How WWII Began. Tracking the War Week By Week

The World War II Youtube Channel chronicles “the deadliest conflict in human history” week-by-week beginning in 1939. As of this writing, the channel has more than 78 million views and 640,000 subscribers. It has not quite covered the first three years, with about 150 videos, paid for in part with donations from viewers. The first post was in 2018. The producers plan to continue through 2024 with generally short videos (less than 15 minutes a week). “Indy Neidell, Spartacus Olsson and their team of dedicated historians cover the events of World War Two week by week in realtime,” according to the channel’s “about” page.

Traditionally, World War II is thought to have begun on September 1, 1939 when Adolf Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland. But of course the prelude to WWII goes back to the end of WWI and the Versailles Treaty that sought to punish Germany for “starting” the “Great War,” along with the development of the Nazi party in Germany in the 1920s, and authoritarian forces in countries around the world, plus the collapse of the world economies in the late 1920s. Some historians see WWI and WWII as a Thirty-One-Year War. Then of course you could add the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 as part of it, making it a 33-year-war. Or you could add all conflicts from 1900 forward to 1944, and the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, which began in 1946 and ended in 1991, and the wars of the 1890s for essentially a 100-years-world-war.

World War Two: “When Germany invades Poland on September 1, 1939, the world is already at the brink of a new world war…”

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