When Did World War II Really Start?
Correcting Some Widespread Confusion
Some dates that should be familiar to the general public, but probably aren’t:
28 June 1919 — Signing of the Treaty of Versailles
Designed to punish Germany for WWI, the onerous and vindictive conditions set out in the Treaty of Versailles are widely viewed as setting the stage for WWII.
September 18, 1931––Japanese invade Manchuria
Widely considered the beginning of WWII in the Asian theater
23 August 1939––signing of Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
Agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union, essentially to divide Poland between them, essentially returning to pre-1918 borders.
1 September 1939––Germany invades Western Poland
(Including many areas that had been part of Germany prior to 1918 – for hundreds, even thousands, of years)
3 September 1939 — France and Britain declare war on Germany
(Not the other way around as most of the public has been led to believe)
17 September 1939 — the Soviet Union invades Eastern Poland
(France and Britain, in contrast, do not declare war on the Soviet Union)
30 November 1939––the Soviet Union invades Finland
The Soviets had already started an intensive mobilization near the Finnish border in 1938–39. On the 30th of November Soviet forces invaded Finland with 27 divisions, totaling 630,000 men. And got famously clobbered.
(France and Britain once again do not declare war on the Soviet Union)
In the end, Poland didn’t get saved, but instead sold down the river to the murderous Soviets along with half of Europe. And I know what you’re thinking. But the nasty Germans, blah, blah, blah…
Still, that’s the timeline. You figure it out. And then, when you’ve thought about it for awhile, mindlessly parrot, but the nasty Germans, blah, blah, blah…