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Remilitarisation of the Rhineland March 7 th 1936 Background Rearmament • Germany rearmed in defiance of Versailles • It became public knowledge when Hitler made announcements on successive Saturdays in March 1935 of the existence of the Luftwaffe and the reintroduction of conscription International Reaction • Britain, France and Italy were alarmed and met at Stresa in Italy • The Stresa Front April 1935 promised close and cordial collaboration to oppose any country who endangered the peace of Europe. • This fell apart because of Italy’s ambitions in Abyssinia and the Anglo-German Naval agreement The Rhineland Crisis • On March 7th 1936 Hitler took advantage of the Abyssinian crisis and marched 10,000 troops into the demilitarised Rhineland zone. • Shortly after the troops moved in Hitler suggested he was interested in negotiating new security pacts with his neighbours. • It was a huge gamble for Hitler. He said later • “The 48hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking of my life. If the French had then marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs.” International responses to the Remilitarisation of the Rhineland • Germany • Britain • France • League of Nations
"Remilitarisation of the Rhineland March 7th 1936"