In what ways in the 1920's did France seek to prevent the resurgence of Germany?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would highlight the following things that France did during this decade to try to prevent Germany from regaining its strength and becoming a threat to France again:

  • The French tried to make alliances.  For example, they made an alliance with the "Little Entente" and one with Poland -- both meant to threaten Germany's east.
  • They tried to crack down on Germany when it, for eample, defaulted on its reparations.  It occupied the Ruhr mining and manufacturing area in Germany.  By doing this, France was trying to show Germany that it was serious about enforcing the Treaty of Versailles.

So I would say that France pursued a combination of diplomacy (you might say the Kellogg-Briand Pact was part of this too) and force to try to keep Germany down.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In addition, the French kept the Rhineland under military occupation for part of the decade, which is the frontier/border region between the two countries.  Even later in the decade when the French withdrew, they required that Germany keep the Rhineland demilitarized.

They also spent huge sums of money--$200 million at tne time, billions in today's dollars--constructing an elaborate defensive line of fortifications, bunkers, gun emplacements and tank traps called the Maginot Line, which covered the entire German-French border (just not the border with Luxembourg and Belgium, which would later prove to be fatal).  They also maintained a very large standing army hoping this would be a deterrent to any kind of German aggression in the future.  It also led to their overconfidence, believing no German attack could be successful.  They didn't count on the Blitzkrieg.

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