World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series (link)
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If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series.

Causes & Origins of WWII

Causes and origins of World War II - Resources, ideology and WW1 legacy.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Documentary Films, Adolf Hitler, WW2 Tanks, Royal British Nazis, Nazi Memorabilia.

World War II started due to misconceptions regarding economics?
Goebbels: A Biography shows how much damage can be done by misconceptions regarding economics. The private diaries of Goebbels indicate that the National Socialist leaders of Germany believed that natural resources were the only and/or primary foundation for a nation`s wealth. For people coming of age in the early part of the 20th century, this made sense. The modern examples of resource-poor countries becoming rich via intelligence, education, and hard work did not exist.
(harvard.edu)

Stalin`s Grand Design to start World War II -thread at Axis History Forum
Stalin`s Grand Design to start WWII -thread at Axis History Forum includes some interesting (but highly controversial) documents (from Soviet archives). Stalin`s speech: "The experience of the last 20 years has shown that in peacetime the Communist movement is never strong enough to seize power. The dictatorship of such a party will only become possible as the result of a major war... Our war plan is ready ... We can begin the war with Germany within the next two months ... The peaceful policy secured peace for our country ... Now, however, with our reorganized army, which is technologically well prepared for modern warfare... we must now go from defense to attack."
(forum.axishistory.com)

Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)

Japan wanted to become a colonial power, just like the Western powers
The far east has often been seen as a minor World War II theatre. This view needs to be reversed. The great Asian war had a huge momentum: Combat began in 1931 and there was barely a pause when Japan surrendered in August 1945. The roots of war lay in western imperial competition in Asia and the quest of newly modernising states like China and Japan for power and equality. Japan`s industrialisation, like that of the west, required privileged access to raw materials overseas. In 1931, Japanese armies took over the mineral-rich Chinese province of Manchuria. To Japan, to be a modern power was to be a colonial power.
(guardian.co.uk)

Hitler’s Attack: How World War Two Began - German-Polish WWII documentary film
Deutsche Welle and TVP Polonia publicized the film "Hitler`s Assault: How World War Two Began" - a groundbreaking German-Polish documentary about the beginning of World War II - with the premiere at the Polish Institute in Berlin. 70 years after the Nazi invasion of Poland, this documentary film was created by filmmakers from both countries to explore this dark chapter in German-Polish history from different perspectives. "70 years after the outbreak of the war... we must once again examine this period - but by way of facts and knowledge rather than prejudices and myths," said Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy.
(pr-inside.com)

The world’s largest security organisation OSCE: Soviet Union as guilty as the Nazis for WWII
The Soviet Union under Stalin was as guilty as Nazi Germany for World War II, the world`s largest security organisation has stated. The verdict in a resolution published by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe has outraged Russia which lost 26m people in the war. The organisation based its conclusion on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 which was the precursor to the later inferno. The pact, named after the Soviet and Nazi foreign ministers of the time, divided the Eastern Europe between Moscow and Berlin. This made the Soviets equally responsible for the resulting catastrophe which claimed 50million lives, says the OSCE.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Hoover Pavilion exhibit explores buildup to World War II
Italian troops march into Addis Ababa in May of 1936, setting the stage for an occupation of Ethiopia. A year later, smoke rises over Shanghai Harbor while residents flee Japanese bombs. Soon, Nazi troops hide in the woods near the Austrian border, ready to invade. It`s 1938. The official start of WWII won`t come until September 1939, when Nazi Germany invades Poland. But war is already raging around the world. With photos, posters and WW2 militaria collected, "Shattered Peace: The Road to World War II" tells the story of how widespread global disorder snowballed into history`s deadliest conflict.
(stanford.edu)

Ian Fleming urged appeasing Adolf Hitler a year before the start of World War II
Ian Fleming urged appeasing Adolf Hitler`s Nazi Germany a year before the start of WWII. He criticised those who thought a more aggressive approach was needed, calling them "the dangerous counsels of the slaughterhouse brigade". He thought a deal could be done which would allow Germany to return to its pre-war strength in exchange for a strict disarmament pact. Fleming`s comments, which many in UK shared, were set out in a letter, which is stored and unseen for decades. He argued that if Hitler`s territorial ambitions were limited to the aims he outlined in Feb. 1920, then Britain should step back from war.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Was WW2 inevitable? Human Smoke prompts reassessment of conflict
In 1937 Winston Churchill wrote, in Great Contemporaries, "Those who have met Herr Hitler... have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed functionary with an agreeable manner, a disarming smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism." He carried on to say that "We may yet live to see Hitler a gentler figure in a happier age." He also asked: Who was Trotsky? "He was a Jew... Nothing could get over that." Captain Philip S. Mumford asked: "What is the difference between throwing 500 babies into a fire and throwing fire from aeroplanes on 500 babies? There is none."
(dispatch)

How Americans Have Been Misled about World War II
The blame for WWII is not as cut and dried as Americans assume it to be. They often take the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor and the German declaration of war as evidence that Japan and Nazi Germany started the war. In truth, the U.S. had been at war for a long time before these events. The U.S. carried out "shoot Germans on sight" convoys, even though German U-boats refrained from attacks on American shipping. The U.S. and Great Britain had arrangements to pool intelligence, combine weapons development, test military equipment jointly, and undertake other forms of war-related cooperation.
(independent)

Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization
On Dec. 7, 1940, the Air Ministry of Great Britain sent a secret memo to Winston Churchill. 100 planes could deliver "the most destructive possible bombing attack against a selected German town." The govt authorized the operation. John Colville noted that the protests against targeting civilians "have been overcome." With decisions like it, Nicholson Baker claims, UK and US lost the moral high ground. To save civilization, they savaged it, by using their enemies` tactics, committing crimes against humanity. The heroes are the pacifists of the 1930s and 1940s. Prosecuted, they "tried to save Jewish refugees, feed Europe, reconcile the US and Japan, and stop the war..."
(boston)

Battling Bolshevism - The World on Fire by Anthony Read
In 1919 the historic German, Habsburg, Ottoman and Russian empires had all collapsed. The Western powers were panic-struck, and split over how to stop Bolshevism. Winston Churchill wanted to start a military campaign to topple the Russian government: "one might as well legalise sodomy as recognise the Bolsheviks." Woodrow Wilson idealistically set up the League of Nations, while Georges Clemenceau devised a different policy each week. Finally they blockaded ports and sent troops to a few areas in Russia to aid the White Russians in their war against the Reds. The Americans` reaction to the Red menace was predictable: all displays of the red flag were banned.
(telegraph)

Endgame 1945: Victory, Retribution, Liberation by David Stafford
David Stafford`s book is a corrective to the view that there was anything clean about the wretched way in which peace staggered into the space vacated by the war. He tells the story of Götterdämmerung by focusing not just on the gods - though the tales of Adolf Hitler`s, Heinrich Himmler`s and Benito Mussolini`s pathetic ends get yet another outing here - but on ordinary people with their worm`s-eye view of World War II. Fred Warner, a refugee from Nazi Germany, parachuted into Austria as an SOE agent fixed to wreak his revenge; while American GI Robert Ellis and British Commando Bryan Samain saw the turning of yesterday`s dangerous foes into silent `friends`.
(telegraph.co.uk)

The true blue blueprint behind Hitler`s blitzkrieg: "Achtung - Panzer!"   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Ggeneral John Monash`s plan for the Battle of Amiens in France in 1918 won WWI, when 102,000 Diggers defeated 2 German armies, and ended any hope that Germany could win. In 1937, Hitler read about Amiens and how the Allies won, in "Achtung - Panzer!" by Heinz Guderian. Until then the defeat had been a mystery to the future fuhrer, who had been a corporal during the war. In 1937, excited by the possibilities of the Monash battle blueprint being used for his ends, Hitler contacted Guderian for a show of a tank attack backed by infantry, planes and artillery. While viewing field exercises Hitler said: "That is what I want; that is what I will have!"
(theaustralian)

5 best books about major WWII decisions by historian Ian Kershaw
(1) Libraries of works have explored the background to the war that began in 1939, but the best is Donald Watt`s "How War Came." With unsurpassed knowledge of the diplomatic records of the main players, he unfolds the drama that ran between the Western powers` sellout of Czechoslovakia at the Munich Conference of Sept. 30, 1938, and the decision to go to war 11 months later. (2) "The Road to Stalingrad," the first volume of John Erickson`s 2-volume "Stalin`s War With Germany" examines one of the most extraordinary WWII stories: how the Soviet Union was able to survive the German onslaught in 1941 and begin to turn the tables.
(wsj)

Russia beat the Third Reich, Britain contributed only 5% and the United States under 20%
The attack on the Third Reich was a joint effort, but the lion`s share of victory in Europe can be awarded only to Stalin`s Red Army and it is a fantasy to think that he was fighting for democracy - in the first 22 months when the Wehrmacht occupied 8 countries, the Red Army occupied 5. Separating the facts from the WW2 myths and the propaganda is not easy. 75%-80% of German losses occurred on the eastern front, the western allies accounted for only 20%-25%. Since the British Army had only 28 divisions, and the American army 99 divisions, the British contribution to victory must have been in the region of 5%-6%.
(timesonline)

Path to World War Two - Tensions Rise
The rise of Fascist leaders threatened American neutrality in the 19 thirties. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party created the most obvious threat. But there was also Benito Mussolini in Italy and Francisco Franco in Spain. These leaders challenged the security of some of America`s closest allies. Hitler`s invasion of Poland and the beginning of war in 1939 made Americans wonder if they could remain neutral much longer. Relations between the U.S. and Japan had grown steadily worse. Japan was a strong country, but it lacked natural materials of its own, and Japan`s desire to use eastern Asia was in direct conflict with American plans.
(voanews)

Imperialist Britain was to blame for WWII - Henry Moore
Henry Moore, celebrated war artist, blamed "imperial" Britain for the outbreak of the Second World War and was disgusted by the "abandonment" of Londoners at the height of the Blitz. Nonetheless, his horror at the conflict prompted him to consider returning to the military. His thoughts are revealed in letters. In one piece Moore told that Neville Chamberlain, who was PM at the outbreak of the conflict, must share the blame for the escalation: "I think the Chamberlain government is about the worst we`ve ever had – it helped to rear the Hitler Germany and now this country finds it has to fight Nazi Germany."
(telegraph.co.uk)

Why did Britain and France choose to risk a major war   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Why did Britain and France choose to risk a major war in 1939? The common explanation was that war was thrust upon them by the greed of the Axis powers. Both countries were aware that they might have to take action to restrain Adolf Hitler. The Danzig issue put them in a position to declare war on their own terms. On 25 August Britain and France reiterated their support for Poland at the time the Soviet-German Pact was signed. Hitler postponed the invasion of Poland on hearing of the British-Polish treaty. Hitler saw in the west`s delay in supporting Poland confirmation that the Allies were trying to extricate themselves from their promise as he had expected.
(di-ve)

Public thinks Holocaust sparked World War II   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Report: Dutch people know more about WWII than is often thought. But the level of knowledge about the war among under 25s is a cause for concern. People aged 65 and older knew more than younger people. Men also knew more about the period than women, but this might be because men are more interested in war. 83% thought incorrectly that the Holocaust led to war between the Axis and the Allied powers. The Final Solution has become synonymous with the war itself. There was ignorance about how many died during WWII. The highest combined civilian and military losses were the Soviet Union (25M), China (11M), Germany (7M), Poland (6.8M) and Japan (1.8M).
(expatica)

Failed strategy of Neville Chamberlain led world back to war   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Neville Chamberlain, Britain`s PM 1937-1940, symbolizes the failed policy of "appeasement," which more than any other policy, allowed Adolf Hitler to plunge Europe into war. Chamberlain proposed to agree to Hitler`s ever-increasing territorial demands rather than stand up to him and risk war. The irony was that as Hitler gained more territory -- the Rhineland, co-opted Austria, the Czech Sudetenland and the rest of Czechoslovakia -- he became more powerful and confident that he could start, and win, a war. Appeasement was popular in Europe in the 1930s because Europeans remembered what the WWI had cost them, and they were determined not to relive it.
(wausaudailyherald)

He nearly started World War III in the newly-divided Germany   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Staff Sgt. Dwight Tooker was too late to fight in WWII but just the right age to start WWIII when he shot the slats out of a Russian guard tower on the other side of the divided Germany. There were two Russians soldiers stationed in it and he has no idea how they fared. Tooker was letting off some steam after one of his men had been shot in the shoulder by a Russian soldier. After the man was taken to a hospital, a Russian lieutenant motioned him over to the fence. "He asked me if anyone had been hurt," Tooker said. "I told him one of my guys got shot in the shoulder. So this officer goes over to see the soldier that fired those shots. And he shot the man to death."
(News Journal)

The Origins of the II World War - Revised view of Hitler   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A.J.P. Taylor Taylor wrote in his "The Origins of the II World War": I want to offer a story without heroes and perhaps even without villians. Central to Taylor`s thesis is a revised view of Adolf Hitler: He was an extraordinary man and that his policy is capable of rational explanation. Hitler did not cause the war because he did not intend it. Like many leaders, Hitler rarely made distant plans. He did have some general aims, such as wanting to liberate Germany from the burden of the Versailles Settlement. He was also happy to exploit situations in order to realize those aims. For Taylor, Hitler`s pronouncement in `Mein Kampf` were no more than dreams.
(newstodaynet)

Causes and Outbreak of World War Two
This global conflict resulted from the rise of totalitarian, militaristic regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan, a phenomenon stemming in part from the Great Depression that swept over the world in the early 1930s and from the conditions created by the peace settlements following First World War. After WWI, defeated Germany, disappointed Italy, and ambitious Japan were anxious to regain or increase their power; all three eventually adopted forms of dictatorship that made the state supreme and called for expansion at the expense of neighboring countries.
(infoplease)

The Outbreak of World War II
On September 1, 1939, German troops invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. By the end of the month, Hitler`s armies had overrun western Poland. Soviet armies occupied eastern Poland. For Hitler the war in the west was a sideshow, a prelude to the building of an empire in the Soviet Union. Hitler had hoped that Britain would stay out of the war. He foresaw the two countries sharing the world between them - Britain would keep its overseas empire, and Germany would construct a new one to its east. When approached with the suggestion of a separate peace, Churchill rejected the offer and rallied his people to fight on.
(germanculture)

The Beginning of World War II
At daybreak on the first day of Sept, 1939, the residents of Poland awakened to grave news. A juggernaut force of tanks, guns, and countless grey-clad soldiers from Germany were making invasion of the Poland. Germany’s actions on that fateful morning ignited a conflict that would spread like a wildfire. This scenario is many people’s view of how WWII came about. In reality, the whole story is far more complex. The origins of war can be traced the end of the WW1, when the Treaty of Versailles placed responsibility squarely on Germany. Years later Japan invaded Manchuria and other parts of China, causing war to flare in the Pacific Rim.
(cyberessays)

Hitler wanted a war but he didn`t want the war he got
When Britain declared war on Germany on 3 Sept 1939 Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was stunned. His previous dealings with the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had led him to believe the British would never dare risk war with Germany. The Nazi dictator turned to his foreign minister, Joachim Von Ribbentrop and said simply: "What now?" As historian Terry Charman told: "Hitler wanted a war but he didn`t want the war he got." Two days earlier, on 1 Sept, Hitler had unleashed his massed tanks, planes and infantry on Germany`s weaker neighbour Poland. It was the move that finally sparked World War II - one of the largest conflicts in human history.
(bbc)


See also:
Documentary Films
Adolf Hitler
WW2 Tanks
Royal British Nazis
Nazi Memorabilia.