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The Re-occupation of the Rhineland (1936) Sources Questions

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Introduction

History : The Re-occupation of the Rhineland (1936) A After rearmament that had virtually finished in 1935, Hitler decided to put troops back into the Rhineland. He did this because it was important for him to protect himself from attacks from France and also to start building fortifications to protect Germany from the attacks that were to come. His rearmament program was not considered to be too intollerable because the League of Nations had failed to persuade other countries to cut down on their armaments. Germany, of course had been told to disband its army in 1919. B Looking at source B and the cover cartoon, it is safe to say that the main opinion was that Hitler was blatantly ignoring the Locarno pact and the treaty of Versailles. ...read more.

Middle

was disguised as a collection of flying schools where military training was done under the cover of commercial or leisure skills learning. The cartoon has a caption underneath saying "Goosey Goosey Gander, Wither Dost Thou Wander!", "Only Through The Rhineland - Play Excuse My Blunder!". This poem is given the title "The Goose-Step" which was how the German army were trained to march. The poem also suggests that going into the Rhineland was an accident or "blunder", but the cartoon shows the goose with a map and therefore it knows where it is going, and that it is doing wrong. C Source D is a statement by a Lord during a debate on the issue of Hitler's actions. He says that as the Germans are only occupying their own land or "back garden" that the League of Nations need not be worried and that by making a fuss, would only make them look too 'picky' with their regulations. ...read more.

Conclusion

D Sources C and E show that if France and Britain had showed the slightest resistance to Hitler's advancement into the Rhineland, the German army would have retreated back into militarized Germany. Source E especially shows that Hitler was even worried that the French army would force him to flee from the Rhineland as the military force being sent there was extremely minimal and would not have been able to withstand even a light attack. Even so, no countering measures were taken by any countries in, or out of the League. Hitler was greatly encouraged by this which meant that it was probably the turning point of the war. Hitler's plans would probably been set back months, or even stopped altogether if the League had taken action against him. If any joint peace force sets out rules and treaties they must be enforced to work. By letting one misdemeanor go unchallenged, a gateway is opened for others to take advantage of the system. ...read more.

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