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Section A — Chapter 12

The Second World War

Class 10 - Total History & Civics Solutions


Short Answer Questions

Question 1

What was the issue between Germany and Poland that was the cause of the World War II?

Answer

Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939 for the following reasons:

  1. Germany wanted to regain her lost territories.
  2. The city of Danzing was inhabited mainly by the Germans and by occupying Danzing Corridor, Germany could connect with East Prussia.
  3. Germany signed a Non-Aggression Pact with Russia in August 1939, Poland was accused of committing atrocities against Germans living there.

On September 1, 1939, the German armies marched into Poland. The invasion of Poland marked the beginning of the Second World War.

Question 2

How was the Treaty of Versailles responsible for the Second World War?

Answer

The Treaty of Versailles was responsible for the Second World War because of the following reasons-

  1. The treaty demanded annexation of German territories and creation of many States. This sowed the seeds of bitterness and conflict.
  2. All the German colonies were forcibly taken away from her and she was divided into two parts for the benefit of Poland.
  3. She was burdened with huge war indemnity which she could never pay.
  4. Her military power was reduced.
  5. This treaty was based on the spirit of revenge and Germany was forced to sign the treaty.

Question 3

How did the rise of Fascism and Nazism become one of the causes of the Second World War?

Answer

Italy wanted to revive the glory of the Old Roman empire. She joined the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1937 and formed a ten years alliance with Germany in 1939 to strengthen her position. Mussolini established dictatorship in Italy. Italy demonstrated her imperialistic designs by attacking Abyssinia.

In Germany, Hitler wanted to re-establish the prestige of Germany in the international field. He flouted the military clauses in the Treaty of Versailles and declared re-armament. In 1938, he annexed Austria and dismembered Czechoslovakia.

Thus, Mussolini and Hitler drove the countries of the world towards another World War.

Question 4

What was the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis? Why did Italy join the side of Germany and Japan in the Second World War?

Answer

Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis was the alliance between Italy, Germany, and Japan who fought against Allied forces in World War II. It created a defense alliance between the countries and was largely intended to deter the United States from entering the conflict.

Italy joined the Allies in the First World War to gain territories of Turkey and Germany. But she could get no part of the German and Turkish colonial empire. So, she felt cheated. Further, Italy was ruled by Mussolini and Germany was ruled by Hitler. The ideologies of both leaders were similar. They glorified wars and wanted to make their country powerful. Hence, Italy joined the side of Germany and Japan in the Second World War.

Question 5

What was the immediate cause of the Second World War? Which incident brought the USA in the Second World War?

Answer

Hitler's invasion of Poland in September, 1939 was the immediate cause of the Second World War.

On December 7, 1941, Japan under the Premiership of General Tojo, ordered a surprise aerial attack on the Pearl Harbour. This incident caused America to declare war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

Question 6

Why did the USA drop atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Answer

The USA warned the Japanese people and the government to stop the fighting and surrender. But when Japan refused to surrender, the USA dropped atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Question 7

What made Japan to surrender to the Allies?

Answer

Japan surrendered to the Allies after the USA dropped atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945.

Question 8

Mention two important consequences of the Second World War.

Answer

Two important consequences of the Second World War were-

  1. Defeat of the Axis Powers — The Axis Powers made remarkable success initially but were defeated by the Allied Powers.
  2. Formation of the UN — The United Nations Organisation was established to bring peace and avoid another world war.

Question 9

What is meant by the 'Cold War'?

Answer

After the Second World War, the USA and the erstwhile USSR emerged as two great powers representing contrasting ideologies. They divided the world into two rival blocs —

  1. The Capitalist bloc led by the USA
  2. The Communist bloc led by the USSR.

There was a state of extreme political tension between the two but no armed conflict. This is known as the Cold War.

Question 10

Mention any two characteristics of the Cold War.

Answer

Two characteristics of the Cold War were-

  1. There was no armed struggle.
  2. The rivals continued to maintain their peace time diplomatic relations along with their hostility.

Question 11

Give two causes that led to the Cold War.

Answer

Two causes that led to the Cold War were-

  1. The ideological conflict between both the United States and the Soviet Union.
  2. The emergence of nuclear weapons and the fear of communism in the United States.

Question 12

Name two countries each belonging to the Capitalist Bloc and the Communist Bloc.

Answer

Two countries belonging to the Capitalist Bloc were Britain and France.

Two countries belonging to the Communist Bloc were Poland and Hungary.

Question 13

What was the Communist view about the western style democracy? What was the Capitalist view about Communism?

Answer

The Soviet bloc countries considered the Western style democracy as a farce, meant only for the rich and upper middle class. Therefore, they wanted to spread Communism in the world and bring about a change in the social system of all the countries of the world.

The Capitalist Bloc countries considered the political and social system of the USSR as objectionable and dangerous as it had no place for Parliamentary democracy and individual liberty. They projected the USSR as the enemy of world peace and Communism a grave threat to freedom and liberty throughout the world.

Question 14

Name any two countries which became independent after the Second World War.

Answer

Two countries which became independent after the Second World War were Myanmar and Malaya.

Structured Questions

Question 1

State how each of the following factors were the causes of the Second World War:

(a) The failure of the League of Nations.

(b) The Aggressive Nationalism of Germany.

(c) The Policy of Appeasement.

Answer

(a) The League suffered an early blow when the USA did not join the League. Even those who joined the League were not interested in the principle of collective security.

  1. The League of Nations succeeded in allaying the threat of war in cases where the parties were small nations.
  2. The League did nothing when Poland, with the backing of France, seized a part of Lithuania in 1920.
  3. In 1923, there was a threat of war between Italy and Greece.
  4. Italy refused to submit to the League's intervention and the dispute was settled by direct mediation of Great Britain and France.
  5. Thereafter, in every crisis, the League was either defied or ignored.
  6. The authority of the League was flouted by Japan when it seized Manchuria; and by Italy when it conquered Ethiopia.
  7. The coercive machinery of the League was not adequate to perform the task given to it.
  8. The economic sanctions were of no use against a determined aggressor.
  9. Moreover, the member states were not willing to apply economic sanctions as it affected their economy as well.
  10. Besides, the League failed to maintain international peace and the countries of Europe lost faith in its usefulness.

(b) The humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles gave rise to the spirit of revenge and aggressive nationalism in Germany leading to the Second World War in the following ways:

  1. Germany started looking for an opportunity to do away with the harsh treaty. But this was not possible without an aggressive policy and armaments.
  2. In 1938, Hitler annexed Austria and dismembered Czechoslovakia.
  3. On September 1, 1939, the German armies marched into Poland.
  4. France and Britain gave an ultimatum to Germany.
  5. In reply, Germany attacked France.
  6. On September 3, Britain and France declared war on Germany.
  7. The German armies completed the conquest of Poland in less than three weeks so as to ensure that no aid reached Poland.

(c) Appeasement meant accepting the hostile demands of an aggressive nation to gain peace.

  1. Britain and France followed the policy of appeasement towards dictatorial countries like Germany and Italy because they felt that the dictators had a real cause of grievance due to the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles and if their grievances were removed they would not disturb world peace.
  2. Further, they wanted to check the rising tide of Communism and Russian Bolshevism.
  3. Britain and France feared that Germany would divert towards Russian Bolshevism.
  4. They, therefore, allowed Germany to rearm and to re-militarise the Rhineland and capture Austria and Czechoslovakia.
  5. So without the Western countries' policy of appeasement, Fascism or Nazism could not have survived so long and would not have been able to unleash the Second World War.

Question 2

The Treaty of Versailles was harsh and sowed the seeds for the Second World War. In this context, briefly describe the following:

(a) The grievances of Germany against the Treaty.

(b) The motives of the USA, Britain and France in imposing the Treaty of Versailles on Germany.

(c) The Policy of appeasement adopted by Britain and France. The dissatisfaction of Italy.

Answer

(a) The Treaty of Versailles, by which the First World War came to an end, created more problems than it solved.

  1. The treaty demanded annexation of German territories and creation of many States.
  2. This sowed the seeds of bitterness and conflict.
  3. All the German colonies were forcibly taken away from her and she was divided into two parts for the benefit of Poland.
  4. She was burdened with huge war indemnity which she could never pay.
  5. Her military power was reduced.
  6. This humiliation gave rise to the spirit of revenge and Germany started looking for an opportunity to do away with the harsh treaty.
  7. But this was not possible without an aggressive policy and armaments.
  8. Hence, the war became inevitable.

(b) Both Great Britain and France had suffered tremendous casualties during the war and faced serious economic problems because of the war's costs.

  1. The two countries' leaders wanted to see Germany pay reparations for the cost of the war and accept the blame for causing the war.
  2. The War Guilt clause of the treaty explicitly and directly blamed Germany for the outbreak of hostilities.
  3. The treaty forced Germany to disarm, to make territorial concessions, and to pay a huge war indemnity.
  4. France was the only Allied power to share a border with Germany, and therefore suffered the bulk of the devastation and casualties from the German war machine.
  5. The French aimed to weaken Germany to the greatest extent possible.

(c) Appeasement meant accepting the hostile demands of an aggressive nation to gain peace.

  1. Britain and France followed the policy of appeasement towards dictatorial countries like Germany and Italy because they felt that the dictators had a real cause of grievance due to the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles and if their grievances were removed they would not disturb world peace.
  2. Further, they wanted to check the rising tide of Communism and Russian Bolshevism.
  3. Britain and France feared that Germany would divert towards Russian Bolshevism.
  4. They, therefore, allowed Germany to rearm and to re-militarise the Rhineland and capture Austria and Czechoslovakia.
  5. So without the Western countries' policy of appeasement, Fascism or Nazism could not have survived so long and would not have been able to unleash the Second World War.

Italy joined the Allies in the First World War to gain territories of Turkey and Germany. But she could get no part of the German and Turkish colonial empire. So, she felt dissatisfied.

Question 3

The League of Nations was unable to eliminate power struggles leading to another World War. In this context describe how the following were connected with the Second World War:

(a) Japanese invasion of China.

(b) Ideological differences between nations.

(c) Hitler's invasion of Poland.

Answer

(a) Japanese policy of expansion was one of the causes of the War.

  1. Japan's ambitions rose after the First World War.
  2. She was determined to dominate the Far East.
  3. Japan started an undeclared war against China in 1931.
  4. China appealed to the League of Nations to declare sanctions against Japan.
  5. Britain and France, the leading members of the League did not pay any attention to the appeal.
  6. Japan joined the Berlin-Rome Axis to form the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis to further its policy of expansion and conquest.
  7. In 1933, Japan left the League of Nations and started occupying the British and American properties in China.
  8. Britain and France followed the policy of appeasement, thinking that the Japanese could be used to weaken China.
  9. Thus, a war was inevitable under these circumstances.

(b) Ideological differences between nations refer to the ideologies of fascism and nazism in Italy and Germany, respectively. Fascism and Nazism believed in the following-

  1. To have faith in the totalitarian rule.
  2. To despise democratic political systems.
  3. To uphold One-Party and one leader.
  4. To believe in aggressive nationalism and imperialism.
  5. To hold that the state is supreme and it could suppress the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals.
  6. To regard war as an instrument for furthering national interests.
  7. To uphold intensely nationalistic, anti-communist and anti-democratic rule.

The ideology of fascism and nazism was extremely aggressive and led to the Second World War.

(c) Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939 for the following reasons:

  1. Germany wanted to regain her lost territories.
  2. The city of Danzing was inhabited mainly by the Germans and by occupying Danzing Corridor, Germany could connect with East Prussia.
  3. Germany signed a Non-Aggression Pact with Russia in August 1939, Poland was accused of committing atrocities against Germans living there.
  4. On September 1, 1939, the German armies marched into Poland.
  5. France and Britain gave an ultimatum to Germany.
  6. In reply, Germany attacked France.
  7. On September 3, Britain and France declared war on Germany.
  8. The German armies completed the conquest of Poland in less than three weeks so as to ensure that no aid reached Poland.
  9. The invasion of Poland marked the beginning of the Second World War.

Question 4

With the surrender of Japan, the Second World War was finally over. The war had far-reaching consequences. Against this background, write short notes on:

(a) Effect of World War II on Japan.

(b) The division of Germany.

(c) Division of the world into two Power Blocs.

Answer

(a) After the defeat of Germany, the Allied powers turned their attention towards Japan.

  1. When Japan refused to surrender, America dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  2. Japan offered to surrender on the terms of Potsdam declaration and the war came to an end.
  3. The American army was to occupy Japan until 1952.
  4. After this period, the Japanese would resume sole control over their own affairs.
  5. Emperor Hirohito was left on the throne as a constitutional monarch and the Japanese Parliament retained some of its law making powers.
  6. All lands acquired or seized by Japan since 1895 were taken away.

(b) At the end of World War II, Germany was divided into zones, each zone under the army of each of the Allied Powers.

  1. The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) commonly known as West Germany was administered by UK, France and the U.S. with Bonn as the capital. It came under the capitalist ideology of the Anglo-American and their Allies and became part of the Capitalist bloc.
  2. The German Democratic Republic (GDR), known as East Germany was administered by the Soviet Union with East Berlin as the capital. It came under the influence of the political ideologies of communist Russia and became part of the Communist (or Eastern) bloc.

(c) Towards the end of the War, the apparent harmony between the USA and the Soviet Union declined and old suspicion and ideological differences came to the forefront.

  1. Though both the countries did not engage in actual fight against each other, there was a state of extreme political tension between the two.
  2. This state of tension between countries in which each side adopted policies designed to strengthen itself and weaken the other without armed conflict, is known as the 'Cold War.'
  3. The Cold War also involved an arms race involving piling up of nuclear and conventional weapons, formation of military alliances, economic warfare and trade embargoes, propaganda and proxy wars, especially those involving superpower support for opposing sides within civil wars.
  4. Thus, the USA and the USSR continued to maintain diplomatic relations and did not resort to overt clashes, but treated each other with hostility.
  5. This led to the division of the world into two power blocs.
  6. The Democratic and Capitalist bloc was led by the USA. It was called the Western bloc or the American bloc and it believed in liberal democracy based on Capitalism.
  7. The Communist Bloc was led by the USSR. It was called the Eastern bloc or the Soviet bloc and it believed in Communism based on Marxist theory.

Question 5

With reference to the Second World War, explain the impact on the following:

(a) The Axis powers.

(b) Origin of the Cold War.

(c) The formation of the UN.

Answer

(a) The Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan) were defeated in the Second World War. In November 1942, the Allied forces (Britain, France, The Soviet Union and The USA) recaptured African territories lost by France. This was followed by their victory over Italy and then Germany.
After the defeat of Germany, the Allied powers turned their attention towards Japan. Japan had won and had occupied most of South East Asia. The British forces liberated Myanmar, Malaya, Philippines and Singapore. In the Potsdam Conference held on July 26, 1945, the Allied Powers asked Japan to surrender but Japan refused. Consequently, America dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan offered to surrender on the terms of Potsdam declaration and the war came to an end.
After the war, Germany was divided into zones, each zone under the army of each of the Allied Powers. Japan and Italy also became very weak. Unlike Germany, they were not divided into zones to be governed by conquering forces. The American army was to occupy Japan until 1952. All lands acquired and seized by Japan since 1895 were taken away.

(b) Towards the end of the War, the apparent harmony between the USA and the Soviet Union declined and old suspicion and ideological differences came to the forefront.

  1. Though both the countries did not engage in actual fight against each other, there was a state of extreme political tension between the two.
  2. This state of tension between countries in which each side adopted policies designed to strengthen itself and weaken the other without armed conflict, is known as the 'Cold War.'
  3. The Cold War also involved an arms race involving piling up of nuclear and conventional weapons, formation of military alliances, economic warfare and trade embargoes, propaganda and proxy wars, especially those involving superpower support for opposing sides within civil wars.
  4. Thus, the USA and the USSR continued to maintain diplomatic relations and did not resort to overt clashes, but treated each other with hostility.
  5. This led to the division of the world into two power blocs.

(c) The horrors of the two World Wars and the failure of the League of Nations led to a meeting of the Big Three — Roosevelt (President of the USA), Churchill (Prime Minister of Britain) and Stalin (Premier of the USSR) at Yalta in February 1945. They resolved to convene a conference of the representatives of all nations at San Francisco to draw up the 'Charter of the United Nations.' This led to the establishment of the United Nations Organisation on October 24, 1945.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture on the right and answer the questions:

How did the person represented in picture on the right, become an immediate cause of the Second World War? How did the Second World War end? How can a future war be avoided following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi? The Second World War, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 10.

(a) How did the person represented in picture on the right, become an immediate cause of the Second World War?

(b) How did the Second World War end?

(c) How can a future war be avoided following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi?

Answer

(a) Hitler's invasion of Poland became an immediate cause of the Second World War.

  1. On September 1, 1939, the German armies marched into Poland.
  2. France and Britain gave an ultimatum to Germany.
  3. In reply, Germany attacked France.
  4. On September 3, Britain and France declared war on Germany.
  5. The German armies completed the conquest of Poland in less than three weeks so as to ensure that no aid reached Poland.
  6. The invasion of Poland marked the beginning of the Second World War.

(b) By the end of 1942, the tide began to turn against the Axis Powers.

  1. In November 1942, the Allied forces recaptured African territories lost by France.
  2. This was followed by their victory over Italy and then Germany.
  3. After the defeat of Germany, the Allied powers turned their attention towards Japan.
  4. In the Potsdam Conference held on July 26, 1945, the Allied Powers asked Japan to surrender, but Japan refused.
  5. Consequently, America dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  6. Japan offered to surrender on the terms of Potsdam declaration and the war came to an end.

(c) The Gandhian strategy is the combination of truth, sacrifice, non-violence, selfless service and cooperation.

  1. According to Gandhi one should be brave and not a coward.
  2. He should present his views, suggestions and thoughts without being violent.
  3. One should fight a war with the weapons of truth and non violence.
  4. Gandhi said that "There is no god higher than truth."
  5. According to Gandhi's thoughts, non- violence is the ultimate solution of every kind of problem in the world.
  6. Thus, a future war can be avoided by following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
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