‘Hitler cunningly concealed his aggression in the years 1933-36 and this explains his diplomatic successes in these years’ How far do you agree with this statement. Free essay! Download now
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‘Hitler cunningly concealed his aggression in the years 1933-36 and this explains his diplomatic successes in these years’ How far do you agree with this statement.
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| Words: 1300 | Submitted: 06-Jun-2010
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Description‘Hitler cunningly concealed his aggression in the years 1933-36 and this explains his diplomatic successes in these years’ How far do you agree with this statement.
Hitler continued in the footsteps of past German governments by trying to discard the limitations placed on the German military by the Treaty of Versailles and therefore in October 1933 left the Disarmament conference on the basis that other nations had failed to honour the agreement by disarming themselves, therefore it was going to rearm. Although this could have been an action which led to Germany being blamed for lack of cooperation, Hitler managed the situation in such a way that the French, who were suspicious of German intentions, because of their refusal to grant Germany equality of armaments without any reassurance from the British to keep the Germans in check were blamed for the breakdown of the conference. Hitler skillfully recognized the French attitudes and even proposed inequality knowing the French would refuse as there was no guarantee for the level of German rearmament other than reliance on Hitler’s word.
This increased British sympathy for Hitler and helped him successfully retract Germany from the League of Nations without any misgivings about the country’s future intentions. The Non- Aggression pact with Poland in 1934 was a huge success for Hitler as he took initiative without the backing of his Foreign Office and promised not to redress German grievance by force therefore suggested to the rest of the world that his intentions were peaceful.
Hitler’s ability to repeatedly reassure the British led to the Anglo-German Naval pact of 1935 where Germany could now increase the size of the Navy, a restriction once imposed upon Germany.
This greatly undermined the collective security which had been formed by the creation of the Stresa Front. Furthermore, it led to strains in Anglo-French relations and therefore prevented any united opposition against Germany which greatly helped him in the remilitarization of the Rhineland.
It can be argued that the context of the situation contributed more towards Hitler’s diplomatic successes rather than his cunning concealment of aggression. For instance, Britain refused to guarantee the observance of the convention due to the public opinion against war fueled by the effects of the Depression. They couldn’t afford sanctions, and adopted the traditional conciliatory approach which they felt would avoid conflict. Furthermore, the Manchurian crisis and the increase in Nationalism in Germany made countries like France even more unwilling to give up any superiority in arms, therefore it is in this context that the Disarmament Conference met and this context that Hitler’s strategy worked. Perhaps it worked because the British and French had no other choice but to turn a blind eye to any German aggression.
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