outbreak of ww2

  • Created by: Ana Rojas
  • Created on: 12-11-17 12:06


1933       Germany left the League of Nations.

1934       Attempted Nazi coup in Austria crushed.

Poland and Germany sign alliance.

1935       Germany broke the military clauses of the Treaty of Versailles

1936       German troops reoccupied the Rhineland.

Rome-Berlin Axis signed

1938       Anschluss with Austria.

Sudetenland handed to Germany as a result of the Munich conference.

1939       Rest of the Czech lands occupied by the Germans.

Germany invaded Poland.

WWII began.

Hitler’s Foreign Policy Aims

When Hitler came to power he was determined to make Germany a great power again and to dominate Europe. He had set out his ideas in a book called Mein Kampf (My Struggle) that he had written in prison in 1924. His main aims were

·         To destroy the Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany after her defeat in World War One. Hitler felt the Treaty was unfair and most Germans supported this view.

·         To unite all German speakers together in one country. After World War One there were Germans living in many countries in Europe e.g. Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland. Hitler hoped that by uniting them together in one country he would create a powerful Germany or Grossdeutschland.

·         To expand eastwards into the East (Poland, Russia) to gain land for Germany (Lebensraum- living space).

His tactics involved using the threat of violence to achieve his aims. He realised that his potential foes, France and Britain, were reluctant to go to war and were prepared to compromise to avoid a repeat of World War One. He was also an opportunist who often took advantage of events for his own benefit.His foreign policy successes in the 1930s were to make him a very popular figure in Germany.

Disarmament and other treaties

1933-4, Hitler protested at the fact that the Allies had not disarmed after World War and he left the disarmament conference and the League of Nations in 1933. He intensified the programme of secret rearmament.

In 1934, Germany and Poland concluded an alliance, the first of his infamous ten-year non-aggression pacts. For the next five years Poland and Germany were to enjoy cordial relations. However like many of his agreements, this was a tactical move and Hitler had no intention of honouring the agreement in the long term.

In March, using the pretext that the other powers had not disarmed, Hitler announced that Germany was going to reintroduce conscription and create an army of 36 divisions. He also said that Germany was going to build up an air force (the Luftwaffe) and expand her navy. These actions were against the terms of the Treaty of Versailles but were very popular in Germany.

Britain, Italy and France formed the Stresa front to protest at this action but took no further measures. This united front against Germany was further weakened when Italy invaded Ethiopia.

A factor that helped Hitler was the attitude of the English. They felt that Germany had been very harshly treated at Versailles and there was a lot of sympathy for…


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