The Second World War


The Second World War Essay, Research Paper

1- The Axis

The Second World War had three major axis powers. They were Germany, Italy, and Japan. The Axis were the countries that had expansionist plans. Only Japan was not a fascist regime in the Axis. Adolph Hitler, the German Nazi leader, was the one who called upon the creation of an Axis in 1936. Italy and Japan accepted Hitler s offer.

Japan recognized the leadership of Germany and Italy in establishment of a new order in Europe. Furthermore, Germany and Italy respected Japan s leadership in East Asia. They also agreed that they would assist each other with political, economical and military means.

The main cause of World War II goes back to World War I, where Germany was defeated and humiliated. World War I caused unemployment and starvation in Germany. The surrender terms were harsh. They were forced to pay an enormous amount of money to the winning Nations, and to give up large part of its territory. Also they needed to limit there army to 100,000 men. Germany people were very angry with this terms. So the popularity of National Socialist German Workers, known as the Nazi party, began to grow. So in 1933 they took over the German government denying the surrender terms. They were lead by Adolph Hitler. He quickly began to eliminate opposition and people he didn t like such as the Jews and communist. He also began to raise a 500,000 men army.

By the early 1939, Adolph Hitler invaded some European areas, such as Austria and Czechoslovakia. Germany was determined to invade Poland. France and Britain were not worry until this point of the war, because they had the support of the Soviet Union. But Hitler, with a strategic move, made a deal with Soviet Union called the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. It said that Germany and Soviet Union would divide Poland for both of them. Britain and France would not let Poland be attacked by the Germans, so when Hitler ordered the attack, France and Britain declared war on Germany. That was the beginning of the World War II. Since Germany had the most efficient army they conquered Poland with the help of the Soviet Union. Resulting in more problems with the allied nations, France and Britain.

While this was going on, Japanese forces pushed down into northern China. They conquered two Chinese provinces rich in coal and iron. They were successful against the Chinese communist party, People s Republic of China. After invading China, Japan conquered Taiwan and most of the Pacific Islands. Japan was ruled by a military dictatorship.

Italy had been humiliated in World War I. Where they lost many battles and needed to be rescue by France and British forces. So the fascist party in Italy took over the government. They were lead by Benito Mussolini, who became Italy s prime minister. He was determined to make Italy a formidable and feared power. In 935, Italy invaded the African nation of Ethiopia. They also conquered Albania while Germany was invading Austria. The Axis were gaining more and more power but the Allies would gain a important member, the United States of America.

2-European Allies

There were three major European Allies; Soviet Union, France, and Britain. Britain and Soviet Union were the major forces. Since France was occupied by Germany after the invasion of Poland. But the Soviet Union had a Nonagression Pact with Germany which leaved Britain alone against the Axis during two years.

When Germany invaded Poland it became clear that France would be conquered too, because of that the British government wanted to move their army out of the country before it was capture or wipe out. So the British army began to withdraw toward the northern coast of France, where warships and boats of all kind were waiting for them. They were in the port city of Dunkirk. For twelve days the soldiers waited to get their place in a boat and leave France, while German force slowly advanced to that area. When the Germans got there they started to bomb the place but in what became the Miracle of Dunkirk 338,000 British and French troops were rescued and taken to Britain. The British leader, the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, warn the population that they would face a difficult war and many casualties would happen. But his speech encouraged the people not to give up. The British was now left alone in the war against the Axis powers. Some days later, German air force attacked British cities but were defeated by the Royal Air Force in so called Battle of Britain.

In 1941, Germany surprised the world by moving into Russia braking the Nonagression Pact. Soviet Union was now on the allied side. Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union leader, was a complete dictator and made his nation in a great world power. However, he was caught by surprise by the German invasion. Hitler planned to conquer Moscow and in the way he made 350,00 prisoners. The Germans marched slowly in Moscow s direction and while they did that, winter come. Russian saw the perfected opportunity to attack the German army. The attack was a successful and the Germans was not able to fight two enemies, the weather and Russian forces. Soviet Union was now able to attack the Axis and help Britain defeat them.

3- Pearl Harbor

1 Pearl Harbor Speech

December 8, 1941

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a ate which will live in infamy – th United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces – wi h the unbending determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

After that speech U.S president, Franklin Roosevelt, declared war against the Axis. Some people say that U.S government invited the Japanese attack in order to mark the entrance of United States in World War II. That is maybe right but the truth is that 3,000 American soldiers were killed in that day. The Japanese also destroyed eight battleships and over 100 airplanes.

Pearl Harbor is U.S naval base located on island in Hawaii. The United States government first used Pearl Harbor as an a repair and coaling station for ships in 1887. But during World War II it was a high-developed military station. United States joined the Allies to change World War II s history.

4-Allies Overcome the Axis

In 1942 Japan had the control of southeastern Pacific waters and German was invading Russia. The Axis lost battles in Northern Africa but they were wining all the other battles. But things would get worst and the Axis would lose many important Battles.

In the Pacific Japan gained a lot of power but now they would face his worst enemy, the United States of America. Japan swiftly invaded and occupied the Philippines, most of Southeast Asia and Burma (Myanmar), the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), and many Pacific Ocean islands. Despite the enormous initial advantage gained by its sudden offensives, Japan lost the crucial sea battle of Midway in June 1942. The American strategy in the Pacific was to use naval and local forces to advance up the islands toward Japan while smaller land forces cooperated with Chinese and British efforts on the Asian mainland.

Germans invaded Russia in 1942. They broke the nonagression pact between both countries. Germans started to go deep inside Russia. Russian army retreat most battles. But in Stalingrad the Russian army, known as the Red Army, would not retreat. In result, they forced the Germans out of their country. The battle cost Germany about 200,000 troops.

In North Africa the British, who in 1940 41 had defeated much larger Italian forces, were locked in a seesaw battle with the German Afrika Korps. In November 1942 the first Allied offensive began with U.S. and British landings in North Africa. German forces were gradually squeezed into Tunisia and were finally eliminated in May 1943.

The Midway, Stalingrad, and North African battles were the turning point to the Allied forces. They had weakened all Axis forces and could plan a final attack. Since the Axis the were vulnerable would be easy to take them down. The first Axis power to fall was Italy.

Three American, one Canadian, and three British divisions landed on Sicily on July 10. They pushed across the island from beachheads on the south coast in five weeks, against four Italian and two German divisions, and overcame the last Axis resistance on August 17. In the meantime, Mussolini had been stripped of power on July 25, and the Italian government had entered into negotiations that resulted in an armistice signed in secret on September 3 and made public on September 8. Allied Forces went deep in Italy until October 12 when the a German division stop them miles away from Rome. But the division was easily beat by the Allies and Italy was no longer a Axis power.

Germany was meanwhile preparing for an expected Allied invasion of western Europe. The invasion came on June 6, 1944, called the D-Day, on the beaches of Normandy in northern France, where 156,000 British, Canadian, and U.S. troops under the command of the U.S. general Dwight D. Eisenhower were landed. With command of the air the Allies quickly consolidated their foothold and began the advance eastward that ended in the occupation of the German homeland in March April 1945. Meanwhile, the Soviet forces in 1944 had pushed the Germans completely out of the Soviet Union and had advanced into Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania. In early 1945 they occupied the eastern one-third of Germany. At the climax of the German collapse, with Berlin occupied by Soviet troops, Hitler committed suicide on April 30. On May 8 the surrender of all German forces was signed.

Japan was left a lone in the War. United States defeated Japan in all Pacific Islands. Japan navy was completely destroyed by the Allied forces. The war in the Pacific came to a sudden and dramatic close after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945. Japan s formal surrender was signed on September 2.

5- Losses

The human cost of the war fell heaviest on the USSR, for which the total of dead, military and civilian, is given as more than 20 million killed. The Allied military and civilian losses were 44 million. The Axis dead sum up to 11 million. The military deaths on both sides in Europe numbered 19 million and in the war against Japan, 6 million. The U.S., which had no significant civilian losses, sustained 292,131 battle deaths and 115,187 deaths from other causes. The highest numbers of deaths, military and civilian, were as follows: USSR more than 13 million military and 7 million civilian, China more than 3 million military and more than 10 million civilian; Germany 3.5 million military and 3.8 million civilian, Poland 120,000 military and 5.3 million civilian, Japan 1.7 million military and 380,000 civilian, Yugoslavia 300,000 military and 1.3 million civilian, Romania 200,000 military and 465,000 civilian, France 250,000 military and 360,000 civilian, British Empire and Commonwealth 452,000 military and 60,000 civilian, Italy 330,000 military and 80,000 civilian, Hungary 120,000 military and 280,000 civilian, and Czechoslovakia 10,000 military and 330,000 civilian. Perhaps the most significant casualty over the long term was the world balance of power. Britain, France, Germany, and Japan ceased to be great powers in the traditional military sense, leaving only two, the United States and the Soviet Union.

In the economic perspective World War II had a very high price. The U.S. spent the most money on the war, an estimated $341 billion, including $50 billion for lend-lease supplies, of which $31 billion went to Britain, $11 billion to the Soviet Union, $5 billion to China, and $3 billion to 35 other countries. Germany was next, with $272 billion. Followed by the Soviet Union, $192 billions. Britain, $120 billion. Italy, $94 billion. And Japan, $56 billion. Except for the U.S., however, and some of the less militarily active Allies, the money spent does not come close to being the war’s true cost. The Soviet government has calculated that the USSR lost 30 percent of its national wealth. The full cost to Japan has been estimated at $562 billion.

World War II’s basic statistics qualify it as by far the greatest war in history in terms of human and material resources expended. In all, 61 countries with 1.7 billion people, three-fourths of the world’s population, took part. A total of 110 million persons were mobilized for military service. Seeing this results I conclude nobody won World War II. What country can win war when millions of its own people died?

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