planning the annexation
This would provide land for Italian settlers
and connect Eritrea with Italian - Somali
Mussolini was convinced that neither
Britain or France would get involved.
France had already offered a
free-hand to Mussolini.
Britain were keen to reach a compromise to avert a crisis - they wanted to give
Italy control without the annexation.
October 13th: LON condemmed the actions of
Italy and voted for sanctions.
December: Foreign ministers of F and B produced a plan
to give 2/3 of Abyssinia under italian control, but it was
Gave Hitler opportunity to illegally rearm the Rhineland
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland.
Remilitarised on March 7th 1936
Hitler planned to re-occupy it in 1937 but
exploited the Abyssinian crisis instead!
The combination of the diplomatic situation
and the need to distract Germany from its
economic problems meant it was remilitarised
German army started Prep in Dec 1935.
They only sent a few soldiers at first who
were lightly equipped.
Didn't want France suspecting the take over.
France didn't want to retaliate if they weren't
backed by Britain
MAGINOT LINE: A line of concrete forts constucted by France along its border with G (Eastern Front)
British public just saw it as Hitler 'walking into his own back garden'
CONSEQUENCES: the destruction of the
Locarno settlements / treaties; Nazi Germany
Spanish Civil War
July 1936: nationalist revolution lead by the army broke out against the
Spanish Republican Government
Nationalists looked to Germany and Italy for help and the Republicans looked to Britain, France and Russia
Republicans asked France for help but France said no cos they realised it would lead to divided French society
(which was already politically divided) and Britain were not intervening; so intervening would ruin any chance of
a anglo french negotiation.
Hitler wanted to stop Spain becoming Communist but also wanted to distract the
western powers so he could continue his actions without intervention
Agreed to provide a fleet of transport aircraft to Francos men (led the nationalists) and dispatched 6000 troops.
Mussolini also agreed to assist Franco.
To stop spreading war Br and Fr introduced a non intervention
agreement which was signed by European Powers except
Germany and Italy
Republican Government approached Soviet Russia in sept
1936: sent military advisers and equipment
Stalin didn't want a nationalist victory in spain cos it would strengthen forces
of Fascism and make a german attack on the Coviet Union more likey. But by
1937 he realised the Republicans could not win; reduced the flow of arms so
as not to continue conflict. This was successful.
CONSEQUENCES: polarised public left/right opinion; threatened Fr
with encirclement; Germany benefitted the most
The Axis Powers Align 1936 (Berlin-Rome Axis)
Increase in friendly
relations between Rome
Br refused to acknowledge that Italy had control of Abyssinia - pushing Italy
towards German relations.
Hitler and Mussolini cooperated to block a British
idea to update the Locarno treaty
The understanding between Italy and Germany over Austria lead to the
Signed in Berlin October 1936
Mussolini announced the new alignment at a meeting in Milan Oct
1st: "understanding between certain countries.. Berlin torne line is
an axis around which.. European states will collaborate around
Germany and Italy were now an alliance and Franco - italian agreements had failed.
Showed how weak any agreements were
Democracies were looking at a Europe where they were
on the defensive from dictatorship that had risen;
growing in power and aligning
Arms Race/German Rearmament
Nov 5 1937
Hitler called a special meeting attended by
his commanders in cheif and war ministers
What Hitler was saying was recorded as his 'Last will and
testament'; stressed his main aim was Lebensraum within
Europe rather than African colonies . He would move against
Czech and Austira before 1945 as France was distracted by Italy.
SIGNIFICANCE: showed Hitler wasn't after African land and was his first
official declaration which lead to the arms race
4 year plan to prepare for war: concerntrated
on synthetic materials; raised taxes; by august
1939 lufftwaffe had 4000 frontline aircraft and
Rearmament would be done by mid 1940's
cause big economic and
social problems; strikes
in paris against diverting
all resources to
Rearmament slow due to bad economy
military expenditure increased by 6
times between 1936-9