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Causes of WW2 - Degree level

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    Hey all!

    I just wanted to pick the minds of any specialists in the area of the causes for WW2.

    Needless to say, I have done my own research of this matter but I would like to know if anyone can either elaborate themselves or knows a source which elaborates further on my ideas, which are:

    1. No clear military defeat during WWI
    2. Versailles Treaty (Unfairness, etc...)
    3. Great depression (Economic woes)
    4. Creation of Nazism (need for Lebensraum/Grobdeutschland)
    5. Appeasement
    6. Hitler's four-year plan
    7. Balance of armaments in the late 30s
    8. Germany's armaments reaching obsolescence

    My need for further elaboration centers on 5 to 8 as there is an abundance of information on 1 - 4.

    Cheers all! (Also, if anyone knows a source for 'long-term' causes of WWI (such as the relevance of the Crimean War), I would appreciate it!)
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    It's been a while since you posted and nobody's replied yet...maybe you should check out MarkedbyTeachers.com, TSR's sister site. It has the largest library of essays in the UK.

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    sounds like you have the most important points there. How about the Inflation in 1923?


    Anyway, if you want to you could discuss the "Sonderweg" discussion. Sonderweg (special path) is a continuity theory that Germany took a special path ultimately ending up with the Holocaust and WW 2. Personally I'm writing a paper on the genocide in German South West Africa in 1904, which has often been argued to be the "testing ground" for Holocaust. So you could mention the Sonderweg discussion as a historiographic trend in recent literature + you could give your own view on it. - I think you'd be able to find some articles on it via google or JSTOR.

    Personally I think it's a very ahistoric and suggestive idea that Germany simply took a "special path".
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    Try google books, here are a few books from there which might help you out:

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5...%20war&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3...%20war&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=J...%20war&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=q...%20war&f=false

    Hopefully at least one of those should help you out a bit with filling out your arguments
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    (Original post by d0wnload)
    Hey all!

    I just wanted to pick the minds of any specialists in the area of the causes for WW2.

    Needless to say, I have done my own research of this matter but I would like to know if anyone can either elaborate themselves or knows a source which elaborates further on my ideas, which are:

    1. No clear military defeat during WWI
    2. Versailles Treaty (Unfairness, etc...)
    3. Great depression (Economic woes)
    4. Creation of Nazism (need for Lebensraum/Grobdeutschland)
    5. Appeasement
    6. Hitler's four-year plan
    7. Balance of armaments in the late 30s
    8. Germany's armaments reaching obsolescence

    My need for further elaboration centers on 5 to 8 as there is an abundance of information on 1 - 4.

    Cheers all! (Also, if anyone knows a source for 'long-term' causes of WWI (such as the relevance of the Crimean War), I would appreciate it!)
    This is a massive topic- I'm one of many scholars writing on just a small part of it, but it can be broken down into 'short' or 'long' termists who believe the roots of this were inevitable from before (or at least during) Versailles to those who take it to the other extreme and suggest there was no guarantee a war would break out even as late as Chamberlain's 'Peace in Our Time' speech. You have layers of complex diplomacy, geopolitical events and macroeconomic pressures to dissect here, and you have to be clear on what you mean by 'war'. That Hitler would end up in armed battle with someone is less debatable than causes of a global conflict, and there are subtle but important differences between things that 'caused' a war and factors that helped create the conditions meaning once a crisis was escalated, one side was less willing to pull back from the brink.

    I know this thread is a few weeks old now, but for what level are you doing this for? Is it dissertation or shorter coursework? I can point in the direction of general books or more complex essays.

    [I'm finishing a doctorate on arms manufacture and policy formation in the 1920s and 30s, I lecture in European History from 1870-1945 and am a research fellow at a Security Studies group (all at different universities), so what I don't know- and that's still quite a lot- I can usually point in the direction of someone that does].

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Updated: June 11, 2012
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