Category Archives: Twentieth Century History

World War II for Beginners

World War II for Beginners
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WW II Took a Huge Toll on Humanity
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World War II (1939-1945) was the deadliest conflict in human history. Over 60 million perished as the seven-year war spread across Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and America. The majority of victims were civilians.

The Main Players
Germany and Japan were the chief aggressors of World War II. Hitler’s Germany sought control over Europe to create a Lebensraum (living space) for the pure German race. Japan wanted supremacy in Asia and had been fighting to occupy China since July 1937. Italy became the third of the Axis powers. Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria joined in 1941. The opposing Allied nations included Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States of America. The Commonwealth nations supported their cause. Japan’s belligerence pushed China to their side.

The Legacy of World War I
The uneasy peace following World War I did not prevail. Germany resented the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles and incurred massive financial and territorial losses. Adolf Hitler arose out of this national humiliation. Italy had been on the winning side in the Great War, but felt cheated by the peace settlement. Under Benito Mussolini’s Fascist rule, Italy dreamt of Roman supremacy.

The Second World War
Read about the WW II.
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Invasion of Poland

The immediate cause of World War II was Germany’s Polish invasion on 1 September 1939. France and Britain declared war on Germany soon after. World War II had begun. Hitler had astutely signed a Nonaggression Pact with Soviet Premier Josef Stalin just days ago, promising territorial gains from the invasion. With Soviet help, Poland fell quickly.

World War II: The Definitive Visual History
See the world war II in pictures.
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The War in Europe

The first six months were relatively peaceful, although Britain and Germany fought violently at sea with German U-boats sinking over a 100 British ships.

The German blitzkrieg began in April 1940. The Germans occupied Norway, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, while France and Britain suffered reverses. On 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on the Allies. German troops occupied France soon after.

Hitler bombed British cities through the summer of 1940. However, he postponed his British conquest following the Luftwaffe’s defeat in the Battle of Britain. Nevertheless, his European conquests continued. Yugoslavia and Greece were occupied in April 1941.

The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
A new perspective on the World War II.
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Invasion of the Soviet Union

On 22 June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, reaching within 200 miles of Moscow by mid-July. However, internal disagreements stalled the German advance. When they moved again in October, the bitter Russian winter had begun and the Soviets were ready.

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Vintage Guns
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The Holocaust

During this period, Hitler launched his Final Solution, ordering the mass murder of Jews. Over 6 million Jews perished in concentration camps in German-occupied Poland.

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We Cannot Tolerate Another WW II
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America Enters the War

Meanwhile, Japan was making territorial gains in China and the Asia-Pacific. On 7 December 1941, Japan attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, drawing America into the war.

How Did the Second World War Start?

The Final Days

Japan’s successes continued until the Battle of Midway in June 1942. Japan now suffered a series of reverses and the Allies launched a strong counter-offensive against the island nation.

The fall of Mussolini in 1943, ended the Italian challenge. In 1944, the Allies launched a multi-pronged attack against Germany. Hitler recalled his troops to defend Germany from the western nations, and Soviet forces marched in from the east. Aerial bombings and a land invasion followed in 1945. Germany surrendered on 8 May.

Japan gave in on 10 August after America dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, causing unprecedented destruction.

The Aftermath

During the Potsdam Conference in July-August 1945, Germany and other parts of Europe were divided into spheres of influence among the western nations and Soviet Union. In the years that followed, Communism spread across eastern Europe and China, and two superpowers — the United States and the Soviet Union — were born.

Elizabethan foreign policy

Elizabethan foreign policy

The foreign policy during the Elizabethan not only made a diplomatic revolution, but also remarkable reversal of alliances, economy, military and religion.The way she kept people guessing on whats her next move is.Her policies made her presence in the Europe.Some of the policies are.Marriage alliances was key issue during her period. During the dutch revolt,she used the marriage alliances to get funds for the protestant.Like these key issues she made the politicians which is used till now.Comparing other rulers she was bolder in her activities. She supported the unity of all countries in British Isles. All these characters helped her to succeed against power full countries Spain and France who were on verge of conqouring England and some of them almost succeeded

initial period

Initially, the counsellors’ main concern was to bring matrimonial alliances with Queen. The ambassadors of various countries like Sweden, France, and Spain sent many marriage proposals. Queen used these proposals in the making of her policy. The queen was a real twister and turner in the foreign policy. The queen kept lengthy audiences with ambassadors, and had great discussion with them.

Elizabeth was proclaimed queen in November 17th 1558.She dissolved the parliament and councillors. The question of marriage between Elizabeth with Archduke Ferdinand was discussed by the counsellors . Finally Elizabeth decided not take a marriage alliances with Spain unlike Mary .Lose of Calais during the period of Mary was still at large seen in during the Elizabethan period. Comparing the rule of her predecessors Henry and Edward, Elizabeth initial conditions were worse than the others. During this time, England had Financial and military problems. Reformation in religion led to worsening of the situation. The queen tried to take back Calais and failed to take it back. In 1559 the French king sends a sum of 500,000 crowns of gold to the queen under the treaty of Chateau-Cambresis and he would retain Calais for 8 years.

There were lots of conflicts between Scotland and England during henry period. Elizabeth brought union of Scotland and England. Initial period, there has been few conflicts between the two borders. The Scots raided England many times and as the government was far from the borders, they could not secure the borders. The Scots stole cattle, burnt mills and destroyed the cattle .Initially; Henry tried to attack Scotland to bring unity of Britain under one crown. Henry waged war on James V and few weeks later, in battle of Solway James V dies. Henry tried persuaded marriage alliance between Mary of scots and to his son Edward. Scots preferred an alliance with French rather than with Britain. Scotland Government created alliances with French, allowing French army to invade Edinburgh and Leith. This caused war between England, French and Scotland. During Elizabeth era, Mary of scots persuaded French to invade England. The marriage alliances between Mary of scots and Francis II in 1558 .This led more French army into Scotland. The queen supported protestant reformers against French. England sends their forces to support the reformers. They besieged Leith and forced French out of the country. The English, Scotland and French had a treaty. The treaty is called treaty of Edinburgh .This led to expel of Mary of scots out of Scotland by the English. This led reformation in Scotland. This brings peace between the 2 borders. Mary came back to Scotland after her husband’s death to reclaim her throne. She tried to persuade Elizabeth that her views on religion are same as hers. But Queen Elizabeth had different thought and disengaged talks between herself and Mary Stuart in 1562.


During 1560’s period, Queen Elizabeth slowly consolidated power and wealth. Enmity between the English and the French reduced during the civil war. After death of Henry II in 1559, there was an economic collapse. The French government started taxing the people, which led outbreak of civil war. On top of that, Henry II persecuted followers of the religious teachings of John Calvin, known as Huguenots, in France. Catherine de’ Medici, regent of Charles IX, proposed the Edict of January with the hopes that Calvinism and Catholicism could co-exist in France and that fighting would cease. Catherine was not sympathetic to the cause of Mary Stuart and was without the support from Paris. But, on 1st of March, Francis ordered killing of Huguenots in one off the churches in Wassy. They slaughtered as many as 125 and hundred were wounded. This massacre led to civil wars in France. Queen Elizabeth was a protestant and was persuaded by her favourite, Robert Dudley to send small troops to France to support the Huguenots in battle and to regain back Calais. She named Earl of Warwick as commander of English garrison in Le Havre. The Earl had put many protestant in the war council. They were defeated in Rouen and were subjected to harsh terms. This forced English troop out of France and after 2 years they signed a treaty called Treaty of Troyes and had to give up claims of Calais. During this period, Elizabeth began negotiation of marriage proposal with duke of Alencon which came to nothing. This led to renewal of friendship between the 2 countries. During the revolt in Nether lands, French sent troops to Netherlands to aid English in the war against Spain. To ensure the French kept their word, Elizabeth hand in marriage with Duke of Anjou .This caused anger in the society. Anjou financed the Elizabeth’s campaign with sum of 60,000 pounds. The hostility created by Mary was diluted after these events.

Elizabeth (1998) – IMDb
Directed by Shekhar Kapur. With Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes. A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.
Elizabeth I and Foreign Relations, 1558-1603 (Lancaster Pamphlets): Susan Doran: 97804
Elizabeth I and Foreign Relations, 1558-1603 (Lancaster Pamphlets): Susan Doran: 9780415153553: Books