Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Who do you think is to blame for the outbreak of war in 1939?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by darkwolf176, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. darkwolf176

    darkwolf176 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    With so many conflicting viewpoints from different historians, i'm finding it hard to establish who is really to blame. Could you help me with making up my mind?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    21,637
    Likes Received:
    945
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Hitler. He wanted war. For any price.To make Germany great again was just his excuse.

    Adolf Hitler, in his speech to his generals on 22 August 1939, a week before the invasion of Poland:

    "The enemy did not expect my great determination. Our enemies are little worms, I saw them at Munich. Now Poland is in the position I wanted. I am only afraid that some bastard will present me with a mediation plan at the last moment."

    Munich Agreement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,802
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Location:
    Alabama
    It is pretty obvious who had univited guests crossing it's borders early in the morning of Sep 1st.

    When you say "historians", are you referring to some of Stormfront's finest?
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    8,331
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    Gotta love those guys. They do keep trying to weasel into the main stream.

    Back to the OP.

    By ADOLF HITLER, Chancellor of Germany
    Address made to the Reichstag, September 1, 1939
     
  5. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru Patron  

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2000
    Messages:
    5,555
    Likes Received:
    491
    Location:
    Festung Colorado
    Well, I think it depends how you look at it. The manner in which World War I ended, and the Treaty of Versailles, certainly set things up to reoccur in 1939.

    In 1939, no matter how you look at it, Hitler was responsible for the outbreak of war, but one could quite reasonably say that he was heavily influenced by events from 20 years before.
     
  6. darkwolf176

    darkwolf176 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    No I mean historians such as AJP Taylor, who argues that Hitler never planned for the outbreak of war in 1939 and was merely an oppurtunist who took advantage of Britain and France's appeasement. In addition he argues that Germany's territorial ambitions were a direct result of the bad peace settlement of the Treaty of Versailles, which the Germans never would have accepted. Remember that it was Britain and France who declared war on the 3rd of September. Hitler believed wrongly when invading Poland that Britain and France wouldn't declare war as they hadn't on previous occasions such as over the Czech crisis and the Austrian Anschluss with Austria. I'm not sure if he would have been so ready to commit to war if he knew that they would (although he probably would have done - as he saw France as corrupt and weak).

    The counter-argument by other historians such as Hugh Trevor Roper, is that Hitler had a deliberate plan for war from the outset - intending to undo the Versailles treaty and the invasion of Poland was merely a continuation of this idea. In addition it is clear that Hitler sought 'Lebensraum' or living space for the German Volk (a not entirely original idea but a potent one nevertheless) and Poland was perfect for this.

    Basically the point I'm getting at is that it wasn't as simple as saying it was all Hitler's fault for the outbreak of war in 1939 - there were a lot of other factors at play. I'm not condoning his actions in anyway, I'm just trying to look at them from an objective viewpoint.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    8,331
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    Darkwolf, failing to plan for war isn't the same as not being at fault for starting it. "I only meant to wound him" isn't a defense in a murder trial.
     
    lwd and formerjughead like this.
  8. darkwolf176

    darkwolf176 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fair enough :)
     
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,802
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Location:
    Alabama
    Whether he planned for it or not, his actions certainly drove Europe in that direction.

    As far as Britain and France declaring war, that was a matter of putting down on paper what had already existed for three days. Treaties are international recoginzed proclamations, just as declarations of war are. They very fact that France and the UK honored their defensive committments, does not suppose that those two nations "started" the war. That arguement has always been a straw-man.

    Hitler was no different than the neighborhood bully who has great succes picking on the one child at a time, but is greatly surprised when the various indviduals whom he has tormented, group together in mutual defense.

    But then, Stalin was an opportunist also, by directing the signing of the Ribbentrop/Molotov pact with it's attendant territorial gains.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    8,331
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    If you go here:

    New Page 1

    And scroll down to The Color Books, you'll see each country's spin on the events. Go farther down, to "Words of Peace, Words of War", for much more coverage. (I've added links to "Foreign Relations of the United States" if you haven't visited there lately.)
     
  11. Landsknecht

    Landsknecht Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    1
    The way I look at it, Hitler and Germany are not alone to "blame" for the conflict. I see World War II as a continuation of the Great War. The ceding of ethnic German territory to Poland bred for a future conflict, and the Polish unwillingness for compromise didn't help.

    That said, I can understand Poland's situation too (although I'm pro-German). They had a few hundred years before been partitioned by the Germans, Austrians and Russians, and they didn't want to soften up to allow for history to repeat itself in this regard (which it did anyways because of the "German" and "Russian" land Poland was in control of).
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    8,331
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    You can discuss "causes", of course, and the Congress of Vienna must be included in those. :cool:

    However, the fighting started when one army crossed the borders of another country. It was go-time from that point forward.
     
  13. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    89
    I think that France seeking revenge for the Franco-Prussian war some years before the great war set Germany up to be pretty vengeful themselves in the long run. But I dont like to use "blame" but rather "responsible".
     
  14. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,543
    Likes Received:
    953
    Taylor seems to have been more enamoured with the celebrity, his crontroversial views created, than he was with historical accuracy.


    A proclaimed pacifist with a Quaker education, he was moved by Hitler's actions in 1936. So it seems even he does not believe his ascertions that WW2 was an "accident".

    Like most revisionist Taylor emphasises the facts that support his view while giving less emphasis to the facts that provide context:

    * A.J.P. Taylor revisionism Origins Second World War
     
  15. darkwolf176

    darkwolf176 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you saying Hitler was entirely to blame or only partially?
     
  16. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    58
    LOL.

    Well as you've read theres many different versions according to many historians :rolleyes:, or point of view concerning
    this matter. Like they haven't been wrong many times. WWII was fought in many fronts, To MOI it started in 1937.
    Go to the last link it explains Why.

    Who started World War 2?

    Stalin had been planning to start a European War to create revolutionary conditions, so the Soviet Army could move
    in later as a stabilising force, after France and Britain had destroyed each other. Stalin entered into a secret Treaty
    with Hitler allowing Hitler to invade Poland. Stalin new Hitler's invasion of Poland would spark a war with France and
    Britain. That was Stalin's intention.

    WikiAnswers - Who started World War 2


    Who started World War II

    Who started World War II


    What started World War 2?

    WW2 was started by Germany in 1939. Hitler invaded Poland ? Not quite.


    It really began in 1937 with Japan's invasion of China. The first shots were fired in China and the first lives lost there as well.
    This was the beginning of Japan's Co-Prosperity Sphere plan that was to eventually encompass all of Asia.
    The war in Europe began in 1939 for certain. The causes there appear to indeed be complex but in my evaluation there are a
    few distinct causes behind its outbreak.

    Read the rest of the link quite interesting.

    WikiAnswers - What started World War 2
     
  17. darkwolf176

    darkwolf176 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    But for the actual outbreak of war in 1939 - not the world war, how far can Hitler actually be blamed?
     
  18. Fury 1991

    Fury 1991 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    45
    Treaty of Versailles
     
  19. Landsknecht

    Landsknecht Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Japanese invasion of China and the subsequent trade embargo by the U.S., Britain and Netherlands certainly led up to the Pacific War, but I daresay the events in Eastern Asia didn't have any major impact on the decisions that led to the war in Europe.
     
  20. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    Hitler can be blamed,or can be hold responsible,because,for a lot of reasons,he attacked Poland (he was convinced that Britain and France would not intervene .
    The point is that,for Hitler,these reasons were sufficient or compelling to wage war (without waging war ,he could not achieve his goals ),while for Britain and France it was the opposite:these goals could not justify war .
     

Share This Page