Why did Hitler invading Poland start WWII?
and all the other actions before that didn't?
- 8 months ago
Basically, you have to draw a line somewhere
- 8 months ago
The German people after WW1 had land annexed by the Versailles Treaty where Germany was labeled the instigator for the war.
- DiStefanoLv 58 months ago
Because he needed the Polish plateau for his tanks in order to attack the USSR. The Carpathian to the south would have been much more difficult. He needed the gap for his tanks.
- Anonymous8 months ago
Britain and France had an agreement with Poland stating they would come to Poland's aid if Poland was attacked by Germany.
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- nonpartisanLv 68 months ago
Germany was provoked into it.
It was Britain that wanted war with Germany - Hitler tried many times to prevent war and to end the war once it started. Every plea he made to Britain was spat on.
One point that should be made that most people don't know is that when Britain made its pact with Poland to provide military support if Germany attacked, they didn't have the military strength to follow through on their word.
They gave Poland false assurances of aid to get them to stop negotiating with Hitler over the Polish Corridor and access he needed to support and defend ethnic Germans from mistreatments in Danzig and East Prussia.
Britain knew that Hitler would have no choice but to attack, and thus they were able to declare war on Germany while making it look like Germany's fault.
(Roosevelt did the same to Japan. He couldn't persuade Congress to give him the green light to go to Europe, so he provoked the Japanese to attack Hawaii (American Territory. This back-door tactic forced Congress's hand and FDR got his way.)
Evidence of Britain's lack of military strength to honor their pact with Poland lies in the fact that after declaring war on Germany on September 3rd, 1939, it took them 8 months before they were able to build their strength enough to launch a formidable attack on May 10, 1940.
- Anonymous8 months ago
The Western powers had been burned by Hitler before. Beginning in 1936, the Nazis engaged in a program to expand Germany's territory. But initially this just involved things like Reoccupying the Rhineland, which had been demilitarized after WWI, or the Saarland voting to return to Germany. In March of 1938, there was the Anschluss, the absorption of Austria into Germany. This provoked concern, but the Anschluss was also broadly popular in Austria (which is linguistically and culturally German) so it didn't provoke any real conflict. Later that year came the Sudeten crisis. The Sudetenland was a region in Czechoslovakia which was populated mainly by ethnic Germans. Hitler, and many of the Sudeten Germans (including Oskar Schindler of Schindler's List fame) wanted to see the Sudetenland annexed to Germany as one of the Nazis aims was to unite all Germans in one country. Czechoslovakia, of course, didn't want to lose their territory. This provoked a crisis. The Western powers didn't want to see Germany gobbling up its neighbors, but they were also very reluctant to go to war, having seen how horrible WWI had been. Britain and France met with Germany at a conference in Munich where, lead by UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, they came to an agreement which would ensure "Peace in Our Time". The Western powers agreed not to object to German occupation of the Sudetenland, but Hitler also promised to respect the independence of the rest of Czechoslovakia. This agreement sold out the Czechs, but it, for the moment, prevented a war. On October 1st 1938, the Nazis occupied the Sudetenland. Several months later, in March of 1939, the Nazis occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia, in direct violation of the Munich agreement. The Western powers realized they had been duped. Hitler's territorial ambitions weren't reasonable and bounded, and he couldn't be trusted to keep his word. When it became clear that Hitler was looking at Poland as well, the Western powers warned him that a move against Poland would lead to war. The western powers kept to this promise because they weren't willing to let Hitler gobble up Europe.
- curtisports2Lv 78 months ago
Because Britain and France had threatened to declare war on Germany for some of those other actions and never followed through on them. This time, they did.
- pit bulls biteLv 78 months ago
Britain and France, standing by their guarantee of Poland's border, had declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939.
- megalomaniacLv 78 months ago
It started the war in Europe. The war in Asia, more specifically Japan invading China, had already started. The Nazis were aggressive and broke "the rules" of civilized conduct again and again, but nobody actually stood up and fought them. It was the invasion of Poland that was "the last straw" and brought Britain and France into the war to declare that they would fight the Nazis. Before that time there weren't any large military actions or anybody opposing the Nazis. And in fact even after they declared war there still weren't any large military actions for quite some time (i.e. "The Phony War").
- oldprofLv 78 months ago
The "other actions," like subjugating Austria and like ignoring the Versailles Treaty that would reduce Germany's military to mere police force, were more or less internal actions. Most everyone recognized that Austria was really just a German state in demographics if not as a nation.
And when Hitler began to ramp up Germany's military-industrial complex, many sloughed that off as a natural reaction to Germany wanting to secure its own borders from the French and other European nations. As long as their forces stayed within the German borders, no harm done.
But the invasion of Poland was a horse of a different color. In fact Hitler's famous "liebensraum" speech woke up everyone in Europe. In it he declared Germany's right, manifest destiny so to speak, to seek and take "living room" for Germans. In other words, Germany's actions were no longer internal, they were international with the Polish invasion. And that could not be ignored.