The Beginning of World War II

This essay The Beginning of World War II has a total of 2282 words and 11 pages.

The Beginning of World War II

At daybreak on the first day of September, 1939, the residents
of Poland awakened to grave news. A juggernaut force of tanks, guns,
and countless grey-clad soldiers from nearby Germany had torn across
the countryside and were making a total invasion of the Pole’s
homelands. Germany’s actions on that fateful morning ignited a
conflict that would spread like a wildfire, engulfing the entire globe
in a great world war. This scenario is many people’s conception of
how World War II came about. In reality, the whole story is far more
detailed and complex. The origins of war can be traced as far back as
the end of the first World War in 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles
placed responsibility for that terrible war squarely on Germany.
Years later, in the Far East, Japanese ambition for territory led the
nation to invade Manchuria and other parts of nearby China, causing
hostilities to flare in the Pacific Rim. Great Britain, the United
States, and many other nations of the world would all be drawn into
battle in the years to come, and each nation had it’s own reason for
lending a hand in the struggle.

Although Germany was the major player in World War II, the
seeds of war had already been planted in the Far East years before
conflict in Europe. On September 18, 1931, the powerful Japanese
military forces began an invasion of the region known as Manchuria, an
area belonging to mainland China. This action broke non-aggression
treaties that had been signed earlier. It also was carried out by
Japanese generals without the consent of the Japanese government. In
spite of this, no one was ever punished for the actions. Soon after
the assault on China, the Japanese government decided it had no choice
but to support the occupation of Manchuria. By the next year the
region had been completely cut off from China (Ienaga 60-64). Because
of the Japanese offensive in China, the League of Nations held a vote
in October to force Japan out of the captured territory. The vote was
passed, 13 to 1, but Japan remained in control of Manchuria. A second
vote, taken in February, 1933, a formal disapproval of the Japanese
occupation, was passed 42 to 1. Instead of expelling Japan from the
area of Manchuria, it caused the nation to formally withdraw it’s
membership in the League of Nations the next month (Ienaga 66).

Now unrestrained by the recommendations of the League of
Nations

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