KQ3: The Collapse of International Peace by 1939 [COMPLETED] (What caused…
KQ3: The Collapse of International Peace by
Hitler’s main foreign policy plans
Abolish the Treaty of Versailles
a constant reminder of German humiliation that
had been signed by the ‘November Criminals’.
Expand German territory
regain territory lost in 1919;
unite with Austria
absorb German-speaking minorities in other countries,
carve out an empire in eastern Europe in order to provide extra
‘living space’ for the expanding German population
Hitler hated communism
Keep pushing his luck to see how much he could get away with
What measures did Hitler take to achieve German re-armament?
Re-armament began in secret at first, then continued more openly
1934 League of Nations disarmament conference collapsed.
1935 Hitler staged a massive rally, celebrating the German armed forces.
1935 Anglo-German naval agreement - Germany builds up naval strength to 35% of Royal Navy
• 1936 Conscription re-introduced, breaking the Versailles Treaty.
• Thousands of unemployed workers drafted into the army
• Armaments spending increases from 7.4% in 1935 to 23% in 1939.
30 warships in 1932 increased to 95 warships in 1939.
• 36 military aircraft in 1932 increased to 8,250 in 1939.
• 100,000 soldiers in 1932 increased to 950,000 in 1939.
why was Hitler allowed to get away with re-armement
Re-armament began in secret
Many other countries were using re-armament to help tackle unemployment.
the collapse of the 1934 conference suggested nations weren't serious about disarmement - so why should germany be?
Britain had some sympathy with Germany when it claimed that the disarmament clauses of the Versailles Treaty had been too harsh.
A militarily strong Germany would be a buffer against the Communist threat from
main developments in Hitler’s expansionist foreign policy
1935 Saar Plebiscite
90% voted to return to German rule,
Entirely legal, and a boost to Hitler’s prestige.,
rich coal-mining area
success for Hitler
1936 Re-militarisation of the Rhineland
a gamble that paid off.
France had just
signed a treaty with the USSR to protect each other against Germany
Hitler argued that Germany was under threat and should be allowed to place troops on her own frontier
the French would not act without British support;
the League issued a
1938 The Anschluss with Austria
Hitler stated in Mein Kampf that he wanted to
create a Greater Germany and to overthrow the Treaty of Versailles.
Austria’s soldiers, weapons and its rich deposits of gold, iron ore and salt would be added to Germany’s increasingly strong army and industry to make it more powerful
easier to do now that Hitler and Mussolini were allies
Chamberlain felt that it should be allowed and that
Versailles had been wrong to forbid it;
In 1934 Hitler used the Austrian Nazi Party
to put pressure on the Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss.
In 1934 the Austrian Nazi Party murdered Dollfuss during an attempted takeover.
In 1938 Hitler encouraged the Nazis to stir up trouble for the Austrian government.
They staged demonstrations calling for union with Germany and caused riots.
Hitler told the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg that only Anschluss could solve the problems
German troops marched in in March to guarantee a troublefree
plebiscite on the issue, and under the eye of the Nazi troops 99.75% of Germans and Austrians voted for it.
Part of Czechoslovakia was the Sudetenland where
3,500,000 German-speaking people lived.
One of Hitler’s aims was to unite
Konrad Henlein, leader of the Nazis in the Sudetenland,
stirred up trouble and demanded to be part of Germany;
Hitler said that Germans
in the Sudetenland were being mistreated by the Czechs,
International tension rose and war
but after several meetings, the leaders of Germany, Britain, France
and Italy agreed at Munich to transfer the Sudetenland to Germany;
said this policy of Appeasement would mean ‘peace for our time’.
It was an Agreement signed by Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain
and Daladier on 29th September, 1938.
Italy and France guaranteed the rest of Czechoslovakia.
It took away most of the Czech defences.
made iteasier to take the rest of Czechoslovakia.
1939 Invasion of CzechoSlovakia
March 1939, with Czechoslovakia in
chaos, German troops took over the rest of the country, with no resistance
Britain and France did nothing, except warn Hitler that if he invaded
Poland they would declare war on Germany.
It was clear that Appeasement was
1939 Invasion of Poland
by the Nazi-Soviet Pact Hitler and Stalin decided to
divide Poland between them, and German troops invaded on 1 September 1939.
Why did Britain and France fail to resist the Anschluss?
This did not seem to be a strong enough reason to take military
Britain and France were not ready for war.
The two powers could not agree
and France would not take action without Britain.
There were those who thought the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh on Germany
and that there should be the Anschluss.
Why, by 1936, was Italy a threat to world peace?
In Italy economic problems encouraged Mussolini to try to build an overseas
empire to distract people’s attention away from the difficulties
In 1935 he invaded Abyssinia and refused to obey the League of Nations by
Italy was a leading member of the League.
Mussolini challenged the authority of the
The lack of decisive action by the League over Mussolini meant he
became more confident.
In 1936, Mussolini supported Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
With the arrival of Hitler’s troops and
weapons in Spain, the three dictators increased tension in European affairs.
In 1936, Mussolini and Hitler cemented their friendship with the signing of the
Rome-Berlin Axis. This was to bear fruit in the future over Munich and the War.
Why, by 1937, was Japan a threat to world peace?
Japan had been a permanent member of the League of Nations when it was set up,
her actions in the 1930s constantly undermined the League and her aggression
threatened world peace
In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria, which was completely
against the League’s aim to prevent aggression.
Japan took over provinces in north China between 1933 and 1936.
to obey the League of Nations and left.
Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact.
Why was Hitler involved in the Spanish Civil War?
Hitler believed in the Nationalist views expressed by Franco.
Hitler hoped to gain raw materials for his armaments industry, such as iron, copper,
mercury and pyrites.
Hitler wanted to try out all his military forces and test blitzkrieg tactics. He used
carpet bombing for the first time
Hitler hoped to divert British and French attention from Central and Eastern
Europe when planning his eastern expansion.
How did Germany get involved in Spanish Civil War
Hitler supported the Nationalists from late July, 1936.
He sent transport planes so
Franco could move his troops and equipment from Morocco to Spain.
At the end
of 1936, Hitler set up the Condor Legion, which was to assist Franco in Spain.
troops tried out new tactics such as carpet bombing and Blitzkrieg
Hitler sent 2 pocket battleships, a cruiser, torpedo
boats and U-boats.
Hitler sent a considerable amount of food, fuel and weapons.
Aid had added up to £43 million by May 1939.
What happened in Guernica in April 1937?
Guernica was bombed. Germany used the Luftwaffe/Condor Legion.
civilians were killed.
The Germans were attacking to support the efforts of Franco.
The Germans used blitzkrieg tactics.
The town was devastated with waves of
Planes bombed and strafed targets in Guernica.
The Germans used
thermite as an incendiary to create a firestorm in the centre of the town.
The attack was a test for the German air force.
How significant was German involvement in the Spanish Civil War 1936-39?
It was an opportunity for Hitler to fight against Communism,
It gave Hitler the opportunity to try out his new armed forces in combat conditions
It gave Hitler something in common with Mussolini,
What was the significance of the Anti-Comintern Pact 1936-37?
Hitler and Mussolini realised they had much in common with the military
dictatorship in Japan.
1936 Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact
1937 Italy signed the Pact, which became known as the Axis Alliance.
The aim of the Pact was to limit the influence of Communism around the world,
and was aimed especially at the USSR.
Why did Britain and France follow a policy of Appeasement in the 1930s?
Some admired Hitler for standing up to Communism
more worried about the threat of Stalin to world peace than the threat of Hitler.
A strong Germany could be a buffer against Communism
The British Empire
It was not certain that the British Empire and Commonwealth
(e.g. Canada, Australia) would all support Britain in a war against Germany.
The Great War
Britain and France were desperate to avoid another war like the
First World War - at almost any cost.
American leaders were determined not to be dragged into another war,
so Britain and France were reluctant to fight Germany
many felt the Versailles Treaty had been unfair on Germany, and
assumed that once this was put right Germany would want to be a peaceful nation
Britain and France were still suffering from the Great
Depression, with large debts and unemployment,
many felt that this should
have a higher priority than tackling Hitler.
Why were Britain and France prepared to sign the Munich Agreement?
Britain and France wanted to avoid war at all costs.
Many Conservatives thought that the communist threat from Russia was a greater
danger than Hitler.
British military chiefs told Chamberlain that Britain was not strong enough to fight
against Hitler and their assessment was that France was weak and divided
Chamberlain realised he needed time to speed up British rearmament.
What criticisms can be made of the policy of Appeasement?
It encouraged Hitler to be aggressive
It put too much faith in Hitler’s promises
It allowed Germany to become too strong
Britain misjudged Hitler’s ruthlessness because he broke agreements and he was
willing to use force.
If war had broken out in October 1938, Britain and France would have had the
support of the 36 divisions of the Czech army
It alarmed the USSR
how was Apeasement justifiable?
Supporters of Chamberlain said it was the only option available.
He wanted to
avoid going to war again at all costs
Standing up to Hitler would have meant war with Germany - but evidence available
to Chamberlain showed that Britain was not ready for this.
The British armed forces were badly equipped and had fallen behind the Germans.
It was important to delay war because Britain was not ready to fight Germany and it
gave Britain time to re-arm.
Britain needed time to convince the Empire that they
should support another war.
Public opinion was in favour of Appeasement.
By the 1930s many people thought that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh
Why did Hitler and Stalin sign the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939?
The USSR had joined the League of Nations in 1934, hoping it would guarantee
security against Germany,
but the Abyssinian Crisis demonstrated the
powerlessness of the League.
Stalin saw that Britain and France had not resisted German re-armament, and some
welcomed a stronger Germany as a force to fight communism
The Munich Agreement increased Stalin’s fears - he was not consulted, and thought
it demonstrated Britain and France’s powerlessness to stop Hitler,
Britain, France and Russia entered negotiations in 1939, but Chamberlain would
not commit Britain to an alliance.*
France and Britain guaranteed to help Poland if it was invaded - Stalin interpreted
this as support for one of the USSR’s enemies
Stalin also had designs on large areas of Poland and wanted to take over the Baltic
states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), which he knew he could not do if he had to fight GER
Stalin probably did not believe that Hitler would stick to the pact forever, but knew
it would give him time to build up Soviet forces against the German attack
Why was the Nazi-Soviet Pact important?
The Pact gave Stalin
time to build up his military strength.
The Pact was the final cause of war as Hitler could now invade Poland without
interference from Stalin.
Although Hitler hated communism, he was determined to avoid war on two fronts
Why did Britain go to war over Poland?
Britain no longer trusted Hitler.
Hitler ignored Britain’s ultimatum
Britain had no choice but to go to war over Poland.
Britain had guaranteed they
would preserve the independence of Poland
What caused the outbreak of war in 1939?
Hitler left the League, began re-arming, re-occupied the Rhineland and united with
This showed his determination to increase his power in Europe and avenge
the Treaty of Versailles, which meant war
Hitler went too far with his aggressive foreign policy.
He could not justify the
occupation of Czechoslovakia or Poland.
Hitler had pushed them to war.
The British felt that Germany had been harshly treated at Versailles and began to
Desperate to avoid war, Britain and France responded to Hitler’s
demands with a policy of appeasement.
Britain and France followed a policy of
appeasement in the mistaken belief that eventually Hitler would be satisfied
did not realise until too late that he would never be satisfied
The League of Nations’ main weapon was sanctions.
t was unwilling to impose
meaningful ones against powerful countries such as Italy.
France stopped working through the League
Increased militarism definitely contributed to the likelihood of war.
Worries about increased
numbers of weapons and troops increased tension
The Nazi-Soviet Pact was a cause of war.
Was Hitler a planner or an opportunist
As early as 1924, Hitler had laid out in his book Mein Kampf what he would do if
the Nazis ever achieved power.
Hitler explained that he expected to get back land lost at Versailles, unite with
Austria and create lebensraum for Germans
In March 1936, Hitler remilitarised the Rhineland. The League’s attention was on
the Abyssinian affair,
Hitler sensed that Britain thought the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh and was
willing to be lenient.