World War 2 Test: Analyze the Results of the Second World War Essay

Submitted By megrc96
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Pages: 5

Meghan Cole
IB History/ World War II Test
29th October 2014
Analyze the results of the Second World War By the end of April 1945, the war on two fronts against Stalin and the Allies had proved too much for Germany thus Hitler famously committed suicide. As with WWI, Germany and her allies were defeated, leaving the Western Allies victorious, ending WW2 in Europe. Furthermore, the American decision to drop the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced the Japanese to move towards surrender. After the USSR joined the US effort to defeat Japan, Emperor Hirohito announced the Japanese surrender on August 15th. Nuclear weapons were therefore decisive in finally ending the Second World War. In order to hold the Nazi figures responsible for their involvement in the atrocities of the Holocaust, a war tribunal was set up between 1945 and 1946. The Nuremburg Trials caused Nazi leaders charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Similarly, some of Japan's war leaders were tried for war crimes and were executed. The end of World War Two resulted in economic and physical devastation but also created a push for political balance and the creation of a new peace organization. WWII ultimately led to a seed of new conflicts. The impact of the war led to a huge physical and economic destruction, greater than the aftermath which resulted from WW1. No war, until then, had ever caused so many deaths: an estimate of 40 - 60 million killed. The human losses in USSR between 1941-5 were equal to the total casualty loss of WW1 (est.13.5 million soldiers killed, 7 million civilians). The German loss, however, was significantly lower (est. 4.3 million soldiers killed and 1 million civilians.). The suffering continued after the war; approximately 20 million people were displaced and without homes, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. The nature of the war meant that it was much more damaging economically than the First World War. Not confined to the Western front, aerial bombing across the whole of Europe caused severe destruction. Cities were damaged, millions were left homeless, transport, and communications and industry were severely disrupted. 'Total war' meant the victors were in as bad a position as the losers: food production was lower than pre-war, Britain was bankrupt, the Western part of the USSR was devastated, and millions of people were homeless. The Second World War did not lead to a major re-drawing of the political map of Europe, at least not in terms of territorial boundaries. WWII did not end with a major treaty and no major peace settlement was created like the Treaty of Versailles. However, the war did still have a significant effect on the political balance of Europe. Though they struggled to agree, the meetings between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin at Yalta 1945 dealt with the key issues of (1) new borders for Poland (2) the position of Germany, (3) the fate of Eastern European states, and (4) how to keep future stability. This led to the following effects: (a) Germany vanished as a nation, being split into four occupation zones (UK, France, USA, USSR) and then later became two separate states: East and West Germany, with each state symbolizing the new Cold War that had started to divide the world into the Capitalist (USA) West, and the Communist ( USSR-controlled) East, (b) Eastern European bloc of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and other smaller countries became dominated by Communist Russia, as the USSR extended its military and economic superiority over these states, and (c) fascism and the Nazi party began to disappear completely in the post-war world as a result of their catastrophic defeat. The end of WWII led to the creation of an organization designed to secure world peace: the United Nations, was created based on the acknowledgement that humanity could not afford a Third World War. Like the League of Nations, the UN aimed to maintain peace, promote the exchange of ideas between nations