Chapter 10: SECOND WORLD WAR
The Imperialist countries like England and France had followed a
policy of non intervention, appeasement towards the fascist
aggression's of Germany and Italy. They believed that diverting
the aggression towards communist and socialist countries like
USSR, China would be beneficial to them. However the non
aggression pact between Germany and USSR led the Imperial powers
to form a different strategy as fascist powers were now
threatening democratic countries like Poland, Turkey.
After the First World War, East Prussia had been separated from
rest of Germany and city of Danzig was now between Germany and
East Prussia. Hitler demanded that this city be returned to
Germany. However when England refused to accept this demand the
German armies marched into Poland and captured it in three weeks
as no aid reached it. France and England now declared war on
In spite of the declaration of war, no actual fighting took place
from 1939 September to1940 April when Germany attacked Denmark and
Norway. USSR attacked the independent states of Latvia, Estonia
and Lithuania, Moldova. It was believed that this was a part of
the Non aggression pact between USSR and Germany.
Fig 1: Free city of Danzig
Battle of Europe
German armies now marched towards Norway, Denmark and conquered
it. Quisling, Leader of Norway's Fascist Party collaborated with
the invaders of his own country. With Denmark, Norway in control
Hitler set sights on Belgium, Holland and France. The battle of
Belgium and Holland was completed within 1 month. In 1 week even
the French government had surrendered meekly and half of France
was given to Germany. The rest was to be used for disbanding the
French army and providing supplies to support the Germans.
The Battle of Europe had been won and now Germany had become the
dominant force in Europe. Now Hitler set his sights on
Britain the last resistance to his ambition of becoming a
Battle of Britain
The Wartime PM was Winston Churchill who declared that Britain
would fight till the last drop of blood is spilled. The British
Royal Air Force now had a mammoth task of countering the air
superiority of Luftwaffe [German Air Force] and attacking it in
Europe. With the Battle of France over the German force was
concentrating on Britain.
In this crucial time the defeat of Britain would have ended the
resistance in Europe. however the Royal Air Force successful
defended Britain and attacked German bases in Europe forcing
Hitler to postpone his attack on England.
This was a turning point of the War and the first serious
challenge to German army. German armies now focused on North
Africa and Balkans. The Italian army was repulsed from there but
the Germans successfully captured both these regions.
Alliance between Soviets and USA - Britain
The Non aggression pact was violated by Germany by attacking the
Soviet Union. Hitler always coveted the vast natural resources of
USSR and attacked it. He estimated that the Battle for USSR would
be over in 8 weeks but he underestimated the strength of the
Although the German armies initially advanced and inflicted
damages on key territories but the onslaught was halted soon. US -
Britain and USSR promised full support to each other and agreed
not to sign a peace agreement individually.
This cooperation of the two powerful opposing blocs resulted in a
victory for the allies.
Entry of USA
The US and Japan were in negotiations for their difference in
South Asia. Japan along with Germany and Italy was a member of the
Anti-Comintern pact. It recognized Germany and Italy as the
leaders of the New Order and was in turn recognized as the leader
of the New Order in Asia.
In spite of the ongoing negotiations, Japan attacked the American
fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The US Navy suffered a
huge defeat and as warships, aircrafts and personnel were lost. It
is estimated that 3000 soldiers died.
USA declared war on Japan and Germany, Italy declared war on USA.
With the entry of USA the countries of American continents too
joined the allied forces.
After destroying the US Naval base Japan saw huge victories in
colonial possessions of European countries and it had reached
borders of Indian subcontinent.
Thus in middle of 1942 the Axis Powers were at a peak.
Fig 2: Axis empire in 1942
Battle of Stalingrad
German forces were now moving towards Moscow but the battle of
Stalingrad proved to be costly for them. In all it lasted for 5
months, 2 million men, 2000 tanks and 2000 aeroplanes were involved.
But it resulted in victory for Russians. Civilian population too
supported the army in the defense of the city.
German forces surrendered and around 3 lakh soldier of German army
died in the battle.
Previously a United Nations declaration was signed by 26 Allied
nations against Germany. They agreed to pursue war till victory was
achieved and assist each other for the common goal.
Invasion of Normandy
The German army was facing serious reverse due to the attack on
Soviet Union. Already the Soviet armies had entered Romania and
Czechoslovakia. The US and British forces had defeated Axis powers
in north Africa. The also attacked Italy. Italians had turned
against Mussolini and in a revolt the Mussolini government was
removed and he was jailed. But He escaped with the help of Germans
and formed a government in North Italy with German help.
The Allies had also defeated Japan in Australia and Hawaii. The
Germans were routed from France and the allied forces were now
moving towards Belgium and Holland.
The British and American soldiers invaded Normandy the North of
France and 1 lakh soldiers had landed. The most fierce battle was
fought and Allied forces managed to open a second front despite more
casualties. This meant that German army now faced a battle on two
End of the Second World War - Surrender of Japan
In 1944, the Allied soldiers had entered Germany. Russian army
had entered Berlin in 1945, with Berlin surrounded Hitler
committed suicide in May 1945 and Germany surrendered
unconditionally. The hostilities ended on 9 May, 1945.
The war in Asia continued as Japan was still in control of large
parts of China and Korea. British and US armies had captured the
South Asian territories. Soviet army was launching operations in
Manchuria and Korea. The Atom bomb, deadliest weapon of the war
was used against Japan twice and the city of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki were obliterated.
Japan surrendered soon and the Second World War was over.
Aftermath of the WWII
The Second World War the most damaging war in the history of
mankind. It had caused los of about 5 crore lives and 2.8 crore
were civilians. The population of Germany, Poland was killed in
war was 10%, in absolute terms Soviet Union lost 20% of its
In Fascist countries a war to exterminate Jews was started and
around 6 million were exterminated in concentration and death
camps. The extent of damage done to Economy of the World was a
staggering $!0 trillion dollars.
US and scientist from other parts of the world who had come to US
fleeing fascist aggression helped build the atomic bomb during the
Manhattan Project. It was believed that Germany too was
experimenting such kind of weapon. The atomic bomb was tested
after German surrender and the team who developed it appealed to
US to not use it. But US used it against Japan and this weapon
killed about 3.2 lakh people. the damage done to next generations
in these areas is still present.
It was argued that this weapon was used to stop the war
immediately and prevent human loss.
The War had a few positive after effects as many international
organizations have come up to promote harmony and peace. Such kind
of war isn't imaginable today. Many countries saw freedom
movements peaking and achieved their independence after the war.