Alexey asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 5 months ago

Why didn't great Britain stand up for Czechoslovakia when it was attacked by the Germans and poles?But later the British stood up for Poland?

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  • Anonymous
    5 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because they never really cared for Czechoslovakia, but loved Poland

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    They didn't want a war. 

    In the 1930s, Britain and France were desperate to avoid another general European war.  Millions and millions of people had died in WWI.  Worse yet, many people had come to conclude that there hadn't been much point to the war.  There were no great principles behind it and few borders had changed.  It seemed like all those people had died for nothing.  So a lot of western Europeans really wanted to avoid another war. 

    Also, while France and Britain didn't like Hitler's aggression towards Czechoslovakia, his intentions seemed, if not necessarily reasonable, at least somewhat understandable.  We've got to remember what Hitler was proposing.  The political crisis which led to the Munich Agreement, started over the Sudetenland, an area in western Czechoslovakia which bordered Germany and was heavily populated by ethnic Germans.  Hitler and the Nazis said that they wanted to unite all the German peoples of Central Europe into a single state.  They had already taken a big step towards this with the Anschluss, or annexation of Austria, a few months earlier.  Now they supposedly wanted to complete this unification of the German people by occupying the Sudetenland.  The thing is that many Sudeten Germans supported this idea.  A lot of them, including future humanitarian Oskar Schindler, thought that annexation to Germany was a good idea.  So from the Allies perspective, they were facing a case where Hitler seemed to have limited territorial ambitions.  The Czechoslovakians would never be able to resist the Germans on their own.  So the only way to stop annexation of the Sudetenland was for Britain and France to go to war.  If all Hitler wanted was the Sudetenland then that seemed crazy.  It seemed better to give him what he wanted and satisfy his ambitions.  Especially since many Sudeten Germans wanted annexation anyway.  Given all these facts, the British and French decided to sell out Czechoslovakia and allow the Nazis to occupy the Sudetenland, as long as they didn't go any further.  It seemed a small prcie to pay to achieve "peace in our time".

    With the benefit of hindsight we can see that the western powers were horribly naive.  Within about six months, Hitler violated the Munich agreement, creating a Slovak puppet state in the east and occupying the rest of Czechoslovakia.  The British and French were outraged.  Hitler had betrayed them, and very quickly too.  The realized that they had been horribly mistaken about Hitler.  His territorial ambitions were not limited to merely unifying largely accepting ethnic German regions.  And they also realized that Hitler could never be trusted to live up to any agreement which he signed.  There would be no peaceful negotiation with Hitler.  Force, or threat of force, would be all he'd listen to.  When he started making noises about Poland a few months later the western Allies knew they couldn't treat him like they had before.  They laid down an ultimatum: any violation of Polish territorial integrity would be met with war.  Of course, the Germans, having violated Munich and gotten away with it, may have felt that the French and British were weak and doubted that they would follow through on their threats.  They also probably felt more confident in their ability to defeat British and French armies.  So  they invaded Poland and began WWII in Europe

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Britain was prepared to give up a part of Czechoslovakia where the majority of population spoke German. The Nazis promptly demanded more concessions, Britain and France recognised there was nothing they could do at the time to prevent it. There is also the chance they were hoping that the Soviet Union might assist in the prevention of German belligerent expansionism, but just before Poland the two allied to great chagrin.

  • 5 months ago

    Because Nevil Chaimberlain was a fool and taken in by Adolph Hitler. Germany could have been stopped if he and other Allies stood up to him then but they caved in. Later on they were bound by a mutual defense treaty to defend Poland if attacked.

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  • 5 months ago

    Because Europe was nothing but territorial disputes for centuries, and the British didn't want to get themselves into another one. Perhaps because Poland was a part of it and it was not simple mere expansionism on the part of Hitler. There was certainly some disagreement; Churchill took a much harder line, but he was not leading the government, Chamberlain was.

    Anything more on the part of Germany was pure expansionism and proved that Hitler's promise of 'No more if we get the Sudetenland' were hollow. And Both the UK and France swore that if Hitler went after Poland, they would stomach no more. Hitler called their bluff and got the war he wanted.

  • 5 months ago

    Czechoslovakia was an artificial country which would never have been created if the USA had helped enforce the treaty of Versailles. 

  • 5 months ago

    The UK wasn't ready for war at that point, and French strategy was defensive. Not only was the UK not ready in a military sense, the populace wasn't ready either.

  • 5 months ago

    Britain had a formal treaty with Poland that obliged them to provide military assistance if attacked but they had no treaty with Czechoslovakia.

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