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causes of the World War-II

The causes of the World War-II are easier to
ascertain than those of world war-I.
The WW II was Hitler's Personal War in
many senses.
He intended it, he prepared for it, he chose
the moment for the launching of it and for
three years in the main he planned its
Hossbach Minutes
On November 5, 1937, Hitler gathered around
his chiefs of the armed forces and outlined to
them his long range plans.
His record, the so called Hossbach Minutes,
discovered after the war, represents a key
document in the understanding of events
leading to WW-II.
The 85 million German had to acquire
additional living space or face extension.
This space lay in Europe not over seas.
Germany would attain the peak of military
strength in 1943-45 and this was the latest
date launching war, although it could begin
In any event, the immediate task was to
destroy Austria and Czechoslovakia.
Treaty of Versailles had in itself the seeds of the
Second World War

Germany was defeated in the First World War.

She was not invited to the Paris Peace
Germany was forced to sign a harsh and
humiliating treaty.
German territories were taken away from her.
She was deprived of her colonies.
Her navy was completely disbanded.
Her army was reduced considerably.
The Weimar Republic was not in a position to
solve the post-war problems.
The German people decided to take revenge
for their humiliation.
In fact, the Second World War was a war of
Inter-war period ; period of dictators ;Rise of
Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan witnessed the
rise of dictators.
In Germany, the Weimar Republic was weak.
Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party took full
advantage of the weakness of the Republican
Government and brought the government
under his control.
He captured Austria ; Czechoslovakia and
attacked Poland
Italy felt that it was deceived in the Paris
Peace Conference.
Mussolini started the Fascist Party.
In 1922 he captured power and became a
He also followed an aggressive foreign policy.
In Spain, General Franco defeated the
Republican Government and established his
In this effort, he was assisted by the armies of
Hitler and Mussolini.
Japan became a partner of Hitler and
Mussolini by signing the Rome- BerlinTokyo

The failure of the disarmament efforts after

the First World War was a major reason for
the outbreak of a new War.
In the Paris Peace conference Germany was
forced to disarm itself.
The German Government demanded
disarmament of the victorious powers, in the
same way as she had been disarmed.
Victors refused.
Germany under the dictatorship of Hitler
increased its military strength.
Owing to the immense increase in armaments
and the development of militarism, the
Second World War became inevitable.

Like WW I the policy of imperialism was also one

of the causes for the Second World War.
Germany and Japan made their efforts to expand
their respective territories.
Hitler occupied
Czechoslovakia and incorporated them into
German territory.
Japan attacked Manchuria and captured it
from China.
Mussolini occupied Abyssinia and launched a
series of aggressive activities.

Race for colonies among the European

countries in order to obtain raw materials and
markets for their industrial growth.
This trend continued among these powers
even after the First World War.
Germany was deprived of all her colonies at
the Paris Peace Conference.
Italy was dissatisfied with the treatment of
Allied Powers.
Japan, a powerful Asiatic country wanted to
have colonies to enrich its resources.
It is in these circumstances Germany, Italy and
Japan decided to follow aggressive foreign
policy. These aggressive actions ultimately led
to the Second World War.
Failure of the League of Nations

League of Nations was established to solve

controversies among the nations and to
maintain permanent peace and order in the
Even the members of the League failed to
respect the provisions of the covenant of the
Those who violated the provisions simply
walked out of the League, without any
The League could not contain the Japanese
annexation of Manchuria and Italian invasion of
Hitlers activities posed a challenge to the League.
Thus, the failure of the League of Nations to
control aggressive countries was a major cause
for World War II.
Why League of Nations Failed ?
( 1921 1939) :
The League of Nations was the first
experiment to establish and international
organization in the political field. One of its
main shortcomings was that it was primarily
aimed to preserve existence consequent on
the Treaty of Versailles of 1919.
The other major reasons for its failure were :
1. It lost its universality of membership.
2. Basically it acted as European club.
3. President Woodrow Wilson, one of the
founding fathers of the League of Nations was
not allowed to join the League of Nations,
because the US senate refused to ratify the
government of the League.
4. The League of Nations failed to prevent the
aggression and conquest of Manchuria (north
east of china) by Japan in 1931.
5. It also failed to prevent the aggression of
Abyssinia (Ethiopis) by Italy under Mussolini in
6. the emergence of dictatorship and the eclipse
of democracies in many parts of Europe was
another important factor.
7. The emergence of Nazism in Germany and the
rise of Adolf Hitler.
8. The League had no role to play in the field of
international economics.
9. The US congress reduced its contribution to
the League budged by 25%.
10. It failed to enforce its resolutions against
aggressive nations. (Japan, Germany and Italy).