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Ww1 And Ww2

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History

The decision to re-arm 1933:

After the Great War, The general revulsion against war shared widely by the public coupled with a period of euphoria led to the real belief that agencies such the League of Nations might provide a reliable vehicle in providing peace. Though not many would care to point out the effectiveness of collective security without the means of arms.

Not only did Britain had a difficult time after 1933 to rearm herself in face of the threat from Hitler's rearmament, Britain did not have an decent expeditionary force to deal with incidents such as Rhineland and Anschluss because of strong opposition from the Chancellor of Exchequer, Neville Chamberlain.

Saarland 1933:

In 1933, a considerable number of anti-Nazi Germans fled to the Saar, as it was the only remaining part of Germany that was not under the political control of the Third Reich.

As a result, anti-Nazi groups campaigned heavily for the Saarland to remain under French control as long as Adolf Hitler ruled Germany, but only a small number of people favoured that condition.

Spanish Civil War 1936:

The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted coup d'Ð"©tat committed by parts of the army against the government of the Second Spanish Republic. The Civil War devastated Spain from July 17, 1936 to April 1, 1939, ending with the victory of the rebels and the founding of a dictatorship led by the Nationalist General Francisco Franco. The supporters of the Republic, or Republicans (republicanos), gained the support of the Soviet Union and Mexico, while the followers of the Rebellion, nacionales (literally, "nationals" but rendered in the English bibliography as "nationalists"), received the support of the major European Axis powers of Italy and Germany and neighbouring Portugal.

The war increased tensions in the lead up to the Second World War and became in some cases a world war by proxy, with Germany in particular using the war as a rehearsal for many of the blitzkrieg tactics it later used in the war in Europe. The advent of the mass media allowed an unprecedented level of attention (Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell and Robert Capa all covered it) and so the war became notable for the passion and political division it inspired, and for atrocities committed on both sides of the conflict.

Anschluss with Austria 1938:

The Anschluss, also known as the Anschluss Ð"-sterreichs, was the 1938 annexation of Austria into Greater Germany by the Nazi regime.

The Anschluss was among the first major steps in Adolf Hitler's long-desired creation of an empire including German-speaking lands and territories Germany had lost after World War I.

Sudetenland 1938:

The Sudetenland was part of Germany until 1806 and of the German Confederation between 1815 and 1866. After the First World War the Sudetenland (some 11,000 square miles) became part of Czechoslovakia.

Until Adolf Hitler came to power most Sudenten Germans were content to remain in Czechoslovakia but in 1935 a Sudten-German Party, financed from within Nazi Germany, and began to complain that the Czech-dominated government discriminated against them. German's who had lost their jobs in the depression began to argue that they might be better off under Hitler.

Adolf Hitler wanted to march into Czechoslovakia but his generals warned him that with its strong army and good mountain defences Czechoslovakia would be a difficult country to overcome. They also added that if Britain, France or the Soviet Union joined on the side of Czechoslovakia, Germany would probably be badly defeated. One group of senior generals even made plans to overthrow Hitler if he ignored their advice and declared war on Czechoslovakia.

In September 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister, met Hitler at his home in Berchtesgaden. Hitler threatened to invade Czechoslovakia unless Britain supported Germany's plans to takeover the Sudetenland. After discussing the issue with the Edouard Daladier (France) and Eduard Benes (Czechoslovakia), Chamberlain informed Hitler that his proposals were unacceptable.

Adolf Hitler was in a difficult situation but he also knew that Britain and France were unwilling to go to war. He also thought it unlikely that these two countries would be keen to join up with the Soviet Union, whose communist system the western democracies hated more that Hitler's fascist dictatorship.

Benito Mussolini suggested to Hitler that one way of solving this issue was to hold a four-power conference of Germany, Britain, France and Italy. This would exclude both Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and therefore increasing the possibility of reaching an agreement and undermine the solidarity that was developing against Germany.

The meeting took place in Munich on 29th September, 1938. Desperate to avoid war, and anxious to avoid an alliance with Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union, Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland. In return, Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe.

On 29th September, 1938, Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini signed the Munich Agreement which transferred the Sudetenland to Germany.

When Eduard Benes, Czechoslovakia's head of state, protested at this decision, Neville Chamberlain told him that Britain would be unwilling to go to war over the issue of the Sudetenland.

The German Army marched into the Sudetenland on 1st October, 1938. As this area contained nearly all Czechoslovakia's mountain fortifications, she was no longer able to defend herself against further aggression.

"My good friends, for the second time in our history a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time." Chamberlain's reference is to Beaconsfield's return from the Congress of Berlin in 1878

Invasion of the rest of Czechoslovakia 1939:

With the invasion of the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, Britain was no longer acquiescent and Chamberlain warned that any further attacks would meet resistance. It took the defeat of Poland six months later to induce the British and French governments to declare war.

Danzig pact of Steel 1939:

By the beginning of 1939, Adolf Hitler had become so bold that he tried to steal two separate neighbouring

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