German Rearmament and the West, 1932-1933 (Magill's Literary Annual 1980)
Some of the more important and vexing questions of the period between the two world wars are examined in German Rearmament and the West. The elements of continuity and change in German foreign policy from the Weimar Republic to Hitler have often been debated; the stability of the international order established by the Treaty of Versailles has often been contested. Questions have also been raised on the position of Britain and France and their acquiescence in the face of unilateral revision of the Versailles system. All of these matters in their turn are related to the breakdown of the European balance of power and the origins of World War II, as, during the 1930’s, the dictators moved to overthrow the existing international order while the Western powers wavered between acceptance of and resistance to the actions of the revisionist states. In Bennett’s work, some of the underlying themes of this period are displayed against the personalities and events that figured in one of the turning points of interwar diplomacy; his use of many of the German, British, and American archival materials also permits a modification of some of the traditional views on the aims and tactics of the various powers.
One of the first areas in which conflict arose was on disarmament, where the ideals of Western statesmen clashed with the aims pursued by defeated Germany; German rearmament eventually marked the first stage in the breakdown of the Allies’ hopes for an...
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