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Old November 13th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #1

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Start of WWII


What was the series of events that began the Second World War?
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Old November 13th, 2012, 12:56 PM   #2
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Hitler invading Poland I think was the main one. Other factors like going into Czechoslovakia and rearmament also contributed.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #3

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Don't forget Japanese aggression in Manchuria in 1931; Italian aggression in Ethiopia in 1935; German move into the Rhineland 1935; Spanish Civil War 1936; Japanese aggression in China 1937; German aggresssion in Czechoslovakia in 1938. Plus the grievances left over from the First World War helped to usher in the Second World War. If you get right down to it, WWI/WWII did not end until 1989. PP
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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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WWII had two starting points because it really was two wars, not one.

Although Germany and Japan were supposed allies, AFAIK they never fought together

The war began in September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland - Japan started the Pacific war in December 1941

You could make a claim that the war was global before the Pearl Harbor attack though
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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:31 PM   #5

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The Battleship Schleswig Holstein opened fire on Polish fortifications, the opening salvo of WW2.

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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:33 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poly View Post
WWII had two starting points because it really was two wars, not one.

Although Germany and Japan were supposed allies, AFAIK they never fought together

The war began in September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland - Japan started the Pacific war in December 1941

You could make a claim that the war was global before the Pearl Harbor attack though

We were fighting Jerry in the Desert, Norway, France and the North/South Atlantic before Dec 7th 41.

Probably in a few other places too.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
The Battleship Schleswig Holstein opened fire on Polish fortifications, the opening salvo of WW2.

Click the image to open in full size.
Arguably, the bombing of Wielun was an opening act of Invasion of Poland
“The bombing of Wieluń refers to the bombing of the Polish town of Wieluń by the German Luftwaffe on 1 September 1939. The Luftwaffe started bombing Wielun at 4:40 am, five minutes before the shelling of Westerplatte, which has traditionally been considered the beginning of World War II. It is considered to be one of the first terror bombings in history and first in Europe in this war. It killed an estimated 1,300 civilians, injured hundreds more and destroyed 90 percent of the town centre. There were no military targets of any importance in the area. The casualty rate was more than twice as high as Guernica.”
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Old November 13th, 2012, 02:26 PM   #8

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Actually the attack on Poland was started in the night 25/26 August. It was the day of planned invasion which was delayed till 1st September but one of the German units didnt recive informations on time and attacked.

Here are details:

Jab
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
We were fighting Jerry in the Desert, Norway, France and the North/South Atlantic before Dec 7th 41.

Probably in a few other places too.
IIRC the Graf Spee sank British shipping in the Indian Ocean before being trapped in Montevideo

The British also invaded Iraq and Iran in 1941 (where it faced German forces)

Battle of Crete and Battle of Greece

When Japan declared war, Commonwealth forces fought in the Far East, Indian sub-continent and there was even an action in Australia
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Old November 13th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poly View Post
WWII had two starting points because it really was two wars, not one.

Although Germany and Japan were supposed allies, AFAIK they never fought together
And it hurt them. To my knowledge, while Germany sent some tech to Japan, and both countries' submarines cooperated to a certain extent in WW2, they never coordinated what they did and that hurt them. The Allied powers held several major conferences through the war to establish a general strategy for victory. I'm 100% American and UK leaders were at all of them, and I'm pretty sure that there were some Soviet representatives at most of them.

Germany and Japan never did... Shoot, Germany and Italy didn't even fight the same wars. Germany didn't want to get embroiled in the African campaign that Italy started and didn't want to get involved in Greece and the Balkans, which came about from Italian actions. And from everything I've read, Germany was expecting Japan to at least threaten Vladivostok in 1941. Pearl Harbor came as a complete surprise and Hitler couldn't even find the American harbor on a map!

The lack of coordination between the Axis Powers on what their strategies were was a costly failure.


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The war began in September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland - Japan started the Pacific war in December 1941.
One could also argue that the Pacific War started well before America was attacked. Japan invaded Manchuria and China in the 1930s, expecting to take the coastal areas and rapidly secure a Chinese surrender. Instead, Chang Kai-Shek and Mao Tsedong (sp?) largely put aside their differences to fight on, which prolonged the war in China. The Soviets also fought a series of small border wars with Japan over parts of Manchuria as well. None of this was what Japan planned.

In addition, their aggression in China won them negative American press. FDR would place embargos on China and put a lot of additional economic pressure on them. This made Japan's economic situation worse. They needed peace to consolidate what they'd won in China already, but the Chinese weren't surrendering and the US wasn't giving them the raw materials they needed to prosecute that war. This lead Japan to expand the war beginning with Pearl Harbor to try and put an end to Chinese resistance...

And the war in China didn't end with the entry of the US into the Pacific War.

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You could make a claim that the war was global before the Pearl Harbor attack though.
The war was indeed global by then. While the European and Pacific wars weren't united by the US fighting both Japan and Germany, yet, the Afrika Korps was active in North Africa in 1941, and the Admiral Graf Spee, a German surface raider was scuttled following a battle off of Montivedeo in the first year of the war. In that, the war was being fought over multiple continents with regard to the European war, though at that time the "main event" of that war was solely in the Soviet Union.
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