The Rise of Fascism
The Rise of Fascism in Italy, National Socialism in Germany, the Spanish Civil War, and the expansion of Nazi Germany (13 March 1938)
Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean
1937 saw further global disruption with the Japanese invasion of China. In March 1938, German troops entered Hitler's homeland of Austria, where they were greeted by the local population. The next day, Hitler announced the German annexation of Austria. Again this was in breach of the Treaty of Versailles and again Britain and France did nothing.
Germany and Italy begin providing support to Spanish nationalists
Soviet Union begins supporting Republicans in Spanish Civil War
Germany and Japan sign Anti-Comintern Pact
Japanese invasion of China
On the night of July 7, Chinese and Japanese troops exchanged fire in the vicinity of the Marco Polo bridge, an important access route to Beiping (Beijing). The confused skirmish escalated into a full-scale battle in which Beiping and Tianjin fell to Japanese forces, and marked the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Italy joins Anti-Comintern Pact
On March 1938, Hitler demanded that the government of Austria cede power to that country's branch of the Nazi Party. In a desperate attempt to preserve independence and garner the support of France and Britain (as stipulated in the Treaty of Versailles), the ruling Christian Social Party held a referendum on annexation (Anschluss), but the yes vote won overwhelmingly, with 99.7% of the vote.