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World War II Re-explored

Some New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples, Stephanie James and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

This volume is a collection of thirty papers written by authors from around the world. The writers focus on topics related to their own research interests. As a result, readers obtain a worldwide perspective on World War II from academics working on nearly every continent, proving that World War II was, probably, the first ever truly global experience for humanity. Present are many and different perspectives on the war. Eighty years after the end of World War II, these academics share their knowledge and reflections about a gruesome, but still not very remote time. In the new millennium, their studies should remind readers that the ‘end of history’ has been an impossible illusion and warn that peace and stability in international relations are not a given.

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From the Imperial Venture to the Poles’ Haven: World War II and Iran, 1939–1945

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Abstract: When the Second World War broke out in Europe in 1939, Iran immediately declared its neutrality. Germany, Britain and the Soviet welcomed this decision and encouraged Iran to stay neutral. However, this neutrality was threatened by Germany’s advance into the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. Two months later on 25 August 1941, the Allies made a surprise offensive towards Iran and completed the occupation within 3 days. Under the occupation, Iran provided the Allies with the route to supply armaments and goods to the Soviet Union in confrontation with Germany. Iran was struggling with a deteriorating economy and food shortage when the Allies transported tens of thousands of Poles to the country from Siberia. This chapter examines why Iran’s neutrality was violated without much effort and examines the factors which led to the country’s easy invasion. It also revives the almost forgotten chapter in Second World War history of Polish living conditions in Iran, and reveals the Iranian peoples’ sentiments towards the Polish deportees.

Keywords: Iran, Neutrality, Occupation, Polish refugees, hospitality

Introduction

Occurring just 2 decades after the Great War, World War II was the most rampant and lethal war in history. It involved more than thirty countries and resulted in more than 50 million (with some estimates as high as 85 million) military and civilian deaths. The instability in Europe after the First World War and Hitler’s imperial ambitions along with the imperial expansion of Japan and Italy, set...

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