Causes of World War II
The causes of World War Two can be divided into long term causes and short term causes.
The Wounded Soldier
Photograph of Adolf Hitler taken on 26 October 1916 at the military hospital at Beelitz-Heilstätten, near Berlin. Hitler was sent there to recover after being wounded in the leg at the Battle of the Somme. Hitler is shown in his World War I field-hospital uniform, second from the right in the back row. Note he has a full moustache in this very early photograph!
Instagram post by Alpventures World War II Tours • Mar 15, 2013 at 7:56pm UTC
Today in WW2 history 3/15/39 Czech Pres Hácha strong-armed to accept invasion. In the evening of March 14, Czechoslovakian President Emil Hácha is summoned to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin where he is kept waiting until 1am while Hitler watches a movie. Keitel, Göring, Ribbentrop, & Adolf's personal physician Dr. Theodore Morell attend the meeting. Hácha is told that at 6am his country would be invaded. Hácha fainted twice during the negotiations and was revived by injections from Dr. More...
World War II ultimatum letter
The First World War had only finished two decades earlier, but in 1939, Germany's Nazi military machine was clearly intent on empire-building again. After months of appeasement from the Allies, Hitler invaded Poland, and Britain was jolted into action. This is Britain's final ultimatum to the Germans, written by the Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax and delivered to them at 9am on 3 September 1939. Unless forces withdraw, Britain promised to 'fulfil its obligations to Poland' along with the French.
Japan-Korea Cartoon-Even after Japan had been building its military for several years, Japanese leaders realized in 1895 that the country still had not reached the same level as the imperialist Western powers. Although Japan won the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-95 and as a result acquired Formosa and forced China to pay a large indemnity, Japan could not stand up to the other Western powers when Russia, Germany, and France forced Japan in the Triple Intervention to give up the Liaotung Peninsula
Groundbreaking the Seoul–Pusan railway. Production in Korea under Japanese rule-Control over Korea represented an essential element in the protection of Japan against Western countries due to the two countries' geographical propinquity and due to Korea's having borders with both China and Russia. Japan soon recognized that it needed control over the Liaotung Peninsula in southern Manchuria to ensure the defense of Korea.
In the late 19th century, many Japanese leaders came to believe that their country had a "manifest destiny" to free other Asian countries from Western imperialist powers and to lead these countries to collective strength and prosperity. Fukuzawa Yukichi and other late 19th century writers supported foreign expansionism and Social Darwinism, which promoted survival of the strongest cultures by a process of natural selection.
Several ultranationalist groups and writers, such as the Black Dragon Society and Kita Ikki, gained increasing popularity with their views that Japan should take leadership in Asia to expel foreign powers by means of a righteous war if necessary. Many of these ultranationalist groups believed that the moral purity of the Yamato race and Japan's unique ancestry as descendants of the sun goddess Amaterasu entitled the Japanese to such a leadership role in Asia.
A series of coercive acts, insults, and provocations by Western imperialist countries from the 1850s to the 1930s caused great anger to fester among the Japanese people. Japan's signing of unequal treaties with America, France, Holland, and Russia in 1858 placed restrictions on Japan's national sovereignty, such as extraterritoriality, which meant that foreigners in Japan had immunity from the jurisdiction of the Japanese legal system.
With Japan's heavy dependence on foreign trade, the world depression that began in 1929 caused great economic hardships for the Japanese people. This great worldwide depression came on the heels of the devastating Kantô earthquake in 1923 and economic stagnation during the 1920s, which especially hurt farmers and workers in small shops. Entering the decade of the 1930s, economic motives for Japan's imperialism became very strong in order to ensure continued foreign trade.
Manchuria's extensive land area and abundant natural resources such as iron and coal provided a ready solution to Japan's overpopulation problem and its need for raw materials to support its heavy industries, which focused on military equipment buildup. Japan seized Manchuria in 1931. Japan later moved into other countries in south Asia to ensure sufficient resources to maintain its self-sufficiency. For example, Japan needed oil from the Dutch East Indies in order to keep its industry and milit
Unemployment Mass unemployment (eg Germany) and poverty (eg Japan silk workers) caused great anger = people put in power/accept right-wing, dictatorial governments who told them their country was superior and it was OK for them to take what they wanted by force. It was the kind of thing they wanted to hear in the circumstances. 25 countries became dictatorships 1929-39.
In the atmosphere of cut-throat economic trade, the answer of countries like Japan & Italy was to build an empire – this would secure their supplies of raw materials and natural resources. Countries like Japan ( Manchuria ), Italy ( Abyssinia ) and Germany (eastern Europe), therefore, set about building an empire = international conflict and tension.
1936 EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE OF ETHIOPIA ADDRESSES LEAGUE OF NATIONS (SD).mp4
1936 EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE OF ETHIOPIA ADDRESSES LEAGUE OF NATIONS (SD).mp4-One of the most offensive displays ever in international law. Listen to the Italian noisemakers prior to his speech etc. The League really screwed this up.