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politics

HITLERS BLUFF IN MUNICH

Written by Paul Smith,
Author and journalist
Master of Arts (History and Philosophy)

Hitler proclaimed on September 26, 1938, during a speech in Berlin: “This will be my last territorial demand in Europe”. He demanded that Czechoslovakia would transfer the Sudetes to Germany. The area was popular called "Sudetenland" by the Nazis.

The English Prime minister Neville Chamberlain traveled on three accounts to Germany to discuss Hitler’s territorial demands. Neville Chamberlain believed Hitler was telling the truth. During the negotiations in Munich, where France and Italy also were present, Hitler pressured the Czechoslovakians fiercely.

Czechoslovakia had mobilized a 1.5 million strong army but finally gave in. The Germans took over the area the 1st of October same year.

Hitler had succeeded a major bluff. The Sudetes area was not “his final demand”. On March 15, 1939, he took the rest of the country without facing any resistance. Czechoslovakia had no allies.

Chamberlain admitted two days later in a speech in Birmingham that he had been naive to believe in Hitler’s bluff.

Hitler came in possession of Czechoslovakia’s entire weapon armory by invading the rest of the country. The weapons were very modern at the time. Hitler also gained control of Skoda’s factories, which were the second most important weapon factories in this period.

When Hitler attacked Poland the same year, a lot of the tanks used in battle were manufactured in Czechoslovakia. The same was the case when he on May 10, 1940, attacked and conquered France in only five weeks.