Why had international peace collapsed by 1939?

Revision notes on the causes of the second world war.

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  • Created on: 25-04-09 13:14
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Why had international peace collapsed by 1939?
Abolish the TOV:
November Criminals.
Reminder of defeat.
Expand German Territory:
Lebensraum ­ wanted more living space for Germans.
Wanted Germany to unite with Austria.
Wanted German minorities in other countries e.g. Czechoslovakia to be united under one
Wanted to strengthen Germany.
Defeat Communism:
Thought that Bolsheviks had helped defeat Germany in WW1.
Believed Bolsheviks wanted to take over Germany.
Solution to unemployment.
Strengthen Germany.
Challenges TOV.
Leaves disarmament conference in 1933 ­ begins rearming in secret.
Leaves League.
1934 ­ Disarmament Conference collapses ­ getting away with it ­ many other countries
using conscription to get rid of unemployment.
1935 ­ huge public military rally ­ celebrating armed forces.
March ­ conscription introduced.
June 1935 ­ Anglo-German naval agreement (35% of British Navy).
Boosted support for Hitler.
French angry that Germany is rearming.
Huge army, navy and airforce.
The Saar Plebiscite:
Saar region had been run by the League since 1919.
1935 ­ plebiscite to see whether or not they should be returned to Germany.
Success for Hitler ­ confidence.
More men/resources.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland:
TOV forbade this.
March 1936 ­ marches in ­ breaks TOV and Locarno Pact ­ reveals weakness of LON.
GB and France preoccupied with Abyssinia, think TOV unfair, France in the middle of election
campaign (no leader wanted to propose going to war after WW1) ­ don't act.

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Spanish Civil War:
1936 ­ Civil war in Spain ­ Communists against rebels ­ opportunity to fight communism and
test armed forces.
1937 ­ Germany bombed civilians in Spanish populations ­ League couldn't help.
Destruction of Guernica was the worst.
World horrified at Hitler's actions.
Anti-Comintern Pact:
1936 ­ Japan signed Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany ­ pact to fight communism.
1937 ­ Italy signs.
Germany has allies ­ prepared to go to war ­ Axis alliance.
Russia threatened.…read more

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Everyone sees that Hitler can't be trusted ­ tell Hitler that if he invades Poland they will go to
war ­ years of Appeasement so doesn't believe them.
Nazi-Soviet Pact:
Not convinced that GB and France were strong enough allies against Hitler.
Wanted large sections of Eastern Poland and the Baltic states which had previously been
part of Russia.
Didn't believe Hitler would keep his word BUT wanted time to mobilise army.
Wants Polish Corridor (reunite Germany) but worried about Stalin retaliating.…read more

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Economic problems:
Suffering from the depression.
Large debts and huge unemployment.
Higher priority.
Must not repeat horrors of the Great War:
Wanted to avoid war at any cost.
Not ready for war:
Outdated weapons.
Armed forces not ready.
What was wrong with Appeasement?
Encouraged Hitler to be aggressive:
Each time he got away with something he wanted to take a bigger risk.
Too much trust in Hitler's promises:
Often went back on his promises.
Appeasement was based on the idea that he was trustworthy.…read more


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