Why World War II Broke out in 1939 Essay

Why World War II Broke out in 1939 Essay

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Hitler’s Aims

Hitler was never secretive about his plans for Germany. His aims were explained in detail in his book Mein Kampf, of what he would do to make Germany a great nation again. His main aims were to:

Abolish the Treaty of Versailles
Like many Germans, Hitler believed that the Treaty of Versailles was unjust. He hated the Treaty and the German politicians were in his view, “November Criminals”. The worst aspect of the Treaty was that it was a reminder to the Germans of their defeat in the First World War and their humiliation by the Allies. His promise to the German people was that if he was the leader of Germany he would reverse this. By the time Hitler came to power, some of these terms had already been changed. The largest if these was Germany no longer had to pay reparations. However, most of the conditions were still in place.

Expand German Territory
Another term of the Treaty was that land was taken away from Germany. Hitler wanted this territory back. He also wanted an Anschluss with Austria, and with any other German minorities in other countries such as Czechoslovakia. As well as regaining old land, he also desired to make an empire in the east, for the Germans to have Lebensraum, or living space.

Destroy Communism
A German empire in the Soviet Union would also help Hitler with one his other objectives, which was to defeat communism. Hitler was anti-communist. He also believed that Bolsheviks had contributed to Germany losing the World War. This aim was accepted in the West, due to the growing fear of communism. Therefore, people were lenient towards his other aims.


As soon as Hitler came to power in 1933, one of his first steps was to increase Germany’s armed forces. Consequent...

... middle of paper ...

... take over the border districts of Czechoslovakia.
3. Britain and Germany would never go to war.

On 1 October German troops marched into the Sudetenland with no resistance. Although the British people welcomed the Munich Agreement, they did not trust Hitler. In March 1939 they were proved right. On 15 March, with Czechoslovakia in chaos, German troops took over the rest of the country.

There was no resistance from the Czechs. Nor did Britain and France do anything about the situation. However, it was now clear that Hitler could not be trusted. For Chamberlain, this was a step too far. Unlike the Sudeten Germans, the Czechs were not separated from their homeland by the Treaty of Versailles. This was an invasion. Britain and France told Hitler that if he invaded Poland they would declare war on Germany. The policy of Appeasement was ended.

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