Posted: Jun 07, 2016 10:16 am
by surreptitious57
The failure of the French and British to march into the Rhineland in 1936 was quite simply a tactical error of monumental significance. One can legitimately argue that Chamberlain or Daladier could not possibly have known that at the time. But the Versailles treaty of 1919 specifically stated that it had to be a demilitarised zone. By letting the Germans march into it they were just as guilty of them of not enforcing it. Hitler was genuinely afraid in 1936. The German people were afraid too They wanted the Rhineland but without having to fight for it. Which they did not of course. And then two years later in 1938 in Munich Hitler was banging his fist up on the table as the British and French were undecided about whether to give him just the Sudetenland or the whole of Czechoslovakia instead. And it was here he referred to Chamberlain and Daladier as maggots
German rearmament was supposed to be halted after 1918 as stipulated in the Versailles treaty. But as with the Rhineland the British and French were not enforcing it so for the twenty years between 1919 - 39 Germany was effectively preparing
for war without hindrance. So it did not begin in 1933 only after Hitler came to power. The Versailles treaty was therefore not worth the paper it was written on since none of the three nations who signed it showed no inclination of adhering to it
at all. Though blame for it lies fairly and squarely with the British and French. And without the advantage of hindsight also