The Origins of World War II

The Origins of World War II

The Origins of World War II

The Origins of World War II

Synopsis

More than 60 years have passed since the outbreak of the most catastrophic conflict the world has known: 30 million people dead and unbelievable devastation. In the 3rd edition of this popular volume, Keith Eubank seeks answers to the questions that have plagued us: Why, after the ghastly ordeal of World War I did Western powers undervalue the threat from Hitler? Why was there so much reluctance on the part of Britain and France to confront Germany? Why had Germany been permitted to rearm and to occupy independent nations without a struggle? What was the policy of appeasement? Why did the appeasers fail to perceive Hitler's intentions? In addition to a re-examination of these questions and an effort to dispel the enduring myths surrounding the history of this era, Keith Eubank has enhanced this new edition by including an analysis of the motivations and actions of central figures such as Neville Chamberlain and Joseph Stalin as well as a re-assessment of Soviet policies in the light of recent research that reveals their leaders as far less altruistic than some have imagined. With an expanded conclusion, a new photo section, and an updated bibliographic essay, this book remains an excellent brief overview of the period between 1918 and 1939.

Excerpt

Since the original writing of this book, new publications on the origins of World War II have made the study of this topic more complex. There still remains no simple answer to the question: “Why World War II?” Nevertheless, if we are to search for answers, it is necessary to examine the policies, the outlook, and the experience of the statesmen and politicians who wrestled with Adolf Hitler’s demands, as well as the military, political and economic conditions of their nations. In addition, Hitler’s responsibility for World War II has mounted as new evidence indicates that he craved the war he got in 1939 but failed to get in 1938. It is important also to study the policies of those who had to confront Hitler but did not understand his intentions and policies until it was too late. They preferred peace to another bloody conflict.

The aim of this book is to explain the origins of the world war that began in 1939 and ended in 1945 with 30,000,000 people dead and unbelievable devastation over much of the world. This book seeks answers to these questions. Why, after the ordeal of 1914–1918, did Western powers err in assessing the threat that loomed across the Rhine? Why was there so much reluctance on the part of Britain and France to confront the once defeated foe? Why had Germany been permitted to rearm? Why should Germany be allowed to occupy independent nations without a struggle?

Part of the answer, as I argue in these pages, can be attributed to the illusion that sufficient security measures were in place to maintain peace. The memories of the terrible destruction and loss of life during the years 1914–1918 seemed to make another world war unthinkable. But this illusion misled men and women . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.