Allies in War – An Overview -I
By Neil John
This question has been discussed in many forums, institutes and governments. War prevention is a huge study in itself. But even if every battle has dried up and lessons learned, we still cannot prevent the next war. Therefore, the question arises, why people cannot just live in peace, what is actually the motivation to see blood and blood? The big id immediately comes to mind. Ego, economy, energy, coupled with a thirst for power.
Annexation of territories, wrong communication of intentions, political agreements, internal unrest, etc. are only tools that give war a failed logic. Several players are usually involved in a war. So what is actually to be gained is perceptual. Are nations becoming allies for national interests? Friendships? Geostrategic Advantages? Profits? What logic actually frames is that we are willing to sacrifice our own lives and economies to fight or help someone else’s war.
First World War
Archive image for representative purposes
The immediate war of misjudgments, misjudgments, big egos and total chaos is the 1st World War. This was a global war emanating from Europe that lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918. Also known as the Great War or “The War to the End”. all wars ”, (surprising?). It involved more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans. The estimates were 8.5 million combatant deaths and 13 million civilians as a direct result of the war. The disease, genocides, the end of great nations, the development of new powers make this war the deadliest ever.
It all began with the murder of the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. The war was between Serbia and the Austro-Hungarian coalition. But a network of interlocking alliances soon expanded the crisis from a bilateral problem in the Balkans to an issue that spanned most of Europe. In July 1914, the major European powers were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente, consisting of France, Russia and Great Britain; and the previously founded Triple Alliance Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
At the end of World War I, the continent of Europe would be split into two great opposing alliances; the Allied Powers, composed principally of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the United States, France, the Russian Empire, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro; and the Central Powers, consisting mainly of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.
So what was the reason for these alliances? Although their meaning is often misunderstood or exaggerated, alliances are one of the most well-known causes of World War I. Alliances did not force nations to go to war in 1914, but nevertheless drew them into confrontation and conflict with their neighbors. The European alliances were in many ways a by-product of European geopolitics. Europe has long been a melting pot of ethnic and territorial rivalries, political intrigue and paranoia. Alliances offered the European states a certain degree of protection.
They served as a means of safeguarding or promoting national interests and at the same time served as a deterrent to war. They were particularly important for the smaller or less powerful states of Europe. The alliances were a political, military, or economic agreement negotiated and signed by two or more nations. Military alliances usually contained promises that the signatory states would support their allies in the event of war or aggression. They ranged from financial or logistical support, such as the delivery of materials or weapons, to military mobilization and declaration of war on the aggressor. Alliances also contained economic elements such as trade agreements, investments or loans.
Certain famous alliances that were the norm before World War I paved the way for future collaborations in terms of perceived common interests. Many of these alliances were negotiated in secret or contained secret clauses, adding to suspicion and tension in pre-war Europe. The alliance system forced countries to help other allies. So if one declared war, the others had to do the same. Without the alliance system, World War I would have been much smaller and probably not a world war, as fewer countries would be involved.
What did these alliances bring?
# Sense of security.
# War as a legitimate political tool.
# Great power relationships could offer an opportunity to contain conflict.
# The hunger for power, to be one step ahead in the arms race and to be intimidating.
# A form of self-defense,
The economy and the military dictate the conditions.
What did this war achieve? More power for the mighty? Inherent Security? Found steadfast friends? Wasted the resources and capabilities of great military powers? Decreased the ability to wage war and the economic strength of troubled countries? Or has just produced a new world order, it has formed a new Europe. Have these alliances been reconfigured?
Do they represent a just cause or a just war? Why should a country’s single point agenda turn into a world war? The alliances lost man and material, was it worth the cost of the war? Are alliances geared towards race, color, language, and the guise of control of a growing power? Will alliances prevent or cause war?
To prevent future world wars, the League of Nations was founded during the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The main objectives of the organization were the prevention of armed conflict through collective security, military and maritime disarmament, and the settlement of international disputes through peaceful negotiation and arbitration.
Second World War
Archive image for representative purposes
Let us now refer to World War II. The war lasted from 1939 to 1945. It encompassed the majority of the world’s countries and formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis Powers. With more than 100 million employees from more than 30 countries, the major participants have put all their economic, industrial and scientific skills into the war effort, blurring the distinction between civil and military resources. In this war there have been the only two possible uses of nuclear weapons in war to this day.
World War II claimed 70 to 85 million lives, most of them civilians. Dozens of millions of people died from genocide (including the Holocaust), famine, massacre and disease. After the Axis’ defeat, Germany and Japan were occupied. Many nations have been affected by the conflict, but the main fighters can be grouped into two opposing factions, Germany, Japan and Italy, where the Axis powers are. France, Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union were the allied powers.
The Allies formed until the end of the war. The Allies were led by the so-called “Big Three” – the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States – who made the major contributions in manpower, resources and strategy, and each played a key role in achieving victory.
The US remained formally neutral until the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, after which it declared war and officially joined the European allies. China had been at war with Japan since 1937, but formally joined the Allies in December 1941. All of a sudden there was a new equation of power, or what we can call a conglomerate.
The declaration officially recognized the Big Three and China as the “Four Powers” in recognition of their central role in persecuting the war; they were also referred to as the “Trusteeship of the Mighty” and later the “Four Policemen” of the United Nations. An enduring legacy of the Alliance is the permanent members of the UN Security Council, which is made up entirely of the main Allied powers that won the war.
Following the lessons of World War I and World War II, we could now be certain that these global wars would not take place. But then the Cold War era was not full of situations that could lead not only to conventional conflicts but also to nuclear wars.
What did the Allies achieve in World War II – for the first time we saw two absolute Allies fighting each other militarily, with one decimating the other. New equations and one country was split into East and West Germany, with the big countries, the USA and Russia, distributing the spoils of war. A nuclear attack on a civilian population is justified. The strong powers dictated the terms of the war.
The small powers hardly had a say, it was as if they either entered the war or were considered powerless. Even enemies came together to fight a larger enemy. Ideally, it should have ended the war early, but the war lasted for 07 years.
So the question again arises, will alliances prevent war? Start war? Or ensure the war in accordance with one’s own perceived selfish national interests? -Sequel follows.. (Courtesy: Mission Victory India)
(The author is a military analyst and national security commentator. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the editorial policies of Mission Victory India.)