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How did the actions of Japan, Germany, and Italy in the first half of the 1930s serve as warning signs of an impending war?

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The seeds for the start of World War II were sown by the eventual Axis powers of Japan, Italy, and Germany in the first half of the 1930s. The Western powers, still wearied from World War I, hoped that appeasement would keep the peace, but their reaction only emboldened the dictators into believing that their actions would have no consequences. This led to further aggressiveness later in the decade until the West had no choice but to go to war to stop the Axis powers.

The first action that presaged world war was Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931. The Japanese coveted resources on the Chinese mainland and used the pretext of an explosion that destroyed a railway owned by the Japanese to invade the region. The Chinese army was ill-prepared to stop the...

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