Talk:World War II

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Good article World War II has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

inter-national, not global[edit]

"was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945"

The word global is misused here. Global means a war that spans the entire globe. WWII did not span the entire globe. It was inter-national. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.79.143.139 (talk) 05:40, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, global economy does not span Antarctica, but it's still global, isn't it? World War II did span enough countries on different continents to be called "global". Vanjagenije (talk) 15:16, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
World War II took place on or adjacent to (in the case of Antarctica) every continent, so it was a global war. Nick-D (talk) 08:24, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Pyrrhic victory[edit]

Some time ago I noticed through my watchlist that FilBox101 inserted 'pyrrhic' before 'victory' in the infobox. Later Alex Bakharev removed it. Can we get a consensus on this? Or has one already been reached? Green547 (talk) 17:10, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Why would the victory be pyrrhic. The phrase pyrrhic victory is, as far as I know, generally reserved for a situation where a battle (or war) has lead to such devastating losses at the side of the victor, that another battle with the same enemy would almost certainly result in a decisive defeat of the earlier victor. By the end of WWII this is definitely not the case as the US-UK-USSR(and other allied) armies could easily crush any army fielded by either Germany or Japan (or any other Axis nation). Arnoutf (talk) 17:46, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Well User:FilBox101's edit summary was 'due to the massive number of casualties' and definitely it was a massive number of losses. I'd like to see his POV on this before moving ahead. Green547 (talk) 18:03, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Probably none of the parties would be able to field the same power as they had in the field in 1940. But since there were no powers in the world at that time who could, that does not make it a Pyrrhic victory - a victory with so much casualties it would lead to almost certain loss if the ongoing war would continue from the status quo after the victory. If we redefine Pyrrhic victory to fit the outcome of WWII almost all major wars would have ended in a Pyrrhic victory. E.g. the outcome of the Napoleontic war would also be Pyrrhic (Wellington would not have been able to confront the Grande Armee immediately after Waterloo -- But that was a non-issue as Napoleon already lost that army in his ill-fated Russian campaign). Similarly the French would probably not have been able to withstand the original 1914 German attack in 1918, however the Germans were not able to execute that attack anymore in 1918.
But I am interested in User:FilBox101 detailed arguments why this would be a Pyrrhic victory as well Arnoutf (talk) 19:50, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I was going through that sort of arguments in my head, but I think the number of casualties and resources expended is relevant also. Pyrrhic victory could simply mean a victory won at a terrible cost. We need his imput on this. Cheers, Green547 (talk) 21:07, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
In a summary like an infobox, when a qualifier such as Pyrrhic is at all debatable....then it should be left out. An editors opinion on it is not RS'd. Only if the consensus of mainstream historians employ it..should it ever be considered. Juan Riley (talk) 22:51, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
I, too, have not seen "pyrrhic victory" applied to World War II, and find it inappropriate. Perhaps it's the huge Russian losses that make that term seem suitable, but a pyrrhic victory is appropriate when the defeated has inherently greater resources and can eventually win a war of attrition. The Axis had no such reserve strength against the Allies. Dhtwiki (talk) 10:56, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
I've also never seen any source describe World War II as a "Pyrrhic victory" or similar for the Allies. It's hard to see how that would be the case given that the Allies completely defeated the Axis powers and then went on to dominate the post-war world. Nick-D (talk) 11:56, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
WW2 was certainly a pyrrhic victory for Britain and France as the two countries were completely destroyed. (Dredernely (talk) 02:14, 21 July 2015 (UTC))
But being completely destroyed after being victorious is not necessarily a Pyrrhic victory - a Pyrrhic victory means that after such a victory the next battle to the same enemy is almost certainly lost. While Britain was very much damaged, Germany could not have fielded an army with any hopes of defeating Britain in mid 1945 (as Germany was even more damaged at the time). Therefor it was not a Pyrrhic victory.
In the larger scope of things WWII did result in the folding of the European colonial empires (not only British and French but also Dutch, Italian and German). So if we consider WWII as an episode in ongoing colonial wars it may be construed as a Pyrrhic victory. However that construal would be original research; and in any case be beyond the current article. Arnoutf (talk) 10:25, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Start Date of 1937[edit]

I am an Englishman with no particular connection with China, but I think a start date of 1937 has merit and should be reconsidered.

The occupation of Manchuria can be compared with the annexation of the Sudetenland, or the rest of Czechia, in that it was barely resisted; and also because peace between nations was restored afterwards, whether it should have been or not. For these reasons they can all be considered precursor confrontations along with the invasion of Abyssinia, the reoccupation of the Rhineland, and the Spanish Civil War. The Japanese invasion of China in 1937 was as fiercely resisted as the German invasion of Poland in 1939, and China did not end hostilities with Japan until 1945, just as Britain and Free France did not end hostilities with Germany until 1945. The Tripartite Pact binding together the Axis was not signed until after each one of these invasions had already begun.

Most of the opposition to a 1937 start date seems to be based on whether the Sino-Japanese end of the conflict was big enough to warrant the term "World War", before the entry of America. This strikes me as thinner, more semantic argument then perhaps its advocates realise. "World War II" is a term of art. Even if no-one had thought to call it that, historians would still have to acknowledge somehow this war that grew from two locations- Europe and the Far East, that drew in more and more participants until a large portion of the world was engulfed, and which was uninterrupted by any peace between all parties. I think the sterility of trying to decide how much of the world makes a "World War" is well demonstrated by the contributor below.

I also suspect from some of the archived talk pages that a lot of people are shy of defying the conventional wisdom about when the war started. This doesn't seem like a very 'Wikipedia' type of approach to me. 90.195.57.233 (talk) 09:42, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia type of approach is to cite reliable sources (See: WP:V). We are not allowed to draw our own conclusions (see: WP:NOR), but only to present the information already published by reliable sources. Encyclopedia Britannica says that the WII started in 1939 [1], as do most other reliable sources. Do you have some reliable sources that explicitly say the War started in 1937? Vanjagenije (talk) 12:54, 30 July 2015 (UTC)