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Wwii essay

Welcome. This website aims to enhance insight of interesting and exciting World War 2 topics. Instead of over-detailed or too technical essays, its focus is presenting and explaining why and how things happened the way they did in World War 2, with a better perspective of when they happened during that war. It’s more useful and interesting to learn about World War 2 that way.

Sections: Strategy , Battles , Weapons , People , Intelligence

The "Big picture" perspective of the strategy and war effort of the warring nations in World War 2.

  • World War 2 summary – brief answers to the key questions about World War 2.
  • World War 2 casualties – insights, and statistics by country.
  • Causes of World War 2 – the root causes of World War 2.
  • The biggest mistakes – the alternative decisions which could dramatically change the course of the war.
  • When did Hitler lose the war – an attempt to mark the time when Adolf Hitler lost the chance to win World War 2.
  • The turning points of World War 2 – a list of the great strategic turning points of the war.
  • Russia in World War 2 – the great war plan, preparations, collapse, and recovery – a revised view.
  • Timeline – the main events timeline, before and during the war.

Battles and operations

The dramatic battles and operations, from vast campaigns to small but important raids, in land, at sea, and in the air, that decided the outcome of World War 2.

  • The Battle of Britain – the key causes for the German defeat in the Battle of Britain.
  • Kursk – the greatest tank battle of the war, and the last major German offensive in the East.
  • Stalingrad – the German army’s greatest defeat, and a major turning point of the war.
  • Midway – in this battle of aircraft carriers, Japan lost the initiative in the Pacific.
  • Blitzkrieg – the German tactic of rapidly advancing tank forces and massive air support.
  • Dambusters – the daring special air attack on German dams, using bouncing bombs.
  • Doolittle’s raid – America’s first air raid over Japan, that hit Tokyo in total surprise.

From the ancient spear, to today’s GPS-guided bomb, many wars saw the appearance of new weapons based on amazing technologies, but none saw such a dramatic and diverse flow of exciting new scientific developments and new weapons as World War 2. During six years of war, the most scientifically advanced nations recruited the best minds and enormous resources to an unprecedented arms race.

Land weapons:

  • Infantry weapons – rifles, sub machine guns, pistols, and other weapons.
  • T-34 – simply the best main battle tank of World War 2.
  • M4 Sherman – the main American tank. It won by numbers.
  • German tanks – Panzers, the German tanks which stormed Europe.
  • Tiger – the most formidable German tank. Lethal, heavy, and almost indestructible.

Airplanes and air weapons:

  • Bombers – the strategic weapons that struck at the enemy’s heart.
  • De Havilland Mosquito – the most versatile and successful allied aircraft.
  • Fallschirmjager – the German paratroopers and their combat operations.
  • Fieseler Storch – the first true short take-off and landing aircraft.
  • Kamikaze pilots – suicide warfare in World War 2, and its military and cultural rationale.
  • The Manhattan Project – the making of the atomic bomb.
  • Messerschmitt Me-262 – the world’s first operational jet fighter.
  • P-51 Mustang – the American long range fighter which defeated the Luftwaffe over Germany.
  • RADAR – the technology which revolutionized air and naval warfare.
  • Stuka dive bomber – the airborne element of the German Blitzkrieg weapons.

Ships and naval weapons:

  • Submarines – they almost defeated Britain, and paralyzed Japan. Also about frogmen and human torpedoes.
  • PT boats, Torpedo boats – The fast night raiders of the sea.

Leaders, Generals, Heroes

Despite the mobilization of millions, individual people greatly affected the course and outcome of wars. National leaders, Generals and Admirals, aces and heroes, and brilliant scientists.

  • Leaders – a complete list of the national leaders of the countries which participated in World War 2 .
  • German Field Marshals – a chronological review of the German field marshals of World War 2.
  • Heinrich Himmler – the power-hungry head of the Nazi SS.
  • Adolf Hitler – founder of Nazism, dictator of Germany 1933-1945. The ultimate aggressor and the ultimate evil.
  • Joseph Goebbels – the Nazi propaganda master.
  • Hermann Goering – Adolf Hitler’s brutal and greedy deputy, and head of the Luftwaffe.

  • Medal of Honor – the highest U.S. military decoration.
  • George Patton – the master of mobile warfare.

  • Knight’s Cross – the medal awarded to Germany’s greater heroes and commanders, and its recipients.
  • Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto – Japan’s best Admiral, who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Otto Skorzeny – Germany’s commando leader, nicknamed "The most dangerous man in Europe".
  • Erich Hartmann – a young German fighter pilot who became the highest scoring ace in history, with 352 victories.
  • Hans Joachim Marseille – the most amazing fighter pilot of World War 2 .
  • Quotes – a few selected wartime quotes which are still very meaningful today.
  • Intelligence

    In World War 2, military intelligence dramatically advanced. The use of new scientific methods and technologies, as well as great human efforts involving endless work, great risks, and brilliant thinking, made intelligence become an equally important part of the armed forces, a crucial element for victory.

    • Enigma – the German military cipher machine, and the allied efforts to break its code.
    • Luftwaffe bomber wing KG 200 – this top secret unit flew the most special missions with the most special aircraft.
    • Navajo code talkers – American-Indian Marines who used their complex native language to form an unbreakable code.

    Military Theory

    How to fight? How to win? – the following essays answer these questions, and provide many concrete examples from World War 2.

    • The principles of war – the timeless rules of thumb for fighting, strategy, and tactics.
    • The mechanisms of defeat – the various material and psychological ways to achieve victory.

    Wwii essay

    World War II caused greater destruction than any other war in history. The war took the lives of about 17 million soldiers and an even greater number of civilians, who died as a result of bombings, starvation, and deliberate campaigns of mass murder. The war also ushered in the atomic age and was quickly followed by the collapse of the wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union and the beginning of the Cold War.

    World War I created the conditions that led to World War II. The peace settlement ending the war, which stripped the Central Powers of territory and arms and required them to pay reparations, left lasting bitterness in Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Turkey. The peace treaty also disappointed two of the victors, Italy and Japan. In addition, the war severely disrupted Europe’s economies and helped set the stage for the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    General histories of the war, which examine the war’s origins, military history, and consequences, include John Keegan, The Second World War (1989); C.L. Sulzberger and Stephen E. Ambrose, American Heritage New History of World War II (1997); and Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994). Valuable reference works include I.C.B. Dear and M.R.D. Foot, eds., The Oxford Companion to the Second World War (1995); John Ellis, World War II: A Statistical Survey (1993); and John Keegan, ed., The Times Atlas to the Second World War (1989). To understand the war’s outcome, see Richared Overy, Why the Allies Won (1995).

    The most thorough and balanced recent history of the American role in World War II is David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (1999), which examines the causes of U.S. involvement in the conflict, wartime diplomacy, military strategy, and the war’s economic and social implications.

    The question of how Japan was able to carry out its successful surprise attack on Pearl Harbor is thoroughly examined in Gordon W. Prange, At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor (1982). The war’s European theater is discussed in Stephen L. McFarland and Wesley Phillips Newton, To Command the Sky: The Battle for Air Superiority Over German, 1942-1944 (1991); Nathan Miller, War at Sea: A Naval History of World War II (1995); and James Polmar and T.B. Allen, World War II (1996). Soldiers’ wartime experiences are examined in Gerald F. Linderman, The World Within War: America’s Combat Experience in World War II (1997). On the Pacific War, see John Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1986), Akira Iriye, Power and Culture: The Japanese-American War, 1941-1945 (1981), and Ronald Spector, Eagle Against the Sun (1985)

    World War II transformed the American homefront. It jump-started the economy; ended Depression-era unemployment, relocated Americans in unprecedented numbers, and permanently altered the status of women, adolescents, and racial minorities in American life. The war’s impact on the homefront is analyzed in William L. O’Neill, A Democracy at War: America’s Fight at Home and Abroad in World War II (1993). Oral histories from the war years can be found in Studs Terkel, The Good War (1984).

    World War II had a dramatic impact on women’s lives. The most visible change involved the appearance of large numbers of women in uniform, as more than 250,000 women joined the WACs, the Army Nurses Corps, the WAVES, and the Navy Nurses Corps. The war also challenged the conventional image of female behavior, as "Rosie the Riveter" became the popular symbol of women who worked in defense industries. Wartime transformations in women’s lives are examined in Susan M. Hartmann, The Homefront and Beyond: Women in the 1940s (1982) and D’Ann Campbell, Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era (1984).

    World War II affected children and adolescents no less than women. In fact, the word "teenager" first appeared during the war. William M. Tuttle, Jr., Daddy’s Gone to War: The Second World War in the Lives of America’s Children (1993) traces the changes in young peoples’ lives.

    During World War II, African Americans waged battles on two fronts. They helped the country win the war overseas and pressed for equal rights at home. This dual struggle for victory against fascism and discrimination, known as the "Double V" campaign, is examined in Neil Wynn, The Afro-American and the Second World War (1976).

    The internment of 112,000 mainland Japanese Americans, one of the most shameful chapters in American history, is examined in Peter Irons, Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese Internment Cases (1983). A 1942 government report on the Pearl Harbor attack, written by Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts, which claimed without supporting evidence that the Japanese had received support from some Japanese Americans, helped to create a climate of opinion that led to internment.

    World War II marked the dawn of the atomic age. The development of nuclear weapons is thoroughly examined in Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986). The decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan remains one of the most controversial decisions in military history. Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed: The Atomic Bomb and the Grand Alliance (1975) analyzes the factors that went into this decision.

    Essay: Causes of World War 2

    Out of all the wars that the world has gone through, none has been more devastating as world war II. But what caused this war? Well, world war II had six major causes: anger over the Versailles Treaty, the failure of peace efforts after world war I, the rise of Fascism, the goals of Hitler, the isolationism by America and Britain, and the re-armament of Europe. This paper will go over each of these causes individually and then draw some conclusions about world war II.

    The first cause of world war II was the intense anger over the Versailles Treaty. Germany was very angry over two things and the first of which was the many territorial losses they had to endure as a result of the treaty. They lost two cities on the French-German border and as per Wilson’s thirteenth point Poland was re-formed with access to the Baltic Sea, which went right through Germany. Giving Poland Sea access split Germany into two parts, the main part of Germany, and a small portion to the North of the Danzig corridor. The Danzig corridor really inflamed Germany for many years, but they really could not do anything about the situation because they lost world war I. Another country that was angry over the Versailles Treaty was Italy. They were angry because they thought that the land that they had received as a payment for their participation in the Allied effort against Germany did not offset the cost of the war, nor did it satisfy their ambitions to grow. The final country that was angry over the Versailles Treaty was Japan. They were also a victor over Germany and they wanted to gain control over China as reward for their participation in the war. This, however, did not happen and they were angry over the situation.

    The second cause of world war II was the failure of the many peace efforts that occurred after world war I. The League of Nations, which was one of Wilson’s fourteen points and part of the Versailles Treaty, was a forum in which nations could settle their disputes with one another. The problem was that the League did not have any real power. The only thing it could do was try to persuade the offending nation to concede and if that did not work out they could impose economic sanctions on that country. But the league had so little power that the sanctions it passed were normally ignored and it could do nothing from that point on. Another failed peace effort was the Washington Conference. At this conference the principal naval powers agreed to limit their navies according to a fixed ratio. But again none of the powers really went through with their agreement. Yet another failed peace effort was the Locarno Conference. This conference produced a treaty between France and Germany stating that the border between the two countries was guaranteed. However, we know that this treaty failed because Germany invaded France during world war II. The final failed peace effort was the Paris Peace Act. At this conference all of the major countries, excluding Russia, and many smaller countries agreed that war was not a national policy and stated that they would try to resolve problems through diplomatic means. The only way that war was acceptable in this act was by means of self-defense. These did not directly cause world war II, but they made it possible by their obvious lack of power. Countries still did not trust each other enough to follow through with the good ideas that they had.

    The third cause of world war II was the rise of Fascism. Fascism was a movement that began before world war I, but did not become a serious political power until Benito Mussolini took control of the Italian government in 1922. Under Mussolini Italy became a Totalitarian government where labor unions were abolished and political opponents were killed or silenced. This caused many things to happen to Italy’s social and economic problems. The first of these problems was the lowered living standard of the Italian people. The people lost their eight hour work day protection and their wages were lowered by the government. Mussolini acknowledged that the living standard had gone down, but explained it by saying that the Italian people were not used to eating much anyway, so they would not feel the lack of food as badly as others. Another thing the Fascist government caused was an increased birthrate in Italy. Mussolini wanted women to have more children so that he could create a larger army in the future. In this way he felt that he could have a large army by the time he was ready to go to war for more land. Mussolini used tactics much like the communists in that he had total control over all of the Italian population and could have people killed whenever he wanted. Italy, however, was not the only country to fall under Fascism. Germany adopted this form of government only it was called national socialism. It’s leader was Adolf Hitler and it called itself the Nazi party. The Nazi party differed slightly from Mussolini’s government in that the Nazi’s were more racist and believed that it was their destiny to make the world subject to the perfect German people. They were particularly hateful to the Jewish people, which was proven after they started to exterminate all of the Jews within central Europe after world war II started. These events did not directly cause world war II, but they brought us to the brink of war. People that listened to these dictators believed that these men could bring them to world domination.

    The fourth cause of world war II was the goal’s of the German dictator, Hitler. He had a vision of the German people becoming a master race and dominating the entire world, but he also knew that he could not achieve all this during the war he intended to start. He, however, had two major goals which was to bring all of central Europe together and form a larger Germany and to create more room for Germany to grow by taking over Poland. His first move was to test the other European powers by inserting troops into Germany’s coal mining area next to France. This was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles and Hitler wanted to see how far he could push his adversaries before they would strike back. If Britain had not been so passive to Hitler they might have stopped this war before it ever started. They, however, allowed Hitler to do this because they did not want to start another war. Hitler then pushed the European powers further and further until he invaded Poland and Europe had no choice but to react.

    The fifth cause of world war II was American and British isolationism. After world war I America turned away from Europe and went back to its domestic problems. The American people did not want anything to do with European affairs because many of the debts that were accrued during the war were not being paid and Americans were very bitter. Britain also turned to its domestic problems and did not want to interfere in Continental Europe’s problems. If one or both of these countries had attempted to stop Hitler when he first came into power he probably would have been thrown out of office and world war II might have been prevented.

    The final cause of world war II was a direct result from all of the previous causes, and that is the rearmament of all the European powers. Tensions started to increase as Hitler tested the European powers and most if not all countries began to increase their armies and navies. This brought war closer because it meant that the government leaders were prepared to use force to resolve the problems that Hitler was causing, and it raised tensions even higher than they already were.

    In conclusion, world war II was not an extension of world war I, but world war I was a big cause of world war II. Most of the causes of world war II came out of the Treaty of Versailles, and if that treaty had been better there might not have been world war II. Nevertheless, world war II happened and we can only learn from the mistakes we see from the past.

    Essay on World War II (566 Words )

    Essay on World War II (566 Words )

    War is one of the most tragic things in our world today. It is even sadder that usually it comes around at least once in our lifetime. In the 20th century alone we have already had two huge wars.

    These wars are called the World Wars simply because they involved most of the big countries of the world. Many people have died in these wars especially in the Second World War.

    The leader of Germany at the time of WW II and the person who most think started WW II was a man named Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hider was born in Austria.

    By the time that World War 1 started in 1914, he was living in Germany. He served well in the German Army and for that he earned a medal for bravery. At the end of the war Hider decided to take up politics. By 1921, he has already the founding leader of the Nazi party. Hider was an incredibly racist man and he had a great hate for Jews.

    By 1933, Hider gained political power by winning the election. Soon after he made himself absolute dictator, calling himself the Fuhrer, which means ‘Leader’. By the end of the 30’s he was already sending Jews off too concentration camps to meet a horrible death.

    Hider was one of the greatest causes of World War II. Although there are many other reasons, he was definitely one of them. Another reason was the Treaty of Versailles. This was the treaty that was signed at the end of World War 1. This treaty outlined the rules that Germany must follow because of their defeat by Britain and France.

    Many Germans were angered by die treaty, for most of the rules in the treaty were unfair and Germany lost a great amount of wealth. One of the cruelest reasons for the war was Hitler’s racist hate for Jews. He would send them off in acted cars to places called concentration camps were they would be slaughtered by the thousands.

    World War II was huge and involved a lot of countries. There were thousands of battlefronts and war sites. The two main battlefronts were the battlefront between Britain and Germany and the battlefront between the Japanese and the Americans. These battlefronts were split up into smaller battlefronts even still. Many lives were lost in the air, on land and in the sea. Some of die most notable battles were: The Battle of Britain, The Battle of Midway and The Battle of the Atlantic.

    Since the US and Canada were at war with the Japanese, Japanese Canadians were treated very poorly The government had decided that all or most Japanese Canadians, even if they were born in Canada had either go home or go and live in one of the camps- These camps were made to keep all the Japanese Canadians together in one location. But the fact was that these camps were very dirty and not fair treatment.

    Also, the government took away all Japanese possessions and without the Japanese Incoming, they were auctioned off at a fraction of their original value! This treatment went on for all of World War II and Japanese Canadians were not treaty fairly for many years after. Just recently the government of Canada has decided to pay compensation for their losses but most agree that it doesn’t even come close to what they lost.

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    Essay: Causes of World War 2

    Out of all the wars that the world has gone through, none has been more devastating as world war II. But what caused this war? Well, world war II had six major causes: anger over the Versailles Treaty, the failure of peace efforts after world war I, the rise of Fascism, the goals of Hitler, the isolationism by America and Britain, and the re-armament of Europe. This paper will go over each of these causes individually and then draw some conclusions about world war II.

    The first cause of world war II was the intense anger over the Versailles Treaty. Germany was very angry over two things and the first of which was the many territorial losses they had to endure as a result of the treaty. They lost two cities on the French-German border and as per Wilson’s thirteenth point Poland was re-formed with access to the Baltic Sea, which went right through Germany. Giving Poland Sea access split Germany into two parts, the main part of Germany, and a small portion to the North of the Danzig corridor. The Danzig corridor really inflamed Germany for many years, but they really could not do anything about the situation because they lost world war I. Another country that was angry over the Versailles Treaty was Italy. They were angry because they thought that the land that they had received as a payment for their participation in the Allied effort against Germany did not offset the cost of the war, nor did it satisfy their ambitions to grow. The final country that was angry over the Versailles Treaty was Japan. They were also a victor over Germany and they wanted to gain control over China as reward for their participation in the war. This, however, did not happen and they were angry over the situation.

    The second cause of world war II was the failure of the many peace efforts that occurred after world war I. The League of Nations, which was one of Wilson’s fourteen points and part of the Versailles Treaty, was a forum in which nations could settle their disputes with one another. The problem was that the League did not have any real power. The only thing it could do was try to persuade the offending nation to concede and if that did not work out they could impose economic sanctions on that country. But the league had so little power that the sanctions it passed were normally ignored and it could do nothing from that point on. Another failed peace effort was the Washington Conference. At this conference the principal naval powers agreed to limit their navies according to a fixed ratio. But again none of the powers really went through with their agreement. Yet another failed peace effort was the Locarno Conference. This conference produced a treaty between France and Germany stating that the border between the two countries was guaranteed. However, we know that this treaty failed because Germany invaded France during world war II. The final failed peace effort was the Paris Peace Act. At this conference all of the major countries, excluding Russia, and many smaller countries agreed that war was not a national policy and stated that they would try to resolve problems through diplomatic means. The only way that war was acceptable in this act was by means of self-defense. These did not directly cause world war II, but they made it possible by their obvious lack of power. Countries still did not trust each other enough to follow through with the good ideas that they had.

    The third cause of world war II was the rise of Fascism. Fascism was a movement that began before world war I, but did not become a serious political power until Benito Mussolini took control of the Italian government in 1922. Under Mussolini Italy became a Totalitarian government where labor unions were abolished and political opponents were killed or silenced. This caused many things to happen to Italy’s social and economic problems. The first of these problems was the lowered living standard of the Italian people. The people lost their eight hour work day protection and their wages were lowered by the government. Mussolini acknowledged that the living standard had gone down, but explained it by saying that the Italian people were not used to eating much anyway, so they would not feel the lack of food as badly as others. Another thing the Fascist government caused was an increased birthrate in Italy. Mussolini wanted women to have more children so that he could create a larger army in the future. In this way he felt that he could have a large army by the time he was ready to go to war for more land. Mussolini used tactics much like the communists in that he had total control over all of the Italian population and could have people killed whenever he wanted. Italy, however, was not the only country to fall under Fascism. Germany adopted this form of government only it was called national socialism. It’s leader was Adolf Hitler and it called itself the Nazi party. The Nazi party differed slightly from Mussolini’s government in that the Nazi’s were more racist and believed that it was their destiny to make the world subject to the perfect German people. They were particularly hateful to the Jewish people, which was proven after they started to exterminate all of the Jews within central Europe after world war II started. These events did not directly cause world war II, but they brought us to the brink of war. People that listened to these dictators believed that these men could bring them to world domination.

    The fourth cause of world war II was the goal’s of the German dictator, Hitler. He had a vision of the German people becoming a master race and dominating the entire world, but he also knew that he could not achieve all this during the war he intended to start. He, however, had two major goals which was to bring all of central Europe together and form a larger Germany and to create more room for Germany to grow by taking over Poland. His first move was to test the other European powers by inserting troops into Germany’s coal mining area next to France. This was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles and Hitler wanted to see how far he could push his adversaries before they would strike back. If Britain had not been so passive to Hitler they might have stopped this war before it ever started. They, however, allowed Hitler to do this because they did not want to start another war. Hitler then pushed the European powers further and further until he invaded Poland and Europe had no choice but to react.

    The fifth cause of world war II was American and British isolationism. After world war I America turned away from Europe and went back to its domestic problems. The American people did not want anything to do with European affairs because many of the debts that were accrued during the war were not being paid and Americans were very bitter. Britain also turned to its domestic problems and did not want to interfere in Continental Europe’s problems. If one or both of these countries had attempted to stop Hitler when he first came into power he probably would have been thrown out of office and world war II might have been prevented.

    The final cause of world war II was a direct result from all of the previous causes, and that is the rearmament of all the European powers. Tensions started to increase as Hitler tested the European powers and most if not all countries began to increase their armies and navies. This brought war closer because it meant that the government leaders were prepared to use force to resolve the problems that Hitler was causing, and it raised tensions even higher than they already were.

    In conclusion, world war II was not an extension of world war I, but world war I was a big cause of world war II. Most of the causes of world war II came out of the Treaty of Versailles, and if that treaty had been better there might not have been world war II. Nevertheless, world war II happened and we can only learn from the mistakes we see from the past.

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