The Causes and Effects of World War II Essay
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World War II was fought between two main opposing forces, the Allies and the Axis forces. The Axis powers consisted of Germany, Italy, and Japan being the most dominant. On the other hand, some of the countries in the Allied powers were Great Britain, the United States, France, Australia, New Zealand, India, the Soviet Union, Canada, and Greece. Adolph Hitler became head of Germany’s National Socialists Party in July of 1921. By 1933 the once unknown Hitler was given dictatorial power. As his power grew the new dictator grew more restrictive and power hungry. Books were burned, Jewish-owned businesses were boycotted, the Nazi Party was made the only party, and concentration camps were opened, all in the first year of Hitler’s…show more content…
In 1940 Italy declared war on France and Britain, the first air raids took place, and many countries were invaded and alliances were formed. The first gas chambers were used at Auschwitz, and 33,771 Jews were killed at Kiev in 1941(“World War II in Europe”). On December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the next day the United States entered the war; Britain joined the U.S. in declaring war on Japan. By the 11th, Germany declared war on the United States. The Declaration of the United Nations was signed by the 26 Allied nations on the first day of 1942. Also in 1942, mass murder began happening at Auschwitz. In 1943 Germany was defeated at Stalingrad, and Italy surrendered during invasion, although Germany then took control of the battle. Throughout 1944 Germany began retreating and surrendering from many stands and battles. The Allies invaded France on June 6, 1944 and Paris was liberated by August. The last gas chambers at Auschwitz were used in late October. Hitler committed suicide on May 7, 1945 and German forces surrendered to the Allies. An atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, and a second was dropped on Nagasaki on the 9th. Japan agreed to surrender on August 14th. In October of 1945, the United Nations was officially created. Due the scale of World War II, each country that fought had a large amount of men who were in battle. This, of course, included the
France in the World War II
The World War 2 began on September 1, 1939, when the German army invaded Poland. It ended 6 years after with the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945. This was a period of the significant amendments in the whole world. For example, the Hitler’s army managed to conquer one of the most powerful states in Europe, France. The former Empire once ruled by the dynasty of Bourbons, Napoleon Buonaparte and was considered the most progressive country during the times of Republics, it was occupied by German Army within the month after the beginning of the invasion.
Hitler initiated the operation of France, Luxembourg and Belgium invasion on May 10, 1940. In about two weeks both Belgium and Luxembourg surrendered and open their borders for the Nazi Army. The France, which declared the war on Germany, on September 3, 1939, two days after their invasion to Poland, had to ask for the help from their British colleagues. The troops of both countries did their best in order to stop the invasion. However, their attempts were in vain. The battle of Dunkirk was one of the most significant events of that time. During the battle German army surrounded the Allies troops near the city of Dunkirk. Hitler brought a lot of forces to fight the united army of Britain and France. This resulted in a massive evacuation of the Allies troops from Dunkirk. The operation Dynamo, which was aimed at evacuation, lasted till the June 4, 1940. Despite the speeches by Generalle de Gaulle, 20 days after France headed by Marshal Petain signed the documents of surrender in the town of Compiegne. It was the same place where German officials signed the surrender of the World War I. This symbolical moment encouraged the Nazis. Their army was almost invincible until 1942, when the famous battle of Stalingrad changed the course of the war. The decision of Petain is still discussed by the modern historians. On the one hand, the surrender allowed the Axis powers to move through Europe.
On the other hand, the Petain’s action saved Paris and the whole France from bombings. Most probably the cultural heritage of the country still exists only because of the Marshal. After the agreement in Compiegne, the state was divided in two different zone – one was occupied by the German army, and the second was so called free zone, which was ruled by Petain from Vichy. However, the “zone libre” was fully dependent on the decisions of the Nazi government. Therefore, the Vichy Republic was made only to create the image of the state. In October, 1940 the government initiated the anti-Jews laws. According to them, Jews were not deprived of any civil, public, industrial or commercial position. Moreover, the foreigner Jews were immediately sent to the concentration camps once found on the territory of France.
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Meanwhile the French Resistance was fighting with the Nazi regime. The situation got even worse during 1942 when Nazi powers demanded 250 thousand volunteers in order to cover their needs in new soldiers. The Zone Libre got occupied by the Axis powers by November. In 1943 Germany continued searching for workers and soldiers in France. The situation changed only in 1944, when the liberation movement started all over Europe. The famous D-Day landing took place on June 6, 1944 stating the start of the operation Overlord. Thousands of sailors and paratroopers reached the beaches of Normandy and Utah and attacked the Axis forces. Next, the Allies liberated Provence. On August 25, 1944, Paris, the capital of France, finally became French again. That Charles de Gaulle headed Allied troops on a march along famous Champs Elysees in order to celebrate the liberation of citizens. By the end of 1944 France was fully liberated and started to overcome the consequences of the war.
The World War II influenced the political and economic situation in France. Moreover, it harmed the cultural development of the Republic. The country needed years in order to recover from the massacres and horrors of the Nazi regime. Modern France seems to be fully rehabilitated after the war, and it seems that the French people are fully confident in their future despite the economic crisis and cultural problems they face.