Reoccupation of Rhineland


German Street
German Troops Enter Rhine

On March 7th, 1936, Adolph Hitler stated that he was abrogating the Locarno pact and the German army occupied what had been the demilitarized Rhineland.

Adolf Hitler was looking for an excuse to reclaim the Rhineland from the French, which they had been occupying under the terms of the Versaille Treaty. A claim that the German had explicitly recognized in the Locarno Treaty. Hitler claimed it was Germany's right to take this action in response to the treaty signed between France and the Soviet Union. The occupation of the Rhineland put German and French troops opposite each other for the first time since World War I. Hitler announced a peace program calling for the demilitarization of both sides of the French-German borders, effectively calling on the French to give up the Maginot Line, France's only line of defense. The British and the French complained about German actions but did nothing. Churchill, who was out of power, was the loudest voice warning of a pending war.