World War [for the first time in 1814 by F. L. Jahn used in reference to the wars of liberation], English World War [wə ː ld w ɔ ə], French Guerre Mondiale [gε ː r m ɔ d al], a global, many States and peoples an exclusionary military Conflict in which the fighting extends to almost all continents and oceans and has also been able to encompass the airspace since the 20th century.
The Seven Years’ War (1756–63) was a global military conflict; the acts of war of the European powers overseas were then limited to a few short and selective battles and skirmishes. After a great power politics and diplomacy characterized by nationalism and imperialism gained in importance in the 19th century and, due to the now global trade and transport, the competition for control of the sales and raw material markets as well as the transport routes had increased significantly, as well as the development of technology (including communications) and industry made ever greater advances with implications for the military sector as well, existed conditions and increased dangers for the outbreak of supraregional military conflicts. Only the two great wars of the 20th century were, however, world wars in the true sense of the word, whereby the First World War (1914-18) in terms of its victims, the extent of the destruction as well as in terms of military-territorial dimensions by the Second World War (1939-45) was significantly exceeded. Even the few states that remained neutral in both world wars could not avoid the side effects caused by the war.
According to 800zipcodes.com, both world wars are understood as “total wars”; because in contrast to earlier “cabinet wars” or to military conflicts between individual states or limited alliances, the following were characteristic of the world wars of the 20th century: confrontation of armies of millions, use of a huge military machine with corresponding logistical and supply problems, loss of importance of the cavalry and the horse as Transport animal of the army, first use of air and tank weapons (at the end of the Second World War nuclear weapons), the complete alignment of the national economies to the needs of the war (“home front”, priority of arms and ammunition production). The civilian population, who in any case suffered from growing deprivations as the war progressed (e.g. an increasing rationing of the means of supply, the increasing employment of women in the economy and heavy losses in the family due to the death of male relatives on the front lines) and was exposed to a spiritual mobilization, was also affected to a hitherto unknown extent in the Includes acts of war that were often directed specifically against them (e.g. bomb terror against cities, extermination campaigns against entire population groups in World War II); the destruction of material and cultural goods led to the devastation of large territories (as early as the First World War, but intensified in the Second World War, among other things by the “scorched earth” tactics used by German troops). Both world wars resulted in some social upheavals (e.g. October Revolution in Russia 1917, establishment of communist “people’s democracies” after the Second World War) or brought about fundamental changes in the international state system or the political world order (e.g. as a result of the First World War, the disintegration of multi-ethnic states, formation of new countries; after the Second World War, the emergence of the Eastern Bloc, division Germany and Europe in the wake of the East-West conflict); The power constellation between the countries also changed considerably. In the wake of the war disaster, international efforts after both world wars were directed towards securing peace worldwide, including: through a war ostracism pact (after the Second World War emergence of the Eastern Bloc, division of Germany and Europe in the wake of the East-West conflict); The power constellation between the countries also changed considerably. In the wake of the war disaster, international efforts after both world wars were directed towards securing peace worldwide, including: through a war ostracism pact (Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928), but especially through the establishment of intergovernmental organizations (1919/20 League of Nations, 1945 United Nations), the efficiency of which, however, often suffered from the conflicting interests of the world powers.
The revolutionary and global social, political and economic changes, beginning with the First World War, which is understood as the “great catastrophe of the 20th century” (G. F. Kennan), which by no means ended with the end of the Second World War in 1945, leave this epoch appear as the “end of the bourgeois age” (W. J. Mommsen ), as “world civil war” (E. Nolte), as “age of extremes” ( H.-U. Wehler), even as the second “Thirty Years War”.
Against this, the singularity and incomparability of the Second World War as an “ideological war of annihilation” of National Socialist Germany against Bolshevik Russia and v. a. the genocide of the minorities regarded by the National Socialists as “ethnic-racially inferior”. If both world wars were to be “put on an equal footing”, it is argued, the Holocaust would be played down and the unprecedented warlike-criminal quality of National Socialist (race and extermination) policies would not be properly assessed, indeed trivialized.