What were the World Wars?

What Does World wars Mean

The world wars were the armed conflicts that involved almost all of the great international powers of that time, many of them belonging to different continents . They were the most bloody, destructive and damaging wars that humanity has ever experienced . There have been two of them, so far.



On the other hand, they have not been the longest wars in history , far from it, but they have been the ones that have had the greatest cost in lives , especially if one takes into account their brevity. The latter is largely due to the involvement of civilian populations in the conflict , something that was not usual in traditional warfare.

The technological and industrial mechanisms put at the full service of the war were also the cause of rapid destruction. Thus, air, sea and land elements were involved.

As we said, there have been two world wars recognized as such:

  • The First World War (1914-1918). Referred for many years as the "Great War", it was led by two opposing sides that brought together all of the European colonial powers of the time. On one side was the Triple Entente: Great Britain, France, and Tsarist Russia. On the other hand, the Central Powers of the Triple Alliance were grouped: Germany, Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Each side was also joined by their respective allies, dragging Greece, Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro, the United States, Romania, Japan and Portugal into the conflict (on the side of the Entente); and the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Sultanate of Darfur, Dervish State and Emirate of Jammal Shammar (on the side of the Alliance). The conflict culminated in the defeat of the Central Powers and the signing of theTreaty of Versailles .
  • The Second World War (1939-1945). Perhaps the most famous warlike conflict of contemporaneity, not only because of its destructive nature, which devastated the whole of Europe, but also because of theextreme methods to which its combatants resorted, among them the massive and incendiary bombing, or the use of bombs. atomic. In addition, the application of slavery was famousby the forces of German Nazism, in the notorious concentration and extermination camps. The opposing sides on this occasion were the Allied Countries: France, England, the United States and the USSR, together with their supporters: the Republic of China, Poland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the British Raj, the Kingdom of Nepal. , Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Greece, Yugoslavia and a long etcetera; versus the Axis Powers: Germany, Japan and Italy, together with their supporters and partners: Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Thailand, Iran, Iraq, and the non-belligerent support of Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Republic Czech, Spain, Luxembourg and Yugoslavia.

See also: Vietnam War

Causes of the First World War

The death of Francisco de Austria triggered the war, although his assassin was captured.

The causes of world wars are never simple or concrete, but are established over many years, during which they accumulate critical mass until an event, the last straw, triggers violence .

In the case of the First World War , the causes are due to the tensions resulting from the colonial division of Africa and Asia between the European powers of the moment. Added to this were the economic tensions implied by competition for industrial dominance in the nascent century.

The event that triggered the violence was, in 1914, the assassination of the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire , Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, in Sarajevo.

Causes of World War II

Instead, the roots of the Second World War lie precisely in the end of the First World War and the oppressive conditions in which the defeated had to make peace , as stipulated in the Treaty of Versailles . This, added to the Great Depression of 1929, plunged them into poverty and unpayable debts.

Thus the perfect breeding ground for a new political faction ascended in Europe conceived the fascism . Born in Italy under Benito Mussolini, he soon germinated in Germany under Adolf Hitler, triggering a resurgence of extreme nationalism , inspired by racist logic and social Darwinism.

It was thus a matter of time before war broke out in Europe . The event that triggered it was the invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939 , after they had peacefully annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia.

Consequences of the world wars

After each of the world wars, Europe was left in ruins.

The consequences of this type of conflict, as will be assumed, are devastating. On two occasions Europe has been left in ruins, especially in the Second World War, and the loss of human life has been impressive: 16 million people died in the First World War and between 55 and 60 million in the Second .

In addition, in both cases there was a violent reconfiguration of the political and economic powers of the world , taking away their colonies or promoting the fall or dissolution of regimes such as the Russian Empire (in the October Revolution of 1918), the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia, or their restructuring (such as the division of Germany into two countries).

Sadly, many of the technologies we use on a daily basis today have their direct or indirect origin in these two devastating conflicts, such as atomic energy , jet propulsion, computers , etc.

How did the Second World War end?

World War II ended with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Second World War lasted for six years of conflict until the Allied invasion of France in 1944 (the famous Normandy landing), a gesture that marked the beginning of the end of German domination of Europe.

Catastrophic events had already occurred for the Axis powers, such as the defeat of the Germans on Soviet territory and the fall of Benito Mussolini in Italy. The latter had forced the Germans to invade the former Allied nation and restore order.

The launching of the Soviet offensive in the winter of 1944 was the other pincer blow against Hitler's Germany , which progressively lost ground on all fronts. This caused uprisings against the German Third Reich in many occupied nations, while the alliance between China and the United States did the same with Japan on the Pacific front.

The German resistance delayed the arrival of the Soviets in Berlin until the beginning of the following year. Faced with this definitive panorama for the Nazis, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker on April 30, 1945 , leaving his nation in ruins and adrift.

However, the German and Italian surrender did not mean the end of the conflict, since Japan remained facing the Allied Countries. The fighting in the Pacific was particularly bloody and American troops were already suffering the ravages of the campaign on the Western front.

So, taking advantage of the technology inherited from the German initiatives maddened, the government of the United States took the decision to bomb in August 1945 the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki , two days apart, employing atomic Pumps .

Following the instantaneous death of 166,000 people in the first city and 80,000 in the second, the Japanese government announced its unconditional surrender on August 15, thus ending World War II.

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