Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War

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

13 War on Two Fronts (1941)

The lightning Nazi invasion of Soviet Russia on June 22, 1941, altered the course of the war and transformed its character. Overnight, Britain gained a vital partner in arms. Winston Churchill, who had become prime minister on May 10th, reacted on the very afternoon of the unprovoked aggression. He publicly accepted the challenge of a wartime collaboration against the Axis powers and wholeheartedly offered the latest victim all available aid. Churchill's lead in the West to form an alliance with the Soviets at this point unquestionably changed the course of history, heralding Hitler's eventual defeat by the triumph of Allied arms. On July 12, 1941, Great Britain and the Soviet Union signed a pact of nonaggression and mutual assistance, each pledging not to make a separate peace.

The Allied governments-in-exile in London, in particular those of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, soberly understood the parallel commitments, of military cooperation and assistance. The Soviets resumed diplomatic relations with the Czechoslovak government-inexile on July 18th and renewed the suspended treaty of alliance. Now vindicated with the Allied leaders, the Czechoslovak national cause gained significantly in prestige also from British recognition. The British Foreign Office declared that among its war aims were "the restoration of the independence of the Czechs and Slovaks." The Czechoslovak National Committee now became "an organ which handles the affairs of the Czechoslovak refugees and... the Czechoslovak arms... from among the refugees."1

The British had opened their doors to Czechoslovak refugees directly following the Munich Accord, when they had advanced some

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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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