Appeasement and the Road to War 1933-1939 German Rearmament 1933-35 Outcomes By the end of this lesson you will: Know how Hitler rearmed Germany. Why the rearmament issue is an early example of Appeasement in action. Be able to discuss whether or not Britain’s reaction was justified. Rearmament Timeline 1933- Hitler withdrew Germany from, disarmament talks and the League. 1934 – Hitler signed 10yr non-aggression pact with Poland 1935 – March - the Saarland was returned to Germany providing much needed resources for rearmament. - Goering announced the existence of the Lufwaffe (banned by Versaille) - Hitler announced the reintroduction of conscription and an increase in army divisions (also banned) Hitler justified these action by claiming he had been forced to do this for defence purposes, since no other country had complied with the declaration in the League Covenant of general disarmament. German population were delighted by the news – crowds gathered to watch parades, newspapers hailed the overturning of Versailles. Reactions throughout the rest of Europe were not so positive! International Reaction League of Nations USSR The League Council condemned Germany for breaking the Treaty of Versailles. Stalin found Hitler’s behaviour threatening. However, nothing was done when Germany continued to rearm. In May Russia signed a Mutual Assistance Pact with France and one with Czechoslovakia. The Franco – Soviet Pact 1935. France Italy Britain Formed a common front against Hitler by attending a conference at Stresa in Italy “Stresa Front” In April Italy, France & Britain issued a formal protest against Hitler’s flouting of the disarmament clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. British Reaction Opinion in Britain was divided about what to do. Winston Churchill Hitler is “moving along the road to war” Germany had genuine grounds for grievance! Government view Backbench MP Even while the Stresa discussion were taking place the British government formed the view that it was better to limit German rearmament by negotiation than stop it by threat or force. Anglo-German Naval Agreement In June 1935, Britain and Germany signed a Naval Agreement without consulting France or Italy. In the agreement Britain accepted the expansion of the German navy and the use of submarines. Anglo-German Naval Agreement Germany can build her navy up to 35% the size of the British navy. Germany can equal the submarine strength of British Empire. Consequences The consequences of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement were shattering: Britain was viewed as unpredictable and unreliable. The Stresa Front was weakened because Italy and France had not been consulted. France was angered by the deal and the allies were now divided. Britain had ignored League resolutions and had agreed that Hitler be allowed to break terms of Versailles, undermining the Treaty and the League. Hitler appeared to be in the right and score a diplomatic and propaganda victory. Task: • The Anglo German Naval Agreement is often described as the first example of British Appeasement. • Was Britain’s reaction justifiable? • To answer this you have to think about the ‘bigger picture’ - what else had happened, what were British relations with the other major powers? • For this question you have to write a short essay of several paragraphs.