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Chapter 4:

Among the factors leading to the


outbreak of WWII in Europe,
which is more significant:
Hitlers expansionist policy or
the policy of appeasement?

Major events from the end of WWI to the outbreak of WWII in


Europe

Weakness of the League of Nations

Failure of
disarmament

The Abyssinian
Crisis

Weakness of the League of Nations Disarmament


Disarmament was seen as the most
effective way to prevent another world
war and to establish world peace.
Successes achieved due to efforts of
individual powers, not the League.

Weakness of the League of Nations Disarmament

Weakness of the League of Nations Disarmament

Weakness of the League of Nations Disarmament


The failure of disarmament showed how
important the involvement of USA was USA
commanded more respect than the League
itself.
It also showed that the leaders of the League
were more interested in protecting their selfinterests than imposing the will of the League.
All these reduced the credibility of the LON.

Weakness of the League of Nations Disarmament


The failure to achieve disarmament meant
that powerful countries still had the military
capacity for war, and that there was nothing
stopping them from engaging in conflicts.
By the 1930s, the inability of the powers to
trust each other and work towards
disarmament contributed to a general
atmosphere of distrust and tension which
eventually led to WWII.

Weakness of the League of Nations


the Abyssinian Crisis
Fascist Italy wanted to
build up its empire.
Decided to take land near
colonies that already
belonged to Italy.
Abyssinia had borders with
two smaller Italian colonies
and would be a link uniting
them into one large
territory.

Weakness of the League of Nations


the Abyssinian Crisis
I assert that the problem submitted to the
Assembly today is a much wider one. It is
not merely a question of the settlement of
the Italian aggression. It is collective
security: it is the very existence of the
League of Nations.
From Abyssinian Emperor Haile Selaissies speech to
the League of Nations in June 1936

Do you agree that the


existence of the League
was at stake, during the
crisis in Abyssinia?
Why do you think so?

Weakness of the League of Nations


the Abyssinian Crisis

Weakness of the League of Nations


the Abyssinian Crisis
When Mussolini invaded in 1935, Abyssinian emperor
appealed to League for help.
League was faced with a dilemma:
Italy was clearly in the wrong.
But, Britain and France were allies with Italy under the
Stresa Front, and they did not want to make an enemy of
Italy.

So, League did little to discourage Italy:


Imposed sanctions on Italy.
But failed to decisively place an immediate ban on oil
exports to Italy.

Weakness of the League of Nations


the Abyssinian Crisis
By the time League decided
Italy had already annexed large parts of Abyssinia.
The Abyssinian emperor was forced into exile.

Britain and France held secret talks with Italy:


The Hoare-Laval Pact.
Gave Italy two-thirds of Abyssinia.

Italys success in Abyssinia spelt the Leagues failure:


Failure of League to control Italy (and Japan in 1931), meant
it lost all respect and effectiveness.

Weakness of the League of Nations


the Abyssinian Crisis
The failure of the League in handling the
Abyssinian crisis effectively reduced its
credibility. Germany, Italy and Japan realised
that there was no world body to police their
activities and therefore their plan of conquering
and getting more land could be achieved quite
easily. Seeing how easily Japan and Italy got
away with aggression simply whetted the
appetite of Germany. Germany thus went on to
invade Poland, leading to WWII.

Hitlers expansionist policy

Hitlers expansionist policy


Withdrawal from the League of Nations and the
Geneva Disarmament Conference
Geneva Disarmament Conference 1932
Germany advocated either parity or disarmament
Parity : Germany allowed to rearm up to the level of other countries
Disarmament : Other countries disarm down to Germanys level

No country was willing to resort to either of Germanys demands


Oct 1933 : Hitler pulled Germany out of the conference
Shortly after, it withdrew from the League of Nations
Hitler went on to increase Germanys military capabilities towards
achieving his expansionist aims.

Hitlers expansionist policy


Conscription and Rearmament
From 1933-34, the Nazis stepped up on their secret rearmament and
conscription programme.
By March 1935, Germany possessed a 2,500 plane Luftwaffe and a
300,000 strong army.
Germany also made conscription compulsory and planned for an army of
550,000
Due to the pacifist mood in countries such as Britain and the weakness
of the LON, the Allies only made verbal protests instead of imposing
sanctions.
Hitler was thus free to transform Germany into a formidable and
dangerous military power.
Moreover, Britain signed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement with Hitler
in June 1935, allowing Germany a limited build-up of its navy.
The build-up of Germanys military capabilities and machinery would later
enable Hitler to put his expansionist plans in actions.

Hitlers expansionist policy


Remilitarisation of the Rhineland
On 7 March 1936, Hitler ordered German troops to remilitarise the Rhineland.
He used the Franco-Soviet Alliance as an excuse, saying that Germany was
now under threat from France and the USSR, and should be allowed to defend
its own frontiers.
Hitler did not send a strong force into the Rhineland and the troops had been
ordered to withdraw if attacked.

The LON condemned Hitlers actions but did nothing else.


Britain sympathised with Germany, and hence did nothing as well.
The French did not respond with force. With the impending election in
France, no politician wanted to be seen as wanting to start a war.

Hitlers expansionist policy


Remilitarisation of the Rhineland

.France and Britain did


nothing. Few people
wanted to risk another war.
Many felt that Germany
had every right to put its
own troops on its own
land. Hitler had bluffed
the Allies and got away
with it. He had banked on

Hitlers expansionist policy


Remilitarisation of the Rhineland

We had no army worth mentioning. If


the French had taken any actions, we
would have been easily defeated; our
resistance would have been over in a
few days.
Hitlers words about the remilitarisation of the
Rhineland to his advisor Albert Speer. Hitler told
Albert Speer that it was the most daring thing he
had ever done.

Do you agree that


remilitarising the
Rhineland was
Hitlers most daring
move? Why?
What actions do you
think France could
have taken in
response?
In your opinion, why
didnt France take
any action?

Hitlers expansionist policy


Remilitarisation of the Rhineland
Significance:
Hitler was able to start building a defensive force to
protect Germany from attack by France, in the event that
there was a war
Gave Hitler the confidence that Britain and France would
give in to his demands

Source 4.3

Military helmet and heavy decking of weapons illustrating Hitlers


militarisation of the Rhineland and German rearmament.
Nazi symbol identifies the goose as Germany.
Nazi flags indicates complete takeover of the Rhineland by Hitler.
Germany as a goose, marching the goose step:
Geese give an impression that they are peaceful and docile, but in reality
are very aggressive.
Goose-step alludes to the military march commonly used by German
troops.
Olive branch symbolises peace
Pax Germanica (or german peace) implies peace under German control,
with minimal expansion by military force.
Torn paper with Lorcano alludes to the complete disregard of the 1925
Locarno Treaties.
Stepping on the torn paper shows Hitlers blatant aggressiveness and
defiance.

The goose in the cartoon represents Germany, especially


evident from the Nazi symbol that it wears in its belly. It is
chosen to represent Germany because the military march of
the Germans resembled a goose walking, and hence, called
the goose-step. Geese also usually give people the
impression that it is peaceful and docile. This illustrates
Hitlers claim that he was for peace, and only remilitarised the
Rhineland for defensive purposes. This impression is
strengthened by the olive leaf in the gooses beak. The
cartoonist is trying to portray the conflict in what the goose
claimed to be doing versus what his real intention was.
Germany claimed that going through the Rhineland was a
blunder, a mistake, and it is venturing in peace (the impression
given to the Allies). However, Germany seemed very prepared
to fight and obviously disregarded the Locarno Treaties. The
takeover of the Rhineland was not a blunder, but intentional.

Ironically, geese are in reality very aggressive creatures,


thus implying that Germanys intentions were anything but
peaceful. This is shown not only in the gooses heavy
decking of weapons, but also in its blatant defiance in
performing a goose-step that is, the goose is stepping
on the 1925 Locarno Treaties, during which the Weimar
government accepted the demilitarisation of the Rhineland.

Hitlers expansionist policy


German involvement in the Spanish Civil War
In 1937, Hitler sent soldiers, equipment and warplanes to support the
Spanish Nationalist forces.
His involvement was designed to divert British and French attention
from his plans for expansion into Eastern Europe.
It also gave him the opportunity to test his army and airforce while
fighting against alleged communists in Spain.

The LON took no actions against Germany.


Hitler had portrayed himself as the defender of civilisation against
communism which resonated with Britain and Frances disdain
and fear of communism.
The lack of intervention strengthened Hitlers view that Britain
and France were weak, which in turn made him even more
aggressive.

Hitlers expansionist policy


German unification with Austria
Hitler an Austrian
Wanted Austria to be part of
Third Reich, as did many
people from both Austria and
Germany
TOV no union (or Anschluss
in German) between these two
countries
Many Austrian-born Germans
saw this as contradicting the
principle of self-determination.

Hitlers expansionist policy


German unification with Austria
Hitler made a number of
attempts to take over
Austria in 1930s
The most serious, in 1934,
was stopped by Italy
Mussolini didnt want a
powerful Germany at its
border
Showed support for
Austrian govt by sending
his troops to AustrianItalian border

Hitlers expansionist policy


German unification with Austria
By 1938, Hitler was stronger
& more friendly with Mussolini
Mar 1938 Germany marched
across the border into Austria
Austrian govt protests were
ignored
Anschluss (union of the two
countries) completed without
any resistance
Many Austrians welcomed the
German takeover but not the
Austrian Jews

I have only to give


an order, and in
one single night
all your ridiculous
defences will be
blown to bits. You
dont seriously
believe that you
can stop me do
you? I give you
for the last time
the chance to
Hitler to Austrian Chancellor Kurt
come
to terms.
Schuschnigg in 1938

Hitlers expansionist policy


German unification with Austria
Hitler was right when he
calculated that Britain and
France would not stop him
They protested but took no
action
Many Britons had felt the
ban on union of Germany
and Austria unfair
Germany became stronger,
gaining Austrias resources
of gold and iron ore, as well
as its army and weapons.

Hitlers expansionist policy


Sudeten Crisis
With Austria part of Germany,
Czech was surrounded by
German territory
Czech one of the richest
countries in eastern Europe
Had a modern army but was
no match for the German
troops
Wanted to avoid war with
Germany
Knew they could not stand up
against Hitler on their own
Hope that Britain, France and
USSR would help them

Hitlers expansionist policy


Sudeten Crisis
Britain and France could see a
crisis developing over the
Sudetenland
Feared that it might lead to war
Tried to persuade Czech govt to
give way to Hitler
Czech govt meanwhile tried to
persuade Britain and France to
stand up to Hitler with no
success
France and USSR had an
agreement with Czech to go to
their aid if it was attacked

Hitlers expansionist policy


Sudeten Crisis
29 Sep 1938, Munich
Conference
Leaders of Britain, France,
Italy and Germany signed
the Munich Agreement
that Germany would gain
control of the
Sudetenland.
Czechs and Soviets not
consulted at all.

Hitlers expansionist policy


Sudeten Crisis
For Hitler a great triumph
He made important gains
without fighting
Set his sights on occupying the
whole of Czechoslovakia.
Chamberlain proof that
appeasement worked
Britons and French happy that
war was avoided
Czech a great disaster and
the first step towards their
annihilation
Russia?

Germans in Sudetenland
thanking Hitler!

The real triumph


is that it has
shown that
representatives of
four great powers
can find it
possible to agree
on a way of
carrying out a
difficult and
delicate operation
by discussion
instead of by

Hitlers expansionist policy


Sudeten Crisis
Impact of Munich Agreement
Czechoslovakia crippled - loss of resources increased
vulnerability exposed to German threat
Russia felt threatened in German expansion eastwards
realised that Allies cannot be relied on
open way for Nazi-Soviet Pact 1939
Showed weakness of Allies - unable to see Hitlers greed
by making a separate agreement, Allies were weakening
collective security as proposed by League of Nations

GERMAN
GERMAN INVASION
INVASION OF
OF
CZECHOSLOVAKIA
CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Hitlers expansionist policy


Czechoslovakia
German soldiers poured
into Czech in Mar 1939
For the first time, Hitler
had taken over lands
where non-German lived
Unlike previously, he could
not hide his evil intentions
under the pretense of
uniting the Germans

Hitlers expansionist policy


Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

According to the agreement, the Soviets and


Germans would not fight each other in the
event of war in Europe. They also agreed to
divide Poland between themselves.

Hitlers expansionist policy


Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

Who is
represented
in this
cartoon?
Why might
the countries
represented
dislike each
other?

Who is represented:
Hitler and Stalin, who represent Germany and Russia
The body on the ground represents Poland, apt since that
country was geographically between Germany and Russia
and they agreed to divide it between them
Why Germany and Russia might dislike each other:
Hitlers openly published book, Mein Kampf (1924), outlined
Nazi ideology. It was anti-communist and one of its stated
aims was to attack Russia to take its territory
Stalins communist state was on the opposite end of the
ideological spectrum from German Fascism
Russia had fought against Germany and helped cause its
humiliating defeat in WW1
The two countries were geographically close enough to be
suspicious of one anothers intentions

Hitlers expansionist policy


Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

Reasons for signing the Nazi-Soviet


Pact
Hitler:
Wanted to ensure that the USSR
would not be involved in Germanys
invasion of Poland
Wanted to avoid fighting a war on 2
fronts

Hitlers expansionist policy


Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

Reasons for signing the Nazi-Soviet


Pact
Hitler:
Wanted to ensure that the USSR
would not be involved in Germanys
invasion of Poland
Wanted to avoid fighting a war on 2
fronts

Hitlers expansionist policy


Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
Reasons for signing the Nazi-Soviet Pact
Stalin:
Did not trust the Allies, esp. when the USSR was
not consulted in the signing of the Munich
Agreement.
Thought that the Allies were encouraging Hitler
to expand into Eastern Europe.
Needed breathing space to prepare its military
for a possible war with Germany.
Needed a land buffer in Poland in the event of an
invasion by Germany.

Invasion of Poland

Hitlers invasion of Poland was the last straw that triggered WWII.
On 29 August 1939, Hitler demanded Danzig and control of the
Polish Corridor.
Even at the last minute, Chamberlain was still hoping to come to
some agreement with Hitler
This convinced Hitler that they would not declare war on Germany.
Hitler went on to invade Poland on 1 September 1939 when
negotiations failed.
Britain gave Germany two hours to withdraw its troops from Poland
No reply from Hitler war was declared
Later the same day, France followed
World War II had begun

Your inquiry task:


How did Hitlers actions
contribute towards the
outbreak of WWII?

Worksheet 1:
Hitlers action
(month/year)

How did this contribute towards the outbreak of WWII?

Withdrawal
from
the This allowed Hitler to pursue his aggressive foreign policy
League of Nations and without having to regard the objections and threats from the
the Geneva Disarmament League and allowed Germanys rearmament.
Conference
(Oct 1933)

Conscription and
rearmament
(October 1933 onwards)

This allowed the build-up of Germanys military capability,


which further enabled Hitler to carry out his expansionist
plans.

Remilitarisation of the Made him a popular leader as the Germans were


Rhineland (March 1936) looking for a strong leader to regain their former
greatness.
Gave Hitler the increased confidence that Britain and
France would give in to his demands as no action
was taken yet again.
German involvement in Gave Hitler the opportunity to test out his military.
the Spanish Civil War
Became Italys ally
(April 1937)
Diverted attention from his plans in Eastern Europe.

German unification
with Austria
(March 1938)

First concrete step towards the expansion of


Germany. This also led to Hitler gaining Austria
resources of gold and iron, as well as its army and
weapons, further strengthening the army.
Hitler also became bolder as the LON did not react
against Anschluss.

Securing the Sudetenland Hitler was progressively creating his Greater Germany and
and signing the Munich
uniting the ethnic German people.
Agreement
(September 1938)
Signing of the Munich agreement showed a lack of
commitment of Britain and France to stop him. This
boosted his confidence further to carry out his expansionist
plans as he saw that the LON, Britain and France were not
a threat.

Invasion of
Czechoslovakia
(March 1939)

The invasion of Czechoslovakia convinced Britain and


France that Germany could not be trusted.
Britain realised that Hitler must be stopped as he had more
ambitious expansionist plans. He was no longer just
uniting ethnic Germans or reclaiming territories that
belonged to Germany before WWI.
Britain and France were rapidly rearming and accepted
that the policy of appeasement had failed.
They promised to go to Polands aid if it were attacked by
Germany

Signing of the NaziSoviet Pact


(August 1939)

The pact gave Hitler the extra confidence he needed


to deal with the Poland without having to worry about
a possible Soviet attack.
Even if war was declared, Poland was too far away
for Britain and France to provide support.
To Britain, the pact was a big blow as war with
Germany became more likely.

Invasion of Poland
(September 1939)

Triggered the outbreak of WWII as Britain and


France declared war on Germany to defend Poland.

Appeasement :
Giving way to other countries in
order to avoid conflict and war.
Britain and France adopted a
policy of appeasement towards
Germany after 1933

Reasons for Appeasement


Fear of another major war
Britain and France adopted the policy of appeasement
because they did not want a world war to break out
again. The First World War had lasting impression on
the people. Many French and British died during the
war. Many places in Britain and France were also
destroyed due to the war. Public disgust towards war,
along with the effects of the Great Depression, made
rearmament very difficult even if their leaders wanted
it. Both Britain and France were democracies and
they needed to take public opinion into account. With
the policy of appeasement, it was hoped that Germany
would compromise on its ambitions. This would lead to
peace and mean avoiding war.

Reasons for Appeasement


Genuine sympathy for Germany over the Treaty of
Versailles
Britain adopted the policy of appeasement because
the general feeling of the people was that the Treaty of
Versailles was unfair towards Germany. When Hitler
claimed that the ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia
were being oppressed, Chamberlain believed that
Hitlers grievances were justified. He thought that
Hitlers intentions were only limited to granting
Germans self-determination, which was a key goal of
the treaty itself. He believed that by giving in to Hitler,
he could stop Germany from starting another war.

Reasons for Appeasement


Buying time to rearm
Britain and France adopted the policy of appeasement because it
allowed both Britain and France to buy more time to build up their
forces. In the aftermath of the Great Depression, both Britain and
France were still dealing with the problems which had arisen as a
result of the economic crisis. Their governments policy had not
been to increase government spending to boost jobs, but instead
to lower taxes and cut government spending. This meant that
both countries were not ready to fight a war. They did not want to
spend the huge amounts of money necessary to improve their
weapons and expand their forces. Without doing so, they could
not go to war. With policy of appeasement, these countries could
delay Germanys progress and at the same time build up their
resources. This would ensure that they are strong enough to face
the Germans when it becomes impossible to avoid a war.

Reasons for Appeasement


Chamberlains misjudgement of Hitler
Britain adopted the policy of appeasement because
Chamberlain believed that Hitler was a man who could be
reasoned with. He came to a conclusion that Hitlers word
could be relied upon. He wrongly believed that Hitlers aims
were limited to revising the TOV instead of abolishing it, and
could therefore be satisfied with negotiations and
agreements. He believed that Hitlers promise that he would
cease making demands once he controlled the
Sudetenland. Hence, Chamberlain appeased Hitler as he
felt that Hitler was a reasonable man.

Reasons for Appeasement


Fear of Communism
Britain and France adopted the policy of appeasement
because they felt communism is a far greater threat than
Nazism. It was widely known that Hitler was strongly opposed
to communism. Hitler had banned the communist party and
put its leaders in concentration camps. Many leaders in
Britain and France feared and hated communism. Although
the western powers were aware of Germanys rapid
remilitarisation programme, they believed that a stronger
Germany could act as a shield against communist USSR.
Hence, they appeased Hitler as they saw Hitler as a potential
ally to prevent the spread of communism to Western Europe.

Examples of Appeasement
Anglo-German Naval Agreement June 1935
TOV: 6 battleships and no submarines
Anglo-German Naval Agreement: 1/3 the tonnage of Britains
surface fleet and an equal tonnage of submarines.
It was hoped that these concessions would reduce German
anger at the treaty and stabilise Europe.
Sought to place limits on the German navy so that Germany
would not be a threat to Britain.
Seemed to be encouraging German rearmament

Examples of Appeasement
Lack of action against Hitlers acts
aggression

Munich Agreement

Your inquiry task:


List the examples of
appeasement and include
their justifications for
doing so.

Event

Justification for
appeasement

Anglo-German
Naval Agreement
(June 1935)

Would appease anger of the Germany possessed


Germans towards the TOV. a navy much larger
than it was allowed
Allowed Germany to defend under the TOV.
itself without threatening the
peace of Europe.
Signalled to Hitler to
disregard the TOV
and the LON

Remilitarisation of Britain was sympathetic


the Rhineland
saw it as Hitler merely
(March 1936)
returning to his own
backyard.
France was unwilling to fight
Germany without British
backing.

Consequence on
Germany/Britain/Fra
nce

Hitlers standing
among the German
people and the
German army
increased.

How did this


contribute to WWII?
Encouraged Hitler to be
more aggressive in his
demands.

Encourage Hitler to
make more attempts to
abolish the TOV.
Proved that Br and
France were not ready
to act against Hitler,
which made Hitler more
confident.

German
involvement in
the Spanish Civil
War
(April 1937)

Anschluss with
Austria
(March 1938)

Britain and France were more


threatened by communism than
fascism.
Hitler was seen as a defender of
civilisation, combating communists
who were on the Republican side.

Germany tested
weapons and planes
it would later use in
WWII.

Allies fear of communism contributed


to greater trust on their part in Hitler
as a potential ally.

Hitler was more and


more emboldened
by Britain and
France lack of
actions in the face of
aggression.

Chamberlain did not see the need to


go to war with Germany to defend this
clause of the TOV as the union was
not seen to threaten Europe.

Hitler saw Britain


and France as weak
and unwilling to act
against him.

Hitler promised that union with Austria


would be the last of his demands.
Chamberlain believed that Hitler was
a man of his word.

Allowed Hitler to
assess the
readiness of the
German army to be
mobilised in
subsequent military
missions.

Continued trust in
Hitler allowed him
to take further
concrete steps in
taking over
territories to
achieve
lebensraum.

Sudetenland
and the Munich
Agreement
(September
1938)

Chamberlain hoped that this


would be the last demand to
unite the ethnic Germans.
Allies still hoping to avert war.

Czechoslovakia and
the USSR felt
betrayed, causing
Britain and France to
lose credibility as an
ally that would
respond effectively to
Hitler.

Invasion of
Czechoslovaki
a
(March 1939)

Appeasement was not pursued. Signalled to


Chamberlain that the
policy of
appeasement had
failed, and Britain and
France subsequently
abandoned it.
Issued ultimatum that
if Germany invaded
Poland, they would
fight.

Motivated Hitler to
pursue in his
subsequent invasion of
the whole of
Czechoslovakia.
Encouraged Stalin to
sign the Nazi-Soviet
Pact later to protect
itself, and encouraged
Hitler to attack Poland.

First action of Hitler that


clearly revealed his
aggressive intentions
instead of merely
wanting to unite ethnic
Germans and
reclaiming territories it
lost in WWI.

Was the Policy of Appeasement Justified?


Yes, the POA was justified because it delayed the onset of war and
thus helped to preserve peace in continental Europe. Most people
still remember the terrible effects of WWI. They were shocked with
the devastating effects of WWI and did not want a repeat. People in
Britain and France wanted to avoid another such dreadful war and
to erase memories of it. Due to the policy of appeasement, Britain
and France did not take any actions when Germany rearmed and
introduced conscription. They also helped bring about the Munich
Agreement which allowed Hitler to take over Sudetenland from
Czechoslovakia as they certainly did not think it was worth driving
the world into war over a faraway country like Czechoslovakia. As a
result, Hitler only used force in 1939 against Poland. This shows
that the appeasement policy actually dissuaded the use of force.
Had Britain and France opposed Hitler right from the start, war could
have broken out earlier than 1939. Thus, the appeasement policy
was justified as it extended the period of peace.

Was the Policy of Appeasement Justified?


The appeasement policy was also justified because it gave Britain
and France time for them to build up their resources to counter the
Nazi threat. WWI had made both Britain and France weak as many
factories, manpower and other resources were lost. When Hitler
first embarked on his route to break the terms of the Treaty of
Versailles, Britain and France were in no position nor had they
ability to counter a conflict with the Germans. It was pointless
fighting Hitler if they were not militarily prepared. Until Britain and
France could rearm, it was best to appease Hitler. Thus, it seemed
right to pursue the appeasement policy in the early 1930s because
it had allowed the British and French to buy time to build up their
military and economic resources such that in event of a conflict,
they had the ability and capability to counter the Nazi threat. This
was true in WWII where Germany was eventually defeated by the
British due to their ability to withstand the long-drawn war.

Was the Policy of Appeasement Justified?


No, the appeasement policy was not justified as it brought about
World War II. The Policy of Appeasement meant settling disputes
through discussion, rather than war. It involves giving in to
aggressive powers, as long as the demands were not too
excessive. Due to the policy of Appeasement, Britain and France
did not take any actions when Germany rearmed and introduced
conscription. This allowed the Germans to build up a capable
fighting force. Moreover, Hitler was allowed to take over several
territories (eg. Sudetenland) and gained resources which made
Germany stronger. The Policy of Appeasement was a failure
because it made Hitler bolder and gave him the assurance that
the British and the French will not do anything against Germany.
This made Germany more aggressive leading to it building up its
army and invading Poland, leading to World War II.

Was the Policy of Appeasement Justified?


The appeasement policy was not justified as it scared USSR
into making an alliance with Germany. Because Britain and
France did not stand up to Hitler when he attacked
Czechoslovakia, Stalin believed that they would not help
USSR either if Germany invaded it. This persuaded Stalin
that he might as well reach an agreement with Germany and
the Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed. This allowed Hitler to
attack Poland. If the policy of appeasement was not
adopted, the Soviets might not have signed that Nazi-Soviet
Pact. This would have made Hitler hesitate to expand
further into Poland due to fear of a two front attack on
Germany by Britain, France and Soviet Union.

Among the factors leading to the


outbreak of WWII in Europe, which
is more significant: Hitlers
expansionist policy or the policy of
appeasement?