France gave up their position as a great power in Europe CONSEQUENCES o 1. Hitler now considered French and British as weak Now thought he’d get away with other violations o 2. Belgians were getting concerned with French insistence on wanting to fight Germany Second-guessed the reliability of the French o 3. Hitler gave go-ahead of massive military buildup In June, Hitler recognized an agreement with the British about naval restrictions: could build up to 35% of British naval army British signed became co-responsible for violation of Versailles Peace Treaty
Hitler told British that they need to sign otherwise they’ll fully violate the Peace Treaty and rearm their navy entirely Between March and June (BEFORE BRITISH NAVAL AGREEMENT) France called on British and Mussolini to respond against German rearmament o Mussolini proposed to meet at Stresa o Weird meeting (two democracies + a dictatorship) Signed Stresa front in 1935 o Stated that the three of them would commit to the defense of the borders agreed upon in the Versailles Peace Treaty o Specifically guaranteed frontiers and integrity of Austria On the request of Mussolini, since he was still bitter from Hitler’s coup o When Britain signed naval agreement, they abandoned their commitment to the Stresa front At the Stresa meeting, Mussolini asked Western partners if they had any other pressing issues to discuss o British knew Mussolini was preparing to attack Ethiopia, and they said no Mussolini took this as a “green light” to attack So, Italy attacked the independent country of Ethiopia o Politically, Mussolini misjudged the situation France and Britain reacted surprised and condemned Italy’s attack at the League of Nations Imposed embargo on Italy o Hypocritical because they didn’t do what was needed to stop the war o French and British populations were furious o Mussolini was furious at this action and he decided he could no longer trust his “Western partners” Decided he had to turn to Hitler for support (change in attitude towards Hitler, which is what Hitler was waiting for) o By the end of ’35 Hitler had free rearmament and was set up for an alliance with Italy 1936 Events
German army occupied demilitarized Rhineland in March 1936 Olympic games held in July 1936 Spanish Civil War began in mid-July 1936 Sep-Oct 1936: signing of anti-ComIntern act between Japan and Germany Versailles treaty had said that Germany could not move closer than 50km to the Rhineland o Hitler wanted to build parallel fortification line facing Maginot line in France o Doing so went against treaty, put France in danger o Hitler’s closest collaborators (Minister of Foreign Affairs + army officers) advised him against this, said it would end in Hitler withdrawing troops from Rhineland French government said they would not tolerate Hitler’s move o Army general advised government that their army was trained in defense, not offense o
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- Fall '19