WORLD WAR II: THE PRICE OF EMPIRE tells the tale of two wars, fought at the same time, roughly on opposite sides of the same planet and often, wrongly, labeled as though a single war. Two wars remade the political map of the world - the Wars of East ("The War of Resistance Against Japan") and West. In many respects these two wars arose from the unresolved issues of a third. Between 1914 and 1918 two armed alliances had fought each other to a virtual standstill. Losses had been enormous. That was the First World War. In September 1939, just 20 years after the peace treaties had been signed, war consumed the world again. The final aggressive action of Hitler's Germany, the invasion of Poland, was a step too far for even the appeasing powers and they took up arms. This was the War of the West. But this was not the start of the Second World War. It was the start of a continental war that pitched Allies against Axis, but on the other side of the world the fight against Japanese expansion had been raging for several years. This was the War of the East.