Pre-NSDAP Reich propaganda poster depicting the strength imbalance between Germany and her neighbors.
Ages ago I wondered why exactly did Germany and more importantly Hitler supposedly 'break' the Versailles Treaty and leave the League of Nations. Contemporary historians on the subject pretty much agree that the German government simply shook the chains off as a matter of course, which is fine as the Versailles Treaty itself was little more than a slave treaty.
But did Hitler have justification for leaving the League and opposing the Treaty? I believe one of the most obvious pieces of evidence for this is in the very first article of the Versailles Treaty in its final June 28th, 1919 manifestation. Thankfully the entire document is provided online via Avalon so it can easily be accessed.
Article 8 of Section I. states explicitly that,
The Members of the League recognise that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations. The Council, taking account of the geographical situation and circumstances of each State, shall formulate plans for such reduction for the consideration and action of the several Governments. Such plans shall be subject to reconsideration and revision at least every ten years. After these plans shall have been adopted by the several Governments, the limits of armaments therein fixed shall not be exceeded without the concurrence of the Council. The Members of the League agree that the manufacture by private enterprise of munitions and implements of war is open to grave objections. The Council shall advise how the evil effects attendant upon such manufacture can be prevented, due regard being had to the necessities of those Members of the League which are not able to manufacture the munitions and implements of war necessary for their safety. The Members of the League undertake to interchange full and frank information as to the scale of their armaments, their military, naval, and air programmes and the condition of such of their industries as are adaptable to war-like purposes.
France had a population of ~35m during peacetime between the wars. Germany have over 80m. Of course Germany's reduction is a specific addendum in the treaty but France was obligated by the treaty to reduce the standing military forces of 4-5 million it had during peacetime. That figure also happens to be the number of French members in the armed forces during the First World War. Simply put - Section I, Article 8 of the Versailles Treaty was not respected by anyone but Germany. After all, the German military, despite mewlings from Ludendorff, was more than capable of actually defending the Reich had hostilities broken out after the 11th November, 1918 armistice, potentially forcing the Allies into an impasse with Germany. However, the "Hun" was honorable enough to not only sign a deplorable treaty, but follow it to the letter as best possible given the ludicrous and impossible hardships it would cause.
There are references to Hitler wanting to reduce strategic bombing, knowing that it would be an unpredictable weapon and devastate civilian lives - this also was not even considered by the other League states implied in the Treaty. Hitler successfully stopped the usage and proliferation of gas - which he had experienced himself in 1918 - though not via the treaty. As far as I know these two sincere attempts to reduce war production and militarism were the only ones ever brought forth to the League, and both were rejected de jure.
My point is simply that, Hitler and the German people were not obliged to support or stand such a treaty that was not only slavish and deplorable but also already dishonoured and broken by all other member states in the League of Nations. That anyone ever accused Hitler of 'breaking' the Treaty to be a dishonourable act (and it was used to bolster the sabre-rattling against Germany in the mid-to-late 1930s) is hypocrisy, pure and simple.