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What Was The Purpose Of The Munich Agreement
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The American historian William L. Shirer estimated in his «Rise and Fall of the Third Reich» (1960) that Czechoslovakia, although Hitler was not bluffing about its intention to invade, could have resisted considerably. Shirer believed that Britain and France had sufficient air defence to avoid severe bombing of London and Paris, and could have waged a swift and fruitful war against Germany. [66] He quotes Churchill as saying that the agreement means that «Britain and France are in a much worse position than Hitler`s Germany.» [61] After personally inspecting the Czech fortifications, Hitler privately told Joseph Goebbels that «we shed a lot of blood» and that it was fortunate that there had been no fighting. [67] One aspect of the immense agitation of the last fourteen days must affect anyone who thinks about his or her history. In the three most powerful countries in Central and Eastern Europe, people had no right to know what was said and done outside. There seems to have been very little news in Russia. In Germany and Italy, the message was deliberately falsified while it was not repressed. The German people were not to know the embassy of President Roosevelt. The Italian people were led to believe that Chamberlain agreed with Hitler and was only putting pressure on Benes. One of his speeches gave them a false version.

As the threats to Germany and the European war have become increasingly evident, opinions have changed. Chamberlain was awarded for his role as one of the «Men of Munich» in books such as the Guilty Men of 1940. A rare defence of the wartime accord came in 1944 from Viscount Maugham, who had been the Lord`s chancellor. Maugham regarded the decision to establish a Czechoslovakian state with large German and Hungarian minorities as a «dangerous experiment» in the face of previous disputes and described the agreement, which stemmed mainly from the need for France to free itself from its contractual obligations in the face of its vagueness to war. [63] After the war, Churchill`s memoirs of that time, The Gathering Storm (1948), claimed that Chamberlain`s appeasement of Hitler had been wrong in Munich, and noted Churchill`s pre-war warnings about Hitler`s plan of attack and Britain`s folly of disarmament after Germany reached air parity with Britain.

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