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The first cause of the outbreak of WWII is the Treaty of Versailles; this was signed on the 28th of June 1919. This treaty ended the war between Germany and the Allies. One main factor of the treaty required Germany to become responsible for the whole war, and all the death and damage in it. One reason this contributed to the war was that the punishments were too harsh on Germany. One such punishment was that Germany had to pay about £6.6bn to the Allies. This is equivalent to about £284bn nowadays. This amount of money was hard for the Germans to pay, and a German head of government even resigned rather than to actually sign the treaty. This lead to war because some German parties gained momentum and tried to overthrow the government, and one of these parties was the Nazi party, led by Adolf Hitler. After the attempt, the Nazi party gained more and more voters and was eventually voted into power in 1933.
Another punishment was the loss of German territory. In total, Germany lost around 25000 square miles of land to either the League of Nations or to other countries. An example of this was Czechoslovakia, and also the demilitarization of the Rhineland. Also, Germany was banned from joining Austria. This led to war because one of the first actions that Hitler did was march his troops into areas of land that had been taken, and also he joined together with Austria after Austria voted whether they wanted to join Germany. The final reason why the Treaty of Versailles was mainly responsible for the outbreak of WWII was that Germany’s armed forces were severely limited. For example, Germany’s army was limited to 100,000 soldiers, and these were to only be made up of volunteers, their police force was severely limited to levels from before WWI and also Germany was banned from having an air force. This led to war because the German military couldn’t do anything. For example, German troops were sent into the Rhineland to stop rioting because the police force was too small to stop the rioting. And then, because the Rhineland was meant to be a demilitarized zone, French troops occupied some German towns such as Frankfurt and Darmstadt.
The Treaty of Versailles was mainly responsible for the outbreak of war because this led to other causes, such as Hitler’s foreign policy and appeasement. For example, one of Hitler’s aims was to rip up the Treaty of Versailles. Also, one of the reasons appeasement happened was because, in hindsight, some countries’ leaders thought that the punishments on Germany had been too harsh.
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