German Foreign Policy 1923-1945

Events

Stresemann

1923 - 1928

Gustav Stresemann, was the Foreign Minister of the Weimar Republic (having previously acted as chancellor) in Post-WWI Germany. He was accredited with stabilizing the fallen German nation.

Wall Street Crash

October 29th 1929 - 1933

The stock market crash in 1929 would affect Germany greatly aswell. As they had taken loans from many American banks in order to rebuild after the First World War. Putting Germany in crippling debt.

Manchuria

September 18th 1931

Japan invade Manchuria. This would be the first brick that was laid in the wall that was the Second World War. Japan being an everpresent ally of Germany, had their support in this invasion.

Japan's invasion was "justified" on the basis of the Mukden Incident. Were a Japanese soldier staged an attack by the Chinese so that they would have reason to invade and occupy them. This was simply a display of how any powerful nation could act aggressively without consequences, Hitler took note of this.

Germany withdraws from League of Nations

October 14th 1933

Hitler withdraws from the League of Nations because of the army-limitation policies imposed, with the intentions of rebuilding his nation's military force.

Non agression pact with Poland

January 26th 1934

Nazi Germany and Poland sign a peace treaty agreeing to forgo armed conflict for a period of 10 years. Seeking to better the strained relationship between the two nations. Ultimately however, it served as nothing more than a smokescreen for Hitler's campaign of rearmament.

Saar returned to Germany

January 13, 1935

On the 13th of January 1935 the people of the area of Saar held a referendum to decide wheter they should reunificate with Germany, remain a mandate territority of the League of Nations, or unite with France. An overwhelming 90% voted in favour of reunification with Germany.

This was huge for Nazi Germany, as it is a genuine, democratic victory for them. It validated them and their cause because they had the backing of the German people.

Luftwaffe

February 26th 1935

In a show of blatant disregard for the Treaty of Versailles, Germany unveiled their new aerial branch of their military. Having trained their soldiers in secret for a number of years, they were now armed with one of the most technologically advanced, and battle experienced air forces in the world. France want Germany punished, England are tad more lenient.

4 year plan (Göring)

1936

The 4 year plan was an economic plan formulated by Hitler to bring economic prosperity to Nazi Germany. He put Hermann Göring in charge of it. The main objective of the plan was to prepare Germany for rearmament, and for self-sufficiency over a period of four years.

Having Hermann Göring in control would prove to be a vital mistake, as he knew next to little about economics.

Rhineland repossesed

March 7th 1936

In another blatant display of disregard for the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler orders his troops into Rhineland to occupy the former German area.

This was a major swing to the pendulum, this time to the way of the Germans. As Rhineland gave them the opportunity to exercise more agression on Eastern Europe.

Rome-Berlin Axis

November 1st 1936

Hitler had found an ally the leader of Italy's fascist regime, Mussolini.

The two nations agreed to form a coalition, in order to further their expansionist visions. On the 1st of November 1936 Mussolini declared that all European natons would rotate around the Rome-Berlin axis. Thereof the term 'axis'.

Anti-commintern Pact w/ Japan

November 25th 1936

Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan sign an anti-communistic pact. Later, many other nations (mainly those with fascist governments) would also come to sign it.

Basically, the agreement was that both Japan and Germany safeguard eachothers 'common interests' should the Soviet Union invade either of them.

Hitler - Supreme Commander

1938

The death of President Hindenburg served to further consolidate Hitler's power in Germany. He granted himself the self-made title of 'Fuhrer'. He was now the main man, the Supreme Commander. In 1938 he was named TIME magazine's Person of the Year.

Anschluss of Austria

March 1938

Hitler's sharp tongue had made the Austrian government fall to his will. And because of that, Austria was now his. German troops walked into Austria and were greated by cheers. Germany and Austria had united to form a Greater Germany.

Annexation of Czechoslovakia

October 1st 1938 - March 1939

At the settlement in Munich Hitler had made it clear that he only wished to regain Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, as there were native Germans living in that area. Instead, he took all of Czechoslovakia. He had lied to England and France right in their face. This was very much the last straw. And Chamberlain (British PM) let it be known that if Germany would invade Poland, England would invite themselves into the issue.

France and England guarantee Poland

March 31st 1939

In response to the Germans annexation of Czechoslovakia, England pledges the support of itself and France in order to guarantee Polish independence.

Ribbentrop - Molotov pact

August 23rd 1939

The Ribbentrop - Molotov pact was the name of a non-aggression pact signed between Germany and the Soviet Union. (Ribbentrop and Molotov coming from the surnames of the respective foreign ministers)

The pact came as a shock to rest of Europe, and naturally there were underlying reasons as to why Germany and the USSR wanted it signed. Germany wanted to invade Poland without fear of Soviet intervention. And the Soviets wanted to move westward without involving themselves in war for which they were not prepared. A secret protocol in the agreement split the entirety of Europe between the two powers.

September 1st, 1939 - Germany invades Poland

09/01/1939

Germany invade Poland, knowing the consequences it will bring.

England and France declare war

September 3rd 1939

As promised by the English, they go to war with Germany. And Hitler gets what he's been preparing for, warfare.