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World History 9 Ethan Fisher THE 1938 MUNICH AGREEMENT: BRITAIN SETTLED FOR HOPE OVER CONFRONTATION DESPITE

CREDIBLE OPTIONS TO OPPOSE HITLER 8 May 2012 Mr. Adkison Word Count: 5085

I. Events Leading to Hitlers Exploitation of Britishs Foreign Policy In the words of Sun Tzu, a prominent Chinese military general: If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.1 During the month of September 1938, leaders of Western Europe were in desperate need of some Sun Tzu guidance. After several months of diplomacy, Neville Chamberlain, Britains Prime Minister, decided to negotiate with Hitler directly on his belief that war would erupt by October if an agreement with Hitler was not reached. As a result, Chamberlains decision to do so was a surprise to the British Parliament, the rest of Western Europe and even Hitler himself. Fundamentally, Chamberlain was determined, at all cost, to avoid a confrontation with Hitler believing Hitler could be reasoned with.2 Furthermore, Chamberlain was willing to sacrifice others sovereign land and ultimately did so through the signing of the Munich Agreement which forced Czechoslovakia to give up a part of its country, the Sudetenland. Instead of taking a stand against Hitler, Britain and her appeasement policy settled for hope over other credible options. With that said, there were a series of significant events during this September period that questioned whether the Munich Agreement should have been signed. In the first place, the Czechoslovakian army may have had the ability to defend itself from Germany on its own without the need of immediate support from France or Britain. Moreover, there were inconsistent reports as to the size and strength of Germanys military force. Lastly and most importantly, Britain was aware that various German generals were not supportive of Hitler and were willing to stage a coup if Czechoslovakia was invaded. Accordingly, this mindset may have also signaled a broader lack of support from the German people as a whole.3 To illustrate, a British official wrote to Chamberlains office in September 11 about the German peoples lack of interest of war by stating:
Public opinion is much alarmed at Germany military measures which as they increases in scope, are becoming more widely known. There is a general fear that an attack of Czechoslovakia may lead to a European war, which Germany would be likely to lose.4

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1 2

Sun, Tzu. The Art of War. (Middlesex: Echo Library, 2006). Hughes, Michael. British Foreign Secretaries in an Uncertain World, 1919-1939. (London: Routledge, 2006). 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid.

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On a separate occasion, Hitlers lack of public support was again reinforced on September 27 when Henderson observed during Hitlers military parade in Berlin that not a single individual in the streets applauded.5 Given those circumstances, an examination of the three factors raises the essential question: Should the Munich Agreement have been signed? Prior to the signing of the Munich Agreement, Western Europe 1938 was engulfed with fear of war with Hitlers Germany. Nearly two decades earlier, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, signaling the end of World War I, forcing Germany to relinquish part of its European territories. Post World War I, British diplomacy was best described by the British Foreign Office in 1926 as: We have got all that we want perhaps more. Our sole objective is to keep what we have and to live in peace.6 When Adolf Hitler obtained power of Germany in 1933, Western Europe was mostly accepting of Hitlers ideas that Germany was treated unfairly during Versailles.7 For this reason, Britains foreign policy agenda by 1936 was to avoid exclusive alliances in favor of a policy that would allow Germany to play the part of a good European.8 When he successfully defeated a group of communists from gaining power in Germany, Hitler provided some comfort to Western Europe.9 Certainly, this action pleased Western Europe as they viewed communism to be the real threat, not Hitler.10 On March 7, 1936, sensing that Britain and France would not take action to stop him, Hitler moved military forces back into the Rhineland, a part of Germany that was to remain without any German military forces, according to the Treaty of Versailles. Hitlers belief was proven correct as neither Britain nor France prevented him from building up Germanys military in this de-militarized zone. In essence, Germans re-occupation of the Rhineland marked a turning point in Hitlers rise to power that would eventually lead to an inevitable war. As Britain and France sat back and watched, Hitler began to improve Germanys military strength; he set out a plan to re-gain control over other parts of Europe that were populated mostly by Germans !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May, Ernest R., Richard N. Rosecrance, and Zara Steiner. History and Neorealism. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010). 6 Walker, Stephen G. "Solving the Appeasement Puzzle: Contending Historical Interpretations of British Diplomacy during the 1930." British Journal International Studies 6 (1980): 219-46. 7 Hughes, Michael. British Foreign Secretaries in an Uncertain World, 1919-1939. (London: Routledge, 2006). 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid.
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but no longer within its borders.11 In his policy of expansion, Hitler first targeted Austria. In 1938, he successfully reached agreement with Austrias government. In effect, this agreement allowed Hitler to annex Austria without a single gunshot. With Germany showing off its military strength on the border with Austria, Hitler was able to convince Austria to vote for the annexation by Germany. In March 1938, Hitler led the march into Austria without any bloodshed.12 Choosing to ignore this, Britain continued to support Hitlers actions; Chamberlain continued to express willingness to improve relations with Berlin in order to secure the kind of European pacification that had been dreamt of by British governments goal since 1919.13 Shortly after Austria was annexed, Hitler next turned his efforts to reclaim parts of Czechoslovakia. In May 1938, Hitler put in place a plan to invade Czechoslovakia. According to a letter from General Keitel, the Chief of the German Armed Forces, a detailed plan stated the preparations for war and clarified that its execution must be assured by October 1, 1938, at the latest.14 Within Czechoslovakia there was a Sudeten German Party that represented the bordering lands with Germany that were still populated by mostly German decent. Under the advice of Hitler, the leader of the Sudeten German Party negotiated with the Czechoslovakian Government on disputes it had and further discussed the possibility of breaking away to join with Germany. Hitler advised the Sudeten German Party to keep demanding for more, even though the Czechoslovakian Government gave in on nearly all of the original issues.15 By July 1938, the negotiations were breaking down and Germany made it clear that it would not back down. As a precaution, Neville Henderson, British ambassador to Germany, advised Chamberlain not to take an aggressive position against Hitler because a blow to Hitlers prestige might well have contrary effect and drive him over the edge.16 During this period of negotiations, Britain informed Germany that she was asking Czechoslovakia to be generous and conciliatory 17 towards Germanys growing demands. While the British government wanted to maintain peace, they had little interest in Czechoslovakia. In fact, they did !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May, Ernest R., Richard N. Rosecrance, and Zara Steiner. History and Neorealism. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010). 12 Hughes, Michael. British Foreign Secretaries in an Uncertain World, 1919-1939. (London: Routledge, 2006). 13 Ibid. 14 Schmitt, B. Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945. Vol. II. Series D (London: 1950). 15 Wiegrefe, Klaus. "The Road to World War II: How Appeasement Failed to Stop Hitler." Spiegel Online. 2 Aug. 2009. 16 Woodward, E. L. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939. Vol. 2. (London: H.M. Stationery Off. 1946). 17 Ibid.
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not view her of any strategic importance.18 Likewise, France also did not favor military action regarding Czechoslovakia. Nevertheless, France was prepared to honor their treaty to come to Czechoslovakias aid if invaded, as they did not trust Hitler. As communicated to Britain, France had no illusion to Hitlers real objective in Czechoslovakia. He wanted to destroy her and this would be merely the first step in Hitlers policy of expansion.19 Throughout the crisis over the Sudetenland, Britain had not indicated to Germany if they would defend Czechoslovakia, preferring to keep Germany guessing.20 With that said however, Chamberlain still wanted to appease Hitler. In an effort to assist in the negotiations between Czechoslovakia and the Germanysupported Sudeten Party, Chamberlain sent an official, Lord Runciman, to help mediate the discussions in July 1938.21 With this intention, it was made clear to all that Runciman was not to make decisions on the disputes, only to provide another opinion to discussions.22 However, this effort failed and by September 1938, the crisis over Sudetenland had escalated to a point where military conflict was likely. Not to mention, the language used between governments grew more direct, and in September 1938, Hitler stated with regards to the Sudetenland, I am determined to settle it. I do not care whether there is a world war or not.23 At the same time, Neville Henderson, British foreign minister, communicated about Germany to Chamberlain on September 3, 1938 that a German official said there was a
lack of enthusiasm in the country for war and went so far as to observe that this lack of enthusiasm in the back areas would be a serious handicap after the first few months of war, if it occurred. Nor were the generals themselves enthusiastic. Their instructions were to be 100 percent ready for all eventualities as from a certain date, but, so far as he could discover, they had no other instructions and no information as to the Chancellors [Hitler] real intentions.24

In spite of this, German troops were moving to the border and Czechoslovakian troops were actively preparing. Chamberlain, nevertheless, still remained confident !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aulach, H. "Britain and the Sudeten Issue, 1938: The Evolution of a Policy." Journal of Contemporary History 18.2 (1983). 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. 22 Woodward, E. L. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939. Vol. 2. (London: H.M. Stationery Off. 1946). 23 May, Ernest R., Richard N. Rosecrance, and Zara Steiner. History and Neorealism. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010). 24 Woodward, E. L. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939. Vol. 2. (London: H.M. Stationery Off. 1946).
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that a diplomatic agreement could be reached to avoid a war.25 By mid-September, taking the matter in his own hands, Chamberlain decided to change strategy and negotiate personally with Hitler in order to preserve peace. By the end of September, Chamberlain had given into all of Hitlers demands. On 29 September 1938, Germany, France, Italy and Britain signed the Munich Agreement, which forced Czechoslovakia to surrender the Sudetenland to Germany. In return, Hitler agreed to stop his policy of territorial expansion. Without its leader present at the conference, the fate of Czechoslovakia was determined. Feeling betrayed by Britain and France, Czechoslovakia had no option but to relinquish the Sudetenland. II. Coup Discussions Against Hitler: A Credible Threat In his desperate attempts to avoid war, Chamberlain rushed into signing the Munich Agreement without considering other credible policies to oppose Hitler. Despite Hitlers successes and ambitions in building the German army and his aspirations to invade parts of Europe, not all of Hitler generals were supportive of his intentions. 26 In fact, his generals were willing to stage a coup against him because they did not want to go to war. Incidentally, before his trip to London, German General Beck ordered to an official: Bring me certain proof that Britain will fight if Czechoslovakia is attacked and I will make an end of this rgime.27 Between August and September 1938, German generals contacted senior British government officials on several occasions to seek their assistance.28 Furthermore, Becks attitude was shared directly with the British on August 13th in a meeting between a British and a German official where the German official made it clear that all German generals were dead against war but they will not have the power to stop it unless they get encouragement and help from outside.29 Namely, the help that the German conspirators were seeking focused on two areas. First, they wanted the British government to make strong public statements that opposed Hitlers actions and that Hitlers actions would lead to war as Britain would not stand by and watch him invade a sovereign country. Second, the German conspirators wanted assurance that if !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ibid. Hoffmann, Peter. "Peace through Coup D'tat: The Foreign Contacts of the German Resistance 19331944." Central European History 19.01 (1986). 27 Ibid. 28 Woodward, E. L. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939. Vol. 2. (London: H.M. Stationery Off. 1946). 29 Ibid.
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Hitler did order an invasion of Czechoslovakia, Britain would support Czechoslovakia. However, each of these requests was counter to Chamberlains policy of appeasing Hitler in the hope of obtaining peace. In the same meeting, the German official indicated that the views of the German generals were consistent with the views of the people who were terribly alarmed at the prospect of war. 30 Additional contacts were made in September to Lord Halifax in which British assistance was asked for again in the form of a public statement declaring that the British government was not supportive of Germany attacking Czechoslovakia. Moreover, Lord Halifax was also told that the German army was ready to take action against Hitler if necessary but only if the Britain opposed Hitler.31 Chamberlain, however, remained very skeptical on the German approach of overthrowing Hitler, and in reference to the August 11 meeting Chamberlain said that he viewed the German official as:
very anti-Hitler and is extremely anxious to stir up his friends in Germany to make an attempt at its overthrown. He reminds me of the Jacobites at the Court of France in King Williams time and I think we must discount a good 32 deal of what he says.

While it is logical to be skeptical, it does not appear that the British government tested the integrity of the German conspirators. Without doubt, General Beck was very outspoken against any military action upon a sovereign country and did not support the idea of attacking ethnic Germans to acquire land, like in the case of Austria and now Czechoslovakia.33 Becks opposition to Hitlers tactics were documented in his letter dated July 16 to the German Commander-in-Chief of the Army, von Brauchitsch, criticizing Hitler for not caring about the whole of the people. As a sign of taking steps against Hitler, Beck added, Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions.34 Although Beck did resign from his position in protest to Hitlers strategy, Hitler kept Beck involved until late September most likely because Hitler did not want to show any signs of weakness !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ibid. Rothfels, Hans, Adolf Hitler, and Lawrence Wilson. The German Opposition to Hitler; an Assessment. (London: Wolff, 1973). 32 Woodward, E. L. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939. Vol. 2. (London: H.M. Stationery Off. 1946). 33 "The Valkyrie Conspiracy." German Generals 1938 Conspiracy to Oust Hitler Regime, http://www.valkyrieplot.com/1938/html. 34 Rothfels, Hans, Adolf Hitler, and Lawrence Wilson. The German Opposition to Hitler; an Assessment. (London: Wolff, 1973).
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within his military while negotiating with the British. Supported by several generals, the plan to remove Hitler remained in place up until late September when it was clear Britain was not going to consider the conspirators plan as an option. Clearly, the option to completely drive out Hitlers Regime should have been put into more consideration as it may have prevented the signing of the Munich Agreement and the beginning of World War II. III. The Relative Military Strengths of Germany In addition to the lack of support from Hitlers own army, an important point that was overlooked was the actual the strength of the German army. In the decades following the war, the facts were clear: the German army was not nearly as strong as publicly advertised; thus, a battle against Czechoslovakia would not have ended quickly. In the years before and during the Czechoslovakian crisis, the size of the German military was greatly exaggerated. In particular, General Maurin, the French Minister of War, reported in 1936 that Hitler had close to 300,000 men in uniform, the equivalent of 21-22 divisions
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in the Rhineland and another 900,000 in

reserves. Yet it was well known that Hitler had only 30,000 troops in the Rhineland at the time.36 By the same token, the British government also overestimated the ability of Hitlers army. Unsatisfied with the amount of money Britain was spending on rebuilding its military, Churchill talked up the size of the Germany forces as early as 1934. Hence, Churchill wrote:
a disaster of the first magnitude had fallen upon us. Hitler had already obtained parity with Great Britain. Henceforward he had merely to drive his factories and training-schools at full speed, not only to keep his lead in the air but steadily to improve it! quantity was henceforth beyond us. 37

As well, British General Edmund Ironside naively commented in August 1938: The German Army is really big. They have 48 divisions! They then have 20 reserve divisions and 36 Landwehr divisions38 for a grand total of 104 divisions. Suspiciously, a month later the British military attach gave a report that stated !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ben-Arie, K. "Czechoslovakia at the Time of 'Munich': The Military Situation." Journal of Contemporary History 25.4 (1990). 36 Ibid. 37 Baldwin, Hanson W. "Hitler's Power in 1939." The New York Times 9 May 1948. 38 Ben-Arie, K. "Czechoslovakia at the Time of 'Munich': The Military Situation." Journal of Contemporary History 25.4 (1990).
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Germany had only 31 divisions on the Czechoslovakian border.39 Additionally, Charles Lindbergh, a famous American living in Germany, also made various public statements in Paris and London that Germany had 8,000 military planes and could build 1,500 a month.40 However, Dr. Carroll Quigley, a renowned professor at Georgetowns School of Foreign Service, conducted extensive research of the Germany military strength, which included access to confidential documents. In his study, Quigley concluded that Germany only had approximately 1,500 planes, few hundred of 38-ton-tanks armed with 75mm cannons, and only produced 50 of these tanks a month -- a vast difference from what General Edmund Ironside advertised.41 Clearly, Germanys motive was to inflate the size of its military in order to scare Western Europe. On the contrary, we now know Germanys military was still relatively weak in 1938. Equally important, despite what was advertised about Germans military strength, the actual views within the British government were mixed. Evidently, these views should have directly impacted Britains strategy during the Czechoslovakian crisis. For example, in July 1938, British military attach Mason-MacFarlane was quite unconvinced that the [German] military evidence now at our disposal definitely indicates a clear intention to march this autumn.42 Halifax spoke of Germanys misinformation to Henderson in August citing the recurrence of reports of troop movements in this or that place, which when investigated turn out baseless.43 Despite the inconclusive views of German military strength, Chamberlain rushed to make a deal with Hitler, almost as if Germany had the ability to take over the world. As indicated, the inconsistent reports of the German army should have triggered some hesitation to the signing of the Munich Agreement. IV. The Relative Military Strengths of Czechoslovakia Notwithstanding the contradictions of the size of the German army, what really mattered in this analysis is how the German army compared to the strength of the Czechoslovakian military. In 1938, the Czechoslovak army comprised 17 infantry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ibid. Dr. Quigley Explains How Germany in 1938 Conquered a Then More Powerful Czechoslovakia - An Exchange of Correspondence between Mr. Jay Burke and Dr. Carroll Quigley." Professor Carroll Quigley. 41 Ibid. 42 Woodward, E. L. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939. Vol. 2. (London: H.M. Stationery Off. 1946). 43 Ibid.
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and 4 mobile divisions. Full mobilizations yielded a further 17 reserve divisions, giving a field army of 38 divisions.44 In addition, there were approximately another 15 divisions along its borders. While Czechoslovakia had a much larger infantry, Germany was more superior in the air. However, in September, the weather was poor and it was not likely that there was good visibility,45 giving the Czechs the advantage. Even within the British military, the view was that the Czechoslovakian military was not only prepared to fight but that they also wanted to fight. briefing of the Czechoslovakian military readiness:
The Czech General Staff undoubtedly have a capacity for organization, and I do not expect any serious hitch in the process of rapid mobilization!For an army which is not absolutely of the front rank the equipment, especially as regards arms, is surprisingly good. The country has the advantage of possessing an arms industry which can vie with any other in the world!My personal opinion is that the morale of the Czech army and nation is high!To sum it up, there are no shortcomings in the Czech army.46

In

September 1938, Lieutenant Colonel Stronge, British Military Attache, provided a

Despite the overwhelming evidence of Czechoslovakias ability to defend itself if the dispute came to war, Britains diplomat in Berlin, Neville Henderson himself asserted that he thought the Czechs would collapse much quicker than people think, after the first week or two.47 With that said, Chamberlain maintained his agenda and, within two weeks of Strongs report, Chamberlain launched his direct negotiations with Hitler, against the wishes of his Parliament. In comparing the two forces, what is clear is that neither would have found an easy victory nor would one force dominate over the other. This view also assumes that no other country would have come to the aid of Czechoslovakia. V. Historians and Scholars Perspectives As indicated, the analysis of whether the Munich Agreement should have been signed has been based on the following principles: i) information that Britain had at the time in terms of a possible coup against Hitler; ii) the relative strength of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ben-Arie, K. "Czechoslovakia at the Time of 'Munich': The Military Situation." Journal of Contemporary History 25.4 (1990).
45 46

44

Ibid. Woodward, E. L. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939. Vol. 2. (London: H.M. Stationery Off. 1946). 47 Ibid.

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German army; iii) the relative strength of the Czech military. With regards to this, it is clear that there is room for doubt. The signing of the Munich Agreement has been analyzed by several historians as one of the most critical moments leading up to World War II. Decades after the event, the Munich Agreement has become one of the most controversial treaties signed in the twentieth century raising debates among historians and scholars. Christopher Lane, in his paper Debunking the 1930s Analogy, believed that it was unfair to blame Chamberlain for failing to see Hitlers real intentions. If Chamberlain had recognized that fact, the Munich Agreement would not have happened. As Lane concluded, Hitlers ultimate intentions were far from clear! [And] until the aftermath of the Munich crisis, Hitlers stated goals were scarcely different from 1926 Noble Peace Prize co-laureate German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann who was perceived as a champion of Germanys reconciliation with Britain and France.48 In like manner, other scholars believed that Chamberlain was a strong leader who was caught in a difficult and impossible situation; hence, they argued that appeasement was the only political solution and that Chamberlain acted in Britains best interest. In particular, R.A.C Parker viewed that appeasement was the only option as Britain did not have the economic strength to fight Germany nor did she have the military capability to go to war due to decline in military spending. With that said, these scholars stand as a minority in believing that the leaders of the European super powers could not have foreseen Hitlers true intentions and his abilities as a world aggressor. Yet, the facts were quite compelling for Britain to counter Hitler. Instead, Chamberlain repeatedly gave into Hitlers demands. Not only did Hitler violate the Treaty of Versailles by entering the Rhineland, but he also annexed Austria and then demanded the Sudetenland. In light of all this, Chamberlain still believed he could appease Hitler. Given that the German army was not as strong during this time, the coalition of Europe could have easily defeated Hitler and remove him from power. Niall Ferguson in his research of the invasion of Czechoslovakia stated that Hitler himself admitted that he was greatly disturbed when he was informed of the Czechoslovakia preparedness.49 Adding to this, Germanys economics were not in the best shape to go to war. Katriel Ben-Arie believed that Germans financial !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Layne, Christopher. "Debunking the 1930's Analogy: Neville Chamberlain's Grand Strategy Re-Examined." Note De Recherche Working Paper 21 (2006): 1-61. Print. 49 May, Ernest R., Richard N. Rosecrance, and Zara Steiner. History and Neorealism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.
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weakness at the time should have prevented them from going to war. As in any war, in order to keep building ammunition, tanks, and aircrafts, money is needed; Germanys economy was not very strong during this period. In fact, according to Arie, in December 1938 after the Munich Accord, the Germans had a major reduction in steel and raw material allocations to the military. In Aries estimation, it was only after Hitler occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia that Bohemia and Moravia, with some 3.5 billion Reichsmarks worth of gold, foreign currency and stockpiled raw material and finished goods saved Hitlers Reich from speedy economic collapse, further implying that perhaps Britain did not seriously consider the causes and effects of its decisions. In Addition to this point, Ferguson concluded:
Hitler gained immediately from Munich. With Czechoslovakia emasculated, Germanys eastern frontier was significantly less venerable. In occupying the Sudetenland, the Germans acquired at a stroke 1.5 million rifles, 750 aircraft, 600 tanks, and 2,000 field guns, all of which were to prove useful in they years to come. Indeed, more than one in ten of the tanks used by the Germans in their western offensive of 1940 were Czech-built! To put it another way: it would prove much harder to fight Germany in 1939 than it would have proved 50 to fight Germany in 1938.

Indeed, the British were almost behaving with blinders on by focusing on their concerns about the strength of their military and playing for time in order to get stronger militarily. But as Ferguson correctly illustrated:
time is relative. Its passage no doubt did allow the British to bolster their defenses. But it simultaneously allowed Hitler to increase his offensive capability too!It is also true that the Germans became convinced that time would be against them if they delayed war much after 1939. But, in balance, time was more on the Germans side than on the Britains in the year after September 1938. The German army grew significantly more than the British or 51 French armies combined between 1938 and 1939.

At the time, the British governments decisions were impacted by the thought of Britain having dependable allies. Stephen Walker concluded that the British policy towards Germany was influenced by Chamberlains pessimistic estimates of the reliability and capability of either France or Russia as a British ally. Walker further added that Britain and France had similar domestic constraints in the two !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ibid. May, Ernest R., Richard N. Rosecrance, and Zara Steiner. History and Neorealism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.
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countries other than pro-German attitudes by influencing the arms budgets of both Britain and her principal ally at crucial points during the 1930s.52 But one cant help but wonder if the policies that led to the Munich Agreement were driven more simply on the personal attitudes of Chamberlain towards Hitler. As summarized in Robert Becks Munichs Lessons Reconsidered, Chamberlain thought that Hitler meant what he said and that he had come to believe that Hitler was telling the truth and that he had formed the opinion that Hitlers objectives were strictly limited.53 As history dictates, Chamberlain was wrong. VI. Concluding Remarks All things considered, the question remains: Should the Munich Agreement have ever been signed? Compelling evidence suggests there was no reason to concede to all of Hitlers demands. In doing so, Hitlers was able to strengthen and expand his power; it led Hitler to believe that he was unstoppable. With his appeasement policy, Chamberlain absolutely believed he could preserve peace by giving in to all of Hitlers demands. In fact, Chamberlain left Munich believing that by appeasing Hitler he had assured 'peace for our time'. Chamberlain returned home to a cheering crowd. In contrast, Winston Churchill, a member of the British Parliament, strongly disagreed with Chamberlains policy by declaring: You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war. In a speech before the House of Commons on October 5, 1938, Churchill warned:
We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude. . . . we have sustained a defeat without a war. . . . And do not suppose that this is the end!I fear we shall find that we have deeply compromised, and perhaps fatally endangered, the safety and even the independence of Great Britain and 54 France.

As Churchill dreadfully predicted, reality quickly set in. Six months later, Hitler broke the Munich Agreement and seized the rest of Czechoslovakia. And in September 1939, he invaded Poland, formally setting the stage for World War II a war !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Walker, Stephen G. "Solving the Appeasement Puzzle: Contending Historical Interpretations of British Diplomacy during the 1930." British Journal International Studies 6 (1980): 219-46. Print. 53 Beck, Robert J. "Munich's Lessons Reconsidered." The MIT Press 2nd ser. 14: 161-91. Print. 54 Churchill, Winston. The Munich Agreement. WinstonChurchill.org. June 2011. Web. 6 May 2012.
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Chamberlain hoped to avoid by signing the Munich Agreement. Contrary to Chamberlains goal, scholars believe that the Munich Agreement in fact helped escalate the events that led to World War II. As history proved, Britains attempt to appease Germany was a dismal failure resulting in millions of lives lost. In hindsight, it is hard to know what would have happened if Chamberlain had never directly negotiated with Hitler or if he had considered the facts differently, without a diplomatic desire to avoid war. Likewise, it is hard to know for certain if Hitler would have ever given the order to invade Czechoslovakia. After winning the Sudeten, Hitler did tour the bunkers and military strength of Czechoslovakia. Interestingly enough, he said he was glad he did not have to fight against them.55 However, hindsight is not helpful when faced with the prospect of another world war that Britain was so desperate to avoid. Unfortunately, Chamberlains ambition to avoid war by hastily giving in to Hitlers demands blinded him to Hitlers real intentions. And as such, he missed the opportunity to resist Hitlers power and potentially avoid World War II and its aftermath.

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True Stories: Peace in Our Time. Dir. Jan Nemec and Otto Olejr. Perf. Nicol Williamson. Channel 4 Television Corporation, 1988.
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ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Aulach, H. "Britain and the Sudeten Issue, 1938: The Evolution of a Policy." Journal of Contemporary History 18.2 (1983): 233-59. Print. Aulach is associated with the World University Service (Canada) and was previously a member of the Indian Foreign Service and served in embassies at Bonn and Prague. The article takes the view that Frances relationship with Czechoslovakia caused a diplomatic problem for England who did not want to get involved from the start. The book also provides an interesting insight into the thinking of British government during this period. Baldwin, Hanson W. "Hitler's Power in 1939." The New York Times 9 May 1948. Print. Hanson Weightman Baldwin (March 22, 1903 - November 13, 1991) was the long-time military editor of the New York Times. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the early days of World War II. He authored and edited numerous books on military topics. I am using this article for the German and Czech army information and what the British government knew at the time of the crisis. Beck, Robert J. "Munich's Lessons Reconsidered." The MIT Press 2nd ser. 14: 16191. Print. An Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Beck also teaches in the Global Studies degree program. Becks paper outlines certain defenses to Chamberlains decision making leading up to the Munich Agreement. Ben-Arie, K. "Czechoslovakia at the Time of 'Munich': The Military Situation." Journal of Contemporary History 25.4 (1990): 431-46. Print. Ben-Arie teaches contemporary history and military history at the Technion (Technological University) in Haifa. Bene-Arie examines the military strength of
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Czechoslovakia during the crisis, the morale of the military leaders and what was communicated to Britain during this period. Churchill, Winston. "The Munich Agreement." June 2011. www.winstonchurchill.org. 6 May 2012. Web. Winston Churchill was political leader of the opposing party to Chamberlain during 1938 and ultimately succeeded Chamberlain. This is Churchills speech to the Commons on October 5, 1938, detailing his views of why the Munich Agreement was a bad decision. Dr. Quigley Explains How Germany in 1938 Conquered a Then More Powerful Czechoslovakia - An Exchange of Correspondence between Mr. Jay Burke and Dr. Carroll Quigley." Professor Carroll Quigley. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. <http://www.carrollquigley.net/misc/Quigley_explains_how_Germany_conquer ed_Czechoslovakia.htm>. Dr. Quigley is a professor at Georgetown University on Foreign affairs. This is a letter to a student. He wrote this letter with classified documents as proof. Carroll Quigley (November 9, 1910 January 3, 1977) was an American historian and theorist of the evolution of civilizations. He is noted for his teaching work as a professor at Georgetown University, for his academic publications, and for his research on secret societies. The letter is a communication between Quigley and a student who was questioning certain conclusions. Quigley made it publicly known what Britain knew during the period of the crisis with respect to German military strength. Hoffmann, Peter. "Peace through Coup D'tat: The Foreign Contacts of the German Resistance 19331944." Central European History 19.01 (1986): 3. Print. Provides detailed quotes and insights to German resistance in 1933. Peter Hoffmann is a William Kingsford Professor at McGill University and has published several books on the German resistance. His books are written in both English and German. http://webpages.mcgill.ca/staff/group3/phoffm/web/
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Hughes, Michael. British Foreign Secretaries in an Uncertain World, 1919-1939. London: Routledge, 2006. Print. The Foreign Office has been a symbol of British imperialism and diplomacy since Victorian times. The end of World War I and the rising storm that followed changed the nature of the office and its relationship with the rest of the government. This book examines the careers of the men who served as British Foreign Secretary between 1919 and 1939, focusing in particular on the ways in which they sought to mold foreign policy during their time in office. Interesting analysis of the British government published book Documents of British Foreign Policy from 1919-1939; provides first person communications and discussions. Layne, Christopher. "Debunking the 1930's Analogy: Neville Chamberlain's Grand Strategy Re-Examined." Note De Recherche Working Paper 21 (2006): 1-61. Print. At the time of writing this article, Christopher Layne was an associate professor at the Busch School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Layne provides an analysis defending Chamberlains decisions during the Munich crisis. This analysis is helpful in providing some balance to the research. May, Ernest R., Richard N. Rosecrance, and Zara Steiner. History and Neorealism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print. Niall Ferguson's chapter Realism and risk in 1938: German foreign policy and the Munich Crisis. Ferguson is a renowned historian. Ferguson provides an analysis of the period just prior to the signing of the Munich Agreement. He is critical of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlains decision during this period. Milton, Richard. Best of Enemies: Britain and Germany : 100 Years of Truth and Lies. Thriplow, UK: Icon, 2007. Print.

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Richard Milton (born 1943) is a British journalist and writer who deals with often highly controversial subjects. Milton, an engineer by training, has published on the topics of popular history, business, scientific controversies and alternative science and has published a novel. Parker, R.A.C. Struggles for Survival: The History of the Second World War. Oxford University Press, 1989. Print. Parker was a British historian specializing in British appeasement policy. The article offers a detailed assessment of Chamberlains appeasement policy. Ripley, Tim. The Wehrmacht: The German Army of World War II, 1939-1945. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003. Print. Tim Ripley is a freelance journalist specializing in modern military affairs, and a research associate at Lancaster University's Centre for Defense and International Security Studies. Previously he studied the collapse of the Warsaw Pact while a research fellow at the University of Oxford. He has written a number of books on military affairs, including Osprey's Desert Storm Special, Land Power, The Coalition and Iraqi Armies. Some good information on the size of the German military during 1938. Used it to cross check certain facts from other sources. Rothfels, Hans, Adolf Hitler, and Lawrence Wilson. The German Opposition to Hitler; an Assessment. London: Wolff, 1973. Print. Rothfels translated from German Lawrence Wilson's book with the support of the Foundation for Foreign Affairs, which is a non-profit corporation, devoted to the promotion of a wider understanding of international relations - political, economic and cultural. This book provides a detailed analysis of the communication between certain German generals and the British government during 1938. Schmitt, B. Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945. Vol. II. Series D London: 1950. Print.
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This volume covers the documentary record of German policy with regard to the Czechoslovak crisis. Having the exact records of dialogue between German government officials provides direct insight thinking at the time. Sun, Tzu. The Art of War. Middlesex: Echo Library, 2006. Print. Used a quote from book on military strategy. I was looking for a quote and I thought this was very relevant and representative of the situation Chamberlain was faced with during this period of time. True Stories: Peace in Our Time. Dir. Jan Nemec and Otto Olejr. Perf. Nicol Williamson. Channel 4 Television Corporation, 1988. Internet Re-broadcast. Documentary account of the events leading up to the Munich Agreement of 1938 using newsreel footage (mostly Movietone); contains interviews with witnesses and historians. The "leading players" are referred to by nicknames (Hitler is the godfather, Mussolini the fixer, Chamberlain the dealer, Joseph Kennedy the businessman, etc.). happening at the time. "The Valkyrie Conspiracy." German Generals 1938 Conspiracy to Oust Hitler Regime. Web. 20 Jan 2012. <http://www.valkyrie-plot.com/1938/html>. This site lists a summary of events that occurred in 1938 specific to the first coup attempt. Walker, Stephen G. "Solving the Appeasement Puzzle: Contending Historical Interpretations of British Diplomacy during the 1930." British Journal International Studies 6 (1980): 219-46. Print. Stephen G. Walker is Professor Emeritus in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. Walker analyzes the decision making of the
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The interviews with former Czech military and British

government officials or their relatives provide good direct analysis on what was

British government as they chose between negotiation and military action during the Munich crisis. Wiegrefe, Klaus. "The Road to World War II: How Appeasement Failed to Stop Hitler." Spiegel Online. 2 Aug. 2009. Web. <www.spiegel.de>. An informative article about the years leading up to World War II and Chamberlains policy of appeasement. He is in charge of the contemporary history section for Germanys Der Spiegel, a German weekly news article with a weekly citation of over one million. Woodward, E. L. Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-1939. Vol. 2. London: H.M. Stationery Off. 1946. Print. Third Series. This book is a very valuable resource as this volume covers the documentary record of British policy with regard to the Czechoslovak crisis. Having the exact records of dialogue between British government officials provides direct insight thinking at the time.

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