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The restraint and caution of the years down to 1937 had given way to provocation and aggression. How far do you agree with this view of Hitler's foreign policy in the years 1933-39?

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Introduction

The restraint and caution of the years down to 1937 had given way to provocation and aggression. How far do you agree with this view of Hitler's foreign policy in the years 1933-39? When looking at Hitler's foreign policy it is difficult to pin point one particular year as a turning point through which Hitler's actions change from cautious to aggressive. When looking at this statement it is therefore assuming to describe the years leading up to 1937 as a period of pure restraint and caution as the Hitler's actions before 37' suggest he employed tactics that were both restrained and provocative. It is far easier to speculate a mix of aggression and caution in Hitler's actions both before and after 1937. In order to agree or disagree with this statement as a summary of Hitler's foreign policy in the years 1933 to 1939 we must compare his cautious actions before 1937 and his aggressive actions after 1937 with his aggressive actions before 37' and his actions of restraint after 37'. In agreement with this statement there are various examples of Hitler's caution in foreign policy before 1937. From early 1933 one of Hitler's main objectives was to rearm, an action that would not only violate the treaty of Versailles but depict him publicly as an aggressive nationalist. ...read more.

Middle

By holding a plebiscite the reunion of the land to the third Reich was legal, and Hitler did not appear aggressive in any way. I think this is further evidence to suggest that Hitler was restraining his aggression to begin with and following a foreign policy with a high degree of caution before 1937. In order to show further agree with the statement it is important to prove that Hitler's actions after 1937 were noticeably more aggressive than before 1937. Hitler had labelled the year 1937 as 'a year of awareness' as suddenly Hitler realises various tactical changes that must be made in his actions. He decides that if he is preparing for a war, according to the four0year plan, he must step up his preparation due to lack of time. By the end of 1937 Germany had become the strongest military power n Europe. I think the first thing that proves a step up in aggression in 1937 was Hitler's decisions made at the Hossbach memorandum in November. After playing ambiguously as to who his allies were before 37' (not siding officially with Italy or Britain) he suddenly calls Britain and France as his enemy's going on to exclaim that 'Germanys problem can only be solved by the use of force'. This is a highly aggressive statement, as there seems to be no room for compromise. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Munich on September 29th Hitler promises to Neville Chamberlain that he is only interested in the Sudentenland and will not invade the rest of Czechoslovakia when we know that he had every desire to smash the state. Where as he could have ignored the British concern and straightaway announced his invasion into the whole of Czechoslovakia he signs an agreement that supposedly proves his non-aggressive intentions. This is undoubtedly an action of caution which proves that Hitler was not purely aggressive after 37'. Also it is relevant to add that if there was not some degree of caution after 1937 would the second world war not have started in 1937? Perhaps this is evidence in itself. After viewing all the evidence it would be wrong to wholly agree with this statement, as there is too much evidence to suggest that Hitler was progressively aggressive and not just after 1937. I think it is also relevant to conclude that with every aggressive move he made he couples with an action of peace and caution. While he gets progressively aggressive he manages to mask it with various public actions of caution. I think it is this bond between his cautious action and aggressive actions that enables him to get away with so much by 1939. I do not completely agree with this statement however I can understand that the aggression is more concentrated and more substantial (with Anschluss, and the invasions of the Sudentanland, Czechoslovakia and then Poland) after 1937. ...read more.

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