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


mineral was used to furnish iron and copper, and was also used in many chemical industrial procedures that Germany considered critical.39

The Spanish Civil War caused Britain and France's credibility to decrease in Hitler's eyes. The democracies looked weaker than ever because despite common knowledge of German and Italian involvement in Spain, neither Britain nor France had challenged the dictatorships' pledge to remain non-committed.40 Hitler was beginning to see that he might have his way with the democracies. Therefore, an emboldened Hitler began accelerating the pace of his expansionist policies. This development helped lead to the Austrian and Sudeten annexations of 1938, the outright annexation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, and the invasion of Poland in September 1939, which set off World War II.41


The Spanish Civil War was important not only to Spain but also to the whole of Europe. Germany's involvement in that war was crucial to helping Franco's Nationalists claim control of Spain. Despite some historians' views as to a functional foreign policy, the evidence suggests that involvement in Spain was perfectlys consistent with Hitler's foreign policy goal of distracting Britain and France and driving a rift between them, Italy, and the Soviet Union, all while Hitler was making plans for eastern expansion. The result of Germany's involvement in the Spanish Civil War was just that - Britain and France, although drawing closer together themselves, moved further away from Italy and alienated the Soviet Union. Both Italy and to a lesser extent the USSR were subsequently

39. Whealey, Hitler and Spain, p.75.
40. Frank, p.391.
41. Ibid., p.408.
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