World War II was a global conflict that altered the course of world history. World War II impacted the lives of military personnel and civilians due to the advance in military strategies and technology that was used for destruction.
The rise of dictators in Germany, the Soviet Union, Italy, and Japan would eventually led to the outbreak of World War II as they aimed to expand their nations through any means necessary. Germany and the Soviet Union would eventually invade Poland, Italy would invade Africa, and Japan would annex the grand majority of South East Asia. Furthermore, throughout the war both the Axis and Allied Powers committed many atrocities. Hitler would carry out the Holocaust during which six million Jews and five million others who were deemed undesirable were killed. The Japanese would carry out the Rape of Nanking in which countless atrocities were committed against the Chinese. The Americans would deem it justifiable to drop two atomic bombs on Japan in order to end the war in the Pacific theater.
The war produced a large amount of crucial battles that shaped the course of the war. One of these battles was the Battle of Britain during which Britain was able to survive the German attacks. Another significant battle was the Battle of Stalingrad because it marked a stage in the war in which the Soviet Union was able to hold off the Germans and begin to push the German army back towards Germany. Of course the Battle of Normandy was the beginning of the end of the war in the Western Front.
The use of advanced technology also had a major impact in how the war was fought and the effect that the war had on civilian life. Advances in tanks, airplanes, radar, anti-aircraft, guns, ships, and military strategies meant that heavy casualties would be inflicted on armies and civilians.
After the end of the war, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the world’s two super powers. These two nations would enter a political struggle against each other over the next forty-five years. The United States would attempt a world safe for capitalism, while the Soviet Union attempted to expand Communism throughout the world. This power struggle was a direct result of their contrasting ideologies and of their positions during the closure of World War II. Thus, in order to understand our contemporary world it is essential to study the economic, social, and political effects of World War II.