Q:

How did World War II begin?

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Quick Answer

World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. The invasion began on September 1, but the war didn't begin officially until Great Britain and France declared war on Germany.

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How did World War II begin?
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Full Answer

Prior to invading Poland, Germany took over Austria and Czechoslovakia. The nations of Europe, led by Great Britain and France, hoped that by allowing Adolf Hitler, Germany's dictator, to have additional territory, that they could avoid war. Hitler, however, saw the concessions as a sign of weakness and continued his conquest of Europe.

To create a justification for invading Poland, Heinrich Himmler devised a plot in which a prisoner was taken from a German concentration camp, dressed in a Polish army uniform and shot near the border between Germany and Poland. The Germans then used the dead soldier as evidence of a Polish attack on Germany. The German army quickly defeated the Polish forces and proceeded to attack and conquer most of Western Europe, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and France.

The United States entered World War II on December 8, 1941 by declaring war on Japan for bombing the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7. The U.S. entered the war in Europe when Germany declared war on December 11, 1941.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When did WW2 start?

    A:

    World War II began on Sept. 1, 1939, when Germany invaded and conquered Poland. Other countries soon joined forces in an effort to stop Germany from committing further acts of aggression, resulting in a war that lasted for 6 years and spanned the globe.

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  • Q:

    In what years did World War II take place?

    A:

    World War II began in 1939 and ended in 1945. The war began in Europe on Sept. 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. The war in the Pacific began when the Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

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  • Q:

    Why did Britain and France declare war on Germany?

    A:

    France and Britain declared war on Germany on Sept 3, 1939 in response to Germany's invasion of Poland on Sept 1, 1939. France and Germany were allies, and they combined forces with many other allied countries to defeat Germany.

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  • Q:

    Who started World War II?

    A:

    Adolph Hitler started World War II on Sept. 1, 1939, by invading Poland. While he had earlier taken over Austria and Czechoslovakia, these actions were ignored or explained away by European leaders who did not want a war.

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