Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Anton phpbb3, May 29, 2004.
I would have to say appeasment started world war two.
With the contribution of other factors
It didn't start it but allowed the start of it.
it was one of the main causes
It wasn't a cause of the war, but gave Hitler a much easier chance of victory in Europe.
Had we not appeased Hitler he may not of attacked so soon, but he would have attacked someone at some time. No nation with a strong military has failed to use it for it's own economic gain, Nazi Germany would have been the same.
So Hitler would have started WW2 with or without appeasement.
Appeasment meant WW2 started in 1939, not 1936.
Had it started in 1936, it would not really have been WW2, as Britain/France/maybe Italy could have overpowered Germany at that stage with little problem.
Even if we had allowed the Rhineland, and the Union with Austria (remember that this had been tried before, but belligerant action from Mussolini put Hitler off), but stuck to our guns on Czechoslovakia, it could well have been easier.
The USSR was all set to uphold its obligation to defend the Czechs, the Sudetenland which Hitler craved contained good defenses, and the Czech armament industry was first class (witness German use of Czech equipment). Czechs, Soviets, Britain & France against Germany (& maybe Italy). A two-front war, which Germany was not ready for at that point.
America need never have got involved. Indeed, the average American may never have heard of it...
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Neville Chamberlain and his contempories had seen the carnage of the First World War in some cases in person. Can they really be damned for attempting to avoid war? Can they be damned for assuming others would want to avoid war?
Chamberlain in particular might not have been judged so harshly if thing hadn't gone so badly in the first year of the war.
Chamberlain, after carrying appeasement to the nth level and giving Hitler time to rebuild the military, not to be judged harshly? Arhhhh (sound of teeth gnashing).
Versailles definitely sowed the seeds for WWII in Europe. By taking a proud nation and emasculating it economically, the Allies had guaranteed it.
In the Pacific, Japan's naked aggression against China was the matchstick. Japan had decided they wanted to achieve the superpower status Anton referred to in the first post, but needed resources badly to obtain that status. The U.S., in the Philippines since the 1890s, had a huge stake in what was occurring and tried to avoid appeasement through economic sactions. Unfortunately, economic sanctions didn't really work any better than pure appeasement. (something the U.N. could learn perhaps?) Anton is correct that the oil embargo pushed the Japanese "over the edge", but given Japan's Imperialist activities, that was inevitable.
By the way, anyone may feel free to bash the U.S. for started the Spanish-American War. Now there was one where we picked the fight and then took the 90 lb weakling (no offense to Spain intended) out back, whipped the crap out of him, and took his jewelry!
Chamberlain & his contemporaries were blinded by:
1) the Idealism of Pacifism
2) the Nazi propaganda which seriously inflated Germany's military strength
3) the Nazi propaganda which said that Hitler was a nice chap who was trying to rebuild Germany after the indignity/insult of Versailles, and the huge economic troubles since.
However, anyone taking a read of Mein Kampf would soon realise the truth of intention.
However, I can see why they may not have done - it is an immeasurably dull read. The author only really gets excited when mentioning the activities of small boys in shorts (HJ).
In essence, though, it is foriegn policy suicide to simply allow a nation to behave how it chooses to others simply because it feels wronged.
Don't do that dental treatment is expensive. I'm not saying that appeasement was the right idea because it wasn't. The motives were right but policy effectively handed Hitler the club he used to bash the world over the head with.
It's worth noting that America was prepared to go down the Versailles route after WW2 but the rapidly chilling relations with the USSR resulted in a change in policy.
The USSR took 'squeeze until the pips squeek' to a whole new level...
Poor East Germany... :cry:
I do not think USSR would ever have fought for the independence of CZechoslovakia or Poland.
Even if they had been willing, the poles and the czechoslovaks would not have led the red army enter their territory, as they knew, they would not leave after the war.
So the problem remains that Britain and France with their defensive minded armies could not have done much to help their eastern allies, even if the war had started earlier.
When Hitler wanted to annex the Sudetenland, the USSR was all for upholding it's treaty obligations & stopping Germany.
Whether this was because it would bring a propaganda coup (Britain & France blatantly were not going to) or whether they were trying to limit the power of Germany, or stick up for Slavic types, or just honouring their treaties, I don't know.
But they did offer.
In case of war with Czechoslovakia, soviets would not have been able to do much because they did not have a common border with Czechoslovakia.Poland or Romania would first allow red army to cross their territory, which is inconcievable.
In august 1939,an allied mission composed by british admiral Drax and french general Doumenc negociated with the soviets to make an alliance, but Stalin choose Germany as a partner.
No, but there is no common Czech - Britain/France border either.
If the three powers together (UK, USSR, France) had threatened Germany with war in 1936, it is highly likely Germany would have backed down.
Practically, it would have meant war on at least 2 fronts (Czech & France), with the Baltic being largely denied to Germany thanks to Russia, and even the possibility of an invasion from the Baltic. East Prussia would certainly have gone.
quote="Ricky"]No, but there is no common Czech - Britain/France border either.
No, but there is a french-german border.
I was thinking of 1938.
East Prussia would only be threatened if Poland or the baltic stated joined the war.
But of course you are right, every constellation where Russia stands against Germany will soon be fatal to Germany because of oil and other raw material shortage.
I just do not see Stalin figthing for the independence of eastern european countries.
He had much more to win by dealing with Hitler.He hoped for a long war between Germany and the western allies, which would leave Germany/France/Britain exhausted, so the Soviets become the most powerfull state in Europe.
He even achieved this goal in 1945, altough not in the manner he had expected.
quote="Ricky"]No, but there is no common Czech - Britain/France border either.
Neither do I, but they professed a readyness to do so over the Czechs.
Darn it, I can't decide which one was the most significant factor
1. When Hitler was rejected from art school
2. Post WWI global depression, especially in Germany
3. Versailles treaties which punished the Germans
3.Duke Ferdinand was assacinated (lead to WWI, versailles treaties, then WWII), or
4. Was it the industrial revolution: arms race led to WWI, which then led to WWII, or
5. Global Colonialism: which led to arms race, ethnic unrests, assacination of Duke Ferdinad...WWI.....WWII, or
6. Just human nature, WWII was going to take place no matter what, even if it wasn't Hitler and Germany, it would have been someone else. Let's not forget that China, with a population of over 400 million, has already been fighting the Japanese since 1937.
I'm not aware of any U.S. efforts to obtain its' "pound of flesh" from Germany ala Versailles. There was significant support in keeping Germany under heavy controls to prevent it from ever being a threat again. I guess you could say the Soviets refusal to ever relinquish their part of Germany actually made 'controlling' Germany rather easy.
I've seen some of Hitler's art, and he deserved to be rejected from art school!
On a more serious note, Japan invaded China in 1931, not 1937.