Before narrating World War Two, another point must be made. The American Civil War was different to any previous war. Such wars had always been decided on the battlefield, with one side beating the other. Industrialisation had brought about a new kind of war.
Now, factories could pour out a constant stream of equipment and weapons, requiring an increasing number of men to take up arms as others fell in battle. Now, winning a battle was not enough. Rather, the entire country had to be brought to its economic knees, destroying its industrial capability. The war of attrition had been invented, as became painfully clear in the trenches of the First World War.
Capitalising on the Depression, Hitler rose to power in Germany by 1933 and immediately began building an industrial infrastructure and massive armed force to bring together the Germanic peoples under Nazism. He began expanding, leading to war in 1939 when he invaded Poland. Soon most of western Europe was invaded, Britain keeping him at bay in the Battle of Britain. Meanwhile he also turned against Russia.
Reversals came at the Battles of Stalingrad and El Alamein in 1942, the Americans entering the war in 1941. As the battle of attrition fought its way from Russia to Berlin, the west opened up a front in June 1944, the Germans encircled and beaten by 1945.
The war had also involved Japan, a country that had kept itself isolated in a feudal society until modernization and dreams of expansion by the early 20th century. Prior to the war they had invaded China and other areas, but in 1941 they expanded into south East Asia and the Pacific, a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor attempting to destroy US naval power in the region. British Commonwealth and US forces had pushed them back to Japan by 1945, surrender achieved when the newly developed atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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