The Causes, And Consequences Of World War II

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World War II caused greater destruction than any other war in history. The war took the lives of about 17 million soldiers and an even greater number of civilians, who died as a result of bombings, starvation, and deliberate campaigns of mass murder. The war also ushered in the atomic age and was quickly followed by the collapse of the wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union and the beginning of the Cold War. World War I created the conditions that led to World War II. The peace settlement ending the war, which stripped the Central Powers of territory and arms and required them to pay reparations, left lasting bitterness in Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Turkey. The peace treaty also disappointed two of the victors, Italy and Japan. In addition, the war severely disrupted Europe's economies and helped set the stage for the Great Depression of the 1930s. General histories of the war, which examine the war's origins, military history, and consequences, include John Keegan, The Second World War (1989); C.L. Sulzberger and Stephen E. Ambrose, American Heritage New History of World War II (1997); and Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994). Valuable reference works include I.C.B. Dear and M.R.D. Foot, eds., The Oxford Companion to the Second World War (1995); John Ellis, World War II: A Statistical Survey (1993); and John Keegan, ed., The Times Atlas to the Second World War (1989). To understand the war's

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