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WorldWar2.ro Forum > WW2 in General > When did WW2 become WORLD war?


Posted by: MMM December 18, 2008 07:36 pm
What would be the date from which ww2 could be considered a world-scale conflict?
During college, there was a talk at a seminar on this subject, but that was short...
I mean, when can we talk about a world conflict rather than a series of separate conflicts? There is a theory according to which the war became world war in 1944, once the americans landed in Europe on the main front - this is the latest date I have found theories about...

Posted by: Cantacuzino December 18, 2008 08:43 pm
QUOTE
What would be the date from which ww2 could be considered a world-scale conflict?
During college, there was a talk at a seminar on this subject, but that was short...
I mean, when can we talk about a world conflict rather than a series of separate conflicts? There is a theory according to which the war became world war in 1944, once the americans landed in Europe on the main front - this is the latest date I have found theories about...


In my opinion a world war should be considered when more than one country on both sides and more than one continent (as a theater of operations) .

In WW2 when axis countries (Germany, Italy, Japan etc) and allies countries (United Kingdom, USSR, USA etc) start fightings on many continents (Europe, Asia, Africa etc).That is enough for a world war. So I believe the year 1941 it's better suited for WW2 starting date.

Posted by: Cantacuzino December 18, 2008 08:59 pm
QUOTE
There is a theory according to which the war became world war in 1944, once the americans landed in Europe on the main front - this is the latest date I have found theories about...


What are the basis for this theory ?

Americans landed in Europe first in 1943 in Italy .
Main front or second front have no relevance for world war starting date.
The opening of the second front in Normandi helped only for world war quick finish not for starting.

Posted by: Cantacuzino December 18, 2008 09:30 pm
QUOTE
There is a theory according to which the war became world war in 1944


I remember in my youth , in school all history books , Romania start to fight ( in WW2) from 23 august '44 ( the army insurrection ) laugh.gif
Probably some history teachers from romanian College still give the year 1944 as world war 2 starting date (when Romania became the fourth ally) . biggrin.gif

Posted by: dragos December 18, 2008 10:15 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_war_2#The_war_becomes_global

1941 is the year when all the world's great powers became involved on more than one continent.

Posted by: Dénes December 19, 2008 05:38 am
I believe the first truly international war following WW 1 was the civil war in Spain, which started in 1936. It's there where ideologies confronted each other, and several superpowers (notably Germany, USSR, Italy) collided (back then, the USA could not be considered a "superpower" yet).

Some historians place the start of the world wide conflict at the Italian invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935. However, despite two continents being involved, that was rather a local war, and ended before the Spanish civil war started.

And let's not forget the Sino-Japanese war (proceeding in earnest in 1937), followed by the Japanese-Soviet war, where also two continents were involved.

So, personally, I would place the start of a www (world-wide-war, not web biggrin.gif ) at 1937, when the aforementioned two wars were raging in parallel.

Gen. Dénes

Posted by: Cantacuzino December 19, 2008 06:35 am
Than for www starting date we must use a median date with the tolerance (minus/plus). smile.gif

For the minus tolerance is the year of 1937 where a couple of countries (Spain Italy,Japan,China,USSR etc) start to fight individualy on couple of continents (Asia,Europe,Africa)

For maximum tolerance is the year 1941 when all world became split in two sides (the good guys and the bad guys biggrin.gif ) and start fighting on all continents.

So the median date is 1939 (Poland invasion) rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Imperialist December 19, 2008 08:31 am
I agree with Cantacuzino. 1939. Given Britain's and France's global empires, the moment they declared war on Germany the war became a world-scale conflict.

Posted by: MMM December 19, 2008 08:50 am
RE: Imperialist: It is true, but there were two separate conflicts: one between Poland and Germany+-SU and the other between Germany and France+England.
QUOTE
1941 is the year when all the world's great powers became involved on more than one continent.

It is also true, but rather in a series of separate conflicts than one great world war with two clear sides.
QUOTE
Probably some history teachers from romanian College still give the year 1944 as world war 2 starting date (when Romania became the fourth ally) . 

LOL!!!
This one is new! The guy from which I heard this was then (1999) a young assistant at University. The idea was that in that moment, June 6-th 1944, USA involved in the main theatre of operations in the European War, not in the oceans (Pacific, Atlantic). I do not agree with it...
I will return smile.gif

Posted by: Cantacuzino December 19, 2008 09:14 am
QUOTE

1941 is the year when all the world's great powers became involved on more than one continent. 


It is also true, but rather in a series of separate conflicts than one great world war with two clear sides.


Year 1941 was very clear regarding the sides split.
Also USA made clear wich side choose when started the lendlease program in march '41 and start fighting due to Japan attack at Pearl Harbour in the same year.
During '43 and '44 there were some changing in sides ( Italy,Romania etc).

Posted by: Radub December 19, 2008 09:37 am
In my opinion, the conflict became global after the 7th of December 1941, when Pearl Hearbor was attacked and America entered the war. America was the last major player to get involved.

However, by that stage fighting has ceased in some parts of the world and new battles were starting in other places. What I am trying to say is that there was no single time when the whole world was at war at the same time.

However, if we take into account "what continents were involved", the conflict was global as soon as the British became involved. The British Commonwealth (Crown Colonies) included countires subject to the crown or dominions on every continent of the world.

This can be a complex issue because of the continuous shifting situation all over the world at the time. This reminds me of another discussion on another forum in relation to "who were the Allies and who were the Axis". There is no single answer, there are lots of answers, and each may be right.

Also, see this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_2#The_war_becomes_global

Radu

Posted by: MMM December 19, 2008 10:12 am
QUOTE
There is no single answer, there are lots of answers, and each may be right.

That was EXACTLY my point, but as this is a forum, I thought it would be a nice subject, without any emotional involvement for any side (e.g. Romanians at Stalingrad or other threads which sort of degenerated... sad.gif )
I shall consult the renowned authority of WIKI biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif
BTW, you all know we could change some of the dates in wiki, right?

Posted by: Imperialist December 19, 2008 10:35 am
QUOTE (Dénes @ December 19, 2008 05:38 am)
And let's not forget the Sino-Japanese war (proceeding in earnest in 1937), followed by the Japanese-Soviet war, where also two continents were involved.

I hope you're not implying Japan is a continent. tongue.gif

Posted by: Dénes December 19, 2008 01:39 pm
Where did you take this from, Imp.? dry.gif

Here is what I wrote:
QUOTE
...the Japanese-Soviet war, where also two continents were involved.

Now, if I look at the map I see that a significant part of the Soviet Union is in Europe, while Japan is in Asia, if I am not mistaken...

Gen. Dénes

Posted by: Imperialist December 19, 2008 02:22 pm
QUOTE (Dénes @ December 19, 2008 01:39 pm)
Where did you take this from, Imp.?  dry.gif

Here is what I wrote:
QUOTE
...the Japanese-Soviet war, where also two continents were involved.

Now, if I look at the map I see that a significant part of the Soviet Union is in Europe, while Japan is in Asia, if I am not mistaken...

Gen. Dénes

Denes, it was a joke.

Your complete statement was:

And let's not forget the Sino-Japanese war (proceeding in earnest in 1937), followed by the Japanese-Soviet war, where also two continents were involved.

And it could have been understood as saying that in the Sino-Japanese war two continents were involved, just as happened in the following Japanese-Soviet war. But it was a joke anyway, far from me the idea of you thinking Japan was a continent. Ok? smile.gif

But a good point comes out of this anyway.
What does "involved continents" mean?
Russia has a part on the European continent but Russia waging war on Japan doesn't make the whole European continent involved.

Is the involvement of continents relevant for the definition of a world war? And does it have to be (direct/indirect) military involvement or only diplomatical?

Do all of them have to be involved?

If that is so then WWII was not a world war since South America was left out. And large parts of Africa were left out too.

Posted by: Dénes December 19, 2008 05:34 pm
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 19, 2008 08:22 pm)
Denes, it was a joke.

OK, if it was a joke, then it was a joke. No problemo.

QUOTE
WWII was not a world war since South America was left out.

Brazilian airmen did fight over Italy, so South America was militarily involved, too. Antarctica was not, however.

Gen. Dénes

Posted by: dead-cat December 19, 2008 05:44 pm
QUOTE (Cantacuzino @ December 18, 2008 09:43 pm)
In my opinion a world war should be considered when more than one country on both sides and more than one continent (as a theater of operations) .

by that definition, WW1 was the Seven Years War (on 3 continents) and WW2 the Napoleonic Wars (also 3 continents).

Posted by: Radub December 19, 2008 07:11 pm
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 19, 2008 02:22 pm)
If that is so then WWII was not a world war since South America was left out. And large parts of Africa were left out too.

A lot of South America was involved.

Have a look at the parties involved in the war:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allies_of_World_War_II
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_powers_of_World_War_II

Radu

PS As an aviation enthusiast, I have a good bit of interest in the Brazilian P47s that flew alongside Allied aircraft in Europe
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&rlz=1T4DAIE_en-GBIE264IE265&resnum=0&q=Brazilian+P+47&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=4&ct=title#

Posted by: Imperialist December 19, 2008 07:44 pm
QUOTE (Radub @ December 19, 2008 07:11 pm)
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 19, 2008 02:22 pm)
If that is so then WWII was not a world war since South America was left out. And large parts of Africa were left out too.

A lot of South America was involved.

Have a look at the parties involved in the war:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allies_of_World_War_II
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_powers_of_World_War_II

Radu

PS As an aviation enthusiast, I have a good bit of interest in the Brazilian P47s that flew alongside Allied aircraft in Europe
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&rlz=1T4DAIE_en-GBIE264IE265&resnum=0&q=Brazilian+P+47&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=4&ct=title#

Yes I was well aware that the countries of South America were diplomatically involved. I meant South America was not a theater of war.

I was not aware that Brazil sent an expeditionary force of 25,000 to Europe (according to your Wiki link) and I don't know if that force fought or not - I certainly haven't heard about it in the documentaries I've seen.

Still, Brazil's expeditionary force and planes and Mexico's squadron doesn't mean the whole South America was involved in the world war.

That expeditionary force must have accounted for a small % of Brazil's or the continent's forces and I doubt Brazil's economy was geared for total war. It's involvement in WWII was rather symbolic.

Which brings me back to the need to clearly define the terms we use. What are we supposed to understand by "involved continent"? 1/3 of it taking part in direct military action? Parts of it as theater of war? Indirect involvement? Simple declarations of war from a majority of its countries (without any subsequent wars) would suffice?

Posted by: Radub December 19, 2008 08:03 pm
Does it really matter if these troops saw a lot, some or no action? What does "involvement" mean? There are hundreds of people who went to war and never saw any "action" because they worked decoding radio messages, operated a radar station or refuelled planes on an airfield and never got a chance to fire a gun in anger. Shall we deny them the glory of being called "participants"? In my opinion, if their nation sent them to fight, then they were "involved" - the fact that they saw little "action" is a touch of good luck, but not a disclaimer. You tell a Brazilian that their pilots were irrelevant when they shot down German planes in Italy and you may get a very strong response.

Well, if we are to say that "involvement of a continent" is limited only to people fighting on home ground, then the North American continent did not see much "action" either. And then, if we are to use that rule, does that mean that Africa was not really involved because the majority of the guys fighting there were not locals?

I assume that the involvement of a continent refers to the fighting nation rather than the location of the battle.

That is why I said that there are lots of answers and all may be right.

Radu

Posted by: Imperialist December 19, 2008 08:53 pm
QUOTE (Radub @ December 19, 2008 08:03 pm)
Does it really matter if these troops saw a lot, some or no action? What does "involvement" mean?

In my opinion, if their nation sent them to fight, then they were "involved" - the fact that they saw little "action" is a touch of good luck, but not a disclaimer.

Well, if we are to say that "involvement of a continent" is limited only to people fighting on home ground, then the North American continent did not see much "action" either.

I assume that the involvement of a continent refers to the fighting nation rather than the location of the battle.

That is why I said that there are lots of answers and all may be right.

WWII was a total war. Involvement in a total war implies certain things. When saying a whole continent was involved in a total war then that's not big, that's huge.

You say "I assume that the involvement of a continent refers to the fighting nation rather than the location of the battle".

But that would mean that if 1 state from a continent is involved in the war then that whole continent is involved.

Well that's obviously incorrect since that 1 state contains only a share of the continent's people/resources/economy. Even if that 1 state is geared for total war that would still not mean the whole continent is involved.

When you add that a majority of that continent's states are not militarily involved in that war, and that no major battles took place on that continent then saying that the whole continent is involved would be wrong.

Moreover, the couple of South American participants were not in a total war stance and their involvement amounts to an expeditionary corps and some air force squadrons sent as token forces part of a far bigger coalition. Their economic effort is incomparable to the one exerted by the other participants.

So those couple of countries are indeed minor participants, nobody can deny that, but that is very far from calling it the involvement of their whole continent.

Posted by: Radub December 19, 2008 11:59 pm
QUOTE (Dénes @ December 19, 2008 05:34 pm)
Brazilian airmen did fight over Italy, so South America was militarily involved, too. Antarctica was not, however.

How about that Nazi UFO base in Antarctica? biggrin.gif
Radu

Posted by: Radub December 20, 2008 09:27 am
Imperialist,
Very often, you see things like "War in the Pacific", "European Conflict", "Asian market", "American Literature" etc. If we start picking them apart, of course there are holes in these terms because "not everyone is involved". All of those terms are rather symbolic.

I cannot possibly understand why you would not give the South American states the recognition they deserve. And Brazil (larger even than Europe) was not the only one involved.

Anyway, in my opinion, when the "continent" issue was brought about, it was only to figure out the spread of the conflict in the sense of "how far across the globe it reached".

No one in their right mind can possibly claim "total continental involvement" as a grounds for "evaluation of world war" simply because the only entire continent that was totally involved was Australia and that was only because it is the only state+continent. In the case of other continents, each featured a plethora of states with varying degrees of involvement varying from none to total.

Radu

Posted by: Imperialist December 20, 2008 11:13 am
QUOTE (Radub @ December 20, 2008 09:27 am)
I cannot possibly understand why you would not give the South American states the recognition they deserve. And Brazil (larger even than Europe) was not the only one involved.

Anyway, in my opinion, when the "continent" issue was brought about, it was only to figure out the spread of the conflict in the sense of "how far across the globe it reached".

No one in their right mind can possibly claim "total continental involvement" as a grounds for "evaluation of world war" simply because the only entire continent that was totally involved was Australia and that was only because it is the only state+continent. In the case of other continents, each featured a plethora of states with varying degrees of involvement varying from none to total.

Radu

In South America, which is this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SACN_member_states.jpg

Only Brazil was militarily involved by sending token forces. The majority of South American states were not militarily involved while other continents were either ravaged by war or major states located on them were conducting large 2-front campaigns of total war (United States). There is really no comparison.

Australia was not the only continent involved.

In Europe a majority of states were involved (either invaded or invadors or both in various successions). The ones not involved in the war were a minority - Portugal, Spain, Sweden (anyone else?). We can clearly state that Europe was an involved continent.

In Asia a majority of (today's) states were invaded and/or involved in total war campaigns: China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (French Indochina), Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore (British Malaya), Indonesia (Dutch East Indies), Burma, Philippines, China, Russia, Iran. We can clearly state that Asia was an involved continent.

South America? Not only did it not have great powers involved in total war campaigns (the likes of Japan in Asia, Germany/Russia in Europe or US in North America), but also it did not experience invasions from powers engaged in total war campaigns (the list of countries invaded by the countries listed above).

So it can be safely said that South America was not an involved continent.

Posted by: MMM December 20, 2008 02:55 pm
Sorry to say, but South America wasn't really left out: aside from the late declarations of war of some countries, let's not forget the underground front (funny as it may sound) and the maritime battles: does La Plata tell you anything? Or the sinking of the virtually entire Brazilian merchant fleet?
Neither was Africa, as most of it belonged - as colonies - to European powers involved. WW2 effectively forced all the states to pick sides more or less; yes, even Switzerland! They were in good relations w/ 3-rd Reich... Neutrality was quite over-rated smile.gif but this would be worthy of another topic (maybe).

Posted by: MMM December 20, 2008 03:08 pm
OOPS! My reply was a little "out of date", as I haven't seen the last page w/ its posts. I should rephrase some of it...
However,
QUOTE
But that would mean that if 1 state from a continent is involved in the war then that whole continent is involved.
is an interesting point. What can we say then about the SU, whose Asian part is bigger than the rest of Asia? Would this mean that in 1968, for example, Asia invaded Czechoslovakia? smile.gif
And other affirmation, about continents ravaged by war, also doesn't apply to North America because there weren't any land battles there, nor air bombing (except the handful of incendiary balloons sent by the Japanese) or blocade...
It is - as always - very hard to include these extremely different situations under one heading, especially when considering the fact that even the headings (such as total war, world war, involvement etc.) aren't agreed upon by all. In fact, nothing is and that's the beauty of it all, right?
What UFO base, Radub?

Posted by: MMM December 20, 2008 06:45 pm
About wikipedia: look what can be found on it!
QUOTE
Both Soviet and American tank forces dealt with the Tigers fairly easily, by simply overwhelming them with a swarm of five or more Shermans or T-34’s. Several allied medium tanks might get knocked out in the process, but one would get around to the back or sides where the armor could be penetrated.

What brilliant thinking! SEVERAL?!?!?!

Posted by: Radub December 20, 2008 09:11 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ December 20, 2008 03:08 pm)
What UFO base, Radub?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_UFOs

There are a few who believe this to be true. blink.gif

Radu

Posted by: drgeorge December 20, 2008 09:21 pm
For all practical purposes, the Second World War actually started at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (Trianon Hall).........!!!!!!!!!!! That's when the involvement of more than one continent started. If the war had not escalated in Europe (to involve the Japs' allies, the Germans) it would have stayed in Asia and continued there (maybe to spread to oceania, south america or the middle east!!).

All this just speculation!!!

Posted by: Imperialist December 20, 2008 09:34 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ December 20, 2008 03:08 pm)
However,
QUOTE
But that would mean that if 1 state from a continent is involved in the war then that whole continent is involved.
is an interesting point. What can we say then about the SU, whose Asian part is bigger than the rest of Asia? Would this mean that in 1968, for example, Asia invaded Czechoslovakia? smile.gif

And other affirmation, about continents ravaged by war, also doesn't apply to North America because there weren't any land battles there, nor air bombing (except the handful of incendiary balloons sent by the Japanese) or blocade...

It is - as always - very hard to include these extremely different situations under one heading, especially when considering the fact that even the headings (such as total war, world war, involvement etc.) aren't agreed upon by all. In fact, nothing is and that's the beauty of it all, right?
What UFO base, Radub?

Why do you bring size into this? It doesn't matter if Russia's Asian part is bigger than the rest of Asia, Russia is not the only state in Asia. That was my point. Nor is it the only state in Europe. So it would be wrong to say the Asian continent was involved in the war of 1968 (Russia against Czechoslovakia) or the European continent was involved in the war of 1905 (Russia against Japan).

About continents ravaged by war. Yes, North America was not ravaged by war, but the US was involved in total wars on 2 fronts! I think anyone can figure out America was pretty much involved in WWII. Brazil's "involvement", though worthy of mention, is out of the league of WWII and it isn't even close of representing even a fraction of the capabilities of the entire South American continent.

If we can't agree on the terms we use then the whole discussion becomes pointless or chaotic. Since we can't agree on "involved continent", we should stop using it.

IMO, WWII doesn't start when all continents are "involved", it starts when 2 or more global powers are in a state of war and things can no longer be contained, drawing in more and more small, medium and great powers. Hence, the starting point of a world war is the date on which the uncontainable war between those 2 or more powers started. And that date is obviously the date when France and Britain declared war on Germany.

Posted by: Radub December 20, 2008 09:42 pm
Hi Imperialist,
Brazil WAS NOT the only South American country involved in the war. Also, in my opinion, 25.000 troops is far from "token".

You say that what makes a country be "part of war" is some sort of significant effort. I say that the size of effort matters very little. What matters is a "state of war". If a declaration of war is made, then the countries involved are "at war". A declaration of war puts a country on a war footing, such as mobilisation of troops, seisure of objectives and supplies of military importance, etc. you know, the kind of stuff that you do when you are "at war". If a declaration of war leads to no harm, then that is a bit of good luck, but it does not invalidate the declaration of war.

The continent of Australia was the only "entire continent" involved in the war. That is because it is the only nation (it is a federal union of states) that spans a whole continent. Europe was not "entirely" at war since many countries (Spain, Sweden, etc.) remained neutral thoughout the conflict. Asia was not "entirely" at war because some countries (Turkey for example) remained neutral. Same with Africa.

But I repeat, this argument that it is "the whole continent or nothing" is a red herring and a side show. This was brought in as a "considering factor" a couple of answers back. The only one that seems to make it the "deciding factor" is you.

I suppose that the the war became "world war" when a large enough majority of countries of the world were officially "at war" either due to declaration of war, military operation or occupation.
Here is a list of the coountries that had something to do with the war: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participants_in_World_War_II

Radu

Posted by: Imperialist December 20, 2008 10:26 pm
QUOTE (Radub @ December 20, 2008 09:42 pm)
Hi Imperialist,
Brazil WAS NOT the only South American country involved in the war. Also, in my opinion, 25.000 troops is far from "token".

You say that what makes a country be "part of war" is some sort of significant effort. I say that the size of effort matters very little. What matters is a "state of war". If a declaration of war is made, then the countries involved are "at war". A declaration of war puts a country on a war footing, such as mobilisation of troops, seisure of objectives and supplies of military importance, etc. you know, the kind of stuff that you do when you are "at war". If a declaration of war leads to no harm, then that is a bit of good luck, but it does not invalidate the declaration of war.

But I repeat, this argument that it is "the whole continent or nothing" is a red herring and a side show. This was brought in as a "considering factor" a couple of answers back. The only one that seems to make it the "deciding factor" is you.

I suppose that the the war became "world war" when a large enough majority of countries of the world were officially "at war" either due to declaration of war, military operation or occupation.

We're not talking about a country being "part of war" (as in any war), we're talking about a country being part of WWII, which was total war.

Among other things, total war implies:

a conflict of unlimited scope in which a belligerent engages in a total mobilization of all available resources at their disposal, whether human, industrial, agricultural, military, natural, technological, or otherwise, in order to entirely destroy or render beyond use their rival's capacity to continue resistance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_war

Now you're telling me that Brazil's expeditionary force and squadron of airplanes represented the mobilization of a majority of Brazil's manpower? Or that the economic effort involved to support them represented most of Brazil's GDP? Or that the equipment needed to arm them necessitated most of Brazil's industrial capacity? Come on. It's beyond doubt that Brazil's contribution was token contribution part of a wider coalition effort in which Brazil was a junior "partner".

As for the "involved continent" issue. I never made it an issue of "the whole continent or nothing"! Don't put words into my mouth.

And I remind you of my post which started this discussion. I asked some relevant and simple questions in it:

What does "involved continents" mean?
Russia has a part on the European continent but Russia waging war on Japan doesn't make the whole European continent involved.

Is the involvement of continents relevant for the definition of a world war?

And does it have to be (direct/indirect) military involvement or only diplomatical?

Do all of them have to be involved?

If that is so then WWII was not a world war since South America was left out.


http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=4996&view=findpost&p=68568

I think the questions were legitimate and intended to clarify the discussion. They were certainly not red herrings.

Instead of focusing on the questions, you and Denes picked off the detail about South America being involved because Brazil sent some planes and expeditionary corps:

http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=4996&view=findpost&p=68575

I think we're starting to go in circles and not clarifying anything. Concerning the main question, I already said that 1939 is the date when WW2 started IMO.

Posted by: Radub December 20, 2008 10:44 pm
You are introducing concepts that have very little to do with what this thread is about.
The question was when did the war that started in 1939 become a "world war".
No one asked when it became a "total war".

Just in case you did not notice:
SOUTH AMERICA WAS NOT LEFT OUT!

Have fun, I am out of this.
Radu

Posted by: Imperialist December 20, 2008 11:36 pm
QUOTE (Radub @ December 20, 2008 10:44 pm)
You are introducing concepts that have very little to do with what this thread is about.
The question was when did the war that started in 1939 become a "world war".
No one asked when it became a "total war".

Just in case you did not notice:
SOUTH AMERICA WAS NOT LEFT OUT!

Have fun, I am out of this.
Radu

No, I'm introducing relevant concepts and stressing the need to agree on the terms we use.

We cannot identify when the war that started in 1939 became a world war if we cannot agree on what a world war means and what its traits are. You do realise that I hope. So I fail to understand why you're angry with me for going into details with this. I've tried to be as clear and amiable as I could be.

South America was not left out. Yes, I agreed with that from a diplomatical point of view. I disagreed with that from a military point of view. From a military point of view only Brazil participated. With the note that its participation was token and it was not geared to a total war.

Now if you wanted this to remain at a chat level ("I think it started in ..."/ "No, I think it started in ...") then I'm sorry for bringing such complexities in it.





Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 08:25 am
QUOTE
2 or more global powers are in a state of war

This is right; however, at the beginning of ww2, there wasn't yet the concept of global powers as it is now or as it was in the 1960's. Anyway, it is a very good conclusion!
As for the South America part: there was a certain level of involvement, but not comparable with Europe or Asia. I agree it's not fair to judge whole continents!

Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 08:28 am
QUOTE
geared to a total war

Except SU and US biggrin.gif no other state was geared for a total war. Germany in the last years, and UK in a little measure. That's all!

Posted by: Victor December 21, 2008 09:22 am
Radu, please refrain from shouting. Thank you.

Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 06:04 pm
So, again, a definite conclusion is both impossible and unsought...
Oy-vey! laugh.gif

Posted by: Radub December 21, 2008 07:49 pm
Sorry Victor, you are right. I find it frustrating that, yet again, the discussion is getting sidetracked into all sorts of weird tangents.

Brazil is part of South America. If Brazil got involved in the war, to whatever degree, then there was South American involvement in the war. This is a historically recorded fact, not a matter of opinion. Period.

When a country is at war, it is at war. Some put more effort into it, some put less effort into it. It does not have to be "total" to be a "war". Great Britain was at war as soon as it declared war, not when it became "total war", whatever that may be. Imagine Churchill asking: "Are at war yet?" and the other guys going "Nope, not yet, the total mobilization of all available resources at our disposal, whether human, industrial, agricultural, military, natural, technological, or otherwise, in order to entirely destroy or render beyond use our rival's capacity to continue resistance is not yet complete. I am afraid we are not at war yet." Chuchill says: "But London just got blitzed! Is that not an act of war?". The others say: "Nope, if it ain't total war, then it ain't war at all". Silly, to say the least. blink.gif

Anyway, now I am out of this. We got bogged in a side issue.
The question was when did the war became "world war", not when it became "total war" (whatever the [expletive] that is.)

BTW, the answer has already been issued http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wars

Radu

Posted by: Radub December 21, 2008 07:52 pm
Quote from the Wikipedia article:

Three months before World War II began in Europe, Time magazine first used the term "World War I" in its issue of June 12, 1939, when comparing the last war with the upcoming war.[4]

The term "Second World War" was coined in the 1920s. In 1928, US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg advocated his treaty "for the renunciation of war" (known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact) as being a "practical guarantee against a second world war". The term came into widespread use as soon as the war began in 1939. Time magazine introduced the term "World War II" in the same article of June 12, 1939, in which it introduced "World War I," three months before the start of the second war.

End of quote
Radu

Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 08:08 pm
That I didn't know! I just knew that before the WW2, WW1 was called "The Great War"...
And, regarding the wiki as a source, I'm not sure this is entirely reliable; plus, I wanted to see other people's oppinions on this; more precisely, other people who knew what they're talking about. It seems those were you, Cantacuzino, Victor, Imperialist and Denes. Seemed enough smile.gif

Posted by: Radub December 21, 2008 08:17 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ December 21, 2008 08:08 pm)
That I didn't know! I just knew that before the WW2, WW1 was called "The Great War"...
And, regarding the wiki as a source, I'm not sure this is entirely reliable; plus, I wanted to see other people's oppinions on this; more precisely, other people who knew what they're talking about. It seems those were you, Cantacuzino, Victor, Imperialist and Denes. Seemed enough smile.gif

Oh no! I make no claims of superior knowledge. Don't rely on me. laugh.gif

Wikipedia can be wrong sometimes, but not always. "Sift the chaff away from the flour" and you can find some truth there.

Radu

Posted by: Imperialist December 21, 2008 08:38 pm
QUOTE (Radub @ December 21, 2008 07:49 pm)
Sorry Victor, you are right. I find it frustrating that, yet again, the discussion is getting sidetracked into all sorts of weird tangents.

QUOTE
Brazil is part of South America. If Brazil got involved in the war, to whatever degree, then there was South American involvement in the war. This is a historically recorded fact, not a matter of opinion. Period.


I did not disagree with you about the existence of South American involvement, in fact I clearly stressed that I agree as far as Brazil is concerned. However you claimed South America as a continent was involved. Diplomatically yes, again I agreed, the military part was the only thing I disagreed with.

QUOTE
When a country is at war, it is at war. Some put more effort into it, some put less effort into it. It does not have to be "total" to be a "war". Silly, to say the least.  blink.gif


It doesn't have to be total to be a war? Who could have thought. Really? smile.gif
Seriously now, there are different types of wars and the differences between those types are pretty relevant in international relations. There's nothing silly in that, in fact the number of academic studies and researches written on these subjects are quite extensive. And believe me, the approach they use is complex and if you couldn't stand this simple discussion then the approach would in fact be very complex in your perception.

The world wars stand out as total wars. And yes, that is relevant. Not for the date on which WW2 started, but for the token or non-token character of Brazil's or of the South American continent's involvement in the world war which we were talking about.

QUOTE
We got bogged in a side issue.
The question was when did the war became "world war", not when it became "total war" (whatever  the [expletive] that is.)


The issue of total war was raised in our discussion about the South American continent's involvement, not in the one about the date on which WWII started! I never said or implied that WWII started when it became total war. I don't know what to make of this, do you read any of my posts?


Posted by: dragos December 21, 2008 09:07 pm
So are you saying the war became a world war before it became a total war? Because France and UK were not in a total war versus Germany until 1940, but in a "phoney war" wink.gif

Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 09:23 pm
Oh, sorry, it sems I forgot Dragoş frm the contributors' list. ph34r.gif And dead cat and drgeorge as well... ph34r.gif
The phony war was called so because of the lack of military activity. They clearly did NOT have any notion about total war back then, much less other nations. Again, the exceptions were SU (totalitarian state, according to Suvorov already geared up for war) and US (the most powerful industrial "source"), which entered the war at a later stage - though Russians invaded Poland from 17-th Sept. 1939!
RE: imperialist: let's say that south american involvement was minimal, but WAS! How about that?
RE: superior knowledge: I'm sure it was a joke - after all, we're quite equal in here and no one is supposed to be "superior"; if it is in knowledge, then share! tongue.gif

Posted by: Imperialist December 21, 2008 09:24 pm
QUOTE (dragos @ December 21, 2008 09:07 pm)
So are you saying the war became a world war before it became a total war? Because France and UK were not in a total war versus Germany until 1940, but in a "phoney war"  wink.gif

I'll paste what I said earlier on page 2:

IMO, WWII [...] starts when 2 or more global powers are in a state of war and things can no longer be contained, drawing in more and more small, medium and great powers. Hence, the starting point of a world war is the date on which the uncontainable war between those 2 or more powers started. And that date is obviously the date when France and Britain declared war on Germany.

Quoting MMM:
QUOTE
RE: imperialist: let's say that south american involvement was minimal, but WAS! How about that?


Oh come on, it's like we're lost in translation or something! The whole point of my previous post was to underline that there is a big difference between South America's involvement and South American involvement!

And like I said before, I agreed with the existence of South American involvement (Brazil) and with South America's diplomatic involvement, but I disagreed with Radub's contention of South America's military involvement.

Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 09:25 pm
Anyway, my oppinion (as if needed by anyone wink.gif ) is that ww2 started as a series of separate conflicts which, generalizing, "flamed" the entire world, becoming thus of mondial scale - hence the "world war" term!

Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 09:29 pm
QUOTE
France and Britain declared war on Germany

So, the declaration is important? Germany did NOT declare war on USSR, but still the ensuing conflict still is the bloodiest in history. Neither other states did declare war, USSR among them in certain occasions. Whatever...
Anyway, the date of 03.09.1939 is acepted by the western historians as the beginning, not 01.09 or others. Again, whatever...

Posted by: Imperialist December 21, 2008 09:37 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ December 21, 2008 09:29 pm)
Germany did NOT declare war on USSR, but still the ensuing conflict still is the bloodiest in history.


Germany declared war, I think only the issue of timing it was different.

REICHFUEHRER ADOLF HITLER'S PROCLAMATION ON WAR WITH SOVIET UNION

http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1941/410622a.html

Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 09:38 pm
No formal declaration, however; not BEFORE the beginning of the conflict. Right?

Posted by: dragos December 21, 2008 09:53 pm
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 22, 2008 12:24 am)
IMO, WWII [...] starts when 2 or more global powers are in a state of war and things can no longer be contained, drawing in more and more small, medium and great powers. Hence, the starting point of a world war is the date on which the uncontainable war between those 2 or more powers started. And that date is obviously the date when France and Britain declared war on Germany.

Germany was an European great power, whose military goals in 1939 were limited to Europe, hence the declaration of war of September brought about an European conflict.

Posted by: Imperialist December 21, 2008 11:10 pm
QUOTE (dragos @ December 21, 2008 09:53 pm)
Germany was an European great power, whose military goals in 1939 were limited to Europe, hence the declaration of war of September brought about an European conflict.

Being one of Europe's great powers also meant being part of the world's great powers.

Germany's military goals were initially geographically limited to Europe, but the British and French empires' "nerve centers" were located in Europe too so politically the conflict was far from limited and once it started it no longer was containable. It was a war between 3 great powers (2 of which had possessions trhoughout the globe) with the world order being at stake. A world war. smile.gif


Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 11:11 pm
True, dragos, but it was not a conflict whose results and imensity and outcome could have been predicted by any person or nation. This was not the case with WW1, except details such as the fall of czar, emperor of Germany and of Austro-Hungary smile.gif They had scenarios for the ending which suited quite well, at least for 20 years.
Germany started only a "minor" conflict, solved in less than a month. If it were not for the intervention of France and especially UK, the conflict would not have been world war from 1939. Perhaps the USSR would not have attacked either on 17.09 - who knows?

Posted by: MMM December 21, 2008 11:16 pm
QUOTE
at least for 20 years

That is another theory, developped by authors such as Ernst Nolte, who speaks about an "European civil war" between 1917-1991, or AJP Taylor who sees a 20-years-war from 1914 to 1945. Arguable, but sustainable theories...
It is also true that it was the first war about order (be it world order or, at least, in some countries), either fascist/nazi or communist. Who won?

Posted by: Dénes December 22, 2008 08:46 am
QUOTE (MMM @ December 22, 2008 05:16 am)
It is also true that it was the first war about order (be it world order or, at least, in some countries), either fascist/nazi or communist. Who won?

Not all principal participants in WW 2 were totalitarian regimes. Some were (Western) democracies. And there was Japan, which was neither.

As for who won, we all know that Western democracies and Communism did. However, with the war barely at still, they already faced each other. And as it would turn out, Communism won the war, but eventually lost the peace...

Gen. Dénes

Posted by: MMM December 22, 2008 09:15 am
1. Japan was much closer to a dictatorial regime (military) than to a democracy
2. It was a rhetoric question, given the known fact that the war started to "protect" Poland finished by translating it and leaving it with 10 million dead! I was just joking...

Posted by: Radub December 22, 2008 10:07 am
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 21, 2008 08:38 pm)
It doesn't have to be total to be a war? Who could have thought. Really? smile.gif

Imperialist,
Then, the war in the Falklands was not a war. Then, the war in Korea was not a war. Then, the war in Vietnam was not a war.

In all of these cases, life went on as usual at home while troops fought abroad.

There were still elections, farmers still ploughed their fields, workers still went to work, mothers still nursed their babies.
Even in World War 2, life went on as usual. Action happened only at the frontline. As the frontline moved on, life returned to normal. Those harrowing images that you see in movies, with refugees moving in masses, with cities levelled, with soldiers dying, all of that stuff did not happen all over the place all of the time. That horrible stuff happened only at the frontline. In fact, life went on as usual.

As an example, take the September 11 attacks. The images were harrowing, there was suffering, the nation felt under attack, economy was affected, planes were grounded, industry halted locally, the hospitals were groaning under pressure, people were desperate and upset. BUT, in Iowa, the farmer still got up in the morning and harvested his corn.

The same happened everywhere. When troops were landing in Normandy, the playboys still played Blackjack in Nice and the Champagne farmers still watered their vineyards. After France fell, they returned to their " le pain, le boursin et vin". After Austria was annexed, they still had concerts in Saltzburg.
When Berlin was bombed, the pretzel bakeries or beer gardens in Munich still opened for business as usual. Lufthansa still flew relatively regular flights. There was an Oktoberfest in 1944.

There is a war (well, some kind of military operations anyway) going on right now. In America, in the UK, or in Romania, although the boys are fighting abroad, people still have elections, they still go to work, life moves on, just like they did in WW2.

Life went on as usual. There were strains, there was suffering, there were shortcomings, but life went on.

What amd I saying by all this? Not all people living during the war had any real idea of the extent of the war that was going on around them. We know now that it was major, but then, with life going on around, people just knew that they were at war. People did not need to know that this was a "total war" to know that they were at war. That is all.

War is war. If two factions fight, then it is a "war". "Total" is not a prerequisite for a conflict to be called a "war".

Radu

Posted by: MMM December 22, 2008 12:25 pm
Radu, this is to some extent correct. But, according to your theory, there never was a total war, because in all the countries there were moments of "business as usual". Perhaps less in USSR tongue.gif or in Germany, as Auschwitz and all the other pretty things were not "usual" before 1933. And the conflicts you've been so kind to mention were limited, to say the least.

Posted by: Radub December 22, 2008 12:53 pm
QUOTE (MMM @ December 22, 2008 12:25 pm)
Radu, this is to some extent correct. But, according to your theory, there never was a total war, because in all the countries there were moments of "business as usual". Perhaps less in USSR tongue.gif or in Germany, as Auschwitz and all the other pretty things were not "usual" before 1933. And the conflicts you've been so kind to mention were limited, to say the least.

I am not the one pushing the issue of "total war or nothing".
I am not the one who sees things in black and white.

All I said was that the state of "total war" as described by Imperialist was not reached by all nations involved. Furthermore, when it was reached, that state was reached quite late in the war. By that stage, those nations had been at war for a while.

As I said so many times before, war is war. It does not have to be "total war".

"Total war" is a side issue.

Radu



Posted by: Imperialist December 22, 2008 05:35 pm
QUOTE (Radub @ December 22, 2008 12:53 pm)
I am not the one pushing the issue of "total war or nothing".
I am not the one who sees things in black and white.

All I said was that the state of "total war" as described by Imperialist was not reached by all nations involved. Furthermore, when it was reached, that state was reached quite late in the war. By that stage, those nations had been at war for a while.

As I said so many times before, war is war. It does not have to be "total war".

"Total war" is a side issue.

Radu

Who is pushing "total war or nothing"? I guess you mean me. I never did that. I said Brazil was militarily involved, but its involvement was token. "Token forces" doesn't mean "no forces". Saying Brazil sent token forces doesn't mean I claimed it was not involved.

I never said that all nations reached a state of total war. I categorised the nations involved in WW2 as (1) great powers involved in (total) war on one or several fronts alongside allied small or medium powers; and (2) states that were invaded (some of them twice - invaded and later on re-invaded/liberated), bearing the effects of war. Those categories make Europe and Asia clearly involved, while South America as a continent was not. A majority of its countries were diplomatically involved though. Which I never denied.

So why are we arguing?

Radub, war is war but some people have looked more in-depth into the issue and have identified different types of war.

Posted by: Radub December 22, 2008 06:45 pm
WE are not arguing. YOU are arguing.

Radu

Posted by: dragos December 22, 2008 09:20 pm
QUOTE (Imperialist @ December 22, 2008 08:35 pm)
I categorised the nations involved in WW2 as (1) great powers involved in (total) war on one or several fronts alongside allied small or medium powers; and (2) states that were invaded (some of them twice - invaded and later on re-invaded/liberated), bearing the effects of war. Those categories make Europe and Asia clearly involved, while South America as a continent was not.

I think you should also add to the "clearly involved" continents North America and Australia. And all these continents except Europe became "clearly involved" in the same war after December 1941.

Posted by: Imperialist December 22, 2008 11:06 pm
QUOTE (dragos @ December 22, 2008 09:20 pm)
I think you should also add to the "clearly involved" continents North America and Australia.

Yes, you're right. Unfortunately I can't include everything and cover all angles everytime I have to repeat my main arguments. This time I failed to include the things you mention. smile.gif

Posted by: MMM December 27, 2008 09:02 pm
QUOTE
different types of war

During college, I read a book written by some French author (I cannot remember his name right now...) that classified war into about ten types, beginning from the dawn of humanity. The last type was the "assymetric" conflict, like Vietnam, Afghanistan (both w/ USSR and UN) or Iraq; before that was the "total war", such as ww2 or other conflicts.
I just wanted to see some oppinions about ww2...
Merry Christmas!

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