It was long evident that the lowering Nazi storm would someday sweep beyond the German frontiers. And it was equally evident that when it blew across the Bohemian mountains, its political epicenter would be Konrad Henlein and his lieutenants.
Hitler began the active phase of his plans of conquest of Europe in 1937. Austria and Czechoslovakia, contiguous to the Reich, were selected as the first targets, since they formed the barrier to the German drive to the East. On paper, the Czechoslovak position looked formidable, supported as she was by France, Russia, and indirectly Great Britain. In reality, however, London was intent upon the settlement of the German question, and suggested strongly to Prague that it make extensive concessions.1. Great Britain was interested in an accommodation in the Republic chiefly because a German attack upon it would result in French assistance to her ally and almost certain British involvement on the French side. London deemed it necessary, in fact, to counsel caution and to exert some pressure in Prague, because the problem of the Sudeten Germans could jeopardize European peace through the possible intervention of the Reich.2. France was too weak to carry out a consistent policy of her own. The Soviet Union, distrusted by the West, faced the strong opposition of____________________