The Return of the Saar and Remilitarisation of the Rhineland

  • Created by: Fiona S
  • Created on: 31-05-15 12:18

The Return of the Saar

The industrial area of the Saar was taken from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles and put under the control of the League of Nations. A plebiscite was to be held among the population after 15 years to decide whether it should be returned to Germany.

The plebiscite was held January 1935, and over 90% voted in favour. Hiter greeted this result as a huge triumph, and declared that this was the first injustice of Versailes to be reversed.

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The Remilitarisation of the Rhineland, 1936

Hitler took further steps to reverse the Treaty of Versailles in March 1936, when he began moving German troops back into the Rhineland. This was a calculated risk for Hitler because:

  • the reoccupation of the Rhineland was a clear breach of the Versailles Treaty
  • German troops were in no position to stand up to the French army if it reacted (Hitler's troops were under strict orders to retreat if this happened)

The French government was horrified to find German troops on their border but were unwilling to take action without the support of the British. The British government argued against going to war over the issue and justified its position by claiming that "Germany was only marching into its own back yard."

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