Revisionist views on the causes of the World Wars

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Revisionist views on the causes of the World Wars refers to revisionist and other not politically correct views on the causes of World War I and World War II. Such views sometimes argue for a number of similarities between the causes of both wars and/or how these cases are described in politically correct historiography.

Contents

Politically correct views

The politically correct views are not monolithic and different authors may to some degree disagree with one another. Such politically correct explanations include:

  • Germany and the allies of Germany (notably Austria-Hungary in WWI and Japan in WWII) being the parties most guilty of starting the wars. After WWI the guilt of Germany and allies for starting the war was inscribed into the Versailles Treaty and other treaties. The revisionist movement started as a movement disagreeing with this claim (not necessarily implying that Germany had no responsibility). The modern mainstream view on WWI is usually more complex and some early revisionist views are now incorporated into the mainstream views on WWI but many authors still primarily blame Germany and allies. Regarding WWII, Germany and German allies were "proved" to be absolutely guilty at the IMT trial and other trials. They are still seen as the guilty parties in an almost religious sense with the war in practice often being seen as a battle between Good and Evil (see the Holocaustianity article).
  • The United States being forced into the wars after being attacked.
  • Lack of liberal democracy as a cause of the wars and the wars being for the defense of liberal democracy.
  • Lack of free trade and globalization as causes of the wars.
  • The "Powder Keg" theory according to which the political situation in Europe at the time of WWI is viewed as being fundamentally unstable and WWI being inevitable (due to alliances, mobilization time schedules, other war planing, and so on) after some "red line" being passed. Can be combined with the German guilt theory by arguing that Germany and German allies were the main parties responsible for this "red line" being passed. On a deeper level, some other politically correct theory is often used to explain this "Powder Keg" situation coming into existence in the first place, such as of nationalism and social Darwinism .
  • The responsibility of nationalism and social Darwinism (and more specific ideologies such as imperialism before WWI and National Socialism before WWII). German Lebensraum ideas are often seen as a fundamental cause of World War II and may also be invoked for World War I.

Less politically correct views

Revisionist and other not politically correct views (which again are not monolithic) are described in more detail in the articles linked to in the "External links" section. Revisionists views are briefly on topics such as:

General

  • The much greater resources of the Allied powers (in particular those of the Anglophilic United States) meaning that the Allies would most likely win a World War which in turn is argued to mean that there were strong incentives against Germany and it allies wanting a World War. On the other hand, various groups may have perceived it as beneficial for themselves to incite a war that Germany and allies would most likely lose.
  • Allied promises or implied promises of military support in case of war (defensive or not) to minor countries (Serbia in WWI and Poland in WWII) which is argued to have caused elements in these countries to provoke wars with Germany or German allies which the Allied powers were expected to ultimately win and with consequent large gains for Serbia and Poland in the peace treaties.
  • Allied expectations that Germany would quickly fold or the leadership be replaced in a coup soon after a war started, a view which before World War II was strengthened by contacts with the so-called German underground, which had grossly exaggerated its own importance.
  • German foreign policy before WWI which is argued to have been mainly accommodating and defensive despite argued Allied aggressions and provocations and German foreign policy before WWII which is argued to be reasonable responses to the argued unfair Versailles Treaty and argued mistreatment of German minorities in neighboring countries or even outright attacks against Germany (see the Gleiwitz incident and Claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies).
  • "Forced to attack" arguments such as Japan in WWII being forced to attack due to crippling United States economic sanctions or Austria-Hungary in WWI being forced to attack in order to prevent a break-up of the country (in part due to Allied interactions with internal and external enemies of Austria-Hungary).
  • More generally and long-term, the unification of the divided Germany in 1871 and the thereafter rapidly increasing strength of Germany has been argued to have been perceived as a threat by the traditional great powers of Europe.
  • The difference between regional war (against Serbia only or Poland only) and a World War. Thus, it may be argued, for example, that Germany supported or started a limited war but did not want and tried to avoid a World War.
  • The initial popularity of WWI among the general population which is argued to have been greatly overstated in politically correct sources which state delirious throngs supporting the war in some places in some cities. In particular in the countryside which would furnish the bulk of conscripts the war is argued to have been much less popular. Entering the wars is argued to for a long time have been widely unpopular among the American general public.
  • Communism/socialism, leftist agitation and uprisings, and ideas of an inevitable, necessary, and violent communist (world) revolution as causes of the wars. World War I may be argued to have been as a diversion from increasing support for socialist/communist ideas and internal unrest caused by communist/socialist agitators and revolutionaries. A World War II has been argued to have been a long time plan of Stalin with the goal of conquering Europe (and ultimately the world) for Communism. Stalin has been argued to even have helped Hitler gain power in 1933 with the long-term goal of causing a devastating war between Germany and the Western allies which would leave both sides greatly weakened and easy targets for a Soviet invasion. Viktor Suvorov was the first to state the latter theory but it has received support from many other historians, including many Russian, despite being very politically incorrect in Russia. See also Soviet offensive plans controversy.
  • Arguments involving Jewish and Zionist interests, such as in relation to the Balfour Declaration, the anti-Jewish policies of many countries at the time of WWI (such as Imperial Germany and Czarist Russia), and the anti-Jewish policies of National Socialist Germany.
  • Arguments involving Jewish campaign contributions and possible partial Jewish ancestry of prominent politicians as an explanation for pro-Jewish positions and appointments.
  • An argued influential role of media and Hollywood.
  • An argued influential role of the armaments industry, other war profiteers, and the persons controlling governmental military resource allocation, and who may have been involved in various forms of manipulation and favoritism of certain groups.
  • An argued influential role of wealthy interests in the United States which for reasons such as war loans to the European Allies had an interest in bringing the United States into the war.
  • Argued false Allied atrocity propaganda in order to bring the United States into the wars.
  • Argued Allied foreknowledge/enabling of attacks on the United States in order to bring the country into the wars.
  • Argued influential and war-mongering individuals who may be argued to have used various forms of deceit in order to force their own and/or other countries into wars. Regarding Germany such arguments are sometimes applied to various individuals who are argued to have acted contrary to the wishes of the Kaiser during the events leading to the war. Examples of such individuals on the Allied side include Edward Grey, Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt. In some cases such individuals are argued to have served or been allied with powerful special interest groups. For example, Franklin Roosevelt has been accused of not only deliberately provoking the attack on Pearl Harbor but to have provoked the war in Europe by secret incitement against Germany and secret promises of military support to Britain, France, and Poland before WWII started.

WWI

WWII

  • The economic model and rapid economic growth of National Socialist Germany as a threat to the financial world order controlled by London and New York.
  • Argued conspiracies involving events such as the Kristallnacht and Hermann Rauschning's memoir with argued motivation such as inciting public opinion in favor of a war against Germany.
  • Argued long-term Polish hostility towards Germany and persecutions of the German minority in Poland.
  • British agents have been argued to have conducted a sizable propaganda campaign and a number of intelligence actions in order to bring the United States into the war such as British money being poured into congressional elections to defeat isolationist politicians, British agents spending money freely to ease the passage of the Lend-Lease Act, British agents planting pro-British articles in interventionist newspapers and magazine, and some national opinion polls being rigged to reflect a deeper and stronger pro-British sentiment than existed. British agents are furthermore argued to have set up Bill Donovan's "Office of Strategic Services" (later the CIA) and to have helped run it, and to have established or influenced a number of organizations pushing for American intervention.
  • Argued large scale campaigning by the Roosevelt administration in order to discredit war opponents and incite the public opinion against Germany and Japan long before WWII started.
  • The Roosevelt administration long before the German declaration of war both openly and covertly strongly engaging in large scale hostile acts (such as by sending large scale amounts of military material to Germany's enemies) and deliberate provocations with the intention of causing a German response (such as by shoot-on-sight orders and attacks on German submarines).
  • Shortly before Pearl Harbor, an American military plan for a war with Germany, "Rainbow 5", was leaked to a newspaper (possibly even by the Roosevelt administration) which may have been important in convincing Hitler that a war was inevitable but that it would take at least two years before the US was ready to invade.
  • The German declaration of war on the United States on 11 December 1941 (soon after Pearl Harbor) which is in politically correct historiography may be depicted as being unprovoked as well as being a gigantic strategic mistake. However, not declaring war would have meant continued massive US material support to Germany's enemies without German submarines being able to attack the American shipping. Furthermore, after Pearl Harbor, American war mobilization/build-up would occur regardless of if Hitler declared war on the United States or not, the anti-war opposition had been greatly weakened, and Hitler may well have seen an American entry into the war as inevitable (especially after the US had had time complete its war mobilization/build-up). As such not declaring war may have been seen as not preventing an open war against the United States but instead only somewhat delay it and with this delay favoring Germany's enemies. Hitler may also have thought that the declaration of war would increase the chance of Japan declaring war on the Soviet Union which if quickly defeated would give both Germany and Japan a much stronger position.
  • The Soviet Union argued to have used influential Communist agents in both Japan (such as Richard Sorge) and the United States (such as Harry Dexter White) in order to start a war between the countries in order to prevent Japan attacking the Soviet Union and inciting a war between Germany and the United States.
  • The Allies after WWII created a new crime of "Crime against peace" which was applied retroactively to Germany and allies but the Allies themselves were not on trial for starting wars in relation to the Soviet invasions of Poland, Finland, and the Baltic states; the British and Soviet invasion of Iran; the British invasions of Iceland and Iraq; various attacks on neutral Vichy France and French colonies; the Soviet attack on Japan despite a still valid neutrality pact; the British coup in Egypt using British military forces; and the planned British and French invasions of Norway and Sweden.

External links

WWI

Woodrow Wilson

WWII

Situation for Germans in Poland

Stalin's plans

American non-neutrality before the German declaration of war

Pearl Harbor

British pro-war activities in the United States

Churchill

Rising Germany as a threat

Jewish influence

Hollywood

Revisionist historiography

Forum threads

Article archives

See also

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