American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938

By Arnold A. Offner | Go to book overview

5. THE COMING OF AGGRESSION

The fifteen months from January 1935 through March 1936 were critical for the United States and Germany, and for the future peace of the world. Developments at this time, one could reasonably argue, contributed as much if not more than those of any comparable period to making inevitable that war which Winston Churchill later insisted was "unnecessary."1 For men like Ambassador Dodd, convinced that one needed to look no further than Mein Kampf to discover the aims of German foreign policy, the course was clear: "Roosevelt must act this year or surrender in matters of relations to distraught Europe."2

Hitler too had to act. The British and the French in the first months of 1935 were pressing him to extend the Locarno guarantees to Central and Eastern Europe and to sign an agreement covering unprovoked aggression by air. In return Germany probably would have been allowed to continue rearmament openly. For Hitler the test of his diplomacy was to avoid agreeing to the British proposals and still announce with righteousness and justification German rearmament, which, having grown to enormous proportions, could no longer be carried on secretly.3

In January 1935 two diplomatically unrelated events symbolized forthcoming developments. The first was the Saar plebiscite on January

____________________
1
Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: The Gathering Storm, 6 vols. ( Boston, 1948-53), I, iv.
2
Entry for Jan. 17, 1935, Dodd, Diary, 210.
3
Bullock, Hitler, 331-332; Meinck Hitler und die deutsche Aufrüstung, 94.

-107-

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American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES xiv
  • 1. Good Years to Bad 1
  • 2. the End of Disarmament 18
  • 3. Deteriorating Relations 54
  • 4. Accounts Settled and Unsettled 77
  • 5. the Coming of Aggression 107
  • 6. Neighbors Good and Bad 134
  • 7. Invitations Declined 175
  • 8. Last Opportunities 214
  • 9. to Munich and War 245
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY, INDEX 281
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY 283
  • Index 311
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