.Fromthe time of the Revolution War, all the way to the Civil War and evento the dreaded Vietnam Warfare, America remained as a country withthe most decorated and influential military leaders with impeccablewar characteristics and power. The Second World War as it may remainas one with the highest loss of lives and not just for the combatantsbut also for prisoners of war. Non-combatants were never left out asreports point out that Truman estimated that the Atomic Bomb used onJapanese twin towns, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killed several women andchildren although the information was kept top secret for politicalreasons back in the US.1.Regardless, Europe was experiencing some tensions before the warbegun from 1918 at the end of the First World War, while economieswere seeing a global meltdown during the Great Depression. It isbelieved that the resolutions of the Versailles pact created a badfeeling in the Germans which led the second global warfareculmination. Judging by this literature and more about the war, thecurrent paper aims to locate the destructive nature of the SecondWorld War and contrast the destruction with the events in Europebefore and during the war till its conclusion.
1.Destructive Nature of the War
Lossof Lives in the Second World War
Lossof lives for noncombatants and war prisoners was the highest in humanhistory of the world. Russians, Polish, and the Chinese were killedduring the war, but the highest casualties were in Russia where 28million lives were lost.2Germany had 5 million lives lost, China had the second largest deathsat 10 million, and Japan amounted to 5 million extra deaths duringthe war. Britain and the Commonwealth nations lost about 500,000lives. During the Holocaust, about 6 million Jews were surrounded andkilled across the world and both France, as well as Italy, accountedfor over 400,000 deaths. Back down to America and other smallEuropean nations such as Czech and Yugoslavia 290,000 human liveswere also lost.3All these deaths were for both combatants as well civilians who werebusy doing their duties.
Weaponsof Mass Destruction
Weaponsof Mass Destruction (WMD) used on Japan indicated the highestdestruction of human life and property. The Atomic bomb employed bythe US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan led to the loss of 250,000civilians and many more casualties in a single day within theperiod.4The application of this bomb was the one that led to the surrender ofJapanese emperor hence culminating to the end of the war globally andofficially because by then Russian had conquered Germany already.
Thewar led to mass destruction of goods and buildings especially, duringthe Britain’s Battle in London. Several buildings were crashed, andmany civilians were forced to relocate to the rural areas for theirsafety. Children and women were displaced, and businesses were closeddown since the Germans were bombarding the edifices with their aerialbombs. Britain also did the same on the German soil where it defeatedthem as well. Italy on the other attacked Ethiopia while Japan hadits share on Singapore and China towns.
Witnessesclaim that the war was full of tetanus diseases and cholera asseveral soldiers died from other unknown illnesses as well.5For instance, German soldiers were held in winter in Russia, and itis that period when Stalin ordered his soldiers to attack them.Thousands of German soldiers died of starvation because the supply offood was cut off and ailments related to cold weather aided in theirhigh number of casualties and deaths. Many soldiers had to surrenderto become war prisoners because of lack of arms, medical and foodsupply that led to their starvation.
AfterWorld War I the big five countries (the US, Britain, Italy andFrance) met in Paris to strike the Versailles treaty that punishedGermany for its involvement in the war. The agreement offered fordisarmament, the liberation of economies, and most importantly theestablishment of the League of Nations. The agreement disbanded theOttoman Empire and led to the creation of new nations such asCzechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland.
GreatDepression and Recovery
Bythe mere fact that the Versailles Treaty had placed a debt onGermany, many countries saw sporadic fall in their economies from theend of the First World War (Dickson 1938). 6Initialthoughts were that democracy and capitalism had collapsed during thegreat depression. But soon, these nations started to see some rise inthe economies with each passing year which led to the rise ofdictators such as Benito Mussolini of Italy, Franco of Spain andAdolf Hitler of Germany, among others. Countries like Britain thatembraced democracy and capitalism saw the rise of a great Chancellor,Winston Churchill and Russia gave rise to Joseph Stalin.
Dueto the fear of seeing another rise of global warfare, Britain’spremier, Mr Neville Chamberlain and France sought to please Hitler inthe policy of Appeasement in which they offered Poland to Germany.7The plan never materialized constructively. Instead, it gave room forHitler to advance in his Nazism and Fascism policy which led to theformation of Axis nations such as Japan, Italy, Germany Hungary andother countries that were afraid of Russian Communism. The union wasthe genesis of the dreaded global warfare.
TheSpanish Civil War started in 1933 but later ended in 1939 the sameyear that the Second World War broke under the leadership of anotherdictator called Franco. During the war, Germany attacked Poland onthe 1st of September 1939, and this led to his invasion of France,Russia and other nations such as Egypt. The war resulted in theunification of Britain with France as well as Russia in their pursuitof a common enemy the Germans. Regardless of its conclusion on theD-Day, it was evident that Stalin had decided to face Germany on hisown while the other nations such as Britain and Franc fought from theSouth but in unison with the US. It showed the unification towardspeace in the European countries in the years preceding 1945.
Hitler’sdeath meant that the war had come to an end and this led to theunification of the League of Nations which later resulted in theirentry into newly formed the United Nations. The Countries of Europewere now under one umbrella of lasting peace and economic recovery.During this time the US was seen as a giant that acted neutrally intrying to salvage the European economies through its well-establishedenlightenment ideologies and loans.
TheSecond World War is viewed as the most savaging and devastatingglobal warfare ever experienced in the history of the planet. Severallives were lost in millions, and the war is estimated to have led tothe development of several mass destructive weapons such as theAmerican Atomic Bomb. In contrast, it is believed that Europeaneconomies were experiencing some rise in the period from 1918 all theway to 1939 when the war began. Several nations were developed andthis time of peace was only destructed by Spanish Civil War whichended the same year the war erupted. Nevertheless, there was someform of unity in Europe through the formation of League of Nationsand even German’s withdrawal never stopped these nations intocontinuing in their rise until the end of the war in 1945.
Dickson,Keith D. World War II for Dummies. Indianapolis, Indiana: WileyPublishing, Inc, 2001. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=ufHTdPpHoi8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=what +made+WWII+more+destructive&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=fals e
Reed,Laura. “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Hampshire.edu,2017. https://www.hampshire.edu/pawss/weapons-of-mass-destruction
ProfShowalter, Dennis. “World War Two: History’s Most Savage andDevastating War.” BBC.2017.Http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/zxq4kqt.
1 1. Reed, Laura, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Hampshire.edu, 2017, https://www.hampshire.edu/pawss/weapons-of-mass-destruction
2 2. Dickson, Keith D. World War II for Dummies. (Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing, Inc, 2001), 1923.
3 3. Dickson, Keith, World War II for Dummies, 1923.
4 4. Prof Showalter, Dennis, “World War Two: History’s Most Savage and Devastating War,” BBC, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/zxq4kqt.
5 5. See note 4, above.
6 6. Dickson, Keith, World War Two for Dummies, 1938.
7 7. See note 4, above.