Interpretations of the Origins of WWII

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Interpretations of the Origins of WWII World War Two began on September 1st, 1939, with the German invasion of Poland, and the French and British declarations of war on Germany two days later. From even before this official beginning to the war, people have continually tried to analyze what actually brought about the most destructive war in history, with many different interpretations having been put forward. Richard Overy's argument is a complex one, involving a look at each of the major countries that entered the war from Germany in 1939, to the U.S. in 1941. Each country is looked at in detail with analyses of how each reacted to the crises in the 1930's, and what the concerns, difficulties, and attitudes were in each country. Another interpretation is PMH Bell's, who takes the thirty years war interpretation, and makes the case for it by looking at how the situation in Europe developed as a result of the underlying forces which greatly affected the decisions made. Richard Overy focuses primarily on the politics of the era in each of the major countries involved in the war separately. He argues that all the nations involved had complex motives for their actions, and highlights the importance of the links between the attitudes of the people in each country, domestic and foreign policy, and the economic situations at the time. After the dictated peace of Versailles, there was a profound sense of injustice in Germany. The humiliation of Versailles, the loss of territory and resources, and the heavy war debts forced on her by the Allies created an unstable political and economic atmosphere, that frustrated the people and destroyed the wealth of the middle class. Despite these grave problems, the Weimar Rep... ... middle of paper ... ...nce historians only have a limited view of all the incidents created by forces and people. Despite this, new interpretations are constantly being formed from new evidence, and this will likely continue for many more years to come. Bibliography: 1)Bell, PMH. The origins of the second world war in Europe. Essex, England. Longman Group. 1990, 7th impression 2)Churchill, Winston S. The second world war -- the gathering storm. Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1948. 3)Lamb, Richard. The drift to war 1922-39. London, England. St. Martin's Press. 1991, 1st U.S. edition 4)Overy, Richard. The road to war. London, England. Butler and Tanner Ltd. 1989, 1st edition 5) The new Cambridge modern history - XII The era of violence 1898-1945. Cambridge University. Cambridge University Press. 1960, 1st edition
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