Why Did World War 2 Start? A Comprehensive Overview

World War 2, also known as the Second World War, was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved a majority of the world’s nations, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Axis Powers and the Allied Powers. This war caused immense destruction and loss of life, with estimates suggesting that between 70-85 million people lost their lives. But what were the causes that led to such a devastating war? In this post, we will examine the historical context and events that triggered the outbreak of World War 2. From the Treaty of Versailles to the invasion of Poland, we will explore the complex web of factors that contributed to one of the deadliest conflicts in human history.



World War 2 was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, and it had a profound impact on the world we live in today. In order to understand why this war happened, it’s important to examine the underlying causes that led up to it. There were many factors at play, including political tensions, economic struggles, and territorial disputes.

One major cause of World War 2 was the aftermath of World War 1 and the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty imposed harsh punishments on Germany, including massive reparations payments, territorial losses, and restrictions on their military capabilities. These measures left Germany economically devastated and fueled resentment and nationalism within the country.

Another key factor was the appeasement policy pursued by Western powers, particularly Britain under Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. This policy involved making concessions to Hitler and other aggressive leaders in an effort to avoid conflict. While it may have temporarily prevented war, it ultimately emboldened these leaders and gave them the confidence to continue their aggressive actions.

The invasion of Poland is often cited as the event that triggered the outbreak of World War 2. This invasion violated international law and prompted declarations of war from Britain and France, leading to a broader conflict involving Axis and Allied powers.

Understanding the complex web of causes that led up to World War 2 is essential for gaining insight into this monumental historical event. By examining the politics, economics, and social dynamics of the era, we can gain a greater appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who fought and died in this conflict, and we can also learn valuable lessons about how to prevent such disasters from happening again in the future.

The Treaty of Versailles

Terms of the Treaty

The Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919, set the terms for peace following World War 1. Among its provisions were significant territorial losses for Germany, major disarmament requirements, and heavy financial reparations.

One of the most impactful aspects of the Treaty on Germany was the loss of territory. The former German territories of Alsace-Lorraine were returned to France, while Poland was given independence and granted land formerly belonging to Germany. Additionally, Germany was forced to give up all of its colonies. These territorial losses had a significant impact on Germany’s economy and pride as a nation.

Another requirement of the Treaty was the limitation placed on Germany’s army. Germany was only allowed to maintain an army of 100,000 men, with no air force or tanks. This was a significant reduction from Germany’s previous military strength and limited its ability to defend itself against potential future threats.

Finally, the Treaty imposed substantial financial reparations on Germany. The amount was originally set at 132 billion gold marks, which was later reduced to 50 billion. However, even this reduced sum proved to be a crushing burden for Germany, contributing to hyperinflation and economic instability in the country.

Overall, the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were designed to punish Germany for its role in World War 1 and ensure that it would not be able to pose a military threat in the future. While the Treaty achieved these goals, it also created conditions that ultimately led to the outbreak of World War 2.

Impact on Germany

Impact on Germany

After World War I, Germany was hit hard by the Treaty of Versailles, which imposed severe economic sanctions and territorial losses. As a result, Germany’s economy suffered greatly, and the country faced significant struggles in the years leading up to World War II.

One of the major economic struggles that Germany faced was hyperinflation. The German government printed vast amounts of money to pay war reparations and other debts, causing the value of the currency to plummet and prices to skyrocket. This led to widespread poverty and social unrest, as many Germans struggled to make ends meet.

However, it wasn’t just economic factors that contributed to Germany’s role in World War II. Nationalism also played a major part in the country’s decision to engage in conflict. Many Germans felt a strong sense of national pride and believed that Germany had been unfairly treated by the Treaty of Versailles. This fueled resentment and a desire for revenge, which ultimately led to the rise of Nazi ideology and the ascent of Adolf Hitler.

Hitler and the Nazi Party promised to restore Germany’s former glory and create a new empire, which appealed to many Germans who were struggling to make a living. However, this nationalism also encouraged xenophobia and racism, which resulted in the persecution of Jews and other minority groups.

Overall, the impact of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles had a profound effect on Germany’s economy and political landscape. While economic struggles played a role in the lead-up to World War II, it was ultimately the combination of nationalism and the rise of fascist ideology that led to Germany’s participation in one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history.

Appeasement Policy

Munich Agreement

The Munich Agreement, signed on September 30th, 1938, was a political settlement between Adolf Hitler and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain that focused on the issue of the Sudetenland region in Czechoslovakia. The agreement granted Germany control over this region, which had a significant number of ethnic Germans, in exchange for Hitler’s promise to stop further territorial expansion.

Hitler had long argued that this region rightfully belonged to Germany and used the plight of ethnic Germans living there as justification for his aggressive stance. In response, Czechoslovakia had mobilized its army, prompting fears of an armed conflict across Europe. Chamberlain, eager to avoid war, engaged in negotiations with Hitler and eventually agreed to the terms of the Munich Agreement.

While the agreement was initially celebrated as a diplomatic victory, it ultimately proved disastrous. Hitler quickly broke his promise and continued his aggressive expansionist policies, including the annexation of all of Czechoslovakia just six months later. The Munich Agreement is now widely viewed as a symbol of appeasement and the failure of diplomacy to prevent World War II.

Critics of the agreement argue that Chamberlain’s willingness to cede territory to Hitler only emboldened the Nazi leader and set the stage for further aggression. Others point to the fact that the Czechoslovak government was not invited to the negotiations and was essentially sacrificed by the Western powers in their attempts to avoid war.

In hindsight, the Munich Agreement was a prime example of the dangers of appeasement in the face of aggression. The lessons learned from this failed attempt at diplomacy continue to inform international politics today.

Invasion of Poland



Alliances played a significant role in the events leading up to the outbreak of World War 2. The main two alliances were the Axis Powers and the Allied Powers.

The Axis Powers consisted of Germany, Italy, and Japan. These countries formed an alliance based on their shared interests in territorial expansion and military supremacy. In 1936, they signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, which was aimed at countering the spread of communism. With the signing of the Tripartite Pact in 1940, these countries agreed to mutual defense against any country not already involved in the war.

On the other hand, the Allied Powers, also known as the United Nations, were led by the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. Other countries such as France, China, Canada, and Australia later joined the alliance. The primary goal of this alliance was to halt the aggression of the Axis Powers and maintain peace. One of the most significant accomplishments of the Allies was the formation of the Atlantic Charter, which is considered the foundation of the United Nations.

The alliances had a profound impact on the war as it created competing spheres of influence. Any attack from one power would automatically engage the other, making it difficult for any country to act unilaterally without risking retaliation from the opposing alliance. For example, when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, it triggered Great Britain and France’s declaration of war against Germany. Japan’s decision to bomb Pearl Harbor in December 1941 resulted in the United States’ formal entry into the war.

In conclusion, the alliances formed during World War 2 played a crucial role in shaping the outcome of the conflict. It created a complex web of relationships between nations that made it challenging to predict how events would unfold. The Axis Powers and the Allied Powers became the driving force behind the war and ultimately determined its outcome.



The outbreak of World War 2 had far-reaching consequences that shaped the world we live in today. The war resulted in the deaths of millions of people and left many more injured, displaced, or traumatized. The consequences of the war were both immediate and long-lasting, affecting political, economic, social, and cultural systems across the globe.

One of the most significant consequences of the war was the redrawing of national borders, particularly in Europe and Asia. Many countries lost territory, while others gained it. The war also led to the creation of new nations, such as Israel and India, and the dissolution of empires, such as the British and the Japanese.

The war also marked the beginning of the nuclear age, with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. This event changed the way countries approached conflict and highlighted the need for international cooperation to prevent the use of nuclear weapons.

On a more positive note, the war was a catalyst for technological advancements. Medical innovations, such as penicillin and blood transfusions, saved countless lives on the battlefield. Advances in aviation, radar, and cryptography paved the way for future developments in science and technology.

In conclusion, the outbreak of World War 2 had a profound impact on the world and its people. The consequences of the war continue to be felt today, reminding us of the importance of peace, diplomacy, and cooperation. As we reflect on this dark period in history, let us strive to learn from it and work towards a brighter future for all.
Looking back at the causes of World War II, it is clear that a combination of factors led to one of the deadliest conflicts in human history.
From the harsh terms imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, to the policy of appeasement towards Hitler’s aggression, the stage was set for war.
The invasion of Poland was the final straw, and the world was plunged into another global conflict.
The impact of this war was profound, leading to the deaths of millions of people and reshaping the geopolitical landscape of the world.
As we reflect on this dark chapter in history, let us remember the lessons learned and work towards peace and understanding among all nations.

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