I tried to search the forum to see if this had been discussed previously, but didn't see anything, so I'd like to throw this question out for discussion or debate. It's largely an academic question, but I think it always relevant to consider the larger context in which specific events occurred. So...from your perspective....when did the Second World War start? To me the answer is not obvious. 1914? 1918? 1931? 1935? 1937? 1939? I think there are arguments for various 'starting points' for WW II, I'm curious to hear various opinions and reasons. I tend to favor 1937 with the onset of the Sino-Japanese conflict (a continuation of the 1931 hostilities?). However, I have also started to see the events of 1914 through 1945 as a second 'Thirty Years War' that started in Europe and went global.