<ul><li>What foreign policy actions did Hitler take after he came to power? </li></ul><ul><li>• How did Britain and France respond to Germany’s actions? </li></ul>Learning Objectives
“‘ The German Question’ can be solved only by means of force, and this is never without risk.” Austria and Czechoslovakia
Austria The world did nothing <ul><li>Austria’s 6 million Germans wanted unification </li></ul><ul><li>March 1938: German troops take Austria unopposed </li></ul><ul><li>Anschluss , or “union” is complete </li></ul>
Czechoslovakia Hitler sought the western border regions of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland . <ul><li>Hitler claims Czech atrocities against Sudeten Germans </li></ul><ul><li>German troops mass against border </li></ul><ul><li>France and Great Britain will protect Czechoslovakia </li></ul>This is my “last territorial demand.” We Germans need more living space.
Czechoslovakia <ul><li>France and British officials meet with Hitler in Munich </li></ul><ul><li>Agree to give Hitler Sudetenland if he promises to stop taking countries </li></ul><ul><li>Sept. 1938: Munich Agreement </li></ul>Neville Chamberlain , British Prime Minister SUCKERS! “ My friends, there has come back from Germany peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time.”
Winston Churchill Disagrees with Chamberlain Appeasement “ Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.”
Winston Churchill on Appeasement “ [W]e have passed an awful milestone in our history. . . . And do not suppose that this is the end. . . . This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless, by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” What was appeasement, and why did Churchill oppose it so strongly?
Czechoslovakia March 1939: Hitler Seizes the rest of Czechoslovakia “ Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist.”
Nonaggression pact France and Britain promise to defend Poland if attacked. <ul><li>Aug. 23, 1939: Germany and Soviet Union promise not to attack each other. (Poland is buffer zone) </li></ul><ul><li>Secret Treaty: Both countries will divide Poland </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler doesn’t have to worry about two-front war when he attacks Poland on Sept. 1 </li></ul>
Stalin and the Nonaggression Pact <ul><li>Shocked Communists and Soviet sympathizers </li></ul><ul><li>Freed Stalin to prepare his country for war without fear of German invasion </li></ul><ul><li>For 2 years Soviets built arms and trained soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>Without prep time Soviets may not have been able to withstand German military </li></ul>
Blitzkrieg <ul><li>Shock and Awe </li></ul><ul><li>Fast tanks and powerful aircraft. </li></ul><ul><li>Take enemy by surprise. </li></ul><ul><li>Crush opposition quickly with overwhelming force </li></ul><ul><li>September 3: Great Britain and France declare war on Germany </li></ul><ul><li>Three weeks later: Major fighting over before GB and France could defend </li></ul><ul><li>Soviets attack Poland from the east, grabbing its territory </li></ul>BLITZKRIEG IN POLAND <ul><li>German Luftwaffe: Air Force bombs Polish military bases, airfields, railroads, and cities. </li></ul><ul><li>German tanks raced across the Polish countryside, spreading terror and confusion. </li></ul>September 1, 1939 Military strategy: “ Lightening War”
Phony War <ul><li>Following Poland’s defeat, French and British troops stare down German soldiers across the Maginot Line </li></ul><ul><li>After taking Eastern Poland, Stalin annexes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland </li></ul><ul><li>April 1940 : Hitler takes Denmark and Norway (Naval Bases to attack GB) </li></ul><ul><li>May 1940 : Hitler takes the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg </li></ul><ul><li>Phony War ends summer of 1940 </li></ul>Maginot Line From Blitzkrieg to Sitzkrieg “ Sitting War”
France Falls Shocker!! Maginot Line: Let’s Go ‘round it. <ul><li>German army bypasses line by going through Belgium, then marches toward Paris from the North </li></ul><ul><li>Italy enters war on side of Axis, invades France from the south </li></ul><ul><li>June 1940: France Surrenders </li></ul><ul><li>Germans hold northern France </li></ul><ul><li>Vichy Gov’t in South (German puppet gov’t.) </li></ul><ul><li>French General Charles de Gaulle fled to England, sets up French gov’t in exile. </li></ul>
Battle of Britain Summer/Fall 1940 <ul><li>Every night for two solid months, 2,600 German bombers pounded London. </li></ul><ul><li>Brits had new technology: Radar: One night RAF shot down 185 planes </li></ul><ul><li>After two months, Hitler calls off attack indefinitely </li></ul><ul><li>Churchill on the RAF: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” </li></ul>Hitler knew his navy was no match for Britain's. Objective : destroy Brits from the sky
“ [W]e shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” -- Winston Churchill, May 1940
Hitler’s deceptions included: charging the Czechs with abusing Sudeten Germans; claiming that Sudetenland was his last territorial demand; accusing Poles of brutalizing Germans; signing a secret pact with the Soviet Union dividing Poland; justifying the invasion of Denmark and Norway as necessary to safeguard his plans. To what extent do you think lies and deception played a role in Hitler’s tactics?
Blitzkrieg The first stage featured the use of Stuka; a tactic designed to create shock and to immobilize the enemy. Tactical dive-bombers pounded enemy positions, disrupted communications, and compromised troops’ mobility. Flanking infantry and motorized tank attacks followed. Skilled in ground combat and the use of tanks, the Germans could quickly outmaneuver and overpower the resistance.
Joseph Goebbels : Master propagandist of the Nazi regime and dictator of its cultural life for twelve years. Hermann Goering : Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe