The Munich Agreement of 1938: the Approaches of the British Politics and Diplomacy

Taras Tkachuk

Master of history, Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University

UDС 94(4)«1938»



The article touches upon the analysis of the main approaches to the consideration of one of the key events in international relations on the eve of the Second World War – the Munich Agreement of 1938. Particular attention is paid to the stereotypes of the British appeasement policy, which supposedly meant that Germany could not be defeated as a «scared bull», but instead, with the help of diplomacy, its aggression could be sent to another side. In this respect, during the time of N. Chamberlain’s tenure as British Prime Minister, many critics spoke against such a strategy of the British foreign policy and the above-mentioned agreement as its main showcase. Therefore, the article focuses on all the circumstances that led to the signing of the Munich Agreement, analyzes the positions of both signatory states of the treaty and those countries that had an indirect influence on the solution of the Czechoslovak problem.

It is argued that one should not blame soloely Chamberlain for mistakes made in Munich: one should also take into account the position of E. Daladier’s French government and the pacifist attitudes of most Britons who did not want to fight for solving the internal political problems of a foreign state. To this end, it is necessary to note the undeniable victory of the Nazi diplomacy, the activities of which were directed specifically at the spread of panic in Europe, while Germany itself was unprepared for the war.

Finally, the article draws parallels between the events of 1938 and the current geopolitical situation associated with the Russian Federation aggressive actions. However, it emphasizes the impossibility to comprehensively equalise the Munich Agreement of 1938 and the Minsk Agreements of 2014 – 2015, first of all, due to the distinction of the epoques and the goals of convening these two international conferences.

Key words

Munich Agreement, Second World War, Czechoslovakia, Sudeten problem, appeasement policy.

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