What Motivated Germany To Sign A Nonaggression Agreement With The Soviet Union Answers.com

The previous year, Hitler had annexed Austria and took the Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia; In March 1939 its tanks rolled in the rest of Czechoslovakia. He seemed determined to reverse the international order created by the Treaty of Versaille, the 1919 peace settlement, which ended the First World War (1914-18). (The treaty, which required Germany to make numerous concessions and reparations, was very unpopular with Hitler and his NSDAP.) It also seemed that Hitler was planning to strike his neighbour, Poland. To block it, France and Great Britain pledged on 31 March 1939 to guarantee Poland`s security and independence. The British and French also strengthened their diplomatic engagement with the Soviet Union and tried to bring them closer together through trade and other agreements, to see Hitler that he would also have to face Joseph Stalin if he invaded Poland. But Hitler already knew that the Soviets would not stand idly by if he occupied Poland – an act that would extend Germany`s border to the Soviet Union. He also knew that France and the Soviets had entered into a defence alliance a few years earlier – a treaty that gave Stalin an additional reason to fight Germany when it ventured into Poland and raised France`s promises. In the spring and summer of 1939, Hitler reinforced his demands on the Polish government in Warsaw and insisted that Germany recapture the port city of Gdansk, internationalized by the Treaty of Versaille. Hitler also wanted to put an end to allegations of ill-treatment of Indians living in the western regions of Poland. At the same time, he presented his plans of attack against Poland in August 1939 if his demands were not met. Hitler`s zeal for a war with Poland, however, made his generals nervous. They knew that Stalin`s purges of his military commanders in 1937 and 1938 had seriously weakened the Soviet army, but the Germans were empty of a campaign that could easily lead to the nightmare encountered during World War I – a war on two fronts where they would fight Russian troops in the east and French and British troops in the West.

Hitler was outraged by this backlash, but he quickly rescinded his invasion order. Then, in a wild game that France and Britain would not respect their contractual obligations to Poland, and knowing that he had nothing to fear from the Soviet army, Hitler ordered his troops to strike Poland to the east on September 1, 1939. Two days later, on 3 September, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun. And less than two years later, Hitler broke his pact with Stalin and, on June 22, 1941, sent about 3 million Nazis to the Soviet Union. During the war that threatened the Alliance, several problems arose. These included the Soviet refusal to assist the Polish army during the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944 and the decision of British and American officials to exclude the Soviets from secret negotiations with German officers in March 1945 to ensure the surrender of German troops in Italy.

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