This topic will look at the following events/issues <ul><li>Hitler’s aims </li></ul><ul><li>Steps to World War Two </li></ul><ul><li>The policy of ‘Appeasement’ </li></ul><ul><li>The Nazi/Soviet Pact </li></ul><ul><li>Why did Britain and France declare war on Germany in 1939? </li></ul><ul><li>How far was Hitler’s foreign policy to blame for the outbreak of war in 1939? </li></ul>
January 1933 – Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor (Primeminister) of Germany A strong leader declared to the German people that he would restore German pride, rebuild their shattered country and have vengeance for the Treaty of Versailles.
Hitler’s aims Abolish the Treaty of Versailles ‘ The Versailles Treaty is worthless. 60 million German hearts and minds are on fire with anger and shame. They will cry out we want war!’ Destroy Communism ‘ The menace of Russia hangs over Germany. All our strength is needed to rescue our nation from this international snake’’ Lebensraum ‘ It will be the duty of German foreign policy to get large spaces to feed and house the growing population of her. Destiny points us towards Russia.’ Re-build Germany’s armed forces Create a ‘ Greater Germany’ Anschluss with Austria. Hitler believed that they belonged together’
<ul><li>German Army limited to </li></ul><ul><li>Germany had to pay reparations to allies </li></ul><ul><li>Accept war guilt </li></ul><ul><li>Germany lost % of its territories and colonies </li></ul><ul><li>The Rhineland was demilitarised </li></ul><ul><li>Anschluss (union) with Austria was forbidden </li></ul><ul><li>Germans were forced to live in Czechoslavakia (the Sudentenland) and Poland (including Danzig) </li></ul>100,000 6.6 Billion 13 Abolish the Treaty of Versailles! Thought that the Treaty of Versailles was unjust and humiliating
Lebensraum <ul><li>Germany's future, Hitler declared, entirely depended on meeting its need for more Lebensraum -living space; the German nation had a right to a larger share of land. The question was where the space could be acquired "at the lowest cost." The answer lay not in overseas colonies but in Europe itself, "in immediate proximity to the Reich." </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler’s ‘Greater Germany’ would have a population of over 85 million </li></ul><ul><li>Germany’s land would be insufficent to feed this many people </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler intended to expand Eastwards towards Poland and Russia. Russians and Poles were Slavs – Hitler believed them to be inferior and so Germany was entitled to take their land. </li></ul>
Destroy Communism! <ul><li>Hitler believed that the Bolsheviks helped cause German defeat in World War One </li></ul><ul><li>Feared Bolshevik take over </li></ul><ul><li>Thought that they were inferior </li></ul>
Step One – Austria 1934 Hitler persuaded Austrian Nazis to stir up trouble in Austria They took over the Chancery and shot Chancellor Dollfuss dead Hitler offered to send German troops in ‘to keep peace ’ Mussolini of Italy did not like Hitler at this stage Sent Italian troops up to the border with Austria – clear threat to fight if Hitler moved German troops in Hitler had not built up German Army enough to take on Italy yet – he backed down This showed that Hitler could be stopped by force Failed attempt at Austrian Anschluss
Step Two Re-armament As soon as he came to power, Hitler began breaking the Treaty of Versailles by re-arming Germany He began in secret – e.g. setting up the ‘ German Gliding Club’ to train pilots. Also in 1935 he introduced CONSCRIPTION, increased spending on arms and said the German Army would increase to 500,000 men. In 1935 Germany signed Anglo-German naval agreement. German navy limited to 35% of British. In 1935 he abandoned secrecy & announced the creation of the new German Luftwaffe .
He needed larger armies to protect Germany, and large armies also provided jobs and solved unemployment problems caused by The Great Depression. Reasons and Reactions Britain sympathized with Germany, believing that the Treaty of Versailles had been too unfair on them. They also believed that a strong Germany would act as a barrier against Communism. The French were angry with Britain, but there was little they could do. No Action taken
Step Three The Saar Plebiscite in 1935 Saar coalfields had been under League of Nations control since Treaty of Versailles Treaty of Versailles said after 15 years Saarlanders could decide by plebiscite whether to join Germany Massive majority (90%) voted to go back to Germany Easy success for Hitler... and perfectly legal
Step Four Remilitarisation of the Rhineland The Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany to have any troops or fortifications in the Rhineland area, bordering France. On March 7 th 1936 Hitler took a huge gamble and ordered German troops to march into the Rhineland. This directly broke the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. They had secret sealed orders to retreat if Britain or France objected. Hitler had ordered his generals, commanding 22,000 men, to retreat if France showed any signs of retaliation. This did not occur. German soldiers and armed policemen marched straight into the Rhineland.
Hitler got away with it! Reasons and Reactions France and Russia had made a treaty to protect each other from Germany. Hitler said that he should be allowed to place troops on his own frontier. France was going through an internal political crisis at the time and there was no political leadership to concentrate against Nazi Germany. Britain generally supported the view that Nazi Germany was only going into her own "backyard" and that this section of Versailles did not need to be enforced in the mid-1930’s. It was believed that Germany was behaving in a reasonable and understandable manner.
Step Five Anschluss with Austria (1938) Hitler had now allied with Mussolini, after Mussolini was angered by League of Nations sanctions on Italy after the invasion of Abyssinia Hitler told Austrian Nazis to stir up trouble in Vienna again Then he put pressure on chancellor Schuschnigg to invite German troops in to keep peace Schuschnigg gambled & called for a plebiscite, hoping Austrians would say no, and make it impossible for Hitler to invade. Hitler did not wait, moved his troops to the border of Austria and threatened to invade if Schuschnigg did not resign.. Schuschnigg forcibly resigned and a Nazi supporter replaced him. Hitler’s troops marched into Austria four days before the plebiscite, and used German troops to ‘supervise’ the voting. Not surprisingly he got a 99.75% vote in favour of Austria joining Germany. Anschluss achieved!
Reasons and Reactions There were lots of German people living in Austria and Hitler said the people of Austria wanted to unite with Germany. Austria was economically weak and Hitler promised to solve this problem. France and Britain refused to help Austria. The British prime Minister Neville Chamberlain felt the Treaty of Versailles was wrong and that Austria and Germany should be united. This was justified by the fact that they were both German speaking nations. Hitler was now even more convinced that Britain and France would not Stand in his way in the future.
Step Six Spanish Civil War 1936-39 In 1936 civil war broke out in Spain between the right wing Nationalists and the left wing Republicans The world promised not to intervene, but Hitler decided to send help to the nationalists He did this so that he could train his men in his new techniques, especially using Blitzkrieg. German troops, aircraft and military advisors helped General Franco to win this war. THE DIVE BOMBING OF GUERNICA IN 1937 Was a turning point for Britain and France – they saw what air warfare could do – made many consider Appeasement
Step Seven Sudentenland 1938 The Sudetenland contained 2 million German speakers They had NEVER been part of Germany (Austrian before 1919) Hitler demanded ‘self-government’ for the Sudeten Germans The Czechs were outraged… Chamberlain hesitated… Chamberlain flew to Germany twice & agreed Then Mussolini called a conference at Munich Hitler then demanded that the Sudetenland be given to Germany The Czechs were not invited! Britain, France, Italy & Germany agreed to give the Sudetenland to Germany Appeasement in Action! Appeasement in Action!
Sudetenland Continued – The ‘Peace of Paper’ At Munich, Chamberlain and Hitler signed a separate treaty. It promised that Britain and Germany would never go to war with each other again… It means “Peace in our Time” It’s just a piece of paper – the old man wanted my autograph so I gave it to him
Step Eight – Czechoslovakia March 1939 Hitler promised at Munich that he did not want any more land In March 1939 Germany invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia No excuses! Czechoslovakia was an independent state, it had no German minority GB & France finally get the message! They guarantee to defend Poland if it is attacked Stalin panics! He thinks GB & France are letting Hitler move east to attack him! Decides to buy time to re-build shattered Red Army…
Step Nine – Nazi-Soviet Pact August 1939 I can’t invade Poland if Britain & France attack me in the West AND the USSR attacks me from the East I can’t fight Germany yet – I’ve just purged my Red Army! And Britain & France won’t help ME! So… They signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact They promised not to attack each other In secret they promised to divide Poland between them All clear for Hitler to invade...
Step Ten – Invasion of Poland September 1939 1 st September – Germany invades Poland Britain and France give 48 hrs to withdraw 3 rd September – Britain and France declare war on Germany
CRASHING IVIL WAR IN SPAIN NSCHLUSS WITH AUSTRIA UDENTENLAND CRISIS ITLER TAKES OVER REST OF CZECHOSLAVAKIA TALY AND GERMANY FORM PACT AZI-SOVIET PACT ERMANY INVADE POLAND E-OCCUPATION OF THE RHINELAND
Was Appeasement the right policy? It was the wrong policy because it encouraged Hitler. It was the right policy because Britain was not ready for war.
Why did war break out in Europe in 1939? It was all Hitler’s fault. He planned it step by step. It wasn’t Hitler’s fault. He was a gambler, not a planner ..