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It depends on the country. For some, it started in 1939 (When Germany invaded Poland). For others in Europe, in 1940.
For the US, it technically didn't start until 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the US finally declared war. However, the US was providing aid to the allied countries via lend-lease well before then.
This is Euro-centric. For China, the war was well underway in 1937.
When the treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919
Think about it. If Germany had been treated more fairly by the western powers in 1919, the crippling sanctions which helped lead to extreme inflation and consequent desperation in the hearts of ordinary Germans, then the rise of Naziism would probably never have happened to such a great extent that history shows. We may well not even be aware today that there was an individual named Adolf Hitler or at the very most we could be reading about a krank political party of the 1920s that just could not get their crass messsages across to the German voter. I reitterate, the roots of world war two are firmly bedded down at Versailles. Japan of course is a different matter, but their expansion in the pacific rim would probably have continued and intervention would still have happened, but without Nazi Germany's presence it could not truly be called a world war any more than Iraq 2003 was a world war. Japan would have been fighting a local war and would still have lost. Remember that Japan's expansion was based on the search for raw material which she simply did not have.
gianfranco - "If Germany had been treated more fairly" . . .One of the consequences losing a of war is losing the right demand fairness.
Then perhaps one of the consequences of mistreating a loser of a war is losing the right to blame its people for being angry?
Feeling angry and expressing that anger violently are too different things. When the German leadership chose to act on their anger they cross the line. Literally.
Well honestly the problem is that's a straw man. Unless gianfranco is German, this is not a matter of the Germans demanding fairness. The victorious side can expect some level of fairness of itself. Indeed, that is arguably one of the signs of a civilized approach to war (if indeed there is such a thing). Vengeance is a bad motivation no matter which side uses it. Whether the Germans were or were not entitled to or expecting of fairness, I would argue that it is normal, if not expected, to demand some fairness of the victor. World War II, if nothing else, taught us that acting only through vengeance can have significant future consequences.
Shadowfriend has summed up my intended response to mathewrlee. Perhaps I was at fault here in choosing the word 'fairly' to put my argument across; 'less vindictively' would perhaps be a suitable alternative. My nationality is irrelevant in this question, I may or may not be German, but the point is if a nation is victimised in a time of weakness it is all the easier for that same nation to committ to war against wrong doers, with as they would see it, a clear conscience.
How is it a straw man, Shadowfiend? I don’t understand. I was responding to Gianfranco statement about fairness and then to your statement about accountability for anger. Gianfranco, you’re not at fault for anything. You’re fine. This is a forum and you expressed your perspective. Yes, it’s best when the victors treat their defeated enemies well. When war is over it should be over. After World War II, the Allies made great efforts to make Germany a better place for Germans. Does it make up for the high cost of war? No, absolutely not. Nor does the rebuilding of Japan undo the damage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I agree with that when a nation or people feel victimized, when they adopt a victim mentally, hatred breeds. It festers like an open wound that is constantly poked and examined. It’s okay to say that the Emperor Shōwa, the Emperor of Japan, was wrong. It’s okay to say that Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party were wrong. Whatever series of events led to their choices it was still their choice. Hitler made the choice to attack Poland. Emperor Shōwa made the choice to attack Pearl Harbor. Because of those choices, and the choice to continue fighting, the people of both nations paid a high price. The nations that decided to defend themselves also paid a high price. The good news is neither Shōwa nor Hitler represent Japanese or German identity. The current generation is not required to make statements on the past to justify the present or the future. Maybe that's my limited perspective as an American.
The straw man was saying that the losers can not demand fairness. Unless Gianfranco was one of the losers, it was irrelevant: *he* was saying they should have been treated more fairly. That said, now that you've articulated your full position, I agree with you on all points :)
The instant that Hitler was born.