2. Dünya Savaşı Nasıl Başladı

17 Temmuz 2017 ile hasan

İkinci Dünya Savaşının nasıl ve neden başladığına dair basit bir İngilizce’yle yazılmış bir okuma parçası



In December 1918 the US President Woodrow Wilson arrived in Europe. He promised to create a new world order. He persuaded the world leaders and they signed up to a League of Nations, which would be an international organization to protect peace. At the treaty of Versailles they agreed that from now on disputes between countries would be resolved not by fighting but by debate in the league.

With the same treaty, the peoples of Europe were set free. Germany’s ally the Austria Hungarian Empire was divided. Out of it new nations were created; Austria, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. This was a time-bomb because not everyone was happy about it.

Germany had a serious economic problem: it had to pay 6.6 billion pounds to Britain and France.

Germany was no longer a monarchy. It had become a democracy. But there was unrest in the country. There were street battles between nationalists and communists.

In 1923, there was hyper inflation in Germany, which reached hundreds of percent per month. People lost their savings and became very poor.

This was an opportunity for politicians like Adolf Hitler.

Hitler had been born in Austria. He had fought in the WWI. They gave him a reward for it. After the war he settled in Munich. He was a great speaker. Soon he was in control of the National Socialist (NAZI) Party. In 1923 he and his friends attempted an armed coup against the government. It failed. Hitler was imprisoned. While in prison, he wrote a book, Mein Kampf = My Struggle. In this book he said that Jews caused trouble for Germans, and Germans must get rid of Jews. He wrote that Germany must be powerful and big. After his release from prison, he decided to use democracy for his political aims. He made NAZI a disciplined party. But people didn’t support him because they were happy. Germany was getting rich. (www.bebekce.gen.tr) However, in 1929 US Stock Market crashed and it caused a worldwide economic crisis. It was called the Great Depression. This was an opportunity for Hitler. People lost their jobs and savings. They were unhappy. They would support Hitler. With the 1933 elections, the Nazis became the largest political party in Germany. Hitler became the chancellor (=prime minister). Then he banned other political parties.

In 1934 the German President died and Hitler declared himself the new president.

According to the Versailles Treaty (1918), Germany could have

But in 1935 Germany had 300.000 soldiers. It also had a large air force (=Luftwaffe in German), with 2500 planes. Germany was becoming a powerful country again and German people were happy.


Japan was also a powerful country. After the WWI, it had become a world power. But it had economic problems. Its industries were growing but they lacked the natural resources for these industries. Manchuria in China was a perfect target because it was a land of rich green fields, with plenty of coal and minerals. Other targets were European colonies in Southeast Asia. But Japan was afraid of the United States of America (USA).

n 1920s, American people were very rich and happy. It was America’s jazz age. People made fortunes out of industry and stock market.

However, they were not successful. The Japanese forces pushed the Chinese deep into the country. The League of Nations did nothing.


Italian people loved and respected Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Italy. At that time Italy was on the edge of anarchy. Mussolini organized a nationalist party. Then he formed a government. He became a dictator. He was very popular in Italy because he provided jobs for many people. He also built up a powerful army. At the time of the Great Depression, Italy didn’t have serious economic problems. So, Mussolini and his fascist Italy became a role model in contrast with the democracies of France and Britain.

Mussolini wanted to recreate the Roman Empire. He wanted to invade Abyssinia (=Ethiopia). The Emperor of Abyssinia asked for help from the League of Nations. But the League did nothing. So, in 1935 Italy invaded Abyssinia.

Mussolini’s aggression revealed two things:


France and Britain were weak because of the WWI and the Great Depression. British leaders wanted to keep England out of all conflicts. Britain had lost about a million men in WWI (=World War One), France nearly 1.400.000. In 1920s, France’s birth-rate declined. So, the French didn’t have enough number of soldiers. Therefore, France developed a defensive strategy. All along the French-German border, they built the Maginot Line, a series of fortifications. It ran as far as the Belgium border.

The Italian navy was bigger than English and French navies together. The German Air Force was bigger than French and English Air forces together.

With the Versailles Treaty, Germany was forbidden tanks and aircraft. But the Germans secretly developed new tank and plane designs. In 1935 Hitler announced that they had aircraft, and that the German army had 300.000 soldiers. France and Britain again kept silent.

So, when there was an international problem, France and Britain chose not to intervene, as in the example of Abyssinia. Another example was Spain. In 1936 there was Civil War in Spain. The war was between the communist government and the fascist general Franco. As the communists were more powerful than the fascists in Spain, Franco asked Hitler for help. Hitler agreed to help because this would be a testing ground for the new German forces.

So, he sent tanks and bombers to Spain. Italy also helped Franco. Then the communists appealed to Britain and France for help. But they weren’t helped. British and French said, “We will not intervene.”

They were afraid of a war. Thousands of civilians were dying in the war in Spain. In April 1937, German aircraft bombed the town of Guernica. 6000 people died, all civilians. In 1939, the fascists won. Franco became the Spanish dictator.


In 1938 Hitler invaded Austria. The invasion was bloodless (=nobody died) because it was a complete surprise and Nazis in Austria welcomed it. The Western democracies were quiet. Next, Hitler wanted Czechoslovakia. German people lived in the northwest of Czechoslovakia (=Sudetenland). Hitler wanted it. But Czechoslovakian government was not afraid. Czech army was strong. Also they had fortifications along the Czech – German border. Hitler backed off.

But then the British Prime Minister Chamberlain talked with Hitler because he was afraid that Hitler would attack Czechoslovakia and a big war would begin. Hitler promised that he would want no more land. Chamberlain believed him and he saidYou can have Sudetenland. I don’t object.” Then Hitler invaded the Sudetenland. Now Czechoslovakia was without the border fortifications and soon Hitler invaded the rest of the country.


Hitler’s next target was Poland. He demanded the port of Danzig so that the East Prussia and Germany could unite. (www.bebekce.gen.tr) Poland refused. France and Britain announced that if Hitler attacked Poland, they would declare war on Germany. But now Hitler didn’t care because he thought that France and Britain were weak and indecisive.

Soviet leader Stalin talked with the British and French. He proposed an alliance against Hitler. But Britain and France were indecisive. Then Stalin talked to Hitler. Everyone believed that Russia and Germany were enemies. But now they signed a non-aggression pact. According to this agreement,

Now Germany’s eastern frontier was safe.  Hitler felt comfortable because he knew that Russia would not attack Germany. On the evening of August 31 1939, Hitler ordered the German armed forces to prepare for an immediate invasion. Hitler had made the decision which would start the World War II.


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