Following up on my previous essay about World War I, today will cover World War II as best as I can. This was such an extensive war that had so many effects around the world that it all won’t fit in one essay, so an aftermath of the war essay will proceed this one.
The War began with Germany. While still abiding by the treaty of WWI, Germany was increasing their fire power and was ready to start a war. But even with all their land and resources Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, wanted more. They looked to Poland and fought with the Soviet Union, or Russia, over it and eventually conquered it in 5 weeks. At this point Germany had become enough of a threat to want to make Britain and France declare War on them.
Even though Britain and France started a war, they did not fully engage in a major battle for a while. But when the German U-Boats, or submarines, began sinking French and British trade ships, then they retaliated by learning how to deal with the U-Boats. Later Germany had conquered Belgium, France, and the Netherlands by going around the countries’ line of defense, or the Maginot Line. Now without thinking they were out of his reach, Hitler set his sights on conquering Britain and Russia. Now with Britain, Germany used a series of bombings to weaken the country and it’s army, but this was the one countries that Germany was unable to conquer during the entire war. For The Soviet Union, Hitler initiated operation Barbarossa, invading Russia across an 1800 mile border with 4 million soldiers. But sadly for them, they were forced to retreat after almost conquering Moscow with 1 million casualties. Hitler attempted many follow up invasions but they all failed.
Now the Allied forces were striking back by taking over Germany’s North African foothold, which they accomplished near the beginning of the war. The Allied forces later gained U.S. help and, through the beaches of Normandy, were able to stake a foothold in France. Soon the German forces were not what they used to be and finally, the last big German offensive took place at the Battle of the Bulge where the Germans lost to France at the border between France and Germany. The German forces were chased all the way back to Germany’s capital, Berlin; the Soviet Union’s Red Army forced the city of Berlin to surrender in a matter of weeks. The German armies officially surrendered on May 8th, 1945, or Victory in Europe day. Hitler was never found due to him killing himself before the city of Berlin surrendered. World War II saw over 60 million people die, 3% of the Earth’s population in 1939, and all it accomplished was the growth the Soviet’s border, all other borders reverted back to what they were originally. In conclusion, World War II was a war that was fought at a big cost with nothing gained, and in this case that big cost was $11 Trillion that the U.S. still has to pay off.
Now that I have explained how the war started in a previous blog post, today will oversee the battles and outcome of the war. If you’re curious how the war began then go see the previous essay. This will be a bit longer of an essay but worth it I promise.
Now, the Battle of Liege was where the first fighting took place. In hopes of getting close to France, Germany invaded Belgium in this battle. By August 16th the Germans took over. For the next few battles you will see that the Germans were a strong opposing force. In the Battle of Tannenberg the German army was able to take on the big slow Russian armies and win in 1914. They also stopped the armies reinforcements so there was no back up. Germany’s next target was France, so they started with Paris. But the French army gained British reinforcements beforehand and was able to stop the Germans 75miles outside the city.
The Allied forces hoped to fight back with the Gallipoli Campaign and thew Battle of Jutland. The Campaign began in hopes of pushing the Ottomans out of the war, but this failed in 1916 with Australian and New Zealand reinforcements coming to the Ottoman’s aid. But, the British did win the Naval quarrel of Jutland against the Germans in 1916 as well, and depleted the German navy almost entirely. The Battle of Verdun, which began 9 months earlier, was the German forces attempting to take over France once again, but the French would not give in. The city of Paris repelled 4 large German offensives with 700,000 casualties amidst the chaos. The German colonies in South Africa and Southeast Asia were taken by the British in 1915, and in 1918 the British recruited some of the local Arabs in the Middle East to rebel against the Ottomans, which led to the end of the Ottoman Empire.
Russia soon pushed to make peace with Germany in order to solve their own internal struggles unharmed. Later in 1917, the Battle of Caporetto, the German-Austrian forces obliterated the Italian army for backing out of the war right after it began. Finally to end the war the allies ,with the help of America, made one last push effort to defeat the Germans once and for all, and they crushed the Germans and forced a retreat. Soon an Armistice was signed on November 11th, 1918, and The Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919 to end the war entirely. But the conditions of the war were all on Germany and this planted a seed of resentment in the German Armies. But in the end, World War I was supposed to be “a war to end all wars,” but this only laid the ground work for a war twice as large.
As many of you know most every war begins for a reason, and the reason for WWI was simple but enough. What brought about war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife on their way through Sarajevo. They were assassinated on July 28th, 1914 by Gavrilo Princip. But the question to answer is,”How did all of the countries that fought in WWI get sucked into this?” To answer this question we have to back to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire.
There were many small German states that made up this empire, but it fell eventually; and they all began to fight over who would be the dominant German state. Prussia, as it was called back in the day, eventually won and dethroned previously dominant state Austria. Since then Prussia made many allies and Treaties to ensure its safety so it could slowly build up its own infrastructure. Some of its allies include Italy and Austria-Hungary.
Later Russia and France became worried and threatened by Prussia’s growing power so they formed an alliance with Prussia, just to be on the safe side. Soon enough, Prussia started threatening Britain claiming they would take over. In response to this, Britain looked to Russia and France for help to take down Prussia, they formed an alliance because both countries were least devoted to Prussia. Germany later joined the War which leads us back to the assassination, when the Archduke was murdered and Prussia’s ally Austria gave them the excuse they needed to declare war on the other countries.
At first glance you probably were left scratching your head at why England came to fight when Prussia was much further east, well now you know the internal workings of the war. But sadly, sometimes countries want to go to war so bad that they’ll take any form of hostility against them or their allies to the court and justify the means to start a war. In the end, at this moment in time war has begun, and this one claims to be “The War to end all wars.”
There are many figures in history who are remembered for something they’ve done. While Leonardo wasn’t rich, he is still a very famous inventor. But there were three men in particular who all fought for the title richest man in the world, and those men were Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, and J. P. Morgan. Each grew up in different environments but all three made it to the top.
John Rockefeller was born in 1819 and was a smart and studious boy from the start. He invested in his first oil refinery in 1863 and soon bought off all but one of his partner’s. Since his business and profit came from oil John had to fight off the Electric Light, Steel, and Railroad industries who would seek to dethrone him. By the time of his death, at the age of 98 John’s fortune was worth $400 Billion. That’s in today’s money!!!!
Andrew Carnegie was born in 1835 and is the only immigrant in this rivalry, Scottish to be exact. Over the course of his young life, Carnegie learned many things and had much experience in business. He was introduced to steel by the Keystone Bridge Company and would invest in steel for the rest of his career. Carnegie later founded Carnegie Steel Co. which he ran for many years before selling his company to J. P. Morgan just to try and beat Rockefeller as the richest man in the world. Sold it for $400 million in today’s money, pocketing $225milion.
J. P. Morgan was born in 1837 and is last on our list. He engaged in his father’s banking business in 1858 and built his reputation there. Morgan is remembered for many things he did in his life, such as refilling the U.S. Treasury with 30 million oz. of gold ,with the help of his fellow bankers, during the Panic of 1893, buying off Carnegie Steel, and investing in Electric Lights resulting in the General Electric Company. He also donated $30 million to Wall Street in 1907 during a time of economic struggle, and inspired the Federal Reserve which was made in 1914.
All three of these men were famous for the money they made and the businesses they ran, but which earned the title richest man in the world? Well, many agree that John D. Rockefeller was indeed the richest man in American history. But, all three will be remembered as three of the most successful and brilliant minds in history for many years to come.
If you follow the news you will probably be aware that the issue of other people coming into the U.S. has arisen very suddenly. But there was a similar problem back in the day known as immigration. This is still around today but where did it all start? Well, during the late 1800s the U.S. became the fastest growing nation, economically which attracted many immigrants looking for a better place to call home. But when too many people come at once, it can get very chaotic. There is a harbor around New York known as New York Harbor and this was one way people could get in. But later in 1890 the Government established immigration stations around the area, and Ellis Island was the new main station. The first person to be registered in these stations was Annie Moore, an Irish immigrant registered in 1892. Unfortunately, 5 years later these new building were burned down and many records were lost. In 1900 more buildings were made and by 1907, 1.25 million immigrants were registered and 27.5 acres were added on to the original island the station was on. The dirt they used to expand the island was taken from the subway tunnels and was re-purposed on the island. The station was made part of the Statue of Liberty monument in 1965 and is now a museum. Today there is still immigration taking place but most of it is not as public as it used to be. In the end, we can try as hard as we like but immigration will continue for quite a while longer.
During the time when our ancestors would colonize the West there were people there before them that didn’t make them feel very welcome. I’m talking about the Indian tribes that lived in the territory before the U.S. bought it from France. Some of these settlers treated the Indians horribly and forced some tribes to fight in war. There were many memorable wars fought between the settlers and the Apache and Navajo Indians led by a famous Apache chief Geronimo. These fight took place in Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas between 1849-1886. The bloodiest battles were in Arizona by far. Another tribe the Nez Perce, led by chief Joseph, were forced out of their land in 1877 by settlers. The tribe disliked military affairs but were forced to fight so the chief told the tribe to flee to Canada. Unfortunately, the tribe had to surrender to colonists after a 5 day battle 40 miles outside Canada. Though the Indians suffered many defeats to the settlers, they did win the Battle of Little Big Horn. Also known as Custer’s Last Stand, this was one of not many Indian victories. The Indians that lived in America played roles in history that might not be major but still matter. The treatment these Indians went through were terrible and were wrongly justified with the Manifest Destiny mindset, but are by men regretted today so that’s all that matters.
There were many generals who led the armies of North and South to battle in the Civil War, but some have made their legacy and others have been forgotten. Some of the most famous generals in the War were Northern General Ulysses S. Grant and Southern General Robert E. Lee, and that’s who I’ll talk about today.
Ulysses was born in 1822 and Graduated from West Point college in 1843. He served in the Mexican-American War before joining the fight in the Civil War 20 years later. His courage and effectiveness in the War earned him a promotion and a good image in the Union army. After the War Ulysses became the 18th president of America, something no other Civil War General had done. While president he worked to rid the country of any remaining Southern army vestiges.
Lee was born in 1807, 15 years before Ulysses, to a family who’s father had served in war. Like Ulysses, Lee also fought in the Mexican-American War before the Civil War. As a General Lee used good strategy but sadly not enough to win him the war. When the War was over Lee gained much popularity not only in the South but in the North as well. Lee also became president after the War, but not of America. He was president of Washington and Lee University. Lee was also known for his high moral standards and Christian Faith.
As I said before, many of the Civil War generals that fought in the war were not as famous as these men were, but still influenced the War’s end results. These men may have some differences, but both came together to arrange the surrender of the Southern army, and walked away satisfied. In the end, Ulysses Simpson Grant and Robert Edward Lee are, and will continue to be, two of the most influential characters in the Civil War.