Did Neville Chamberlain get a bum rap? What if he HAD to buy time to prepare for the inevitable war against Germany?
I don't take lightly what happened to Czechoslovakia, but what if Chamberlain was in a position where he had to "take one" for the whole world?
You say you don't understand the question? Maybe Chamberlain knew Hitler would renege on the agreement and invade all of Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain himself would be branded as a fool, and war would later unfold -- but at least Britain would have had time to prepare.
Maybe that's what happened?
To put it more directly, maybe Chamberlain had to choose between immediate war for which Britain was ill-prepared, or, knowing Hitler couldn't be trusted and there'd be war with Germany in any event, at least buy a dishonorable postponement so there'd be time to gear up.
- Anonymous7 months ago
I agree with you. I also disagree with this Chamberlain-bashing. There were also many other people in the UK and even US who liked HItler or were at least understandable how many Germans felt how they were treated after WW1 through the Versailles treaty. After all, even many other nations disliked it, such as Arabs, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Italians, Hungarians, Turks, Bulgarians and even Croats, Bosniaks, Slovaks and Slovenes. Many were happy that Chamberlain got this deal from HItler and even some fellow Nazis such as Goering who did not want to have any war. Finally, during that time nobody could have known whether HItler could have been trusted before and during the 1938 Munich conference.
- 7 months ago
Is a 'bum rap' English?
- Tim DLv 77 months ago
13 March 1938
"It is perfectly evident now that force is the only argument Germany understands and that collective security cannot offer any prospect of preventing such events until it can show a visible force of overwhelming strength backed by the determination to use it" Written by Chamberlain to his sister
This only two days after German forces marched into Austria.
Long before Munich Chamberlain understood the potential of an increasingly aggressive Germany and foresaw that only a return to the web of alliances (which he abhorred in the same letter) could prevent a return to war – the preparations were to gather allies NOT to re-arm or mobilise.
The usual fanboys will claim that Britain had no business to "stick their nose" in – that demonstrates extreme naivety.
- AthenaLv 77 months ago
Yes, it must be remembered that after the "Peace in Our Time" headline, Chamberlain was instrumental in instituting the draft and rearming the British military. He did not think Hitler would go away.
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- Mike WLv 77 months ago
I don't know enough about what was going on in Parliament at the time to give an informed answer. If Chamberlain would have chosen to stand firm, would he have any support from Parliament, or would they have supported appeasement.
- FredLv 77 months ago
I think Neville Chamberlain was too trusting. We must remember that the world was going through a depression during the 1930s and the last thing England needed was a large war. My guess is Chamberlain was desperate to not drag Britain into a war and desperately tried to get assurances from Germany that her taking of Austria and the Sudetenland were Germany reclaiming territory she had lost after WW1, and her rearming was just securing Germany's national safety.
When he arrived back in England waving his agreement with Hitler that Hitler had all he had sought and was not going to attack any other countries Chamberlain believed him as up until that point Hitler had appeared to be an honourable man. Luckily others like Churchill and a few others who saw Hitler for the evil man he really was, Britain started to upgrade its military with things like the new Spitfire aircraft.
Chamberlain saw the build up of German forces along the Polish border in late August 1939 and decided that it was time Britain warned Hitler that if it actually invaded Poland, England would have no option but to see Hitler as an aggressor and would have to act, so he was not a coward about taking Britain to war. Of course the rest is History as Hitler knew he had the most powerful army in the world, and the British navy was the only thing that was more powerful than what Germany had so felt confident Britain could not stop him.
From my understanding Chamberlain once he announced Britain was at war with Germany stood down believing he was not the right man for the job of leading Britain during war time. As Churchill had been speaking out about how he believed Germany was rearming to start another major war trying to warn Britain it must enforce the Treaty of Versailles signed by Germany for the surrender of Germany in WW1, and improve Britain's military abilities to match Germany's, was appointed as Prime Minister.
Likely Chamberlain was not a total fool and tried desperately to prevent a war he knew Britain could not afford, but had trusted a man like Hitler to be decent. Remember Stalin was also fooled by Hitler's peace agreements and supposed friendliness to the point Stalin refused to believe that Germany was about to invade Russia even though half the German army was lined up along his border.
- ◄♦►Lv 57 months ago
Chamberlain was given a bum rap. He prevented a war between Germany and Czechoslovakia and earned the label "appeaser" for his efforts. To this day, the word "appease" is associated with him just as Hitler is associated with anything "evil".
- 7 months ago
He was scared to make big decisions
- bluLv 77 months ago
Appeasement is great when it works but history scrutinizes events that unfold. Hitler had a long history as a person who couldn't be trusted.
If I was around then, I probably would have approved of Chamberlain's efforts. War is supposed to be what's left when all else fails.
- tellitlikeitisLv 77 months ago
Perhaps if you explain precisely what on earth you mean by your question, you'll get some answers.