Man Proposes ,1939 - 1945
The wars and the killings started by the Axis began in 1931 in Manchuria and carried on in full flood until at least 1946-1947, as it played itself out in a series of local but bloody civil wars or wars of national liberation.
At least fifteen full years of non-stop bloodletting somewhere in the world, directed or started by the Axis.
Despite all of this, what makes the very much shorter six years of WWII (September 2 1939 -September 2 1945) truly unique in humanity's long run of war and violence is not the record number of people who died, nor the attempted industrial mass murder of all Jews, all Romas and all Slavs.
Rather it is most unique for the fact that it was history's only true world war : combat conducted 24/7/365 all around the world, in all extremities of heat, cold , distance and remoteness for six long years.
High in the Poles, mountains and skies; deep in the ocean depths , in watery trenches and hot swampy jungles - and in the driest of sand deserts.
WWII can't just be another property from Central Casting ; it is all of Central Casting - and more.
So what started out as a human drama - an intra-species family fight within the human race - unexpectedly became as well a war of Human versus Nature.
It is fair to say, that as a result, the long term consequences of WWII were not something any leader in any nation in 1939 - Allied, Axis or Neutral - had any reason to suspect , fear or welcome.
Homo Proponit indeed ......