To understand the outbreak of the Second World War it is important to take a look at what the world was like before the events of 1939. The world was in a turbulent state after the First World War and this instability had a great impact on the events which were to occur just 15 years later.
The Spanish Civil War which was fought around the year 1939 led to the rise of fascism in Spain, under the leadership of France, as well as greater political instability in Europe. This also saw the alliance of those who would form the Axis in the Second World War, mainly Hitler and Mussolini who lent their support to the nationalist movement which was led by General Franco.
In 1937 the Japanese invaded China. They took hold of the capital Beijing and then made a plan to take control of the rest of the vast country. Shanghai also fell to the Japanese along with the city of Nanking. The Soviets were also in support of China against the Japanese and this effectively ended Germany’s relationship with Russia which set the ball rolling for things that were to come in the Second World War.
In Europe, where the main tensions of Second World War came to an explosive fruition, the mood was beginning to build in the years before the war. Germany and Italy were becoming much more aggressive to their European neighbors and also had a very questionable policy in relation to their own people. In the led-up to the Second World War several European countries, including France and Britain, were becoming very concerned about the power that Germany was trying to exert in the region. Despite the Munich Treaty, Germany continued to be aggressive in the region and continued to annex countries against the will of the majority of Europe.