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Armed Hostilities

Impact of World War II on Balkan Nationalism, States and Societies

World-War II spanned the period of six years (from 1939 to 1945) and marked a major turn in human history through massive human slaughter, an unprecedented level of property destruction, power tussle, as well as a significant level of scientific and technological advancement which ushered in the nuclear age, and afterward a dramatic recovery of world economy. Three key players brought the war on board: Japan mishandled Manchuria; there was an invasion of Ethiopia by Italy; and then the most fundamental, Germany through its lord, Hitler, presented strong terms of human disunity. A reinforced Germany violated first World-War treaties and started threatening the Balkans and Europe in general.

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The war surfaced on the first of September in 1939 at the invasion of Poland by Germany and later persisted with confrontations on Denmark, Belgium, and other countries in Europe. This was objected to by Britain when it responded to Germany’s threat in 1940. Soon, panic pulled North Africa and Greece to join the fight. By June of 1941, there was the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany, and Japan debased America’s military later in December of same year. A merger of Germany, Japan, and Italy (the Axis) later during the war was attacked by Allied forces that brought bloodshed in human history to its climax in 1945. Several historians have associated the emergence of the Second World War with leftover issues from the first war [that was fought during 1914 to 1918] (Vasah, 2011). The treaties that were formed after the first World War instituted problems economically and politically; which pressed ahead most counties against others for seizure of power.

To the Balkans, the impacts of the war were enormous on states and societies. Interplay of military and political events from the war affected the region both positively and negatively and the fissures and divisions of the war brought about enduring tensions.

Prior to the war, Balkan-national-libration-moments summed up into the majority of the monarchies which lasted up to 1941; by 1941 the emergent of the war redefined a significant Balkan history epoch (Barbara, 1983). During the war, and after it, super forces of Europe imposed communist –control over the vast part of the Balkan peninsula: this resulted in the emergence of the US and Soviet Union as dominant forces of the world. Consequent to the war, Balkan-national-monarchies from the Ottoman Empire stood apart from the north-western peninsula either as pan-Slavic or as pan-Germany in terms of social/democratic ideologies (Barbara, 1983) – this was further justified by the interplay of influence and apathy involving Hapsburgs and Ottoman Balkan legacies. These legacies reflected Macedonian/Albanian questions. During the second year of world war II, there was a significant alternation in Europe’s balance and it reprocessed the Balkan region resulting in a glide towards the Axis- considered in terms of foreign interactions (Barbara, 1983).

After 1945, the Balkans has been on the path of readjustments: this period has witnessed the Yugoslav-soviet crises as well as the Greek Civil-war cumulating to readjustments of internal/foreign government policies which readily brings to mind Bulgarian/Romanian/Albanian communist administrations that are alternatives to the variants of Greek and Yugoslav.

Presently, a judgment of the present-day Balkan societies is particularly difficult due to the external involvement of America; and equally, a prediction of the expectations from the region has become seemingly impossible (Barbara, 1983). Even though there have been continual protests in the US and Western UK against unaccepted communism; its judgment is only based on its administration.

Reference List

Barbara, Jelavich. History of the Balkans: Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

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Vasah, James. World War II: The Impact on Society. Ibadan: University Press, 2011.

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