The cause of World War Two can be pinpointed to two main events: the brutal treatment of Germany outlined by the Treaty of Versailles and the rise of Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler had a desire to see Germany rise to supremacy after being embarrassed by the Treaty of Versailles.¹
There were many important campaigns during World War Two. The Allies were unprepared for war with Germany, since they had previously defeated them in World War One and thought they had limited Germany’s military strength through Versailles. Because of this unpreparedness, the Germans carried out their Blitzkrieg, known as the lightning war for its speed.³
Tanks, airplanes, and trucks allowed for the speedy movement of troops and supplies during this quick assault.² By May 10, 1940, the Germans had captured Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Norway, and Poland.²
The Germans then turned towards Britain but decided to attack by air instead of land troops.² North African campaigns were the first battles where Americans fought the Germans in large numbers.² Additionally, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, pushing the Americans to join World War Two.²
The Russian Battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest battles in the history of war. More than 2 million soldiers and civilians died.² The German army attacking Stalingrad finally surrendered due to supplies being cutoff and the cold Russian winter.
The D-Day invasion of Normandy was successful for breaking Hitler’s European grip. D-Day occurred on June 6, 1944. Canada was involved in raiding Normandy and successfully defeated the Germans on Juno Beach.²
Mussolini was executed in 1945 and Hitler committed suicide in the same year. On May 8, 1945, the Allies declared victory in Europe. Three months later, the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan and Japan finally surrendered.
The Germans killed more than 6 million Jews housed in death camps during the course of the war.² Many of the Jews who died in camps died of starvation. Additionally, more than a million Indian British subjects died due to famine. One million Vietnamese died from brutal treatment from the Japanese, and 418,000 Americans died fighting.² Lastly, 20 million civilians and soldiers died from the Soviet Union.²
1. The Rise of Adolf Hitler by Jeremy Noakes. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/hitler_01.shtml
3. Blitzkrieg by Robert T Foley. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/blitzkrieg_01.shtml