|Above: Picture taken from a WWII-era Woody Woodpecker cartoon.|
The Heart Of World War IIAuthor: Paul Wise
World War II continues to capture the imagination like no other conflict in history. A large part of this may well be because it is the most recent traditional war - as popularly imagined. While any number of large-scale conflicts have arisen since then, none have been "traditional" as World War II has been. Most wars are between generally unequal powers. After all, no one bothers fighting unless they think they can win - or are forced to.
However, in World War II, though it started out as the usual big-power-attacks-small-power conflict, big powers - the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union - soon joined in and the conflict expanded worldwide almost overnight. Thus World War II was the kind of war we all know and even "love" - a "set-piece" conflict with a real good versus evil theme.
For most wars are over trifling matters; a hill here, a river there. World War II was literally a cultural war, where not only territory was at stake but the very nature of civilization itself, the form it would take for the next several decades or, even, as envisioned by Adolf Hitler, centuries. WWII's case involved the most amount of nations which had 2 military operating alliances, the Allies and the Axis, which began at the beginning of September 1939 with an unseen invasion by Poland.
This was the most widespread battle throughout history, with over 100 million personnel mobilized. It was the only war which contributed global saturation by use of deadly nuclear weapons that have also changed the face of this earth. Not to mention the brutal actions against civilians known as the Holocaust. It has the highest number of fatalities of over 50-75 million casualties. This battle was mostly for power rather than the unconditional relief of another. The United Nations was then instructed and practically developed for the sake of international cooperation to prevent another war. But as the superpowers emerged as rivals, cooperation soon transformed into "The Cold War", which was later resumed by U.S.A. and the USSR for the next 46 years.
It was a war to determine the way of life that should exist in Europe, and by extension as the world's center of geopolitical gravity at the time, the whole planet. Another factor accounting for the enduring appeal of World War II is the personalities of its leading antagonists. Although Japan(Hirohito) and China(Chiang Kai-Shek) were already at war since the beginning of 1937, the support which lost the naval battle against the US, Franklin D. Roosevelt, reluctantly made the invasion on Home Islands imminent and had also lost their chance to expand towards East Asia.
Adolf lost as well just about the same time the Japanese naval battle was lost, except Berlin was to encounter the final attack by Joseph Stalin and the Soviets. The Soviets then took over Berlin which consequently sent an unconditional surrender letter by the SS Germans in May 1945, which was also the conclusion of the life-long battle of World War II. As soon as this was settled, the aforementioned superpowers were at their own war with weapons ready to fire at one another. The European colonies recovered economically as well as the decolonization of Asia and Africa. The battles were bloody and fatal, the weapons showed no mercy, but the outcome was the greatest feeling to have ever attained by the allies, victory lead towards a new beginning.
There was Winston Churchill, an imperialist leading the charge against Hitler in the name of "freedom;" there was Roosevelt, a blue-blood with especially democratic beliefs allied with the imperialist Churchill and a totalitarian dictator no better than Hitler, Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union, whose own anti-Semitic views and actions were simply overlooked. Then there was the gangster-king Chiang Kai-Shek in China and his equally brutal nemesis Mao Tse Tung, battling for control of one-fifth of humanity against the also-brutal cabal of military nationalists in Japan.
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Article by Paul Wise. When it comes to analyzing the concepts of World War II, Paul recommends Articlesassets.com for detailed analytics.