World War II Author:C. L. Sulzberger From Introduction: It began after years of screaming threats and menacing troop movements and desperate grasping for peace at almost any price. It began at a time when most Europeans had resigned themselves to its coming and most Americans seemed to agree that the best thing their country could do would be to stay out of it. "Let Europe ste... more »w in its own juice," many people were saying. But this world war was not to be primarily a European conflict, like the one before it. This time virtually the whole world would be at war. Once started, it would quickly become the worst war in history.
It lasted only six years, which is not long as history goes, but it produced the biggest armies, the longest battle lines, the most devastating weapons of any war; it inflicted more suffering, it destroyed more and cost more than any other war. It put some seventy million people in uniform and killed perhaps as many as thirty-five million, including many millions who were never in uniform, for it was also a war that slaughtered a great deal more indiscriminately than any war before it...« less