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The Origins of World War II, 3rd Edition

The Origins of World War II, 3rd Edition

Keith Eubank

ISBN: 978-1-118-81875-6 September 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 196 Pages




More than 60 years have passed since the outbreak of the most catastrophic conflict the world has known: 30 million people dead and unbelievable devastation. In the 3rd edition of this popular volume, Keith Eubank seeks answers to the questions that have plagued us: Why, after the ghastly ordeal of World War I did Western powers undervalue the threat from Hitler? Why was there so much reluctance on the part of Britain and France to confront Germany? Why had Germany been permitted to rearm and to occupy independent nations without a struggle? What was the policy of appeasement? Why did the appeasers fail to perceive Hitler's intentions? In addition to a re-examination of these questions and an effort to dispel the enduring myths surrounding the history of this era, Keith Eubank has enhanced this new edition by including an analysis of the motivations and actions of central figures such as Neville Chamberlain and Joseph Stalin as well as a re-assessment of Soviet policies in the light of recent research that reveals their leaders as far less altruistic than some have imagined. With an expanded conclusion, a new photo section, and an updated bibliographic essay, this book remains an excellent brief overview of the period between 1918 and 1939.

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Preface to the Third Edition ix

1. "PEACE," 1918-1933 1

November 11, 1918 1

The Treaty of Versailles 3

The League of Nations 13

French "Security" 16

German "Good Faith" 19

Economic Crisis 22

2. The Uneasy Peace, 1933-1935 25

Adolf Hitler 25

Rearmament and Disarmament 31

The Four-Power Pact 34

The Dollfuss Affair 35

Germany's Military Renaissance 36

The Franco-Soviet Pact 40

The Anglo-German Naval Agreement 43

3. Years of Crisis, 1935-1938 47

Mussolini and Ethiopia 47

Hitler in the Rhineland 56

The Popular Front and the Spanish Civil War 67

Appeasement and Appeasers 72

4. The Road to War, 1938 80

The Reichschancellery Meeting 80

The Anschluss 84

Crisis in Czechoslovakia 96

The Munich Conference 113

The End of Czechoslovakia 120

5. War, 1939 128

Danzig 128

Appeasement Fails 140

Conclusion 168

Bibliographical Essay 175

Index 191


German Territorial Losses in Central Europe, 1919 5

Nazi Aggression in Central Europe, 1933-1939 108