Munich Agreement Ussr

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. 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. Fearing a possible loss of Zaolzie to Germany, Poland issued an ultimatum to Zaolzie, with a majority of Polish ethnic groups, which Germany had accepted in advance and accepted Czechoslovakia on 1 October. [3] By the end of May, the projects had been officially presented. [48] The main tripartite negotiations began in mid-June. [58] Discussions focused on possible guarantees for Central and Eastern Europe in the event of German aggression. [59] The Soviets proposed that a political shift by the Baltic States to Germany would constitute an “indirect aggression” against the Soviet Union. [60] Britain rejected such proposals because they feared that the language proposed by the Soviets would justify Soviet intervention in Finland and the Baltic states, or push those countries to seek closer relations with Germany. [61] [62] The debate over a definition of “indirect aggression” became one of the sticking points between the parties and, in mid-July, tripartite political negotiations were virtually heated, while the parties agreed to begin negotiations on a military agreement that the Soviets insisted could be reached at the same time as a political agreement. [63] On the eve of the start of the military negotiations, the Soviet Politburo pessimistically expected that the forthen negotiations would be in vain and formally decided to seriously consider the German proposals.

[64] Military negotiations began on 12 August in Moscow with a British delegation led by retired Admiral Sir Reginald Drax, the French delegation led by General Aimé Doumenc and the Soviet delegation led by Defence Commissioner Kliment Voroshilov and Chief of Staff Boris Shaposhnikov.