Road to War 1918-39
|When the "Great
War" ended, it was common interest that there would never again
be such a horrible war. The war had been devastating
- an estimated 10 million men died. Just look in any British village and
you'll see memorials. Sadly, even as the war ended,
the seeds were planted for the Second
End of the War
The armistage was called
at the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918. (11th November). It was
very sudden for Germans. In March, 1918, there had been a real chance for
them to win with Russia's withdrawal from the War. America hadn't arrived
yet, and German decided on a final gamble - push their combined forced together
in one last attack on the Western Front.
At first, the attack seemed
to go well. After years of stalement, they finally made significant progress.
However, the British and French held out. With America's assistance, they
were able to push the Germans back.
In Germany, things were
getting desperate. The people were starving thanks to the British blockade,
cold, and a wideswept sweep of influzia affected them badly. Morale on the
Front Lines was broken by the American reinforcements, and many soliders
The Kaiser stood down on
9th Novemember and fled to Holland. Two days later, Germany surrended.
- Hitler controlled German
Foreign Policy from January 1933.
- Hitler took Germany out of the
League of Nations immediately. (They had been allowed to join in 1926).
saw the Treaty of Versailles as one of the main causes of the problems
that Germany faced. He promised the German’s that he would reverse
treaty and regain the territory that Germany had lost.
- He planned to expand
into the East of Europe so that he would gain Lebensraum (German for ‘Living
Space’. Hitler wanted to create
space for the growing population) for the people, which he believed
Hitler took these steps in order to achieve his aims:
- When he was
taking over the territory that had been lost due to the Treaty
of Versailles he managed to convince many of the European leaders
that once Germany had regained the territory lost, no further demands would
- Hitler had the benefit of seeing
the Japanese successfully defy the League of Nations over the situation
- Hitler also developed close relations
with the leader of Italy, Mussolini, who had withdrawn from the League
as a result of the Abyssinian
The Saar, with its rich coalfields was an industrial area that had been taken
from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles and put under the control of the
League of Nations. A plebiscite (a vote by the people living in an area
to decide the answer to an important question) was to be held after 15
years to decide if it was to be returned to the Germans. The plebiscite
was held in January, 1935. The results of the plebiscite showed that over
90% of the population of the Saar wanted to reunite with Germany. Hitler
regarded this as a great triumph because it was the first of the injustices
of the Treaty of Versailles to be reversed.
One of the first things that Hitler chose to do when he came to power
was to begin to increase the German Armed Forces. He did have to do
at first due to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
The Disarmament Conference – 1932 – 1934
The conference first met in the February of 1932. The main problem
that they were discussing was what to do with Germany. Germany had
the League for 6 years and many people now accepted that Germany should
be treated more fairly than it was said in the terms of the Treaty
of Versailles. The question was, should everyone disarm to the level
that Germany had
forced to or should the Germans be allowed to rearm to the level of
other countries? The Germans walked out of the conference in July 1932
other counties refused to disarm to the level that Germany had had
to. In May 1933, Hitler returned to the conference and promised that
rearm if ‘in five years all other nations destroyed their arms’.
They refused and Hitler withdrew from the conference in October and
not much later, the League of Nations.
Non-Aggression Pact with Poland
Germany signed a non-aggression pact with Poland in January 1934.
Hitler signed this for various reasons, including:
- He hoped to weaken
the alliance that already existed between Poland and France.
hoped to reduce the Polish fears of German aggression.
- He wanted to show
that he didn’t have a quarrel with Poland,
merely the USSR.
Hitler staged a huge military rally
celebrating the armed forces of Germany in 1935. He also reintroduced conscription
army of 550,000
in the same year. An Air Ministry was set up to train
pilots and build 1,000 aircraft. Hitler was breaking the terms of
the Treaty of Versailles
believed that he would get away with it due to the
collapse of the Disarmament Conference. He was correct.
French, Italian and
British representatives meet at
the town of Stresa where they agreed to co-operate
condemned the rearmament of Germany. This was known
as the Stresa Front against German
aggression. But it didn’t last long. It collapsed
due to the Abyssinian Crisis which destroyed the
relations between France,
and the Anglo-German Naval Treaty.
Hitler was aware that Britain had
some sympathy towards Germany regarding rearmament. Britain did
terms of the treaty had been
too harsh on Germany and that a strong Germany
would be a buffer against Communism.
In 1935, Britain signed a naval agreement with
Germany. This allowed the Germans to have navy
fleet up to 35% of
the size of the British
have the same number of submarines. The British
were accepting Hitler’s
breach of the Treaty.
The Remilitarisation of the Rhineland
On the 7th of March, 1936 Hitler
moved German troops back into the demilitarised area of the Rhineland.
This was a
it was clearly a breach
of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
Also, the German army consisted of only 22,000 men
and if the
then they would
have been no opposition. The men were also
under strict orders to withdraw if
they were faced with any opposition). But,
neither the French nor British did anything. The troops
remained in the Rhineland.
Hitler was Austrian born and he
wished to see Germany and Austria united as one country.
In 1938 he felt
ready to attempt
- He bullied Schuschnigg,
who was the Austrian Chancellor, into accepting Seyss-Inquart, who was
a Nazi, as Austrian
Minister of the Interior.
- Schuschnigg ordered for a plebiscite
to take place in order to find out if the Austrians really wanted to unite
- Hitler worried that the people
would vote against the unification. He moved German troops to the Austrian
border and threatened
to invade if Schuschnigg
then became Chancellor of
Austria. He invited the German troops
into the country. On the
12th of March 1938, the Germany army entered Vienna.
They were welcomed with cheers
and salutes. The Anschluss was complete.
- The Nazis also held their own
votes regarding the unification with Germany and 99% of those who voted
were in favour of the union. (But it was believed that people opposed the
and locked up
Austria became a province
of the new German Reich.
The Anschluss was another breach
of the Treaty of Versailles. The French
and British governments did
it but they didn’t
take any action.
Britain followed a Policy of Appeasement from 1935 to 1938. This meant giving
in to the demands that Hitler made when they believed the demands
to be reasonable. The policy is mainly associated with Neville Chamberlain
was the Prime Minister of Britain from 1937 to 1940.
• Nobody wished to repeat the horrors of the First World War, they wanted
to avoid another war at all costs.
• A lot of people believed that Germany had been unfairly treated by the
Treaty of Versailles.
• To some people, Communism was seen as the biggest threat. They believed
that Germany could act as a buffer because Hitler was anti-communist.
Britain wasn’t ready to go to war. Rearmament had only started
slowly in 1936 and the British forces were no match of the Germans.
• Britain was also preoccupied with problems that had been caused by the
Depression e.g Unemployment and they wanted to stay out of foreign involvement.
• The Spanish Civil War had shown how powerful Germany was. The events
showed how horrific another war might be.
Arguments against Appeasement
• Hitler was given an advantage. He was growing stronger. If war came
it would be against a strong Germany.
It wasn’t right that Britain and France were allowing Germany
to break the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
• Chamberlain misjudged Hitler. He had believed that he was simply a normal
leader. Appeasement encouraged Hitler that he could do anything
• They missed opportunities to stop Hitler e.g the reoccupation of the
Rhineland in 1936.
It didn’t prevent a war.
The Sudeten Crisis
German speakers who lived in Czechoslovakia lived in an area called
the Sudetenland. Hitler wanted these people back.
• He ordered Konrad Henlein (who was the leader of the Sudetenland Germans)
to cause trouble in the Sudetenland.
• German newspapers printed allegations of crimes which had apparently
been committed by the Czechs towards the Sudeten Germans.
Hitler threatened to go to war if a solution wasn’t reached.
the British Prime-Minister, believed that a peaceful solution could
be reached. He attempted to convince the Czech
President to accept
self-government for the Sudetenland. Beneš did agree but
Hitler then produced new demands and claimed that the Sudetenland
of the German Reich.
At a meeting at Godesburg on the 22nd of
September Beneš refused
to accept the demands. War seemed like it was going to be a real
possibility but Chamberlain appealed to Hitler to give him more
time to try and
The Munich Agreement
Neville Chamberlain made one last attempt to maintain peace on
the 29th of September at the Munich Conference.
• Chamberlain met with Daladier (the French leader), Hitler and Mussolini
at Munich in a bid to resolve the Sudeten Crisis.
The Czech representatives weren’t actually invited to this
• The Czechs were made to hand over the Sudetenland to Germany. A commission
was set up to decide precisely which territory would be lost.
and Hitler also had a further meeting in Munich in which they both agreed that
Britain and Germany would not
to war with
Hitler promised that he didn’t want the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Chamberlain was treated as a hero when he returned back to
Britain as he had, supposedly,
saved Europe from going to war.
The results of the Munich
Agreement also had quite a serious effect on the Czechoslovakians
as well as Europe.
• The Czech Government had been completely humiliated.
• The vital area of the Sudetenland was lost and, later on, in October
and November, both Poland and Hungary occupied further areas of Czech
• Once again, Britain and France had given in to the demands of Hitler.
though the Munich Agreement had been seen as a success, both Britain and France
increased the speed of their rearmament.
The collapse of Czechoslovakia, March 1939 Hitler invaded and occupied the
remains of Czechoslovakia in the March of 1939. Bohemia and Moravia were now
Slovakia was independent
in theory; however it was largely dominated by Germany.
Ruthenia was given to Hungary.
The end of appeasement
When Hitler occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia
it suggested that war was eventually going to come.
Czechoslovakia proved that
the promises that Hitler had made at the Munich Agreement
were not going to be upheld. Britain and France were
also now rapidly
accepted that the Policy of Appeasement had obviously
The Pact of Steel, May 1939
Events in the Spring of 1939 seemed to be favouring
the countries with dictatorships. Hitler had forced
over the Baltic
town of Memel as well as an area
of land that was along their south-west border in
March. In May, Mussolini also followed the example that Hitler
The Pact of Steel was signed between Hitler
and Mussolini in May 1939. They promised to act together regarding
may take place. It
was clear that Europe was now divided into two
sections. Britain and Germany both began looking to the USSR
as a possible source
Hitler’s next target then became Poland. The Treaty of Versailles had
taken away German territory and given it to the
Polish, giving them access to a sea port (this was the Polish Corridor) and
Danzig (which had been a
German city) had also been put under League of
Nations control. After Hitler’s
success in Czechoslovakia, he demanded the return
of the Polish Corridor and Danzig.
and British Governments had both been greatly humiliated by Munich and the
They decided to act decisively.
They gave guarantees of support to the Poles,
Greeks and Rumanians that they would support
them in the
case of German
They also increased
their production of arms and equipment.
role of the USSR
Britain and France had made promises that they
would help to protect Poland however there
was no way that
able to actually
because of its distance from the West of
Europe. The only country that would be able to prevent
the USSR. The British and
French did begin talks with the USSR to try
and reach an agreement.
The USSR was suspicious
of the Western motives. Stalin felt that throughout the 1930s that
Britain had been
over to the East.
Many British people did actually fear communism
more than fascism. The USSR’s
exclusion from the Munich Conference was
evidence to prove this when the future
of Czechoslovakia was also important to
Britain and France didn’t
really show any urgency in relation to
making an agreement with the USSR in 1939.
made Stalin even more suspicious and contributed
to him signing
the Nazi-Soviet Pact. He didn’t believe
that the British and French could be trusted.
The German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop,
and the Soviet Foreign Minister, Molotov,
Pact on the 23rd of
• In this pact the Soviets and Germans agreed not to fight each other if
a war in Europe took place.
• The powers secretly agreed to divide up Polish territory between them.
• Hitler also let Stalin occupy part of Romania as well as the Baltic states;
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia,
was shocked when the two enemies agreed not to attack each other. Hitler
and Stalin represented
each other. Although, despite their differences
of beliefs on policy, Hitler and Stalin
had a lot to
• The Pact removed the possibility of war on two fronts for Hitler. He
was given the opportunity to deal with Poland
as well, regardless of the threats given by France and Britain.
• Stalin had already been suspicious about the motives of the British and
French who had not shown much friendship to
the USSR before Hitler rose to power. Hitler had more to offer to Stalin e.g
Poland and the outbreak of the war
Hitler decided to invade Poland soon after Germany had
signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact. He did this because:
Because of the pact he didn’t have to worry about the possibility
of a Soviet reaction.
• The guarantees that Britain and France had made with Poland in the April
of 1939 were made too late for Hitler
to believe that they would really go to war.
• Because of the Policy of Appeasement, Hitler believed that he could get
away with almost anything. He thought that
the British and French would do almost anything to avoid a war.
• He knew that Poland was too far away for the British and French to provide
support and decided that even if war
came then it would be over very quickly.
On the 1st of September 1939, Hitler
sent German troops into Poland. War was declared soon after this but both Britain
France. The USSR also invaded Poland on the 15th of September and
took the territory which had
in the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Poland was
defeated in 6 weeks.
Who was responsible for the war?
Hitler does have to take most of the blame for the
war but it wasn’t
just his fault. The other countries
that were involved also held some
The USSR had made
the deal with Germany which led
to the invasion
as the German
have to face the risk of a Soviet
Poland had signed the alliance
with France and Britain which then
to it trying
Britain and France’s
Policy of Appeasement had led Hitler
that he could
get away with anything
The alliance that they had signed
with Poland had also encouraged
to refuse German
Treaty of Versailles
In June, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles
was signed. It was over 200 pages long, yet dealt only with Germany. Only
victorious countries (32 of them) were allowed a say in the terms and the
treaty, and Germany had no choice but to accept it.
The main three characters in the
ruling of the Treaty were:
Lloyd George, Clamenceau, and Wilson)
- Punish Germany, but not too harshly.
This is easy to understand, as America didn't have a huge involvement in
- Achieve world peace. Wilson thought
he could do this by creating a 'League of Nations' where
nations would co-operate. The ruling of this League would be based on 14
Clemenceau's aims were to:
- Take back Alsac and Lorraine.
(Which had been taken when Germany invaded France in 1870).
- Make sure Germany could never
invade France again.
- Make Germany pay for all the
suffering they had caused. This wasn't surprising, as most of the fighting
had took place inside France, leaving land destroyed, dangerous undetonated
mines, etc... Germany should lose land to the
French on the France/Germany border to make France feel more secure.
Lloyd Geroge's aims were to:
- Punish Germany, but contary to
popular British belief, he didn't agree with punishing them too harshly,
as that would make the Germans resentful.
- Protect Britain's dominion over
the sea. Therefore, he disliked Woodrow's idea of freedom of seas.
Already, we see differences. Add
in the small contribuations other nations added, and it's easy to imagine
how difficult reaching an agreement was. However, after much discussion,
the Treaty was formed.
Some of the main points of the Treaty
of Versailles were:
- Germany had to pay £6,600 million
- Germany lost all its colonies
to the victorious countries as mandates.
- She lost a large amount of
land, much of which was used to reform countries, such as Poland.
- All the land gained from the
USSR was taken back.
- The Saar was to be controlled
by this new League of Nations for 15 years.
- The Rhineland was dematillerised
(no millitary was allowed in it).
- The army was reduced to 100,000
men; conscription was banned; the navy was reduced to 6 war ships; tanks,
submarines and aircrafts were not allowed.
- Alsac and Lorraine were returned
- Germany was forbidden from Anschluss (forming
an alliance with Austria).
- Germany was blamed for the War
(War guilt clause).
Germans were horrified when they discovered the terms of Versailles. They
had hoped, with Woodrow's 14 points, to have a fair deal. This didn't happen.
The points were exploited to the Allies' advantages, and many of them were
clearly broken when dealing with Germany.
They thought the policticians who
had called the armistance and then signed the treaty had stabbed
Germany in the back.
In reality, these November Criminals had had no choice.
Many Germans still didn't understand why they had lost the war - as the gamble
had been well publicised, but not the defeat - and were willing to blame
old hates such as the Jews. The Weimar Repubic did not get off to a good
The War Guilt Clause was an extra
bitter pill for Germany to swallow. They didn't believe that they had started
the war, and many Germans were furious that
the events. Hilter, of course, played off all these hatreds of Versailles,
when he later took power...
League of Nations
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League of Nations
The League of Nations was set up in 1920. Originally, there were 42
members of the League but this number increased to nearly 60 in the 1930s.
Although, at any one time, at least one of the more powerful superpowers
were absent from the League.
- The USA had refused to
join. Many Americans had hated the idea of the League and Woodrow
Wilson was unable to convince them otherwise. This
was a major blow to the power and influence of the League. Plus,
the whole thing had been Woodrow Wilson’s idea.
- The defeated nations from
the First World War, such as Germany, who were not allowed to join.
allowed to join up because of its Communist style of governing.
The Covenant of the League
The Covenant was a set of 26 articles that all member states had to agree
to. They encouraged the countries to co-operate with trade, improve
social, living and working conditions and work towards international
disarmament. The most important article out of all of these was Article
10, this stated that the member of the League of Nations would act
together to ensure any member who was threatened with war was protected
by the other members. This was known as Collective Security which was
what the whole League was built upon the idea of.
The Organisation of the League
The League was
spilt up into different sections which dealt with different things.
The Council – They
met up to 3 times a year and also in times when an emergency arose.
There were five permanent members as well
temporary members. The five permanent members were the main powers;
Britain, France, Italy, Japan and from 1926, Germany. The four
were elected every three years.
The main duty of the Council
was to keep the peace and solve any disputes that might arise between
states. The members hoped
that this could be
done by negotiating. If a country was deemed to have started
war through an act of aggression, then this would become the
concern of all the members
of the League who would act against the aggressor. Action would
be taken in three stages:
Moral Condemnation – All member countries would put pressure
on the aggressor to make them feel guilty and shame them into stopping
war and accepting the decisions of the League.
Economic Sanctions – This meant that all member countries involved
in the League would stop trading with the aggressor.
Military Force – The member countries of the League would all
contribute to an armed force which would then act against the aggressor.
The Assembly – This
was the debating chamber. It was located at the headquarters
of the League in Geneva, Switzerland. The Assembly
once a year and each country that was involved
each had a vote (this was the veto which meant that one country would
be able to completely
stop a decision if they disagreed with it). The
had the powers to; admit new members, elect permanent member
on to the Council
also to suggest changes to peace treaties that
The Secretariat – This was the civil service
and it carried out the administration and work
of the League. It kept records of
and prepared reports for the different organisations
in the League.
Commissions – The
Commissions were set up to carry out specialist work.
Some of the commissions
only existed for a short time e.g the
Refugees Commission, which helped First World
War refugees to return home. Others
were more permanent e.g those that were set up
to deal with slavery and health.
Permanent Court of International Justice – This
was based at The Hague in the Netherlands.
Judges of different legal systems
it up who represented the member countries.
It gave decisions on disputes if asked but had
no way of enforcing
the decisions that
International Labour Organisation (ILO) – This
was set up to bring around the idea of improving working
Representatives of governments, workers and employers
would meet once a year to set minimum standards and
persuade other members to
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Manchurian Crisis – 1931 – 1933
This was the
first major crisis that the League of Nations had to face.
been a rising power and had been developing very quickly into a trading
nation. However, the Wall Street Crash proved to have a major impact
on Japan and its economy. Countries such as the USA as well as other
countries had adopted protectionist policies (the economic theory
of using the tax system to protect home industries in the face of
foreign competition). This led to a loss of trade in Japan because
their products were too expensive to buy. They began to look for
other ways to expand.
1931 there was an explosion at the Japanese owned South Manchurian
Railway. The Japanese used this as an excuse to invade Manchuria.
The area was rich in natural resources and this provided a market
for the Japanese goods. The invasion was successful. A puppet government
was set up under Pu Yi and the area was renamed Manchukuo.
At the time,
China had been in the middle of a civil war, meaning they had been
unable to defend Manchuria. The Chinese appealed to the League of
Nations for help. The League sent Lord Lytton to conduct a Commission
to investigate. The Commission took a long time to investigate – over
a year – by the time it was finished the invasion and occupation
had already been completed. The League asked the Japanese to withdraw
from the area. The Japanese simple ignored the commands; they left
the League and remained in Manchuria.
highlighted weaknesses in the League. It had showed that Britain
and France were unwilling to support the League in taking action.
The League had also failed to prevent the aggression. This later
encouraged aggression from Germany and Italy.
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the leader of Italy and had been since 1922. He wanted to increase
Italy’s prominence as a world power by increasing its territories located
in Africa. Abyssinia was one of the countries that was not under European control
and Mussolini wished to invade. He also wanted revenge for a defeat by the
Abyssinians in 1896 at the Battle of Adowa.
In 1935 the
Italian troops invaded Abyssinia. Haile Selassie, who was the Emperor
of Abyssinia, appealed to the League of Nations for help. The League condemned
the aggression but Italy and imposed economic sanctions on them. However,
the Italians were still able to trade with non-members of the League,
such as the
USA. France and Britain were worried that if they took action against Mussolini
then they would drive him closer to Hitler (who they were also worried about).
The British Foreign Secretary made a secret deal with the French, in which
they would offer most of Abyssinia to Mussolini. This was known as the Hoare-Laval
Pact but the plan had to be withdrawn when it was leaked to the public.
results of the Abyssinian Crisis effectively meant the end of the
League of Nations as a peacekeeping organisation; it was seen as
a joke. The crisis
had shown that the members of the League weren’t willing to use force
to stop aggression. The Hoare-Laval Pact also showed that Britain and France
been undermining the League.
of the League
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did the League collapse?
of major powers was a real problem from the beginning of the League.
Because powerful countries such as the USA weren’t members
it meant that the League lacked influence and power.
and Britain refused to really take a lead role and the League was
dependant on their co-operation. Although. they did not always see
eye to eye.
The way that
the League was organised also made it difficult to act quickly. The
right of member countries to Veto meant that decisions could easily
were applied they were only really applied half-heartedly and the
League also had no standing army. The League lacked bite.
Depression caused problems for all countries. Money and attention
wasn’t really available for the crises in Manchuria and Abyssinia.
information has been sent in by Ashish.
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of the Second World War?
There are five main reasons for
the WW2 to start, which is referred as The HPLAN:
- Hitler’s action
- The League on Nations
Treaty of Versailles
- Appeasement Act
- The Nazi
This all broke
out when Hitler invaded Poland and led to the World War
Hitler’s action during
Hitler had big plans of conquering
whole of Europe. He wanted to make Germany bigger and stronger and
he also had many other aims like reversing
the Treaty of Versailles, Re-arming Germany etc. In order to be successful
in his plans, he had to have a huge army, which was restricted under
the Treaty. So Hitler started reaming in secret. This made Germany
stronger and easier for Germany to invade.
Hitler also rearmed in
public after quitting the League of Nations and the failure of the
disarmament conference. He also tested his new weapons in the Spanish
this was a major disaster. These weapons threatened other countries
due to the disaster the weapons had caused and led to Appeasement
and agreeing to what Hitler did.
Hitler also started Remilitarizing
Rhineland (1936) as he thought Germany was Defenseless when France
and Russia signed the Mutual Alliance treaty, to protect each
other. He claimed that Treaty of Versailles was being harsh on them.
was one of the reasons for the WW2 because Germany coming into
the borders of France meant that Germany was free to attack France
and this led to tensions between the contraries leading to WW2.
Remilitarizing Rhineland was
a small step to Hitler’s goals. Hitler also had
to unite the Germans separated from the Reich in order to reverse
the Treaty of Versailles he did this by this by taking over
Sudetenland (1938) and the Czech. Britain, France and Russia had promised
the Czech from Germany but Britain did not want a World War
so they ended up giving Sudetenland and rest of Czech to Hitler in
of the Munich agreement which said that Hitler will not invade
any more. However he broke his promise and Britain and France lost
on him, this was another reason causing the WW2. Another reason
for Hitler to invade Sudetenland land was for its defenses which were
the mountains and for the industries which would act like a
and also he thought these industries would be used in war times
to provide food etc. Not inviting Russia in the Munich agreement and
giving the Czech to Germany made Stalin think that Britain
Russia and want Germany to be stronger and act like a barrier
against communism this was another reason for the WW2.
Austria (1938), when Austrian prime minister asked Britain
and France for help, they said no. They thought that it was unfair
of Versailles to divide these both countries, as their population
was mostly German. Britain had warned Germany if they invaded
would start a war. But later Germany held a vote at Austria
and then Germany won. This led to Britain not going against Germany
had won by the rules of democracy and Britain was a democratic
country. Thus this made Britain angry and could have led to the WW2.
this time everything was okay, as Hitler was only reversing
the treaty which
everyone thought was harsh.
Hitler now started making
plans to invade Poland. By this time, everyone understood that
Hitler was not only
breaking the Munich agreement but also has plans to conquer
the whole of Europe. Hitler made an alliance with Russia and conquered
and Russia got the other. By this time both Russia and
knew they would have a war against each other. Hitler taking over
Poland made Britain and France angry and was one of the reasons to
Problems caused by The Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles was another major cause for the
WW2 because the Treaty took 13 per
cent of Germany's territory and ten per cent
of her population; the border territories of Alsace and Lorraine
were returned to France. Germany lost all
of her colonies, 75 per cent of
her iron ore deposits and 26 per cent of her coal. The size of
the army and navy was also cut, and an air force
and submarines were
forbidden. The Germans also had to officially
accept ‘war guilt’ and
pay reparations to the tune of £6,000 million. This led
to Germany becoming bankrupt and leading to high unemployment
rate thus this led
to the rise of Hitler as he promised to take care of the situation
and bring back the Germany before. Taking away Germany’s
army also led to Hitler rearming in secret.
for the world war was Germans felt that the Treaty
unfair and being too harsh on Germany this led to Hitler reversing
the Treaty of Versailles and causing the WW2. The British views
treaty also led to the WW2 as the British people began to see
the Treaty as unfair so this led to Chamberlain not
taking any action
instead allowing Hitler to do whatever he wanted like: Rearm
Germany, Remilitarize Rhineland etc.
This was one
of the biggest faults of the British’s. One of the terms under
the treaty of Versailles was the creation of Poland
The creation of Poland separated
and Germany. Germany wanted the Polish Corridor back as it
contained many Native German speakers. Upper Silesia
was also given back
and Germany wanted it back. This led to WW2 and Germany invading
Poland with Russia. Russia also wanted Poland back as it was
of Nations was another cause for the WW2 because the
weaknesses of the league in the
Manchurian crisis and Abyssinian crisis directly
proved how weak and ineffective the League was.
In the Manchurian
Crisis, Japan Invaded Manchuria as they though they
needed to space and needed
more resources and also they had a railway there, which made It
easier for them to attack Manchuria. The League of
Nations took one year to
figure this out. By this time, it was too late and Japan had already
When the League
blamed Japan and told them to set Manchuria free, Japan
just left the League and
nothing was done about
it. This was set as a clear example for Abyssinia Crisis and
Disarmament conference where they followed the principles.
Hitler in the Disarmament
conference left the League of Nations because he thought it was
unfair for only Germany to disarm and the League
did not do anything about
it. This is similar to the Manchurian crisis. Hitler used the
weaknesses of the League as an intensive to get away
with actions he wanted.
also had weaknesses like its lack of armed forces,
NO major powers
and ineffective sanctions. This helped to cause the WW2 because
no armed forces means the League depended on countries
for their forces and
Britain and France were sometimes not willing to send their
army for every little incident. Even countries like
USA were not involved making
the League look useless and powerless. Thus the league was
the reasons for WW2, as it did nothing except
showing how weak it was and
how ineffective rules it had.
The appeasement act was an
act allowing a person to do something with a condition. The appeasement
caused the WW2 because this made Germany stronger
and stronger, until a point in which a war had to be fought to bring
Germany down. Appeasement also made Hitler aggressive and demanding.
to WW2 because his aggression made him concur places like Poland causing
the WW2. Agreeing to Hitler’s demands means making Germany more
stronger making it difficult for them to defeat Germany later when it
came to a war.
The Nazi-Soviet Pact was an
agreement between Germany and Russia for taking over Poland. It was
also a key step in Hitler's plan to conquer Russia. Russia and Germany
both knew there would be a
were using the time to build up their forces. This pact also created
tension between the both countries, as they were closer to each other.
By this time, everyone knew that Hitler had aims to conquer Europe and
not only reverse the treaty. Britain and France had promised to protect
Poland from Germany. Germany taking Poland means there would be a war.
Thus all of these five reasons helped to cause the WW2. Hitler actions
caused the WW2 as he got very confident by conquering many places and
did not stop. This made France and Britain mad and caused the WW2 as
Hitler had plans to conquer whole of Europe. The League of Nations
caused the WW2 because of its weaknesses to deal with the Manchurian
Crisis and the Abyssinian crisis and this made Hitler think that the
League was weak and he ignored the League. The Treaty of Versailles
the WW2 because it was too harsh on Germany and led to increase
in unemployment rate, which led to rise of Hitler who promised to bring
everything back to normal. The Appeasement cause the WW2 because it
made Germany confident to do something bigger and this made Germany
and likely to have a war. The Nazi-Soviet pact caused the WW2 as it
made Hitler ignore the warning of France and Britain and conquering
Poland leading to the WW2. Thus all of these reasons combine to be
one and have caused the WW2.
John D Clare