Tom Goldstein,"Nazi Germany and the Spanish Civil War:
Continuity in Hitler's Foreign Policy"


Furthermore, Hitler's actions did have coherency in terms of a larger foreign policy - his decision to involve Germany in the Spanish Civil War does fit in as part of a larger Nazi policy of Eastern European expansion. With a pro-Soviet bloc in Western Europe, Hitler could not have as free a hand in the east. Moreover, Hitler took a good deal of time when considering what to do with Spain - he reviewed the latest reports from the Iberian Peninsula very carefully before agreeing to intervene.34 Thus when the Spanish Civil War erupted, Hitler already had an idea of what to do.

Impact of the War on European Peace

The Spanish Civil War had important consequences for all of Europe. The conflict further contributed to the polarization of Europe. Italy drew closer to Germany as a result of the conflict, and Britain and France drew closer together as well. Italy suffered several military setbacks in a war to which they were committed but increasingly wished they could withdraw. This commitment, along with those setbacks, made Italy even more dependent on its one ally, Germany.35 Britain and France drew together as a result of their common desire to maintain non-intervention and also through their joint naval program to stop Mediterranean 'piracy.' As historian Willard Frank concludes, "After rather chilly relations during the Ethiopian crisis, the Spanish war brought out the similarities between Great Britain and France."36 All hopes for resurrecting the Stresa Front were dashed by Italy's insistence on intervening in the conflict and Britain and France's determination to stay out. Italy, by committing a large number of troops, played

34. Ibid., 439-440.
35. Frank, 379.
36. Ibid., 406.
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