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Commencement: World war II, was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the worlds nations, including

all of the great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. In 1945,World War II terminated. It was the most terrible and detrimental war in the history of the world. Much of Europe and Asia lay in ruins about 70 million people had been killed in only six years. More than half of them were civilians. But many people in many countries felt that they had met and destroyed a great evil. After the end of pernicious world war-II historian have shown more ebullience to the origins of that war. They did not give attention to explicate the scientific explanation by showing how the Second World War followed a pattern of behavior roughly consistent with other wars of its type. John A. Vasquez, a renowned political scientist, sought to identify new and non-realist explanation of war derived from a review of quantitative peace research conducted in the last thirty years to indicate the general causes of the Second World War in Europe. In the light of his article-The causes of the Second world war in Europe: A New Scientific Explanation-I jot down onset of the Second World War and expansion of the Second World War at one sitting .But before this I want to define World War. What is World War: Vasquez defined world war technically-to a large-extent severe war among major states that involves the leading states at some point in the war and most other major states in a struggle to resolve the most fundamental issues on the global political agenda.1 In fact, World War II was in many ways a label for several parallel or overlapping wars and central conflict in Europe overly a three-way struggle for power among Nazism, democracy and Communism. World War II: At a glance Period: 1939-1945 Principal Combatants: Axis powers (including Germany, Italy and Japan) Allied powers (including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, Netherland, France, Britain Canada, Australia, Newzealand , China, and later the United States and the Soviet Union. Principal Theater: Europe, the Atlantic, the pacific, pacific islands, Asia(especially China, Burma, India and Japan) Major issues and objectives: The causes of World War II are many and complex; the principal source of German aggression may be found in Adolf Hitlers pursuit of lebensraum. The causes of the Second world war in Europe:A New Scientific Explanation by John A. Vasquez: There is a table which contains series of steps that plays role as catalyst to inter-state war and then a set of conditions that makes the inter-state war expand.2 Table 1.Typical Path Associated with world War(Application to Second World War in Europe) Steps to interstate war
Rise of territorial disputes (underlying cause) Handled in a power politics fashion (proximate causes) Military buildups Alliance making Repeated crisis One crisis escalates to war when -Physical threat to vital issue -Ongoing arms race -Escalatory bargaining across crises -Hostile spiral

-Hard-liners on least one side

Factors promoting expansion of war Allied non-belligerents brought in Bordering states brought in Rivals brought in Bandwagon effects present Breakdown of political order States brought in because of economic dependence Systemic factors necessary for World war Multipolar distribution of capability (reduced by) polarization into 2 hostile blocs Neither bloc preponderant

1 2

Vasquez,J.A(1993),The War Puzzle,Cambridge: Cambridge university press. Brecher, M. and J.Wilkenfeld(forth coming).Twentieth Centaury Crises and Conflicts

Steps into interstate war: Rise to territorial disputes: Territorial disputes are traced as a fundamental cause of all interstate wars. it was the key goal guiding hitlers overall foreign policy and diplomacy. Vasquez identified interstate wars are fought between neighbors and have involved territorial issues. 3 World War I helped cause World War II. World War I had ended with the defeat of Germany in 1918.Afterward, people in Germany were bitter .In the aftermath of world war I, a defeated Germany signed the treaty of Versailles. This caused Germany to lose a significant portion of its territory, prohibited annexation of other state, limited the size of German armed forces and imposed reparation. They believed that they had been unfairly to blamed for the war I. They were being made to pay money to victorious Britain and France. There are some specific territorial wreak between Germany and France; Germany and Poland These included, among others: Polish claims against Teschen (in Cechoslovakia): Hungarian claims to the Magyar area of Slovakia, to Ruthenia and to Transylvania (in Romania):Italian desires for Albania and Corfu demands on France for Corsica ,Nice and Tunisia; Russia ambitions in Finland, the Baltic states and Romania; German desire for Memel ; and a host of irredentist sentiments, such as that of the Ukranian nationalists , for a shifting of territory. Some of these disputes like the Italian attack on Albania would lead directly to war on their own. Handled in a power politics fashion(proximate cause):It is a dynamic component of war. When coercion is threatened or applied between equals .Political actors will recourse to a series of realist practices. In the modern global system, realist folklore tells leaders that, when faced with threats to their security, they should rise their power by -- 1)making alliances and 2)Building up their military forces. The adoption of realist practices can be seen as taking a series of steps forward war. Together these steps can be viewed as proximate causes of war among equals.Both making of alliances and the building up of ones military forces increase the probability of war because they threaten ones opponent & produce counter-response. 1)Making of alliances: Making of alliances can be seen as a step to war. Because immediately after Versailles, Frances rivalry with Germany spurred her on to make a number of alliances as a way of fencing Germany. For this reason France needed major states and the obvious ones were Britain,the Soviet Union and Italy. Though France was able to sign an alliance with Soviet Union , the Abyssinian invasion forced France to choose between Italy and Britain.France chose Briatin. As france and England did cooperate in an attempt to mine and occupy Norwegian ports to close them to German U-boats, Norway made to ally with Germany. A number of minor states: Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia also felt the need for allies because they became benefited from the Versailles settlement at the expense of Hungry. France signed bilateral alliances with each of these states. On the other hand, at the end of September the Tripartite pact between Japan,Italy and Germany formalized the axis powers.While the repeated crisis were a product of Hitlers foreign policy and his territorial goals, the crisis had the own effects and fueled rivalry by making each side take steps to build up its military strength and make alliances. Britain made an alliance with Poland and France reconfirmed its alliance with Poland. Hitler had been trying to develop a tripartite pact with Italy,Japan as a way of menacing Britain on three fronts. The turning point before the WWII occurred with the Munich crisis and the failure of the British and French agreements with Hitler to reach an overall mutually acceptable settlement. 2) Military build-ups:The second world war was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the worlds, nations including all of the great powers , organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. The military builds-ups coupled with the crises in the late 1930s helped produce war in another way: they created a sense of threat sufficient to increase the number of hard-liners and produce a domestic context that overcame the French and British aversion to war and anything connected with militarism. 4 After world war -1, the Germany army was limited to 1,00,000 men and the general staff was abolished, arms manufacture was mostly prohibited. But in March 1936 Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland, coin direct violation of the Versailles and Locarno treaties. After the March 1936 Rhineland crisis, France and eventually Britain began to
3 4

Ibid 1.
Leng,R.J(1993).Interstate Crisis Behaviour 1816-1980:Realism versus Reciprocity,Cambridge:Cambridge university press

consider their own military builds-up, although both were constrained by domestic consideration because of hostility and insecurity. Thus, in September 1936, France passed a major rearmament program. Britain removed all restraints on the purchase of aircraft in April 1938 and ended financial restraints on the navy and army after Munich crisis in 1938. By early 1939,all sides were in a race to build up their military forces. The military builds-up seem to have had 3 effects-i)when coupled with the Rhineland crisis, rearmament produced a sense of threat to the British &France sides ii)Each crisis increased British and France hostility, insecurity & led to an increase in military expenditures & preparations. Hitler & Mussolini pursued their military builds up to prepare for bigger battles. iii)war seemed to loom on the horizon, each side rushed to arm so that the war would be timed to give it the best advantage it could set in the circumstances. Repeated crisis: A crisis is most likely to escalate to war if: I) It is triggered by a physical threat to a territorial dispute II) it is a third crisis in a series of crises with the same rival III)a hostile interaction spiral emerges in the crisis IV)hard-liners dominate the leadership of at least one side. A rivalry between major states engaged in a territorial dispute, each making alliances against its rival and building up its forces, would be expected to result in repeated crises; successive crises would result in each sides increasing its escalatory actions, with war becoming increasingly probable. British and France intervention was resulted from a series of repeated crises. They thought that the only way to deal with Hitler was to fight him. The war was necessary from their perspective, because the territorial demands became relentless and began to spill over non-German areas. Example: Bohemia and Moravia. The repeated crises increased: i) the hostility ii)the conception of threat iii)enduring rivalry such as AngloGerman and Franco-German are two rivalries that rankling indignation of the German side. The ongoing rivalry to which fear of German domination lent a power politics cast, brought about British and French intervention. The build-up of militaries, a drawn-out process that eventually resulted in multiple arms race which can be seen as beginning with German rearmament ,begun in secret under Weimar and intensified by Hitler. German rearmament led to the Rhineland crisis in which Hitler,in violation of the Versailles treaty & treaty of Locarno militarized the Rhineland.Technological development in aircraft would have resulted in some kind of arms race even in the absence of any agreement on managing this new form of warfare. At the beginning of armed hostilities only four divisions, compared to 84 for the French and 103 for the German. These historical impression are confirmed by Wallace whose arms race index for Germany-UK and GermanyFrance shows a dramatic increase in 1939 over the 1938 levels. Each crisis led to new concerns on the British or France side about their capability with the Rhineland crisis, Munich and the war scare of early 1939 providing the greatest impacts. In the light of steps to war-model, the balance between hard-liners and accomodationists in any society is determined by whether the last major war was won/lost, and by whether the war was seen as worth the cost. Wining a war and seeing it as worth, the cost produces hard-liners all the factors being equal. Now that, Britain and France win the previous wars, but didnt see it was worth the cost. In Germany, the situation was just the opposite, the war was lost, but seen as worth the cost.Hard-liners was seen as coming to power with Hitler in 1933.The success of their rearmament program, their use of threat and force, increased their number. Example:The continuing German arms builds-up alarmed the British and France military establishment, moving them toward hard-line directions. By September 1939, there were not hard-liners just one side as required by the steps to war model, but on both side. Leng identifies three crises between Britain and Germany the Rhineland, Munich ,polish-Donzig with the third escalating to war.5 There are many crises and incidents that fuel hostility .Brecher and Wilkenfeld find that Germany was a source of threat in at least eleven crises, albeit not all directly involving Britain & France. Likewise, Midlarsky finds a destabilizing build-up of militarized disputes prior to each of the twentieth-century world war.
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Leng,R.J(1983),When will they ever learn? Coercive Bargaining in Recurrent Crises-Journal of Conflict resolution,27: 379-419

In 1939,Polish crises began as a physical threat to a vital territorial issue at the end of a series of escalating crises. There was an ongoing arms race and hard-liners now in change on all sides including Poland. Factors promoting Expansion of war::The general explanation of world war suggests that in addition to the six factors that generate expansion,there are further deeper systemic factors that will restrain the first six so that of the wars that expand only a rare few become world wars. Allied non-belligerents brought in: The greatest explanation of the expansion of war maintains that the presence of van ongoing rivalry and an alliance with a belligerent increase the probability that a war that breaks out will expand. This is clearly seen in British and France intervention. British, actually made the first belligerent move by announcing that they would mine Norway waters and by taking naval action Siverson and Starr find that generally the presence of a warring state on ones border and an alliance with a belligerent increases the probability of war.This path of expansion operated in a highly explosive fashion in the Second World War. Most of the minor states that entered the war also made alliances with the belligerents. Example: Hungary,Romania, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria entered the Tripartite Pact between November 1940 & March 1941, Before the attack on USSR. Germany and Finland signed a treaty of friendship as well as having staff talks in December 1940. Bordering states brought in: Hitlers territorial ambitions made contiguity as a base from which to diffuse war. Territorial contiguity played an important role in facilitating the diffusion of war to several minor State. The German attacks on Norway and Denmark which ended the phony war, were done for strategic reasons. Denmark was occupied primarily to get to Norway. Norway was attacked in part to serve as a potential base against the British but also to protect the Swedish supply of iron ore. German attack on the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.in eastern Europe ,territorial contiguity coupled with territorial ambition played an important role in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria on the side of the axis states. Hitler needed them for strategic reasons and they were willing to be brought in order to secure new territory and protect what they had.= Rivals brought in: The ongoing rivalry led Britain and France to form an alliance with Poland and give public guarantees to Romania and Greece when the attack on Poland cane ,they declared war. German rivalry coupled with resentment over the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk as well as territorial contiguity would be factors promoting contagion.Hitler neutralized the factors by the Non-aggression Pact, which provided a mutually acceptable territorial settlement & reversed essential parts of Brest-Litovsk.Thus rivalry was successfully managed & territorial contiguity neutralized, demonstrating that the variables making for war from a structure that humans can manipulate and change by their policies. Among the first three factors of expansion war, rivalry is the most fundamental factors that it was the rivalry & sense of threat it embodied that led to the formation of alliances in the first place.The presence of alliances, once Germany invaded Poland acted as a very potent contagion mechanism, locking third parties into a decision for war. By locking in parties, alliances can make actors intervene in a war even when they are hesitant actually to go to war. The formation of alliances also interacted with rivalry to help increase hostility, which made intervention more probable & better prepared each side for war. Bandwagon effects present: The onset of the war in September and the quick German victory had a major bandwagon effect on Italy. Italy used this opportunity to fight its own wars with France,Greece and Yugoslavia.. The declaration of war France should not be seen simply as a craven attempt to get in on the spoils of war. Mussolini despite the cautiousness of Ciano,felt that he could not stand by with folded arms while other make history. He did not just want to get in on the spoils, but also into the battle. Hitlers actions and successes were highly contagiou for Mussolini. Breakdown of political order: The breakdown of political order promoted additional interventions, particularly by states that used the opportunity to fight their own wars. Example: The German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact broke down the existing political order in Eastern Europe and led Stalin to pursue a number of his own ambitions in Poland,Finland, Romania and the Baltic states. Later,the Soviet war against Hitler provided Stalin with an

opportunity to extend Soviet borders and impose a sphere of influence, even if this involved expanding the war, a in the declarations of war against Bulgaria in 1944 and against in Japan in 1945. The various interventions led to a complete breakdown of the political order in Europe and to all kinnds of groups fighting their own wars and battles since prohibitions against violence were completely invalidated. Italy is a classic example of a weaker major state. War provided an opportunity to achieve long-held objectives: Bulgaria and the Yugoslav regime of Principal Paul being promised Greek territory in exchange for providing bases for a German attack is major example. The breakdown of political order also provided an opportunity for domestic wars to be fought. The civil war in Yugoslavia is a prime example of this kind of contagion, but the action of the resistance in France anfd Italy are not that different. Hitlers domestic war on communists and Jews and then on Jews throughout Europe is the most extreme example of this phenomenon. Gypsies and Croatian killing of Serbs within its borders, all of these were opportunities brought about by the largest ongoing war. States brought in because of economic dependence: Economic interdependence played a role in the attack on Norway.Moreover, to its strategic positions near Britain, Norway was brought in because it was a vital point in the supply line of Swedish iron ore to Germany on which Germany was economically dependent. German economic dependence on Romania oil was an element in Hitlers thinking throughout the war. Early on, Hitler in his pre-war diplomacy toward Romania, Yogoslavia, Bulgaria and France contemplated taking military action against some of these sources of supply,specially the Romanian oilfields, the Baku oilfields in the Soviet Union and at one point,the Swedish iron ore mines.The economic needs of Britain and of France spurred Roosevelt into action as early as 1938. The USA was bought into the war by Japan,which attacked it because its economic dependence on USA oil led it to conquer an alternative source in the Dutch East Indies.Lastly, the attack on the Soviet Union was brought about by Hitlers feeling that his economic dependence on Soviet raw materials and foodstuffs was untenable. Economic dependence turns out to be much more of a major factor in spreading the war than had ben believed to be the case. Systemic factor necessary for world war: The Second World war become a World War because three condition were in place,the German war with Britain and France had not become a world war. According to the general explanation the precondition of a World war reflect a dynamic interaction of three factors: a multipolar distribution of capability is polarized into two hostile blocs in which neither is preponderant over the other. Multipolar distribution of capability: The major States in 1939 were Britain,France,Germany, Italy,USSR,the USA and Japan-clearly a multipolar structure . Polarization into 2 hostile blocs: The process by which this multipolar structure became polarized into hostile blocs in which neither was preponderant is critical, because its accounts for a)how the war expanded to become global involving all major non-belligerent states and b)how the war in Europe becameintimately linked to the war in the pacific. The major culprits were alliance & the foreign decisions of Hitler and japan,who as allies took independent action that brought about realignment in the system,placing the two remaining major non-belligerents-the USA and the USSR-is an unwitting alliance with each other and with Britain..The process began with the signing of the Tripartite Pact in September 1940.The pact helped Hitler provice a threat to Britain and the USA putting before them prospect of a two-front war. The attacks on the Soviet Union and then on Pearl Harbor were fatal decisions for the Axis states. Operation Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor in the context of the Tripartite Pact polarized the world and spread war from Europe to Eurasia,from Asia to the Pacific, and from the Pacific to the Western Hemisphere and back to Europe.Prior to 1941 the Second World War was not rwally a world war either in terms of its geography or its magnitude and srverity. Alliances not only helped bring about these three conditions,but also helped each side to be better prepared for the war.

Peroration: It was more a total war than even world war I had been,now that the belligerent powers civilians not only contributed to their war efforts but also become targets for their enemies