Patterns of Past Wars

Via Wikimedia Commons

LexieBee Photography

Via Wikimedia Commons

Sam Haswell, Staff Writer

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine increases, one can look back at past wars and conflicts to get a better understanding of such results. One great example is the beginning of World War 2. One of the first areas that Hitler and the Germans invaded after they built their military back up was the Rhineland. The Rhineland was an area between France and Germany that was a demilitarized zone, an area where countries are able to make treaties and are not allowed to attack one another. This is one of the conditions that was created in the Treaty of Versailles. Prior to World War 2, the USSR and France had signed the Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance, a treaty that stated that the USSR and France would help each other during war with the hope that Central Europe would be less likely to be attacked. Once Hitler heard this, he believed that France would take advantage of the Rhineland and use it as a path through which they could invade Germany. Hitler used this as an excuse to invade the Rhineland. Once he saw that he faced no repercussions for invasion, he took it as a green light to invade other countries.

The only parallel is that it’s an anti NATO power invading an Eastern European country for their own personal power.

— Walter Birnbaum, junior

Three years after his invasion of the Rhineland, Hitler invaded Poland, creating the beginning of World War 2. Hitler invaded Poland in order to have the ruling power over a neighboring country and to regain some of the land that they had lost due to the Treaty of Versailles following World War 1. Hitler did this by using his blitzkrieg strategy, which involved using multiple guns and great speed in order to invade and take over a country as quickly as possible. This would not only shock the country that was being invaded, but it would also mean that they would be unprepared for the invasion. 

When asked if he could see any similarities between Germany invading Poland and Russia invading Ukraine, junior Walter Birnbaum said he didn’t: “No, because Putin isn’t attempting to gain world domination. The only parallel is that it’s an anti NATO power invading an Eastern European country for their own personal power.” NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and was created in 1949, just after World War 2. The goal of NATO was to provide security around the USSR, saying if one NATO country was attacked, all the NATO countries would attack the country doing the invading. Along with Birnbaum, senior Durham Oostyen said, “You can draw very limited parallels. Russia is doing it because Ukraine is a strategic area. However I wouldn’t say it’s as bad as anti-semitism.” Similar to Walter, Durham also believes that Russia’s invasion is nothing compared to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland.