Hitler’s had said in Mein Kampf (1924) that he would abolish the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty had said he could only have an army of 100,000 men. Hitler built up his army in secret, then, in 1935, he openly held a huge rearmament rally. Britain made a naval agreement with Germany (the Treaty had said that Germany could only have 6 battleships). In 1936, Hitler introduced conscription, and war-tested his armed forces in the Spanish Civil War.
In 1936, also, Hitler broke the Treaty of Versailles by moving troops into the Rhineland demilitarised zone.
Hitler also broke the Treaty of Versailles in 1938 bye invading Austria and declaring Anschluss. By the end of 1938, Hitler was doing the same thing in the Sudentenland, which the Treaty of Versailles had given to Czechoslovakia.
It can be argued that it was not just Hitler who broke the Treaty of Versailles, but also Britain and France, when they allowed him to do what he did.
- In 1934, he destroyed the League of Nations Disarmament Conference by demanding equality of arms with France and Britain – this broke the Treaty because it had set up the League with the stated aim of achieving disarmament.
- He was building up his army in secret, drilling volunteers with spades instead of rifles.
- Then, in 1935, he openly held a huge rearmament rally. The other nations let him get away with…