World War II - WW2 Summary: This article is divided into five different
sections, dealing with different aspects of WW2. The main focus
is on the years 1937-1945.
More specifically, the focus is on the period of WW2 from
September 1st 1939 through until May 8th 1945 (the war in Europe ended
in Berlin) or September 2nd 1945 (the war in Asia ended in Tokyo).
Below is a list of the five sections of this WW2 summary:
WW2 Summary - Events before the war began in Europe -
September 18th 1931, Japan occupied the Chinese province of Manchuria, a
sign that WW2 was slowly approaching. From 1931, Japan and
China were locked together in war.
appointment of Adolf Hitler as the new Chancellor of the German Reich
(Reichskanzler) by the German President Paul von Hindenburg (the
so-called Nazi seizure of power) in 1933 is another important event in
this WW2 summary. It is also notable that both Japan and German
chose to withdraw from the League of Nations.
the USSR joined the League of Nations in 1934. In 1935, Hitler denounced
the restrictions imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles as null
and void and introduced conscription, for a WW2 summary
important. The signs of a possible war were increasing with each passing
German-Italian Treaty (also known as the Rome-Berlin Axis) and the
Anti-Comintern Pact between Germany came in 1936. On July 7th 1937, a
clash between Japanese and Chinese troops near to Beijing saw the
beginning of the second Sino-Japanese war in the far east. Historically,
this is a scientifically controversial beginning of the WW2.
there were increasing signs that war was coming ever closer. The Union
of Germany and Austria - an interesting date in this WW2 summary - were swiftly followed by the occupation of the Sudentenland in
Czechoslovakia by German troops.
WW2 Summary - Blitzkrieg and its effects -
For a WW2 summary this is a important
time. WW2 commenced on
September 1st 1939 in Poland (see
WW2 start). It was in the years 1939 - 1941/2 that the
Blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) was used to devastating effect by the
German army, who made a series of surprise attacks on neighbouring
Germany’s focus shifted to countries further afield in Africa and East,
towards the Soviet Union. By the time of the Japanese Attack on Pearl
Habor (December 7th 1941) the WW2 had expanded from a European
conflict to a global one in which the United States was now involved in
Europe and Asia.
looking at the chronological sequence of events in this WW2 summary, it is striking that there is an ever-growing number
of WW2 theatres. This summary shows that the concept of world war may
now be regarded as justified. The Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan)
were at war with their neighbours to enforce ideological and economic
opponents of the Axis powers were France, England and China. Agreements
between Germany and the USSR (the Hitler-Stalin Pact) enabled both
countries to aggressively expand, with the Soviets carrying out
extensive troop movements in order to expand westwards. In this WW2 summary a important aspect.
the pact was broken in the year 1941, an important year in the context
of this summary. This was the year that the non-aggression pact between
Germany and Russia was broken as German troops moved onto Russian soil.
WW2 Summary - The turning years -
of the summary of WW2 covers the period from 1942-1943. It can
be referred to as ‘the turn’, refering to the change of fortunes for the
Axis forces. The invasion by German troops to more distant lands,
whether in Russia or Africa came to a stop. In the winter of 1941/1942
the German advance on Russia stopped in Moscow.
summer of 1942, the advance of German troops in Africa were also ground
to halt. Seen as a characteristic moment in the history of WW2, the German 6th army surrendered at Stalingrad. In Africa, The German
Afrika Crops capitulated on May 13th 1943. Two months later, in July,
Allied troops landed in Sicily.
WW2 Summary - Landing, retreat and surrender -
fourth section of the WW2 summary, the landing of the Allies
can be viewed as the beginning of the end for Germany. The Allied attack
began in 1943 with air raids on German cities during the day.
German city to be occupied by the Allies was Aachen. Warsaw was another
early city to fall. Dresden was the target of a two-day air attack. In
Japan, an American air-raid reduced more than a quarter of the city’s
buildings to rubble and ash.
summary cannot neglect the April 16th 1945 Red Army attack on Berlin.
The unconditional surrender of Germany came in May 1945, with separate
treaties being signed on the 8th and the 9th with Berlin in the
foreground. It was on these days that the WW2 in Europe ended.
continued in the Pacific theatre, however. On August 6th and 9th 1945,
the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
respectively. Japan surrendered less than a month later on September 2nd
1945 in the Bay of Tokyo, signifying the
end of the WW2 in Asia.
WW2 Summary - After the end of the
This is the
fifth section of the summary of WW2, taking in some final
considerations. All the major powers of the 20th century participated in
the WW2 in some capacity. It was not only the biggest war in
the history of humanity, it was also one with the most loss. WW2 saw 60 million die in combat, as well as victims of genocide,
repression and war crimes.
context of the holocaust, 6 million Jews perished. Let it be noted that
the above figures are not completely reliable and very much depend on
the figures given by selected sources.
WW2 saw the introduction of biological and nuclear weapons (by the United
States and Japan) as well as mechanical and chemical weapons. A strong
arms and weapons industry in all nations supplied weapons and allowed
for large-scale bombing operations of densely-populated areas (see WW2 summary - landing ,retreat and surrender).
Due to a
divergence in ideological and economic views, the Allied powers did not
remain united after the end of the war, with the Soviet Union retreating
behind the Iron Curtain.
It was in
this period that the Cold War began. The Cold War was to affect the
whole of Europe and the world in the decades to come (see After WW2 for more information). Please note, that this
WW2 summary is not complete, of course, and again that the figures can
change strongly depending on selected sources.
to WW2 History.
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