The Second World War occurred two decades later after World War I and it had extremely destructive effects to all its participants. This war began after the German invasion of Poland in 1939, which made Great Britain and France come to action (Hall). Two years later, the USA was also forced to enter World War II. This war is regarded as the cruelest and the most devastating war of all times. It took nearly 60 million human lives and destroyed more property and land than any other conflict. World War II had numerous reasons for its occurrence. Therefore, this essay deals with the causes of the conflict, the entrance of America into the war, and the way the war ended in Europe and the Pacific.
The first reason for the war lies in the terms of the Treaty of Versailles that blamed Germany and Austria-Hungary for the outbreak of the First World War. The treaty forced both of the countries to pay high reparations that contributed to the territorial breakup. Unhappy about the terms, on which Germany had ended the war, the German people doubted in their new government and voted for a man who had promised to fix the situation. This man was Adolf Hitler.
The second and the most fundamental reason for the war was the desire of the European countries, particularly Germany, to rule the world. In 1934, Adolf Hitler, who already was a Reich Chancellor at that time, started consolidating power (History.com Staff ). He called himself a supreme leader, or Fuehrer, and he was obsessed with the idea to acquire the necessary living space for his race that he described as the Aryan race and that he considered superior to other races. Hitler maintained that war was the only method to achieve his goal. He realized that no country would oppose him as far as his open aggression against Austria and Czechoslovakia had remained unnoticeable, the Soviet Union and the USA were engaged in their internal affairs, and both Britain and France still had not recuperated fully after the First World War (History.com Staff).
The third reason was based on the failure of the League of Nations, the organization created to maintain peace in the world. The major tool of the League was asking members to stop trading with the aggressive states, but most of the countries were unwilling to adhere to this rule. Moreover, the League of Nations had no army and it did not react quickly to the display of aggression (“World War Two – Causes”).
During two first years of the war, the USA did not participate in the war, but the Japanese attack in December 1941 on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii surprised Americans and compelled Congress to declare a war on Japan (Hall). In such a way, the USA entered the war. Moreover, after it had happened, Germany declared war on America. The Battle of Midway became the turning point in America’s war against Japan, when in June 1942 when the American Pacific Fleet gained victory over the Japanese forces (Hall). A considerable amount of assaults on the Japanese islands in the Pacific helped the Allied forces invade Japan.
In the Second World War, there were two Victory Days. The first victory day was announced on May 8, 1945 after all German forces had surrendered (Hall). At the Potsdam conference held by Stalin, Churchill, and Truman, the USA, Britain, the Soviet Union, and France agreed that the Allies would control the defeated Germany by dividing it into the zones of occupation. The second victory day was declared on August 14, 1945, when the Japanese government also accepted the Potsdam Declaration and its conditions after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Hall).
To conclude, the Second World Was is viewed as the most horrible war than ever before. The fundamental reasons for it were the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler’s desire to rule the world, and the failure of the League of the Nations to maintain the world peace. In 1941, the USA joined the World War II and declared a war on Japan. The Second World War ended in 1945 when Germany and Japan officially surrendered and accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration.