Causes of WW2

Hitler's plans when he was in power, and all the things that happened in the lead up to WW2 in September 1939

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Hiter's Plans

  • Abolish the Treaty of Versailles - ignore the terms of the Treaty
    • he thought it was unfair and unjust
    • it should never have been signed
  • Expand Territory
    • Unite with Austria
    • All Germans to be united
    • Create living space for Germans (Lebensraum)
  • Defeat Communism
    • Hitler thought they helped in the defeat of Germany in WW1
    • He thought they wanted to take over Germany
    • He hated Communism
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Rearmament of Germany

  • They secretly rearmed and then left the League of Nations
  • Rearmament reduced unemployment which was a big problem and it also challenged the Treaty of Vesaillies - one of Hitler's plans
  • In 1935 - military rally
  • In 1936 - conscription reintroduced
  • This rearmament increased Nazi support
  • Britain didn't do anything to stop them - they thought the Treaty was too harsh and wanted Germany to help defeat Communism which they were more likely to do with an army
  • So in 1935 the British naval agreement was created - this meant Germany could increase there navy to 35% of the size of Britains
  • The French were anrgy about this but could do nothing
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Rhineland Remilitarised

  • 1936 - German troops moved into the Rhineland - this was against the terms of the Treaty of Versailles
  • Hitler claimed that Germany was under threat as the USSR and France had signed a Treaty to protect each other against Germany
  • The Leagues attention was on the Abyssinian Crisis and they didn't want to start a war so they did nothing
  • They thought the German army was strong and powerful but it wasn't
  • The League and France didn't try to stop them so the Rhineland was re-militarised
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Anschluss with Austria - 1938

  • This was a union with Germany as many Germans lived in Austria - This went against the terms of the Treaty of Versailles
  • Austrian Nazis caused trouble and had riots because they wanted a union
  • Hitler told the Austria Chancellor to have a Anschluss to stop these riots
  • Britain and France didn't do anything to help Austria
  • German troops were sent into Austria to supervise the votes on the union - there were 99.75% votes for the union
  • Britain thought they should be allowed to join together so did nothing
  • The Treaty of Versailles was broken again
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Czechoslovakia 1939

  • In March troops were sent to invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia
  • Britain and France did nothing but it was seen as an invasion as there were few German people there
  • Poland looked like it would be invaded next so Britain and France told Hitler they would declare war if he invaded Poland - this was the end of appeasement
  • Hitler thought they wouldn't go to war with Germany so he invaded Poland
  • War was declared on the 2nd September
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War declared in 1939

  • The Nazi - Soviet pact meant there was little opposition against Germany when invading Poland
  • So on 1st September troops invaded Poland and she was soon defeated
  • On 2nd of September Britain and France declared war on Germany
  • Hitler didn't think this would happen so his plans were ruined and he had pushed his attacks too far
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