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Old October 18th, 2011, 04:59 AM   #1

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Why didn't the Czechs fight back?


Lets talk Munich Pact here.
Sudetenland was handed over to Germany. Czechoslovakia had no representation at the meeting (they didn't even know about it!).

So my question is : Why didn't the Czechs fight back over the Sudetenland ?
I mean, just because Britain told Germany that they could have the Sudetenland doesn't mean that they could just grab it.

Why didn't the Czechs fight back , if they didn't like the deal ?
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Old October 18th, 2011, 05:21 AM   #2
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Military wise, Germany was much stronger than Czechoslovakia, and with German control of Austria, Czechoslovakia was in a geographical position deemed "undefendable". Also German minority (and not just it) would form a very strong "fifth column". There also was a great threat of Poland and Hungary joining the German invasion. Looking at the 1938 map should make military situation very clear.

Politically, Czechoslovak foreign policy 1918-1938 was heavily focused towards France and England as guarantees of its existence (every small country needs such). Only major power who was still openly supporting Czechoslovakia was USSR. Hitlers propaganda was trying to portray Czechoslovak republic as "Gateway of bolshevism to Europe", so defending only with their support would give more credence and more western support to Germany. USSR was still often viewed as bigger danger than Germany, especially in west, and Czechoslovak govt didn't want to end up sided with USSR against western powers including Germany. Especially when will and geographical possibility of USSR to help Czechoslovakia was doubted.

Despite all that, the will to fight among population was very strong, and political decision of Czechoslovak govt not to fight is still questioned. Some say it would be massacre with results only being much worse for population of Czechoslovakia, others say western powers and/or USSR would come to our help despite Munich and WW2 wouldn't have to happen.

Last edited by vid; October 18th, 2011 at 05:37 AM.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 06:34 AM   #3

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USSR support was conditioned on French support. So once French withdrew their alliance with Czechoslovakia USSR did not interfere.

I doubt there was possibility to fight with Soviet support.

Czechoslovakia would have been left alone against Germany. And Poles and Hungarians would have most probably joined against Czechoslovakia as well.

Czechoslovakia had population of approximately 14 millions of which 3 milions were Germans and 0.5 million Hungarians.

Germany had population of 69 millions plus population of anexed Austia of another 7 millions if I remember correctly.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #4

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As we all probably know the Czechs had some pretty strong fortifications on their border with Germany, how effective would these have been? The age of fixed fortifications was over but the Germans didn't have any tanks capable of breaking through fortified lines...
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Old October 18th, 2011, 08:31 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartieboy View Post
As we all probably know the Czechs had some pretty strong fortifications on their border with Germany, how effective would these have been? The age of fixed fortifications was over but the Germans didn't have any tanks capable of breaking through fortified lines...
German would have need no such tanks. After annexation of Austria, they could just have attacked via lightly fortified Austrian border.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 12:44 PM   #6
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Munich renegades absolutely wrongly assessed courteously power of the military industry in the Sudetes, which was bestowed to Hitler in Munich.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #7

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Anyway, since the 15th century Czechs were not used to fight and they didnt make great soldiers. And their Slovak countrymen were probably even less able to fight. Dont want to harm anyone with this words but history tells it all.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #8
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Mosquito: Which parts of history are you basing your opinion on?

Arguments contrary to your position: Fighting history of ancestors is not a factor for judging fighting ability of their off offspring. In WW1, Czechs and Slovaks fought just like any Austro-Hungarian nation. Czechoslovak legions were a very powerful unit in WW1 theater, and later Czechoslovak soldiers were brought up on their tradition. Slovak units on Eastern front were also successful in the early phases, while they were willing to fight against Ukrainians and Russians. Later, AFAIK Czech and Slovak units within Red Army fought no worse than Red Army units did.

Political decisions of leaders don't necessarily correspond with fighting ability of nation they rule.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
Mosquito: Which parts of history are you basing your opinion on?

Arguments contrary to your position: Fighting history of ancestors is not a factor for judging fighting ability of their off offspring. In WW1, Czechs and Slovaks fought just like any Austro-Hungarian nation. Czechoslovak legions were a very powerful unit in WW1 theater, and later Czechoslovak soldiers were brought up on their tradition. Slovak units on Eastern front were also successful in the early phases, while they were willing to fight against Ukrainians and Russians. Later, AFAIK Czech and Slovak units within Red Army fought no worse than Red Army units did.
What I mean is that Czechs and Slovaks didnt fight against Austrians. They just got used to be ruled by other nations. I guess that for them the threat of Germans invasion wasnt very scary as they were used to live under German rules.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #10

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the czechs are a weak nation just like the jewish people...hail hitler
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