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Why did Britain go to war in 1940?

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Why did Britain go to war in 1940? After 1918, the First World War was often referred to as 'the war to end all wars'. But unfortunately this quote was not true. In addition, I am going to discuss the reasons why Britain went to war for a second time in the year 1940. After the First World War, the treaty of Versailles was introduced to force Germany to pay reparations for the damage 'they caused'. But German resentment for this 'dictated piece' only helped Hitler to gain more support from the German people. Hitler came to power in 1933. His main aim was to unite all German speakers across the world together as one. To ensure that his aim would be fulfilled, Hitler had to firstly build up the German armed forces, which was totally against the rules of the treaty. But this did not seem to be much of a threat to the League of Nations as they were more concerned about Mussolini who was seeking to build an Italian empire in the east of Africa. The league used appeasement again when Hitler sent in German troops to reoccupy the Rhineland. ...read more.


Even before Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland Baldwin could have stopped him from rearming the German armed forces as soon as it became known. On the other hand Britain and France were not ready for a war and needed more support from other countries and more time to rearm. This left Baldwin with no other choice, the only thing he could do was to warn Hitler like a child. E.g. "if you do it again we will have to declare war on you". This was the use of appeasement, as the league kept threatening Hitler but never actually taking any action. In 1937, Chamberlain came to power. Chamberlain was forever associated with appeasement as he came to power just as the policy came to use. The league knew that once Hitler took over Poland he would be a serious threat towards Britain. So Britain and France offered Poland a guarantee on the 6th of April 1939 that if Hitler invaded Poland then they would declare war. Hitler and Stalin had secretly negotiated a non-aggression pact called the nazi-soviet pact that gave Germany a free hand to invade Poland as they had to go through Russia o get to Poland. ...read more.


At the end of May 1940, appeasement came to an end and Britain really went to war. In conclusion, the appeasement policy was not very reliable and is one of the reasons why there was a second world war. In my opinion, Britain and France should have taken notice of Hitler as soon as he made the first move of rearming the German armed forces. They should have also used the 6 years that Hitler took to reach Poland, to start rearming their own armies. Because they used the policy of appeasement for so long, Hitler did not see them as a major threat, which enabled him to proceed with uniting all Germans together. Therefore, Britain went to war in 1940 because Hitler made threats and took over many countries, chamberlain used the policy of appeasement to try and stop him but appeasement only made it easier for Hitler. Then Britain and France promised to protect Poland by declaring war if Hitler invaded it. But Britain and France should have made a pact with Russia not to let Germany through before the nazi soviet pact. Too many lives were lost because of the First World War, therefore the league should have been ready with a strong army and back up from other countries before Hitler's name was even known to them. Kaylie Lewis ...read more.

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