Aftermath Of The 1938 Munich Agreement

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. Italy strongly supported Germany in Munich and, a few weeks later, in October 1938, it tried to exploit its advantage to make new demands on France. Mussolini requested a free port in Djibouti, control of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, Italian participation in the management of the Suez Canal Company, a kind of Franco-Italian co-ownership over Tunisia and the preservation of Italian culture in French Corsica without French popular assimilation. France rejected these demands and threatened naval manoeuvres as a warning to Italy. [94] 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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