Talk:Causes of World War II

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Addition of Communism[edit]

Alright, I feel that the page does a pretty decent job by and large of covering the topic, but out of everything the absence of Communism seems pretty damn major. The Soviet Union was one of the major driving forces behind the leadup to WWII and a lot of the causes can be traced back to its' probing around looking to expand. The alliance between it and the Weimar era Reichswehr under von Seeckt is absolutely massive in and of itself because without it you really don't have a history of German re-armament. Without the attempts to move out of the old Tsardom in the 1910's and early 20's we wouldn't have Eastern European history looking even remotely like it does, particularly vis-a-vis Finland, Poland, the Baltics, et cetera. aldo was a main part of WW2 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:47, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Really, the article does a good job covering the rise of Fascism and its' cousins, but it takes two to tango and the omission of the Soviet governments' role in fanning the flames is at best a stain on this fine page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Why no mention of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and the war with China?[edit]

Absolutely nothing is mentioned about the Japanese invasion of Manchuria which is the true start of the war. The heading is "Causes of World War 2" not "Causes of the European War".

Scrap of Silesia[edit]

I think that naming "part" for Polish Upper Silesia after WW1 is unapropriate for 3204 km² out of 45 000 km². I proposed "scrap" but obviously it was not accepted. Please propose better name. Cautious 09:38, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thing to do/Goals[edit]

  • Improve anti-semitism section to everyone's satisfaction</s
  • Expand causes of the war in Asia

Hi, I created this page because I felt that in no one place in Wikipedia were the causes of the war listed completely. I also noticed in the discussion on the World War II page about adding a section on causes, as the section entitled, Preliminaries doesn't seem to do it justice. Also, there ARE several articles with long titles i can't seem to remember that nobody who didn't know they were there could find anyway. Please feel free to make changes and to make additions! (That's what the site's for anyway!) --naryathegreat 21:42, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)

I think this needs to be linked into the series of articles on WW2. Secretlondon 01:32, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I hope linking it to the Categories page for World War II (which I just figured out) helps. Also, I've been creating pages for things people might type in like causes of world war ii instead of Causes of World War II and redirecting them, which i learned thanks to secretlondon!


The article is really needed. But it also needs a lot more work. I studied the causes of world war I and world war II for years at two universities. The themes presented here are certainly a great start with the exception of anti-semitism. We would have had WW II even without anti-semitism, so presenting it as an important factor, as a cause for the start is very misguided. It certainly was a useful tool for the nazis to present their particularily warped view of History, and to help them justify their giving the first spark of life (or death?) to World War II. This means it should be presented as a tool for the causes, not a cause. Other themes are also a bit simplified but not as much as anti-semitism. AlainV 05:26, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

AlainV-I understand your concern with anti-semitism, and if you want to make a Tools for the Causes of World War II page go ahead, but I think that prejudice towards Jews caused Hitler to come to power, so it cause world war ii, in a way. --naryathegreat 17:59, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)

IMO Hitler would've come to power anyway, if not playing the "Jews backstabbed Germany in WWI" tune, then it would be bolshevism, capitalism or any other easy-to-sell idea. At the same time it's hard to argue that Germany started the WWII to kill Jews or because the Jews existed. Halibutt 22:58, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
ON the contrary, it is quite simple. Hitler wanted lebensraum, which included the wholesale destruction of the peoples involved, especially the Jews. Read Mein Kampf, as it lays out his plans as he had them in 1923, which he followed. By the way, no matter what you say, Anti-Semitism contributed to the start of World War II. That is the purpose of this page, not to explain Hitler's fascination with Anti-semitism, there is a page for that. And please, do not use this page as a place to assault me because you are angry with my views in other articles, discuss it on my talk page
Oh dear, oh dear... I'm not referring to your opinions and accusations expressed on other pages. What I was trying to say was that it's the lebensraum ideology was one of the reasons for WWII, not the Anti-Semitism per se. Anti-Slavism was as much important, especially that of the territories directly incorporated into the "greater Reich" most did not have any Jewish minorities. Poles and other Slavs were expelled or killed instead. Halibutt 09:11, Jul 7, 2004 (UTC)
Tell me then, why does this bother you? Are you a Jew? I have never seen an article talk about the causes behind world war ii and not mention anti-semitism. So what if it was indirect, it still had an effect. And anti-slavism is little more than a corollary to Nazism, anti-semitism is much more deeply rooted.
Yes, I am a Polish Jew. And a Slav as well. And I still see no reason for war in Hitlers anti-semitism. Mein Kampf is one thing, the practice is another. The reasons for war with Poland (after all that's how the whole damn WWII started) were similar to those you described in the article (and thanks for that, the article is great). However, neither in Hitlers speeches nor in official propaganda the anti-semitism was not even half as important as the "Versailles bastard rhetoric" and "German minority threatened". The "Jewish bolshevism being a threat to Germany" campaign was started later, just before the Barbarossa. And note that the WWII started 2 years earlier. Also, if Anti-Semitism was as important as Lebensraum or German minorities, then why most of the horrors of the Holocaust started well after 1941 and not right after the invasion of Poland or France? Halibutt 20:31, Jul 7, 2004 (UTC)
Hitler's anti-semitic rhetoric began long before world war ii, think of Kristallnacht, for instance. Many of Hitler's pre-war speeches are denunciations of "international Jewry", well before he even came to power. His coming to power definately caused World War II, so it is safe to say that, at least, it indirectly caused world war ii. I am not anti-semitic and am not including this because I dislike Jews, I have never been able to understand anti-semitism. I consider Jews to be God's (I AM WHO I AM, not Allah) chosen people. So please do not consider me to dislike you because you are Jewish (or Polish, I've done several reports on the country in great depth, and I am not anti-slav). However, I have never heard anti-slavism used in any other context accept that when it is attached to Hitler or Nazism.--naryathegreat 20:59, Jul 7, 2004 (UTC)
For God's sake, I'm not accusing you of anything! And let it remain that way. Our disagreement is of a factual nature and that I find highly acceptable.
As to the influence of anti-semitism on the outbreak of WWII - I'm perfectly conscient that Hitlers anti-Semitism started long before 1939. However, I still do not see a clear connection between his views on Jews (and his internal anti-Jewish policies in the thirties) and the attack on Poland or France. Perhaps his anti-Semitic views helped him gain power in Germany, but that would mean that Anti-Semitism is one of the Causes of NSDAP comming to power, not one of the Causes of World War II.
Current version of the article explains what is anti-semitism in Europe and how come it's different from that of present-day Egypt or Palestine. However, it doesn't explain what was so important in Jews or Jewry that Hitler decided to attack Poland. Neither the official propaganda reasons given by the Nazis themselves (most notably Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler in their 1939 speeches) nor any other publication I've ever read state that "September 1, 1939 happened because of Jews". If Hitler did not attack Poland or France because of Jewish money, Jewish bolsheviks or Jewish anti-German conspiracies - then why?
Also, I have to admit that anti-Slavism was rather a continuation of the Lebensraum rhetoric, not a cause of WWII. It was not started to "teach those darn Poles a lesson". Just like it wasn't started in order to exterminate the Jews. Such ideas came to light much, much later. Halibutt 00:08, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

But isn't it important to note that the causes of the war are closely related to the causes of hitler coming to power and the rise of fascism? I note this at the beginning of the section. And anti-semitism is much deeper than just Hitler or nazism. I state in the section that it had been around for ages (oh my goodnesss...i just used a british phrase, what on earth is the world coming to?) At this point, I don't understand your complaint. Do you want to delete the section on anti-semitism? Do you want to just revise it? Also, here is a quote: "He [Hitler] denied he had wanted war in 1939, and claimed it had been brought on by foreign leaders who were [in Hitler's words->] 'or Jewish origin or worked for Jewish interests.' He placed the [in Hitlers words->] 'sole responsibility' for all the deaths on the Jews." (How Hitler Could Have Won World War II--Bevin Alexander--no, I don't support or like Hitler, the book follows the German warpath and chronicles their mistakes--it specifically denounces the Holocaust--just putting out fires before they start)--naryathegreat 01:34, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

No, the Anti-Semitism part should stay, but it should be elaborated a bit to describe precisely that it was not a direct cause of WWII (like the Versailles or the German minorities) but rather an indirect one. Also, I believe it would do the article some good to add a piece of information on two different ways the A-S was used by the Nazis - as a state ideology and as an excuse. Do you get the idea or should I elaborate this thought a little? And the book you mention is great. Too bad it's unavailable in where I live and I had a chance of reading only a few dozen pages... Halibutt 04:34, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)


I changed several statements which were gramatically incorrect; Space Cadet and Irredenta please take the time to review your changes, especially ones as small as these, and do not make contributions if you are not fluent in standard written english.--naryathegreat 22:32, Jul 7, 2004 (UTC)

I modified one sentance talking about the strength of anti-semitism in modern Europe becuase the question of modern European Anti-semitism is the subject of debate currently. I felt that such a statement should take into account the debate. As it was written originally, it seemed to me to imply that anti-semitism is nearly as strong and prevalent in Europe as it was during Hitler's reign which is debatable. lalallaaaaa;a --Cab88 23:11, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm...didn't mean to imply that...sorry if that's how it came across. Anywho, thanks for contributing!--naryathegreat 16:02, Jul 9, 2004 (UTC)

I have just modified some disturbing edits by User:, which added some unneeded POV. Also, he/she seems to be a poor speller. They also added a sentence about the Versailles treaty in a place it made no sense. It seems, by trying to make it NPOV to their own satisfaction, they inadvertently introduced POV (next time my words will not be so kind).--naryathegreat 14:02, Jul 11, 2004 (UTC)

Causes or blinds?[edit]

I can't believe nacionalism, antisemitism etc. were causes of world war II. These were the attendant phenomena, ideological connivancers or rather excuse-to-hands for beginning war. These were very important, motivating people to involved in it, but they are maybe effects, conclusions; expressing these as causes is so vulnerable. The real causes are in the following part of that article. Gubbubu 14:44, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Good grief, what do you people want, a "attendant phenomena, ideological connivancers or rather excuse-to-hands for beginning world war ii" page? Where else would you list them. Every credible source I can find points to these as underlying causes of the war.--naryathegreat 01:56, Aug 9, 2004 (UTC)

I think "real", material causes should be mentioned first, and these "imaginary" ideas cuold be called as "secondary causes". For example, do you know about some publicated results of statistical researches on the correlation of nacionalism and wars? Please give me the sources. I don't, despite of that it's not hard to think these are really correlated, but if they are really, even not sure they are in direct causal relation. Maybe nacionalism not causes war, maybe war causes nacionalism :-)), or maybe they have got a collective common cause, etc. This metaphisical problem is important only because it is not lucky to conceive war to be the consequence of ideological motivations („the fight of Angelic Bush and evil arabs etc.”, „the fight of Hitler the Great and evil Jews” and so on) – maybe the first step to legitimate them. I think ideologies are not real causes, but I've only remarked something, this is a free website, and you are uncomitted to respect me. Gubbubu 09:33, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Flagnabit, nationalism was one of the biggest causes. In the interim, I've changed that header to Underlying Causes of World War II. You can't say Nationalism wasn't because you can't say Japan's leadership or the Nazis didn't play a large part in starting the war. History is all about underlying causes, most of the major causes of wars, such as the Versailles Treaty, are indirect. And who did that to the Anti-semitism paragraph? That really is important. It caused world war ii by promoting support for hitler and the radical agenda he propagated.--naryathegreat 13:39, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

In my language there exists an expression "elbeszélni egymás füle mellett" (~~ "to speak along beside each other's ear"). It means two person talking to each other, but at last one of them doesn't conceive what the other expressed (in spite of he heard that). Is there a similar expression in English (for example, "dialog of deaf men"? You haven't understand me enough, or haven't read me careful, or my performance to representing my thoughts in English is too poor. Please (if you have time, motivation, etc.) try to be a bit more philosophical, and view things in general. The body of my speech was about: "If something can't be a cause (in general), it can't be the the cause of a war, then." But don't trouble yourself, I've only aimed to help, and as I said before, it is your task to decide respecting me or not. Gubbubu 19:30, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

+(When I said "imaginary causes" I wanted to express "spiritual" or "intellectual" etc., not to say they were imaginations, but to they were secondaries (causes of causes).

Sorry if I was rude. Your english does take a little getting used to, but then, so does that of my Korean aunt! In answer to your question, there is no saying per se (per se means "exactly like that"--I wonder if you knew that?). I get the gist of it however. I understand the nature of your complaint, but not any solutions. Changing the title to Underlying causes is better, I think, I would be willing to change it to Long-range causes if need be, but I tend to like the status quo (which means as it is). By the way, what is your native toungue? I don't recognize it (and I pride myself on recognizing languages, even ones I have only the briefest knowledge of).--naryathegreat 02:41, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

I thank your reply and I don't stick to any changes on the article, I've only raised a question on some possible problems. My original language is hungarian, but I understand latin a bit, too (as have been being a biologist students for some years, I learnt it). I'm here to trim magyar-english and english-magyar interlang links, to nag in some articles what haven't been drawn as me ouchersz CRAMPS(The Possessive Of Truth:-) like, and last but not least, to learn some English. Gubbubu 15:37, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

American expansionism/protectionism[edit]

Why was the following passage removed?

Attitudes in the United States varied, but for various reasons the United States had expanded its presence in the Pacific quite significantly between 1898 and the 1930s. Many in the United States had an interpretation of Manifest Destiny that saw the United States expanding ever westward. With the annexation of Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines this was certainly one of the activities of the USA. Japan felt threatened by this perceived expantion, especially when the United States began building up its naval presence in the Pacific with the construction of a base at Pearl Harbor and the Panama Canal. Many Americans at the time were also quite racist toward the Japanese which was a further irritant in relations. For example, California passed laws banning Japanese or Chinese nationals from owning land there. Also, President Wilson had opposed the inclusion of a clause stating the equality of different races at the founding of the League of Nations. This hypocricy angered many Japanese liberals and helped turn this otherwise sympathetic element of society against the United States.

I think that American expansion into the pacific and their attitudes toward the Japanese are an important aspect of the causes of WWII in the Pacific. If there are factual errors in the above passage then lets hear about them, or if they are irrelevant I'd like an explanation of why. Simply folding the above into the idea that the Japanese were afraid of the US because of some economic sanctions is an oversimplification. The relationship between Japan and the US is the dominant one in the explanation of the Pacific War and an article on the Causes of the war should have a fairly in depth exploration of the idea. Thanks,

Peregrine981 17:12, Aug 8, 2004 (UTC)

I didn't say it was unimportant, I said move it under the Fear of America section. We don't need several sections about different concerns the japanese had about america, only one. Also, the particular facts you choose are rather odd. I don't think laws concerning japanese in america had any real effect on the decision to attack pearl harbor.--naryathegreat 21:40, Aug 8, 2004 (UTC)

I suppose we could put it under "Fear of America" but I'm not sure that's an entirely accurate headline... I'll have to try to think of a better one.
I included the Californian laws and general american attitudes because they were well known in Japan and quite unpopular. They turned off many more liberally minded Japanese who became disillusioned with American ideals because of the hypocrisy displayed in the US toward them. Its the same with the League of Nations which was dominated by the west, often rebuffing the Japanese, even when they tried to play by western rules. This is one of the reasons that militarism was able to take such a strong hold in the Japanese establishment. Liberals could not argue convincingly that they could work with the US or other western powers.
I also thought it was important to include information that might explain some of the Japanese fears a bit better than simply their dislike of sanctions applied after they had already started a war. I'll put some of it back in later. No time now.
Perhaps we should look at moving away from the simple lists in this article as they can easily oversimplify a complex subject. I'm not deadset on this, but it seems to me that it might save us a lot of trouble in terms of "headlines" and heirarchy, as well as giving it a more credible look. Just a thought.

Peregrine981 23:36, Aug 8, 2004 (UTC)

Much better. Although I can't say I've really ever heard of that being an issue (and I don't believe anybody would have spoken up in Japan regardless of the laws America passes) that doesn't mean it didn't happen. As to the lists, I don't really know how to do it in seperate sections, they're kind of small as they are and I think it would look stunted outside of the bulleted list thing. I chose it at first so that we wouldn't have to worry about that problem.--naryathegreat 13:35, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

I didn't know that the Imperial Japanese military decided, in part, to attack Hawaii (the USA) because of some California State laws. I would like to see a translated Japanese source on that. Also, I would like to know what the land ownership laws were in Japan. For example, in regards to Koreans and Chinese. If "liberals" in Japan would have been satisfied of certain changes in California laws, how much clout would those "liberals" have had in Racist Imperial Japan? The sentence about California should be deleted as irrelevant. Whyerd 18:29, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

American property ownership laws were obviously not on the top of Japanese military planners' minds when they attacked Pearl Harbor. The point of the passage is to demonstrate in part why so much friction existed between the two nations. I have read, specifically in 1919 by Margaret MacMillan, that the California laws alienated large portions of Japanese "liberal" opinion, weakening their support for peaceful coexistance with the US, allowing militaristic people to control policy, therefore leading to war. Liberals would have had more clout in imperial japan, which experimented with democracy, if their arguments weren't undermined, in part, by anti-Japanese US policies. Certainly there was racisim in Japan, but there had also been real admiration for the US, especially prior to WWI. Can we say that American racism "caused" the war, no. But it played a role in creating the climate that allowed the war to occur. US policies toward Japan, are worth pointing out in an article that deals with a war primarily between the two countries. Peregrine981 21:57, Sep 12, 2004 (UTC)
I've done some research, even looking at the passages from MacMillan's book ("Six Months..."). Indeed, I could imagine that the California laws would have been a source of disallusionment. It was also a shame that democratic forces weren't able to establish themselves in Japan. Whyerd217.230.186.135 13:39, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What about...[edit]

-Social Depression/Loss of Life from WWI -Ethnic Diversity in Europe -Instablity of New Governments -Alliance Systems within WWI -Cost of War Effort (ties in to Great depression) -Dawes Plan/reperations -Principles of the Aryan Race

Can't elaborate much but those were some major causes that maybe someone else could go into detail about.

-That is a good point, and therefore, I feel I must change the sentence below the title to "Some important causes of World War II in Europe were:" instead of the "The most important causes were:" Otherwise, the section sends mixed messages.

Causes for War in the Pacific[edit]

What are the sources for the attributed causes for the war in the Pacific? All of the sources listed at the bottom of the page are about Europe. One major cause of the war in the Pacific that is absent is Western Imperialism. Not only was the Japanese westernization done to avoid becoming a colony but there own military and imperial adventures were directly modeled after European Empires. One source for this idea off the top of my head is Soldiers of the Sun : The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army by Meirion and Susie Harries. If the article is to reflect a neutral view point and to be considered accurate it should at least source one book about the War in the Pacific. As I understand it things that are put on Wikipedia should have sources and right now there are none for the causes of the war in the Pacific.

  • Very good point. I added 4 books dealing with Pacific war. Rjensen 07:33, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
It would be nice to have some summaries here in the article. -- 08:07, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Austria expanded?[edit]

Austria was NOT expanded by the treaty of Versailles, and I am going to remove the part that says that. Cameron Nedland 02:59, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Hitler's Personal Responsibility?[edit]

Shouldn't we work on adding a section in that details his own personal responsibility? I mean it was clear from Mein Kampf he was always pursuing territorial expansion, particularly in the East, his anti-semitism was rife and that he wanted a resurgent Germany to head a New Order. --Anti-establishment 15:28, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Disagree and agree at the same time. If you can take it from his direct words that this is what he wanted to do, then why would we choose these words over those where he showed the opposite compulsion on numerous occasions? Either he was bipolar or as an incredible statesman, an incredible liar.--Hohns3 06:24, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Western Anti-communism[edit]

This statement ignores the SU - its internal and external policy. Genocides, censorship, forced labour. Soviet crimes were 100-1000 times bigger till 1939 than the Nazi ones, comparable 1939-1941. The Germans lead since the Summer of 1941 (but only little, taking into account Soviet massacres of prisoners). Xx236 13:25, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Territorial Issues, Soviet goals[edit]

Current version: Germany lost territory after the war. Notably the Polish Corridor (see below), the Memel Territory (to Lithuania), the Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia...

Sudetenland was never part of Germany, the formulation is misleading.

General note 1: the article focuses too much on Germany. It was Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union who attacked Poland, it was the Soviet union and not Germany who attacked Finland etc.

General note 2: I guess an important aspect was the fact that the threatened countries were not able to cooperate (for example Czechoslovakia with Poland and Rumania, Norway with the UK) JanSuchy 21:57, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Sudetenland was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire so technically, if the area hadnt been annexed by the Czech, it would probably automaticaly have been a part of the new Austria after WWI. On the other hand, most of the area bordered on Germany, not austria, so the population probably felt more German than Austrian. On the third hand, hadnt Hitler already merged Germany with Austria at the time he made the Sudet part of Germany-Austria?

Comment on note 2, I think it was even worse than that, As I remember it Poland actualy joined with Hitler and took a bit of CzechoslovakiaStor stark7 22:17, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Causes for War in Asia[edit]

I think this section is factually incorrect and needs to be revised:

* Raw materials: Other than a few coal and iron deposits, Japan lacks true natural resources. Japan, the only Asian country with a burgeoning industrial economy at that time, feared that a lack of raw materials might lead to an inability to grow. In the hopes of expanding its resources, Japan invaded Manchuria, with plans to conquer much more land through the Asian mainland and the entire western Pacific. The Imperial Navy eventually began to feel that it did not have enough fuel reserves. Therefore, they supported the idea of seizing islands in the Pacific with raw materials, including the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. This would require the elimination of the US fleet in Pearl Harbor.

As I remember my history lessons, U.K. France and the Netherlands had occupied large parts of asia, particularly the oilfields in Indonesia. Since these resources were flowing directly to Europe, at no profit to the indigenous population, they were not open for Japan to purchase on the free market. As a result of this, Japan had to rely on U.S. oil for it's fleet. Then, when President Roosevelt chose to cut-off Japanese oil supplies (by freesing all japanese assets in the U.S.) as a reult of critisism against Japanese cruelty in China, the Japanese Navy found itself in a dilemma. Their oil supplies would only last 6 months. After that Japan would have no fleet and be defenceless. The option was, bow to U.S. pressure and get out of China, or obtain oil from somewhere else. Japan chose the latter. The U.S. must have seriously known they were risking a mayor war, either that or they can't have been to clever...

As a happy coincidence Japan after the war had access to most of the disputed resources of Asia on the free capitalist market, since after the war the Europeans failed to resume their grip on the Asian nations they had previously occupied. The Netherlands made a very bloody attempt in Indonesia, which failed, France tried but failed in Vietnam, and the U.K. was pretty much to broke to try so they just gave up.

--Stor stark7 21:17, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Since these resources were flowing directly to Europe, at no profit to the indigenous population, they were not open for Japan to purchase on the free mark And Japanese were the indigenous population ? --Molobo 21:24, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

The Netherlands is part of the Allied forces and Indonesia, which used to be called the Dutch East Indies as well as British Malaya(now Malaysia) ceased trading with Japan as sanction. Japan then was left with two options: withdraw from Manchuria to prevent economic collapse or attack the Southeast Asian colonies to gain control of the resources. Japan was forced to make war with the US because they thought, once they invade any South east Asian territory, the US will get involved. That time, the Philippines, located between Japan and Indonesia and Malaysia, was a US commonwealth, so in order to prevent reinforcements to the Philippines, they had to bomb Pearl Harbor. Pearl harbor was just the perfect target. A few hours after, they attacked the Philippines and eventually capturing Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Given the ultra-nationalism that was going on in Japan, they opted for military offense. Prior to the bombing of Pearl harbor, the US wasn't officially part of the war and hasn't declare war against Japan. And never forget the war atrocities by the Japanese throughout the Pacific region. it is well documented and sadly, Japanese government do not inform their citizens of the war. Their participation in the war is highly skewed in their history textbooks. That's why many Japanese youth have no idea about it.

The Netherlands, France, and the UK left not because they cannot 'capture' the resources in Southeast Asia but because it was part of the UN treaty -- that colonies be given independence. The Netherlands, France and UK would be violating the treaty had they remained in Southeast Asian land.

How do you explain that France tried to take Vietnam back after WW2? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2002:4C40:57BA:0:0:0:4C40:57BA (talk) 03:31, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

How come some people here too Anti-American to the point of history revision? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gummiepop (talkcontribs) 00:28, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Akward wording[edit]

The result was bitterness among Germans for the loss, both in the ceded territories and in Germany, This wording would indicate that Germans were the main inhabitants of those territories. --Molobo 21:35, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

The wording implies no such thing. As you well know! But asides from that:
Both in Danzig, the Sudetenland and in Elsass-Lothringen they infact were the majority.
--Stor stark7 21:53, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Neither Sudentland or Alsace-Lorrainewere countries like Gdańsk, and there were never majority in territories of Poland so neutrality must be implemented. --Molobo 22:09, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Not that it matters, but for the record, Elsass (Alsace) was predominantly German although Lorraine (Lothingren) tended to have a larger French populace. Gdansk (Danzig) was also predominantly German, which isn't hard to understand if you know anything about local ethnic "roots" (Polish, Balts), migration and Prussia. --Hohns3 07:06, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorry but Gdańsk was never part of Poland during the interwar years.--Molobo 09:52, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Then I think you misunderstood, as that has nothing to do with what I was talking about.--Hohns3 01:41, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
The German parts of Elsass and Lothringen that Germany had gained from France after the 1871 war and gave the name Elsass-Lothringen were almost entirely German speaking at the time of the transfer. The german speaking area was handed over to France in 1919, gained again in 1940, lost in 1945. Modern day Alsace and Lorraine contain territories whose population never was German. Stor stark7 08:35, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
contain territories whose population never was German.Actually, since 1945, German language was suppressed and many inhabitants migrated across the Rhine, so it would be incorrect to say that the territories did not have a German population. The territory itself was both German-speaking and French speaking historically, but today the population is predominantly French due to migration and conformity.--Hohns3 20:46, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Contributions Welcome[edit]

This article needs a SERIOUS SERIOUS rewrite, as it is a link off of several main pages and barely provides sufficient coverage of the topic. I think there is a lot more that can be talked about, such as financial matters, the looming conflict between the capitalist/communist worlds and competition for world power influence (i.e. New World Order) and territory, both of which would mean nothing if it weren't for the scattered and limited resources around the world. It is interesting that the article mentions anti-semitism...there was a call for a "christian crusade" in defense of the Jews against Germany's medieval "jew hunt", but this never was a motivating force on its own. Many influential Jews had a presence in British politics, if that means anything. However, I think our best bet is to examine the expansionist policies of several countries, military buildup that had been occuring around much of the globe for at least 4 years (increased arms production in Germany, Soviet Union and even the U.S., as far as the Navy is concerned), the economic situation (in especially Germany and Britain) and go from there. What I mean with the last point is the British economy sunk before the war and the Nazi economy may or may not have been in serious danger, as we will never know due to Germany invading Poland. Several thesis have been written regarding the state of the National Socialist economy but whatever. Hopefully this will help.--Hohns3 06:19, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

after rereading the section on anti-semitism, the comment on how it helped hitler rise to power was completely irrelevant to causes of world war II. My fact request was more along the lines of "prove to me that anti-semitism" caused the war. If anything, it would have been the reaction to exclusionist, anti-semitic policy that helped lobby in favor of going to war, and its effect on public opinion.--Hohns3 01:39, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
OK I have seriously rewritten, stealing bits and pieces from all over Wikipedia and adding some of my own thoughts. I took the framework from Causes of World War I. Additional contributions are welcome. Haber 02:19, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Land lost to Czechoslovakia[edit]

The article says, that Germany lost land to Czechoslovakia after WWI (supposedly Sudetenland), but that is not true. Sudetenland was never a part of Germany. It was part of the Austria-Hungary and so was it's loss of land. The fact that Germany annexed Austria in 1938 doesn't make Sudetenland Germany's loss of territory.

Sudetenland was not annexed by Czechs (as someone said before). It was under Czech rule for over a millenium. Even when Czechs were ruled by Habsburgs, it was part of the Czech (Bohemian?) Kingdom. And it was not affiliated with Germany in any way. In 1918 the Czechs just regained autonomy and territories. (and joined with Slovaks but that's absolutely off topic) --Marvin Flag of the Czech Republic.svg 13:55, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

"Even when Czechs were ruled by Habsburgs, it was part of the Czech (Bohemian?) Kingdom. And it was not affiliated with Germany in any way."
Not associated with the German State of Germany (est. 1871), I believe is what you meant to say. Otherwise, we're dealing with a can of worms, because "Czech" is a relatively new terminology, as far as asserting national identity and speaking of supposedly "timeless" ethnic boundaries, I mean.
"In 1918 the Czechs just regained autonomy and territories."
Again, problems of could say that the people in the region that later became Czechoslovakia gained autonomy from the Habsburg crown, but referring to them as "Czechs" would be like trying to understand US history in the 1700's while referring to everyone residing there as an "American".
The modern land of Czech. Republic was a part of the Austrian Empire, which included many German-inhabited regions that did not conform to a specific political border. Btw, I have seen the conscious effort in the Czech Rep. to make the terms "Czech" and "Bohemian" appear as the timeless identity of its inhabitants. Ironically, "Bohemia" comes from a Germanic term used to describe the Boii (Celts). --Hohns3 20:44, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
"Czech" is really a new terminology (dating to somewhere around 1918) - but only in English. In Czech, it is and for centuries was (cca end of the first millenia) Čech (as a nationality - Czech; in Czech rep. and in the Bohemian Kingdom alike), Čechy (Bohemia), Království České (Bohemian Kingdom). So referring to the nationality as "Češi" is ok, I think. I am just translating it to English using a modern term, sometimes I am not sure what name it would be more appropriate to use in English - in Czech it is the same. I should have talked about the state and border issues before, not using Czechs to refer to all inhabitants of the Bohemian Kingdom / Czechoslovakia (which is unclear, maybe nonsense).
It is quite incomparable with the situation in the US in 1700's. The boundaries of Bohemia (and the Bohemian Kingdom with other lands included) are one of the most historically stable in Europe (since the end of first millenia) and it included Sudetenland (again a modern term, this land was not being distinguished until the 20th century (maybe 19th already)). Germans were invited to settle in the Bohemian Kingdom by the Bohemian King Venceslas I in the 13th century and roughly from this time on the future Sudetenland was inhabited mostly with Germans. But it was still part of the Bohemian Kingdom... At first the Habsburgs were Kings of Bohemia and the Kingdom was still autonomous, but they gradually incorporated the Bohemian Kingdom in their greater empire. But the Bohemian Kingdom remained in existence all the time. In 1918, Czechoslovakia was formed in the historic territories of the Bohemian Kingdom (plus Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia)...
Enough with this. I admit that I reacted too enthusiastically and nationalistically. The important thing (to the article) is, saying that Germany lost land to Czechoslovakia is nonsense. Austria and Hungary lost land to Czechoslovakia (part of its territory was in Cisleithania, part in Transleithania), some territorial issues were with Poland. Germany did not lost land to Czechoslovakia. --Marvin talk 16:22, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
The part about the Czechs has long been fixed in the article, I was just responding to your comment. Not to go off topic, but I think you misunderstood my comparison, which served the purpose of illustrating varied demographics, not political boundaries. Otherwise, we are in agreement. Cheers. --Hohns3 06:01, 21 July 2006 (UTC)


I think you are taking the title of this article a little too literally by deleting the Anschluss. Sure, this act didn't literally push tanks across the Polish border, and the Allies weren't yelling "Remember the Anschluss" as they stormed the beaches at Normandy, but it serves as a good example for many of the themes that are discussed in the article. Examples:

Nationalism - Germans vs. the World

Nazism - antidemocratic

Military significance - complicated the defense of Czechoslovakia

Psychological - excellent example of appeasement

Economic - lost trading partner for Britain and France

Treaty of Versailles - explicit breaking of the Treaty

Beyond its usefulness as an example, it needs to be in this article for completeness. A person who studies the Causes of WWII and doesn't know what the Anschluss was would be missing something. I get the sense maybe you think the existing text didn't describe it fairly... if so please try to make it NPOV as you see it and maybe we can work something out. Haber 23:19, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Nazi sympathizing[edit]

Hohns3, I wonder if you realize that much of what you write is Nazi spin, e.g. trying to pin the war on Britain, saying there was "disorder" in Czechoslovakia that led to the German invasion, saying that Hitler wanted a deal on Danzig and the Polish corridor "Germany looked to broker a deal with Poland.", deleting any reference to German coercion re:Anschluss. You mark lots of stuff I write as POV, but I have to wonder about you. Do you really believe this crap? Haber 23:02, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

do you really believe you are denazifying the article, as if that had some positive connotation, by pertaining to a single subjective point of view? I suppose telling Israel's point of view on this Lebanon situation would be "deLebanonifying" or, in the opposite case, "deIsraelifying". This extremely topical example serves to show exactly what you object to and, refering to the other point of view as crap. Yes, Germany was brokering a deal with Poland. Yes, he tried to make a deal regarding Danzig and the Polish corridor. If that is what he really wanted, well it isn't fair for us to say either way because that is only an opinion which requires mind-reading: not possible.--Hohns3 02:53, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
If you sincerely believe that there aren't murderous thugs out in the world, and that they wouldn't say or do anything just to get their way, then I'm happy for you that you've led such a sheltered life. I was always taught not to rely on authority, but to look at facts and then form my own opinion, even if it agreed with the conventional way of seeing things. You suggest replacing deference to a single authority with deference to two or more, which is an inadequate substitute for rational thinking. It is this sort of he said/she said "crap" that the terrorists in Lebanon take so much advantage of.
The Poles would have been complete idiots to negotiate with Hitler. He talked endlessly about German superiority. He could not be trusted to honor any deal. One does not negotiate with people like that. Everyone knew this in 1939, except the Nazi sympathizers. Therefore there was no "brokering". Not even Hitler expected to "broker". It was a Nazi distortion, that reasonable people now reject. Haber 03:46, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with "Goebbel's propaganda", as you decree. For an idea of what actually transpired, read about the diplomatic exchange in the "Blue Book" and German "Weiss Buch" (White Book). Another source I have incorporated is Prelude to downfall: Hitler and the United States, 1939-41 by Saul Friedländer --Hohns3 02:53, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I've left some of your changes, but changed others. Here is a summary.
Munich agreement
-"Following negotiations..." - tge decision to appease was seperate of negotiations? changed to "During".
-no minority rights is more than a "presence", but perhaps oppressed is POV. I went with "mistreatment".
-The rest of this is interesting, because by suggesting there was "a pretext" it is left open ended, hinting an Allied pov rather than German. By the way, Hitler did not break his word - "no territorial demands"...he made none, nor were these regions incorporated into Germany. Likewise, disorder is not a myth..(changed to "discord", less POV). By the way, if the president capitulated, who was to maintain order? Britain certainly wasn't: it had null and voided its protection decrees.
-Wait a second...Hitler "invades" Czech republic, poland and hungary only "claim?"
- makes it sound as if German "representative" was at Versailles. This was not the case.
I have expanded your section and i think the tone here is neutral.
Your Poland section is aburdly point of view. I think it quite comical that you raise such accusations against me, yet resort to this level of "scholarship". Perhaps we can find a word better than broker, but I find it laughable that you think this was a one way affair...and the Poles were little darlings.
1) Free City of Danzig isn't being ceded by Poland because it doesn't belong to Poland.
2)Allow Military Access? POV way of saying "allow regulation of traffic to and from E.P. and Germany proper after a thoroughway was built.
3)"Special privileges" - I love it. You mean minority rights? If they had actually treated the Germans (who hadn't fleed after Versailles) like citizens in Czechoslovakia and Poland, Nazi nationalist trumpeting would certainly not have registered in these foreign regions on the level that it did.
4)"all out invasion"...defies logic. If they feared an all out invasion, it should follow that they agreed to Germany's terms to prevent it. What they feared was subjugation to the will of Germany, largely through the loss of access to the sea which Versailles secured for them. Or fear of becoming a satellite state by default.
5)expressly leaving it up to the Poles to determine if they could negotiate with Hitler...(in the context of Britain's recently signed alliance with Poland, this makes absolutely no sense, nor is it accurate.
6)Nor did the Germans "ignore" the Allied ultimatum after Poland. That would be like saying "Poland ignored Germany's attempt to broker a deal." At least I even said why they refused, you didn't even bother.
1)"ivan would have stomped the huns, no matter what."... (I am speechless by your hypocritical comment)
2)Obvious pov about Britain surrendering. By the way, Germany didn't declare war, Britain did. All britain had to do was stop fighting.
3)helped it to confront rather than allowed...again, you voice your POV...there are factors you completely omit, such as effective commander leadership, unpurged forces, equipment availability, previous experience, etc. --Hohns3 02:55, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Point by point...

-"Following negotiations..." - tge decision to appease was seperate of negotiations? changed to "During".

Fine, leave it during. The act of appeasement was the signing of the document though.

-no minority rights is more than a "presence", but perhaps oppressed is POV. I went with "mistreatment".

Mistreatment is POV. The only right minorities have is to be treated the same as everybody else. Sorry, even Germans.

-The rest of this is interesting, because by suggesting there was "a pretext" it is left open ended, hinting an Allied pov rather than German. By the way, Hitler did not break his word - "no territorial demands"...he made none, nor were these regions incorporated into Germany.

He signed an agreement to take the Sudetenland, and then have an international commission decide the final border with what was left of Czechoslovakia. Then he marched troops into Prague.
Chamberlain said, "He told me privately, and last night he repeated publicly, that after this Sudeten German question is settled, that is the end of Germany's territorial claims in Europe. "

Likewise, disorder is not a myth..(changed to "discord", less POV). By the way, if the president capitulated, who was to maintain order? Britain certainly wasn't: it had null and voided its protection decrees.

a) Disorder was a pretext, not a fact.
b) The president capitulated on the Sudetenland, no more.
c) Britain didn't cause Germany to invade. That you try to pin it on Britain is extremely contentious. The bare fact is that German troops invaded.

-Wait a second...Hitler "invades" Czech republic, poland and hungary only "claim?"

Whatever dude.

- makes it sound as if German "representative" was at Versailles. This was not the case.

Germany signed. Legally binding. The Allies could have kept up the blockade otherwise, or gone in and exterminated every last person. That seems to be what it takes to end a war, according to you.

Your Poland section is aburdly point of view. I think it quite comical that you raise such accusations against me, yet resort to this level of "scholarship".

Funny how you consider scholarship to be statements about what you think Hitler believed, and what you think his motivations were, and why you think what he did was reasonable, and how everything relates to Britain.

Perhaps we can find a word better than broker, but I find it laughable that you think this was a one way affair...and the Poles were little darlings.

So you think the Poles decided to pick a fight with their big angry neighbor just for the fun of it? Example? (don't give me customs hassles)

1) Free City of Danzig isn't being ceded by Poland because it doesn't belong to Poland.


2)Allow Military Access? POV way of saying "allow regulation of traffic to and from E.P. and Germany proper after a thoroughway was built.

Sounds like a bad idea to me, but then again I'm just an armchair general. Maybe the U.S. should ask for one of those extraterritorial highways to Alaska.

3)"Special privileges" - I love it. You mean minority rights? If they had actually treated the Germans (who hadn't fleed after Versailles) like citizens in Czechoslovakia and Poland, Nazi nationalist trumpeting would certainly not have registered in these foreign regions on the level that it did.

Poor poor Germans. Isn't it just a little possible that they might have been upset after enjoying privileged status over the Poles for 200 years?

4)"all out invasion"...defies logic. If they feared an all out invasion, it should follow that they agreed to Germany's terms to prevent it.

That doesn't follow at all.

What they feared was subjugation to the will of Germany, largely through the loss of access to the sea which Versailles secured for them. Or fear of becoming a satellite state by default.

Here is what they feared:

"Prague, a sorrowing Prague, yesterday had its first day of German rule - a day in which the Czechs learned of the details of their subjection to Germany, and in which the Germans began their measures against the Jews and against those people who have "opened their mouths too wide." Prague's streets were jammed with silent pedestrians wandering about, looking out of the corners of their eyes at German soldiers carrying guns, at armoured cars, and at other military precautions. Some Czechs were seen turning up their noses at the Germans. Germans were everywhere. Bridges were occupied by troops and each bridge-head had a heavy machine-gun mounted on a tripod and pointing to the sky. Every twenty yards along the pavement two machine-guns were mounted facing each other." -The Manchester Guardian (17th March, 1939)

5)expressly leaving it up to the Poles to determine if they could negotiate with Hitler...(in the context of Britain's recently signed alliance with Poland, this makes absolutely no sense, nor is it accurate.

Sounds like you disagree with your buddy, "The London warmongering clique thus gave Warsaw the freedom to act, in the secret wish that Warsaw would begin the conflict that the London plutocrats needed in order to begin their long desired and carefully prepared military measures against the Reich." - Goebbels, 1/1/40

6)Nor did the Germans "ignore" the Allied ultimatum after Poland. That would be like saying "Poland ignored Germany's attempt to broker a deal." At least I even said why they refused, you didn't even bother.

You're mad because I said Germany ignored the ultimatum when you think it refused the ultimatum? Do you think anyone is still reading this?

1)"ivan would have stomped the huns, no matter what."... (I am speechless by your hypocritical comment)

So this high standard of "scholarship" that you aspire to, does it include taking a source's quote out of context and truncating the last two words, completely changing the meaning of a sentence?

2)Obvious pov about Britain surrendering. By the way, Germany didn't declare war, Britain did. All britain had to do was stop fighting.

Um, so Hitler wanted the British to stop fighting, but not to surrender? I'm having a hard time keeping up with what Hitler wanted. Maybe we should start a Wikipedia about how Hitler would have wanted things, and you can fill it.

3)helped it to confront rather than allowed...again, you voice your POV...there are factors you completely omit, such as effective commander leadership, unpurged forces, equipment availability, previous experience, etc. --Hohns3 02:55, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I didn't think "allowed" was such a big deal, but helped is ok too. The point is that without strategic surprise and the freedom to maneuver that came with it, the Wehrmacht would have been no match for the Red Army, even as screwed up as it was. The Germans knew this, hence the need for the sucker-punch. The terrain was a minor factor.

--Haber 23:33, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Psychology - Sexuality[edit]

Why mention the speculative, indeed fanciful ideas of Theweleit? It reminds me of some Allied wartime propaganda that spoke in ostensibly very shocked tones of homosexuality, sadism and boot fetishism in Germany. This may have been amusing and, at the time, risqué propaganda, but surely no serious historian believes that there a sudden mass outbreak of kinkiness in Germany in the 1930s and still less that it had anything to do the causes of WWII.

Norvo, 23:00, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I think it should stay. This passage refers to the fascist ideology and propaganda, which influenced average citizens (and is still influencing them). It is the only instance in this long article where we have anything approaching a feminist interpretation of the war. In addition, other editors have found it useful to introduce the personal thoughts and feelings of Adolf Hitler. Although I don't agree with looking at everything through Hitler's perspective, this opens the door to discussions of his sex life, which depending on who you ask ranges from nontraditional to perverted. Finally, that business about male hardness and destruction aptly describes the behavior of both sides on the Eastern Front, where raping and killing was common, and the final actions of some germans at the end of the war including suicides and family killings. It might even apply to the postmortem de-pantsing of Mussolini. Haber 03:59, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Many thanks for a swift reply, which I much appreciate. Your arguments are persuasive and I've thought again about the matter. I won't let my general doubts about psychohistory get in the way, especially as the point about 'hardness' (brutality) and the extreme macho cult is fair. Moreover, the point about about Fascism being 'anti-eros' and hostile to pleasure is intuitively sound. Indeed, the Nazi book-burning of May 1933 started with the sacking of the Institut für Sexualforschung, which was well known for its positive attitude to sex and to sexual diversity.
I've also looked again at a British propaganda pamphlet, published in October(?) 1939 that also makes the first point, though in different terms. When reading it now, some of it sounds odd; but at that time much of the background knowledge about sex and also terms like 'macho cult' simply weren't available. Moreover, having thought about the issue again, it occurs to me that in 1939 including explicit references to such matters in a pamphlet aimed at the widest possible audience wasn't 'risqué' (as I originally said), but very audacious. Norvo, 14:02, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
That's cool. If you get a chance, how about scanning in that pamphlet? Haber 01:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

While all of this is interesting and valid is say a study of wartime society and values could somebody please identify a causal relationship between respective countries views on sexuality and the outbreak of war. Apart from the simplistic and naive presumption that macho=war and feminine=peace I can't see a relationship between sexuality and the cause of war, some the behavior in the war yes but not the cause. --Veridis 06:42, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Further, I'd ask why this topic gets roughly the same attention and scope as Treaty of Versailles and the Depression? While this sexuality bit might useful for bringing understanding of some aspects of facism into contemporary times, it better belongs elsewhere; there's nothing mentioned that's casual of WWII, but rather descriptive of the context in which some people lived at the time. I would say that the precept behind these particular arguements strike me as rather (negatively) revisionist, and probably transitory at best. I reccomend deletion of both the Sexuality and Mental Illness sections (same reasons, someone can be insane without causing a world war).Imaginos 15:28, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Why the average soldier fights is relevant to the causes of the war, and is written about by historians. Hitler's alleged insanity is also a well-documented theory. The Treaty is covered extensively, but if you think more needs to be said then go ahead and add it. Same goes for the Depression. Haber 03:15, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
You completely missed the point. You know as well as I do that The Treaty and Depression topics are just fine and appropriate for the rest of the structure of the article; plus they are well referenced else where, particularly for overview articles. If anything needs expended, these two "psychological factors" need addressed in other topics and linked to from here; While these might be true, neither section shows any compelling or well documented contribution to the outbreak of the war. Because they occured simultaneously wither other events, or because they are descriptive (vice proscriptive) of Nazi Germany, isn't enough to build casuality upon them. From the depth of material that is presented, the choices of a red background for the swastika is equally as important as Hitler's insanity and a cult of masculinity. The Nazis and their beleifs are well covered in other articles, and this would appear to fit in more appropriately there. So the question remains, what is the relevance?
Also: I'm moving Appeasement to the Idological section since what's presented is vastly more reflective of diplomatic and rational actor processess at the state level than that of an individual or a group. Imaginos 20:59, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
ok for the Appeasement move. As far as the other thing, Hitler's personality and fascist propaganda are well-documented causes of WWII. Just because you don't agree doesn't mean that some respected historians haven't made these assertions. Obviously each of us will assign different weight to various causes. However that doesn't mean we should fail to include minority opinions. Haber 23:49, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
If they are "well documented" then where are the references and summay discussion? Wether you or I agree or disagree with the otherwise nameless "respected historians" is ultimately meaningless; the text that is on the page is indefensible as either a direct or indirect cause of WWII. We've gone through three itterations of this discussion and I keep asking for anything that links either section to the outbreak of the fighting. By making the Germans aggressive and expansionist, making the allies complacent, or anything that makes a convincing arguement, even if a speculative one. Perhaps this information does indeed have a place in the extensive history of WWII, but the text in the article, plus what you've argued here, does not (even abstractly) connect it with the causes of the war. These sections do not describe a proscriptive cause of the war, but descripting portion of the attitudes within Facism, and by ambiguious extension, Nazi Germany. That is a whole other article unto itself. So the question remains, what is the relevance?
I intend to delete those sections after I think an appropriate amount of time has passed for someone to address the problems, or even claim intent to, but at the very least it is apparent that they should be marked as disputed.Imaginos 19:12, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
The sexuality section has an endnote. I'd like to keep it. The insanity section doesn't have a source, and I don't feel like digging one up right now. Do you think it would be more acceptable to you if we changed it to something like a Great man theory of history? I'm sure we could find some sources that claim that Hitler's personality was a driving force behind the start of WWII, and rephrasing it as a a Great Man theory would be more neutral and accurate than simply dismissing him as insane. Haber 20:03, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't really matter if it's acceptable to me; I'm playing the devil's advocate in that, assuming I wasn't well read on WWI and WWII, reading these sections could easily lead to gross misconceptions about their influence on the war. That Hitler et al were insane is a common beleif, but what aspect of that insanity led him to cause a war? A careful review of events reveals nothing much in common with the referenced insanity article, even the colloquially irrationality. If anything, Hitler was cold, calculating, and meticulous, especially in the years following the Beer Hall Putsch. The mental illness section states (in it's entierty):
Other psychologists have argued that while human temperament allows wars to occur, they only do so when mentally unbalanced men are in control of a nation. This school of thought argues leaders that aspire to build great empires, such as Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin, were insane.
That's not a reason that WWII errupted, that's a half formed theory that lacks encyclopedic references. Who are these "other psychologists" that have argued this? What's their premis, their evidence? Really: where is their own article to link to? This is also something that's particular to a single person while the remainder of the article deals with large, vast, complex situations at the nation-state level. Because it is so weakly supported, abstract in presentation, and absent in historical evidence, it really doesn't belong here. Imaginos 22:11, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Uh-oh Edit: Ok, wow. I completely misunderstood what you were saying in regard to the mental illness section when I responded. I'll let the above stand as the reason why the current text is substandard. I'm pressed for time at present, but I very much agree that Hitler's personality was a major influence on the war (especially since he all-but premptivly declared war on Russia in Mein Kampf). However, I don't know if interjecting another external theory is the best way to show it. His personality should probably manifest in the Nazi doctrines themselves since they were so closely interlocked. Maybe another tier down from the Nazi section? The organization that's in place right now is appealing for a number of reasons and I think it possible to fold it in under one or more of the existing sections.Imaginos 23:42, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Further, a breif investigation reveals that the sexuality text is already covered in the main Facism article, and then links further on to additional topics which are better referenced and appear to have a clearer context. That seems appropriate since Germany did not goto war in order to establish a new global view of women whereby they could "systematically control female sexuality." Or at most it's indirectly cooincidental with the tangible causes. Given the established scope of the remainder of the article, this only further reinforces my desire to see it deleted; by removing it, no information is lost to the reader is and it's presented it at a more appropriate level in a much more relevant article--it is prominantly accessible at only one layer down. So really, nothing is gained by including it in the overview other than to grossly exadurate it's influence. The sexuality thing should be absent from this article entierly. Imaginos 22:11, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
This is also something that's particular to a single person while the remainder of the article deals with large, vast, complex situations at the nation-state level.
Not everyone agrees with you. There is an alternative way to view history in which individuals are important. Most people are somewhere in the middle in that they view complex events such as the start of a war as being due to a blend of large and small factors. Hence the fascination with things such as what if Hitler were killed in 1918, or 1944, or Abe Lincoln had lived past 1865? This article is already weak on describing fascism, Hitler, and the impact of individuals on historical events. It is not too long, and has space for this stuff. If you want to remove the insanity part, go ahead. It is unreferenced. I will hunt for some references when I have time and maybe bring it back. The other part is referenced, and due to all the interest in it I am convinced that it belongs in the article. Haber 23:29, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
The mysterious interest in it doesn't mean it contributed to the outbreak of the war. Can you explain how a sexist subset of facism contributed to the outbreak of WWII? Since it is in its own references particular to Facism, what makes it need to be so prominently discussed? And much more, why is it in disagreement with what's on the facism page?Imaginos 00:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
A "sexist subset of fascism"? No, by getting ordinary Germans to accept power and self-sacrifice as supreme virtues, he psychologically prepared the country for war. Soldiers fight for personal reasons. Not everything happens at the nation-state level. Haber 23:00, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I've deleted the psychological factors section. The mental illness section, as discussed above, needed an overhaul for a more thorough explanation and probably belongs under the individual ideologies. The Sexuality section, while potentially true, displayed no causality for the war and is covered right here under Facism where it is more relavant.Imaginos 23:58, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, but for now I'll let the deletion stand. When I get more time I might dredge up some additional sources and bring the content back. Haber 02:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

German excuses[edit]

This article is not meant to be a compilation of excuses for Germany's bad behavior. Hohns3 is pushing a revisionist agenda in which every sequence of events is supplemented by a lengthy interpretation involving German views on the matter, which frequently corresponds to official Nazi propaganda. Particularly slanted is the Invasion of Poland section, in which the Poles who refuse to hand over the keys to their country and slit their own throats are made out to be difficult, and Hitler had no idea that Great Britain would really help them. This is an extreme position, not generally accepted, and constitutes original research at best.

My version most certainly does not comform to a German point of view. A German point of view would not include the opposite point of view. There is no original research, nor is this "revisionist". Any other adjectives or descriptors you would like to misuse in an attempt to discredit a view that most historians do in fact support? I've said it before, I am quoting mostly Friedlaender, a VERY respectable source famous at UCLA, and most of this information can be found on legitimate sites within four seconds of googling. Check out some primary sources with the actual diplomatic proceedings sourced. Clearly you have some serious anti-German issues of your own. --Hohns3 05:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I have repeatedly specified why I delete some of your writing. I do not believe that Hitler's thoughts and opinions should play a dominant role in a neutral account of WWII. Nor do I think we should follow every fact in the events section with a paragraph of analysis which is subject to POV. However, since you're pretending not to understand why I am resisting some of the changes you have made, and ignoring my earlier responses in this discussion area, I will spell out again as much as I can at the moment:

1) Intro - Overly weighted towards German issues, and lays too much on WWI, the Treaty, and the League of Nations without getting into the underlying causes of the war. Neither losing a war, nor having an annoying treaty to live with made Germany go berserk in 1939.

2) In general, the Treaty humiliated the German people, and left them embittered and hopeless regarding the future.

This is a highly evaluative statement and not really a fact. They could have lived with the Treaty and done just fine. They did so after WWII, with an even harsher peace settlement. They chose to be humiliated; the Treaty did not do it to them. We can easily leave this sentence out and the article still gets your point across.

3) This helped Communism gain a following, but when the Nazis gained a reputation as will-to-action patriots with an alternative to Communism, they were able to ride the coattails of German nationalism all the way to the Reichstag.

Conveniently leaves out Nazi intimidation and terror tactics that got them to the Reichstag. Very florid language.

4) After 1918, the roles were reversed, and the French shamelessly initiated the Germans into the pains of post-war defeat.

Shamelessly? What is the point of this sentence? Why not just give the peace settlement, and let readers decide what is shameless and what isn't?

5) This time, Alsace and Lorraine were made part of France, enormous reparations were to be paid, the French maintained a military presence in the west and seized Germany's economic heartland near there as well. Revanchism and irredentism took form in Germany, contributing to the rise of the same sentiments that boiled over into World War II.

Redundant. Also doesn't really belong in the Franco-Prussian war section. The word "revanchism" is ridiculously overused in this article.

6)Germany was unconquered

Completely untrue. Germany went down in flames in WWI. It is a complete myth that Germany was unconquered. A myth that Hitler liked to talk about.

7) Additionally, it has also been suggested that the economic downturn that struck Britain in 1939 influenced the decision to back Poland, knowing that this increased the danger of going to war.

Suggested by who, and for what reason. You're basically saying Britain went to war for money, which makes no sense to me, seeing as how catastrophic they knew war would be. "It has been suggested" is smarmy. Why not let the actions speak for Britain's motivations?

8) However, it did not resonate well with the local Sudeten German population that, in order to build these positions, their land had been expropriated (although they received compensation in full).

Seems like if you're so well-read on this topic, it should be no problem for you to provide a citation. Yet you deleted my citation request. Why?

9) Consequently, no fighting occurred and Britain, France and Fascist Italy, who all vehemently opposed such a union, could do nothing

"Could do nothing" is incorrect. They could have done a lot of things, from censure, to economic sanctions, to war. They chose to do nothing.

9) issues such as minority rights, the absence of self-determination and alleged "Czech brutality" and "persecution under Prague" helped to stir up nationalist tendencies with the help of the Nazi press.

Minority rights and self-determination were a smokescreen for Nazi infiltrators.

10) Germany requested the immediate annexation of the Sudetenland, but Britain and the other powers stalled as they looked for another solution.

German aggression is somehow spun into Allied stalling. Beautiful.

11) In exchange for this, Hitler had to give his word that Germany would make no further territorial claims in Europe.

He did give his word. Therefore he "gave his word" is more precise. Why are you disputing this?

12)Germany took the Sudetenland, but Hitler had hoped to crush the Czechoslovakian resistance and parade through Prague in Caesaresque fashion

Again with the florid language, and I don't think we should care so much what Hitler wanted. I'm sure the Czechs wanted to keep their fortifications, and stay in them in Caesaresque fashion too. This sentence adds nothing to the narrative and is Hitler's point of view.

13) By February 1939, however, conditions were once again working in Hitler's favor.

Again, adds nothing and is slanted. Hitler was working hard to get conditions to favor another invasion. Not the other way around.

On to the Poland section. There is so much wrong here I don't have time for it all.

14) Again, issues such as self-determination and minority rights figured prominently, as did Germany's extra-territorial ambitions and Poland's resolution to retain its present borders.

The Germans were peeved that the Poles finally had equality. "Poland's resolution to retain its present borders" was a resolution not to have Germans occupying Warsaw.

15) Britain was again the arbitrator, but Poland refused to come to terms fearing further subjugation, including the eventual loss of all of the Polish Corridor, which would deny Poland an outlet to the sea.

Poland could not "come to terms" because no deal would be honored by Hitler, and everyone knew it. The best time to fight was before Germans were in the Corridor. There was no confusion about what Britain would do if Poland were attacked. Chamberlain himself said he made it "crystal" to Hitler that an attack on Poland meant war.

16) He remained hopeful that the United Kingdom would eventually come to terms and join him in his "crusade against communism".

This was a completely unreasonable expectation, coming after Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. It goes against everything Churchill said. The only reason to include it is to give your version of what you think Hitler was thinking, which doesn't add anything to the article.

17) You made an editor comment to the effect that the Machester Guardian was unreliable. Which part of the account of the occupation of Prague do you think was untrue?

I hope this helps. I don't think we will agree on many things, but maybe we can find common ground if we pare down some of these sections and lay off some of the analysis. Haber 01:45, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. Please give me some time and I will address your points. You have a very strong point of view regarding the Czech and Polish situation, but hopefully I will be able to point you to some sources that will clarify the complexity of these issues. History is never a one-sided affair, sorry, and neither the Manchester Guardian - nor Streicher's publications - will bring you into the realm of the "Enlightened" singlehandedly. I think you have taken sources like the former (which I used symbolically) too seriously for your own good.-- 06:58, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

If you want your point of view to be listened to, then you'd be better served by laying off the ad hominem style. Talking about being more well-read and offering to enlighten people is just college-boy name calling. "We" will find very little common ground, but we might be able to put something in this encyclopedia that doesn't get reverted every day. Let your arguments stand on their own, please. Haber 12:33, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

To your point no.8 : I wrote a source below, unfortunately I don't have the law, I will try to get a hold of it... The chapter of a dissertation is available online, but it's in Czech [1]. But I am not sure if this issue really was of any significance for the Sudeten Germans. I am not even sure how often the expropriation happened. It occured only when it was impossible to come to an agreement with the owner - if he didn't want to sell the land or made exaggerated demands. Maybe the issue is just redundant in the article...

I agree with the rest of your points. --Marvin talk 17:56, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the support, Marvin. I also agree with your careful interpretation. I'll see if I can work your citation into the article sometime. Haber 20:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Haber, I thought you might like to know that I will be away on vacation for a while and unable to contribute to the article until I return. No tears please, I'm sure I will enjoy myself. However, that also means that we will be unable to reach a conclusion that fits both of our interpretations of history. Speaking of interpreting, I see you completely misunderstood my last statement - it was not meant to be hostile, nor do I claim to know all the answers regarding this topic (nor will I ever). Similarly, my "conclusions" regarding history are not static; no matter how exhaustive one's efforts are, there are always new stones to uncover. That being said, do what you would like with the article and we will confer at a later time.--Hohns3 19:53, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Have a nice trip! Haber 23:57, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I've got the law... I added back the compensations, but if you find it unimportant and overlong, you can remove it. I also changed some other bits in the Munich section, but I was not signed in... --Marvin talk 12:13, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


Expropriating & Compensations[edit]

Zákon č. 63/1935 Sb. z. a n., o vyvlastnění k účelům obrany státu

Law no. 63/1935 Digest of the Laws and Enactments, about expropriation for the purposes of state defense (my translation of the name)

Unfortunately, I don't have the law, just a chapter of a dissertation about this subject. The Ministry of Interior of the Czech republic offers only digests from 1945 on. I will try to find it somewhere if you want. --Marvin talk 17:15, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


To the nice lady who just commented that this site was lacking some important information. What do you need? Haber 01:57, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

A Minor Quibble[edit]

To describe the Spanish Civil War thus: It was the first clash among the fascism and the freedom in the field of battle ignores the Ethiopian's resistance to Italy, just described in the previous sentence, and smacks faintly of eurocentric racism. It's also grammatically weak ;-)

Fair enough. I like to think of the Battle of Marathon as the first clash. Feel free to edit the article. Haber 04:47, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, this probably needs changing. Coricus 10:30, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
It's long gone. Haber 11:53, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

World War I[edit]

Somebody just removed the section about the lingering German resentment over their defeat and the following Allied demands. I replaced it because this is obviously relevant and important, the period between the World Wars was an uneasy peace at best, and Hitler used his followers' resentment to gain power. Anybody disagree? vlad§inger tlk 12:32, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

    • Why no discussion of the crisis of capitalism beginning in 1929 and its effect on Germany, the transformation of the Nazi Party from a fringe to a mainstream party, the polarisation of the electorate, the machinations of Germany's pre-war elites to exclude the SPD from government and the fear that weakening the Nazi Party further in 1932 would strengthen the SPD and KPD? Keith-264 22:35, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Polish pre-war massacres of Germans[edit]

Does anyone have information on the number of Germans massacred by the Poles immediately before the war began? I'm not referring to the massacres that took place while the war was underway, I'm referring to peacetime massacres.

There were large numbers of massacres in the first few weeks of the campaign, there is even an article about one of the cities were one of the wartime massacres occurred (Bloody Sunday (1939)). I am however interested in information on the massacres that occurred before hostilities began.

Apparently John Toland in his very heavy book Adolf Hitler Volume 2 says that it was receiving a report about these massacres from his assistant Berndt that triggered Hitler ("They'll pay for this!"[2]) to give the go-ahead for the invasion of Poland straight afterwards.

Allegedly the number of killed Germans was inflated by Berndt, instead of the 50,000 dead stated in the report it was in reality "only" 5,000 ethnic Germans living in Poland that the Poles had massacred in this round.

  • 1. Does anyone know anywhere I can find more information on these pre-war massacres?
  • 2. How influential was this incident, would the invasion have occurred anyway without the report, but at a later date, or is it possible there could have been an other outcome?--Stor stark7 Talk 23:02, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

You should direct this question to Nazi propaganda article,as it is well known that this was an operation made by Nazi Germany to provide pretext for invasion of Poland. From The Gleiwitz incident was only a part of a larger operation, carried out by Abwehr and SS forces.[3] At the same time as the Gleiwitz attack there were other incidents orchestrated by Germany along the Polish-German border, such as house torching in the Polish Corridor and spurious propaganda output. The entire project, dubbed Operation Himmler and comprising 21 incidents in all,[6] was intended to give the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany.[5] As to 5,000 please, no need for revisionism in this article. At most a few hundred from paramilitary Selbstschutz members formed from German civilians in Poland that were to exterminate Polish intellectual and political elites for future extermination of Polish people and Lebensraum. --Molobo (talk) 00:09, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Don't make yourself look even more foolish. Germany claimed 50,000 killed and you try to equate that with the staged Gleiwitz incident? Take the time to read and think before sprouting words. I'm referring to what happened before Hitler gave the order to invade, before Gliwitz, but I guess you don't like those things coming to light. As for the rest of your seltsbtschutz babble, Juck!!!--Stor stark7 Talk 00:26, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Gliwice Incident happened before the war, the Nazi Propaganda claimed 50.000 during the war, that was what you asked.

"I guess you don't like those things coming to light." Actually, I am quite interested in describing Nazi propaganda. As to your last statement, respect Wiki policy on civility and stop such comments in the future.--Molobo (talk) 00:31, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I am wondering why you ask this second time, as you made that question not long ago and were provided with an answer. The claim about murdered pre-war Germans and quarter of them massacred was invention of Reich's propaganda machine: Nazi Wireless Propaganda, by Martin Doherty, Edinburgh University Press, described in full on pages 38-39--Molobo (talk) 00:38, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I shallenged you to provide the quote from Doherty before, and you still have not done so. I think my challenge was "Oh really? He does says say something about quarters does he?!?!?! Doubtless the deaths were useful as propaganda and inflated, but please provide the cite where Doherty he states that the pre-war deaths were an "invention"!!! I actually believe it does not exist!!!"
Gleiwitz happened before the war, true, but if you for once would try to spell your way through what I've written you'd see I'm refering to events before Hitler ordered the execution of the invasion plan. Gleiwitz was part of the plan hence it happened after he gave the order. As regards the 50,000 that Nazi propaganda claimed, are you seriouslly claiming they claimed those were Gleiwiz victims?????? I am well aware that 50,000 was an inflated number, as youd known if youd bother to read, I'm refering to the 5,000 or so murdered before Hitler even decided to go war. As to My last statement I simply tell the facts straight. You certainly lost claim to my assumption of good faith on your part with your German Collective Guilt monstrosity that promptly was deleted. And to think that you snooped in my sandbox and then decided to write your POV monstrosity to pre-empt me.... Fresh out from a one year ban.....

I agree with Jimbo, its amazing the civility we show some trolls.--Stor stark7 Talk 00:49, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

In 1939 unlike Germany Poland was an authoritharian democracy but still a democracy and killing anybody Pole,Jew, German or Ukrainian without a sentence (law) was called murder and punished by death. There were no "massacres" of ethnic Germans in Poland before 01.09.1939 other than the unspecified invented by NSDAP propaganda. Polish authorieties were very intrested in not giving the Third Reich a pretext for a war. Mieciu K (talk) 00:44, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Gliwice Incident happened before the war, the Nazi Propaganda claimed 50.000 during the war, that was what you asked.

Doubtless it was Hitler's anticipation that Germany might in the future be faced with such outrages on the part of its neighbors, that had prompted him to modernize and massively re-arm Germany's armed forces, and to take over Austria and Czechoslovakia—not the plans that he had set out in Mein Kampf to seize Lebensraum in the east at the expense of the Soviet Union and other largely Slavic countries. Nihil novi (talk) 00:49, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Please lay off with the hyperbole the rest of you, I'm not denying Hitler was wanted war. all I've done is presented information that a respected historian claims Germans were killed before the war, and that this might have influenced the decision to go to war at that time. and I requested info where there might be more information. All the responses to that I've gotten are basically nonsense as their relation to the topic question.--Stor stark7 Talk 00:55, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
It gets even better then this, whole towns couldn't sleep because of the scream of tortured Germans, Hitler protested against castration of Germans in Poland to British, and 100.000 refugees were expected within a day in Germany. Germany was defending itself against the machinations of pluto-imperialists and their puppets "Poles". Hitler being a throughout "peacefull man" offered non-agression pact to Poles, but they were poisoned by the British. From Doherty page 34.--Molobo (talk) 01:12, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
"Apparently John Toland in his very heavy book Adolf Hitler Volume 2 says that it was receiving a report about these massacres from his assistant Berndt that triggered Hitler ("They'll pay for this!"[2]) to give the go-ahead for the invasion of Poland straight afterwards." Hiler was notorious for rewarding those who told him what he wanted to hear and punishing thoes who told him things he did not want to hear even if they were of strategic importance, so the "inteligence reports" he recived were often of dubious quality. Mieciu K (talk) 01:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps so, in this case this certainly applies since Hitlers aid according to Toland had added a zero to the number of victims before presenting the report to Hitler, raising them from 5,000 to 50,000. And Hitler believed the inflated figure, sort of believing your own propaganda. This is at least what I have interpreted it as. I'm not interested in German propaganda, I'm interested to know about pre-war victims, however few or many they may be. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stor stark7 (talkcontribs) 01:30, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
No such claims you presented are to be found.Anyway they were no pre-war massacres, it was pure Nazi propaganda--Molobo (talk) 01:55, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I keep telling myself, do not feed the...., sigh. All you have presented is that the Nazis used propaganda. You have provided nothing that says that there was no grain of truth behind it. The information obviously exists both in Tolands book, and in another earlier one, as I showed in my link. Don't waste more of my time--Stor stark7 Talk 01:59, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes this is information about Nazi propaganda, that's all there is to it. No sources besided those describing Nazi propaganda methods, fabrications and desinformation reference such claims.--Molobo (talk) 02:07, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, trolls unfortunately are numerous, even those from Sweden, don't you think, Stor Stark? Anyway, no serious historian has ever written about alleged 50 000 Germans killed by Poles before the war. Stor Stark you have provided nothing reliable to prove the number of innocent Germans killed by the Poles before Sept 1, 1939. BTW, waste a minute of your time, and read about events at the Tarnow rail station on August 28, 1939. Cheers Tymek (talk) 02:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, but right now I think the Polish ones and those who abet them are by far the worst. Why do Molobos friends, yes I know he sent out a plea for help, insist on harping on 50,000. You know 50,000 is wrong, I know it is wrong, and if you had spent a little more time reading the discussion here rather than just the Molobo plea your text could have made a lot more sense. [3] --Stor stark7 Talk 02:27, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
You continue to act in incivil way.Please in future stop from adressing personal issues and concentrate on the subject. The fact is that the claims about pre-war massacres of Germans were created by Reich Ministry of Propaganda.--Molobo (talk) 02:31, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Tell me, how would you define a wikistalker, Molobo (talk · contribs)? I'm pleased to hear you confirm that you actually believe the Reich Ministry of Propaganda was active in 1992, which by the way was when John Toland published his national bestseller.[4] --Stor stark7 Talk 02:44, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Interested editors are welcomed to Operation Himmler where this issues should be discussed and expanded.--Molobo (talk) 14:33, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Please, sign each unsigned entry in this talk with {{unsigned|user|date}}.-- Matthead  DisOuß   14:39, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Recent addition, reverted[edit]

I reverted recent addition by Matthead because of following reasons:

  • he claimed land had been expropriated from the mainly Sudeten German owners but there is no reference for this. I restored it back to land had been expropriated from the owners because there were people of Czechoslovak Republic.
  • he removed maintain order from Czechoslovakian government declared martial law in parts of the Sudetenland to maintain order. which is POV, because there were conflicts between Germans and Czechs.
  • he removed in Czechoslovakia from Citing the need to protect the Germans in Czechoslovakia, Sudetenland was not a part of Germany

I restored previous state. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 15:15, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Total revert rv POV by Tulkolahten of my edits, to the "previous state" he had created, by replacing "Sudeten Germans" by "owner", stating also czechoslovak people owned some land .... I can not see a reference that ethnic Czechs/Slovaks privately owned a significant share of the land that was expropriated for military reasons along the borders to Germany, an area which undoubtedly had been inhabited for generations by a majority of ethnic Germans. Let alone a share close to or over 50%. Removing "to maintain order" from "declared martial law" is POV? Was there a reference that they declared martial law "to maintain order"? Maybe martial law, and the prohibition of any public meeting, had the main purpose to prevent all Sudeten Germans from demonstrating their opinion to the world at large? And "Citing the need to protect the Germans in Czechoslovakia", where was that citation? Did Hitler consider the Sudetenland to be "in Czechoslovakia"? -- Matthead  DisOuß   21:54, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Please remain civil. The area of sudetenland was of course inhabited also by Czechs and Slovaks, it was not purely german-speaking area. What Hitler considered is not relevant, why are you bringing it here? Martial law declared there was to maintain order, it is its purpose. ≈Tulkolahten≈≈talk≈ 22:31, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Conscerning the latest deletion[edit]

Molobo (talk · contribs) deleted text refering the Polish foreign ministers welcoming of the war and his belief that the Poles would be in Berlin within 3 weeks. It is my opinion that this complete irationality on the Polish side is relevant to include. The U.S. diplomat he was talking to though the Polish foreign minister was crazy--Stor stark7 Talk 22:40, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

How is a random stupid comment by a politician relevant to the cause of the war? The comment did not contribute to the war, hence it should not be in causes (many people commented on the 'war to come', so what?).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 23:01, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
The only problem is that this crazy person (the U.S. diplomats words) was not just a "stupid politisian" he was the Polish foreign minister, and thus had direct influence on relations with Germany. You dont think that makes his state of mind relevant?--Stor stark7 Talk 23:13, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Well if the US diplomat believed defending a country from Nazi Germany genocidal regime that already murdrdered Czechs and Jews in its plans of racial crusade was crazy, it only speaks about the diplomat in question. The claim needs better sources the boastfull German weekly, and a context too in which those words were spoken. In the end however it doesn't seem to have any relevance, we write a encyclopedia here, not a tabloid. I would be more interested in explaining how German racism and genocide made in Africa by Germany laid causes to WW2, as this information is not detailed enough.--Molobo (talk) 23:28, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Der Spiegel being boastful, please clarify, but the article does mention it being "Europe's biggest and most influential weekly magazine". And the author seems quite sane and balanced, hardly someone to pull those words out of context. But you are right we should also find the source, should be fun, perhaps there is more fun stuff there. But please Molobo (talk · contribs) I really don't understand what you suddenly have against weekly or daily magazines, since you in so many other instances insert information extracted from exactly that type of source? I wish you luck with your new Africa articles, should be fun to review them. --Stor stark7 Talk 23:38, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Stark-the policies of German genocide in Africa directly influenced Lebensraum on continent and ideas regarding treatment of conquered population, in fact I have a conference paper from Hannover University (IIRC) discussing just that.--Molobo (talk) 23:42, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Bias in opening text[edit]

The opening suggests a much too simplistic cause of the war and only emphasises the fault of Germany and Japan. All nations involved were at fault to some degree. I think it should be rewritten to better reflect the complexity of the issuses as presented in the article. To suggest that there was an immediated cause detracts from the discussion. An introduction should draw a reader into an investigation of the cause of the war rather than making any conclusion. Mike (talk) 21:30, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I find the simplicity appropriate in the lead. The reader came here to read the rest of the article and will explore the complexities with each new section encountered. Fault will be seen to fall in a number of directions. Binksternet (talk) 00:11, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
It is somewhat of bias so perhaps it should read.....The culmination of events that led to World War II are generally understood to be the invasion of Poland by Germany and of China by the Empire of Japan. These military aggressions were the decisions made by authoritarian ruling elites in Germany and Japan. World War II started after these aggressive actions were met with an official declaration of war and/or armed resistance. (talk) 15:02, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Not bad, not bad... You are proposing to change "The immediate causes of" to "The culmination of events that led to" in the opening sentence. I think this is helpful direction. Binksternet (talk) 18:17, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Britain's strategy of turning Germany eastwards to destroy USSR[edit]

Hey, I want to add in the view that Chamberlain's strategy was to turn Germany eastwards to destroy USSR. That view seems to be missing here.

...And by this date, certain members of the Milner Group and of the British Conservative government had reached the fantastic idea that they could kill two birds with one stone by setting Germany and Russia against one another in Eastern Europe.

In this way they felt that the two enemies would stalemate one another, or that Germany would become satisfied with the oil of Rumania and the wheat of the Ukraine.

It never occurred to anyone in a responsible position that Germany and Russia might make common cause, even temporarily, against the West. Even less did it occur to them that Russia might beat Germany and thus open all Central Europe to Bolshevism.

This idea of bringing Germany into a collision with Russia was not to be found, so far as the evidence shows, among any members of the inner circle of the Milner Group.

Rather it was to be found among the personal associates of Neville Chamberlain, including several members of the second circle of the Milner Group. The two policies followed parallel courses until March 1939. After that date the Milner Group’s disintegration became very evident, and part of it took the form of the movement of several persons (like Hoare and Simon) from the second circle of the Milner Group to the inner circle of the new group rotating around Chamberlain...''

A comment[edit]

This article looks like a list; it is awfully unfocused. Obviously, the key "immediate" causes were: (a) German invasion of Poland, (b) the German attack on the USSR, and (c) the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. So, this article should try to answer three major questions: (a) why did Germany invade Poland?; (b)why did Germany attack the USSR?, and (c) why did Japan attack US? These questions are poorly debated in this article, although they were debated in literature. After reading this article, a reader has absolutely no idea what was actually the reason(s) of this war. Another serious shortcoming is lack of in-line citations.Biophys (talk) 04:52, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Also why did Britain and France declare war on Germany when Germany attacked Poland. The reason (public pressure on the british and french governments) is also not given. (talk) 09:36, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
That is easier to answer, but yes, the reasons behind moves by all sides should be explained. This suppose to be a very interesting article. Just needs some work, and the in-line citation should be provided of course.Biophys (talk) 16:54, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The questions raised by Biophys are quite correct and reasonable. --Paul Siebert (talk) 17:21, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

South Tyrol[edit]

"Contributing to this, the Allies did not occupy any part of Germany, with the Western front having been in France for years. Only the German colonies were taken during the war, and Italy took South Tyrol after an armistice had been agreed upon."

O my goodness... South Tyrol was NOT a part of Germany, but a part of Austria-Hungary. --Mike F (German wikipedia) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Competition for Resources[edit]

reader comment -- The Resource Competition section is what I was most interested in. It gave the story for Japan but not for Europe. I consulted Wikipedia because I was interested in both stories. Anyone know the resource competition story for Europe? --Bmarmie (talk) 20:17, 11 October 2008 (UTC)


"For example, Yugoslavia (originally the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes) had 5 major ethnic groups (the Serbs, Croats, Macedons, Montenegrins, and the Slovenes),"

THERE WAS NO "MACEDONS" ETHNIC GROUP IN YUGOSLAVIA BEFORE WORLD WAR II —Preceding unsigned comment added by Feta (talkcontribs) 03:37, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Invasion of the USSR[edit]

Per WP:ASF, "in attributing competing views, it is necessary to ensure that the attribution adequately reflects the relative levels of support for those views, and that it does not give a false impression of parity." The section in its previous form payed more attention to the fringe Suvorov's theory than to the majority's views. The last para created a false impression of parity between Suvorov's critics and (partial) supporters. Fixed. References added.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:17, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Again, Suvorov's theory represents a minority views, and should be represented accordingly. Please, avoid violation of WP policy.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:15, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

The Molotov Riblentrop pact[edit]

I ereased this section because it was a bunch of non-sense letters. I hope someone writes about the Molotov Riblentrop pact beacause of it’s importance in the invation to Poland--Elazoteescriba (talk) 05:36, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Picture with a wrong descriptition[edit]

Westerplate is in Danzig but the pic is made in Gdingen

Deutsch: Das deutsche Schlachtschiff Schleswig-Holstein beschießt die Stadt Gdingen während dem Polenfeldzug. English: German battleship Schleswig-Holstein during a shellfire of Gdynia.-- (talk) 10:44, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Lead up to Pearl Harbor[edit]

In this edit I've removed some material which seems to relate to the view that the US Government deliberatly goaded the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor. In particular, the material was anchored around a quote from Henry L. Stimson's diary that "he had discussed with US President Roosevelt the severe likelihood of imminent war with Japan and that the question had been "how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves"". However, the full text of the diary entry in the source provided actually states:

The President brought up the event that we were likely to be attacked, perhaps (as soon as) next Monday, for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning, and the question was what we should do. The question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.
When I got back to the Department I found news from G-2 that a Japanese expedition had started. Five divisions had come down from Shantung and Shansi to Shanghai and there they had embarked on ships—thirty, forty or fifty ships—and have been sighted south of Formosa. I at once called up Hull and told him about it and sent copies to him and to the President. . . .

As such, it is clear that the discussion was about how to manage the imminent Japanese surprise attack (which was in fact being launched at the time of the conversation, as was soon discovered), and not diplomatic and military maneuvering aiming to spark war. The text I've removed then went on suggest that this exchange was linked to the Hull Note (without citation) and provided vauge text from another source suggesting FDR regarded the attack on Pearl Harbor as a price worth paying. More generally, if one theory of the US Government's actions in the lead up to the start of the Pacific War is going to be presented, competing views also need to be covered. Nick-D (talk) 11:37, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Reparations: article littered with errors[edit]

This articles coverage of the reparation issue is extremely flawed and is playing into the myth that they were harsh and excessive.

Firstly, the ABC news article that claims Germany made her final reparation a few years ago and used as evidence to support the notion that the payments were harsh, acknowledges that the claim is hyperbole. The ABC News article states "The German government will pay the last instalment of interest on foreign bonds it issued in 1924 and 1930 to raise cash to fulfil the enormous reparations demands the victorious Allies made after World War I." Paying off a loan is not paying off reparation payments. This article does not link to, or even mention the Lausanne Conference of 1932 that makes it very clear the reparation payments were stopped by 1932 and not a mark was paid towards reparations thereafter, they had been wiped clean. What was paid off post WW2 were loans taken out during the inter-war years.

Second, the payments were not as harsh as popular believed nor as this article makes out. The 1921 Reparation Payment figure established that Germany would have to pay 132,000 million gold marks in reparations. Most importantly this figure was split into three categories with 80,000 million marks being in class C, "which amounted to indefinitive postponement of about 80,000 millions..."(Bell, pp. 22-23) or around 60 per cent of the bill. Sally Marks notes that the C bonds were all smoke and mirrors that the allies had no intention of collecting but were put in place to provide evidence of punishing Germany to a war weary French public.

Historian Stephen Schuker highlights that the payments amounted to only 6 per cent of the German economy in 1921(Martel, p. 42-43). The Dawes Plan of 1924 established payment should be made at 1,000 million gold marks in 1924 rising to 2,500 million gold marks in the fifth year; payments to amount to only 3.3 per cent GDP(Bell, p. 38, Martel, p. 43). However, during the entire period reparations were paid i.e. the 1920s before the debt was wrote off, the payments amounted to no more than on average 2 per cent (Martel, p. 50). Germany borrowed heavily from the USA to make reparation payments (Bell, p. 41). The Young Plan lowered payments to 2.6 per cent GDP. The 1931 conference saw the entire system abandoned. The various downward revisions, inflation, Germany defaulting on foreign investment, loans, and reparation payments resulted in "a unilateral transfer equal to a startling 5.3 per cent of German national income for 1919-31.(Martel, p. 43)

Bell, The Origins of the Second World War in Europe Martel, The Origins of the Second World War reconsidered

Intro needs reforming[edit]

Currently it begins with:

"Out of all causes of World War II, the desire and ability of Adolf Hitler, in control of Nazi Germany, to dominate Europe (especially agrarian lands in the East) and resettle German farmers was dominant"

Starting like this is wrong and inflammatory. Wikipedia intros need to be based on the content of the article, and give something of the flavour of it. In particular, in this case there needs to be some acknowledgement of the whole host of causes and then (perhaps), summarize with the current text. Snori (talk) 20:55, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

The current lede follows the RS and emphasizes multiple goals: the "desire and ability of Adolf Hitler, in control of Nazi Germany, to dominate Eastern Europe, eliminate the Jews, and replace Slavic farmers with resettled German farmers." Rjensen (talk) 22:20, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
But the way it is formulated is absolutely misleading, and I came to this talk page exactly to raise the issue and at least it confirms my concerns that Snori has already raised it. I absolutely agree that Lebensraum was a major factor, but to present it as if all others were secondary (to take one at random, Versailles revisionism and the desire of many Germans to see Germny re-established as a great power was at least as important), and on top of that in a way that would leave one believing it was some kind of agricultural lobby policy is simply astonishing, and I had trouble believing I was really reading what I thought I was reading. walk victor falk talk 17:49, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the text works fine--the other "causes" (Versailles revisionism and the desire of many Germans to see Germany re-established as a great power) had been fully achieved by 1936-38 and did not cause a war in 1939. It was caused when Hitler invaded east--into Poland (Britain and France declared war) and 1941 when he moved further east (into USSR, which now entered the war). The text explains why he moved east. are there some other causes that need mentioning?? Rjensen (talk) 01:40, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

There's another issue with the intro - the opening sentence in fact - it currently reads 'Among the main long-term causes of World War II were Britain and France declaring war on Germany after it invaded Poland...' which clearly isn't accurate, the declaration of war by Britain obviously can't be considered a long-term cause, so the wording needs to be altered somehow. Jlctom (talk) 00:13, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes I fixed that to read: "The immediate cause was Britain and France declaring war on Germany after it invaded Poland in September 1939." Rjensen (talk) 00:34, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

What of Japanese Reasons? And the date of Start and End of War[edit]

None of the major Japanese complaints are listed 1. Blocking of racial equality clause. This simply meant that Japanese are just second rate citizens. 2. Japan's war of aggression came only because all it's attempts to get resources peacefully were blocked. Read the American terms of ultimatum against Japanese advance. 3. Manchuria incident. If Japan invades and brutalizes Manchuria, it cannot be termed humane, but western imperialism can be? It is the same question Japan asked in the debate. A simplest instance of this is the drug trade emanating from Manchuria conveniently forgetting that British India hit the world's all time drug production levels(even more than Columbia and Afghanistan combined in their peak years), I believe in 1906. By the way, when did the second world war start? Is it 1931(Second China War) or 1935(Invasion of Ethiopia) or is it just a continuation of the first world war after a brief lull? And when did it end? 1945 - Surrender of Japan 1953 - Korea War 1950 - Chinese Civil War 1949 - Indonesian Independence 1975 - Vietnam War(technically reestablishing control over pre-war territories) This is under the assumption that the low level civil war still going on in Korea or between China and Taiwan is not considered. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

I know this is a group project, but it's got some crazy ideas in it[edit]

What caused world war II? Germany's attack on other countries, not Britain and France's declaration of war. Economic problems caused hitler to fight? No, he was planning on this from the beginning. Nazi apologists don't belong on Wiki. (talk) 18:44, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Prior to Britain and France's war declarations, it was merely a localised war: The German Invasion of Poland, and not a European or World war yet. On the note of 'economic problems', I've never heard of Nazi-era Germany having economic problems until it was bombed by the RAF and USAF halfway through the war..
"Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view", so while its articles shouldn't promote Nazi apologism, it also shouldn't promote the opposite, including pointing some (truthful) blame onto France, the UK, USA (etc, etc). Zjohn4 (talk) 17:39, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Soviet influence in Europe[edit]

(It's a copy of a dicussion in Talk:World Wat II. If such copy is illegal, please correct.)

The Soviet Union was highly militarized, the Red Army was the biggest army of the world in 1939. Soviet industry produced arms or new plants, almost no consumption goods. The SU wanted to "liberate" people of the world, at least the ones of Europe, and wanted to annect former Russian lands. Communist parties were controlled from Moscow. Summarizing - Soviet politics influenced Europe. The text criticizes the West, who didn't cooperate with the Soviets. The Soviets murdered millions before WWII, Nazis thousands.Xx236 (talk) 08:56, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
the USSR was indeed heavily militarized, but Stalin had purged most of the generals and many of the key personnel in 1938. Military analysts in all major nations decided that the result was a very weak and leaderless, albeit very large, army. Rjensen (talk) 08:58, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
An army is only a part of a militarized nation, the other ones being industry, police (which had an army Internal Troops), total terror. The 1941 Red Army was almost completely destroyed, but the second or even the third Red Army won the war.
I also believe that the purge of officers was wrong, but there are some authors who accept the purge of uneducated Bolsheviks.

Xx236 (talk) 10:47, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Can you explain what part of the text you are objecting to?--Jack Upland (talk) 12:42, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
Background#Europe describes Western Europe, it doesn't inform about Soviet war preparations, Communist influence in Europe, including the conflict between Socialists and Communists in Germany, which opened the way to Hitler.Xx236 (talk) 08:19, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
It does mention the political conflict in Germany; it just isn't specific. It also doesn't mention the Great Depression, which is a major omission. I guess the section could be expanded, but, then again, it has to be in proportion to the article. I don't think that mainstream historians emphasise the Soviet military threat. The Soviet naval and air forces were negligible. Soviet economic policies were widely regarded as disastrous, and the country was in political turmoil, with key government figures being purged. It wasn't Soviet military strength that conditioned Hitler's war in the East, but perceived Soviet military weakness, as exemplified in the Winter War. Most people, including Hitler, underestimated Soviet potential.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:00, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 by Roger Moorhouse. Moorhouse looks to be quite mainstream.
You don't need any navy to annect Europe, if you have Ukraine.Xx236 (talk) 07:08, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
World War II aircraft production.Xx236 (talk) 07:13, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
I believe that you are Western-centric (please translate into English). The WWII took place mostly in Eastern Europe, the majority of victims came from the East. The West had freedom to create biased image of WWII in Europe.Xx236 (talk) 07:21, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
If you mean the phrase The interwar period saw strife between supporters of the new republic and hardline opponents on both the right and left it doesn't say about the Socialists-Communists conflict. 1925 Because of Thälmann's participation the left-wing vote was split, giving an advantage to Hindenburg. Some Berlin Communists cooperated with Nazis during a 1932 strike. Xx236 (talk) 07:41, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
Historians do not attribute the start of World War II to the Soviet Union, so there's no reason to emphasise its role as suggested here. Nick-D (talk) 11:14, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
I think you should look on a dictionary what this adjective you're attributing really means. Bertdrunk (talk) 03:49, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
All historians or some Russian historians? The moon causes tidal effects, the same big army and arm industry and Communist parties cause effects even if some historians don't see it.Xx236 (talk) 07:03, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
It is significant that in his Testament, even as Red Army troops were entering Berlin, Hitler blamed the war on international Jewry, specifically financiers, not on the looming Soviet threat in 1939. Most international observers thought the war between Germany and the USSR would be over in a couple of months. The USSR had struggled against Finland, and its military had been decapitated by Stalin's purges. Its air force was technologically backward. Its navy was weak. It was unable to defend its Baltic Coast, so Leningrad was vulnerable. The weakness of the USSR was demonstrated as soon as the war started with Germany.--Jack Upland (talk) 22:59, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
The weak USSR won the war. the war between Germany and the USSR would be over in a couple of months - probably if Germany allowed to dissolve kolkhoses. But Hitler's Germany wasn't able to win the USSR killing and robbing.
Leningrad was vulnerable but successful.
You hardly can use a real navy in the Baltic pond. Xx236 (talk) 07:18, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

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