Lack of reliable allies


There were question marks over France's ability to be an effective ally. The country was politically unstable during the 1930s with violent clashes in the streets between supporters of right and left-wing parties.

France also appeared unlikely to assist any attempt to act against Germany. They had not done so over the Rhineland in 1936. They preferred to take a defensive strategy behind the Maginot Line. This was also due to the Great War. France had lost around 1,150,000 men during 1914-1918.


The USA was following a policy of isolation and was inclined to stay out of European affairs.


After 1935, Italy under Mussolini had gradually moved away from Britain and France and closer to Germany. This led to Italy dropping its opposition to German demands over Austria.


The USSR was a bitter opponent of Nazi Germany. However, relations between Stalin and the British and French were clouded with suspicion.

Chamberlain was not convinced that the Red Army would be effective. As a Conservative he was also opposed to their political views. Chamberlains failure to involve the Soviets over Munich only increased the suspicion.

British Empire

At the Imperial Conference in London in 1937, member states of the British Empire, such as Canada, Australia and South Africa, made it clear that they would not take part in another war in Europe.

League of Nations

The League of Nations, established after WWI to help prevent future conflicts, had proved ineffective over both Manchuria and Abyssinia. The member states could not reach agreements or enforce their decisions.