Germany is considered the strongest relationship between World War I and II. At the end of World War I, Germany attracted the most blame for starting the war. Germany was compelled to pay reparations to different countries thereby becoming very poor, weak and vulnerable. This situation created a perfect opportunity for strong nationalist leaders like Adolf Hitler to take power and was a major cause for World War II. World War I started as a result of many reasons. Furthermore, it was as a result of two major alliances, the first being Russia, G. Britain and France and the second being Germany, Hungary, Austria and Italy. Arms race was too a major reason for the war. After the First World War, Germany was humiliated and was forced to take the greatest blame for it. As mentioned earlier, Germany’s economy took a turn for the worst and this is where World War I plays a factor in World War II. Hitler, having served as an officer in World War I used the low morale of the Germans as a result of depression, famine, and other types of economic collapse in his attempt to rise to power. Hitler later put the blame on G. Britain, France and Russia for compelling Germany into its humiliation forming grounds to invade and go to war with this countries resulting in World War II.
The major difference in which the two wars were fought was introduction of mechanization and air power in World War II which was at its lowest in World War I. World War II is known for its high mobility in fighting, which can be well depicted by German’s Blitzkrieg doctrine. Nonetheless, World War I was also a mobile war at first but rather quickly stagnated into war of attrition. The Second World War also became a war of attrition, though with the introduction of military tanks and sophisticated air power made it highly mobile. Static defense too became harder to maintain thereby becoming less visible in the war.
War is an eventuality that most countries try to avoid as much as possible. In recent times, wars such as those observed in Afghanistan and Iraq have been testimony enough. However, the occurrence of such wars also proves that the world, and its leaders, has not learnt from the catastrophic event in these post-war times. An in-depth analysis as to the underlying cause of the World War II has been conducted here-in. Further, the question as to why lessons learnt from World War I did not suffice to prevent the Second World War has been critically analyzed.
The World War II
The World War II set off on 1, 1939 September. In actual fact it was provoked by Hitler's decision to invade Poland. Allegedly some historians argue that this was just a mere extension of the World War 1after the creation of a temporal interruption by the armistice of the year 1918. There is though one historian by the name Gerhard Weinberg tends to disagree on every aspect. He thinks that while the other historians claim the entire period from 1914-1945 as the European's civil war age; illumination by research papers shows the special character and the intentions of its belligerents.
The prevalence of the war between Germany and most the entire Europe resulted due to several challenges that broke out immediately Hitler came in to power in the year 1933. While under the influence of Hitler, Germany happened to break out from the isolation from the rest of the European nations had made an attempt to impose with the Versailles Treaty. Fuhrer formed a Nazi Germany and he was poised to impact total power over Europe, pointing his vengeance against those who signed against him in the Versailles Treaty. He actually took the first step towards the starting of the war in the year 1939. To the seriousness he sent his army to Poland. This was meant to provoke aggressors hence spreading the spirit of warfare from the capitals of Europe to the sands of Northern Africa and also the Far East.
In the entire process of Europe realizing it total destruction in the subsequent years just after the Polish attacks, The United States, till its war declaration upon Japan in December 1941, had opted to remain neutral, with the US congress making an attempt to evade entanglements overseas. There still existed isolationist forces that had a feeling that the Allies would finally win the war anyway, that US was not even exposed to any threats upon Germany's advances, and that a win on the side of the Allies would not threaten the US's welfare. In actual fact the US's joining of the world War 2 was not in any way related to the Germany and its Allies combined efforts, the American policies for both Britain and France, and the dominance in the far East by Japan ultimately affecting US public opinion, makers of policies and the military leaders to commence its involvement in a war that dearly cost the US approximately 300,000 lives.
Even though the US public did bolster their country's involvement in the war, while the pearl Harbor attack was the final part of the puzzle for involvement of the US military in the Pacific and Europe, another pressing factor that led to the US's declaration of war against Germany and Japan's menace. The former political order based on reason was put aside as all nations in Europe became entangled in a cycle of fear, misplaced trust, delusion and embty hopes that led war. The belief that reason belonged at the heart of structure cum relationships was done with after the World War 1, however. Carnage on the battlefield and also the virtual stalemate for mostly the War led to doubt on the side of the European nations' comprehending of the reason of warfare and also the tied up risks. This particular self-doubt is the one that led France never live to fun victory the country anticipated for.
Beyond its military defeat, Germany succumbed to economic and political negative effects. Also, though the Great Britain was not so greatly affected just like these Continental powers, it still suffered a blow of loosing young men while others were seriously maimed. The unprecedented standard of carnage and the peculiar political and social effects of World War 1 on both the losers and the victors washed away the accepted notion of reason and triggered self-doubt which affected the relationships among nations and restructured their view towards one another, the former type of warfare included.
Following the destruction, an individual would surmise the act of self-doubt would lead to a more rational policy towards misunderstandings among nations-avoid it at all cost. Contrary, the nation's political forces became more vocal cum pompous all through the entire Europe, in psychological terms; they actually overcompensated due to their self-doubt. The consequences due to doubt were highly dreaded and, as K. Fedin put it, "There is nothing in the world more hateful than neutrality".
Putting into consideration the economic circumstances that Germany encountered owing to its defeat in World War I and the humiliation due to the passing of the peace Versailles treaty where it had to pay reparations to victorious powers regardless of its economic status, anything that could actually pull Germany out of this would have sounded reasonable to the German public. The former style of leadership that was the reason of the humiliating defeat in the World War 1 had been seriously discredited. The established political structure regarded by the German public as reasonable lost its credibility. Self-doubt happened to be the gateway to Hitler's racial, nationalistic, militaristic ideas that showed up.
What caused World War Two and why did the U.S. become involved in it?
The occurrence of the world war two was triggered by several chains of events which include the invasion of Poland by Hitler by bringing France and Great Britain into war. Secondly, Japan provoked China by taking over Manchuria hence the war break out. Thirdly, Japan provoked the US by taking over the US fleet at Pearl Harbor thus the United States made an entry into the war. Lastly when Germany invaded the USSR, the Soviet Union joined the war.
In the month of September 1939, Hitler went against the warning that had been issued to him by sending troops into Poland. Hitler did this in an attempt to take over Poland. However, this did not go well with Great Britain and France who had forewarned Hitler not to make an attempt of taking over its neighboring countries (Sulzberger 73).
The failure of the treaty of the Versailles also triggered the occurrence of the World War Two. After the world war one, the treaty signed treated in a very harsh manner and the German people resented the treaty with high critique. The treaty entailed; the severe restriction of Germany's military, the treaty led to Germany's loss of territories in Europe which forced them to give up their territories from its colonies overseas. Another consequence which Germany suffered as a result of the treaty was the payment of $33 billion for the war damages. The implementation of the above treaty therefore left Germany with grievances (Fritz 301). Unemployment and the economic crisis took the center stage forcing Hitler to defy the orders whilst going against the treaty. Hitler thus started rebuilding of the massive army, the nation, militarizing the neighboring Rhineland, and began threatening its neighbors which finally led to the fallout of the world war two.
In Europe and in the Pacific, why did the Allies win?
The allies who included Soviet Union, Poland, France, Republic of China, United States, and United Kingdom won because of various reasons. In Europe for instance, the Germany and Italy's quest to expand their empires in North Africa was hampered by bad morale and poor strategy. The British and its colonies managed to comfortably repel the Axis at the Siege of Malta. This was a battle of El Alamein which was Africa's turning point together with the battle of Britain stooped the German's from advancing to the west. The Germans and the Italians were also deterred from making an entry into the Middle East by the British forces. The siege of the Stalingrad also proved to be disastrous to the Germans and hampered its advancement to the east. The British navy and the merchant ships became very innovative and devised the new modes of transport and defense of the merchant ships. The British navy therefore did out-compete the German navy who stuck to their U-Boats and used them in attacking the British merchant ships. However, with the British navy's innovation and creativity the German U-Boats were rendered ineffective and thus their allies won the war. Owing to the fact that Germany and Italy were under the constant bombardment by the US air force and the RAF, ninety percent of the German cities were badly destroyed and this weakened the Germans forces.
The allies won the war in the pacific owing to a number of reasons. First, Japans Empire underestimated the ability of United States to propagate war in the pacific. However, the Japanese were defeated and this encouraged the American navy to turn the naval war across the entire pacific. In the course of the war, Japanese army lacked resources to fund and continue the warfare. On the other hand, British navy in Burma decisively pushed the Japanese in Burma resulting into the deaths of about four hundred thousand Japanese soldiers. The US army therefore captured numerous islands to the extent of taking over Japan as a whole.
The allies won the world war two also due to the axis powers which were out-thought and out-numbered hence outcompeted in the war. Unlike their allies who had adequate resources and poured more troops into the war, the Axis ran out of resources and lose grounds very quickly and had to give up the war hence the defeat by the rivals. In Europe for instance, the Germans were virtually surrounded by the British and the Russians who were their bitter rivals.asa result of this, fifty percent of the German army were killed by the Russian and the British army thus liberating France (Fritz 245).
Japanese army heavily lost due to their fight in pursuance of the three major large scale fronts which included China, the pacific, and India. This became cumbersome to them since their rivals had adequate resources unlike them thus overpowering them. With Germany's advanced technology notwithstanding, they lost in their warfare as they made an attempt to attack Russia due to poor strategy. The Germans navy was equipped with the summer equipment when they invaded Russia because Hitler thought the war would fall during the summer which was never to be.
What were the consequences of the war-both geopolitically and domestically?
The occurrence of the world war two saw the involved countries suffer major consequences in different perspectives. A number of casualties were inflicted as a result of the war. The occupation of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe encouraged the forceful spread of communism thus setting the stage for the cold war (Sulzberger 135).
World war two led to the economic crisis amongst the involved nations in Europe. It is for this reason that Japanese army had to surrender the war. The United States plunged into huge debts as a result of the war since they spent more than ninety five million dollars.
The devastating consequence of war led to the loss of millions of lives while millions of others were left homeless. This was necessitated by the use of the nuclear weapons and the emergence of the superpowers. The social changes also occurred as a result of the war, for instance millions of Germans had to leave Romania, Hungary, and Czech so as to prevent future reclaims of land.
In their quest to come up with more effective weapons to enable them conquer their enemies, the massive engineering projects and scientific research was developed in United States, Japan, and Germany. This led to the generation of a lasting effect in the manner in which the technological advancements are made to date. The major engineering projects such as the Manhattan project which was constituted during the war played a crucial role in the technological advancements.