Pavel Novak wrote: ↑
05 Oct 2023 10:33
Steve wrote: ↑
02 Oct 2023 21:47
In 1937 Churchill published a book of collected essays entitled Great Contemporaries in which he assessed Hitler. He attacked “the darker side of his work and creed” and his Jewish policy and internal repression. He also wrote the following:- “the story of that struggle cannot be read without admiration for the courage, the perseverance, and the vital force which enabled him to challenge, defy, conciliate or overcome, all the authority or resistance which barred his path.”
In July 1938 Churchill was asked by the Gauleiter of Danzig whether German discriminatory legislation against Jews would prevent an understanding with Britain. Churchill said “it was a hindrance and an irritation but probably not a complete obstacle to a working agreement, though it might be to comprehension”.
If Churchill had been PM in September 1938 he would have had the same advice from the Chiefs of Staff as Chamberlain had. This was that the fall of Czechoslovakia could not be prevented that Britain could come under aerial bombing and that only two divisions were available to help the French. Not surprisingly the French seem to have been no keener to fight in 1938 than they were in 1939. There was also the Czech alliance with the Soviet Union to take into account. Chamberlain said he had no wish to see the Red Army in Vienna. The British public did not view the Sudetenland as an issue worth going to war over and the Empire was divided. I think it very likely that if Churchill had been in power during the Munich crisis he would have done the same as Chamberlain.
I think that Churchill in Chamberlain position in 1938 would be more cautios from mentioned reasons.
But major difference will be that there will be no Munich crisis as developed in reality as it required leader like Chamberlain to repeatedly fly to Germany for repeated negotiations (and humiliations) with Hitler and I really doubt that Churchill had any desire for it.
So it could develop that there will be lot of rumblings, lot of warnings but no serious negotiations at all as Germany refused to negotiate directly with Czechoslovakia. At the end at some point Germany would just launch "unexpected" invasion of Czechoslovakia as they actually planned and British and French leaders would havo to decide if stay away from it or join it but without possibility to prevent it.
There would still be a'' Munich negotiation '', not crisis ,as the Czechs refused initially to give the Sudetenland ,and changed their opinion,because it became obvious that when Hitler would attack them,Britain and France would declare war , but would/could not help the Czechs .
And this would not be different,if Churchill was PM and nothing would change if he did not go to Munich ,besides he went to Yalta and Potsdam, thus,why not go to Munich .
The only thing Britain could do ( and would do if France declared war )was to declare war,but it could not help Prague .The result of such a DOW would be a German occupation of Czechia and a war of 6 years ,where the Czechs would suffer .
The only thing Britain wanted was to prevent a general war and the only way to do this was to prevent a war between Germany and the Czechs,and the only way to prevent such a war,was to force the Czechs to say yes to Hitler .