How far it is true to say that World War II was the result of Hitler's aggressive policies?
When examining The Second World War and its causes, there are generally two major commonly accepted historiographical views. It is firstly the conventional view, which blamed Hitlers aggression, and , as stated by Churchill, it was largely Chamberlains appeasement policy that made room for this aggression to come through, or the second, common revisionist view that put the blame on France and Britain- their self interest and simply, but mainly- their declaration of war.
The origins of the Second World War however lay in a rather complex mix of causes rather then something as straightforward as the appeasement policy or the hostility caused by competition of empires. To find the true causes we must combine most of the views outlined by Overy, Taylor and Churchill.
It was mostly the nature of the German nation that enabled other issues such as imperialism to come into effect; this is the strict militarism, embedded in the minds of Germans ever since the times of Prussia, further developed by Wilhelm II and his Weltpolitik. It formed the necessary foundation on which Hitlers anti Semitism was to be built and provided energy that merely came out in the form of fashionable political views. Anti Semitism on its own was however quite common around the world. In Germany, it resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews because of this strict, militaristic nature and the attempt to clean Germany of inferior races.
German soldiers, some of them with the silhouette of the Eiffel tower in sight were certainly surprised when they found out that they had lost the war. There were no signs of defeat; at least none they could see. For some of them, leaving the potential of being killed behind and going home was good news. However for the ones fired up by Germanic...