Appeasement Timeline

How Britain and France gave in to Hitler's demand's in order to "keep peace"


Rearmament of German Army

1935 - 1936

Allied forces find out that Hitler has remilitarised the German army after he has staged a massive rally celebrating the German armed forces. This is clearly in violation of The Treaty of Versailles.
Allied forces do nothing, however, France were angry at Britain for yet again allowing Germany to disobey the Treaty of Versailles.

Anglo German Naval Agreement


Britain appeases Germany by allowing them a navy one third of the size of Britain's. This breaks the Military clause from the Treaty of Versailles: "Germany was allowed only 6 capital naval ships".
Britain attempts to appease Germany by increasing their security.

Re militarisation of the Rhineland

March 1936

Adolf Hitler sent German forces into the Rhineland, the border area between Germany and France. This had been declared a demilitarized zone under the Treaty of Versailles; and later confirmed in the Locarno Treaty this was a very risky move by Hitler as it might have led to a war with France.
However, France would not take action without British support and the British refused to go to war over the incident, declaring that "Germany was only marching into its own back yard”. As well as this League of Nations attention was divided between the Abyssinian crisis and Hitler’s move. In the end the League condemned Hitler’s actions, but had no power to do anything else


March 1938

This was a union between Austria and Germany in March 1938. In February 1938 Hitler had met the Austrian Chancellor, Kurt von Schuschnigg, in order to demand concessions for the Austrian Nazi Party. Schuschnigg refused and was replaced by Arthur Seyss-Inquart, leader of the Austrian Nazis. On 13th March, Seyss-Inquart invited German forces to occupy Austria.
Britain and France did protest Hitler’s expansion but didn’t take action. Despite this Chamberlain thought that Austria and Germany had the right to be united and the Treaty of Versailles was wrong to separate them.

Sudetenland Crisis

September 1938

Hitler wanted the Sudetenland in order to create a greater German Reich, it contained lots of raw resources he could use to gain autarky and because the Sudetenland had excellent natural defences. Hitler annexed the Sudetenland by creating propaganda and riots to agitate the workers from the Sudetenland at how they were being treated and He manipulated Chamberlain and into allowing the Sudetenland.
The French public reacted badly to the Sudetenland crisis saying it was a “shameful necessity”. Chamberlain thought that Hitler’s demands were unreasonable.

Munich Agreement

29 September 1938 - 30 September 1938

Britain, France, Italy and Germany were all delegates at the Munich agreement. The terms were that Czechoslovakia should give the Sudetenland to Germany and that Poland should have Teschen and Hungary have Ruthenia. Germany marched into the Sudetenland unopposed on the 1st October 1938.
Both Britain and France were unprepared for war and still haunted by the horrors of World War 1 and therefore gave Hitler the Sudetenland. This was the final piece of appeasement before the Second World War. The vulnerability and timidness of USSR, Britain and France to stand up to Germany led to the taking of the Sudetenland and in turn to the outbreak of War in March 1939.

Treaty of Versailles

League of Nations

June 28 1919 - September 1 1939

International organization founded at the end of the First World War to promote disarmament, settle disputes between countries through diplomacy, and improve world welfare. Without forces of its own, the League depended on the European powers to enforce its resolutions.

One of Wilson's 14 points at Treaty of Versailles

Treaty of Versailles and its consequences

June 28 1919

In 1919, Lloyd George, Orlando, Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson met to discuss how Germany was to be made to pay for the damage world war one had caused.
Woodrow Wilson wanted a treaty based on his 14-point plan which he believed would bring peace to Europe. Georges Clemenceau wanted revenge. He wanted to be sure that Germany could never start another war again. Lloyd George personally agreed with Wilson but knew that the British public agreed with Clemenceau. He tried to find a compromise between Wilson and Clemenceau.
Germany had been expecting a treaty based on Wilson's 14 points and were not happy with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. However, they had no choice but to sign the document.
The main terms of the Treaty of Versailles were:
War Guilt Clause, Reparations , Disarmament and Territorial Clauses

The German people were very unhappy about the treaty and thought that it was too harsh.

Economic Events

Economic Crisis

1929 - 1931

Left many countries with very little money. Hitler exploited the situation to gain power in Germany.

Wall Street Crash

October 1929

Financial crash on the Wall Street stock market in New York in October 1929, which had a major impact on the American and world economy.

This contributed to the economic crisis

Mussolini invades Abyssinia

October 2 1935

Political events

League of Nations

June 28 1919 - September 1 1939

Aimed for collective security. This aim never materialised

Roosevelt elected US president


Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany

January 1933

Mussolini invades Abyssinia

October 2 1935

Showed complete weakness of Britain and France in the League of Nations, this event distracted attention from the fact that Hitler was rearming

Nazi Soviet Pact

August 1939

Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, signed on 28 August 1939, with each promising to remain neutral if the other became involved in a war.

Having planned to expand eastwards this pact was a surprise. For Britain and France it was very dangerous as it meant that the Lebensraum Hitler was planning may be in western Europe.

Military events

Chanak Crisis

September 1922

British and French troops stationed near Chanak to guard the neutral area of the Dardanelles were threatened with attack in September 1922 by Turkish forces. Initially British ministers threatened to declare war against Turkey, but France separately withdrew its troops and Britain and France eventually agreed to negotiate an armistice with the Turks.

This led to a loss of confidence in the British governenment.

Roosevelt elected US president


He adopted a policy of isolationism (disassociating America with European problems)meaning that Britain lost an ally and were therefore more vulnerable to a German invasion

Spanish Civil War

17 July 1936 - 1 April 1939

Hitler used this to show his military superiority. The bombing of Guernica seriously scared Britain but especially France