There are many reasons why World War 2 started. When looking at the facts, it becomes clear that its roots can be traced back decades earlier.
The Treaty of Versailles
After World War I, the triumphant Allies created the Treaty of Versailles. Among its many provisions were limiting the German Army to no more than 100,000 men. Lands that had belonged to Germany in Asia were taken away. The Germans were also forced to pay 33 billion dollars to the Allies. There were also economic sanctions imposed.
All of these left bitterness in the hearts of some German nationalists. The end result was that in the 1920s, the nation would be beset by political instability. This would lead to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Part of the reason why World War 2 started was Hitler’s decision to tear up the Treaty of Versailles.
Hitler knew that Britain and France would do almost anything to avoid another war. In 1935 Hitler announced the creation of a German Army of 550,000 men. This was a violation of the Treaty, but Britain and France did not do anything.
A Policy of Appeasement
Another reason why World War 2 started was the European leaders’ policy of appeasement. Instead of condemning Hitler, Britain and France accepted the justifications that Hitler used in his acts of aggression.
In 1938 Germany occupied Austria. Austria had its own government and was a country distinct from Germany. Yet when the Nazis took over, the other European nations took no action. The most glaring example of this policy took place on September 29, 1938 at Munich.
The Germans had demanded that Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia become part of Germany. Although Czechoslovakia was allied with Britain and France, she was abandoned. Sudetenland became part of Germany.
Soon after, Nazi Germany took over Prague the Czech capital. This was one of the biggest reasons why World War 2 started. In the beginning Hitler declared that he took over Austria and the Sudetenland to take back what belonged to Germany. But Czechoslovakia was a different matter. It was not a German land.
The Invasion of Poland
In early 1939, Hitler began demanding that the city of Danzig in Poland be returned to the Germans. Britain and France declared they would help if Germany invaded.
The two asked the Soviet Union to help. They failed. Instead, Stalin made a pact with Hitler. Germany and Russia would divide Poland. On September 1 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. Fifty hours later, Britain and France declared war on Germany.
It can be seen that the reason why World War 2 started was the Allies’ refusal to acknowledge the existence of the threat. They tried to do everything to prevent war. Instead it turned into a holocaust.