Factors for the Outbreak of War: 1939, The Failure of the League of…
Factors for the Outbreak of War: 1939
Appeasement was a way to handle Hitler from Britain.
Although in hindsight we can see how wrong the move was, we cannot simply blame Chamberlain. At the time, there were various reasons why appeasement was justifiable.
However, it was a mistake nonetheless and we can see how everything Hitler had planned was turning into reality. He was getting everything he wanted without much resistance from the other side.
He had taken the policy of appeasement as granted and so when Britain and France threatened him about the incoming war, he simply assumed they were all false promises. Much to his misfortune, that was when the policy of appeasement ended and plunged Germany into war against Britain and France.
Hitler's Foreign Policy & Actions
He wished to ratify the ToV. He did so by rearming, introduced conscription and grew his army. Britain allowed most of this as per the policy of Appeasement and Chamberlain agreed that the treaty was too harsh on Germans.
He wanted to expand German territory by invading other countries and make more 'living space' or 'lebensraum' for his fellow Germans.
He also wished to defeat Communism, one of the reasons why Britain let him continue his policies- they were both against Communism and Chamberlain believed Hitler could be a buffer against it.
Hitler wasn't stopped when he put his plans into motion. He remilitarized Rhineland, took over the Sudetenland, signed a pact with Mussolini and Japan, and even took over Austria as Anschluss
The Treaties after the First World War
The treaties, especially the Treaty of Versailles caused great disruption among the countries of Europe.
Several people believed it to be fair, but there were many who thought that it was simply too harsh on countries, such as Germany.
The treaties left the countries who had lost feeling extremely horrified, embarrassed and disgusted. Similarly, the victors were very dissatisfied with the treaties.
The Failure of the League of Nations
The League of Nations was an organisation meant to maintain peace and stability; however, they were successful only to an extent.
The main leaders- Britain and France, themselves, didn't believe that the League would be a success. They didn't have faith in the organisation. Perhaps this is why things didn't work out so.
They were unable to take quick and swift actions in various serious crises, such as the Abyssinian Crisis, the Spanish War and they were unable to prioritize Hitler's actions sooner.
The Economic Depression
The Economic Depression hit Europe in the 1930s.
It plunged the already struggling countries into even more debt and regression. The economies were falling, unemployment rates soared and hyperinflation was common.
Money was only a virtual simulation for most people. It didn't have any worth anymore. The economic depression left several people stranded and the economies of various countries seemed to be regressing even further.
The Nazi-Soviet Pact
The Nazi-Soviet Pact was a way for Hitler to ensure he would not have to face a war on two fronts while invading Poland, and a way for Stalin to gain time to rearm himself from Germany.
This helped Hitler invade Poland much more easily and gave him the guarantee that he would not have to face war on two fronts
If Stalin hadn't signed the pact, Hitler might have had to face a war against Stalin and one against Britain and France. He was not prepared to fight such a war against two fronts.
The Failure of the League of Nations
I believe this to have the most weight-age out of all of them. If the League had taken actions quickly and without hesitating, they would have weakened Germany's allies greatly, such as Mussolini, in the Abyssinian Crisis ad Japan.
Additionally, if the League had worked together and decided their actions without several time skips and arguments, they would have been very strong together. The League was designed to maintain peace. So, if all the countries had been fair, unbiased and compromising with each other, they could have easily assessed and controlled each crises after the First World War.
Furthermore, I would like to add that there was lots of mistrust and tension within the League itself. This mistrust and tension fueled the distance between each country to grow, and none of them were able to peacefully discuss and sort things out. Their only last resolve was to go to war.
Therefore, I believe that the failure of the League played a great role in the collapse of international peace