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The Cause of WWII

An Essay on the origins of WWII, avoidable or inevitable?

                The start of World War Two is a paradox even when put into the simplest terms. There are scholars that believe the devastation of World War Two could have been avoided and saved millions of lives in the process.  Another camp maintains that the war was inevitable and could therefore only be shortened in hopes of saving lives.  The events of the years preceding Germanys aggression in Europe, and Japans domination of the Pacific and Asia drove the world in a collision course with the destiny that we call World War Two.


                The start of World War Two can in part be traced back to the end of World War One.  The harsh reparations that Germany was forced to pay to the victors of the Great War were crippling to the German economy and created a hostile gap between the United States and the rest of the Allies.  The fact that Germany also received full blame, and were forced to admit being totally at fault, was in and of itself a tragedy that push many Germans toward the extremes of the Nazi Party.  The treaty of Versailles was in effect the document that pushed the German people over the edge toward the Nationalism that Adolf Hitler cultivated in the Fatherland.


                The ineffectual League of Nations can also be partially blamed for the slow crawl toward World War Two.  The Treaty of Versailles while providing for a supposedly non-partial means of settling differences in the World Court, left the enforcement of rulings to the largely ignored League of Nations.  This inept body was not only not ratified by United States Congress; its members lacked the backbone it took to actually enforce the decisions that were handed down.  This left the negotiation process to secret treaties, and the heads of nations scurrying to cover their collective assets.


                The demise of Imperial China was a sad factor in the drama that played out in the Pacific Theatre in World War Two.  The Empress Tsu Tsi in her spiteful bid to eliminate competition against herself named a small boy, Pu Yi as heir to the throne.  This was the catalyst that led to the communist back coup of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.  The subsequent civil war between the forces of the nationalist Chaing Ki-Shek and the Communist Mao Se-Tung weakened China and left her ripe for the picking.  Emperor Hirohito of Japan led the harvest under the guise of aiding the puppet government in Manchu-Quo.  This blatant aggression on the part of the land of the Rising Sun was yet another shove down an ever-tightening spiral toward global warfare.


                Japans overt aggression in the Pacific made inevitable the American plunge into war.  The Japanese leadership was convinced of the lack of American resolve.  This led to the expansion across the Pacific that climaxed in tragedy on December 7, 1941, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  This sneak attack on the Naval Yard in Pearl Harbor, and the supporting infrastructure of the base and city did not break the spirit of the American psyche as the Tojo, Yamamoto, and Hirohito had thought, but instead galvanized the Sleeping Giant into an irresistible fighting force that had but one goal, vengeance.


                World War Two could have possibly been shortened by U.S. intervention earlier in the war, early development of the Atomic Bomb, or Germany not invading Russia.  However, none of these occurrences were likely or even desirable.  The possibility of avoiding World War Two, with the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito in charge of three of the most powerful nations in the world, is so small as to be laughable.  This does not even take into account the political climate caused by the mistakes made after World War One that fostered the success of such men.  Sadly, evil men sometimes control a desperate nation, making war inevitable.  When that occurs, it is the responsibility of the free people of the world who have the means to resist, to stop evil regardless of the cost.