Hitler's foreign policy

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Hitler's foreign policy- background

1935- Hitler ordered conscription and reanarnment.

  • Directly against Versailles
  • The area of the Sarlaand, which was placed under the LoN- was taken under German control which was important as it was a small area rich in coal
  • Hitler secured Anglo German naval agreements, which promised the German navy to increase fleet by 35%

July 1935- Austrian chancellor Dollfuss assassinated and the Nazis threatened to intevene in Austria. Mussoli responded with moving his troops to the frontier with Austria to prevent Germans invading.> Hitler wasn't prepared to respond,> exemplifies isolation. 1935- Britain, France and Italy signed a pact condemning German reanarnment, which also depended Austrian independance. Also, in 1935- France allied with Russia against unprovoked agression, and Russia promised to defend Czechoslovakia.

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Reoccupation of Rhineland 1936

  • Hitler's careful decision to take advantage of the situation caused by Mussolin's invasion in Abyssinia.
  • He told his troops to retreat if faced with any resistance, but GAMBLED France would not retalitate as it wasn't in the mood to fight and Britain had the logic Germany should be able to take what was originally hers.
  • More importantly, they needed to keep Germany as an ally
  • The reoccupation was seen as a victory and further consolidated Hitler's dictatorship

Anscluss with Austria 1938

  • Hitler was becoming more confident and in 1937 voiced his dream of Lebensraum to guarentee the nations 'daily bread'.
  • It was soely Hitler's decision- he bullied the Austrian chancellor then marched his troops into Vienna.
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Taking Czechoslovakia 1938-39

With Austria captured, Czechoslovakia was a vulenrable state to German expansionism. He demanded the incorporation of 3.5 million German speakers who lived in Sudetenland

  • The German Czechs wanted unioun with Germany, and agitated agreesion in 1938
  • The Czech's in response partly mobilised their army
  • German intervention in support of Czech Germans risked a war as the state was seen as apart of Czechoslovakia by Versailles- as British PM Chamberlain realised this, her flew to meet Hitler in September where they agreed that Germany could annex those German speaking provinces who voted to join the Reich
  • However, at a second meeting- Hitler ordered the IMMEDIATE occupation of Sudetenland without plebiscite. Czechs mobilised and war became unavoidable- but was was averted by Mussolini who arranged a third meeting between Hitler, Chamberlain and French PM at Munich- where Britain and France appeased Hitler, no one wanted a fight.
  • Some even thought it would be Hitler's 'last stand on expansionism'.
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Conquest of Poland 1939

March 1939- Germany went ahead invaded Czechoslovakia without resistance, Slovakia became a puppet state. Quite clear that Hitler wanted universal, unlimited expansionism eastwards. As a response, Britain and France declared a guarantee of Polish independance.

  • Hitler knew invading Poland wouldn't be accepted- so tried to build an ally with Italty through the 'Pact of Steel'.
  • Interestingtly, Russian Foreign Secretary secured a nazi soviet pact- which agreed to partition Poland and not to attack eachother for at least 2 years.
  • German went to war under the pretense that areas such as the Polis corridor and Danzig had German speakers who were being prosecuted by the Poles
  • Britain demanded Germany withdraw, but this was ignored- war was declared. Hitler went to a very agressive form of war agianst Poland, which advanced rapidly with devastating strikes.
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