East Spring Secondary School| History Project | Could World War II in Europe be Avoided? | Amirul Maricar (32) 3E2 | From the first day that he “seized power,” January 30, 1933, Hitler knew that only sudden death awaited him if he failed to restore pride and empire to post-Versailles Germany. His close friend and adjutant Julius Schaub recorded Hitler’s jubilant boast to his staff on that evening, as the last celebrating guests left the Berlin Chancellery building: “No power on earth will get me out of this building alive! ” David Irving, Hitler’s War: An introduction to the new edition (1989).
World War II in Europe could have been avoided. Why? How? Before all that we must go back and first look at the causes of World War II. Historians have suggested many reasons why World War II broke out in 1939. However, have you realized that the World War II was the culmination of the inter-war period. The five most important causes, therefore, were: Treaty of Versailles solved nothing It is often claimed that the Treaty of Versailles was a failure. And even many historians say that the Treaty angered the Germans, and did not even satisfy the Big Three.
Reparations left many people in the victorious nations feeling guilty. The loss of all that land to other countries simply made Hitler’s early aggression look justified. Self-determination surrounded Germany by a lot of small nation states that fell easy prey to Germany. But, most of all, the Treaty made the Germans angry, just waiting their chance for revenge. League of Nations failed to keep the peace It was weak from the beginning, and had spectacular failures in Manchuria and Abyssinia, and in making Hitler keeps the Treaty of Versailles.
It failed to achieve disarmament. Countries left the failing League, and realized that they would have to fight a war. Appeasement ‘Appeasement’ means ‘giving in to a bully’. Nowadays, many people criticize Chamberlain for appeasing Hitler. There were many reasons why Britain ‘appeased’ Hitler in the 1930s. Historians have ascribed every possible motive to Chamberlain – sheer abject cowardice, that he was duped by Hitler, that it was a noble attempt to prevent bloodshed, that he was buying time for Britain to re-arm… and many others!
Appeasement encouraged war. It made Hitler think no one dare stop him, which encouraged him to go further and further until in the end he went too far. The Sudetenland led Stalin to make the Nazi-Soviet Pact, because he believed he could not trust Britain. Hitler Many historians – and Hitler himself – claimed that he wanted to reverse the Treaty of Versailles My foreign policy was to abolish the Treaty of Versailles. It is futile nonsense for the rest of the world to pretend today that I did not reveal this program until 1933 or 1935 or 1937.
Instead of listening to foolish chatter, these gentlemen would have been wiser to read what I have written thousands of times. Hitler, talking on 15 March 1939. But, many historians still think that the Second World War was Hitler’s personal war, and that he always intended to fight a war – as a re-run of a First World War he did not believe that German had lost fairly. This drawing by the British Cartoonist David Low (20 March 1935) is titled ‘Cause comes before effect’. The cartoon shows Hitler’s armies marching past him – but at the front are politicians such as Chamberlain, Clemenceau,
Laval and Mussolini, and they are saluting Hitler too. They have rolled up the Versailles Treaty and carry a flag saying ’10 years of lost opportunity’. The message of the cartoon is that Hitler may be bringing war, but it is the politicians of France, Britain and Italy who are to blame – for letting him. There has been much debate amongst historians about Hitler’s aims: * | * Some historians argue he had no aims at all, making up his policies as he went along, responding to situations when they arose. | * Some historians argue that Hitler wanted a ‘Greater Germany’ (the invasions of Austria and the Sudetenland were claimed by Hitler to be the regaining of Germans for Germany) – but others have pointed out that ‘the move into the rest of Czechoslovakia showed that Hitler wanted more than just German land’. – yet he left Germany’s new western frontiers with France and Belgium intact. | Putting that all aside could War in Europe be avoided? I still think so. There a many ways the war could have been avoided. But i think that they can be boiled down to three main ones Treaty of Versailles
The treaty that ended WWI was very harsh on the Germans. It blamed Germany for the entire war (even though it was the Austrian’s fault) and punished them. We have France to blame for this unfair treaty. If the Treaty of Versailles had not been so harsh, Hitler may never have been able to rise to power in the same way that he did. League of Nations This is a controversial issue. If the United States had joined the League of Nations, it would have been undoubtedly a lot stronger. But could it have been effective? I do not think there is any way to know for sure. But it wouldn’t have done any harm.
Appeasement The European nations (particularly Great Britain under Chamberlain) let Hitler conquer whatever he wanted and made little effort to stop him at all. When Hitler found out that he could have basically any eastern European nation he wanted, he did not hesitate at all. The best example of appeasement was at the Munich Conference when Hitler promised not to invade Czechoslovakia but he did anyway. When Hitler invaded Poland, which was the last straw. Unfortunately, it was too late. In conclusion, To stop World War II, all the allies needed to do was to stand up to Hitler and say no.
If they had stopped the re-occupation of the Rhineland, or the Anschluss of Austria, or the Sudetenland crises, the German generals would have deposed of Hitler. If the allies had objected strongly enough with the threat of military action against the trashing of the Versailles treaty, Hitler would have been stopped. Any of these actions would have led to the probable loss of face by Hitler and possibly see him ousted by the generals. This would have led to a potential coup and a Germany led by the military, which may still have involved World War II happening.
The root causes for World War II lay way back in World War I and the Versailles treaty. If this treaty had been not so harsh, or if the allies had indeed wanted to help Germany instead of blaming her, then the underlying causes for World War II might have been avoided. Resources http://wiki. answers. com/Q/How_could_World_War_2_have_been_prevented http://www. johndclare. net/RoadtoWWII7a. htm http://www. 4forums. com/political/history-debates/133-how-could-wwii-have-been-prevented. html http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Causes_of_World_War_II