Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

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ljadw
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 10 Nov 2015 17:37

That 1.1 million reported does not mean that they would fight .

The Slovaks felt persecuted by the Czechs and on the first opportunity,they seceded .:there was a revolt in march 1939 against Prague .

Besides, if everything was going well, why did Prague give up .?

painisgain
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by painisgain » 10 Nov 2015 18:26

ljadw wrote:That 1.1 million reported does not mean that they would fight .
Source for that claim ?
ljadw wrote:The Slovaks felt persecuted by the Czechs and on the first opportunity,they seceded .:there was a revolt in march 1939 against Prague .
As mentioned earlier, this was definitely not a "revolt against Prague" but effort to avoid German protectorate. Slovaks would fight in 1938
ljadw wrote:Besides, if everything was going well, why did Prague give up .?
This was already mentioned several times in this thread. The single reason why Czechoslovak government accepted Munich treaty was pressure from UK and France. Had UK done nothing and France honoured the treaty (even in a symbolic form) Czechoslovakia would fight and most likely, there would be no WW II as nazi regime would collapse.

ljadw
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 10 Nov 2015 20:57

The 1.1 million include a lot of non Czechs,who would not fight for the Czechs . Maybe you have a source for your claim that they would fight ?

You have a source for your claim that the Slovaks would fight ?

The secession of Slovakia in 1939 had not as aim to prevent to become a German satellite : secession or no secession, Slovakia would become a German satellite, and the opinion of the Slovaks was that it was better to be a German satellite and to be independant than to be a German satellite and still be subordinate to the Czechs .

You are wrong about the treaty : the treaty does not mention a French DOW,neither a French advance in Germany .

The problem was the presence of 3 million people in CZ (the SD Germans) who did not accept the domination of the Cezchs ,and their refusal made the survival of CZ as it was created by Versailles problematic (and this is an euphemism) : if there was a war, Hitler would be in Prague before the French would be in Berlin,and,if the war was won, the 3 million SD Germans would still be there : there were only 2 options :

1) The annexation of SD by Germany (which happened in 1938)

2 ) The expulsion of the SD Germans (1945)

Morally the Czechs were nowhere : outside CZ they were seen as oppressors who were persecuting a minority .Only Winston was defending the Czechs,because for Winston the right of self-determination was subordinate to strategic interests,something which revolted the British public opinion.Besides,with Winston as ally, one needed no enemies .

The simple fact is that CZ was a state of nationalities founded on the domination of the Czechs (there was no CZ nation),the continuation ,on a small scale of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire .

ljadw
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 10 Nov 2015 21:45

From this forum :Czechoslovak pré WWII unit organisation :

Number of generals in the CZ army in 1938: 140 : Slowaks : NONE

colonels and lt-colonels : 1480 : Slowaks : 3

other officers : 18910 : Slovaks : 726


Thus, why should the non Czechs fight for the survival of the CZ state ?

painisgain
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by painisgain » 10 Nov 2015 22:19

ljadw wrote:The 1.1 million include a lot of non Czechs,who would not fight for the Czechs.
Wouldn't be easier for them not to join the army at the first place ? Getting into Czechoslovak uniform if you want to fleece anyway doesn't sound too smart. This is at least an argument, you have none. Besides the simple fact that protecting your homeland against enemy is "normal". All CS citizens, including Slovaks and Sudeten Germans had a better standard of living compared to situation pre WWI, so it was natural to protect that. You can also study the materials from that time, or intelligence reports, but you decided to ignore all of this.

painisgain
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by painisgain » 10 Nov 2015 22:27

ljadw wrote:if there was a war, Hitler would be in Prague before the French would be in Berlin,and,if the war was won, the 3 million SD Germans would still be there : there were only 2 options :

1) The annexation of SD by Germany (which happened in 1938)

2 ) The expulsion of the SD Germans (1945)
Even if I leave your claim of automatic German victory (ignoring the actual state of Wehrmacht which was clearly not prepared for such war) there was a third option :

3) let it the way it was for last several hundred years, since the King of Bohemia invited the German settlers into the country to get more workforce. There were close to none requests to join Germany after the WWI, there were no requests to change that later, this all happened after Hitler got to the power and this was all orchestrated by nazis. Had the nazi regime collapse without the horrors of the WWII in Protectorate, Germans would most likely change their opinion and would be happy part of the Czechoslovakia ever since.

Pavel Novak
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by Pavel Novak » 10 Nov 2015 23:43

Slovak loyality in 1938 (and Ruthenian btw. too) was non-issue because even Tiso made several public rallies to support defence of Czechoslovakia. What really set independece goal for Slovak leadership was what happened after Munich - that is Vienna setlement and further annexes to setlement with Germany. This showed that ultimate goal of Germany is to completely destroy Czechoslovakia (I am reminding here German ultimatum from February 1939 which led to Czechoslovak invocation of British and French guarantee from Munich - Britain responded by declaration to Czechoslovakia that guarantee from Munich is no longer valid - in February 1939). Then Slovak leadership was contacted by German representatives with clear ultimatum to secede from Czechoslovakia or Germany allow Hungary to annex whole of Slovakia during German invasion od Czech part of state.

Czechoslovak leadership in Prague refused German ultimatum (not whole just some parts but it was presented by Germany as nonnegotiable ultimatum anyway) and decided to arrest Slovak leaders negotiating with Germans. The sort of plan was to place Germany in position that it has to invade still international entity Czechoslovakia. But there were disputes about this and at the last moment it was decided not to mobilize (I think on 12th March) and instead try to negotiate with Germany (Hacha's flight to Germany). The reason for this change is unclear but may be it could be reaction to british cancellation of guarantee.

EDIT:the term cancellation of guarantee is not de iure correct - in lawyer's terms France and Britain were obliged to proclaim guarantee to new Czechoslovak borders with Germany immediatelly after the new border was set. What happened is that Britain actually postponed legal act of it and then renounced it. France was somehow silent all the time (except immediatelly after Munich during setting new border but that is different story).

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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by painisgain » 15 Nov 2015 13:47

Pavel Novak wrote:Slovak loyality in 1938 (and Ruthenian btw. too) was non-issue
Just read elsewhere that it was a part of Ribbentrop death sentence reasoning in Nürnberg trial that he was (among other things) a driving force in facilitating Slovak "emancipation" just prior the March 1939...this makes sense for Germany, as split of the country gives them the best possible excuse for annexation of the remains of Bohemia and Moravia, even if the borders were guaranteed by the Munich Treaty.

Split of the country in 1939 is really no argument that Slovaks won't fight in 1938. The situation was whole lot different.

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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 15 Nov 2015 21:40

The Slovak protested in 1919 when they were annexed by the Czechs :if they wanted to secede in 1939,why would they fight for the Czechs in 1938?

Hitler did not create the Slovak problem,the Slovak problem was created in 1919. Hitler did not create the SD problem,this problem was created in 1919.

The Czechs (55 %) could not continue to rule the country against the opposition of the 45 other %.The problem was insoluble and it remained insoluble after the war til the moment when the Czechs decided to let go the Slovaks .

In 1918 Austria-Hungaria exploded and the victors decided to create a mini AH : Czechoslovakia,which was not a wise decision.

If todays Czechia is viable without the Slovaks, why would that no be possible between 1919/1939?

Pavel Novak
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by Pavel Novak » 16 Nov 2015 20:34

ljadw, you are too simplifying. For example in 1992 most of Slovaks were for continuation of Czechoslovakia and consensus is that if referendum is held Czechoslovakia would not dissolve in 1993.

Look what possibilities Slovaks had 1918. It was either Czechoslovakia with clear czech domination or continuation of hungarian oppression (which was so far very brutal - just look to hungarian liquidation of slovak schools). Independent Slovakia was not an option because Hungary was at real war till 1919 and Slovakia become part of Czechoslovakia only after Hungary lost war with Czechoslovakia and Romania.

So Slovak feelings towards czech domination was mixed. On the one side slovak territory in Czechoslovakia was larger than any Slovak nationalist could ever dream of and slovak nation get significantly more rights in Czechoslovakia than anytime before under Hungary (and this is valid also for Ruthenians). On the second side Slovak nationalists really wanted to manage own things by themselves which many times contradicted to what Prague wanted.

But in 1938 Slovaks leaders were aware that true independence was not an option and as long as Prague guaranteed existence of "large Slovakia" they supported Prague especially in foreign and military matters. Btw. Tiso's party actually voted for Benes during presidential elections. Munich pact and then Vienna accord changed this paradigm as Prague was no longer able to protect Slovak southern but also northern border which removed main reason for Slovak leaders to support Czechoslovakia. Then when Germans approached Slovak leaders with possibility that whole Slovakia will be annexed by Hungary if they do not declare independence from Czechoslovakia (which clearly was not able to prevent it on its own) they had really existential reason for it.

As for feeling of ordinary Slovaks - their large numbers in exile czechoslovak units speak for themselves.

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KACKO
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by KACKO » 19 Nov 2015 17:02

ljadw wrote:The Slovak protested in 1919 when they were annexed by the Czechs :if they wanted to secede in 1939,why would they fight for the Czechs in 1938?
Slovaks mobilized without problems and in October would fight. As Pavel mentioned, defense of Slovakia had support from Tiso. And actually even Hlinka before his death.
ljadw wrote: Hitler did not create the Slovak problem,the Slovak problem was created in 1919. Hitler did not create the SD problem,this problem was created in 1919.
Slovak problem was created long before 1918. Magyarization and non existance of Slovak higher schools meant lack of professionals needed to run Slovakia. So influx of Czechs which was later resented by Slovaks who finally were able to obtain education but no jobs. This probably could be managed differently.

Same goes for lower amount of Slovak officers in the army. Lack of education due magyarization. As young generation was coming in 1938 number of Slovak officers was increasing - especially among reservists.
ljadw wrote: The Czechs (55 %) could not continue to rule the country against the opposition of the 45 other %.The problem was insoluble and it remained insoluble after the war til the moment when the Czechs decided to let go the Slovaks .
There was never 45% oppositions against Czechoslovakia. Not in 1938 and not in 1992. As a Slovak I can assure you Pavel is right. If there was referendum, there wouldn't be Second Slovak Republic.
There were issues which needed to be addressed but majority of Slovaks would vote for Czechoslovakia!
ljadw wrote: In 1918 Austria-Hungaria exploded and the victors decided to create a mini AH : Czechoslovakia,which was not a wise decision.
It was very wise decision. Especially from Slovak PoV. Years 1918-1938 was Renaissance of Slovak culture and Education. With support of Czehs.
Even Tiso's government in official Hlinka's People Party newspapers after declaration of independence in March 1939 published article in which it thanked to Czechs for everything they did for Slovakia! Article of course mentioned differences but wished Czech People all the best.
ljadw wrote:If todays Czechia is viable without the Slovaks, why would that no be possible between 1919/1939?
Czech Republic was viable even without Slovakia. What you don't understand is that US SLOVAKS had not real option! Czechoslovak Army in 1919 made sure SLovakia didn't stay part of Hungary. If Slovakia stayed part of Hungary, Slovak language would be diminished as some weird dialect spoken by people in Northern Hungary! In Hungary according to census from 1920 I believe some 145 000 people were considered Slovaks (according to A-H census in 1910 on same territory it was 195 000) in 1930 census only 104 000 Slovaks were recorded. However according to other data 399 000 people spoke Slovaks.
If Slovaks stayed in Hungary, most of them would be Hungarians now. Being part of Czechoslovakia was the best Slovaks could got!

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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by ljadw » 19 Nov 2015 21:13

If the Slovaks mobilised to fight for Benesj in 1938, why wanted they leave Hacha in 1939 and why did they not fight in 1939 ?

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KACKO
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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by KACKO » 25 Nov 2015 19:16

Because military and political situation changed rapidly. In 1939 even the Czechs didn't fight. After all Military as well as politicians were saying before Munich that new borders are undependable. After Munich Czechoslovak army started to sell out its equipment. Even Germans bought some heavy artillery pieces.
Anyway Czech and Slovaks mobilized to fight for Czechoslovakia, not for Benes!

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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by wm » 27 Nov 2015 21:22

KACKO wrote:Czech Republic was viable even without Slovakia. What you don't understand is that US SLOVAKS had not real option! Czechoslovak Army in 1919 made sure SLovakia didn't stay part of Hungary. If Slovakia stayed part of Hungary, Slovak language would be diminished as some weird dialect spoken by people in Northern Hungary! In Hungary according to census from 1920 I believe some 145 000 people were considered Slovaks (according to A-H census in 1910 on same territory it was 195 000) in 1930 census only 104 000 Slovaks were recorded. However according to other data 399 000 people spoke Slovaks.
If Slovaks stayed in Hungary, most of them would be Hungarians now. Being part of Czechoslovakia was the best Slovaks could got!
Wasn't the Hungarian Army full disarmed at the end of 1918, on the orders of the victorious allies? The borders were drawn by the Allies and established thanks to their military might, the Czechoslovak Army had nothing to do with it.

Even later when the forces of the Hungarian Soviet Republic invaded Slovakia, they easily defeated the Czechoslovak Army and established the Slovak Soviet Republic. So the Czechs weren't saviours even in practice.
Then the Romanian Army wiped out the the Hungarian Soviet Republic and occupied Hungary. So in the end the Romanians were the saviours of Slovakia (and maybe of the Czechs too).

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Re: Retrospective WI. Cezch War of 1938

Post by Pavel Novak » 28 Nov 2015 02:43

Hungary has separated from Austria-Hungary in October 1918 and kept its armed forces intact with intent to keep whole of historical Hungary except parts which went to Yugoslavia. Czech forces tried to invade Slovakia at the end of 1918 but were quickly stopped on Moravian-Slovakian border and only second offensive at the start of 1919 allowed to capture most of northern Slovakia. Advance to Bratislava and southern Slovakia was slower. Due to Hungarian confrontation also with Romania Czechoslovakia was able to size the demanded territory but newly declared Soviet Hungary at first signed armistice with Romania and then used most of its forces to successful offensive to Slovakia. Also Poland at this point used situation to occupy disputed northern Slovak territory (but they retreated after Hungary was defeated). However renewed war with Romania led to collapse of Hungary and final armistice. Peace was signed in 1920.

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