THE SECOND WORLD WAR

In 1929, in what has become known as “the great depression” many people suddenly found their finances deplorable, there happened a disenthrallment with capitalism in parts of Europe and a rise of doctrines of nationalism and racism. Leading this pack were Germany, Japan and Italy, later called the Axis forces, who developed, a highly militaristic and belligerent attitude . In 1933 Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany at the head of his Nazi party.

Hitler began to rearm Germany, and built a formidable war machine by 1936, breaking the Treaty of Versailles. With Hitler’s anti-semetic policies and aggressive re-armament of Germany ,war was imminent. On 1st September 1939 Germany invaded Poland, two days later, France and Britain declared war on Germany, beginning World War II.

On September 17, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east. Under attack from both sides, Poland fell quickly.

The Second World War would prove to be even more lethal and protracted than the first war. A global conflict in every sense of the word the war would see an unexampled number of casualties and would change the world forever.

After taking Poland, in May 1940 Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The same day, King George VI asked Churchill to be prime minister of Britain.

Germany was extremely successful in its early expansions and soon also took Denmark and Norway. Within four weeks of their assault Germany took on France and on 14th of June 1940 Paris was occupied. Soon after Hitler would launch an assault against Britain, attempting to gain air superiority in order to clear way for an aquatic invasion from France. But Churchill rallied the beleaguered people of Britain with unflagging strength and vitality, even when things looked their bleakest. In what has become known as the Battle of Britain the RAF successfully rebuffed the German attacks and claimed aerial superiority over England, ending German hopes of invasion.

Churchill established a strong relationship with American president Franklin Roosevelt, who did much to help the British war effort despite America’s position of neutrality. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in Dec. 1941, the United States officially entered the war .

Turning his attention away from Britain, Hitler looked to invade the communist Soviet Union. After a delay in Yugoslavia and Greece after the Italian’s defeat Germany assaulted the Soviet Union with the largest army ever known to man. Over three million Germans took part in the invasion, laying siege to Leningrad and getting to within 15 miles of Moscow. The Germans would have to stop for the Russian Winter however, and by Spring 1942 an entire division were trapped in the snow at Stalingrad, eventually leading to their capitulation. Hitler had seen what should have been a sure victory turn into a defeat. Russian casualties, too were astronomical, they lost around 27 million people, about half of the total casualties in the war.

As Germany were getting frozen out of the Soviet Union ,the Americans, allied with the British and the Soviets would continue to push the German forces back.

On 6th June 1944 the Allies launched an attack onto the beaches of Normandy. The German were deceived into thinking that the Allies would attack Calais and were unprepared for an invasion on the beaches. At a great cost of human life the beach invasion was successful and the Allies were able to push into France. By 1945 the German army was pushed back by the Soviets from the East and the Americans and British from the West. Once the Soviets reached Berlin, Hitler committed suicide and seven days later the Germans surrendered, ending the war in Europe. The USA would end the war with the infamous use of nuclear weapons against Japan in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After the war the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the two dominant super-powers, with much of Europe in ruin after the bombings in the war. Many top-ranking German officers were convicted of war crimes, at the famous Nuremberg trials. The most heinous crimes were committed at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, where Germans immured millions of Jews and other minorities, starving and eventually murdering them in one of the worst events in human history.

 

Assault

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a threatened or attempted physical attack by someone who appears to be able to cause bodily harm if not stopped; close fighting during the culmination of a military attack;

Other Meaning(s) : thoroughbred that won the triple crown in 1946; the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will; verb attack in speech or writing; attack someone physically or emotionally; force (someone) to have sex against their will

Synonyms : violation, outrage

  • Astronomical

 

Contextual Meaning(s) : adjective; immeasurably numerous, high, or great; e.g. reached astronomical proportions

Other Meaning(s) : adjective; relating to astronomy

Synonyms : sky-high

Beleaguered

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; troubled, worried

Other Meaning(s) : encircled by the enemy army

Synonyms : surrounded, troubled

Belligerent

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; engaged in war; characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight;

Other Meaning(s) : noun someone who fights (or is fighting)

Synonyms : militant, aggressive

Bleak

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; unpleasantly cold and damp; offering little or no hope; providing no shelter or sustenance

Synonyms : gloomy, dour

Capitulation

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; the act of surrendering (under agreed conditions);

Other Meaning(s) : a summary that enumerates the main parts of a topic

Synonyms : fall, surrender

Deplorable

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; bad; unfortunate; of very poor quality or condition; bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure

Synonyms : lamentable, woeful

Disenthrallment

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; the state of losing interest or attraction

Synonyms : disenchantment

Disillusionment

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; a feeling of disappointment

Synonyms : disillusion

Formidable

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; inspiring fear; extremely impressive in strength or excellence

Synonyms : redoubtable, unnerving

Heinous

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; shockingly brutal or cruel

Synonyms : atrocious, flagitious

  • Imminent

 

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective about to happen.

Synonyms : forthcoming, close

Immured

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; imprisoned, jailed

Synonyms : incarcerated, jailed

Impendent

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; close by in time; about to occur

Synonyms : imminent, impending

 

  • Infamous

 

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; well known for some bad quality or deed.

Synonyms : notorious, disreputable

Lethal

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; of an instrument of certain death

Synonyms : baleful

Protracted

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; relatively long in duration; tediously prolonged

Synonyms : lengthy, prolonged

Rallied

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; bought together to as team to fight f or a cause.

Synonyms : mobilized, gathered

Rebuffed

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; forced to recede.

Synonyms : snubbed, rejected

Ruin

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; an irrecoverable state of devastation and destruction; destruction achieved by causing something to be wrecked or ruined; failure that results in a loss of position or reputation;

Other Meaning(s) : a ruined building; an event that results in destruction the process of becoming dilapidated; verb fall into ruin; reduce to ruins; destroy or cause to fail; deprive of virginity; destroy completely; damage irreparably; reduce to bankruptcy

Synonyms : dilapidation, ramshackle

Semitic

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; of jewish origin

Synonyms : jewish

Siege

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; the action of an armed force that surrounds a fortified place and isolates it while continuing to attack

Synonyms : military-blockade, occupation

Unexampled

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; having no previous example or precedent or parallel

Synonyms : unprecedented

Unflagging

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; unceasing; showing sustained enthusiastic action with unflagging vitality

Synonyms : indefatigable, tireless

Unprecedented

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; having no precedent; novel

Synonyms : unexampled, historic

Vitality

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; an energetic style; the property of being able to survive and grow;

Other Meaning(s) : (biology) a hypothetical force (not physical or chemical) once thought by Henri Bergson to cause the evolution and development of organisms; a healthy capacity for vigorous activity

Synonyms : verve, vim

 

 

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