The period 1933-36 is marred with inconsistency. At times, most notably between 33-35, Hitler could be said to be concealing his aggression whilst at others he is clearly showing unrestrained aggression, particularly from 1935 onwards.
Hitler’s first piece of mastery came to light in the wake of the Geneva arms conference. Hitler cunningly supported the British plans for a general reduction in arms knowing full well that the French would disagree. In October 1933, when the anticipated French refusal came, it provided Hitler with the excused he needed to withdraw Germany from the conference. With some justification, he pointed out that Germany had already disarmed and that, in the interest of peace, other nations should follow her example. As they were not prepared to do so, Germany was being treated unfairly. Four days later, Hitler took it a step further and withdrew Germany from the League of Nations. Although these moves were with risk, they paid off; France had been to appear as the aggressor and Germany the nation of peace. Furthermore, membership of the league was undesirable as it could later act as a hindrance.
Hitler backed this intelligent move with a propaganda offensive which aimed to convince other nations that Germany’s intention was to live in peace. In doing so, Hitler, somewhat remarkably, remained central to his immediate foreign policy i.e. isolating France and establishing closer ties with other nations, particularly Britain and Italy. Firstly, he signed a ten year non-aggression pact with Poland. This damaged the French system of alliances and so weakened the united front that it had presented against Germany: up to that time Poland had been an ally of France and had played an important part in the French plan to achieve a system of collective security. So in isolating France, Hitler also appeared as a man of peace.
Up until 1935 Hitler had masterfully presented himself as a man of peace whilst achieving successes in his Foreign...