Another priority for Hitler was to establish himself in the eyes of his own people as an invincible leader capable of winning against all resistance. His occupation of the Rhineland in 1936 and the annexation of Austria a year later could never have succeeded without resistance, but he had intelligently and correctly judged that he would not be. Hitler had to eliminate Czechoslovakia as a potential threat to its southern flank. If he could do so without provoking Britain and France into a war, he would be free to turn all his military power against the East. However, he was at a serious military disadvantage. Czechoslovakia had about thirty-five divisions, about the same as Germany, and knew it would fight for its life. On the western and northern fronts, there were seventy French divisions and some Belgian and Dutch divisions. Britain had six, but there has not yet been a commitment to Europe. Poland on the Eastern Front was an imponderable for which some contingency plans had to be made.

Of course, one cannot calculate the military might of a nation by counting only its divisions, but it cannot be denied that if Hitler`s opponents had agreed on concerted military action, he would never have been able to succeed. The German high command knew this and warned Hitler that what he envisioned was militarily impossible, but Hitler replied, “Don`t worry, they won`t fight.” The screams were all “Neville,” and he stood there and flashed in the light of a powerful arc lamp, waving and smiling. This demonstration lasted three minutes. Another reception awaited the Prime Minister in Downing Street, which he reached fifteen minutes later. With difficulty, his car arrived from Whitehall in 10th place. Mounted police officers drove to the front and eighth and a constabulator stood guard on the step of the car. The reappearance of the term “appeasement” with respect to Western policy toward Iran`s nuclear program, and in particular the recent agreement with Iran, makes it a particularly opportune time to re-examine the 1938 Munich Agreement. In retrospect, this pact is widely regarded as a political failure of the highest possible proportion of Allies. According to some, a perfect opportunity to stop the Nazi advance before it really began was missed. Since the post-war investigation and the assessment of the chain of events that led to World War II, governments have striven not to “appease” dictators, which is now seen as conflict prevention, as Chamberlain hoped, but to further strengthen aggressive action.

U.S. presidents invoked the failure of appeasement in 1938, when they decided to go to war in Korea. Vietnam and Iraq in 1990 and 2003, as well as numerous presidential campaigns. (Ripsman &Levy 2008, 148) The word itself is so decried that it cannot be seriously considered a diplomatic strategy. J. David Singer explains: “The emotional symbolism of appeasement controls the Western political mentality in such a way that anything that has the slightest smell of appeasement is rejected with remarkable force.” (Klein 1991, 2) Sudeten Germans were not consulted on whether they wanted to become Czechoslovak citizens. Although the Constitution guaranteed the equality of all citizens, political leaders tended to turn the country “into an instrument of Czech and Slovak nationalism.” [7] Some progress has been made in the integration of Germans and other minorities, but they have continued to be under-represented in the government and military. In addition, from 1929 onwards, the Great Depression had a greater impact on the highly industrialized and export-oriented Sudeten Germans than on the Czech and Slovak population.

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