World War II:  Did Germany, Italy, and Japan really think they could win the war and achieve world dominance?Explain what factors they had in their favor and how they hoped to accomplish their...

World War II:  Did Germany, Italy, and Japan really think they could win the war and achieve world dominance?

Explain what factors they had in their favor and how they hoped to accomplish their designs.

Expert Answers
booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to historical records, it would seem that a thread of insanity (or "criminal hubris") was at work during World War II to enable the leaders from these three countries to believe that world dominance was possible. Adolf Hitler seems to have started this craziness, building up a resentment of anyone who would not fit into his idea of the perfect Aryan race (though he himself was not blond-haired and blue-eyed). Once he had powerful men behind him (especially the military) the madness spread. Ethics were forgotten and a bloodlust overcame those weak enough to be taken in by Hitler's unhealthy charisma—or frighteningly fanatical demeanor.

[Hitler's] avowed aim was to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in continental Europe.

Hitler's belief in his ability to achieve such ends could only have been encouraged by the willingness of so many to follow his orders. Murder was commonplace. It was as if madness (and/or abject fear) had descended upon Germany and many (not all) of its people.

Hitler's supremacist and racially motivated policies resulted in the systematic murder of eleven million people, including nearly six million Jews.

How is it possible that there could be so many deaths (even of women and children) without the clear conviction of Hitler and his followers that they would take over Europe.

Mussolini was a socialist. He was also a realist. He knew his limitations and decided to wait until the later part of the war, when the French would not be able to withstand the German occupation, to declare war on France.

Mussolini believed...Italy could gain some territorial concessions from France and then concentrate its forces on a major offensive in Egypt where British and Commonwealth forces were outnumbered by Italian forces.

Sensing weakness around him, Mussolini moved in for the kill like a bird of prey killing a wounded animal. He had every intention of riding the "Nazi wave" driving across Europe, seemingly with the conviction that Hitler would be victorious.

In Japan, war was already raging with China. The Japanese government was soon overrun by the military (taking the highest posts in the government); the military often acted as a separate entity from "a more moderate government." The Japanese occupied almost the entire coast of China. They practice horrific atrocities on the Chinese people. And while Japan had experienced real success in taking over large segments of land... the border of India in the West and New Guinea in the South...

...the Allies started to push back and retake a great deal of the land lost to the Japanese. However, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the use of kamikaze pilots indicated the depth of Japan's hunger for power and domination. Even after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it still took six days for the Emperor to "surrender unconditionally."

That all three leaders of these countries, as well as a solid number of soldiers fighting for them, could commit themselves to violence and suffering like never seen before, indicates to me a level of madness and/or criminal hubris.

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hitler actually believed that Germany could achieve world dominance after a long period of geographical and population expansion. He intended to annex a large section of the Soviet Union, expell the existing population, and replace it with pure Germans. He was encouraging German women to have more children, and even encouraging unmarried girls to have babies. He must have planned on Germany's world domination to be completed hundreds of years after his death.

Japan did not seek world domination. They wanted an empire in East Asia and might have gone as far as claiming India.

Italy under Mussolini knew it would be a subordinate power under Germany and only wanted a relatively small empire which would dominate the northern part of Africa including Ethopia.

The alliance of these three nations was not necessarily permanent. If they had been successful in the war, they would most likely have gone in separate directions. So there would have been no joint world domination.

deww6 | Student

Each of these countries had a chance at winning but each and evry one of them made mistakes. At fiestv everyone thought germany was going to win but de to america enyering the war germany failed