Strange Victory or Strange Defeat

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The Second World War

The Second World War, which began only 20 years after World War 1, was and continues to be one of the bloodiest wars in recorded history. Over 30 different countries took part in the conflict, which resulted in the deaths of over 50 million people. Second World War began in 1939 as a result of the German assault of Poland. Up until 1945, the War went on for another six years. The volatility brought about by World War I in Europe also contributed to the outbreak of World War II. The Nazi Party under the stewardship of Adolf Hitler had taken political control of Unstable German and signed treaties with nations like Italy and Japan to advance its agenda of dominating the world (Gilbert, 2009).

Adolf Hitler's Rise to Power

Adolf Hitler swiftly consolidated political power, making himself the supreme leader of German. Adolf Hitler was on a mission to ensure a pure German race also called Aryan and set out to expand the living space on which the pure German race would occupy (Murra & Millett, 2000). In violation of the Versailles Treaty, Adolf Hitler secretly started a rearmament program. He sent troops to occupy the nation of Austria after signing an alliance deal with Italy and Japan and occupied Czechoslovakia the year that followed. The Soviet Union and United States were focused on internal affairs and this allowed German to proceed peacefully with its activities. Britain and France, on the other hand, were not interested in confronting German. However, in 1939 Hitler entered into a non-aggression treaty with Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, which meant that he would get assistance from the Soviet Union in his long-held mission of conquering Poland. It also meant that German would not face aggression on both fronts in its occupation of Poland; this sparked frenzy in France and German as they had pledged support to Poland in case German attacked it. German attacked Poland on the first day of September 1939 and barely two days after, Britain and France declared war on Germany.

German Success and Allied Failures

German success in the early stages of the war is attributed to various factors. First, Hitler\u2019s had massive support of the German people and soldiers coupled with a well-structured and robust system of government. Hitler had spent years mentally preparing his people to go to war, whereas people in the allied nations were afraid (Gilbert, 2009). Second, German had sophisticated military equipment compared to the Allied forces. In his violation of the Versailles treaty, Hitler had secretly developed very sophisticated weaponry, including military tanks, aircraft and warships without the knowledge of the allied forces. Hitler had actively participated in the World War I and recognized the value of utilizing technology in the war front. General Heinz Guderian of German had also developed superior war tactics called blitzkrieg. The tactic was based on movement, speed and coordination. German soldiers would quickly surround their enemies, forcing them to surrender.

German had prepared for the war for many years developing weapons and devising tactics. By contrast, the Allied forces thought the war would not happen. Early preparations enabled Hitler to mobilize more numbers to fight in the war. Hitler started recruiting and training soldier as early as 1935. By the time the war started, the German army was made up of 750 thousand service men and about a million reservists. By contrast, the Allied soldiers were smaller in number. Another reason was the geographical location of Poland. The nation of Poland was so much isolated from the Allied forces, making it easy for German to occupy it without interference. It took about six months for Allied forces to access Poland and engage the German army. Allied forces also failed to capitalize on the mistakes made by German. For instance, when German went into Poland, it left only a small number of soldiers on the French border. France failed to take advantage of such a mistake as they felt secure due to the Maginot line. The Maginot line was a strong defense on France-German border. France was not worried about conflicts beyond the Maginot Line.


Gilbert, M. (2009). The Routledge Atlas of the Second World War. Routledge.

Murray, W., & Millett, A. R. (2000). A war to be won: Fighting the Second World War. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

June 26, 2023
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