History - Causes of the 2nd World War

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Recap Timeline

1933 : Took Germany out of league. Hitler began rearming. 

1934 : Tried to take over Austria but Mussolini intervened.

1935 : Held rearnment rally in Germany. 

1936 : Reintroduced conscription. Remilitarized the Rhineland. Made 'Anti- Comitern' pact with Japan and Italy.

1937 : Spanish Civil War involvement.

1938 : Took over Austria. Took over Sudetenland.

1939 : Invaded rest of Czechoslovakia. Invaded Poland. WAR.

Rearmament 

  • Hitler began rearming when he came into power in 1933.
  • Thousands of unemployed people were drafted into the army.
  • He began rearming in secret first then withdrew from the League and publicly rearmed. 
  • In 1935, he openly staged a military rally - celebrating the armed forces. 
  • in 1936 - he reintroduced conscription. He knew the British thought the terms of the T of V were too harsh so he made an agreement to increase the size of the German army only to 35% of the British Army.

Rhineland Remilitarisation

  • Demilitarisation of the Rhineland was a term of the treaty. 
  • In 1936, as he rearmed it, he broke the terms. 
  • France and USSR signed a treaty to protect each other. Germany said it felt it was under threat so it should be allowed to have its own troops on the frontier. 
  • Hitler knew Britain wouldn't intervene but he didnt know about France, they didn't. 
  • The Abysinnian Crisis was happening at the same time, so the League couldn't do much. France refused to act without British support.

Why did Britain and France follow appeasement?

WW1 : Both the leaders remembered the carnage and didn't want another war.

Treaty of Versailles : Many thought the treaty was unfair to Germany and thought if the terms were rectified, Germany would be more peaceful.

USSR : Thought Stalin was a bigger threat to them than Hitler. Britain and France were both Anti-Communist countries and therefore against Stalin. 

Spanish Civil War

  • In 1936, a civil war broke out in Spain between Communists who supported the Republican Government and right wing rebels.
  • Hitler thought this was an opportunity to fight communism and try his new…

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