World War II is the name commonly given to the global conflict of 1939-1945. It is said to be the greatest and most destructive war in world history. The World War II military operations were conducted primarily in Europe but also in Asia, Africa, and the far islands of the Pacific as well. More than 17 million members of the armed forces perished during the conflict. It caused strain on the economic capabilities of the major nations and left many countries on the edge of collapse.
The causes of WWII are too numerous and complex to be generalized. The following is said to be one of the main causes.
At the end of WWI Europe was economically impoverished and politically divided. It faced the possibility of social revolution. During the early 1920's Europe experienced an economic depression and the course of European politics was determined largely by the communist revolution, which engulfed many countries. In the late 1920's Europe achieved a measure of economic recovery. However, all hope of political stability in Europe was shattered by the results of the depression that hit the United States in 1929. In the 1930's widespread unemployment and acute distress strained social relationships in Europe. The communist movement soon overwhelmed Europe.
The triumph in 1933 of fascism, under the name of National Socialism, or Nazism, in Germany ended the threat of revolution in that country. However, the triumph of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler would prove to be more disastrous as time passed. The German society was transformed into a totalitarian state, which had withdrawn from the League of Nations. The League of Nations condemned Germany's action for denouncing the Versailles Treaty, which provided the disarmament of Germany. Hitler wanted to establish Germany as the dominant nation in Europe and one of the leading economic, political and military powers of the world. Hitler's conquests would eventually lead to war.
Essentially, the war was a conflict between two coalitions of states, designated the Axis Powers and the Allies or United Nations. The Axis Powers included Germany, Italy, Japan, and their satellites. The Allies consisted the United States, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, and their Allies.
The war began with the invasion of Poland by Germany on September ...
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...e Memorial will be located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. at the Rainbow Pool site at the east end of the Reflecting Pool. It will lie between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The chosen location will mirror the historical importance and lasting significance of World War II to America and the entire world.
Senator Bob Dole is the chairman of the national fund-raising campaign for the Memorial. The Memorial will be funded almost entirely by private contributions. The fundraising goal for the Memorial is $100 million. As of June 1999 approximately $60 million in donations had been received from corporations, foundations, veterans groups, civic associations, and states and individuals. The groundbreaking for the project is planned to begin on Veterans Day 2000.
History of WWII. World War II Overview Homepage. [On-line]. http://www.frontiernet.net.
Bernice Altwegg, personal interview. 11/18/99.
Ernest R. May. Between World Wars. Grolier Online Homepage. [On-line]. http://gi.grolier.com/wwii/wwii_2.html.
The National World War II Memorial. World War II Memorial Homepage. [On-line]. http://www.wwiimemorial.com/.
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