Munich 1938, Or: Britain Helped Hitler

Munich 1938, Or When France (or more exactly Britain) betrayed Czechoslovakia

I am for Catalonia becoming more independent. However, there has been a historical problem with smaller states. Smaller states tend to extremes: Serbia was very aggressive many times in its history, all the more as it was justified! Most often, though, rampant Pacifism, anti imperial sentiment, added to the treachery weakness leads to makes small states a problem for international security (North Korea is an example).

Small states played a crucial role in the empowering Hitler (I have mentioned this, in details, many times). Mostly, and hidden behind Hitler, was the USA (for the USA, Germany was a small state, easy to manipulate as a tool against mightier France…) This is nothing new: Sparta was the tool of Persia against Athens (it backfired on all concerned as the end result was Macedonian dictatorship, and, ultimately the subjugation of the Hellenic world by Rome).

However there was a spectacular case of the opposite, where great powers betrayed a small one: Czechoslovakia, 1938.

Czechoslovakia had been subjugated by German-speaking people for a while. In 1919, the Germanophones were forced, by France (mostly) to let the eastern European nations go free, something the vicious, racist Lord Keynes of Britain bemoaned.

The house the Anglo-Saxons built

Czechoslovakia had a completely different language and culture from Germany. However, Hitler argued that an oppressed German-speaking minority, the “Sudetes”, lived all along the natural mountainous border between Germany and the Czech.

In the “Sudeten Crisis“, Hitler got France and Britain to concede the Sudetenland with most of the Czechoslovak border fortifications in the 1938 Munich Agreement. That left the remainder of Czechoslovakia shorn of its natural borders and, literally, defenseless. Finally the country was invaded by Germany in March 1939. Much of the region was redesignated as the Reichsgau Sudetenland (a way to tell the Czech they were in German territory, newly designated that way at least; on the totem pole of ethnicities to exterminate, the Slavs were nearly as high as the Jews).

***

Anglo-Saxon Treachery:

Much of the world, and certainly North America was obtained through traditional, well-honed Anglo-Saxon treachery. Why tinker with what works? The method profits mostly the strongest, and the strongest, by 1914, was not Britain, but the USA. However, most British leadership kept on clinging to that hope (and still does today, as it’s one of the main arguments for Brexit).

In World War One, clearly, the British could see the USA feeding fascist, invading Germany with material to make ammunition with. France and Britain protested strenuously to Washington, for years. Without US help, the fascist, crime-against-humanity Kaiser regime, the so-called “Second Reich” would have collapsed quickly, and the democracies would have won. But those democracies, mostly Britain and France, had giant empire, and the USA wanted to acquire those empires.

Indeed it’s actually Britain who betrayed. Britain was headed by a newish PM, Chamberlain, who was trying to gain time to build an Air Force with new planes (Churchill had suggested to mass produce old planes, and that would have been a grievous error).

So Chamberlain had a proximal excuse (building an Air Force). However, Great Britain had none.  As the French Republic was trying to remove Britain from its natural inclination to be nice to, and constructive with, the Nazis. That inclination was perfidiously encouraged by the USA, which was keen to see Europe self destroyed. Fascism, injustice, plutocracy, racism, greed Uber Alles had all been inheritance and constructive ingredients of the British empire.  

I am aware that there are countless books on “Munich”. One I own is 1,000 pages or more. What I am writing here is the philosophical absolute essence of what happened.

Actually Britain had signed a military and economic treaty with the Nazis in 1935, which grossly violated the Versailles Treaty.

It was a complicated game: the Anglo-Americans, under the guidance of American plutocrats such as President FDR, were obsessed with destroying the French empire, but the French had not really noticed, although the relationship with Washington was frankly hostile since 1934. The British, in their arrogance, noticed too late they were been squeezed between the Nazis, and their de facto world imperialist allies, the Americans.

So France threaded carefully with Britain: the pro-Nazis there were thrown out, including the king. In winter 1939, the SPANISH Republic fell to the Nazis (represented by general Franco). At that point Great britain went fully on the french side, and accepted to be included in the addendum of the franco-Polish defense treaty.

But in summer 1938, it was too early, and British PM Chamberlain could not be persuaded by French PM Daladier (the Nazis, though, conceived then a great hatred for Daladier; my family sheltered his son from the Gestapo during the occupation; one of the rare non-Jews, out of the more than 100 people they saved the life of!).   

The French Republic, one should say in retrospect, should have gone to war alone with the Czechoslovak Republic in 1938. Indeed, in retrospect, the British army was worse than useless in 1940. In September 1939, the French started a lonely attack against the nazi “West Wall” (Siegfried line), with 40 divisions. It would take another month for the first British soldier to reach the continent.

Why do I say that Britain worse than useless in May 1940? The Second British armored division was supposed to stand in reserve behind the front, where the nazis broke through. As it was, it was not there. The only French B (Reserve, second rate) division which held the front at Sedan held back two Panzer Divisions. The third one broke through, after a bombing of the French division by the entire Luftwaffe, and suicide charges by Nazis engineers. There is little doubt that, had the british been where they were supposed to be, the front would not have broken (then, after a few days and the full might of the French and British armies and air force, they would have been destroyed like fishes in a barrel).

Anyway long story short: France should have given an ultimatum to Hitler in 1938. Militarily, France and Czechoslovakia could have handled Nazi Germany: The Czech fortifications were immensely strong. In 1940, half of the Nazi tanks were captured Czech tanks (1,000 out of 2,000).

The Nazis used more than 1,400 of these Czech tanks, and moreover derived a highly successful Panzerjagdt from it (a tank destroyer)

It’s not clear what the Anglo-Saxon would have decided to do: the US never gave an ultimatum to Hitler. However, by 1938, the Brits had understood they had to go to war with the Nazis.  

The French made two tragic mistakes, both of them having to do with being afraid not with war, but of what the rest of the world would think about the French Republic going to war and giving ultimatums.  

The first mistake was not going all out to war, when the Spanish Republic asked for help against the Nazis. That was in 1936. The Nazi German pilots then had three years to perfect their war making skills, and they caught French and British pilots, and their integration with ground troops, unprepared during ten crucial days in May 1940 (the democratic pilots learned, but too late to win the Battle of France).

The second mistake was for France to have betrayed the Czech Republic, one that France herself had set-up.

Conclusion: some time, it’s more important to do what’s right than to worry about what the PC crowd think. PC is apparently not just for Politically Correct, but Perfect Cretin.

Patrice Ayme’

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9 Responses to “Munich 1938, Or: Britain Helped Hitler”

  1. colettebytes Says:

    Patrice, do you think that in the scheme of things, old hatreds still lie under the surface throughout Europe? And could they errupt again?

    I have to admit that I am a pacifist and wish that peaceful resolutions could be made rather than conflict. I am under no illusions … Every country dirties its hands in war. The very act of war making is a power play over weaker entities and the winners are the only (recognised) heroes.

    In some ways I understand Brexit and Catalonian breaks for freedom of ideas. It doesn’t bode well to impose political dominance on individualistic cultures that do not mesh, but do we run the risk of returning to tribal warfare over petty squabbles?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Colette: Good question. I have thought about this extensively, and Europe is not even number one exhibit. Islam, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc… See my exchanges with Marie Claude, apparently a French woman. She came up with that incredibly erroneous notion that there were only a few thousands Protestants in France when Louis XIV decided to HOLOCAUST them all (revocation of edict of Nantes). Actually there were more than TWO MILLION.

      Also France invented Protestantism: there were Protestants for centuries in France before Luther was born. Vaud (hence Vaudois, hence Canton de Vaud) lived in the 1300s, he was a French lawyer…Calvin was a French lawyer…

      This is the way hatred grows: with massive misinformation (Marie Claude was off by a factor of one thousand, and several centuries, on the Protestant problem. Same with Islam: when 40,000 Arab warriors conquered the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, all the population was Christian. Now Christianity has been nearly totally eradicated from this gigantic region, and it was eradicated by force. Average Muslims don’t know this anymore than Marie Claude knows about Protestantism.

      It’s the same problem with Germany. Prussia/Germany was racist, fascist, and invasive, starting around 1740 CE (a local tradition as the Teutonic Knights had deliberately invaded and eradicated, ina vey long extermination war the local Pagan Prussians, way back…). That was made possible by massive British financing as early as 1757 CE (otherwise Prussia, allied of Britain against France, Austria and Russia, would have collapsed). Most germans don’t know this enough. Once they know it enough, they side with the french Republic, not vicious, racist, fascist, invasive Germany…

      So knowledge is the key. But one has to be fair. Yes, Hitler was bad. However, Hitler was bad, because Napoleon was bad, and his reputation got away with his most major crimes (usually Napoleon is just viewed, and excused, in the context of a war with Britain; that’s nice for him, as Britain was in the wrong! The real crimes of Napoleon are not in him warring with criminal Britain…).

      And Napoleon thought he could get away with his crimes… Because Louis XIV could…

      OK, maybe I should turn this into an essay… 😉

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Pacifism as a principle, without understanding what is really going on, is the royal road to war.

      The country, nation and state, in existence today which has been involved in the most wars, by a very long shot, is France. Followed by China. War making can’t be dissociated from survival, for a civilization.

      Brexit and Catalonia are completely different. Brexit is a plutocratic plot, roughly as justifiable as the Secession War in the USA, Catalonia has its sources in healthy republicanism.

      The case for Catalonia being a part of France, rather than a part of Spain, is stronger than the alternative, for a whole host of historico-geographical reasons.

  2. colettebytes Says:

    Ah, stuff to ponder… Thanks for your answer.

  3. Gmax Says:

    Didn’t Hitler seize the Rheiland in 1936? The graphic you have is misleading. Otherwise very good blast against PC whiners and pacifist cows grazing grass until they come home to daddy

  4. EugenR Says:

    To painful to react.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, but the essence of the problem. When the USA turned back Jewish refugees and the boat went back to Nazi Germany, that was a symptom of an even deeper problem. An essay in Aeon was just published, singing the praises of Seneca and other criminal “stoics”, and preaching to practice again exactly what led to the Holocaust, a dearth of timely anger. I have made a number of comments there, which I will glue all together in an essay…

      BTW, my family, although not “Jewish”, paid a very heavy price, and could/should have been exterminated (the Gestapo ran after them) for saving more than 100 Jews over a period of years (among others). Still, there were many losses in my family of lives and properties, both from German fascism and Jihadism, and my family ended very small, deprived and un-rooted…

  5. ianmillerblog Says:

    My view is Chamberlain could well have been right. From his point of view, had the Battle of Britain been fought in 1938/39 Britain would have lost – its biplanes were no match for a Bf109. And when the French did invade Germany at the start of the war, they stalled. Had they shown a bit more enterprise, Hitler could have been history very early.

    I think also Britain saw the Treaty of Versailles as unnecessarily punitive, and it is at least arguable that it was this punitive nature that led to Hitler’s rise in the first place. There are so many places where we can suggest history should have been different, but at the time it is not quite so simple because those making the decisions do not have a full knowledge of what the consequences will be. As an example, what exactly should happen with North Korea, and who pays the price if one is wrong?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The French hit the “West Wall” (“Siegfried Line”). The 5 million men Allies of 1944 (comprising a French army of one million), and with total air supremacy, got stalled there for 5 months there… And that was after all the “best” Nazis had been killed…

      The real problem of the french in September 1940 was that Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were “neutral”. Also there was LITERALLY not one single British soldier on the continent.
      Granted, Chamberlain was right to engage mass production of advanced planes. But the Germans too didn’t have that many advanced planes.

      The French supremacy in tanks was crushing. It got mis-deployed in the panic of May 10, 1940. Although Weygand second in command told his superior the attack on Belgium and Netherlands might be a feint and if so, would result in the loss of the entire French army, as happened, and as Hitler hoped.

      Versailles Treaty was NOT unnecessary punitive. It was a question of freeing countries Germanoids occupied. Poland was a giant empire for centuries, when Germany existed only as the (Frankish created) Roman empire. Then Poland got occupied by Russia, Prussia and Germany. The question of Dantzig was delicate, true. One bad thing can lead to another, see Catalonia, or North Korea…

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