The real causes of the Second World War: Considerations on an unsolved problem of traditional historiography

The debate on the true causes of the Second World War was very heated throughout the post-war period (the historical period following the end of the Second World War) and even today the question appears very current and quite undefined also due to many “interpretative forcings” that a certain historiography has wanted to impose on this historical problem. Which is not only attributable to the political imprint of much contemporary historiography but also to real omissions thereof in relation to the dynamics of the geopolitical events that took shape in the old continent after the Munich conference of 1938 (in which the four major European powers – United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy – sought an agreement that would avert a new world conflict) and which had as its highlight the famous Ribbentrop-Molotov pact which led to a completely unexpected military alliance between communist Russia and National Socialist Germany. The geopolitical and geostrategic implications of this agreement were truly surprising and placed the Anglo-Saxon empire faced with very serious critical issues and problems (). Since Berlin, covering its back to the east, was free to concentrate its powerful war machine in western and northern Europe, occupying them almost entirely. The pact also deprived London of a historical ally that had been very useful (if not fundamental) in the fight against Napoleonic France and Wilhelmine Germany, making England very fragile in the face of the Wehrmacht’s offensive throughout Europe. continental. And it placed the United Kingdom faced with deadly challenges which, in all likelihood, it would not have been able to oppose if the Russian-German agreement had been maintained and not shattered by Hitler’s geopolitical aims. For this reason, double standards were used in London regarding diplomatic relations with Berlin and Moscow. Both of which occupied Poland (on the basis of the so-called secret protocol of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact which provided for the occupation and division of Polish territory between Russia and Germany) in contravention of the British wishes relating to the territorial integrity of the latter (of which England had officially guaranteed). As a consequence of these developments, London declared war only on Germany and never on the Soviet Union with which, indeed, it even became an iron ally after the German invasion of the USSR in 1941. The issue is not a small one I count. Since traditional historiography considers the invasion of Poland to be the triggering event of the Second World War. At the same time, placing the responsibility for the event on Berlin’s geopolitical aims and omitting or “silenting” Moscow’s role in the events in question. All this raises serious reflections on the political and partisan nature of much contemporary historiography and how much the latter has been stained with distorted analyzes for the use and consumption of the winners of the Second World War. It is clear that behind the “reconstructions” of official historiography hide the specific interests of the latter in revealing to the “general public” only what is most suited to their “geopolitical image”. In this way the involvement of the USSR in the invasion of Poland never appeared as a real motivation for the conflict. At the same time, the fact that England, as guarantor of the freedom and territorial integrity of the Polish nation, did not intervene in 1939 against the Soviet Union (but only against Germany) was cleverly concealed from the official historiography which, therefore, appears to us to be at least not very objective about the real geopolitical dynamics that led to the Second World War.


In analyzing the real causes of the Second World War, we cannot overlook the importance that the geopolitical structure established at Versailles had in the development of international relations in the years following the great war. The conditions imposed on Germany were truly impressive and exceptionally punitive (also considering that the German army was not defeated on the field but that the German defeat was caused by the collapse of the internal front and the process of dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire which began in the finals of the conflict) and did not only concern the profound downsizing of the fleet and the army but also enormous financial compensation and the occupation of the main production districts of the country (the Ruhr basin and the Saar basin) to guarantee them. As a consequence of these developments, Weimar Germany found itself facing a disastrous economic situation which it tried to remedy with an immense printing of money which, however, shortly thereafter led to a hyperinflationary dynamic which caused a further impoverishment of German society and the German nation. All this favored the rise of extremist parties on the German political scene. On the one hand, the communist party advocated a profound change in the country’s economic and social system in a communist sense (and in foreign policy aimed at an alliance with the Soviet Union) as a cure for reviving Germany’s fortunes. On the other hand, the far right parties (including the NSDAP led by Adolf Hitler) who opposed the communist party in internal politics (opposing the Soviet-style collectivist economic model) and aimed at a more aggressive foreign policy and a recovery of Berlin on the international stage (even with the use of force). This situation had very serious social consequences with clashes (including armed ones) between the various antagonistic political factions. A situation that became much worse following the bursting of the financial bubble on Wall Street in 1929 and the great depression that followed throughout the Western world. These developments favored the influx of huge Western capital to the “right-wing” parties of the German political stage in the hope, developed in the Anglo-Saxon establishment, that the latter could prevent the coming of the communists to power and, consequently, an alliance between Berlin and Moscow on the world geopolitical stage. It was the influx of such financial resources that favored the rise of National Socialism in the first half of the 1930s. But the hopes of Anglo-Saxon political leaders that the rise of the right in Germany could serve as a bulwark for communist expansion in central and eastern Europe were largely dashed. Since the new German political leadership opposed an instrumental foreign policy and claimed the rise of the German nation in the global geopolitical context of the time, effectively challenging the power of Washington and London and the hegemony of Anglo-Saxon empire in the world. Such a miscalculation proved fatal for the Anglo-Saxon political leadership and should in fact be counted among the most important causes that led to the Second World War.


The economic and geopolitical developments that matured following the economic crisis of 1929 were therefore of fundamental importance to understand how the rise of the National Socialist party in Germany was possible and therefore also the geopolitical evolution that manifested itself in the 1930s . Without the economic crisis of 1929 perhaps National Socialism would never have taken power in Germany and perhaps a second German hegemonic attempt would not have materialized (after that of Wilhelm II in the First World War). This event therefore appears to be of fundamental importance for understanding the extent of the financing that was directed to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. These developments became necessary as a consequence of the poverty that spread in the early 1930s in the Western world and the consequent danger of the rise of communist parties in many European nations severely affected by the economic crisis. It was a necessary “cure” to prevent the world from falling into communist economic dynamics particularly opposed by the Western political elites. And which would also have had significant geopolitical repercussions, expanding the geopolitical weight and power of the Soviet Union in the world (as well as the spread of revolutionary ideals around the world). All this is very important if we understand how the USSR was effectively isolated on an international level after 1917 and was, until 1941 (i.e. until the German invasion with Operation Barbarossa), a nation opposed and opposed by the whole West. Hitler’s rise in Germany was therefore the fruit of this geopolitical vision well rooted in Washington and London. And which had as its cornerstone the containment and isolation of the Soviet Union (and of the political, social and economic model of which it was an expression) on the global geopolitical stage. It’s a shame that neither the USA nor the UK managed to understand the true nature of National Socialism, the irreducibility of its geopolitical program and the fact that it did not lend itself to being “bought” by Western financial capital. Against which, indeed, he lashed out ferociously to the point of yearning for its complete destruction. In this terrible miscalculation we believe that it is possible to identify a very important cause of the Second World War. Although, for obvious reasons of political and geopolitical interest, traditional historiography almost never mentions such historical dynamics.


From what has been written so far we can deduce how complex the issue of defining the true causes of a historical phenomenon with enormous consequences and geopolitical implications such as the Second World War is. And this is also a consequence of the many omissions and mystifications that official historiography has actually perpetrated on this historical question (supporting the wishes of the nations that emerged victorious from the conflict). All this seems truly surprising to us as well as misleading for all those who are really interested in historical truth. The Second World War was the product of economic contingencies (in particular the financial crisis of ’29 and all that followed), of specific political and geopolitical wills (not only those of the NSDAP but also those of the Anglo-Saxon establishment which financed and favored the rise of National Socialism in Germany as an anti-communist and anti-Soviet function) and of the dynamics of international relations that matured in the second half of the 1930s (particular importance was given, as already underlined, to the non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union which created the conditions for the invasion of Poland by the German and Soviet armies and which allowed the Wehrmacht to act undisturbed in Western Europe). The conditions imposed at Versailles also had a notable impact on arousing feelings of revenge in many German political circles and thus favoring a new German hegemonic attempt. In our opinion, it is in this collage of factors that the true causes of the Second World War must be sought. Much more than in the actions and intentions of individuals whose weight (and importance) has certainly been exaggerated out of all proportion for obvious historical and geopolitical purposes.

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