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Appeasement and the Road To War

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Appeasement and the Road To War The Reoccupation of the Rhineland Aims: To look at the position of the Rhineland by 1936. To identify the importance of the Rhineland ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Appeasement and the Road To War


1
Appeasement and the Road To War
  • The Reoccupation of the Rhineland

2
Aims
  • To look at the position of the Rhineland by 1936.
  • To identify the importance of the Rhineland to
    both Germany and France.

3
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4
Importance of the Rhineland
  • 15 million Germans lived there
  • Had been demilitarised as part of the Treaty of
    Versailles
  • France had at one point wanted the Rhineland to
    become a small independent republic.
  • Demilitarisation of the Rhineland was reinforced
    by the Treaty of Locarno 1925.

5
Franco-German Hostility
  • France had been invaded twice by Germany in 1870
    and 1914
  • France feared Germany wanted revenge for the
    Treaty of Versailles
  • Rhineland provided an important buffer between
    France and Germany.
  • France regarded the area as essential for her
    long-term security.

6
Treaty of Locarno 1925
  • Signed by Britain, France, Germany and Italy.
  • Germany accepted and recognised her Western
    borders with France and Belgium.
  • Britain and Italy would act as guarantors of this
    treaty.
  • No mention was made of Germanys eastern borders.

7
Class Discussion
  • Why do you think that the Rhineland
  • was important to Hitler?
  • Think about
  • Aims of Hitlers foreign policy
  • Ethnic table Cameron page 16

8
Why March 1936?
  • The French Parliament had just ratified the
    Franco-Soviet pact in February 1936. Both
    countries agreed to come to the others
    assistance if they were attacked.
  • Hitler claimed this was an attempt by hostile
    powers to encircle Germany on the 7th March
    1936 22,000 German troops moved into the
    Rhineland.
  • France was between governments and in the middle
    of a general election campaign.
  • The invasion took place on a Saturday when
    politicians were away for the weekend.
  • Events were a fait accompli by the time
    politicians could formulate a response.

9
Hitlers Viewpoint
  • Why must Germany continue to be
  • threatened? France refuses to disarm and
  • has now made a treaty with Russia. Why?
  • A look at the map of Europe will tell you.
  • France and Russia want to destroy
  • Germany. We are facing a threat from two
  • sides. We must defend ourselves. The first
  • step must be to defend our borders in the
  • Rhineland. It is not fair that France could
  • easily attack us and destroy our industry.
  • We must have a strong frontier, defended
  • by our brave soldiers.

10
Reoccupation of the Rhineland Key Opinions
  • Study the following sources which
  • outline different views on the
  • Rhineland crisis.
  • In your own words, explain the view
  • contained in each source.

11
Hitlers Viewpoint
  • The 48 hours after the march into the
  • Rhineland were the most nerve-
  • racking of my life. If the French has
  • then marched into the Rhineland, we
  • would have had to withdraw with our
  • tails between our legs.

12
Lord Lothians Viewpoint
  • They are only going into their own
  • back garden.
  • Lord Lothian was an influential British
  • politician and diplomat during the
  • 1920s and 1930s.

13
Stanley Baldwins Viewpoint
  • Military intervention would be out of
  • proportion to what Germany had
  • done
  • Baldwin was the British Prime Minister
  • at the time of the Rhineland crisis.

14
Harold Nicholsons Viewpoint
  • We know that Hitler gambled on this coup.
  • Thus if we send an ultimatum to Germany she
  • ought in all reason to climb down. But what
  • is the good of that? It would only mean
  • communism in Germany.. Moreover the
  • people of this country absolutely refuse to
  • have a war.
  • Nicholson was a Labour MP at the
  • time of the Rhineland crisis.

15
AJP Taylors Viewpoint
  • It has been said at the time, and has often
  • been said since, that 7 March 1936 was the
  • last chance.when Germany could have been
  • stopped without all the sacrifice and suffering
  • of a great war. Technically, on paper this was
  • true the French had a great army, and the
  • Germans had none.
  • AJP Taylor, a well-known historian who wrote
  • The Origins of the Second World War in 1964

16
Reaction to the Reoccupation
  • Aim
  • To examine the reaction of Britain,
  • France and Germany to the
  • reoccupation of the Rhineland.

17
The French Reaction
  • Politically unstable there had been rioting by
    right wing fascist groups in 1934. There was
    concern this might happen again.
  • They were in the middle of an election
  • Overestimated strength of the German army
  • Would not take action without British support

18
The British Reaction
  • Lord Lothian
  • They are only going into their own
  • back garden
  • Stanley Baldwin Prime Minister
  • Military intervention would be out of
  • proportion to what Germany had
  • done

19
The British Reaction
  • No great opposition from public.
  • Many politicians felt that the Treaty of
    Versailles had been too harsh on Germany
  • Franco-Soviet Pact had unduly provoked Hitler.
  • The Rhineland was German territory
  • Military defeat of Hitler could lead to a
    communist takeover in Germany.
  • A more conciliatory approach was needed rather
    than confrontation.

20
The German Reaction
  • Hitler suggested
  • A new demilitarised zone on both sides of the
    French-German border
  • That perhaps Germany might return to the League
    AND resume disarmament talks.

21
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