Rhineland is a German territory adjacent to France.

After the first World War, Belgium and Rhineland were forced to win the demilitarized war.

The Treaty of Versailles clearly stipulates this.

The Locarno convention, signed by Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Belgium in 1925, reaffirmed this once again.

The demilitarization of Rhineland has created a buffer zone on the German side of the German French border.

If Germany wants to attack France, the war must first be carried out on German territory.

Compared with France and Germany, it is obvious that France has a strategic advantage.

If Germany provokes war against its Eastern neighbors, such as Poland and Czechoslovakia, France will send troops to intervene because they have mutual aid treaties with them.

The existence of the Rhineland demilitarized zone makes it easy for France to enter Germany’s industrial center Ruhr, which poses a serious threat to the German economy.

On the contrary, if German troops are stationed in Rhineland, not only France’s own security will be directly threatened, but also a fatal blow to France’s Eastern European security system.

Therefore, the demilitarization of Rhineland is of great significance to restrict Germany and prevent its external expansion, so as to ensure the security of France, Poland and Eastern European countries.

After taking office in January 1933, Nazi Germany was eager to change its strategic disadvantage in order to invade and expand abroad.

However, its national strength was limited, its military strength was insufficient, and it was difficult to achieve its wish for the time being under the constraints of the Versailles peace treaty and the Locarno convention.

It’s a bad policy to be brave enough to be defeated.

The scheming Hitler was not in a hurry to take action, but talked more about peace in words for a period of time, but actively prepared for war in secret.

Politically, through a series of measures, he quickly realized the one party dictatorship of the Nazi party, made Germany completely Nazi, and strengthened his dictatorship.

Militarily, Germany’s military expansion from secret to open soon strengthened its military strength.

On May 2, 1935, German Defense Minister General von blomburg issued the first instruction to the German armed forces to draw up a plan to reoccupy the Rhineland demilitarized zone.

The code name for this operation is “training”.

In the instruction, blomburg stressed that after issuing the order of “executing training”, the operation must be completed by surprise attack at lightning speed.

On June 16, the plan to enter Rhineland was further discussed at the 10th meeting of the working committee of the German National Defense Conference.

At the meeting, Colonel Alfred Yodel reported on the details of the plan and referred to the preliminary measures taken by the general command to march into Rhineland in accordance with Hitler’s instructions.

On May 2, 1935, the Treaty of mutual assistance between France and the Soviet Union was signed in Paris.

Originally, this treaty should be the basis for effectively fighting back the aggressors, but because France signed the treaty only to use it as a bargaining chip for negotiations with Berlin and is not prepared to seriously fulfill its obligations, in fact, this treaty has not been implemented.

However, it provided an excuse for Hitler, who had been looking for opportunities to destroy the Locarno Convention and prepare to march into Rhineland.

Since then, under the pretext of being threatened by the alliance between France and the Soviet Union, Hitler and his party have wantonly attacked the Treaty of mutual assistance between France and the Soviet Union, and even cursed that the treaty was a crime, saying that if the treaty was ratified, it would be linked with the treaties already concluded between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, making Germany extremely vulnerable to the joint air operations of these countries.

Although Hitler and his gang continued to attack the Franco Soviet mutual assistance treaty, for a period of time, France did not ratify the treaty, and Hitler, who was good at timing, did not take immediate action, because he needed not only an excuse to abolish the Locarno convention, but also a suitable climate in international political life.

In October 1935, Italy launched a war of aggression against Ethiopia.

Britain and France had nothing to do with Italy, and the sanctions of the League of nations did not work.

In February 1936, Italy made some progress on the battlefield by using indiscriminate bombing and poison gas.

Mussolini escaped punishment for his invasion of Ethiopia, which made Hitler more confident in taking action in the Rhineland demilitarized zone.

In 1936, another thing that encouraged Hitler’s reoccupation of the Rhineland demilitarized zone was that the president of the United States reiterated on January 6 that the United States would maintain a strictly neutral and detached attitude towards European affairs in the future.

This convinced Hitler that his military action against Rhineland would never be too much trouble.

Hitler skillfully used the contradiction between Britain, France and Italy to successfully break up the Western anti German front, and used the Italian Egyptian war to pull Italy to his side.

On February 22, 1936, Mussolini assured Germany that if Germany abolished the Locarno convention, the situation in this region would become increasingly tense from 1935, and information about the situation in this region would continue to be sent to Paris from the French agency in Germany.

On April 12, 1935, French consul general Jean Dobre in Cologne reported back to the French Ministry of foreign affairs.

In the autumn of the same year, the situation in Rhineland became more tense.

In October, the French Army Intelligence Agency reported that the Germans were actively preparing to reoccupy the demilitarized zone.

French ambassador to Germany Fran ç OIS Ponce asserted on the basis of a conversation with Hitler on October 21 that Hitler was about to take revenge and would soon march into Rhineland.

According to this information, the French government and army should have taken corresponding preventive measures to prepare for smashing the German military adventure in all aspects.

However, France did not do so, but placed its security on the Council of the League of nations, allies, especially Britain.

On January 24, 1936, French Foreign Minister Fran ç OIS Fran ç OIS, through the Ministry of foreign affairs, drew the attention of the Ministry of defence to the issue of prevention and asked for suggestions on it.

On 12 February, the Secretary of the army, general Moran, proposed some preventive measures in a message he signed from the army staff to francan, but none of them were measures to prepare for a counterattack.

On February 17, Moran sent another letter to francan on behalf of the army.

On February 25th, fearing that Hitler would use the ratification of the Franco Soviet treaty as an excuse to march into Rhineland, the army suggested that the foreign ministry postpone the ratification of the treaty.

On February 27th, the French cabinet decided on France’s course of action on the Rhineland issue: first, the French government will not act alone, but will act in concert with the signatories of the Locarno convention.

Second, once the Treaty of Versailles is blatantly and unquestionably destroyed, the French government will cooperate with the governments of Britain, Belgium and ItalyConduct consultations with a view to taking concerted action to implement the provisions of the covenant of the League of nations and the Locarno convention.

Third, the French government reserves the right to take all preventive measures, including those of a military nature, while waiting for the recommendations of the countries that have undertaken their obligations.

Hitler believed that the Rhineland issue should be solved sooner rather than later.

Otherwise, if Italy succeeds in Ethiopia, Britain will be more reluctant to compromise on the Rhineland issue, and Italy will be more difficult to deal with.

On February 27, 1936, the French house of Representatives approved the Franco Soviet treaty.

The time is finally ripe to March.

On March 1, Hitler decided to occupy Rhineland.

On 2 March, Fort blomburg issued a formal order to occupy Rhineland.

He asked the army and air force to enter the Rhineland demilitarized zone unexpectedly at the same time.

In order to maintain the peaceful nature of the operation, the preparations should be as unobtrusive as possible.

If the other signatories of the Locarno convention react to the German army’s entry into Rhineland through military preparation, any military “countermeasures” should be decided by him.

The counter measure mentioned here is to “quickly withdraw the Third Battalion of German troops from the West Bank of the Rhine”.

On Saturday, March 7, 1936, the legal rest day of Britain and France, in the early morning, a symbolic German team was ordered to cross the Rhine River and enter the demilitarized zone.

At 10 a.m., German Foreign Minister Niu Wright summoned the ambassadors of the States parties to the Locarno convention to Germany and handed them a note abolishing the Locarno Convention and proposing a new peace plan.

In the note, Germany proposed to sign a 25-year non aggression treaty with Belgium and France, which would be guaranteed by Britain and Italy.

Sign the same non aggression treaty with Germany’s Eastern neighbors.

Agree to demilitarize both sides of the French German border.

After signing the air force treaty with western countries and the reorganization of the League of nations, Germany may return to the League of nations.

Then the German foreign minister told them that Germany’s “symbolic team” was entering the Rhineland region.

At noon, Hitler delivered a speech at the parliament.

He said: Germany has constantly and repeatedly proposed to maintain friendly relations and ensure peace with France, while France has answered us with the French Soviet military alliance, which is specially against Germany, which is a violation of the Rhine treaty.

Since then, the Locarno convention has lost its substantive significance and actually no longer exists.

Therefore, Germany should no longer be bound by this invalid convention.

At that time, Hitler’s decision made the German generals feel uneasy.

Most of them believed that a small number of German troops occupying Rhineland would be completely wiped out by the French army.

After Hitler’s plan was put into practice, the generals remained restless.

Hitler later admitted: “the 48 hours after entering Rhineland was the most nervous moment of my life.

If the French had entered Rhineland at that time, we would have to retreat with our tails between our hands, because the military power available to us, even for a little resistance, was not enough.

” On March 7, the day the German army entered Rhineland, French Prime Minister sarrow convened three cabinet members, Moran and gammerlin in his office.

However, no decision was made at the final meeting.

On March 9, at the cabinet meeting, due to Moran’s alarmist remarks, the cabinet meeting made the following decision: to appeal to the Council of the League of nations and the States parties to the Locarno convention to “immediately convene a meeting of the League of nations to consult with the States parties to the Locarno convention in Paris”.

The French are unwilling to send troops to Rhineland for the benefit of their country, but they are unwilling to admit it publicly.

So the fate of France was left to the United Nations and the States parties to the Locarno convention to decide.

In fact, Britain, France’s most important ally, decided not to intervene in the German occupation of Rhineland as early as a year ago.

In early 1935, the British cabinet concluded without consulting the general staff that maintaining the demilitarized zone was not an important interest of Britain.

On January 27, 1936, French Foreign Minister Fran ç OIS took the opportunity to attend the funeral of King George V to solicit the views of the British government on the possible entry of Germans into Rhineland.

British Foreign Secretary Eden believes that the existence of the Rhineland demilitarized zone is only a matter of France and has nothing to do with Britain.

On March 10, the signatories of the Locarno Convention held a meeting at the French Ministry of foreign affairs.

Fran ç an said with a false and tough gesture: if we want peace, we must immediately drive the Germans out of Rhineland and demand economic, financial and military sanctions against Germany.

Aiden reiterated at the meeting that Britain opposes unilateral actions by France.

Belgian Prime Minister Paul van zieland supported Aiden’s views.

The Italian ambassador remained silent.

Later, the meeting continued in London, but no decision worth mentioning was made.

The Executive Yuan meeting of the Council of the League of Nations was held from March 14 to 24.

On March 19, it adopted a resolution condemning Germany’s reoccupation of Rhineland and its violation of the Versailles peace treaty and the Locarno convention.

In addition, the participating countries have made certain diplomatic gestures, but the so-called “guarantees” and “obligations” of all countries are of no practical significance.

It was precisely because Britain and France did not have the courage and determination to stop Hitler from breaking the contract by force, and the disaster that Hitler and his generals feared did not happen.

Hitler’s success in his adventure made him overjoyed.

On March 21, 1936, Hitler announced proudly in Hamburg: “the spirit of the Versailles peace treaty has been destroyed.

” In one fell swoop, Hitler not only “raised his reputation, strengthened his power and divided his opponents”, but also changed the strategic situation of the whole Europe and determined the basic trend of the policies of European countries before the war.