WWI & WWII, Same War Different Time

Essay by rashlockHigh School, 10th gradeA, April 2002

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WWI-WWII: Same War, Different Dates

A number of historians view World War II as the sequel to, or the finishing of the World War I. Although the two wars were in retrospect, very different, they can be viewed as chapters of the same war. When evaluating Hitler's rise to power, there is a definitive link between World War I and World War II. This same 'link' is evident in the Treaty of Versailles and the articles therein.

At the end of World War I, soldier Adolf Hitler lay wounded in a military hospital. The armistice had been declared, the throne abdicated, and the war over with Germany blown away. Hitler's believed the armistice had not resulted from defeats on the battlefield, but had instead come about because the Jews and Socialists had undermined the government and the war effort, leading to the armistice and the advent of the Weimar Republic.

This principal was adopted and used as a running campaign by Hitler, and was known as Dolchestossiegend (the stab in the back theory). According to author and historian Ian Kershaw, it would be these same ideas that " Hitler so lamented [...], that truly allowed him to emerge from obscurity and... become one of the most powerful [...] dictators in history" (Kershaw). Hitler used this principle as reasoning for his war, saying it [the war] would be the means of paying back the Jew and socialist whom he believed caused the Great Germanys' defeat.

The Treaty of Versailles also hugely instigated the rising of WWII. When the Weimar Republic begrudgingly signed the armistice, the allies wished to assure that Germany would not be strong enough to engulf Europe in war again, but at the same time did not want to completely cripple the country, as it could act as...