Why War Broke Out in Europe in 1939 Essay

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Why War Broke Out in Europe in 1939 When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1939, he was not at all secretive about his plans for Germany. He had four main aims, which were:

- Abolish the Treaty of Versailles

- Expand German territory

- Defeat communism

- The creation of One Reich

He, like many others, believed the Treaty of Versailles was unjust and planned to abolish it. He called the German leaders who signed the Treaty the “November Criminals”. The treat was a constant reminder of Germany’s defeat in the First World War and their mortification by the Allies. The first step of getting revenge on the Treaty would be rearmament. When Hitler came into power thousands of
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This was a big gamble for Hitler for he did not know how the League would react. If he were told to withdraw he would have no choice, as his forces were still not that strong. This would have meant losing support of the German army and facing humiliation. The League however, had more pressing matters at hand (Abyssinian crisis) and so didn’t react. Before this, in 1935, Hitler also regained control over the Saarland. This was given to the League to supervise over a period of 15 years, after which a plebiscite would be handed out to see where the people wanted to belong (France or Germany). 90% voted for Germany, which was a big morale boost for Hitler. In 1938, Hitler managed to take over Austria, which yet again got him closer to his goal. Hitler encouraged the Nazi’s in Austria to make a riot and call for a union with Germany. Hitler told the Austrian chancellor Schuschnigg that only an Anschluss could sort these problems out. Britain and France refused to help and so Schuschnigg called for a plebiscite. Hitler however was not prepared to lose this and so sent troops in to make sure a “trouble-free” plebiscite. Hitler got his goal with a 99.75% support. This made him more powerful and closer to creating one Reich as well as unite all German speakers. After the Anschluss occurred, Hitler moved onto Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland (which I shall
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