LAH263 Munich 1938\Caving to the Axis Powers
This unique set is inspired by an actual photograph that was taken just before the ‘Munich Agreement’ was signed by the four main signatories…
Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
In front of them sits a large table on which is spread a miniature reproduction of a map of Czechoslovakia with the disputed German-speaking Sudetenland areas clearly marked in green.
Each K&C box comes with its own specially designed label and production is limited to just 300 sets.
ON 30 SEPTEMBER 1938, British and French prime ministers, Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier signed one of the most ignominious documents of the Twentieth Century… The Munich Pact.
Their two co-signees were the German dictator Adolf Hitler and his Italian axis partner, Benito Mussolini. What all four men had agreed to was the effective dismemberment of a fifth country, Czechoslovakia in order to avoid a possible European war… At least that was what the two democratic leaders believed they had agreed to.
In the spring of 1938, Adolf Hitler began openly supporting the demands of the majority German-speakers then living in the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia for union with Germany. Hitler had recently, annexed Austria into Germany creating a ‘Greater German Reich’ and already had political designs on the neighbouring Czechs. The Czechoslovak Government meanwhile had hopes that Britain and France would come to their assistance in the event of German aggression.
Alas for them both the British and French leaders were determined to avert, at almost any cost, the threat of another European war especially with memories still fresh from the terrible horrors and humungous cost that the previous 1914/18 conflict had inflicted on both nations just twenty years before.
Chamberlain in particular had made two trips to Germany earlier in September attempting to offer Hitler favourable terms while the German ‘fuhrer’ kept ‘upping his demands’.
On 22 September, Hitler suddenly announced his impatience was exhausted with the ongoing discussions and demanded the immediate cession of the Sudetenland and its 3,000,000 German-speaking population to the Reich. All its Czech residents were to be ordered to leave the region before the end of the month.
The next day, Czechoslovakia mobilized its armed forces. A war seemed imminent and France also began a partial mobilization on 24 September. Europe appeared poised on the edge of an abyss!
Incredibly no Czech representatives were invited to take part in these confidential meetings even though it was the fate of their country and people that was the matter under discussion. Over two long, exhausting days a deal was eventually reached whereby the Czechs were forced to hand over to Hitler the Sudetenland and de facto control over the rest of their country as long as Germany promised to go no further.
On 30 September, Neville Chamberlain flew back to Britain. On his return he delivered his controversial ‘peace in our time’ speech to crowds of jubilant supporters in London. For the moment war had been averted. Less that twelve months later however Britain and France would, once again, find themselves at war with Germany!