BH - Appeasements + WW2

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- British foireign policy dominated by appeasement, making concessions to aggressive foreign powers to avoid war

- MacDonald + Baldwain + Chamberlain implemented this

- failed due to outbreak of war WW2, though it brought time to rearm and prepare for war

- Dawes Plan and Locarno Treaty created harmony, but economic crisis brought mass unemployment and dwindling markets

- led to extreme right wing governments in Japan, Italy, Germany - to solve economic problems through territorial expansion

- League of Nationas operated Collective Security policy in vain (joint action to keep peace)... it lacked supports and didnt curb aggressors

- Britain and France backed appeasement instead

- Japan successfully incasded Chinese provine of Manchyuria in 1931, Hitler breached Versailles Treaty by introducing conscription in 33 + occupying Rhineland in 35, Mussolini conqured Abyssinia in 35, Hitler carried out Anschluss in 38 and demanded Sudentenland which had German speakers in Cezhoslovakia - Chamberlain agreed to give Hitler this land, Hitler then sent troops to Prague against Chamberlains wishes, Hitler wanted Danzig from Poland and attacked, Hitler agreed on a non-agression pact w/ Russia prompting them to invade Poland

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Why Britain followed appeasements

- to avoidf war w/  aggressive powers, based on devestating financial + human costs of another war

- mid 20s-37 it was vital to avoid war, Britain accepted many breaches of Treaty of Versailles

- Chamberlain in 37 believed in initiative, he'd discover Hitler demands and negotiate rather than threaten with force

- Dawes and Young plan of 1920s tried to conciliate Germans and Locarno Treaties

- Austen Chamberlain remarked no British grenadier would be risked to defend the Polish Corridor, Hitler assumed Britain turned their backs on Eastern Europe

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Justification for appeasement

- it was essential to avoid war, the fear that in future wars British cities and civilians would be at risk

- Britain still in economic crisis couldn't afford major rearmaments

- Public opinion was widely pacifist, and some sympathetic to Germany/Italy - millions of Germans were living in Poland/Czechoslovkia 

- by revising harshest clauses of Versailles Treaty, it would ease German aggression

- League of Nations was useless, Chamberlain believed he could control Hitler/Mussolini and get them to respect international law

- Anglo-German economic co-operation would benefit both 

- Fear of Communist Russia, esp amongst Conservatives -> Hitler Germany v USSR would halt communist expansion

- Britain was unprepared for war, it was best avoided rather than fighting Japan, Italy + Germany... USA were firm on osilation and France was weak... Churchill was against concessions and wanted to build a Grand Alliance w/ Russia if necessary

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Japanese and Manchuria

Japanese invasion of Manchuria 31'

- Chinese appealed to League of Nation, LoN ordered troops to be withdrawn

- some sympathy within Britain, Japan had been involved in South Manchuria since 1890s as a result of Russo-Japanese war

- China were growing stronger and the Japanese were afraid they'd be excluded from there

- They couldn't see themselves gradually squeezed out of a valuable province when they were already suffering economic hardships

- LoN concluded both sides were at fault and proposed it be governed by them

- Japan refused, leaving the LoN  in 33 - no sanctions were raised as Britain had economic problems, a trade boycott could've led to a war esp/ without the isolated USA

- Japan were able to defy the LoN

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World Disarmament Conf 32-34 + Anglo-German Naval

- World Disarmament Conference collapsed when the French refused to agree that the Germans should be allowed equality of armaments

- Germany left the LoN, MacDonalds hopes of peace through disarmament + collective security flopped

- State Relating to Defence - a white paper which announced Britains military strength had to be increased, gradually rearming... this White Paper gave an excuse for Hitler to introduce conscription and build army up

- MacDonald met w/ Mussolini + Laval the French foreign minister... they condemned Hitlers action and promised to resist any further breaches which could endanger peace (Stresa Front) -> Britain avoided discussion of Abyssinia which made Mussolini mean they were turning a blind eye for Italy to attack it

- Hitler realised the weakness of his front, offering to limit German navy to 35% of British navy strength, Britain allowed 45% -> France + Italy wernt consulted and meant Britain condoned Germanys rearmament

- Anglo-German Naval Agreement condoned the breaking of the Treaty of Versailles, and aroused suspicions from Mussolini and outraged Laval

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Invasion of Abyssinia 35'

- Ethiopia last major African territory not under European control, it was a member of LoN... Baldwin wanted to preserve Abyssinian independance whilst avoiding conflict w/ Italy

- it was obvious Mussolini was preparing to invade Abyssinia

- Anthony Eden (Minister of LoN Affairs) made an offer to Mussolini -> part of Abyssinia in exchange for a part of British Somaliland

- Mussolini rejected Edens offer, arguing Italy deserved the same position as Britain in Egypt

- Samuel Hoare at League Assembly, affirming Britain would support the LoN against acts of unprovoked aggression... Mussolini ignored this

- The League under appeals from Haile Selassie, imposed economic sanctions on Italy

- Collective security seemed to be working, so Baldwin held an election sweaing he wouldn't rearm, and the National Government won convincingly

- Post election the sanctions seemed to be failing, Chamberlain suggested further sanctions prevent export of oil + coal... the cabinet rejected this fearing of war

- Hoare-Laval pact emerged, Hoare made a deal w/ Laval, that France hand over a portion of Abyssinia providing military actions ceased... Hoare didnt consult the cabinet about this, and resigned

- Italy conquested Abyssinia by 36, and sanctions were ceased, Collective Security had failed and Mussolini and Hitler became close as Hitler refused sanctions on Italy

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- German troops re-occupied Rhineland, breaching Treaty of Versailles

- Hitler ordered his troops withdraw w/ French opposition, no resistance was offered though

- Hitler was aware of consensus pacifism, and offered a peace treaty for 25 years

- Since Rhineland was originally Germany, military actions wouldnt be well received

- During Spanish Civil War between left wing Republicans + General Franco, Britain-Italy-France-Germany signed an agreement staying neutral... Hitler still sent troops to Franco

- Britain avoided interfering still, though volunteers fought for Republicans, Labour (Atlee) didnt want to asssociate w/ communists 

- Foreign Secretary offered to ressurect Stresa Front, it would recognize Italian Abyssinia in return for withdrawal of troops from Spain -> Mussolini ignored his side of the bargain

- Rome-Berlin Axis in 36, Anti Comintern Pact w/ Japan, Anschluss w/ Austria which breaking ToV again, Britain/France didnt take any action against this

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Hitler and Czechoslavikia

- Hitler aimed to destroy ToV, recover lost territory, and unionise German people in the 3rd reich

- Anschluss achievd this, as well as Sudetenland and Polish terriroties, arguable Hitlers main aim was Lebensraum which would provide food for the German people

- Hitler despised Czechs as this state was created by the Versailles Settlement, arguing 3.6 mil Sudeten Germans were discriminated

- Unemployment was higher among Sudeten Germans, so Nazis organised demonsrations there

- Chamberlain was self confident, he aimed to offer Hitler concessions that would make German invasion uneccessary... Sudeten Germans could be detached from Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain flew to Germany and Hitler seemed to agree... But at the second meeting he demanded entry of German troops to Sudentenland and more of Cezchoslovakia

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Hitler & Czechoslovakia

- Benes refused this second order, and ordered the mobilization of the Czech army

- Hitler invited Chamberlain for a 4 point conference at Munich, Sudetenland handed over to Germany, Germany guarenteed the rest of Czechoslovakia, Czechs & Russians werent invited to the conf, Cezchs told if they resisted they'd receive no help from Britain + France

- Chamberlain signed a statement w/ Hitler at private meeting, Anglo-German renounced warlike intentions against each other and would use consultation to deal w/ issues... Chamberlain saw this as a victory, Cezchoslovakia lost 70% of its heavy industry and Nazis occupied it after pressurising Hacha into requesting for German help to restore order when Slovkia demanded semi-independance

- Britain + France never protested, as they'd entered by invitation

- Churchill saw this coming, Aflred Duff Cooper resigned from cabinet, Chamberlain seemed to misunderstand the man Hitler was

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Hitler and Poland

- Hitler took over Lithuanian port of Memel (largely German)

- Germans resented loss of Danzig and Polish Corridor to Versailles Treaty

- Chamberlain was infuriated by Hitlers occupation of Prague, so promised Polish government if their independance was threatened action would be taken

- Hitler demanded Danzig, and a road + railway from Corrisor to link East Prussia w/ Mainland Germany... Poland was convinced this was a precursor to invasion

- Polish Foreign Minister Beck rejected these demands and refused to attend a conference, Britain urged Poland to surrender Danzid - Beck rejected

- Labour, LG, Churchill pointed out that without military help from Russia, British help to Poland would be fruitless -> Chamberlain detested communism and Poles were nervous of Russia too

- Frustrated Russia eventually signed a non aggression pact w/ Hitler and a partition of Poland between them... with Russians neutral, Hitler was convinced Britain wouldnt intervene and w/ Poland refusing negotiations, decided to invade them

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Britains defences

- Britain in the 30s gradually spent less on armaments

- once Hitler became chancellor, Churchill pressed the gov to build up Britains armaments and air defences

- in 1930 over the next 5 years 820 planes would be built, which Churchill thought was inadequate -> Hitler told Simon his air force was already larger than Britains which was an exaggeration but helped speed up British rearmament

- 37-38 Britain spent 135 mil on armaments, Germany spent 1,600 mil... After Munich there was a dramatic surge in armaments

- 1940 British aircraft production overtook Germany, and 20 radar stations to attack axis planes

- w/ unemployment nearing 2 mil, Britain wernt rearming at full capacity - Chamberlain hoped Munich would be a permanent understand w/ Germany

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Blame for war

- Versailles treaty filled Germans with bitterness and revenge, and leaving central European states weak and divided to defend themselves

- LoN, collective security -> failed to secure general disarmament

- World economic crisis, without it Hitler wouldnt have gotten into power

- USA refused to ratify Treaty of Versailles, refused to join LoN, allowed economic crisis to develop, insisted on isolation

- yet by 1938 most German grieviances removed, reperations largely cancelled, disarmament clauses ignored, Rhineland remilitarised, 3.6 mil Germans into reich

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Blame on war ? Hitler

- attacked Poland on all fronts rather than occuping Danzig, his intentions werent merely Anchluss

- seemed to want to removed stigma of WW1 defeat, he hated communism and control USSR permanently -> achievable only thru war

-  non aggression pact was a ploy to keep USSR neutral for Polish invasion

- appeasements made things easier for Hitler, war was inevitable though he didnt expect a world war -> he wanted a Poland and USSR as he believed them to be weak 

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Blame on war ? Appeasement

- Hitler was prepared to get what he wanted, regardless if it was w/ war or diplomatic means

- If Britain were firm initially before Germany became too strong, an Anglo-French attack would've taught Hitler a lesson

- appeasement increased Hitlers prestige, abscence of resistance prompted Hitler to make riskier moves

- after Munich surrender, Hitler was convinced Anglo-French would remain passive after war w/ Poland

- Germans claims for Danzig + Corridor were more reasonable than Sudetenland claims (never a part of Germany), Poland compared to the stronger Czechoslovakia was harder to defend

- Churchill would've built up a 'Grand Alliance' of Birtain, France, Russia, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia preventing Germany w/ prospect of war on two fronts

- Chamberlain had few alternatives, a Grand Alliance was unlikely due to suspicions on both sides... Arguably Munichs main motive was to allow UK rearmament for a war

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USSR make war inevitable

- Stalin critcised as non aggression pact made war inevitable, Stalin should've allied w/ the West and Poland -> Hitler would be more cautious

- YET Stalin wanted an agreement w/ Britain, who delayed and stalled esp after they discovered Nazis were trying to make an agreement w/ Stalin

- Poles and Chamberlain distrusted USSR, regarding them as militarily weak after Stalins purge of the Red Army officer class (around 3/4)

- Chamberlain clinged onto idea of agreement w/ Hitler, an agreement w/ USSR would alienate Hitler

- Russian historian believe the non agrression pact was simply allowed Russia to prepare its defences

- due to Hitlers idea of Lebensraum, war was inevitable -> unlike WW1 which had no racial motivations... a vision of a Third Reich only achievable by war

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