Road to WW2

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  • Causes of WW2
    • Hitler's foreign policy aims
      • Overturn Treat of Versailles
        • Humiliation
        • Nationalism
      • Rid of communism/ Bolshevism
      • Lebensraum in Eastern Europe
        • Resources
        • Unite German speaking people
    • Nazi-Soviet pact- August 1939
      • In April 1939, Britain and France met with Russia to form an alliance against Germany but: Br+Fr did not trust Stalin to resist Germany and they hated communism
      • August 1939: Hitler made the Nazi-Soviet pact with Stalin which was a promise not to go to war for 10 years and to secretly split Poland between them
    • Appeasement
      • Good
        • Hitler was seen as a buffer to the threat of spreading communism
        • it was not certain that British empire and commonwealth states would fight against Germany
        • Wanted to avoid a repeat of WW1 at all costs
        • there was no guarantee that the USA would support Britain in another war
        • The treaty of Versailles was unfair and once they had overcome it, it may be a peaceful nation again
        • Britain needed time to rearm before another war
      • Bad
        • It encouraged Hitler to be aggressive, each time he got away with something, it encouraged him to take a bigger risk
        • It was based on the mistaken view that Hitler was trustworthy- he never stuck to his prommises
        • The USSR became scared by it because Stalin understood that Br+ Fr would not stand in Hitler's ways if he were to invade the USSR
        • It allowed Hitler to become too strong- it was overpowering Br+ Fr
    • The Saar 1935
      • In the Treaty of Versailles, the Saar region of Germany had to be run by the League.
      • In 1935, the promised plebiscite was held and many were made to vote on whether the region should return to Germany
      • The plebiscite was an overwhelming victory for Hitler
    • Remilitarisation of the Rhineland 1936
      • In March 1936, Hitler began moving troops into the Rhineland area of Germany. the militarization was prohibited in the Treaty
      • Gamble for Germany because he would have faced humiliation and lost the support of the German army if they were told to remove
      • Germany claimed it was under threat as France had just signed a treaty with the USSR to protect each other from Germany
      • The League was too busy in the Abyssinian crisis at the time and condemned Hitler's actions but did not have the power to do anything else
      • The German army was weak which France did not know about and they therefore didn't get involved. SUCCESS FOR GERMANY
    • Anschluss 1938
      • Austrian people were mainly German and Hitler was confident that many would support the union because their country was so economically weak. there was also a strong Nazi party
      • Schuschnigg was pressurized to agree to Anschlussso he asked Br+Fr for help but was refused it so a plebiscite was called
      • Under the eye of German troops, 99.75% of people voted for the union and without any military confrontation from Br+Fr
    • Spanish Civil war 1936-39 effects in Europe
      • The war resulted in a sense of division between left and right in Europe
      • Increased anti-war optimism in Europe and European countries began to think that war was very likely
      • The terror increased among civilians as the destructive power of bombs and weapons increased
    • Sudetenland Crisis 1938
      • 12-13 September: Nazis demand union with Germany and when Czech government declares martial war, Hitler threatens war
      • 15 September: Berchtesgaden, Chamberlain offers all areas in the sudetenlandwhere more than 50% of the population are German and persuades France to agree
      • 22-23 September: Chamberlain goes to Bad Godesberg to discuss the decision but Hitler now demands the whole of the Sudetenland, Chamberlain refuses, it looks as if war is inevitable
      • 30 September: At Munich, Chamberlain agrees to give Hitler the |Sudetenland with a promise that they will not go to war- APPEASEMENT
    • Czechoslovakia Crisis 1939
      • 15th March, German troops marched into Czechoslovakia, this was the end of appeasement
      • Proved that Hitler had been lying at Munich
      • Showed that Hitler was not just interested in German speaking people as the Czechs were not German
      • 31st March: Chamberlain agreed to defend Poland if Germany attacked it
    • Poland 1939
      • Hitler invades Poland as promised under the Nazi-Soviet pact
      • Chamberlain defends Poland and WW2 HAS BEGUN 1st September

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