The agreement was signed on Sept. 30, 1938, and in it, the powers of Europe willingly conceded to Nazi Germany's demands for the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to keep "peace in our time.". This called for German troops to enter the Sudetenland on Oct. 1 with the movement to be completed by Oct. 10. Hitler had recently annexed Austria into Germany, and the conquest of Czechoslovakia was the next step in his plan of creating a greater Germany. This was met with no significant response from either Britain or France. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. A surprise onslaught “out of a clear sky without any cause or possibility of justification” was rejected because the result would have been “a hostile world opinion which could lead to a critical situation.” Decisive action therefore would take place only after a period of political agitation by the Germans inside Czechoslovakia accompanied by diplomatic squabbling which, as it grew more serious, would either itself build up an excuse for war or produce the occasion for a lightning offensive after some “incident” of German creation. Joseph M. Siracusa. However, Hitler continued to invade territories after the Munich Conference which ultimately led to the outbreak of World War II. A modern subway has been built in the city. On the German side the final version of “Case Green,” as approved by Hitler on May 30, showed 39 divisions for operations against Czechoslovakia. Commenting on the meeting, Winston Churchill proclaimed the Munich Agreement "a total, unmitigated defeat." As a result, he stepped back from the brink and sent Chamberlain a letter guaranteeing the safety of Czechoslovakia if the Sudetenland were ceded to Germany. The meeting in Munich started shortly before 1 pm. In response to the actions of Henlein's party, the Czechoslovak government was forced to declare martial law in the region. Both Daladier and Chamberlain returned home to jubilant welcoming crowds relieved that the threat of war had passed, and Chamberlain told the British public that he had achieved “peace with honour. Quickly coming to have contempt for Britain's and France's fear of war, Hitler encouraged Poland and Hungary to take parts of Czechoslovakia. As tensions grew through the summer, Beneš accepted a British mediator, Walter Runciman (1870–1949), in early August. It was Hitler's hope that Henlein's supporters would foment enough unrest that it would show that the Czechoslovakians were unable to control the region and provide an excuse for the German Army to cross the border. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, What Is Appeasement? The Czechoslovaks were not consulted. The city was ruined and was basically easily taken. Though he agreed, Hitler continued military planning. Having risked his career and British prestige on the deal, Chamberlain was crushed as he returned home. It was almost identical to the Godesberg proposal: the German army was to complete the occupation of the Sudetenland by October 10, and an international commission would decide the future of other disputed areas. Meeting with the Cabinet, Chamberlain was authorized to concede the Sudetenland and received support from the French for such a move. In response, Mussolini proposed a four-power summit between Germany, Britain, France, and Italy to discuss the situation. In April he discussed with Wilhelm Keitel, the head of the German Armed Forces High Command, the political and military aspects of “Case Green,” the code name for the envisaged takeover of the Sudetenland. Hitler agreed to take no military action without further discussion, and Chamberlain agreed to try to persuade his cabinet and the French to accept the results of a plebiscite in the Sudetenland. The agreement was signed on Sept. 30, 1938, and in it, the powers of Europe willingly conceded to Nazi Germany's demands for the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to keep "peace in our time." In a last-minute effort to avoid war, Chamberlain proposed that a four-power conference be convened immediately to settle the dispute. Chamberlain, unable to see how Hitler could be prevented from destroying Czechoslovakia altogether if such were his intention (which Chamberlain doubted), argued that Prague should be urged to make territorial concessions to Germany. This was accomplished as German Sudeten votes concentrated in the party while Czech and Slovak votes were spread across a constellation of political parties. As a result of the agreement, German forces crossed the border on Oct. 1 and were warmly received by the Sudeten Germans while many Czechoslovakians fled the region. Though Hitler was willing to risk war, he soon found that the German people were not. Long worried about German intentions, the Czechoslovakians commenced construction of a large series of fortifications in the region beginning in 1935. Franz Josef Strauss Airport, located 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Munich, opened in 1992. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... (From left) Italian leader Benito Mussolini, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, a German interpreter, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain meeting in Munich, Germany, September 29, 1938. Dawson, that Great Britain could not undertake war to preserve Czech sovereignty over the Sudeten Germans without first clearly ascertaining the latter’s wishes; otherwise Great Britain “might well be fighting against the principle of self-determination.”. On Sept. 19, 1938, the British and French ambassadors met with the Czechoslovak government and recommended ceding those areas of the Sudetenland where Germans formed more than 50 percent of the population. Not satisfied with only Austria, Hitler began demanding parts of Czechoslovakia, too. The Czechoslovaks were ready to fight but could not win alone. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Munich-Agreement, German History in Documents and Images - The Munich Agreement, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Munich Agreement, Munich Agreement - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Meeting with both sides, Runciman and his team were able to convince Beneš to grant the Sudeten Germans autonomy. According to this article a US soldier received his orders to enter Munich early in the morning on April 30th, 1945 and by 2PM he was standing on the central square and by the end of the day the city was for the most part captured (There was a pitched battle the next day at the Munich Airport). Not happy with the Anglo-French solution, Hitler demanded that German troops be permitted to occupy the entirety of the Sudetenland, that non-Germans be expelled, and that Poland and Hungary be given territorial concessions. Around 1:30 a.m., the Czechoslovak delegation was informed of the terms by Chamberlain and Daladier. The Czechoslovaks were relying on military assistance from France, with which they had an alliance. Returning to London, Chamberlain proclaimed that he had secured "peace for our time." He has appeared on The History Channel as a featured expert.

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