The Outbreak of War in 1939

The Outbreak of War in 1939

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The Outbreak of War in 1939

There were many things that may have cause the inevitable war. One of
the first things is the foreign policy of Hitler. Firstly he used to
just make it look like he was just putting right the treaty of
Versailles but in 1938 when he took over Czechoslovakia and also made
a deal with the Soviet Union to split up Poland, Britain and France
did not like this and got ready for war. The biggest problem was that
Hitler was almost stronger than both of those two countries but they
did not have the help of the U.S.A. so there was not going to be very
decisive outcome at the start. It was unsure of which side the
U.S.S.R. was on as it had made a pact with both sides, and at that
time communism was a bigger threat than fascism of Hitler and
Mussolini but that soon changed and Britain and France decided to try
to take action before it was too late. Especially as it was clear to
them now what Hitler really wanted, which was not to rectify the
treaty of Versailles but to try and gain control of Europe,
exterminate communism, get more lebensraum and in the process rectify
the old treaty.

The British public were greatly in favour of Chamberlain and in a
survey he undertook 93% of the people said they did not trust Hitler
and his territorial ambitions. Also the German public did not like
what the German government did in 1919 and so most of them happily
supported any war in which Hitler started to rectify the national
pride and property and so which both publics supporting their
governments if they went to war there was one less barrier to war.

Germany’s aggression along with the aggression of her allies and their
ambitions of making big empires fuelled them into favouring war than
peace with neighbouring countries. Also the democracies were too
passive, the USA was in isolation, France would not do anything
without the support from Britain and Britain was sympathetic towards

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Germany and later appeased her. All three of these powers could have
stopped Germany earlier if they had wanted to do so. Also the League
of Nations failed to keep peace, which led to fighting rather than

Although Britain and France were aware of Hitler's actions, they were
also concerned about the rise of Communism and believed that a
stronger Germany might help to prevent the spread of Communism to the
West. In 1936 Hitler ordered German troops to enter the Rhineland. At
this point the German army was not very strong and could have been
easily defeated. Yet neither France nor Britain was prepared to start
another war.

Hitler’s next step was to begin taking back the land that had been
taken away from Germany. In March 1938, German troops marched into
Austria. The Austrian leader was forced to hold a vote asking the
people whether they wanted to be part of Germany.

The results of the vote were fixed and showed that 99% of Austrian
people wanted Anschluss (union with Germany). The Austrian leader
asked Britain, France and Italy for aid. Hitler promised that
Anschluss was the end of his expansionist aims and not wanting to risk
war, the other countries did nothing. Hitler did not keep his word and
six months later demanded that the Sudetenland region of
Czechoslovakia be handed over to Germany. Neville Chamberlain, Prime
Minister of Britain, met with Hitler three times during September 1938
to try to reach an agreement that would prevent war. The Munich
Agreement stated that Hitler could have the Sudetenland region of
Czechoslovakia provided that he promised not to invade the rest of
Czechoslovakia. Hitler was not a man of his word and in March 1939
invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia. Despite calls for help from the
Czechoslovak government, neither Britain nor France was prepared to
take military action against Hitler. However, some action was now
necessary and believing that Poland would be Hitler’s next target,
both Britain and France promised that they would take military action
against Hitler if he invaded Poland. Chamberlain believed that, faced
with the prospect of war against Britain and France, Hitler would stop
his aggression. Chamberlain was wrong. German troops invaded Poland on
1st September 1939. This shows that although Hitler promised a lot he
could not keep his promises and Chamberlain should have seen this in
the Munich agreement, but still he appeased Germany and still they
invaded more and more so war was really inevitable but Chamberlain at
least did realise this a bit and started rearming. This is why the war
started in the short term.
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