Jaroslaw Suchoples, Stephanie James, Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Second World War, which broke out ‘officially’ on 1 September 1939 and was ‘officially’ terminated on 2 September 1945, could be symbolized by pictures of two warships. The first is a picture of a rather obsolete German battleship Schleswig-Holstein, a typical First World War warship, its best years over long before 1939, firing the first salvos of World War II on Westerplatte, a small Polish outpost in the harbour of Danzig. The second image is that of the then ultra-modern American battleship, the USS Missouri anchored in the Bay of Tokyo during the ceremony when the instrument of Japan’s surrender was signed. However, these pictures symbolize not merely the beginning and the end of World War Two, but rather the changes which occurred during this 6-year-long orgy of killing and destruction. If we only compare the weapons used at the beginning of the war and at its end, the difference is almost as big as that between the Schleswig-Holstein and the USS Missouri. However, this observation, although true, is rather superficial. The more important fact was that the war, which began as a relatively local conflict in Europe (very similar to the World War One scenario), evolved, and after slightly more than two years became a real global conflict (probably the first global experience in modern times).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld War II Re-explored
Subtitle of host publicationSome New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict
EditorsJaroslaw Suchoples, Stephanie James, Barbara Törnquist-Plewa
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherPeter Lang GmbH, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic) 978‐3‐631‐77767‐1 , 978‐3‐631‐77766‐4 , 978‐3‐631‐77768‐8
ISBN (Print)363177740X, 9783631777404
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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