The Viking

723 Words3 Pages
Subject: Explain how World War II is a total war.

Total War

By 1939 France and Great Britain had declared war on Germany. Germany had invaded Poland and was working towards European domination while on the other side of the globe Japan had launched a massive attack on China and Korea and was steadily moving over the Pacific in an attempt to gain complete control over Greater East Asia. Italy was attempting to conquer the Mediterranean and was, thus far, triumphant. All was being broadcast globally on the radio. This was becoming a war unlike any in the 20th century, even the First World War couldn’t compare to this gruesome fight against fascism, communism and world domination. For the first time ever there was a war on nearly every continent and ocean as well as every head and heart. This essay will examine how the media, economic and militaristic mobilization as well as the ideological opinions contribute to the view of the world being engrossed in what has now been called "the last noble war".

This war characterized itself by the complete mobilization of man and his resources. Governments are soliciting the public for money: raising taxes, requesting the buying of war bonds, using every reserve they have including colonies, for soldiers and textiles, for example: coal, steel etc… Also there are strategic bombings of large cities, for the first time civilians fall victim, in great numbers, to the destruction of war. 50,000,000 people died in WWII, approximately 17,000,000 were civilians. With the help of the Nazis the term "genocide" was defined in this war. No genocidal attempt had ever achieved the same amount of success as Hitler’s racial cleansing. This along with Communist Russia only fueled the war time propaganda.

"Lebensraum", "La Grande Croisade, Légion des Volontaires Français contre le Bolchevisme", "Battle of Germany-Join an Air Crew". All of these are slogans or captions of posters propagandizing the war effort on the home fronts. Radios all over the world were broadcasting speeches from world leaders encouraging everyone to do what they can in support of the war effort. Posters and flyers everywhere were distributing the country’s propaganda, urging the public to buy government war bonds and, at least in the US, requesting that women sacrifice their pantyhose to be used for gun powder sacks and other nylon materials. Because of the radio publicity the war is being broadcast into every home around the globe and the soldiers are no longer the only ones to be involved in the war.

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