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Enforced DisarmamentFrom the Napoleonic Campaigns to the Gulf War$
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Philip Towle

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206361.001.0001

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The Disarmament of Central Europe

The Disarmament of Central Europe

(p.93) 5 The Disarmament of Central Europe
Enforced Disarmament

Philip Towle

Oxford University Press

At the end of the First World War, the Austro-Hungarian Empire disintegrated, leaving a power vacuum in Central Europe. For the first time, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Yugoslavia, and Hungary became independent states, politically weak but fiercely nationalistic. The period began with the forced disarmament of Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria and the attempt to disarm Turkey; it finished with Anglo-French resistance that the Czechoslovak government appease Germany by abandoning its line of fortifications in the Sudetenland. Both of these processes were far-reaching. Czechoslovakia in 1938 was as vulnerable without its defensive line as Athens had been without its walls. Germany's former allies were only allowed to maintain armed forces which were a fraction of the size of those mobilized by their neighbours in the 1920s, making it impossible for them to use force to regain their lost territories but also increasing their bitterness.

Keywords:   Central Europe, forced disarmament, First World War, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria

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