Among the multiple arbitrary points that could be pegged as the beginning of World War II, the one that gains the most consensus is Germany's invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. It prompted both France and Britain to declare war within 48 hours. The Nazis then conquered Norway, Denmark and France, and set its bombers' sights on Britain. In this lecture, Victor Davis Hanson explores the blitzkrieg tactics that fueled Adolf Hitler's success and the foolish appeasement philosophy that empowered Germany, Italy, Japan and, for a while, the Soviet Union. Hanson also gives viewers a peek into the lunacy that eventually led Hitler to invade the Soviet Union and the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. The dynamics changed in a war that had appeared to be over when France fell on June 20, 1940.
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