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[Pb]Cybermat47

Why does WWII start in 1939?

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It’s generally accepted that WWII started on the 1st of September, 1939. Germany invaded Poland, and Britain and France joined the war a few days later to aid Poland. Japan and America entered the conflict after Germany declared war on the USA on the 11th of December 1941, and so WWII ended on the 2nd of September 1945 with the Japanese surrender.

 

But this timeline of WWII doesn’t take into account that, on the 7th of July, 1937, Japanese troops entered into Chinese territory and exchanged fire with Chinese troops. In the following days, Japan launched a full scale invasion of China. The conflict would claim 31 million lives, a death toll far higher than that seen on the Western Front at the same time.

 

In the 9th of December 1941, China joined the Allies and declared war on Germany and Italy, bringing the European Axis into the Asian front of the war two days before they were at war with America. China would receive support from the Commonwealth, USA, and Soviet Union. The war ended on the 9th of September, 1945, with the surrender of all Japanese forces in China.

 

To me at least, it makes more sense to view WWII as starting in 1937, given that the “Sino-Japanese War” was concurrent with WWII, and was fought between the same nations.

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To me at least, it makes more sense to view WWII as starting in 1937, given that the “Sino-Japanese War” was concurrent with WWII, and was fought between the same nations.

 

It's an interesting point but the first Sino-Japanese war started in July 1894.  Or have you thought about the Spanish - American war of 1898?  It had a global reach.  Was that the start of WWI?

 

Or did it start with the Spanish civil war or the Italian invasion of Abyssinia or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria?

 

I think the definition is made when hostilities became a general conflagration i.e.  between several states.  1st. September 1939;  Germany invades Poland, shortly afterwards the UK and France declare war on Germany and the Soviets invade Eastern Poland.

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I think the definition is made when hostilities became a general conflagration i.e. between several states. 1st. September 1939; Germany invades Poland, shortly afterwards the UK and France declare war on Germany and the Soviets invade Eastern Poland.

 

Yes...that is.....the countries that tend to make or frame our cultural context for things. :salute:

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Yes...that is.....the countries that tend to make or frame our cultural context for things. :salute:

 

Very true :salute:

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I think the definition is made when hostilities became a general conflagration i.e.  between several states.  1st. September 1939;  Germany invades Poland, shortly afterwards the UK and France declare war on Germany and the Soviets invade Eastern Poland.

That’s a fair way of looking at it. It does make sense.

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‎28 June 1919

 

Mmmm......dunno.....how about 23rd. July 1914?

 

This could be endless really.......... :)

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As others have said, 1939 was when a large number of states got involved. Prior to that, after WW1, the wars were more limited in scope and participation.  The other point to mention is that both the UK and France were global powers, which is not true of either Japan or China, so once they got involved the war was going to affect "the world" one way or another.

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Japan & China was not a 'World War', it was a 'Local War'.  It became a World War when Poland was invaded because we had an agreement which meant that Germany invading Poland caused Britain and France to be at war and this meant the conflict potentially spanned the World due to Britain & France having interests from Australia through Asia etc..  You could argue though that in 1939 the European War did not encompass Japan & China so was not 'The World' and that the Sino-Japanese War was separate in 1939.  Also America was not part of it (Unless Canada being involved allows you to say that continent  was involved). 

 

It is certainly not a Black & White definition because the Napoleonic Wars also included most of Europe, inc Russia and also colonies round the globe and Canada as well as some collusion with America.

Edited by 56RAF_56RAF_Roblex

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It is certainly not a Black & White definition because the Napoleonic Wars also included most of Europe, inc Russia and also colonies round the globe and Canada as well as some collusion with America.

 

I think a good case can be made for the Napoleonic wars being the first 'world' war.  What would that make WWI?  The first 'industrial' war?  

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1st August 1914. When World War I officially began. It was ended by an armistice

  • An agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce - OED

which is by no means the same thing as a surrender. The next 21 years were merely the waiting for the right conditions for fighting to break out again.

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1st August 1914. When World War I officially began. It was ended by an armistice

  • An agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce - OED

which is by no means the same thing as a surrender. The next 21 years were merely the waiting for the right conditions for fighting to break out again.

 

Errr...no.  WW1 was ended by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 after negotiations that began after the Armistice. Germany signed it, and hence the state of war with the Allies ended.

 

Unfortunately, because Germany was not occupied and partitioned as it was after WW2, everyone had to do it all again. 

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Errr...no.  WW1 was ended by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 after negotiations that began after the Armistice. Germany signed it, and hence the state of war with the Allies ended.

 

Unfortunately, because Germany was not occupied and partitioned as it was after WW2, everyone had to do it all again. 

 

I still maintain that the Armistice, and the fact that no-one actually lost WW1, is the main argument for regarding WW2 as an extension of WW1. Yes, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles is accepted as officially the end of WW1, and maybe a treaty that was less punitive towards the Germans might have seen it through, but as we all know the ToV did very little except breed the conditions for war in Europe to break out again later.

Now, if the ToV had tried to implement the occupation and partition of Germany, a la Potsdam Conference, then would Germany have signed even with all of its manpower and economic problems? Perhaps WW1 would have continued there and then... and carry on until Germany actually had to really surrender.

 

Just my tuppence-worth, of course. :salute:

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I still maintain that the Armistice, and the fact that no-one actually lost WW1, is the main argument for regarding WW2 as an extension of WW1. Yes, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles is accepted as officially the end of WW1, and maybe a treaty that was less punitive towards the Germans might have seen it through, but as we all know the ToV did very little except breed the conditions for war in Europe to break out again later.

Now, if the ToV had tried to implement the occupation and partition of Germany, a la Potsdam Conference, then would Germany have signed even with all of its manpower and economic problems? Perhaps WW1 would have continued there and then... and carry on until Germany actually had to really surrender.

 

Just my tuppence-worth, of course. :salute:

 

Germany signed Versailles because they lost WW1 and they knew it. Initially various German bigwigs refused to sign - so they were given an ultimatum. Sign, or The British and French armies that were parked on their borders would invade and impose a punitive peace. So they signed. Their army had self disbanded, they were starving - still under blockade -  and flat broke.  If the Allies had invaded they would have occupied the entire country in a couple of weeks - the German army had ceased to exist as an organized force. 

 

The German government lied continually and extravagantly to it's people about the course of the war during WW1: so when the army started to collapse people believed that it must have been due to a conspiracy.  The lie that Germany did not lose WW1 is the main cause of WW2, combined with the Versailles terms being nowhere near punitive enough.   After WW1 Germany was perfectly capable of paying reparations - they chose not to do so.   

 

The fact is, the terms imposed after WW2 were far more punitive in most respects: Germany was partitioned indefinitely and occupied by large allied and soviet armies, de-nazification stripped out many levels of leadership, including large numbers of prosecutions and executions.  New systems of government were imposed, the new administrations, west and east, very clearly understood that they existed on the terms set by the victors.  Remember that the Marshall plan did not get going until 1948. 

 

If WW2 terms had been imposed after WW1 there is a chance that the tragedy of WW2 would not have happened. But only a chance: it is possible that having all their cities reduced to rubble by allied bombing was necessary to make the German people finally realize that supporting governments eager to spread German rule by force throughout Europe was a bad idea. 

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