Last updated: 7 september, 2009 - 11:59 GMT

World War II: a 'just war'?

Library file picture dated January 1939 of an RAF Fairey Battle light bomber

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

It has been 70 years since the outbreak of World War II.

Fighting began when thousands of German troops invaded Poland on 1 September 1939.

The conflict which ensued spread across the world, and by the time it ended in 1945, an estimated 50 million had died.

But the way in which the war is remembered varies around the world.

In Britain, it's generally seen as a righteous battle against the forces of totalitarianism.

In many of Britain's former colonies though, the picture is very different.

Professor Richard Overy from the University of Exeter and Prof Tapan RayChaudhuri, an expert on Indian History at Oxford University, discuss the different perspectives.

First broadcast 4 September 2009

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.