Europe 1938: Anschluss
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.
27 Jul 1936 Germany and Italy begin providing support to Spanish nationalists▲
Germany and Italy begin providing support to Spanish nationalists
6 Oct 1936 Soviet Union begins supporting Republicans in Spanish Civil War▲
Soviet Union begins supporting Republicans in Spanish Civil War
25 Nov 1936 Germany and Japan sign Anti-Comintern Pact▲
Germany and Japan sign Anti-Comintern Pact
7 Jul 1937 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.
6 Nov 1937 Italy joins Anti-Comintern Pact▲
Italy joins Anti-Comintern Pact
13 Mar 1938 Anschluss▲
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.