Why did World War II begin?

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World War II began on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany, beginning a global conflict that would last until 1945. Over the next year, Nazi Germany would conquer almost every nation in Europe, and, along with Italy, drive through North Africa.  Hitler also invaded the Soviet Union, with whom he had signed a non-aggression pact, in June of 1941. The war became truly global in December of 1941 when Germany's ally Japan, already having invaded China years earlier, attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As the United States declared war on Japan, Hitler responded by declaring war on the United States. Thus all of the world's largest nations were involved in the most destructive war in human history, one which would only end with the utter destruction of Germany, Japan, and many other nations.

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How Did World War II Begin?

As the other answer said, World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939.

Up until this time, powerful countries in Europe, in particular, England and France, had followed a policy of appeasement toward Germany. This meant that they gave into Hitler's demands for more territory for the German Reich. They accepted Hitler's argument that these lands were populated with Germans who were rightly part of the larger German state.

England and France had many reasons for wanting to avoid another war. The First World War had resulted in very high casualty rates, and it was a living memory in the minds of almost all adults alive in the 1930s. Governments knew there would be very little popular support for another war unless people thought it was absolutely necessary. Second, England and France had exhausted their finances fighting World War I. They feared they lacked sufficient resources to win another war, which was why England was so keen on a strong alliance with the United States. Finally, European states were still reeling from the Russian Revolution, another shocking event within living memory. To many, especially in the elite groups that ran the various governments, a strong Germany was a buffer zone between them and feared Soviet aggression.

Finally, however, Hitler, who wanted a war, got his wish, and the nations that had appeased him felt compelled to fight him.

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When did World War II begin?

On September 1, 1939, Hitler and Nazi Germany invaded Poland, which marked the official start of the Second World War.

After violating the Munich Agreement (an attempt made by the Brits and the French to appease Hitler and hopefully stop his ambitions for territorial expansion and war) and occupying Czechoslovakia, Hitler promptly started to plan the invasion of Poland, which France and Great Britain guaranteed to protect and offer military support to, if Hitler decided to attack the country. In August 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed a nonaggression pact, in which both the Germans and the Russians were promised territorial rule over several nations, including Poland. Knowing that the Soviet Union wouldn't stand in his way, Hitler invaded Poland.

The Brits and the French then warned Hitler to pull out of Poland; however, he didn't listen, which is why on September 3, two days after his invasion of Poland, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany.

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How did World War II begin?

The crucial word in your question is 'begin' because it does not ask for anything specific, which is why it is such a great question.  It can be argued that World War I set the stage for World War II, simply based upon the Treaty of Versailles.  For all intensive purposes, a treaty is defined as an agreement between hostile nations. However, the Treaty of Versailles, ending World War I was not so much an agreement among nations as it was to be a lesson in punishment for Germany. The Treaty of Versailles held Germany responsible for the war, ordered it to pay reparations, and denied them the right to a military. Combine these mandates with the 1929 stock market crash which was felt just as great in Europe, and the result mired between appeasement and Hilter's march across Europe. The fact was that Germany could never pay the reparations to the nations stated in the Treaty of Versailles. As a result, Germany was left politically and economically fractured. This left the nation vulnerable to those who would use that vulnerability to their own advantage, namely Adolf Hitler. Any nation in turmoil could be blinded by a false the sense of security, disguised in the name of nationalism. WWII began essentially due to the reaction of a nation struggling to make sense of the WWI treaty.  The Treaty of Versailles made the German people feel as if they were 'standing naked on a hill'. Despite WWI and the treaty many Germans felt that Hitler had the capacity, to regain Germany's proper place in world affairs. However, September 1, 1939 Hitler invaded Poland and many of the German people began to question their aliegence to Hitler, keeping those thoughts to themselves for fear of death.

WWII began because it was assumed by the powers that be (after WWI)  that a politically and economically weakened nation would never challenge their power simply because they held (or thought they held) the power.

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