Damage caused by the second World War:
- During the second world war, millions of lives were lost on all sides.
- Bombing and fighting on the ground had destroyed houses, factories, shops and entire cities. By 1945, there were millions of sick, hungry and homeless refugees throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
- The disruption to all the countries at the end of the war meant it was very difficult to be sure about the numbers of killed and wounded. What is certain is that the USSR lost millions of its people as a result of the war with Germany, and Stalin was determined to make the USSR secure in future. In addition, China also suffered millions of civilian casualties owing to its war with Japan.
The rise of the superpowers
- Before the war there were many countries who could claim to be superpowers, such as the USA, the USSR, Britain, France, Germany and Japan. By 1945, it had become clear that the military strength of the USA and the USSR put them in a league of their own as superpowers.
Conflicting ideologies: Communism and Capitalism
- During the war, the communist superpower, the USSR, had united with the capitalist superpower, the USA, to defeat fascism. However, Communism and Capitalism were very different ideologies and economic systems strongly opposed to one another. With Germany and Japan defeated, the reason for this co-operation…