Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7019
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2013 13:28

ljadw wrote:And,again:war or no war in 1938 depended not on Chamberlain,it depended on the Czechs .
I wonder what is the source of this statement.
On September, 16 1938 the Czechs issued an arrest warrant for the Sudeten German leader Henlein.
On September, 23 1938 - 6 days before the Munich Agreement, a general mobilization was ordered.
According to the contemporary dispatches sent from the Polish Embassy in Prague its aim was to provoke a war and derail a Munich-like agreement, the population supported the mobilization fully and was ready for everything.
A few months earlier a partial mobilization was declared against Germany.
I doesn't look like that the Czechs didn't want to defend themselves.
Last edited by wm on 16 Feb 2013 13:44, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3704
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by BDV » 16 Feb 2013 13:34

In the air, it would be the last big biplane vs biplane battle.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

User avatar
Tim Smith
Member
Posts: 6177
Joined: 19 Aug 2002 12:15
Location: UK

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by Tim Smith » 16 Feb 2013 13:36

ljadw wrote:This is assuming that the Czechs would fight,which is very questionable:the Czechs would fight only if Britain and France would fight,and ,Britain and France would fight,...if the Czechs would fight.

The decision lay with the Czechs .
I think the Czechs would have fought - if the Wehrmacht had actually started the invasion. If the Czech government had dithered and stalled and failed to agree to Hitler's demands before 2:00 pm on 30 September, Hitler would have launched the invasion the following day. Once German tanks roll across the frontier, the Czech border guards will open fire - and war will have begun.

It's a lot harder for the Czechs to back down once the shooting has actually started, especially as the Czech generals wanted war rather than surrendering territory, just like the Polish generals in 1939.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7019
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2013 15:38

22 September 1938 - 7 days before the Munich Agreement, it would be hard to find a quitter there.
Our allies have treated us like a defeated enemy!
An ultimatum without precedent in history. Our allies refused to help us. Chamberlain and Hitler will decide the fate of our Fatherland. We will not surrender, we will not perish, and we will not forget! It's not the end yet!
vc.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 12897
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 16 Feb 2013 18:49

Tim Smith wrote:
ljadw wrote:This is assuming that the Czechs would fight,which is very questionable:the Czechs would fight only if Britain and France would fight,and ,Britain and France would fight,...if the Czechs would fight.

The decision lay with the Czechs .
I think the Czechs would have fought - if the Wehrmacht had actually started the invasion. If the Czech government had dithered and stalled and failed to agree to Hitler's demands before 2:00 pm on 30 September, Hitler would have launched the invasion the following day. Once German tanks roll across the frontier, the Czech border guards will open fire - and war will have begun.

It's a lot harder for the Czechs to back down once the shooting has actually started, especially as the Czech generals wanted war rather than surrendering territory, just like the Polish generals in 1939.
Maybe,but,than is the question:why were the Czechs agreeing to Hitler's demands? Why were they not fighting,knowing that if there was a war,B +F would intervene ?

The fact that the Czechs were not fighting 6 months later,when Adolf was going into CZ,indicates (IMHO) that they never wanted to fight in october 1938,to prevent the secession of the Sudeten.They hoped that B +F would do the job,one way or another.And,what WM is posting,is indicating that I am right:"our allies" :Britain was not an ally,it was neutral. They refused to help us :why should they help CZ? Again:Britain was neutral,and France never said that id would remain idle if Hitler attacked CZ.It was simple for the Czechs to force B+F to help them:let it ending in war,and one would see the reaction of the West .

ljadw
Member
Posts: 12897
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 16 Feb 2013 18:51

wm wrote:
ljadw wrote:And,again:war or no war in 1938 depended not on Chamberlain,it depended on the Czechs .
I wonder what is the source of this statement.
On September, 16 1938 the Czechs issued an arrest warrant for the Sudeten German leader Henlein.
On September, 23 1938 - 6 days before the Munich Agreement, a general mobilization was ordered.
According to the contemporary dispatches sent from the Polish Embassy in Prague its aim was to provoke a war and derail a Munich-like agreement, the population supported the mobilization fully and was ready for everything.
A few months earlier a partial mobilization was declared against Germany.
I doesn't look like that the Czechs didn't want to defend themselves.
Well,why were they not defending themselves ?

ljadw
Member
Posts: 12897
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 16 Feb 2013 19:45

wm wrote:
ljadw wrote:And,again:war or no war in 1938 depended not on Chamberlain,it depended on the Czechs .
I wonder what is the source of this statement.
On September, 16 1938 the Czechs issued an arrest warrant for the Sudeten German leader Henlein.
On September, 23 1938 - 6 days before the Munich Agreement, a general mobilization was ordered.
According to the contemporary dispatches sent from the Polish Embassy in Prague its aim was to provoke a war and derail a Munich-like agreement, the population supported the mobilization fully and was ready for everything.
A few months earlier a partial mobilization was declared against Germany.
I doesn't look like that the Czechs didn't want to defend themselves.
The source of this statement :on 27 september,Chamberlain said (a.o) the following on the BBC)how horrible,fantastic,incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here,because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of wholm we know nothing .

Translation:

1)there is a quarrel between people no one cares about (if you don't knowanything about these people,you don't care about them)

2) and still,we are going to a war (trenches and gas-masks)

Why are we going to a war :because,if Germany attacks CZ,we can do nothing else than intervene.
How can we avoid of going to war? If Germany is not attacking CZ.
How can we prevent Germany from attacking CZ? If CZ yields to the German demands .

Q E D
War or no war depended on the Czechs .

The whole blahblah about München is one of the biggest hoaxes of the 20 th century ,it started ironically with the claim by Chamberlain that he saved peace :he did not :it was Benesj.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7019
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2013 21:00

A war needs legitimate and proper political aims, but subjecting itself to a pointless slaughter or hoping that the slaughter wouldn't be pointless isn't one of them. They were denied the right to the non-pointless slaughter by Britain and France.
So in fact only the pointless war or no pointless war depended on the Czechs.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 12897
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 16 Feb 2013 21:20

1)Britain had no obligations to CZ,thus no accusations against Britain
2)The obligations of France were dubious,thus no accusations against France
3) The help of Britain and France depended only on CZ:all it had to do was have a war with Germany,and B+F would intervene ,in 1938 and in 1939.
4)That the help of Britain and France would be theoretical,was known by CZ,and is also irrelevant see points 1 and 2 .

ljadw
Member
Posts: 12897
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 16 Feb 2013 21:55

The treaty of january 1924 mentioned only that if CZ was attacked by Germany,France would give help (in French :aide et assistance),which is of course meaningless,because,there was NOTHING about a military help,thus,remained :moral help,which is the usual blahblah .

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7019
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by wm » 16 Feb 2013 22:21

ljadw wrote:3) The help of Britain and France depended only on CZ:all it had to do was have a war with Germany,and B+F would intervene ,in 1938 and in 1939.
Well, maybe. But a sane politician can't base his actions on maybe, this would be very Hitlerian in nature. Beneš had no certainty about this uncertain intervention.

User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3704
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by BDV » 17 Feb 2013 04:05

So the generals/army would have fought but Benes tried one more political weasel move.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

ljadw
Member
Posts: 12897
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 17 Feb 2013 08:25

The decision lay not with the generals

But,let's look from an other angle :

a)B+F are saying to Benesj:don't yield to Hitler,and if he is attacking you ,we will intervene :what would be the reaction of Benesj?

b)B+F are saying to Benesj:accept Hitler's demands,but,if you don't and he attacks,we will intervene :what would be the reaction of Benesj?

Other point:did the Czechs (Benesj/the generals) ever ask a military coordination from France +Britain,did they ever ask :in case of war,when and where will France attack,with how many divisions,how many aircraft can Britain commit? Did they say to the French :we can sustain a German attack for 4,5 days,can you be in Munich after 4,5 days? Or did they prefer not to ask these questions ?

If no precise questions were asked about military intervention,the conclusion is obvious :the Czechs did not ask for military intervention,and they were not willing to fight .The only thing they wanted/expected was some public declaration from the West,hoping that this would be enough to deter Hitler,and,hoping that,maybe,it would result in the end of Hitler .
It only was the usual bluff:the only one who meant seriously was Adolf : he wanted the elimination of CZ.

Pavel Novak
Member
Posts: 254
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 21:36
Location: Czech Republic

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by Pavel Novak » 17 Feb 2013 11:47

So this what-if turned to question what actually happened in history.

ljadw what you are saying about support from Britain and France to Czechoslovakia is not true.

As a result of direct negotiation between Hitler and Chamberlain in Berchtesgaden is created Anglo-French plan to solve crisis based on plebiscite in Czechoslovak border territory. This plan was presented to Czechoslovak officials in 19th September but was refused by Czechoslovakia next day.

However in 21st September France announced to Czechoslovakia that she will withdraw from alliance with Czechoslovakia if Anglo-French plan is not accepted by Czechoslovakia. French diplomats specifically said that France will not help Czechoslovakia in any way if Germany attacks Czechoslovakia as a result of Czechoslovak refusal of Anglo-French plan. Under this condition Czechoslovakia accepted Anglo-French plan with addition that both France and Britain will guarantee new border.

However at subsequent meeting between Hitler and Chamberlain in Bad Godesberg Hitler refused solution by plebiscite under international supervision and demanded immediate hand over of territory to Germany. Chamberlain responded that he cannot accept such ultimatum and that he only transfers this new demand to Czechoslovak government.

German ultimatum was refused by Czechoslovak government in 23rd September and instead is declared mobilization. As Anglo-French plan was refused by Germany and not by Czechoslovakia France declared that she would honour alliance with Czechoslovakia if she is attacked by Germany. Britain did not present any support for Czechoslovakia.

Negotiation in Munich followed with known result. It was presented to Czechoslovakia as new deal replacing Anglo-French plan and it was emphasized that if Czechoslovakia refuse new agreement France will cancel alliance with Czechoslovakia and both France and Britain will do nothing in support of Czechoslovakia in subsequent war. In addition both France and Britain also stressed that Czechoslovak refuse of this international agreement would mean that they will mark Czechoslovakia as aggressor in this conflict in the League of Nations.

As you can see Czechoslovakia had support only from France and only against unprovoked German invasion. Britain and France repeatedly said that if war starts as a consequence to Czechoslovak refusal of international settlement (alias agreement between Germany, France and Britain) there will be no help from western democracies to Czechoslovakia on the contrary Czechoslovakia would be marked as aggressor and initiator of war.

User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3704
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by BDV » 17 Feb 2013 15:53

@Pavel Novak

Ach, the joy of the little guy being told to shut up and take it like a man.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

Return to “What if”