Why Did War Break Out in 1939?

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Why Did War Break Out In 1939? (12) There are many reasons why war broke out in 1939. The policy of Appeasement, Hitler’s actions and the Nazi-Soviet Pact. In this essay I am going to discuss these further. Firstly, Appeasement was a policy adopted by Britain and France in the years before the outbreak of war. It involved giving Hitler what he wanted in the hope it would satisfy him and he would stop requesting more. As Britain and France found out, Hitler was a greedy man and no intention of stopping. So all Britain and France did was allow him to strengthen the German forces and empire. An example of this was the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936. Britain and France allowed him to do this and the British released a statement saying Hitler was simply, ‘marching into his back yard.’ This policy taught Hitler that aggression paid off. More importantly, Appeasement scared Stalin. Stalin was the dictator in the U.S.S.R. His army were not advanced enough to stand a chance against even a small German army and he feared Britain and France would not help the Soviets if the Germans invaded them. This therefore led to him signing the Nazi-Soviet pact. The Nazi-Soviet pact was signed between Hitler and Stalin on the 23rd August 1939. Stalin wanted the pact for three reasons, firstly, time. Stalin said, ‘we got peace for our country for eighteen months, which let us make military preparations.’ Secondly, his hope to gain. He believed the only way Russia could gain from the war was if it lasted for a long time and France, Britain and Germany exhausted themselves. Thirdly, he was unhappy with Britain not only for the policy of Appeasement but also for their slowness to negotiate. For these reasons he did not trust Britain. The Pact stated that Germany and Russia would not fight each other, rather they would work together and split what they gained between them.
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