Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War

By John O. Crane; Sylvia E. Crane | Go to book overview

From Berlin, Sir Nevile Henderson reported that he had told the Czechoslovak ambassador, Vojtech Mastny+˘, that Beneš had committed a fatal error in failing to transform the centralized unitary state into the Swiss model of cantons based on nationalities. Short of this unfeasible change, the only recourse would be a plebiscite, also unacceptable to Prague. Beneš, seeking rescue, had his minister to Paris, Osusky+˘, check out alternatives at the Quai d'Orsay with Foreign Minister Bonnet. Osusky+˘ said that a strong French response was key to the Czechoslovak decision. He continued: "If the French Government should declare that it has certain political or military interests in Czechoslovakia, and [that] it intends to defend them," such a statement would permit Prague to refuse the proffered British intervention, which prejudiced "the political and military independence of Czechoslovakia."71 On July 25th Bonnet counseled acceptance of the intervention without reservations or conditions. Beneš had no alternatives.72 He was isolated and accepted the British dictation. He issued the required official invitation to the already designated Lord Runciman in London.


NOTES
1.
Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, La Décadence, 1932-1939 ( Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1979), p. 325. This book was compiled by the Sorbonne's outstanding expert on the Foreign Ministry's records which for 1933-1939 were burnt on May 16, 1940; See: A. J. P. Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War ( London: Penguin, 1962), p. 37.
2.
Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm ( Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1948), p. 260.
3.
Duroselle, La Décadence, p. 325.
7.
Troutbeck, Prague, February 18, 1938, FO 371/v. 22336, p. 278.
8.
Duroselle, La Décadence, p. 328.
9.
Basil C. Newton, Prague, March 1, 1938, FO 371/v. 22337, p. 8.
10.
Notes on a conversation between Eduard Beneš and Richard Keans, March 2, 1938, FO 371/v. 22337, pp. 60-61.
11.
Talk held around February 19, 1938, FO 371/v. 22337 pp. 77A-78.
12.
Documents on International Affairs, 1938 ( London, 1942), Vol. 2, pp. 12-13, quoted in Vera Olivova, The Doomed Democracy: Czechoslovakia in a Disrupted Europe, 1914-1938 ( London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1972), p. 214.
13.
Troutbeck, Prague, February 22, 1938, FO 371/v. 22336, p. 299.

-121-

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Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction xvii
  • Notes xxvi
  • 1- The Independence Movement Commences 1
  • Notes 10
  • 2- Founding of the Legions: Entrapment in Anti- Bolshevik Intervention 11
  • Notes 26
  • 3- The Legions Anabasis To the Sea 30
  • Notes 46
  • 4- Masaryk in America 50
  • Notes 62
  • 5- Drawing the Frontiers 63
  • Notes 70
  • 6- Internal Stabilization 72
  • Notes 84
  • 7- The Beneš Succession: Storm Warnings (1935-38) 85
  • Notes 101
  • 8- The Sudeten Fires Flare (1938) 103
  • Notes 121
  • 9- Summer Turmoil (1938) 124
  • Notes 130
  • 10- The Runciman Mission (summer 1938) 131
  • Notes 148
  • 11- Munich (september 1938) 151
  • Notes 169
  • 12- Aftermath of Munich (1938-41) 172
  • Notes 185
  • 13- War on Two Fronts (1941) 187
  • Notes 202
  • 14- Wartime Conferences And Treaties 205
  • Notes 215
  • 15- The Slovak Uprising: The Government's Return Home 218
  • Notes 232
  • 16- The Government Reconstituted On Home Ground (1945) 235
  • Notes 245
  • 17- Nationalities Transfers And Allied Army Withdrawals (1945) 247
  • Notes 255
  • 18- Democratic Socialization (1945-46) 257
  • Notes 271
  • 19- Cold War Beginnings (1946) 273
  • Notes 287
  • 20- Storm Signals (1947) 290
  • Notes 306
  • 21- The Communist Coup (1947-48) 308
  • Notes 318
  • 22- The Death of Jan Masaryk (1948) 320
  • Notes 332
  • Abbreviations 333
  • Bibliography 335
  • Index 343
  • About the Authors 353
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