Nazi Foreign Policy 1936-37

  • Created by: Erin W
  • Created on: 04-06-17 14:49

The Rhineland

  • 7th March 1936.
  • Hitler sent nearly 40,000 police and soldiers into the demilitarised zone in the Rhineland.
  • Troops were very lightly armed - Hitler testing the waters.
  • France and Britain took no action - policy of appeasment.
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Spanish Civil War and Hossbach Memorandum

  • Over 10,000 military personnel were dispatched to support Nationalists under Fascist General Franco.
  • Helped to secure another ally.
  • Allowed Luftwaffe (Condor Legion) to practice bombing techniques for WW2.
  • Hitler secretly told his generals that he saw Germany being involed in a world war by the mid 1940s in the Hossbach Memorandum.
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Alliances With Other States

Rome-Berlin Axis October 1936:

  • Hitler gained Mussolini's gratitude when he supported Italy's invasion of Abyssinia.

Anti-Comintern Pact November 1936:

  • Germany agreed to stand with Japan against the spread of communism (specifically the USSR).
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Austrian Anschluss

  • Hitler was closer with Italy after the first failed attempt at Anschluss.
  • Austria was economically weaker and would be more open to links with Germany.
  • Early 1938 Hitler forced Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg to appoint Nazis to his government
  • Schuschnigg opposed Hitler and announced a plebiscite hoping people would vote against Anschluss.
  • Hitler forced Schuchnigg to resign (he received no help for B+F)
  • Schuchnigg replaced with Artur Seyss-Inquart.
  • Seyss-Inquart asked Hitler to send army to Austria 
  • Referendum showed 99% of people wanted to join Germany.
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Sudetenland Crisis

  • Skoda arms factory - one of the biggest in Europe.
  • 3m ethnic German speaker - help Grossdeutchland.
  • Hilly and forested - good for defence.
  • Sudetenlad was heavily fortified and Czechoslovakia's main barrier - removing it would weaken Czechs and strengthen Germany.
  • Would also make France an easier target.
  • Hitler got Czechs to cause trouble and claim to government was mistreating Sudeten Germans - Hitler promised them protection.
  • Hitler got Henlein (Sudeten Nazi leader) to make unlikely demands of the government and engage in violence if the demands weren't met.
  • Czech gov. said no, despite encouragment from UK and France.
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Sudetenland Crisis

  • N. Chamberlain wanted to avoid war so quickly met with Hitler in September 1938 - Hitler reduced his demands to the parts of the Sudetenland where over 50% of people were German.
  • Britain and France got Czech Prime Minister Beneš to reluctantly accept.
  • Chamberlain met with Hitler again - Hitler now rejected compromises and demanded all of Sudetenland.
  • Hitler promised that the Sudetenland was the end of Germany's territorial claims.
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Munich Conference

  • 30th September 1938.
  • Four Power Conference - Britain, Germany, Italy, France.
  • Germany was given the Sudetenland and war was prevented - Hitler was appeased.
  • Czechoslovakia not included in conference - had no say (neither was USSR).
  • Czech border guards left their posts on 1st October 1938 and German tanks came over unopposed.
  • Hitler agreed to referendums in areas of the country with mixed populations.
  • Germany promised to accept the independence of the rest of Czechoslovakia.
  • Hitler promised not to take over anymore land in Europe - lies.
  • March 1939, Hitler ordered his soldiers to occupy the rest of Czechoslovakia.
  • Poland was next on list of targets.
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