In Western folklore World War II started on 1st September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. As far as the then British and French Empires were concerned it commenced on the 3rd September 1939 in response to the aforementioned invasion. From a Chinese / Japanese perspective this war started on the 7th June 1937, although military activity had been taking place since September 1931. Before this China had been riven by civil wars and warlords since arguably 1927 although scholars of the region would no doubt move that date back further. While Russia and Japan fought between 1938 to 1939 in a region of North-East China and the communist state of Mongolia. Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935 and there was a civil war in Spain between 1936 to 1939. Total casualties through military action, deliberate murder, sickness, famine and as in all wars error have been estimated between 70,000,000 to 85,000,000. Think on those last two figures. We can’t be certain what happened to 15,000,000 people. Imagine this ‘Oh. We’re not too sure what happened to most of the folk of New York and London, we found about a million of them though,’ (Bothe have populations in the 8,000,000 region)
Following on from the end of WWII on the 1st September 1945 would follow a series of civil wars, social turmoils and independence struggles which would give rise to more loss of life and misery. And these were the ones taking place between 1945 to 1950. Still in the echoes of WWII. No major victorious power was spared these nor those nations under its sway.
From there on each subsequent decade had its series of major conflicts and minor ones which might have made a fleeting glance somewhere in the record. Some involved large swathes of the populations; others a 1% to 5% of the local population. A child crying is a child crying, a woman raped is a woman raped, dead person is a dead person, whether the perpetrators were security forces, ‘resistance fighters’ or local opportunistic bandits it’s all the same to the victims and their families.
Some folk would like to make this simple and blame one root cause, that is like trying to catch fog and put it in a bowl. You take aware one cause and we, Humanity will find another. If we did not put down our guns after the events ceasing in 1945 then we are the flaw in the system. Not one government, not one belief system, not one perceived injustice. It is us.
This of course is as old as our history. Each war or conflict has its own sets of unfinished business. The problem now is whereas as before as long as our numbers were small, the world could indulge our follies. No longer. Our time is running out. The clock started ticking in 1930.