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World War II, A War for Resources: Crash Course World History #220

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In which John Green teaches you about World War II, and some of the causes behind the war. In a lot of ways, WWII was about resources, and especially about food. The expansionist aggression of both Germany and Japan were in a lot of ways about resources. There were other reasons, to be sure, but the idea that the Axis needed more food can't be ignored. Citation 1: Lizzie Collingham. The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food. Penguin. New York. 2011. p 30 Citation 2: Collingham. p 102 You can directly support Crash Course at https://www.patreon.com/crashcourse Subscribe for as little as $0 to keep up with everything we're doing. Free is nice, but if you can afford to pay a little every month, it really helps us to continue producing this content.
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Text Comments (4247)
Plolsteg 770 (2 days ago)
“You Don’t need more land If you just Don’t give your people food” Stalin 1942
BERTIL SCALI (5 days ago)
Please speak faster, I still could understand 10% of what you said.
No name64 (6 days ago)
I like tranis
Steez McBreezy (14 days ago)
5:50 HA he just said millions of civilians 😂😂😂 he rhymed- oh jeez nevermind 0_0😮🤐
adam alsoury (17 days ago)
You are really good
DudeMan (21 days ago)
Hitler good, America Bad
bunnyfreakz (28 days ago)
British started WW2 direct or indirectly. They forced German to sign treaty of versailles and German economy falls apart. Nazi rise because crisis and starvation among people. 100 years earlier before WW2 British started opium war against China, it's weaken China and long Dynasty fallen apart. China broken apart and make them vunerable against invasion of Japan.
idonot know (1 month ago)
Two sides of the same coin.Britain narrative prevailed because they won the war.
OmnissiahZelos (2 months ago)
4000 calories? That is less than in a cola can! Man they were starving!
Jai Parwani (2 months ago)
Germans are evil as a whole. Hitler did not rise in a vacuum.
Mustafa Ali (2 months ago)
Your country is the the new menace of the world
Mustafa Ali (2 months ago)
maybe you should tell our own country not to invade other countries for resources; otherwise, you just sound like a bigot.
Alex Ye (2 months ago)
Addendum to the Bengal Famine: Exacerbated by scorched earth policies and exploitative debt practices trapping farmers into debt bondage.
loomhigh (2 months ago)
"looking at WWII from this perspective allows us to see it globally" mentions like 4-5 countries
LuckyLuke maping+gaming (2 months ago)
Where was the open letter
Puppywinkles I (2 months ago)
It is not "Good vs Evil". The Soviet Union fought with us.
loli protection agency (3 months ago)
You are wrong the invasion of Russia was the best move they could have done they where running out of oil and fast the only way to continue a war effort was to invade the soviets
Slothidius Slurpilus (3 months ago)
Nick Clermont (3 months ago)
when i hear words like good, evil or any emotional reaction on history videos i know that it is biased
DUNDOM5 (3 months ago)
Anyone who thinks WW2 was battle between good and evil is very naive, ignirant and stupid.
quiccmaths (1 month ago)
The PGawesome channel (3 months ago)
You forgot about oil.
Evan And a little more (3 months ago)
True Review (3 months ago)
2 countries, a Principality and a province. We're weird like that.
Viraat Arora (3 months ago)
Onur Esmanov (3 months ago)
When do you all think WW3 will start? 2023?
Gary McSpadden tech (4 months ago)
The race today is between Nature's ability to create too many people and Technologies ability to feed too many people. Since the latter contributes to the former, the outcome is kind of predictable.
Just Sol (4 months ago)
Most people just don't realize that there are always no winners in wars.
Fyrebolt (4 months ago)
War is not about who is right but who is left
Gizmo Thewytchdoktor (4 months ago)
who wins a war? those with the best logistics management.
Sir Mount (4 months ago)
Did anyone else watch the whole video and remember literally none of what the man said?
kamelnutz (4 months ago)
Not even going to mention oil?
Benny Young (4 months ago)
3:33 mongoltage
Xelocon (4 months ago)
War does not define who is right, war only defines the one that is left standing.
Ryan Wu (4 months ago)
You should have talked more about of how the oil shortages affected the Germans and how they was what led to their defeat by the Russians.
Ryan Vang (5 months ago)
The Mongols are the only ones that have the Beat Russia trophy
Gunter G (5 months ago)
Wee bit of an issue with the video. It wasn’t exactly stupid for Germany to invade Russia. The Nazis and the communists were both trying to gain power in Germany during the 1930s and it made a great hatred between the two. The truce that the Russians and the Germans had was never going to last and it was ether Germany invade first or Russia invade first. At a glance the invasion might seem stupid but it really never going to stay peaceful.
SHERIFF ZAKARIAA (5 months ago)
That was a war between thieves who stole and thieves who didn't find what to steal
Renato Herren (5 months ago)
It wasn't good vs evil anyway, it was evil vs evil. Every empire tries to play the harmless bunnies as soon as they have the top position in the world, calling every attack on them an unnecessary agression. The US are no exception there. Peace means for them, that they can exploit whoever and however they want without having to fight anymore. The US are far from being good. Actually, there hasn't been a single empire in the whole history, that could be considered good in any way. The US beating Hitler was like a T-Rex killing a lion. It is some kind of relief but it doesn't make things much better.
Renato Herren (3 months ago)
+Jock Duff Well, the US commited genocides too. Let me explain it this way: Every government, that tries to achieve world domination goes through several phases: 1. The independance phase That's when they are opressed by another state and try to get rid of the opression. 2. The conquering phase That's when a state isn't satisfied with beating their arch enemy and attacks and conquers more than that, either because the consider themselves save with more power or out of greed or both. That's usually the phase when the state commits the worst atrocities. 3. The roman peace phase That's when a state achieved most of their goals and focusses on exploiting the conquered countries. 4. The decadence phase That's when they achieved almost everything they wanted and start to feel save and unbeatable. All they do now is worshipping their own stomach and that is when they start to become weak and the next world power is about to appear. During WW2, the US were in their roman peace phase and Nazi Germany was in its conquering phase, that's why Nazi Germany appeares more evil if you isolate WW2 from the rest of history, but if you look at the whole picture, both are equally evil. It looks even more intersting, if you consider the whole human history. Back in Eden, the Devil pretended, that he can give humanity something better than paradise. So being a little less evil than Hitler does not qualify the US as good. And God will definitly not bless America, the opposite is the case, God will remove America and the UN and will start his own Kingdom, which will recreate the lost paradise.
Jock Duff (3 months ago)
There a lot of people might disagree, like the ones suffering genocide.
Eritrea Shabiaጝሕ (5 months ago)
thanks for the pleasurable education .
Dream0fSkye (5 months ago)
Ley benz raaaam
JLHartsock the Conqueror (5 months ago)
An army marches on it's stomach.
F BN (5 months ago)
Japan freed colonies in Asia and chenged the world
BoD Assassin (3 months ago)
Japan freed colonies by making them colonies of Japan
William Zhao (6 months ago)
Hitler smartest idea was invade the soviet union. So much food to feed the many germans.
"WW2 was a battle of good vs evil" Really? No doubt, nazis and Japanese were far more evil than even soviets, but I would hardly call any of the allies "good". US were in the middle of segregation, USSR hag GULAGs and UK were basically german nazis on an island, just nobody cared to call them out for their crimes against people of India and Africa. Again, not trying to say germans were good, no, but the war was rather of two evils, of which one was lesser
ZeevDrifter (6 months ago)
yaya every liberal fucktard in the comments is going to have the take away nationalism is evil!!!! even though it isn't, and is just having pride in your country which is of course good cause if you don't respect your country how can you expect it to become better?
Brian Hutzell (5 months ago)
Pride in one’s country does not mean loving every aspect of it without reservation. Pride in one’s country means acknowledging areas where there could be improvement, and striving to make those improvements.
Harry Wilkin (6 months ago)
WE'RE NOT A COUNTRY, WE'RE 4 SEPERATE COUNTRIES! I'm a British guy and I can tell you, over in the UK, everything is 4 separate things!
Shiloh Schwartz (6 months ago)
No it was a war against commis and Nazis and the borguosies and obviously America won
Anthony Quintiliani (6 months ago)
Food was definitely a major contributing factor. However, I think in an age of the internal combustion engine being the primary mover of military transport I would think the need for oil would be the primary immediate motive for initiating warfare.
Rosa Cruz (6 months ago)
Good vs evil? Please.. the soviet union was way worse than germany, my evidence? 50 years of cold war and 100 million dead as cause of communism The Us was arguably most rasist country in the world in at that time and even now race is still an issue. Britain had over seas territory which common sense suggest a continent shouldnt be ruled by an island 10,000 miles away(Canada) and the subcontinent of india suffered from horrible famines as a result of British unable to manage resources adequate. So the British are arguably the most evil empire in history, look at all the death the British have caused in the name of their great empire and glory. They hated Nazism because it worked. 100% employment in Germany and the greatest economic growth any nation had ever experienced. So yeah Nazi Germany was keen on murdering jews and other undesirable, but how is that different from American treatment of other ethnicities besides American whites? Or different from British imperialism? Or the Soviet famines and mass murders? So yeah good vs evil? All that is evident is self interest and all these bad countries fighting for their own belief, American "democracy," British imperialism, soviet communism, and Nazis fighting to expand fascism. You have to first be good in order to have a good vs evil battle. Dont even get me started on the native American Genocide.
Jock Duff (3 months ago)
You really should have figured out your knowledge was flawed when you uttered the phrase "they hated Nazism because it worked". It didn't work. It's economic model relied on constant expansion and resources the country could not acquire, it caused the death of millions, resulted in Germany being split in two and shattered a generation. Your mention of other nations is little more than an excuse, you provide no real specific other than going "what about..." as if it somehow lessens the shortcomings of the ideology you try to defend. I very much doubt you have any extensive knowlege of those other examples.
Jedi Revan (6 months ago)
Meth was both the best and worse thing to happen to the Nazi's. It gave them the energy to do more, while driving them insane. Good thing Hitler was an addict.
Stiv Kadinski (6 months ago)
Wow I could never guessed the war this way crash course is the best
DoSo (7 months ago)
I think oil was more important and had more attention.
Maya Dekoven (7 months ago)
This video kind of made me angry. He said almost nothing about Jews and other people who were mass murdered by hitler and his natzis. I agree that there were a few reasons that hitler started the was, and one of those was (as you said) getting more land and the resources. But it was beyond that. That what hitler wanted because he believed that only the Germans (and a select few others) deserve to have that land. And that everyone who is not Herman has to work for the Germans. Anyway, I had just hoped that John would have talked more about the nazis.
Nick Adams (7 months ago)
Ok but id say the most important resource that dominated decision making would definitely be oil.
Jonathan Black (7 months ago)
You have to remember that the Germans actually did pretty well at first when invading Russia. They got close before getting their butts whooped
bb193Plays (7 months ago)
Make a zombie apocalypse
Shockprowl (7 months ago)
You're a genius, Mr Green.
SoljaChild (8 months ago)
I cannot lie, the way you explain things, is extremely hilarious and amazing. These are absolutely funfacts!!!!
Skool Wifi (8 months ago)
Normies: "One does not simply invade Soviet Russia" Mongols: "Except us"
Belal Mbadr (8 months ago)
''Unless you're .. wait for it ...the mongols" said 27 times through the first 200 episodes
Evyn Martinez (8 months ago)
😵😵😵😢😢😢 So Sad Yet so confusing!
Edwin Gomes (8 months ago)
Food. Are you bs'ing me? Food!?
Jose Sual Cuevas (8 months ago)
Do you recommend me to watch Narnia?
Tyler Kicks (8 months ago)
What was Hitler’s goal with Lebensraum?
Spectator (8 months ago)
Britain is not a country, nor several, It is a Empire and it shall always be, God Save The Queen
Simon Eick Brække (8 months ago)
what is your sources for your segment on foodshortage in japan and germany in the 1930s? i am making a school presentation on the subject so any sources would be great.
Cody Banks (8 months ago)
Its kind of sad that finite resources are also the reason behind racism, sexism, homophobia, and other hateful ideologies.
Dale Halling (8 months ago)
It is called the Malthusian Trap. I think many wars before WW2 are heavily motivated by the Malthusian Trap. If you live in the Malthusian Trap the risk of dying war is not that different than starving to death. Note from an evolution point of view population will expand until people are in an Malthusian Trap.
MonkeyBricks34 (8 months ago)
An army fights on its stomach
History Hustle (8 months ago)
I am really impressed by this episode. Never looked at it this way. Thanks!
Nakraal (9 months ago)
U are supposed to be a historian? Germany successfully invaded and defeated Russia in WWI.France and England also did so in the Crimean war.
Bryan Cartmill (9 months ago)
if isay amaricu he is right
Themba Mabona (9 months ago)
Hilarious/disturbing aside: the way you pronounced "Lebensraum", translates back into English as "space of loving".....a bit unfortunate but still kinda funny.....
Aaron Slater (9 months ago)
You can't invade Russia from the West (Europe). You can, however, hit it from the East. Russia's weakness was exploited by the Chinese in the Sino-Soviet conflict in 1969. So its more than theory actual nations have exploited it. Russia is not invincible, and no one is.
Allan Ashby (9 months ago)
Food is important, but you need energy to grow it and move it around. The world's primary energy source -- then and now -- is oil. Oil that Britain got by sea from the Persian Gulf and the USA -- then the producer of 70% of the world's oil, believe it or not. Blockaded by Britain, Germany -- which imported 80%of its oil -- argued that it could only get more by invading the USSR. It had to, it said, because Romanian oil production and German synthetic supplies were too low, and it couldn't depend on the Soviets for such a critical need. Once Germany invaded Russia in 1941, those Soviet supplies ended. Germany was rapidly running out of its last stockpiled oil in the summer of 1942, as the panzers raced for the Caucasus. Once the food-producing ' lebensraum' in the east was captured in the first month of Barbarossa, in 1941, the Wehrmacht still had to keep heading toward the Caucasus, instead of Moscow. For oil. If they'd been able to get the burning wells back into production, they could have upgraded and expanded their mechanized forces and won the war. With oil. As it was, the German war production of vehicles and aircraft went up sharply in both quality and quantity, but the production of the energy to fuel them -- oil energy -- collapsed. Germany's own collapse came months after the destruction of the last synthetic oil plants (making oil from coal) by US bombers in early 1944. Japan argued it had been forced -- by the US oil embargo -- to invade the Dutch East Indies, the only oil-producing region they could hope to secure. For oil. Then they had to protect the tankers -- threatened by US bases in the western Pacific -- and they decided to seize them, too -- before they ran out of the energy -- oil energy -- they needed to do it. They couldn't secure those sea-lanes and ran out of energy -- energy from oil -- long before they formally surrendered. No matter where you look today -- from the South China Sea to the Persian Gulf -- it's all about oil, that uniquely valuable resource. It's still all about oil.
Robert Jarman (9 months ago)
There were ways of making oil less of a problem. Railways even then could be powered by electricity, and hydroelectric dams could be built and some geothermal technology existed then. Now in some areas that would be a big disaster if bombing raids were too likely, but many places in the war that didn't have much direct fighting like India, Africa, the Americas, even the Middle East (excluding Northern Africa), they could be supplied to a significant degree via this. And of course, before the war, this would have been even more possible and would have alleviated many of the concerns. Agriculture could have given up on animals and focused on vegetarian and vegan diets, and that does mean a lot more land use efficiency can be obtained.
Anthony Wolf (9 months ago)
lol autocracy and oligarchy, CIV5 and 6 you teach me so much.
Jason Leblanc (9 months ago)
Omg 3 years late on this channel! What a nice find!
Ege Erdem (9 months ago)
overpopulation is a problem not many people deserve to live tbh
Rylan Travis (9 months ago)
what is with his hair?
Arnav Konda (9 months ago)
Gaurav Kulkarni (9 months ago)
there are no good guys and bad guys .... everyone was fighting just to prove their dominance .... While German Nazis have killed many Jews ... British was also responsible for millions of Indians death. Churchill even appeared to blame the Indians for the famine, claiming they "breed like rabbits" and ordered the build-up of a stockpile of wheat for feeding European civilians after they had been liberated. So 170,000 tons of Australian wheat bypassed starving India - destined not for consumption but for storage.
Hmm Wait (9 months ago)
o look he mention America MeRiCa NuKe JaPaN UsSr SmAsH GeRmAnY How to win ww2 1.become facist 2.get moustache 3. Make Russia angry 4. Get rekt 5. Ur Ally gets nuked
SKINWALKER (9 months ago)
What about the Danzig Agreement? Which ultimately became the Danzig Massacre....
New Age Viking (9 months ago)
Britain is a country, they lost the wars, they’re part of Britain
Dirk Spacefear (10 months ago)
This video is deeply, dangerously flawed, in ways that excuse the Nazi regime of some of their worst crimes. The Hunger Plan wasn't the plan of long-term settlement and agricultural production in the western USSR. That WAS a Nazi plan (and it also involved killing or deporting nearly everyone currently living there, something that should probably be mentioned), but the Hunger Plan was a different one. The Hunger Plan was to deprive those "breadbasket" regions of food in the SHORT term, in order to feed Germany and accomplish a bit of spare genocide. The resource war and the ideological war are inseparable, and the crimes of the Nazi regime are inseparable as well. To quote Adam Tooze: "Let us remind ourselves: In the first weeks of 1941, the Reich Ministry of Food and the Wehrmacht military-economic staff had agreed on the Hunger Plan, a scheme which called for the deliberate starvation of no less than 30 million inhabitants of the Soviet Union. This explicit commitment to mass murder was made official policy, months before the SS began to formulate a concrete and specific plan for the extermination of the Jewish population of Europe. Food cut across the contradiction between economics and ideology, between the need for labor and the imperative for genocide. It provided the Third Reich with a starkly economic incentive for murder on a scale larger than even the Holocaust." (Wages of Destruction, page 538) Please, please, please do not allow the crimes of the Nazis to be forgotten by omission.
Sheilahannah Zhang (10 months ago)
this is the only thing i find interesting we learn in school
J wells (10 months ago)
" Dear British, here is your wheat, from your child, canada"
Natalie Smart (10 months ago)
Are you ok u seem so sad
Creole Supreme (10 months ago)
this so on point a way to look at it that few do but it was a major motivation and actual effect on battles ect
phoenix1925 (10 months ago)
so you want to tell me that 40's germany didnt have agricultural land for farming? lol This is the first time i hear this argument for the cause of ww2.
Brayden Lovely (10 months ago)
Actually john british people would say 3 countries because the island of britain is england, scotland, and wales. Northern ireland is on the island of ireland. I know i am dumb ;)
Lemonsity (10 months ago)
Episode 220
Adrienne Carlisle (10 months ago)
I did not know that about the Japanese...
Cavus Clemens (10 months ago)
John Green looks high AF in this video. Which is awesome...
Ali Marcelino (11 months ago)
Him And today we are talking about Me why I haven't shaved my beard yay I finished your sentence
Ak iraa (11 months ago)
Germany invading russia was probably smarter than not invading it. The USSR already made preperations to attack Germany, but was unprepared for a defense. (The question is only in which scenario Germany would loose harder)
Ads Lacz (11 months ago)
I'm new here. I did a quick google search but i'm desperate for affirmation. Is he the same guy that wrote The Fault in our Stars and Paper Towns??
Rob (11 months ago)
Awww, Turkey..
SinisterBlackheart (11 months ago)
Canada's wartime motor vehicle production constituted 20% of the combined total production of Canada, the US, and the UK.[12]:167 The nation had become one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers in the 1920s, owing to the presence of branch-plants of American automakers in Ontario. In 1938, Canada's automotive industry ranked fourth in the world in the output of passenger car and trucks, even though a large part of its productive capacity remained idle because of the Depression. During the war, this industry was put to good use, building all manner of war material, and most particularly wheeled vehicles, of which Canada became the second largest (next to the United States) producer during the war. Canada's output of nearly 800,000 trucks, for instance, exceeded the combined total truck production of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Rivals Ford and General Motors of Canada pooled their engineering design teams to produce a standardized vehicle amenable to mass production, the Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) truck, which served throughout the British Commonwealth. Approximately half of the British Army's transport requirements were supplied from Canadian manufacturers. The British Official History argues that the production of soft-skinned trucks, including the CMP truck class, was Canada's most important contribution to Allied victory.[18]
The Carr Show (11 months ago)
Jesus... Rewriting history one aesthetically pleasing video at a time. Maybe Crash Course could recommend an accurate historical channel in its videos.

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