Why had international peace collapsed by 1939?, How far was Hitler’s…
Why had international peace collapsed by 1939?
How far was Hitler’s foreign policy to blame for the outbreak of war in 1939?
remilitarisation of the Rhineland
involvement in the Spanish Civil War (1936)
test his troops for the first time → confidence
strengthened bonds between Hitler and Mussolini (were both on Franco's side, opposed to the USSR, Britain and France who supported the republicans)
Britain & France sent weapons but avoided involvement in the war at all costs
gave Hitler confidence → knew appeasement would work
saw the horrors of war and didn't want them for themselves → would do anything to prevent the outbreak of ww2 → appeasement
Anschluss with Austria
crisis over Czechoslovakia and Poland
september 15 1938 → Hitler met with Chamberlain
Hitler claimed he only wanted parts of the sudatenland, and only if a plebiscite showed the population wanted it
may 1938 → Hitler said he had no intentions of taking over Czechoslovakia
september 19 1938 → Hitler changed his mind → he wanted all of the sudatenland
the British followed France's decision to support Czechoslovakia
Germany, Britain and France met
decided all of the sudatenland should go to Germany
the french were bound by a treaty to protect Czechoslovakia if they were invaded
– the outbreak of war.
axis pact (1937)
1936 → Germany & Japan signed it
1937 → Italy joined
allies → Hitler's confidence increased (especially for Anschluss)
What were the long-term consequences of the peace treaties of 1919–23?
the Saar plebiscite (TOV)
after being administered by the league for 15 years, a plebiscite was held in the Saar in 1935 to determine whether it would go to France or Germany
90% of the population voted for Germany
This increased Hitler's morale & confidence, as he got what he wanted without investing any resources (army, money)
this was entirely legal within the terms of the treaty, but it had a positive effect on Hitler's plans
Germany's armed forces were to be severely limited (TOV)
German armed forces in 1932
German armed forces in 1939
naval pact with Britain (1935)
Germany's navy could grow up to 35% of Britain's navy
The Rhineland was to become a demilitarized zone (TOV, 1919 and Locarno Treaties, 1925)
remilitarization of the Rhineland, march 1936
Was supportive of Germany rearming, found the TOV too harsh. They thought the remilitarization of the Rhineland was Germany's right: they were "walking into their own backyard"
About to have presidential elections, french leaders feared that an attempt to stop Germany would cost them the election. Also, they didn't want to act without Britain's support
was happening exactly at the same time, and the LON was 100% focused on it. They only condemned Hitler's actions.
France - USSR treaty
France & the USSR had signed a treaty to protect each other from any possible German invasion. Hitler argued they felt threatened and wanted to protect themselves by placing troops in their own frontier
if anyone had stopped them, the German troops would have been forced to retreat
Hitler and the German army (a symbol of pride) would've been
Hitler would have lost all support from the German people, and his foreign policy would have ended there
the Sudetenland was to become a state of Czechoslovakia (TOV)
the Polish corridor given to Poland (TOV)
Anschluss forbidden (TOV)
first attempt → 1934, Mussolini stopped Hitler
second attempt → 1938, Mussolini and Hitler were now allies (due to Spanish civil war & axis pact)
Hitler encouraged Nazis to stir up trouble
Hitler convinced Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor, that Anschluss would strengthen Austria & put an end to the trouble
strong Nazi party in Austria
a referendum was held for Austrians to decide about Anschluss
Hitler sent his troops to "ensure a fair referendum" → Germany won by 99.75% (suspicious, but many Austrians supported Anschluss and it probably would have won anyways)
Nobody caught Hitler, Britain supported Anschluss → Hitler's confidence continued to increase, realized Britain & France weren't so serious about the treaty
What were the consequences of the failures of the League in the 1930s?
collapse of the league of nations disarmament conference
Germany was the only one being forced to disarm, despite being in the league for six years and the Locarno Treaties had been signed
for a rapid and risky rearmament
secure borders of the nations of Europe after the First World War =
peaceful international relations
ensure the permanent demilitarization of the Rhineland =
allow Germany into the League of Nations =
was treated equally
great powers were divided
Britain and Germany had signed a pact in 1935, allowing Germany's navy to grow up to 35% of Britain's navy
Germany promised not to rearm
if "in five years all nations destroyed their arms" but this plan
, so later that same year,
Hitler withdrew from the disarmament conference
, and soon after, from the league of nations
Was the policy of appeasement justified?
How important was the Nazi–Soviet Pact?
Why did Britain and France declare war on Germany in September 1939?