In the 1930s, Britain and France adopted the appeasement policy towards Germany. It was to give in to some of the demands of Hitler in the hope that they would be satisfied and not ask for more. The appeasement policy aimed to prevent another large-scale war like the World War I.
The appeasement policy was not an error as appeasement bought time for Britain to rearm. In the 1930s, they were still recovering from the tremendous losses in World War I, and were not militarily prepared for a war on a similar scale. Also, there had been widespread disarmament in the 1920s, so there were no troops immediately available to mount a challenge. Germany’s forces were a lot stronger than Britain and France were at that time as Germany had rearmed in 1935 and stepped up the conscription programme. Britain and France knew they would not be able to defeat Germany in the case of war, so they chose to adopt the appeasement policy to buy time for rearmament. The appeasement policy allowed Britain and France to improve their military balance in the late 1930s. Therefore, the appeasement policy was not an error.
The appeasement policy was an error as it encouraged Hitler to be more aggressive and ambitious. Hitler made a few attempts to break the Treaty of Versailles. For example, Hitler remilitarized Rhineland in 1935, which was demilitarized according to the terms of Treaty of Versailles. Hitler ordered German troops to cross the Hohenzollern Bridge and remilitarized Rhineland. Hitler was not sure about France’s response, so he did not send a strong force into Rhineland. The troops were ordered to withdraw if they were attacked. However, France did not respond to the force. Hitler’s gamble paid off, and he met with no resistance. As a result, his standing among the German people and the German army increased tremendously. He became bolder in his demands. World War II broke out in 1939 as Hitler’s demands became bolder and going to war was the only way to stop Hitler’s aggression.
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The appeasement policy was an error as it allowed more time for Germany to build up its strength. Every time Hitler was able to conquer new territories, Germany grew stronger. When Hitler sent troops into Rhineland, it made it easier for Germany to defend itself. When Germany unified with Austria, Germany gained more soldiers, gold, weapons and great deposits of iron ore. With the raw materials gained, Hitler was able to produce more arms for the forces. The appeasement policy resulted in a stronger Germany, which would be more difficult for the Britain and France to defeat in the case of a war.
In conclusion, the appeasement policy was an error. Although the appeasement policy allowed time for Britain and France to rearm, it did not achieve its objective of preventing another large-scale war like the World War I. The appeasement was an error as it did not only allowed Hitler to become bolder, but also strengthened Germany.