Winston Churchill`s Reaction to the 1938 Munich Agreement Was

Churchill used this speech to expose Hitler`s expansionist tendencies immediately after Germany`s annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland. He sharply criticized Neville Chamberlain and his government for accepting Hitler`s annexation of the Sudetenland, saying, “Instead of snatching his food from the table, [Hitler] simply served them to him class by course.” Churchill saw the Munich Accords as a show of weakness that disrupted the continental balance of power, and he argued that the agreement would not prevent the outbreak of war or guarantee that Hitler would change his behavior. On Wednesday, October 5, 1938, Winston Churchill delivers a speech entitled A Total and Unlimited Defeat in the House of Commons. [1] [2] The speech was delivered on the third day of the Munich debate and lasted 45 minutes. Churchill, then a Conservative backbencher, criticized the Munich Accords, which had been signed six days earlier by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain under conditions largely favorable to German dictator Adolf Hitler. By May 1938, it was known that Hitler and his generals were drawing up a plan for the occupation of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovaks depended on the military support of the France, with whom they had formed an alliance. The Soviet Union also had a treaty with Czechoslovakia, and this signaled a willingness to cooperate with France and Britain if they decided to come and defend Czechoslovakia, but the Soviet Union and its potential services were ignored throughout the crisis, and Churchill`s greatest disagreement with John Simon and Chamberlain was over the value of war with Germany for the defense of Czechoslovakia. Churchill believed that Czechoslovakia had been sacrificed to preserve peace with Germany, and that “they were left to fend for themselves and told that they would not get help from the Western powers, [the Czechs] could have created better conditions than they had.” Churchill also used his speech to highlight the hypocrisy of forcing Czechoslovakia to give up part of its sovereign territory without a referendum. He said, “No matter how you say it, this particular block of land, this mass of people to be delivered, never expressed a desire to enter the Nazi regime.” This violated the principle of self-determination, which stated that “liberal and democratic” nations should be protected from takeover by totalitarian governments, an idea Churchill strongly supported. Second, why did the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Italy meet in Munich in September 1938? They feared that Hitler`s actions would lead Europe into another war.

The Munich Pact was an agreement reached in September 1938 in which Britain and France agreed to allow Germany to annex part of Czechoslovakia. British and French Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier sign the Munich Pact with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The agreement prevented the outbreak of war, but ceded Czechoslovakia to the German conquest. What was the outcome of the Munich Conference in 1938? In a debate in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill, then MP for Epping, rejected Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir John Simon`s request to reaffirm “the policy of Her Majesty`s Government to avoid war in the recent crisis”. For MPs at the time, a vote in favour of John Simon`s motion would mark the approval of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain`s signing of the Munich Accords on 30 September 1938, which ceded the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia to Germany, and, more broadly, approval of chamberlain`s appeasement strategy against Hitler. Although Churchill vehemently opposed both the Munich Agreement and the British policy of appeasement, he was in the minority, and the day after his speech the House of Commons voted 366 to 144 to confirm the motion. [3] [4] On 28 and 29 April 1938, Daladier met with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in London to discuss the situation. Chamberlain, who saw no way Hitler could be prevented from completely destroying Czechoslovakia if that was his intention (which Chamberlain doubted), argued that Prague should be pressured to make territorial concessions to Germany. The French and British leaders believed that peace could only be saved by transferring the Sudetenland German territories from Czechoslovakia.

After successfully accepting Austria into Germany proper in March 1938, Adolf Hitler seemed desirable in Czechoslovakia, where about three million people in the Sudetenland were of German origin. In April, he discussed with Wilhelm Keitel, the head of the Bundeswehr`s high command, the political and military aspects of “Case Green,” the code name for the planned Sudeten takeover. A surprise attack on “clear skies with no reason or justification” was rejected because the result would have been “hostile world opinion that could lead to a critical situation.” Decisive action would therefore take place only after a period of German political turmoil in Czechoslovakia, accompanied by diplomatic disputes which, as they became more serious, either built up war excuses themselves or created the occasion for a lightning offensive after an “incident” of German creativity. In addition, there had been disturbing political activities in Czechoslovakia since October 1933, when Konrad Henlein founded the Sudeten German Home Front. As Hitler continued to deliver inflammatory speeches calling for the reunification of the Germans in Czechoslovakia with their homeland, war seemed imminent. However, neither France nor Britain felt ready to defend Czechoslovakia, and both were anxious to avoid a military confrontation with Germany at almost any cost. In France, the Popular Front government had come to an end, and on April 8, 1938, Édouard Daladier formed a new cabinet without socialist participation or communist support. Four days later, Le Temps, whose foreign policy was controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published an article by Joseph Barthelemy, a professor at the Paris Faculty of Law, in which he examined the Franco-Czechoslovak Treaty of Alliance of 1924 and concluded that France was not obliged to go to war to save Czechoslovakia.

Earlier, on March 22, The Times of London published an editorial by its editor-in-chief, G.G. Dawson that Britain could not wage war to preserve Czech sovereignty over the Sudeten Germans without first clearly recognizing their wishes; otherwise, Britain could “fight against the principle of self-determination.” Viscountess Nancy Astor, a member of Plymouth Sutton, interrupted Churchill twice. As Churchill said, “We have suffered total and total defeat, and the France has suffered even more than we have.” She stepped in and said, “Absurd.” Churchill recognized them and continued to speak. Later, Churchill began to mention it, saying, “The noble lady says that this very harmless allusion is -” but she interrupted it with “rudeness.” Churchill jokingly responded by saying, “She recently had to receive her graduation course in a way.” [6] Second, was Winston Churchill against the Munich Accords? Astor and Churchill had a notorious confrontational relationship and often used cleverly worded insults against each other, so this exchange would not have been unique. .