To what extent did the Munich Conference contribute to the outbreak of World War 2?

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To what extent did the Munich Conference contribute to the outbreak of World War Two?


On 30 September 1938, the Munich Conference took place. Neville Chamberlain- British Prime Minister and Adolf Hitler- Nazi leader in the 1930s, agreed on the annexation of Sudetenland-Czechoslovakia. The research question is: To what extent did the Munich Conference contribute to the outbreak of World War Two?

This investigation will assess the aims and motives of Britain and Germany’s leaders at the Munich Conference. This investigation will discuss the results of the Munich Conference and how the Munich Conference initiated World War Two.

Sources including magazine articles, newspaper articles, books and online database such as magazine article: “Munich Agreement Is Signed: September 30th, 1938” by Bartlett, J. W and the book “Neville Chamberlain, appeasement and the British road to war” by Frank McDonough will be analysed to figure out their origin, purpose, value, limitation, thus analyse how Munich Conference contributed to the outbreak of 2nd World War.

Word count: 147


Here is a summary of evidence that suggests the Munich Conference contributed to the Second World War.

2.1) Hitler’s demand:

In 1930s, the Nazis was the dominate power of the world. Its military power was the greatest and therefore scared the Allies, especially Great Britain who was not prepared for a war. Hitler demanded to take over the part of Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia in order to unite all German speaking people: “In the north, in Sudetenland lived 3 million German-speaking people” (Bartlett 40). By doing this, Hitler hoped to achieve “Volksdeutsche- unite all German speaking people in one country to make a greater Germany” (Bankier). “Hitler had promised British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the German people that the Sudetenland would be his "last territorial demand" in Europe.” (The History Place)

2.2) The Munich Conference

In order to maintain the world peace and prevent an upcoming war, Neville Chamberlain decided to give Hitler what he wanted. The Allies tried to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Treaty of Versailles: “appeasement was designed to revise the Treaty of Versailles by peaceful means in favour of Germany, en route to a new general settlement of European problems” (McDonough 5). Moreover, Britain was not prepared for a war with Germany “Britain was unprepared for war. She had no draft, no Spitfires, no divisions ready to be sent to France” (Mandel and Buchanan). Hence, a peaceful solution was crucial for Great Britain.

On 30th September 1938, the Munich Conference took place to decide the Czechoslovakians’ fate. However, no Czechoslovakian was invited to the conference. Neville Chamberlain gave Hitler what Hitler wanted: "They signed a deal that reduced Czechoslovakia to a rump state, its Sudetenland to be absorbed by Germany and other pieces of its territory to be carved up by other central European powers" (Leibovitz and Finkel).

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After attending the Munich Conference, Neville Chamberlain claimed “I believe it is peace for our time”. However, just 2 days after Hitler’s invasion, Chamberlain was shocked by the news that “the German Army rolled into the first non-Germanic territory to be taken by the Nazis. "Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist!" Hitler announced to the German people later that day” (The History Place). Chamberlain, along with the France government, “issued a war guarantee to Poland” (Mandel and Buchanan). The Allies immediately stopped pursuing the policy of Appeasement and promised to protect Poland, even if this could lead to a war against Germany.


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