The Munich Agreement Political Cartoon

After successfully capturing Austria in Germany in March 1938, Adolf Hitler looked forward to Czechoslovakia, where about three million people were of German descent in the Sudetenland. In April, he discussed with Wilhelm Keitel, head of the high command of the Bundeswehr, the political and military aspects of Case Green, the code name for the Sudetenland acquisition project. A surprising rush of “clear skies without any cause or justification” was rejected, as the result would have been “a hostile opinion of the world that could lead to a critical situation”. Decisive action would therefore take place only after a period of political turmoil on the part of the Germans within Czechoslovakia, accompanied by diplomatic quarrels which, if they became more serious, would be either an apology for the war or grounds for a blitz after an “incident” of German creation. In addition, disruptive political activities had been under way in Czechoslovakia since October 1933, when Konrad Henlein founded the German Sudetenland Internal Front. After Poland learned that populated territories in Poland were to be transferred to Germany, Poland issued a note to the Czechoslovak government regarding the immediate conclusion of an agreement providing for the unquestionable occupation of Polish territory by Polish troops; An agreement on referendums is expected to follow in districts with a large proportion of the Polish population. [75] The American historian William L. Shirer estimated in his “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” (1960) that Czechoslovakia, although Hitler was not bluffing about its intention to invade, could have resisted considerably. Shirer believed that Britain and France had sufficient air defence to avoid severe bombing of London and Paris, and could have waged a swift and fruitful war against Germany. [66] He quotes Churchill as saying that the agreement means that “Britain and France are in a much worse position than Hitler`s Germany.” [61] After personally inspecting the Czech fortifications, Hitler privately told Joseph Goebbels that “we shed a lot of blood” and that it was fortunate that there had been no fighting. [67] Meanwhile, the British government has asked Benea to request a mediator.

As he did not want to sever his government`s relations with Western Europe, the heirs reluctantly agreed. The British appointed Lord Runciman, the former Liberal cabinet minister, who arrived in Prague on 3 August to convince Benes to accept an acceptable plan for the Sudeten Germans. [23] On 20 July, Bonnet informed the Czechoslovakian ambassador in Paris that France, while publicly declaring its support for the Czechoslovakian negotiations, was not prepared to go to war on the Sudetenland. [23] In August, the German press was full of stories of Czechoslovakian atrocities against the Sudeten Germans, with the intention of forcing the West to put pressure on the Czechoslovakians to make concessions. [24] Hitler hoped that the Czechoslovaks would refuse and that the West would feel morally justified in abandoning the Czechoslovaks to their fate. [25] In August, Germany sent 750,000 troops along the border with Czechoslovakia, officially as part of military maneuvers. [9] [25] On September 4 or 5,[23] Erbe presented the fourth plan, which met almost all of the requirements of the agreement. The Sudeten Germans were invited by Hitler to the prairies to avoid compromise,[25] and the SdP organized demonstrations which, on 7 September, provoked a police operation in Ostrava, during which two of its deputies were arrested. [23] The Sudeten Germans used the incident and the false allegations of other atrocities as a pretext to interrupt further negotiations. [23] [26] During World War II, British Prime Minister Churchill, who opposed the agreement when it was signed, decided not to abide by the terms of the post-war agreement and to bring the Sudetenland back to post-war Czechoslovakia.