• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Was the Munich Settlement a disaster for Britain in 1938?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

?The Munich Settlement of September 1938 was a disaster for Britain? To what extent do you agree with this opinion? Explain your answer, using the evidence of Sources 7, 8 and 9 and your own knowledge of the issues related to this controversy. The Munich Settlement of September 1938 has a much divided response with historians today. On the one hand it could be said that it was disastrous as it not only gave Hitler further sign of British weakness, it also importantly strengthened the German army as agreed with in Source 7, which is true as in 1938-9 German war production was at a higher level than Britain. This source also argues that Britain, with its allies (assuming they would agree to fight) could have resisted Germany as their army was spread out thinly. However Sources 8 and 9 give reason for the Munch Settlement being a success, as British forces were not ready to fight, allies may not have contributed and the French plan was to stay behind the Maginot Line. ...read more.

Middle

However it is true to say that although they may not have been ?indifferent? the majority of public reaction favoured appeasement and it was approved in the House of Commons 366 votes to 144. Furthermore, in Source 7, Churchill indicates that only five of the thirteen German divisions were composed of front line troops, and the rest were ?left in the West at the time of the Munich arrangement.? This shows his thoughts that Britain made a vital mistake and should have resisted as the German army was stretched thin. This is true as had a European war broken out in 1938, Germany would have had to fight on two fronts. Churchill?s opinion may be supported if Britain, France, Czechoslovakia and the USSR had all resisted as the Luftwaffe was not ready for an attack, the French were still the best army in Europe and Czech forces weren?t negligible. Source 9 disagrees with Source 7 as ?unlike Churchill in 1938 Chamberlain had knowledge of what passed for the French war-plan.? A plan of which decided the French would ?wait behind the Maginot Line untill British had expanded their Army?, a plan which would have relieved the Czechs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Chamberlain emphasised that foreign policy was still appeasement and that that rearmament had been instated simply as insurance. Overall the Munich Settlement was not an easy choice for Chamberlain as the results of appeasement or resistance both could have ended with disastrous consequences. It is important to address that the settlement was humiliating and betraying to the Czech?s who lost a great amount after the German invasion as shown in Source 7. The settlement also allowed for the German army and crucially, Hitler?s position in Germany to be strengthened. However had Chamberlain immediately resisted Hitler?s intention to invade Czech, the British Armed Forces would have been far from prepared, and despite German forces being weaker before the Munich Settlement as Churchill states in Source 7, the likelihood of Britain defeating Germany was still not secure due to the French staying behind the Maginot Line, USSR being unreliable and South Africa and Australia?s reluctance to go to war. So altogether the Munich Settlement may be seen as a triumph as it vitally bought time for Britain to start rearming which if they had not done could have resulted in Britain losing WW2. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Hitlers Germany

    Rumors continued to circulate about incipient SA revolts. There were additional losses in state and local elections in November and December, and it was clear that the Nazis had reached a limit with their voting constituency. They could not break the refusal of Catholic and working-class voters to vote for them.

  2. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    This means that you live off other people. You would be moved away from the city and into the country where if you did not work you would starve. When Hitler came to power in Germany, Stalin was scared of what might happen especially when Hitler looked towards the Sudeten land to recapture it.

  1. Did the policy of appeasement go to any great lengths toward stopping the outbreak ...

    Democracy had again been discredited and authoritarian fascism appeared triumphant. National opinion too in the democracies was divided by the war. Vast differences of opinion existed, as how to deal with the fascist menace proved evident. However this proved to be another example, which highlighted the true weakness of appeasement.

  2. Was appeasement the only option open to Britain in 1938-1939?

    It was this common belief in avoiding war which was to lead to the policy of appeasement being stigmatised with shifting of blame and responsibility between the great states of Europe, as each country sought to cite its non

  1. Apeasement Did the policy of appeasement go to any great lengths toward stopping the ...

    However whilst acknowledging his army was in no position to withstand French opposition, Hitler ordered his troops to withdraw if such opposition occurred. The French however offered no such opposition. Instead the French sought the support of Britain, however the view that Germany had been to severely treated at Versailles

  2. Journalism: The People's Witness

    Burchett powerfully describes the German propaganda as 'deadly', a word that is synonymous with something lethal or murderous. Burchett would have essentially been writing this article in the same months that the Nazi party would have been planning the holocaust.

  1. 'At Munich Hitler gained what he wanted and achieved conquest without firing a shot' ...

    1 'Hitler did not create this movement. It was waiting for him, ready - indeed eager - to be used.... The crisis over Czechoslovakia was provided for Hitler. He merely took advantage of it' this shows how the Fuhrer seemed to exploit favourable situations that came about through the actions of others in the build up to the Munich conference.

  2. Explain the role of Czechoslovakia in the appeasement story.

    They believed that they could deal with the slight unrest in the Sudetenland. In 1934 in the Sudentenland the Nazis party emerged which was promptly band by the Czech government. But a new party calling themselves the 'Sudeten German People's Party' began in 1935.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work