New College of the Humanities

Formal End of the Second World War

The Second World War formally ended on May 8th, 1945. Here, Adam Tooze examines the events in Germany that ignited the Second World War. Did Hitler intend to provoke a general war over Poland in September 1939?

At 6am on a wintery March morning in 1939 Adolf Hitler shattered the fragile European peace brokered six months earlier at the Munich conference by sending the Wehrmacht across the border into what remained of Czechoslovakia. This act of aggression triggered a dramatic international escalation, which led directly to the outbreak of war in September 1939.

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