American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938

By Arnold A. Offner | Go to book overview

9. TO MUNICH AND WAR

From spring to autumn 1938 the developing crisis between Germany and Czechoslovakia absorbed European energies. American diplomats abroad seemed to fear most that England and France would oppose Hitler's demands and thus precipitate world war. Ambassador Wilson, sympathetic toward German aspirations, confessed limited admiration for Czechoslovakia's "gallant impulse" to resist, but doubted its wisdom if it jeopardized peace. He also suspected, as he confided to his equally suspicious colleague in Berlin, Nevile Henderson, that the Czechs were counting on French and Soviet, and eventually British, support and therefore intended to provoke a showdown with Germany rather than await negotiations.1 Ambassador Bullitt, once the champion of the Soviet Union but after three disillusioning years in Moscow now its bitter critic, believed that the best way to thwart Soviet designs would be to encourage reconciliation between France and Germany.2 He seemed relieved when in May French Premier Edouard Daladier snapped "With what?" when he asked if France would fight if Germany attacked Czechoslovakia.3 Ambassador Kennedy thought that almost no price was too high to pay to avert war and that, above all, if war

____________________
1
"Wilson to Hull, Apr. 28, 1938", FR 1938, I, 490; "Henderson to Halifax, May 13, 1938", DBFP, 3d ser., I, 290-291.
2
William W. Kaufmann, "Two American Ambassadors: Bullitt and Kennedy," in Craig and Gilbert, eds., The Diplomats, 656-657; Beatrice Farnsworth, William C. Bullitt and the Soviet Union ( Bloomington, Ind., and London, 1967), 158-159.
3
"Bullitt to Hull, May 9, 1938", FR 1938, I, 493-494.

-245-

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American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES xiv
  • 1. Good Years to Bad 1
  • 2. the End of Disarmament 18
  • 3. Deteriorating Relations 54
  • 4. Accounts Settled and Unsettled 77
  • 5. the Coming of Aggression 107
  • 6. Neighbors Good and Bad 134
  • 7. Invitations Declined 175
  • 8. Last Opportunities 214
  • 9. to Munich and War 245
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY, INDEX 281
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY 283
  • Index 311
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