What Was The Munich Agreement About

On 28 September at 10 a.m., four hours before the deadline expired and without the approval of Hitler`s request to Czechoslovakia, the British Ambassador to Italy, Lord Perth, summoned the Italian Foreign Minister, Mr Galeazzo Ciano, to request an emergency meeting. [37] Perth informed Ciano that Chamberlain had ordered him to ask Mussolini in the negotiations and ask Hitler to delay the ultimatum. [37] At 11:00 a.m., Ciano met With Mussolini and informed him of Chamberlain`s proposal; Mussolini agreed and responded by questioning the Italian ambassador to Germany and telling him: „Go immediately to Fuhrer`s house and tell him that I will be by his side, but that I ask for a 24-hour delay before hostilities begin. In the meantime, I will study what can be done to solve the problem. [40] Hitler received Mussolini`s message during an interview with the French ambassador. Hitler told the ambassador: „My good friend, Benito Mussolini, asked me to delay the Marching Orders of the German Army by 24 hours, and I agreed. Of course, this was not a concession, since the invasion date was set for October 1, 1938. [41] After a meeting with Chamberlain, Lord Perth Mussolini and Chamberlain`s request thanked Mussolini for attending a four-power conference in Munich on 29 September from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy to resolve the Sudetenland problem before the 14:00 deadline. Mussolini agreed. [41] Hitler`s only request was to have Mussolini involved in the negotiations of the conference. [41] When U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt learned that the conference was being held, he telegraphed Chamberlain: „Good Man.“ [42] In the spring of 1938, Hitler openly began to support calls by German spokesmen in the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia for closer relations with Germany.

Hitler had recently annexed Austria to Germany and the conquest of Czechoslovakia was the next step in his plan to create a „Greater Germany“. The Czechoslovakian government hoped that Britain and France would help in the event of a German invasion, but British Prime Minister Chamberlain tried to avoid war. He made two trips to Germany in September and offered favorable agreements to Hitler, but Fuhrer responded to his demands. The British people expected an imminent war and Chamberlain`s „state gesture“ was initially applauded. He was greeted as a hero by the royal family and invited to the balcony of Buckingham Palace before submitting the agreement to the British Parliament. The general positive reaction quickly re-established despite the royal patronage. However, there was resistance from the beginning. Clement Attlee and labor rejected the deal in alliance with the two Conservative MPs Duff Cooper and Vyvyan Adams, who until then had been seen as a hard and reactionary element in the Conservative party. 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.