End of Appeasement - Coatbridge High School

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, World War II (1939-1945)
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Was the end of appeasement the reason war began? This final topic requires you to investigate why Britain’s attitude changed towards appeasement and decide whether or not this caused war.

Why the change of attitude? • After the signing of the Munich agreement British politicians and public believed peace had been made • However, six months later, Hitler invaded the remainder of Czechoslovakia • It became apparent he (Hitler) could not be trusted. • Appeasement no longer seamed a feasible option.

Crisis in Poland • Poland like Czechoslovakia had a strong German population living within its borders. • After WW1 it was separated from Germany by the Polish Corridor • Hitler again started to make demands and allegations • However, on this occasion Britain and France were willing to act • The singing of the Mutual Assistance Treaty meant both countries were prepared to defend Poland’s independence

• Hitler himself had forged stronger links with Italy • After Mussolini’s invasion of Albania and the warning he received from Britain and France, he was forced to sign a “Pact of Steel” with Hitler • This “guaranteed” up to 5 years of peace between the nations

Russia • Britain and France both realised Russia could play an important role in halting Hitler’s invasion of Poland • The prospects of fighting a war on 2 fronts would have been unthinkable • Britain also believed Communist Russia would NEVER be interested in joining forces with a Fascist Hitler

• After talks with Stalin, Britain stalled on agreements due to both sides distrust of each other. • Britain disliked Russia’s Communist beliefs • Russia believed Britain was instigating Germany to move East wards and eradicate Communism • Russia therefore feared German invasion and were not military strong enough to defend themselves.

Nazi-Soviet Non Aggression Pact • Hitler surprised Britain and moved quickly to agree the Nazi-Soviet Non Aggression Pact in August 1939 with Stalin • Both countries agreed not to attack each other • More importantly, they both agreed to divide Poland between them after Hitler had successfully defeated them. • Britain now had major concerns!

Poland • Like the Austrian crisis and the Czech crisis, Hitler now needed to instigate a crisis in Poland • He demanded the return of Danzig, a strong German population lived here. • He once again complained Germans were being persecuted here! • When this failed to gain the required response he set up an “attempted” polish invasion of Germany

• Hitler ordered the shooting of prisoners whom he had dressed in Polish soldiers outfits, after an attack on a German radio station • These “soldiers” Hitler claimed were shot trying to invade Germany • He now had the excuse he needed • On the 1st September 1939 he ordered his tanks and troops to invade Poland • A very short war was expected, then afterwards Poland would be divided with Russia!

British Reaction • Chamberlain, aware now that his policy of appeasement, as well as honouring his promise to Poland, ordered Hitler to remove his troops by September 3rd 1939 or war would be declared • Hitler refused! • Britain, France, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa all declared war on Germany!!!!

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