How far was appeasement to blame for the outbreak of the Second World War?

The policy of Appeasement had a great impact in outbreak of the Second World War. The following are the result of appeasement that together resulted in war:

  • The policy of Appeasement enabled Germany and Italy to gain immense strength. They could raise large army and this threaten the peace in Europe. This was violation of Treaty of Versailles. Britain and Germany entered in a Naval Agreement.
  • The failure of League of Nation to maintain peace by disarmament.
  • The reoccupation of Rhineland disturbed France.
  • In Spanish Civil war, Germany and Italy sent decisive help and Britain and France did not intervened.
  • Annexation of Austria.
  • Then through Munich Pact, after surrender of Britain and France, Germany received Sudetenland. This convinced Germany that other nations does not have capacity nor intention to go for a war against them and started taking the threats of other nations lightly.
  • After receiving Sudetenland, Germany annexed whole Czechoslovakia.
  • After this, Hitler signed non-aggression treaty with Russia and demanded rail and road links through Polish Corridor, and secretly agreed with Russia to divide Poland among themselves.

All this Hitler undertook with the policy of Appeasement which threaten the peace in Europe. The absence of resistance to Hitler made him take bigger risks and with the surrender of Britain and France in Munich Pact, he thought they would remain silent in the case of Poland. And when Germany attacked on Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany.

Question for UPSC Mains:
How far was appeasement to blame for the outbreak of the Second World War?

Published: March 19, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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