Eight Steps to War [SCRAMCUP]


Most of the aggressions, leading step by step to open war in September 1939, were the outcome of the deliberate policy of Hitler.

S Reed Brett, European History 1900-1960 (1967).



Prof Rempel on Nazi diplomacy

Cartoonists and the idea of a Stufenplan - Did Hitler have a plan for war?

Reed Brett on Germany's foreign affairs

Frank E Smitha - online book HARD


  Describe the ways in which Germany broke the Treaty of Versailles, 1935–1938.

  Describe the ways that Hitler threatened the peace of Europe in the years 1933–38.



In 1935, the historian HAL Fisher wrote that ‘a country which is determined to have a war can always have it.’  

The Treaty of Versailles had put the Saar under the control of the League of Nations for 15 years.   In 1935 the inhabitants of the Saar voted to return to Germany.   The Saar plebiscite is cited by many historians as the first step to war.  



The Saar Plebiscite - more info

Revision Mat


Hitler began to build up his armed forces.  In 1935 he introduced conscription (calling up men to the army).  This broke the Treaty of Versailles, but Britain and France let him get away with it.  



History Learning - very clear

Rearmament in Germany - more detailed

Axis Militarism - sets Nazi re-armament in its wider setting.

Revision Mat


Hitler invaded the Rhineland on 7 March 1936.  This broke the Treaty of Versailles.  It was a bluff – the German army had only 22,000 soldiers and had orders to retreat if they met any resistance.  But once again, Britain and France did nothing.  



History Learning - very clear

Wiesenthal Centre - good 

Worldlingo - good on the reactions of different countries

Britain's reaction to the Rhineland - Learning Curve exercise 

Revision Mat


In 1938, Hitler took over Austria.  First, Hitler encouraged the Austrian Nazis to demand union with Germany.  Then Hitler invaded Austria (11 March 1938).  This broke the Treaty of Versailles, but Britain and France did nothing.  



History Learning - very clear

Spartacus site

Radio Days - detailed account

Revision Mat



Anschluss - documentary

Powerpoint presentation explaining the cartoon



◄  Source A

This cartoon was drawn by the British cartoonist Bernard Partridge for the satirical magazine Punch in February 1938.  It shows Hitler as a poacher, stealing Austria. 

Mussolini is shown as a bad game-keeper, failing to stop him; ‘I never heard a shot, Adolf’’, he is saying.

Click here for the interpretation




Does the fact that the cartoonist of Source A is misrepresenting Austria mean that it is an unreliable source?



In 1938, Hitler tried to take over the Sudetenland.   First, Hitler encouraged the Sudeten Nazis to demand union with Germany.   Then, Hitler made plans to invade Czechoslovakia.

Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler.   At Munich, on 29 September 1938, Britain and France gave Hitler the Sudetenland.  


Page on the Sudeten Crisis

Revision Mat  



Hitler and Czechoslovakia - old educational video (very biased)


Powerpoint presentation explaining the cartoon



◄  Source B

This British cartoon from October 1938 (by Low, who hated Nazi Germany) shows Hitler as Santa, popping into his sack, one-by-one, little countries – who had got into bed with the ‘French-British family’.  His sack says: Deutschland Uber Alles (‘Germany over all’).

The caption reads: 'Europe can look forward to a Christmas of peace' (Hitler).

Click here for the interpretation




What is the cartoonist of Source B saying about Hitler?



On 15 March 1939, Hitler’s troops marched into the rest of Czechoslovakia.  This, for most British people, was the time when they realised that the only thing that would stop Hitler was a war.  



History Learning - very clear

Page on Britain's decision to go to war

Revision Mat



In summer 1939, Hitler began to unfold his plan to take over Poland.  First, the Germans in Danzig demanded union with Germany.  Then, Hitler threatened war.

Chamberlain promised the Poles that Britain would support them if Germany attacked Poland.

In August 1939, Hitler made a secret treaty with Russia.  He thought this would stop Britain & France helping Poland.



Page on the Nazi-Soviet Pact

Revision Mat



In April 1939, Chamberlain announced the 'Polish Guarantee' - a promise to defend Poland if Hitler invaded (this was the event which ended appeasement).

On 1 September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland.

On 3 September 1939, Chamberlain declared war on Germany.



Eight reasons Hitler invaded Poland  



Invasion of Poland - old educational video






1.  Study Source D - it suggests a further motivation of Hitler's foreign policy (pan-Germanism).  What does it suggest on the surface that Hitler was trying to do?

2.  Understanding the meaning of the cartoon, did Low really believe that pan-Germanism was one of Hitler's motives?