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The Drift to War

By Richard Lamb

In 1929, Europe, still reeling from the catastrophic impact of World War One, was faced with the worst economic downturn in history with the advent of the Great Depression. Germany, already required to pay large sums of reparations following the Treaty of Versailles, was on the brink of economic collapse.

Drawing from a wide range of interviews, correspondence and official archives, The Drift to War charts the rise of the Nazis in Germany and the political events leading up to the outbreak of war in 1939. Historian Richard Lamb argues that a series of errors by British politicians – including an attitude of acquiescence towards Hitler – contributed to the increasing popularity of the Nazi Party, culminating in Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. Lamb also asserts that the Treaty of Versailles would have been successful had Lloyd George succeeded in cancelling German reparations and that Britain bent over backwords in its policy of appeasement by condoning German rearmament.

The Drift to War is thus a riveting account of British policy during the period, from the creation of the League of Nations to Hitler’s annexation of Austria and occupation of Czechoslovakia. A must-read for historians and all those with an interest in this period of modern history.

Richard Lamb (1911-2000) was a British historian, politician and BBC radio commentator. His other works include Montgomery in Europe, Success or Failure?, The Ghosts of Peace 1935-1945 and Churchill as War Leader.

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