Second World War
August 13, 2022
The Second World War is the largest and deadliest armed conflict in human history. According to the most common point of view, its beginning can be linked to the German attack on Poland on September 1, 1939. However, some people already count the war from July 7, 1937, when the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out. However, according to some historians, the military conflict of these two countries in the Far East has not yet spread to many parts of the world, so it can be interpreted as local in nature and considered a close precursor to the World War. The war ended with the unconditional surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945 in Europe, and Japan's unconditional surrender on September 2, 1945 in Asia. In World War II, the Allies and the Axis Powers faced each other. In the beginning, the Axis powers were mostly victorious in the battles, then in 1942 the Allies advanced on the Eastern European, Pacific, and African fronts, and finally the Axis powers were completely defeated. Nearly seventy nations took part in the wars fought on the European, Asian and African continents, resulting in the loss of more than 73 million lives, including killed civilians and fallen soldiers. The world political situation created after the First World War with the peace treaties around Paris (the Treaty of Versailles; the Treaty of Trianon; the Peace Treaty of Saint-Germain; the Peace Treaty of Sèvres) greatly contributed to the outbreak of the war. The World War was accompanied by acts of violence against the civilian population and prisoners of war on the part of both blocs. In the occupied territories, the warring parties regularly terrorized the local population, among which the abuses committed by the Japanese in China and Manchuria, by the Germans in the occupied Soviet territories, and by the Soviets in Eastern Europe stand out. The Western Allies carried out terrorist bombings against Germany and Japan, which often resulted in many deaths, as in the case of Dresden, Hamburg and Tokyo(wd). At the end of World War II, two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, resulting in the horrific deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. There were several genocides during the World War, but in terms of the number of victims and the method of perpetration, the Holocaust that claimed the lives of millions of people of Jewish origin stands out. After the Holocaust, the winners in Europe in the Nuremberg trial, while in the Far East in the Tokyo trial, German and Japanese leaders were judged war criminals. The Peace of Paris, which ended the World War for the majority of the warring parties, was concluded in 1947. The map of Europe was redrawn, the Soviet Union gained significant territories. The borders of Poland were pushed further west, and in return the country was compensated with German territories. After the war, relations between the two former allies, the Soviet Union and the United States of America, deteriorated, and a new world-wide conflict, the Cold War, began. The period between 1914 and 1945 is called by some the period of the Second Thirty Years' War. As early as 1946, Charles de Gaulle declared: "The drama of the Thirty Years' War, which ended with our victory, included many unexpected events." Sigmund Neumann wrote about this theory in his book, and according to him, like the First Thirty Years' War, the great war of the early 20th century was the result of several smaller conflicts. István Ravasz also wrote a book with a similar approach.