Distinguishing Between World War 1 & World War 2

Throughout history, there have been numerous wars, skirmishes, and battles between countries and civilizations. However, the two wars in the 20th century that involved major countries worldwide and resulted in devastation and deaths on a massive scale were WW1 and WW2. Both wars had similarities and differences that changed the world significantly. The outcomes were horrific, with millions losing their lives and mass destruction. This article will examine the two great wars that took place in the 20th century.


WW1, also known as the Great War before WW2, was mainly confined to Europe. It started in 1914 and continued until 1918. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria and Hungary, by a Bosnian student, triggered a chain of events that culminated in a full-scale war between major world powers. Austria and Hungary invaded Bosnia, causing resentment and bitterness in many European nations. At that time, Europe was divided into countries with strategic political and military alliances. This intricate network saw nations aligning and forming fronts, with the world divided between the Allies and the Central Powers. The Great War continued for four years, with the Allied powers emerging victorious and Germany acknowledging defeat. Millions of lives were lost, and property was destroyed. Political boundaries were redrawn when a truce was finally called, and the League of Nations was established to prevent future wars.


WW2 was a truly global war, with its theater not confined to Europe and several fronts in many parts of the world. The war was fought on a larger scale, with seven times more casualties than WW1. The world was divided into the Allies and the Axis powers, with the warring nations using their economic and social might to win. WW2 is considered the deadliest war in history, with 100 million lives lost. It began in September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. This invasion was opposed by France, Britain, and other Commonwealth countries. The Axis powers included Germany, Japan, Italy, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, which marched ahead and captured much of Europe.

Germany and Italy were fascist powers led by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, both with expansionist plans. Japan also wanted influence in China and invaded the Chinese district of Manchuria in 1931. The war soon spread to other parts of the world, with Japan invading the Soviet Union and Mongolia. The war gained momentum when the Allies were joined by the US. Britain received help from its colonies in Asia, and the Allies were slowly able to turn the tables on the Axis powers. The focal point of WW2 came in 1945 with the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan, which infuriated the US and resulted in the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan finally surrendered on August 15th, and the Axis powers were defeated, signaling victory for the Allies. The United Nations was established on October 24th, 1945, to maintain peace and prevent future wars.

Key Takeaways

  • WW1 was mainly confined to Europe, while WW2 was a global war with multiple fronts.
  • WW1 relied on primitive warfare and trench warfare, while WW2 heavily utilized airpower, including the use of atomic bombs in Japan.
  • WW2 had seven times more casualties than WW1 and saw the birth of the United Nations, while WW1 led to the establishment of the League of Nations.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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