To what extent were Hitler's ambitious and aggressive foreign policy aims to blame for World War ii?




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To what extent were Hitler's ambitious and aggressive foreign policy aims to blame for World War II?

Hitler's foreign policy aims were the agressive and idealist force that made World War II an inevitablility and nearly forced the outbreak of war.? Hitler's aims were clear from the start, he wanted a Grossduetschland, Lebensraum and the destruction of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), in particular the War Guilt Clause. The British and the French followed a policy of ‘Appeasement’ throughout the 1930's for a number of reasons. Neville Camberlain, the British P.M clearly wanted to avoid war. European instability (explain further), the ever growing popularity of Fascist ideology and most people, especially in Britain felt that the Treaty of Versailles was too hard on the Germans. This policy of Appeasment allowed Hitler to gamble at his will and make his idealist goals a reality because Britain would turn the other way.



R – Very good. “nearly forced the outbreak of war”?? Definitely forced the outbreak of war
S – Good, but key terms e.g.
Lebensraum not explained & not linked to Hitler’s F. Policy aims coherently
C – Fair – Good, however,
reasons for appeasement not identified coherently? What about fear of Communism????
N – Fair. (Weakness of League of Nations/ Daladier (French P.M.) & Mussolini (Pact of Steel))


P. 1. The policies of Lebensraum and Grossduetschland all tied in together as the idea behind Grossduetschland was to unite all of the German speaking people in a new unified Reich. This would involve taking over parts of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Austria (Anschluss). Hitler would not stop at annexing these regions, but take the countries involved as a whole into the new German Reich. This tied in with the policy of Lebensraum, because of the soon to be growing German population would need a larger country in which to live. The Nazi Part believed that the Slavs and Poles to the east were a lesser being (sub-human race) and it wouldn’t matter if they were to be exterminated for the good of Germany. This chaos was one of Hitler's aggressive ways of getting what he wanted and was a reason for the outbreak of World War II.
(Dates are necessary to keep fluency & chronology of developments. What is the central theme behind this part of the answer? = Lebensraum/ Racial Ideology/)

P.2. Hitler and the Nazi Party managed to get what their aims and objectives for their Foreign Policy through Britain and France's ‘Appeasement’ Policy. Chamberlain and the French President Albert Lebrun, believed that eventually Hitler would be satisfied with what he had gained and stop at that. There were a number of reasons why Appeasment was popular at the time as well as that. The First World War was still only fresh in the minds of the people and Chamberlain and Lebrun found that Appeasement was the best way to avoid another war. Another point for in favour of Appeasement towards Hitler which eventually led to World War II was that many leaders around Europe feared the advance of Communism throughout Europe. The rise of Hitler and the growth of a right-wing German state was to many people a timely buffer against possible Soviet expansion westward into Europe, added with this was Europe's economic ruin, which made a strong state law very appealing to many people in different countries. British public opinion believed that the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were too harsh on Germany and economists realised that the system of debt repayment after the First World War had crippled Weimar Germany.

(Good. Spelling mistakes are horrendous. Please use spell-check & REVIEW what you are writing! Central theme = appeasement)



P. 3. Another way in which Hitler's foreign policy was a cause for World War II was the re-armament of the Rhineland in 1936, which was the beginning of a more aggressive foreign policy. Hitler used the distraction of the Italian invasion of Abyssinia and the new Franco-Russian Pact as an excuse to occupy the Rhineland with 25,000 troops, ordering his troops to withdraw if Britain or France showed any resistance. They didn't. This raised the Nazi army massively which they needed after the Anglo-German Naval Agreement 1935, where Germany was to limit the size of its Navy to 35% of the British navy.

(Good, factual paragraph but a bit short)



P. 4. The diminished role of the League of Nations as well as their lack of arms to enforce any laws (or resolutions) they did bring in, mixed with Britan and France's appeasement gave Hitler a free hand to move in on Czechslovakia in 1938 to pursue his foreign policy aim of Lebensraum. This was another factor in the outbreak of World War II just a year later. Hitler demanded the Sudetenland and massed troops on the border in April 1938. Czechoslovakia mobilised a large army to face down the Germans. Hitler ordered his troops away from the border but privately he was intent on smashing the Czech army. This led to the Munich Agreement in September 1938. Chamberlain intervened and tried to negotiate a compromise on the Sudetenland. Hitler demanded that the Sudetenland be returned to Germany. At Munich, Britain, France, Italy and Germany agreed that the Sudetenland be returned to Germany without Czechslovakia???. Czechoslovakia were handed a ‘done deal’ (fait accompli) and were forced to accept the agreement. Chamberlain declared that the Munich Agreement meant "Peace in our time".

(Good. History is past tense, therefore use the past tense!!!! Spelling & expression deficiencies will damage your CM mark. CzechOSLOVAKIA = DO NOT abbreviate!)



CONCLUSION: Once again looking out for his best interests, Hitler signed a Nazi-Soviet Pact (WITH WHOM??) in August 1939 in preparation for war. This pact had secret clauses to partition Poland between them (WHO??). Hitler began to put pressure on Poland and demanded concessions from the Poles in the regions of Danzig and the Polish Corridor. Hitler’s aggressive foreign policy was paying off as he was getting more and more land but Poland were not complying with the Nazis. On the 1st of September 1939, German forces staged an attack on a German border check-point, Hitler declared war on Poland and invaded on the same day. On the 3rd of September, after an ultimatum to withdraw from Poland passed with no response, Britain & France declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun.

(Re-emphasise key points of essay: reasons for appeasement/ Lebensraum & racial policy/ Pact of Steel/ weakness of League of Nations/ Nazi-Soviet Pact/ Compare Germany’s fortunes & territories in 1939 with those after the Treaty of Versailles (1919). Was he successful? How much did his aggressive foreign policy contribute to the outbreak of WWII????)

CM= 8 + 6 +7 + 6 + 8 + 6 = 41/ 60

OE = 27/ 40

Overall Mark = 68/100 (C1)

Overall, this is a very good essay. HOWEVER, editing is required when writing essays. YOU must be in control of sentence construction and expression.


  1. Choose a theme/ period/ set of linked statements & facts for EACH paragraph. DEVELOP them in a COHERENT, CONSISTENT response to the QUESTION ASKED.

  2. Ensure that each paragraph has at least 6 historical facts; dates, key concepts, key personalities, treaties, events etc. USE THESE to develop the paragraph properly and FULLY.

  3. When planning your essay (and you have to be quick!) simply write down R-S-C-N for the introduction and jot down quick points to develop each. THEN, for each paragraph, write down a CENTRAL THEME and jot down 6 – 8 facts to develop the paragraph fully & coherently.

  4. Ensure that the conclusion re-emphasises KEY POINTS of ENTIRE ESSAY. Then, comment on individuals and their part in focus of question. Describe the legacy (aftermath) and PLACE in a broader, deeper historical context.

Please, please!! RE-VIEW what you are writing/ typing. You must train yourself to be your own critic and editor.

Well done. One on Nuremberg Rallies next please.



Mr. McSweeney

1/2/2012


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