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What Caused The Second World War? Who Was To Blame?

2324 words - 10 pages

Britain and France on Germany declared war, September 1939. World War II lasted for six years killing millions; injuring and traumatizing many more. Two decades earlier, World War I had taken place also killing, injuring and traumatizing millions. How was it that even with the creation of the Treaty of Versailles aiming to limit Germany's power and prevent another war; twenty years later Europe was once again plunged into chaos.Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party with their aggressive policies and actions, in my opinion, are to blame for the war. However, many others are responsible for allowing Hitler and Germany to be in this position and infact, the Treaty of Versailles, aiming to prevent ...view middle of the document...

In October 1933, soon after coming to be dictator of Germany, Hitler showed his contempt for the Treaty of Versailles by withdrawing from the League of Nations, which also showed his lack of desire for peace. At the same time he also withdrew from the disarmament conference again showing peace was not a big priority for him. Infact he straight away, against the Treaty of Versailles, began to build up Germany's army, navy and air force (Luftwaffe), spending a huge proportion of Germany's income on the military; in 1935 Hitler introduced conscription. Hitler also, chiefly through propaganda, attempted to increase Germany's birth rate; perhaps preparing for a much later war or great losses. He also started the 'Hitler Youth' where young boys were indoctrinated with Nazi ideas and trained to fight and accept war. Hitler thought Germany had lost W.W.I as they had to rely on other countries for war materials and this is why he wanted to achieve autarky (self-sufficiency) in Germany. His introduction of the four-year plan seems to us to be an obvious way of Hitler saying he wanted a war. The plan aimed to make Germany self-sufficient in war materials such as steel, rubber and oil. Infact, the amount of money invested into the industry and military meant Germany needed a war to stop its economy from collapsing (one can rape a country of its materials once it has been conquered). Hitler taking the Rhineland and annexing of the Sudetenland, although aggressive, was reasonable as both contained mainly Germans. His 'pressurized' take over of Czechoslovakia however was a lot different as it contained few Germans. It was not a reversal of the Treaty of Versailles but Hitler's first striving for Lebensraum. The final straw was Hitler's 'Blitzkrieg' (lightning war) of Poland. France and Britain thought that Hitler had overstepped the line in his take over of Czechoslovakia, so they stated that they would stand by Poland in case of war. Hitler wrongly thought that this was an idle threat so attacked, and thus, W.W.II was declared.Although France and Britain declared war I think we can blame Hitler. He was the aggressor who at all times seemed to be preparing and encouraging a war. However, Hitler never wanted a war with Britain and France and we must, as well as blame, address the issue of responsibility, which many hold.Britain, France, America and Italy signed the Treaty of Versailles in 1919; Germany was only invited to listen to their fate being discussed. In the treaty Germany:* lost lots of land including West Prussia, North Schleswig and Danzig as well as the Saarland for 15 years and the Rhineland demilitarized.* had their army limited to 100,000 men no tanks or aircraft and only 6 battleships* had to accept responsibility and blame for the war and thus:* had to pay 6,600 million dollars in reparationsGermany as the losers of the war had to accept the Treaty. It made their once strong country weak and responsible for a war, which seemed to have killed...

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