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From The Rise Of Hitler To Abyssinia Notes

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From the Rise of Hitler to Abyssinia: 1933-1936
 By July 1933 domestic opposition to Hitler had been crushed and in October 1933 Germany withdrew from both the disarmament conference and the League of Nations. Views of Hitler:
- British ambassador in Berlin, Horace Rumbold, was alarmed at the views expressed in Mein Kampf and Simon disturbed at Nazi anti-Semitism.
- Neville Henderson, Berlin ambassador from 1937 believed the Nazis would have no further function after overturning the terms of Versailles.
- Most struggled to comprehend the implications of Lebensraum or Hitler's Social Darwinist vision of history. Military Policy:
- Britain had come off the Ten Year Rule in 1932, but was in no economic shape to rearm to any great level.
- The Defence Requirements Committee reported that Britain should set up an expeditionary force, expand the RAF to 52 squadrons and upgrade the navy at a cost of £82 million. German rearmament was beginning to pose a threat.
- Neville Chamberlain suggested that Britain build deterrent bomber force as it was the cheapest way of countering public fears of German bombings. The Road to Stresa:
- In January 1934 the German-Polish non-aggression treaty was signed, undermining France's eastern alliance system.
- Italy feared Germany claiming Austria, a buffer state between Germany and Italy, or claiming Italian South Tyrol. In July 1934 Mussolini sent Italian troops to the Austrian border when Austrian Nazis attempted a coup d'état.
- As a result France and Italy signed a cooperation agreement in January 1935 in which Italy was promised a free hand in Abyssinia for continued support of Austria. In September 1934 the USSR joined the League of Nations.
- At the end of 1934 Simon proposed accepting a certain degree of German rearmament if Germany returned the League and disarmament conference.
- Hitler rejected British and French proposals, but an Italian-French front against Germany emerged. France seemed willing to abandon Versailles.
- The urge to sign an agreement increased after December 1934 when a naval race was looming given the failure of American-Japanese disarmament talks.
- A white paper on 4th March announced Britain's intent to rearm in response to German actions. France responded by increasing the conscription term.
- Hitler announced he was to reintroduce conscription and create an army of 500,000 troops, while Göering announced that Germany had an air force.
- The Stresa Front was signed on 14th April 1935. Support for the League was reaffirmed, Germany condemned and Austria promised protection.

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