Which World War 2 Figure Signed The Munich Agreement

Although subsequent events largely followed Hitler`s scenario, this thesis is not absolutely true. Hossbach`s memorandum documents the Führer`s predictions that an „Anglo-French-Italian war“ would be in 1938 and that a „Russian military intervention“ (in the event of German aggression) was a „more than dubious“ factor „given Japan`s position.“ All these speculations turned out to be unfounded. At the same time, some subsequent events exceeded his expectations: Austria was annexed not by its military „overthrow“ that was to coincide with the invasion of Czechoslovakia, but at an earlier time and in a different way – by an „anschluss“ with the „fifth column“. The same method was adopted against Czechoslovakia. The starting point is Hitler`s speech during his meeting with the leaders of the German army and diplomatic corps on November 5, 1937. As the British historian and Hitler`s most important biographer, I. Kershaw, writes, this was „the first time that the Chiefs of Staff were explicitly informed of Hitler`s thoughts on the timing and probable circumstances of German expansion into Austria and Czechoslovakia.“ [1] As shown in the minutes of the meeting of Hitler`s adjutant, Lieutenant F. Hossbach, the Führer called England and France sworn enemies of Germany and stated that „our first objective in the event of war encroachment must be to overthrow Czechoslovakia and Austria at the same time.“ At the same time, Hitler believed „that almost certainly Britain and probably France had already tacitly written off the Czechs and reconciled with the fact that this issue could be resolved by Germany in due course.“ [2] Hitler essentially described the script that was made a year later in Munich. Some Western historians doubted the authenticity of the Führer`s statements at this meeting, arguing that this summary, known as the „Hossbach Memorandum,“ was not the official record of the meeting, but was written a few days later, partly from memory, without being read or approved by Hitler. They also suggest that this document, first presented to the public by the US Attorney`s Office at the Nuremberg Trials, was „edited“ by US lawyers working on the case.

According to another version, German military leaders did not take Hitler`s words seriously or even express their objections, which would explain the Führer`s subsequent refusal to read the document compiled by his adjutant. In fact, the Hossbach memorandum shows that Wehrmacht leaders express doubts that Britain and France have „already tacitly written off the Czechs“ and point to the „strength of the Czech fortifications“ that would „seriously hamper our attack.“ In any case, the Wehrmacht`s military plans changed despite all the doubts expressed: instead of focusing on the objective of defending the German-Czech border „in the event of a conflict with France“, the German military leaders then began to „wage a war of aggression against Czechoslovakia and thus bring the German space problem to a triumphant conclusion, even if one or the other great power intervenes against us. [3] Many in the British government believed that the United States could not be trusted as an ally because the country had refused to join the League of Nations and had withdrawn into its usual isolationism. Although the nation as a whole may have been isolationist at the time, President Roosevelt proposed a working committee of nations that would develop a document on the essential principles of international behavior. However, Chamberlain rejected this idea on the grounds that Britain and France were already directly involved with Germany and Italy. .

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