to contain Russian advances on the battlefield, Ukraine is increasingly taking the fight to Russia beyond the front lines in an effort to disrupt its military operations and put pressure on its economy — targeting airfields, logistics hubs and critical energy facilities with missiles and drones.

That strategy was on full display early on Friday when a series of explosions struck fuel depots, oil facilities and a power station in southwestern Russia and Crimea, the Russian-occupied Ukrainian peninsula. Just a day before, Ukrainian missiles hit an airfield in Crimea, destroying at least three jets.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had shot down more than 100 Ukrainian drones on Friday, a figure that would represent one of Ukraine’s largest air assaults against Russia in months. A Ukrainian security official said Ukraine was behind the attack.

Although the full extent of the damage was unclear, the Russian authorities reported that an electricity substation was hit in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, leading to rolling blackouts.

Just 70 miles east of Crimea, on Russia’s Black Sea coast, fires broke out at several oil facilities, including in the port of Novorossiysk, which operates an important oil terminal.

Crimea, which Russia illegally seized a decade ago, and nearby Russian Black Sea ports have long been a prime target for the Ukrainian military.

Attacks there have three main objectives: reducing Russia’s capacity to use Crimea as a launchpad for missile and drone attacks; disrupting supply lines that funnel fuel and ammunition to the battlefield; and degrading the Russian fleet docked in the region to ease the pressure on Ukrainian operations in the Black Sea, such as exporting grain .

Ukraine has increasingly been striking Russian oil facilities in what military analysts say is an attempt to complicate the Russian military’s logistics by hitting facilities that supply fuel for its tanks, ships and planes.

Ukrainian officials also hope the strikes can undermine the Russian energy complex, which is at the core of the country’s economy and war effort — accounting for about a third of Russia’s federal budget revenue — although they do not appear to have had any serious effect yet .

The attack on Novorossiysk could mark an escalation in the Ukrainian strategy.

While Kyiv had previously attacked warships in Novorossiysk, the assault on Friday was the first time it had targeted the oil facilities there, said Damien Ernst, an energy expert at the University of Liège, Belgium.

Novorossiysk is a major Russian port for oil exports, with about 1.5 million barrels of Russian oil passing through each day, Mr. Ernst said. It’s also the terminal for one of the world’s largest pipelines, which exports most of Kazakhstan’s oil, or about 1.3 million barrels a day.

Verified footage of the attack showed a large explosion above the city’s oil terminal, although it was unclear whether the attack caused any serious damage to the terminal.

But it may raise further concerns in the United States, where the Biden administration has urged Kyiv to stop attacking Russian oil refineries out of concern about global oil markets .

In addition, American oil companies have a stake in the terminal. Chevron, for instance, is a significant shareholder in the pipeline transporting oil from Kazakhstan. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ukrainian attacks on Crimea, an important logistical and military hub for the Russian Army, have been more frequent.

Mikhail Razvozhaev, the Russian-backed governor of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, home to about half a million people, said on Telegram that schools had been closed across the city as a result of the attack. He added that repairs to the substation that had been hit would take about a day and that the resulting power shortages would force the authorities to introduce rolling blackouts.

It was the third attack in two days against Sevastopol. A day before, the local authorities reported Ukrainian missile attacks on the Belbek military airfield outside the city. Satellite images verified by The New York Times showed that three Russian jets had been destroyed and another had been damaged.

Ukrainian officials have long maintained that targeting Russian assets and operations in Crimea is critical to their war effort. It “is extremely important for us, because it’s the way for us to reduce the number of attacks from that region,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this year .

That objective appears be even more important now that Ukrainian troops are losing ground on the battlefield.

Russia last week launched a new offensive in the northeast, quickly capturing several settlements in the Kharkiv region and forcing Kyiv to rush troops to the area.

Mr. Zelensky told Ukrainian journalists on Friday that Russian troops had advanced up to six miles from the Russian border into Ukrainian territory, but had not reached the stronger defensive lines in the region. He added that the situation in the area had stabilized.

Ukrainian officials and military analysts say Russia’s offensive in the northeast is meant to further stretch Ukraine’s already thinned-out forces. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, Ukraine’s top commander, said Russian forces had extended the front line by about 45 miles.

President Vladimir V. Putin has suggested that the goal of the offensive is for Russia to push Ukrainian forces back from the border to prevent them from shelling Russian villages and cities.

Speaking to reporters during a trip to China on Friday, he said Ukraine’s regular shelling of Russian border areas, including the city of Belgorod, had forced the Russian Army to “create a buffer zone” in the Kharkiv region to protect civilians.

While Ukrainian drones can fly to distant Russian targets, such as oil facilities, artillery shells have a range only of several miles. But unlike drones, shells cannot be intercepted and they have been widely used in the war to pin down troops and constrain military operations.

Mr. Putin added that his forces had no plans to take the city of Kharkiv itself. Most independent military analysts consider this claim credible, saying that Russia does not have nearly enough forces in northern Ukraine to threaten the city, Ukraine’s second largest.

But analysts add that Russian forces could push within artillery range of the city and pound it, creating chaos and panic. More than 8,000 Ukrainian civilians have already been evacuated from settlements and villages north of Kharkiv, according to the local authorities.

Bogdan Yahno, head of the Kharkiv region for the Relief Coordination Center , a nonprofit group helping people to evacuate, said shelling had intensified on Kharkiv and its outskirts in recent days. “The fight is getting closer,” he said.

Anatoly Kurmanaev and Maria Varenikova contributed reporting.

Constant Méheut reports on the war in Ukraine, including battlefield developments, attacks on civilian centers and how the war is affecting its people. More about Constant Méheut

Andrés R. Martínez is a Times editor who leads a team in Seoul responsible for breaking news coverage. More about Andrés R. Martínez

Our Coverage of the War in Ukraine

News and Analysis

The United States and Europe are coalescing around a plan to use interest earned on frozen Russian central bank assets to provide Ukraine with a loan to be used for military and economic assistance .

The Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s talks with President Vladimir Putin of Russia were a show of solidarity  between two autocrats battling Western pressure.

Ukraine asked the Biden administration to provide more intelligence  on the position of Russian forces and military targets inside Russia.

Europe’s Defense Industry: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine jolted Europe out of complacency about military spending. But the challenges are about more than just money .

Putin’s Victory Narrative: The Russian leader’s message to his country appears to be taking hold : that Russia is fighting against the whole Western world — and winning.

A Boxing Win Offers Hope: The Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk became the world’s undisputed heavyweight champion, a victory that has lifted morale  in a country struggling to contain Russian advances.

How We Verify Our Reporting

Our team of visual journalists analyzes satellite images, photographs , videos and radio transmissions  to independently confirm troop movements and other details.

We monitor and authenticate reports on social media, corroborating these with eyewitness accounts and interviews. Read more about our reporting efforts .

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COMMENTS

  1. The Causes of WWII

    The origins of the Second World War (1939-45) may be traced back to the harsh peace settlement of the First World War (1914-18) and the economic crisis of the 1930s, while more immediate causes were the aggressive invasions of their neighbours by Germany, Italy, and Japan.A weak and divided Europe, an isolationist USA, and an opportunistic USSR were all intent on peace, but the policy of ...

  2. The Causes of World War Two: [Essay Example], 2589 words

    The Causes of World War Two. The Second World War began on September 3rd, 1939, almost exactly two decades after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, a peace treaty ending World War I. Years later, this sad date remains one of the terrible historical events in the world, thanks to which we can now live without fascism and German tyranny.

  3. The Causes Of World War II (opinion essay)

    Many historians today believe that some of the causes of World War II can be traced to World War I (1914-1918). Americans had fought in that earlier war to "Make the world safe for Democracy.". Those were the words and goals of President Woodrow Wilson (President from 1913 to 1921). However, the peace treaties that ended World War I seemed ...

  4. Causes of World War II

    The causes of World War II have been given considerable attention by historians. The immediate precipitating event was the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany on September 1, 1939, and the subsequent declarations of war on Germany made by Britain and France, but many other prior events have been suggested as ultimate causes.Primary themes in historical analysis of the war's origins include the ...

  5. What Were The Main Causes Of World War II?

    The Failure Of Appeasement. Cheering crowds greet the Nazis in Vienna. Another major reason for the Second World War was the Allies' failure to stop Hitler's aggressive foreign policy. For instance, in 1935, he reintroduced conscription. Then, on March 7, 1936, Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland.

  6. World War II

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  7. Causes, events, and casualties of World War II

    The U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, and Japan's formal surrender on September 2 ended the war. An estimated 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 people died during World War II, including about 6,000,000 Jewish men, women, and children who died in the Holocaust.

  8. Why Did World War II Happen?

    World War II led to the creation of the world as it exists today. From the ashes of the conflict emerged the international system of institutions promoting free trade, human rights, and collective security. But it also introduced the potential for cataclysmic destruction, as it ushered in the era of nuclear weapons.

  9. World War Ii: Causes, Events, Impact

    This essay will examine the causes of the war, key events that led to its outbreak, the war on the Eastern Front, the war in the Pacific, the Holocaust and genocide, the home front and civilian experience, and the eventual Allied victory. By examining these key aspects of World War II, we can gain a better understanding of its impact and legacy.

  10. The Causes and Consequences of World War Two

    World War Two, which started in 1939 and ended in 1945, caused more deaths, several countries got involved and a lot of money was used than any other war in global history. Above 60 million army men participated in the war and about 18,000 soldiers died during the war. We will write a custom essay on your topic. 809 writers online.

  11. World War II: Summary, Combatants & Facts

    World War II was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. Rising to power in an unstable Germany, Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi Party) rearmed the nation and signed treaties ...

  12. The World War II: Impact and Consequences Essay

    1 hour! The World War II: Impact and Consequences Essay. World War II had a great impact on social order and international relations between the nations and continents. A major influence on international policies was the relations between the two opposite camps, the Allies and the Axis, and the views each held of the other.

  13. The Road to War: Understanding the causes of World War II

    Year 8 Classroom Teacher Subscription 2024. $35.00. The Second World War was one of the deadliest and most devastating conflicts in human history, claiming the lives of tens of millions of people across the globe. However, the war's causes were a combination of factors, including economic instability, political tensions, and territorial ...

  14. World War II Guide: Bibliographical Essay

    Bibliographical Essay. World War II caused greater destruction than any other war in history. The war took the lives of about 17 million soldiers and an even greater number of civilians, who died as a result of bombings, starvation, and deliberate campaigns of mass murder. ... (1999), which examines the causes of U.S. involvement in the ...

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    Find out about the causes of World War Two with BBC Bitesize History. For students between the ages of 11 and 14.

  16. Causes of World War II Essay Topics

    Causes of World War II Essay Topics. World War II was a major conflict fought in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific from 1939-1945. The essay topics in this lesson are designed to help your ...

  17. Causes of World War II

    We will write a custom essay on your topic. However, modern research on history shows that the major causes of World War II were political imbalance, economic stress and the need for military supremacy (Hart 43). Lack of political agreement among the victors of World War I in Europe is explained as the main cause of World War II.

  18. World War II: An In-depth Analysis of Political Causes, D-Day, and

    Part of these works touches on atrocities that resulted in social problems. He has expressively stated that D-Day was the epicenter of World War II. However, he says that over 3000 civilians died that day due to a lack of evacuation. He connects the acts to war crimes with vast social consequences.

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    Some other causes were the failure of the League of Nations, the Spanish Civil war, the Munich agreement, and mostly Japan's rise as an imperial power. The immediate cause of World War II was the invasion of Poland by Germany on 1st September in 1939. 10 Lines on Causes of World War 2 Essay in English. 1. World War II began in the year 1939. 2.

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    Essay Example: Throughout history, certain moments stand as defining pivots, altering the destinies of nations and the course of humanity. One such moment is the United States' entry into World War II, an event marked by a convergence of circumstances and decisions that profoundly shaped the

  23. World War I

    Effects. As many as 8.5 million soldiers and some 13 million civilians died during World War I. Four imperial dynasties collapsed as a result of the war: the Habsburgs of Austria-Hungary, the Hohenzollerns of Germany, the sultanate of the Ottoman Empire, and the Romanovs of Russia. The mass movement of soldiers and refugees helped spread one of ...

  24. Bud Anderson, Last of World War II's 'Triple Ace' Pilots, Dies at 102

    Published May 18, 2024 Updated May 19, 2024, 11:41 a.m. ET. Brig. Gen. Bud Anderson, who single-handedly shot down 16 German planes over Europe in World War II and became America's last living ...

  25. 205 World War 2 Essay Topics & Examples

    🤫 Secrets of Powerful Essay on World War 2. From diplomacy and espionage to battlefield events and the fate of nations, World War 2 essay topics are broad in range and require their writer to have an in-depth knowledge of various details. Thus, writing a World War 2 essay may seem daunting due to the weight of the necessary historical analysis.

  26. Bud Anderson, last triple ace pilot of World War II, dies at 102

    Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson Jr., a military pilot whose aerial derring-do spanned from World War II, when he personally shot down 16 German planes in dogfights over occupied Europe, to ...

  27. Human remains found at former Hitler base, but decay prevents

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish prosecutors have ended an investigation into human skeletons found at a site where German dictator Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders spent time during World War II because their advanced decay made it impossible to determine the cause of death, a spokesman said Monday.

  28. Iran's president has died in office. Here's what happens next

    Once seen as a likely successor to Iran's Supreme Leader, President Ebrahim Raisi has died in office, leaving the Islamic Republic's hardline establishment facing an uncertain future.

  29. The Two Sides of World War I: Allies and Central Powers

    This essay is about the two primary alliances in World War I: the Allies and the Central Powers. It explains the composition and motivations of each side, with the Allies including countries like France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, later joined by the United States and others, while the Central Powers included Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire.

  30. Ukraine Drones Destroy Russian Jets and Hit Power Station in Crimea

    That strategy was on full display early on Friday when a series of explosions struck fuel depots, oil facilities and a power station in southwestern Russia and Crimea, the Russian-occupied ...