Hitler's aims in the foreign policy
Hitler had 3 main aims:
ABOLISH the hated TREATY of VERSAILLES
EXPAND German territory (known as 'Lebensraum' or Living space)
DEFEAT Communism aka Adolf's Early Designs!
The return of the Saar, 1935
The Saar had been run by the League of Nations after the Treaty of Versailles was signed
After 15 years it was to hold a plebiscite (vote) to decide whether it would return to Germany
In the run up to the plebiscite Hitler used the Nazi propaganda machine to influence the people. They sent in troops to the border but British and French threatened them to back down.
90% voted for Hitler and the Saar returned to Germany. Hitler celbrated this as a massive victory,and it was his first legal step to abolish the TofV
Germany joined the League in 1926 but by 1933 Hitler withdrew them from the disarmament conference and the League of Nations The Non-Aggression Pact with Poland guaranteed the boundaries of Poland and suggested Hitler was peace loving... The Anglo-German Naval agreement of 1935 limited Germany's naval ships to 35% of the British fleet. But by 1938, Germany had 800,000 in the army.
The remiliterisation of the Rhineland 1936
In March 1936 Hitler moved his troops into the de-militerised zone in the Rhineland.
Germany had accepted the Terms of the Treaty of Versailles under the Locarno Pact of 1926.
France had just signed a treaty with the USSR to protect each other from attack. Hitler used this to claim Germany was under threat.
Hitler knew Britain felt he had a right to station his troops in the Rhineland. France was in the midst of elections. The League was dealing with Mussolini and the Abyssinian crisis...
The Nazi -Soviet Pact and the collapse of Poland 1
Stalin had tried, and failed to get any support from Britain or france during the 1930s... in Stalin's eyes Britain and France were strengthening Germany against Stalin.
In 1939, Hitler turned his back on his hatred for Communism and Stalin formed a Pact with his biggest enemy: the Nazi-Soviet Pact was born.
They agreed to carve up Poland. On September 1st and 17th, Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland. This set in motion the beginning of WWII, as Britain was no longer following the policy of Appeasement