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Why did the Second World War break out in 1939?

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On 3rd September 1939, Britain declared war on Germany. Just two days earlier on 1st of that same month, Germany had invaded Poland, having been explicitly warned not to do so. Was this the only factor leading up to WWII? Or was there a string of events, occurring in cannon, waiting to be sparked by this final act? – Was it just the last straw? In this essay I will be explaining the four main causes of the war before analysing them and identifying their order of importance to answer these intriguing questions. One factor which contributed to the outbreak of war in 1939 was the Treaty of Versailles. It stated that Germany had to give up large areas of land such as ‘Alsace-Lorraine’ to surrounding countries and pay huge sums of money to the allies (mainly France) as reparations for WWI. It also made sure that they took full responsibility for starting the First World War, and placed restraints on their maximum army size and possible military actions - which was meant to abolish any chance of a ‘weakened’ Germany rising to power again to spark another war. As great as the attempt was, it failed drastically bringing another war upon the then, very unstable continent. This treaty upset and angered the German citizens, hurting them and their families. Germany had been in a great depression since the end of the war, and the money which they had to pay to France hindered the chances of them ever recovering from it. There was hunger and famine in the streets, people were poor, and in need of a great leader to guide them through. When Adolph Hitler rose to power in 1933, it was due to his strong feelings about overturning the treaty, and making Germany ‘great’ again. The Treaty of Versailles did a good job of casting a shadow of revenge ove... ... middle of paper ... ...ue to this intimidation and fear, and mistrusted Britain and France so he signed the ‘Nazi-Soviet pact’ with Hitler – the final major reason that WWII broke out. Also, as the allies started to realise the scale of wrongs Hitler was committing, after letting them grow – they couldn’t just stop him in his tracks like it was possible to do had they not appeased, he was too strong, and they let him gain strength. Appeasement meant that attacking with force would make for a full scale war –with two strong sides. The Nazi-Soviet Pact meant that he had an ally. Because of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Germany not only had an ally, but had the chance to invade Poland without fear of being attacked by Russia. Hitler took his chance, and invaded Poland because of his – and had it not been for the Nazi-Soviet Pact, he may not have taken this action, and the war may have never started.
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