Munich Agreement Purpose

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] The British public expected an imminent war and Chamberlain`s “statesman`s gesture” was initially applauded. He was greeted as a hero by the royal family and invited to the balcony of Buckingham Palace before submitting the agreement to the British Parliament. The general positive reaction quickly re-established despite the royal patronage. However, there was resistance from the beginning.

Clement Attlee and labor rejected the deal in alliance with the two Conservative MPs Duff Cooper and Vyvyan Adams, who until then had been seen as a hard and reactionary element in the Conservative party. Under the Munich Agreement, the entire territory, mainly German, was to be returned to Czechoslovakia by 10 October. Poland and Hungary occupied other parts of the country and, after a few months, Czechoslovakia ceased to exist and what was left of Slovakia became a German puppet state. On 29 and 30 September 1938, an emergency meeting of the major European powers was held in Munich – without Czechoslovakia or the Soviet Union, allied with France and Czechoslovakia. An agreement was quickly reached on Hitler`s terms. It was signed by the leaders of Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy. On the military front, the Sudetenland was of strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defences were there to protect themselves from a German attack. The agreement between the four powers was signed with low intensity in the context of an undeclared German-Czechoslovak war, which had begun on 17 September 1938. Meanwhile, after 23 September 1938, Poland transferred its military units to the common border with Czechoslovakia.

[2] Czechoslovakia bowed to diplomatic pressure from France and Great Britain and decided on 30 September to cede Germany to Munich conditions.

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