An overview of the second world war

Spanish Civil War The bombing of Guernica induring the Spanish Civil Warsparked Europe-wide fears that the next war would be based on bombing of cities with very high civilian casualties.

An overview of the second world war

Axis initiative and Allied reaction The outbreak of war By the early part of the German dictator Adolf Hitler had become determined to invade and occupy Poland.

Poland, for its part, had guarantees of French and British military support should it be attacked by Germany. Hitler intended to invade Poland anyway, but first he had to neutralize the possibility that the Soviet Union would resist the invasion of its western neighbour.

In a secret protocol of this pact, the Germans and the Soviets agreed that Poland should be divided between them, with the western third of the country going to Germany and the eastern two-thirds being taken over by the U.

Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, having negotiated the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of Augustis greeted by German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and other officials in Berlin. Having achieved this cynical agreement, the other provisions of which stupefied Europe even without divulgence of the secret protocol, Hitler thought that Germany could attack Poland with no danger of Soviet or British intervention and gave orders for the invasion to start on August News of the signing, on August 25, of a formal treaty of mutual assistance between Great Britain and Poland to supersede a previous though temporary agreement caused him to postpone the start of hostilities for a few days.

He was still determined, however, to ignore the diplomatic efforts of the western powers to restrain him.

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An overview of the second world war

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