One important point here. Britain and France did not think war was 'avoided' for the longer run. Leaders in both nations threw the Cezchs out of the sleigh in 1938 so their rearmament programs could bear results. They both wanted two years of new arms production and training. That still occurs if Prague is not occupied and the Cezch government remains. The difference the Cezch occupation made was political, causing the Anglo French leaders to realize they did not have two full years. Any next attempt at territory was going to come soon, and any settlement would be no more sincere than any of the other agreements and promises.valadezaj wrote: ↑07 May 2002 17:56In 1938 the world came close to war. Hitler wanted the sudetenland, .... At a conference in Munich Britain and France gave Germany the territory in exchange for a promise to guarantee what was left of czechoslovakia. Later, in 1939, Hitler broke his promise and took the rest of the country anyway. Many people say that it was at that point that France and Britain began looking for war against Germany and that was why they opposed him when he wanted the city of Danzig. In your opinion how might things have gone had Hitler kept his promise and spared the rest of czechoslovakia.
If the Polish crisis comes without the Cezch occupation Britain and France are liable to be caught by surprise, and the leadership would react slower than OTL. Poland might be half overrun or Warsaw besieged, before they realize the German attack is not just another negotiating ploy.
As others have pointed out the German army would be weaker without the Cezch tanks & automotive transport. I don't think the other Cezch arms, their modern artillery & infantry weapons were integrated into the German field formations until the mobilization waves of late autumn or winter of 1939. The infantry corps equipped with those were undertrained and deployed along the upper Rhine in May 1940. They matter, tho perhaps not decisively in the OTL context of the 1940 campaign.
Getting back to my first point here. The Anglo French leaders were from November 1938 'looking' for war with Germany, but they thought they had a couple years before it would be necessary. This bit of wishful thinking was driven in part by their military leaders, like Gamelin or Vuellimin claiming vast German material superiority in 1938, & that it would require 2-3 years to gain superiority.