This is an extremely brief review of parts of WWIIThe Diplomatic Revolution (1933-1936)

  • Great Britain and France wanted to avoid another war
  • Hitler’s ability to rearm Germany depended on whether he convince others that his intentions were peaceful
  • October 1933 he withdrew Germany from the Geneva Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations
  • in March, 1935 Hitler announced the creation of a new air force and military draft that would expand Germany’s army form 100,000 to 550,000 troops
  • France Great Britain and Italy only warned againsst future agressive steps
  • Britain agreed to the Aglo-German Naval Pact on June 18, 1935 allowing Germany to build a navy 35% of the size of the British navy
  • March 7, 1936 Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland, without British support France did nothing
  • October 1936 Mussolini and Hitler concluded an agreement that recognized their common political and economic interests (Rome-Berlin Axis)
  • November 1936 Germany and Japan concluded the Anti-Comintern Pact
The Path to War
  • Germany’s ultimate goal was the conquest of living space in the east
  • HitlerĀ  persuaded the Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg into putting Austrian Nazis in charge of the government
  • March 13, 1938 annexed Austria to Germany
  • Germans had asked for autonomy for the Sudetenland, home to 3 million ethnic Germans
  • also contained Czecholovakia’s most important frontier defenses and considerable industrial resources as well
  • September 29 at the Munich Conference the British, French, Germans, and Italians agreed that German troops were allowed to occupy the Sudetenland
  • at the end of October 1938 Hitler told his generals to prepare for the finial liquidation of the Czechoslovakian state
  • Western states finally react
  • when Germany demanded the return of the Danzig (made a free city by the Treaty of Versailles) Britain offered to protect Poland
  • France and Britain realized that only the Soviet Union was powerful enough to help contain Nazi aggression
  • Hitler negotiated his own non-aggression pact with Stalin on August 23 1939
  • Finland, the Baltic states, and eastern Poland would go to the soviet Union while Germany would get western Poland
  • on September 1, German forces invaded Poland; two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany
Victory and Stalemate
  • Hitler used Blitzkrieg or “lightning war”
  • within four weeks Poland surrendered
  • on May 10 1940 Winston Churchill replaced Chamberlain
  • Hitler became convinced thet Britain was remaining in the war only because it expected Soviet support. If the Soviet Union were smashed, Britian’s last hope would be eliminated
  • Hitler invaded the Soviet Union on June 22 1941
  • on December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
  • the United States now joined with European nations and Nationalist China in a combines effort to defeat Japan
The Turning Point of the War
  • the United States into the war created the Grand Alliance that ultimately defeated the Axis powers
  • defeat of Germany should be the first priority
  • Grand Alliance had to stress military operations while ignoring political differences
  • at the beginning of 1943, the Allies agreed to fight until the Axis powers surrendered unconditionally, making it nearly impossible for Hitler to divide his foes
  • May 7 Germany surrendered
  • president Harry Truman became convinced that American troops might suffer heavy casualties in the invasion of Japan so the made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • the Japanese surrendered unconditionally on August 14 1945