In the past, humanity had crude communication systems, therefore, it had no means of making point or creating understanding apart from the cruel means of using power where only the strong survived and walked away with their demands. The First and the Second World Wars were also the means used by men to solve their problems. However, the end of the World War II marked a new beginning of human civilization. Various historians have expressed divergent points of view regarding the World War I and World War II. Apart from civilization, these two major events in human history share many factors including formation of military alliances, development of arms race, employment of air attacks, navy and infantry, which were fought by almost all nations across the world (Duiker & Spielvogel, 2010). However, those two wars had some distinctive factors, which made them different from each other. Some of these factors include revision of infantry techniques and tactics, choice of weapons for the war, the purpose or main factors that led to the war.

The desire to fight

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The basic differences between World War I and World War II were the main factors that stimulated the desire to fight. In World War I, the opposing forces were struggling for territorial expansion. Keegan (2000) argues that the war tension during World War I began because of the desire to expand territory, for instance, the German led their allies in struggle against the French who had defeated themselves on the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. This defeat made Germany to lose its mineral rich provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to France. Consequently, the German started the war with support of their allies in an attempt to recover the lost territory as France struggled to defend the acquired property. While in World War II, countries form alliances to fight against the spread of evil.

Tactics of World Wars

Other factors which differ World War I from World War II were the tactics employed throughout the war. To cite an example, the tactical fighters in World War I employed totally different tactics from those used in World War II (Huachuca et al., 2006). They mainly used trench system of fighting where they dug up trenches and their troops fought staying in them. This made attack unfeasible and defense unbeatable. The troops that attempted to open attacks had numerous casualties. This made the war to last much longer and in most cases resulted to stalemate for many days. The troops were forced to employ special weaponry like hand grenades, aircraft and gas to fight. While on the other hand, World War II employed guerilla warfare where soldier fought in hidden trenches and mostly forested areas (Stokesbury, 2003). Attack was very easy and defense was somehow difficult. The best soldiers hid behind trees, forests, mountains, in caves and other dark places and waited to ambush their enemies before disappearing into their hideouts. Therefore, there was a great difference in employed tactics during World War I and World War II.

Difference in used technology in weaponry

There was a large technological gap employed in designing weapons of war. During World War I, the soldiers used very primitive and slow weapons. For example, they used primitive tanks that could move at a speed of 3mph and could only carry up to three soldiers (Huachuca et al., 2006). Moreover, these tanks could not cross over trenches. They also employed the aircrafts, which spied the enemies. The other better version of these aircrafts was the Zeppelin, which transported machine guns and bombs. However, some aircrafts were easy to shoot down and used to attack enemies’ crafts and trenches (Keegan, 2000). On the other hand, World War II employed superior aircrafts and choppers that supplied soldiers with medication and emergency. They also used superior weapons like the atomic bombs to destroy their enemies for example the  attack of Nagasaki and Hiroshima by the USA, which destroyed thousands of homes and claimed millions of lives and stopped the Japanese Persistent from attacking.

The issue of ethnicity

The other factor that differentiates World War I from World War II is the issue of ethnicity. Despite existence of Antisemitism during the First World War, there was no major hostility extended towards this group of people. The Antisemitism is hatred extended towards people with Jewish origin. The world disliked the Jews/ Semites for many reasons including their belief that they are God chosen, success in their businesses and Christians believe that they killed the Messiah. World War I did not harm the Semites in any way. However, during the Second World War, Adolf Hitler used the war as the mean for fighting and extending his hatred towards the Jews (Stokesbury, 2003). He authorized killing of over six million Jews, displacement of thousands and rape of Jewish women. Therefore, World War II was an arena of extending ethnicity.


Humanity continues to invent and develop newer kinds of weapons. The nations continue to be more suspicious of their enemies. This has only triggered the nuclear arms race. The time difference and change in human development influenced human way of thinking and acting. The United Nations should be on the forefront on bargaining for peace between the nations in the arms race. If another world war begins, it will be full of sophisticated weapons that will lead to total destruction of humanity.

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