The Road to World War II, 1933-39
This podcast is designed to present the key reasons for the breakout of World War 2 by explaining the different impacts of Hitler’s aims and actions, the policy of appeasement, the problems caused by the peace treaties, the Nazi-Soviet Pact and the failures of the League of Nations.
The first part of the podcast deals with Hitler’s aims: abolish the Treaty of Versailles, expand German territory, and remove the threat of communism. It explains how his policies were designed to fulfill these aims. Key actions from the first years of Hitler’s Chancellorship that are described include: rearmament, remilitarisation of the Rhineland, his role in the Spanish Civil War, and Anschluss with Austria.
The podcast then goes on to assess appeasement. Arguments in favour of, and against, the policy of appeasement are presented. This is followed by an explanation of the Sudetenland Crisis, the Munich Agreement and the Nazi-Soviet Pact. The views of historians are considered.
This episode concludes with a brief explanation of how to answer an examination question on this topic.