Chapter 6: The Last World War 1939-1945
The Second World War was truly global. It united peoples of the world in a human endeavor. Countries from every continent became involved. The battlefields took place across Europe, Africa, Asia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. For the first time, armies opened their ranks to women, who were not yet warriors but stopped being theworkers and protectors of the home. There were new military technologies which restored mobility to armies and made aircraft the key element in naval battles. Air war derived into new war strategies. The use of new devices such as nuclear bombs is another difference of previous wars. When Japan was attacked with a nuclear bomb, it meant Japan’s surrender and in that way the end of WWII. Humaningenuity put fantastic weapons of destruction in hands of statesman and their military commanders.
In the first years of the war, German and Japanese victories destroyed the old balance of power. They were successful in recruiting people from conquered lands to help them. These people are called collaborators- those who gave assistance to the occupying German and Japanese forces. The Axis wereGermany, Italy and Japan. Their opponents, the Allies, were the Soviet Union, Great Britain and United States. They formed as a result of the Axis aggression, heir objective was the unconditional surrender (complete destruction) of the Axis empires.
Western critics condemned the failure of British and American leaders to force Stalin to accept the restoration of prewar governments in Europe. Thishappened because western people wanted prewar governments or in other words they looked for democratic government, but the Soviet Union didn’t accept this, they will stay in a communist government. When Allied countries were recovering territories in the west, and the Soviet Union were recovering territories in the East, so in these way the Soviet will transform all these new territories intocommunist and people didn’t want that. So western critics criticized British and American for accepting what Stalin said and not forcing him of being a democratic government. But what critics didn’t saw and British and Americans leaders did saw was that the Soviet Union was essential for the war, without the Soviet union, maybe Germany would have win and the Allies would have been destroyed. But at theend, these appeasement but still continually confrontations of the different political ideologies between each power, led into a bigger confrontation known as the “Cold war”.
THE EMPIRES OF GERMANY AND JAPAN
The Conquest of Europe
First phase: Germany military victories. With the neutrality of the Soviets, Germany defeated Polish forces. British and France declared war to Germany, but couldn’tsave Poland. German troops defeated France in six weeks. Nazi Germany controlled almost all Europe. Great Britain fought alone but wasn’t in a goog shape. Italy and Japan entered the war at side of Germany.
The United States: Between Neutrality and War
US isolationism weakened as German power grew. Roosevelt wanted involvement in war. He began as a supporter of Wilson’s domestic and warpolicies and has been active in the war effort as secretary of the navy. As his cousin, he thought, that the United States had to take an active role in world politics. He considered Great Britain as a valuable ally whose defeat in war would constitute a disaster for the US. His attention at the beginning was directed to domestic reform and the political struggles arising from his New Deal program.Foreign affairs constituted a secondary matter until European conflict once again intruded on American security and economic activity. The reaction of the Congress to the outbreak of the war was of noninvolment. The Congress made US neutral, it didn’t allow the US to aid with military help or any kind of trade help. US were neutral. As German grew, Roosvelt started to speak out against isolatism...