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Hitler's Foreign Policy 1936-39
Made for iGCSE Cambridge History
6 months ago
6 months ago
Hitler's Foreign Policy 1933-36
Made for Cambridge iGCSE history
6 months ago
Made for iGCSE Cambridge history
6 months ago
The Spanish Civil War
Made for iGCSE history cambridge
6 months ago
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland
Made for iGCSE cambridge history
6 months ago
the Munich Agreement
Made for cambridge iGCSE history
3 months ago
Hungarian Rebellion of 1956
Made for Cambridge iGCSE History.
6 months ago
The Anti-Comintern Pact
Made for cambridge iGCSE history
The main reason Hitler was able to remilitarise the Rhineland successfully was that there was no military reaction from the French or British.
As Hitler predicted GB + FR did not react as: - the Rhineland was regarded as Germany's backyard anyway. - the risk of European peace was not worth the issue of whether German troops could occupy their own country. - France was in an economic crisis + had elections in 6 weeks time. - One of Hitler's foreign policy aims was to destroy communism + Russia. They wanted to let Hitler do the dirty work + a weak Germany = communist takeover (Russia 1918)
Two troop divisions marched into the Rhineland against a possible two hundred divisions. The Army of Occupation the Treaty of Versailles had authorised on the West bank had left after 10 years (not 15).
The Rhineland was remilitarised because: it enabled western enemies to invade at will (French and Belgian occupation of the Ruhr in January 1923), and because it was a reminder of German humiliation in the Treaty of Versailles and the loss of WW1 (June 1919).
March 1936: Remilitarisation of the Rhineland
General Franco was the leader of a right-wing, nationalist alliance, including Spain's fascist party the Falange, made 1933. They started the war by assaulting the democratically elected government. This was a republican group called the Popular Front - a mix of socialists, communists, anarchists, and syndicalists.
Hitler and Germany sided with Franco and hoped to acheive the items below. Mussolini and Italy sided with Franco. These were both fascist leaders so they sided with the fascists.
Stalin and Russia sided with the Popular Front to show support for communism.
France and Britain were not involved due to their own national problems.
The war was more about rival idealogies. Thousands of volunteers (like the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the USA) came to Spain to stop the spread of fascism.
After 30+ months of bitter fighting and the loss of 3/4 a million lives Franco won and established a fascist government.
Why Did Hitler join the Spanish Civil War?
AIM: Germany's armed forces, especially the Luftwaffe could be tested in a 'dress rehearsal' for a full-scale European war. WHAT HAPPENED: the Luftwaffe was able to practise and perfect dive-bombing techniques in the assault on Guernica in the Basque region of Northern Spain.
It would have been market day so there was actually an estimated 10,000 people in the town.
Only a church, a sacred tree, and a small munitions factory outisde of the town remained after the bombing.
The German and Franco governments vehemently denied that the atrocity had taken place, claiming that fog had grounded their planes at the time of the attack.
The Condor Legion (adjunct of the Luftwaffe) developed and perfected tactics of aerial warfare that would be used later in the Blitzkreig through Europe (1939-1940) in Guernica like a training exercise.
Estimated 1,650 people died that day (little less than 2/5 the population).
Guernica had an estimated population of 5,000 at the time of the attack.
Guernica is in the Basque region in Northern Spain.
This is an example of terror bombing - civilians were deliberately targeted in order to break the will or aid the collapse of an enemy - the Luftwaffe did this a few times in the bombing of Wieluń and Warsaw in 1939, and Rotterdam in 1940.
26 April 1937: The Bombing of Guernica
AIM: Drawing Mussolini away from the association of GB + FR (Stresa Front) and making Italy a German ally, since Mussolini was also assisting Franco. WHAT HAPPENED: Hitler persuaded Mussolini to abandon BR + FR, and though he was never a formal ally he made it clear in a speech in November 1936 that the two countries were getting closer as he referred to the German-Italian relationship as the "Rome-Berlin Axis".
AIM: To distract western diplomats from central European affairs with a long Spanish civil war ('a smokescreen'). WHAT HAPPENED: The Spanish civil war did last for three years and during this time HItler was able to successfully invade Czechoslovakia and have Anschluss.
November 1936: Anti-Comintern Pact
Agreement that was supposed to be nominally directed against the Comintern, a Soviet agency which promoted communist revolution abroad. In reality it ensured that neither Germany nor Japan would assist Soviet Russia if the latter attacked either country.
February 1938: Hitler meets with Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg to discuss the persecution of Austrian Nazis by Austrian government forces.
Hitler bullied Schuschnigg into appointing Seyss-Inquart, a leading Austrian Nazi, as Minister of the Interior.
9 March 1938: Having suspected Hitler's true intentions (to end Austrian independence) Schuschnigg announces his plans to hold a plebiscite on the 13th of March.
Schuschnigg reluctantly agrees and Seyss-Inquart becomes Chancellor. He does this because he knows Britain and France and Italy will not help him due to domestic issues - in France two days before Germany invaded Austria the entire French government had resigned - in Britain Anthony Eden, the Foreign Secretary, had resigned over Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's decision to open negotiations with the Fascist dictator of Italy, Mussolini. Chamberlain was determined to appease Hitler and there was no will
Why Hitler wanted to invade Austria and its effects.
The balance of power in south-eastern Europe shifted in favour of Germany, increasing their influence in the Balkans.
Czechoslovakia was now surrounded on three fronts by Germany. This was his next target.
Austria gave Hitler more resources, such as steel, iron ore and Austria's foreign exchange reserves. Germany added seven million people and an army of 100,000 to its Reich. The balance of power in south-eastern Europe shifted in favour of Germany, increasing their influence in the Balkans.
One of Hitler's main Foreign Policy Aims was to overturn the Treaty of Versailles and to create a Greater Germany by uniting all German speakers - Austria had approximately seven million.
Hitler's changing relationship with Mussolini meant that Italy (which had so far regarded Austria as part of its "Sphere of Influence" and had stopped Anschluss in 1934) gave Hitler approval to unite with Austria.
10 March 1938: Hitler find out about the plebiscite and demands Schusnigg's resignation and replacement as Chancellor by Seyss-Inquart. He tells his generals to prepare for the invasion of Austria.
12 March 1938: With Mussolini's approval Hitler orders the German army into Austria and proclaimed the Anschluss had taken place.
Early April: a (likely rigged) plebiscite reveals that there is an overwhelming number of votes in favour of the union.
The anschluss was Hitler's most daring action as it was the first time the German army would be deployed out of the country.
Why couldn't Britain and France do anything?
The plebiscite in April showed that the majority of the population was in favour of Anschluss so if Britain and France did anything it would appear to be against the wishes of the Austrian people.
Without Italy's support they were unable to act.
Italy joins in November 1937
He was encouraged by the ease at which he had obtained Austria and grew confident in his aggressive actions.
His opinion of Britain and France was much more negative.
15 September 1938: Summit Meeting 1 of the Munich Agreement
In Berchtesgaden, Bavaria
Areas of the Sudetenland, where the majority of the population was German, should be handed over to Germany
This was subject to approval by the British, French, and Czech governments.
22 September 1938: Summit Meeting 2 of the Munich Agreement.
In Bad Godesberg, Rhineland
Chamberlain reported the approval given by the Brtish, French, and Czech governments.
Hitler now claimed that he must have the Sudeten territories immediately.
Hitler demanded that the Czechs withdraw for the Sudeten areas by 1 October to avoid the certainty of conflict.
Chamberlain was appalled by Hitler's change of heart at Bad Godesberg and returned to London to prepare for war.
Instructions were issued for the mobilisation of the French army and the British navy.
When Hitler realised what he was risking (European peace) he agreed to Chamberlain's suggestion, supported by Mussolini, that an international conference should be held to settle the dispute.
Plebiscites would be held in any areas where there was doubt over the dominant nationality.
The four powers would gaurantee the remainder of Czechoslovkaia once Polish and Hungarian claims had been met.
The Sudetenland was populated by three and a half million Germans, former subjefcts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
One reason HItler wanted to take the Sudetenland was because it was conveniently located within Czechoslovakia (giving them access to the country they wanted to take next) but also was on the border with Germany.
Another reason Hitler wanted to invade Czechoslovakia was because it completed several of his key Foreign Policy Aims: to create a greater Germany, to destroy the Treaty of Versailles, and to build up a central European empire.
Hitler also disliked Czechoslovakia because of its democratically elected government (Hitler wanted a central government under the leadership of one person, the Führer), and because of the fact it had an alliance with Soviet Russia and France.
The final reason Hitler decided to take the Sudetenland was because he had an excuse: Sudeten Germans, under their leader Henlein, were complaining of discrimination by the Czech dominated government.
At first Hitler encouraged protests and demonstatrion by the Sudeten Germans.
May 1938: Hitler considered seizing the Sudetenland but was dissuaded by the prospect of war with Czechoslovakia, Soviet Russia, and France, backed by Britain.
Septmeber 1938: Western Statesment realise that if they do not do something Hitler will take the Sudetenland by force.
Arguments against the Munich Agreement:
A war in 1938 would have been seen as a war against the principle of self-determination. In 1939 it was seen as a war to prevent German domination of Europe
The British Dominions (self-governing territories within the British Empire like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa) were not united behind the prospect of war in 1938
Britain's air defences were incomplete. Britain was vulnerable to devastating damage from the Luftwaffe, who had perfected their tactics in Guernica.
Neville Chamberlain did not think that Britain was sufficiently prepared or united to fight a war in 1938.
Arguments for the Munich Agreement:
AIM: Spain would become a German ally - providing a hostile presence on France's south-western border to corner them and hopefully Spanish naval bases for the German navy. WHAT HAPPENED: Spain did not become an ally of their fellow fasict powers but was neutral in WW2 to help them focus on domestic issues.
The Sudetenland would be handed over to Germany from Czechoslovakia over a period of 10 days
29 September 1938: Participants: Neville Chamberlain (Britain), Adolf Hitler (Germnay), Benito Mussolini (Italy), and Edouard Deladier (France) (copy) (copy)
Britian and France had abandoned Czechoslovakia to her fate - morally unjust.
Munich came to be seen as the supreme example of the policy of appeasement.
If war had broken out in October 1938 Britain and France would have the 36 division of the Czech army + well-prepared defences to fight with.
Arguments against the Munich Agreement: (copy) (copy) (copy) (copy)
Arguments against the Munich Agreement: (copy) (copy) (copy) (copy) (copy)
July 1936 - March 1939: The Spanish Civil War
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