Origins of the Second World War in Europe

1637 WordsMar 3, 20087 Pages
To uncover the origins of the Second World War is a difficult task and to summarize it, even more so, but this is exactly what historian P.M.H. Bell does in his astounding book The Origins of the Second World War in Europe. Although Bell does a great job of providing accounts on both sides of the debate on the origins of the Second World War, he does have his own mindset about it. In his eyes, Bell sees the Second World War as being a thirty year war, driven by the ideology and economics of Germany, which was not preplanned by blueprint. He outlines this very clearly in the conclusion of his book, basing it on knowledge that he interlaid throughout. Bell begins this read by illustrating the theory of the thirty years war. This,…show more content…
While Hitler wasn 't interested in conquering the mighty USSR from the start, he did for see an eventual war with her for her abundant resources16. Thus, the clash that the two countries had in 1941 was long coming, but not a surprise. Living space then, was a necessary objective in Hitler 's eyes, but in order to achieve this space he needed to develop Germany 's army first. So he did. Between 1933 and 1939 the Treaty of Versailles was secretly avoided to massively increase the size of the German army, from 100,000 to 300,00017. The Luftwaffe, German air force, also rapidly increased and by 1940 it was the strongest among all the European powers. The German war machine was impressive, in just six years it went from being the weakest army to one of the strongest18. However, this created a vicious circle in terms of foreign policy for Germany: Hitler wanted living space, so he built up the army. However, in order to pay for this rapid rearmament, he had to conquer territories. Thus, Hitler made war profitable and a key part of the foreign policy of Germany19. To sum up, Hitler 's Germany lived on a balanced diet of economics and ideology. On the one hand, Hitler 's ideology called for living space for his great Aryan race. However, on the other hand, economics were the backbone of building an army large enough to acquire it. This resulted in Hitler conquering many new lands for his cause. First there was
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