Today in History, March 7: 1936:
“If you French had intervened in the Rhineland in 1936 we should have been sunk and Hitler would have fallen” – German General Heinz Guderian, interviewed after WWII.
On this date, Germany “remilitarized” the Rhineland with a token force. It had been de-militarized after WWI to protect Germany’s neighbors.
In some skullduggery, Hitler claimed the people of the Rhineland were German peoples, and wanted the military presence. Now it was just a matter of seeing if anyone would call his hand.
In his memoirs, Hitler agreed with Guderian, saying that he had been very nervous in the 48 hours after the move.
Except for a few unheeded voices (Churchill), the governments of Europe refused to act, mostly for financial reasons. Bet they wished they could have had a “do over” on that decision.