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When did World War II begin?

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When did World War II begin?
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nasher168League LegendUser avatarPosts: 2518Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:34 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post When did World War II begin?

I was watching Pearl Harbor earlier :| and noticed that one of the characters says something very odd. They say words to the effect of "I think we just saw the start of World War 2!"
Is it taught in American schools that the War began with the Attack on Pearl Harbour?
In the UK, we're taught that it began with the Nazi invasion of Poland, although of course there was action before then and it could be argued (though I don't know how convincingly) that the Second Sino-Japanese War (which started on 7th July 1937) truly marked the start of the War, even though at that point no western powers were fighting.

So, what is the date that's taught in other countries? And what is the consensus amongst historians?
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Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:11 pm
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AndromedasWakeAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 598Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:38 pmLocation: Captain's Chair, League HQ Gender: Cake

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

1. It's a terrible film.

2. I was also taught that the War effectively began with the invasion of Poland.

EDIT: 1st September '39
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Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:15 pm
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RichardMNixonUser avatarPosts: 1047Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:45 pmLocation: USA Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

I imagine they meant the beginning of the war as far as America was concerned. We were taught that Churchill's reply to Pearl Harbor was "Yes! We have won the war!"

I recall the teacher emphasizing the invasion of Belgium and Netherlands as the start of the war, but definitely not Pearl Harbor.

Depressingly however, this was material I and several others stayed after class to learn for the Advanced Placement Exam in European History. My world history class (required) never got past the Enlightenment. My European History class (elective) rushed through WWI and the aftermath and taught WWII after school in order to make it in time for the test.

Yeah, Americans are great at history btw.
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Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:22 pm
ShaedysUser avatarPosts: 343Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:15 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

RichardMNixon wrote:I imagine they meant the beginning of the war as far as America was concerned. We were taught that Churchill's reply to Pearl Harbor was "Yes! We have won the war!"

I recall the teacher emphasizing the invasion of Belgium and Netherlands as the start of the war, but definitely not Pearl Harbor.

Depressingly however, this was material I and several others stayed after class to learn for the Advanced Placement Exam in European History. My world history class (required) never got past the Enlightenment. My European History class (elective) rushed through WWI and the aftermath and taught WWII after school in order to make it in time for the test.

Yeah, Americans are great at history btw.

I'd be shamed in my history class if I didn't know when WW I and WW II started and stopped. But that's not the classes most Dutch get(VWO).
TBH, if you asked my sister who did what most Dutch do (VMBO) she probably wouldn't know when WW II started.
Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:30 pm
Logic-NanakiUser avatarPosts: 98Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:54 pmLocation: Norway Gender: Male

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

We were taught that WW2 started seriously when the nazis invaded Poland, after a buildup of Hitlers forces. although, the war for us started when they invaded us 9. april 40 to seize the strategic coastline of Norway. and ended 8. may 45.

but yeah, it seems that the US have a little egocentric view of things that happened if the things said are true. but hey, it's common to be a bit nationalistic
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Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:35 pm
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

Unless you're Asian, in which case it began in 1931.

Silly Europeans, assuming that the war started when you got involved :P

(EDIT: and yes, I was taught this in the American Public School System)

(EDIT: EDIT: and yes, you could say it was the Second Sino-Japanese war in 37, but the two were essentially at war long before the invasion.)
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Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:27 pm
kenandkidsUser avatarPosts: 1117Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:00 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

A crash course in American history:

WW1 started soon after jesus and Ronald Reagan got off of the ark and communists had taken over the world. Abraham tried to get Obama to release the jews from slavery and called for the tower of Babel to be torn down. This is when Reagan grabbed a sledgehammer and personally tore down the Berlin wall which made the Nazis angry and so they made Eve eat an apple in retribution. God was busy telling Congress how much they needed the constitution to be all about him, but the evil atheists went to Poland and attacked Britain. Then Satan, who lived in Tokyo, decided he wanted to kill the godly americans...
Teapublican commandment:
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Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:07 am
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

"04:45 local time in Poland on the 1st of september". :geek:

The first action being the shelling of the Westerplatte fort complex guarding the Port of Danzig by the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein. Although TBH even though it is now much forgotten, a bombing of the town of Wieluń by the luftwaffe did occur 5 mins beforehand. Nonetheless the shelling of Westerplatte is often interpreted as being the actual signal itself for the beginning of WW2.

And people at the time of the invasion were calling it the beginning of ww2, as this article in the "Hartford Courant" - Dated Sep 10, 1939, seems to imply. The first line reads

"Today marks the end of the first week of the struggle already becoming known as "The Second World War." ..."
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Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:24 am
GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

kenandkids wrote:A crash course in American history:

WW1 started soon after jesus and Ronald Reagan got off of the ark and communists had taken over the world. Abraham tried to get Obama to release the jews from slavery and called for the tower of Babel to be torn down. This is when Reagan grabbed a sledgehammer and personally tore down the Berlin wall which made the Nazis angry and so they made Eve eat an apple in retribution. God was busy telling Congress how much they needed the constitution to be all about him, but the evil atheists went to Poland and attacked Britain. Then Satan, who lived in Tokyo, decided he wanted to kill the godly americans...

Thanx for the lulz
Only after having heard an American lady ask an Irish waitress why they built the castle so close to the motorway, I almost believe it.
Well, September 1. 1939, which is also known by some more progressive people as the "day against war"
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Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:26 am
RigelKentaurusAUser avatarPosts: 372Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:24 am Gender: Male

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

kenandkids wrote:A crash course in American history:

WW1 started soon after jesus and Ronald Reagan got off of the ark and communists had taken over the world. Abraham tried to get Obama to release the jews from slavery and called for the tower of Babel to be torn down. This is when Reagan grabbed a sledgehammer and personally tore down the Berlin wall which made the Nazis angry and so they made Eve eat an apple in retribution. God was busy telling Congress how much they needed the constitution to be all about him, but the evil atheists went to Poland and attacked Britain. Then Satan, who lived in Tokyo, decided he wanted to kill the godly americans...


Hmm, the textbook I had claimed the atheists went to Serbia to attack some British ambassador. Duke of arch-something or another.
Maybe I misread it, it's been a while. :cry:
Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:38 pm
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kenandkidsUser avatarPosts: 1117Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:00 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

RigelKentaurusA wrote:
kenandkids wrote:A crash course in American history:

WW1 started soon after jesus and Ronald Reagan got off of the ark and communists had taken over the world. Abraham tried to get Obama to release the jews from slavery and called for the tower of Babel to be torn down. This is when Reagan grabbed a sledgehammer and personally tore down the Berlin wall which made the Nazis angry and so they made Eve eat an apple in retribution. God was busy telling Congress how much they needed the constitution to be all about him, but the evil atheists went to Poland and attacked Britain. Then Satan, who lived in Tokyo, decided he wanted to kill the godly americans...


Hmm, the textbook I had claimed the atheists went to Serbia to attack some British ambassador. Duke of arch-something or another.
Maybe I misread it, it's been a while. :cry:


That might have been the edition where the damn pinko liberals tried to rewrite history...
Teapublican commandment:
Thou shalt not educate or improve the lives of the lesser classes, the lesser races, or women.

Fiddler on:

http://obnoxi.us/
Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:03 pm
ExtropianPosts: 12Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:09 amLocation: Sydney Gender: Male

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

Nasher 168 asks,

So, what is the date that's taught in other countries? And what is the consensus amongst historians?

We must indulge the USA their historiocentricity. They have some admirable traits as well.

If, in an exam on history, you were asked for brief details on the beginning of WW2, you would not be marked wrong if the date you gave was Sep 1 1939 [local time] when Germany invaded Poland.

Though, earlier, on 15th March 1936, Hitler's forces peacefully reoccupied the Rhineland with the tacit agreement of France and England. This was a part of the German homeland west of the Rhine that the Allies had detached from Germany at the end of WWl. It became a demilitarised zone occupied by France and contained the German cities of Cologne, Dusseldorf and Bonn.

You'd be on shakier ground, but IMHO equally correct if you gave the Anschluss of 13 March 1938 when the quisling chancellor Artur Seyss-Inquart pledged Austria to German hegemony. Thereby, Hitler annexed his native land to Germany.

Then one might consider the German invasion of Czechoslovakia and its surrender to occupation by the diminutive Czech president Dr. Emil Hacha on 15 March 1939. It was necessary to call Hitler's doctor, Theodore Morell, to attend to the deeply distressed and ill Dr Hacha. He was given a vitamin injection that revived him. This was a shameful episode in history that not only stained the honour [such as it was] of the involved German diplomats but also the signatory nations of the Treaty of Versailles, especially France and England who cravenly aquiesced in the occupation.

These two invasions could be considered "bloodless" though quite a few deaths were caused by assassination and public disorder.

The blood-letting began in earnest with Poland.

Extropian
Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:23 am
CommonEnlightenmentUser avatarPosts: 649Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:06 amLocation: Plato Crater Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

What? I was taught that the World is one perpetual war. Why do we need designations?
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Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:23 am
ExtropianPosts: 12Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:09 amLocation: Sydney Gender: Male

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

CommonEnlightenment wrote:What? I was taught that the World is one perpetual war. Why do we need designations?


The people of Europe and East Asia 1939 to 1945 wouldn't have taught you that.

They'd be most prompt in advising their idea of what is war and what is peace. Given a choice the vast majority of people opt for the latter very smartly.

There is a considerable difference between the two and I'm confident you would see that difference with no problem.

It really is important that we learn to distinguish between them. We stand a better chance of learning from history that way, although I must admit a lot of people are particularly resistant to this kind of learning.

The Spanish born, US philosopher, George Santayana, put it quite succinctly when he observed...........

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Extropian
Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:49 am
CommonEnlightenmentUser avatarPosts: 649Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:06 amLocation: Plato Crater Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

I'm not disagreeing with you at all. If I had a choice the choice would definitely be peace.

And I'm not even sure that we would need 'designations' to see that the world has experienced (how many days) of peace in recent or extended history?

What I'm stating is that War seems to be the default position. My original question was probably more of a sarcastic one. As in, WTF are people thinking when they pull the trigger (adrenaline rush)? I'm fighting for some 'greater' good? My genes, thoughts, ideologies, past and current experiences are driving this action? Jealousy, rage, anger, disgust?

Those are some of the questions that need non-violent solutions before any hope of World peace can be envisioned.


I'm going to kill him so that I won't be killed, perhaps? Ultimately where does that type of thinking and/or action go?

Anyway, I digress from the original topic........ Back to business.

The celebration of World Peace day is a nice start. And I would encourage this website to advertise. And if I had any say in the matter I would encourage every single major media outlet to advertise (a full week before the actual date would be nice) . Make it as common as Christmas on everyone's calendar. Have the citizens 'wring the balls' of their respective governments if cease fires are violated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_of_Peace
There is still light in the 'Earthly' darkness. Finding light in the darkness can be more satisfying than merely seeing the glaring light of our sun. It gives us a better understanding of light and a deeper understanding of our universe.
Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:15 am
MadisonLeePosts: 1Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:44 pm Gender: Female

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

Pearl Harbor does not mark the beginning of the WWII; it only marks the beginning of the US involvement in WWII. According to a timeline I found on Shmoop, World War II was well underway when USA was attacked by Japan- Mussolini had already invaded Ethiopia and begun chemical warfare, Japan had started trying to invade China, Hitler has already started his mindless vendetta against the Jewish population, broken treaties with Britain and France and invaded Poland leading them to declare war against Germany- all of which were events that hold at least as much importance in context of WWII as Pearl Harbor does.
Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:46 pm
LallapalalableUser avatarPosts: 1205Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:35 pmLocation: That place between childhood and adulthood Gender: Male

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

When WWI ended 8-)
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Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:47 am
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DeanBlog EditorUser avatarPosts: 593Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 1:49 pmLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

@AndromedasWake
AndromedasWake wrote:1. It's a terrible film.

2. I was also taught that the War effectively began with the invasion of Poland.

EDIT: 1st September '39

Although, as explained, it obviously varies by country. Especially in South East Asian regions. 8-)
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Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:25 pm
DeistPaladinUser avatarPosts: 337Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:35 pmLocation: Louisville, KY USA

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

kenandkids wrote:A crash course in American history:

WW1 started soon after jesus and Ronald Reagan got off of the ark and communists had taken over the world. Abraham tried to get Obama to release the jews from slavery and called for the tower of Babel to be torn down. This is when Reagan grabbed a sledgehammer and personally tore down the Berlin wall which made the Nazis angry and so they made Eve eat an apple in retribution. God was busy telling Congress how much they needed the constitution to be all about him, but the evil atheists went to Poland and attacked Britain. Then Satan, who lived in Tokyo, decided he wanted to kill the godly americans...


Sounds like an excerpt from what will soon be released Bachmann American History textbook. :lol:

When WWI ended 8-)


Yes. WWII was the last great battle of WWI.

I'd heard that a French ambassador at Versailles after the treaty had been signed had predicted, "This is not a peace treaty. It's a 20 year armistice." If true, it would have been right almost to the day.
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Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:03 pm
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AndiferousUser avatarPosts: 2727Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:00 amLocation: Laputa Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: When did World War II begin?

It started for Canada when it started for Britain. :)
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Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:04 am
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