IGCSE History


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Why did the Disarmament Conference fail?

In February 1932 the League of Nations Disarmament Conference began at Geneva. Sixty countries took part, including the USA and the Soviet Union.

The League wanted all countries to give up aggression. There were a number of different suggestions.

The main reason for failure was that France and Germany could not agree. The French wanted to be certain that if they reduced the size of their armed forces that they would not be threatened by Germany.

The Germans wanted the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which restricted the size of their armed forces, abolished. Neither side would give way.

After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, he refused to accept any reductions in armed forces and claimed that since Germany was already disarmed, the other countries should follow its lead.

Hitler withdrew from the Disarmament Conference and also from the League of Nations in October 1933.

Eighteen months later, in March 1935, Hitler announced that he was going to ignore the restrictions on the German armed forces that had been imposed at Versailles. The League condemned Hitler’s action, but did nothing about it.




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