As I have stated before IMO a World War is defined by fighting over multiple continents and or oceans with involvment of the miltiaries of many nations. Obviously different from you views. Fair enough.
Both RF and lwd have stated many possible starting points for the continental and regional wars that eventually led into or were subsumed into WW2, I think this vagueness is the problem, it causes arguments (which although is good to participate in
) is not clear enough to be definative whereas a more clearer starting point as I've pointed is is very clear.
I am not arguing that the war in China did not lead into WW2 or the Winter War or the Spanish Civil War, they all had factors which ended in WW2, I don't believe they can be classed as World War
simply because at the time they were happening the fighting was localized to a single continent.
Also by including these wars into the overall definition of WW2 it ignores what was considered to be the specific situation at the time (with hindsight if the war in China is considered to be part of WW2 then it ignores what the people at the time thought it was, nobody at the time thought it would eventually result in World War). This neccessarily alters the opinions of amateur historians like us looking at the situation with hindsight, and making judgements etc.
This is getting way off topic I think.