Neville Chamberlain in 1938 gets a vision of what 1945 is going to look like

Futurist

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May 2014
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#1
What if Neville Chamberlain in 1938 would have gotten a vision of what 1945 is going to look like?

I mean, I'm presuming that he is going to go to war over the Sudetenland in this scenario and support a Soviet invasion of either Poland or Romania (after all, they're going to end up Communist in 1945 anyway) in order to ensure that the Soviet Union would likewise be able to aid Czechoslovakia.

However, how would things go from there?
 

Chlodio

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Aug 2016
3,379
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#2
I thought by 1938 Chamberlain was growing impatient with Hitler's land grabs and other provocations so that Chamberlain was reconciling to eventual war. Britain was not ready for war in 1938 so Chamberlain adopted a policy of appeasement to buy time while Britain rearmed. So I don't see much chance of Britain going to war over Sudetenland, at least not in 1938.

No one rises to national leadership by thinking the future is ineveitable. Politicians think of themselves as making whatever future they decide. Chamberlain would interpret this vision of the future as indicating the risk if things went wrong, but he would not see the vision as inevitable. Like every other politician he would try to have his cake and eat it, too. He would want Soviet help against Germany without spreading Communism.

You're right. The best way to fight Germany in 1938 is to have the USSR fight Germany as an ally of Czechoslavakia. Chamberlain would look for a way to make that happen without spreading Communism to Eastern Europe. If he could not find a way to do that, he would do what he actually did - try to contain Germany without Soviet help.

Eastern Europe went Communist because Germany had destroyed the previous governments. All over occupied Europe, the Allies reconstructed governments after they liberated the various countries. In the west, the US and Britain instituted democratic governments. In the east, the Soviets imposed Communist governments. Could the Soviets impose Communist governments where existing governments still functioned? It would be one reason for Chamberlain to believe he could keep Communism contained to only the USSR.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,830
SoCal
#3
I thought by 1938 Chamberlain was growing impatient with Hitler's land grabs and other provocations so that Chamberlain was reconciling to eventual war. Britain was not ready for war in 1938 so Chamberlain adopted a policy of appeasement to buy time while Britain rearmed. So I don't see much chance of Britain going to war over Sudetenland, at least not in 1938.

No one rises to national leadership by thinking the future is ineveitable. Politicians think of themselves as making whatever future they decide. Chamberlain would interpret this vision of the future as indicating the risk if things went wrong, but he would not see the vision as inevitable. Like every other politician he would try to have his cake and eat it, too. He would want Soviet help against Germany without spreading Communism.
The thing is, though, that this dream should make it obvious to Chamberlain that if Hitler invades Poland, he is going to murder the Polish Jews en masse. Indeed, the best way to ensure that Hitler won't invade Poland is to fight over Czechoslovakia in 1938.

You're right. The best way to fight Germany in 1938 is to have the USSR fight Germany as an ally of Czechoslavakia. Chamberlain would look for a way to make that happen without spreading Communism to Eastern Europe. If he could not find a way to do that, he would do what he actually did - try to contain Germany without Soviet help.

Eastern Europe went Communist because Germany had destroyed the previous governments. All over occupied Europe, the Allies reconstructed governments after they liberated the various countries. In the west, the US and Britain instituted democratic governments. In the east, the Soviets imposed Communist governments. Could the Soviets impose Communist governments where existing governments still functioned? It would be one reason for Chamberlain to believe he could keep Communism contained to only the USSR.
Please keep in mind that the Soviets--like the Nazis--were perfectly capable of overthrowing existing governments.

Also, the Soviet Union could only invade the part of Poland or Romania which connects the Soviet Union to Czechoslovakia while leaving the rest of Poland or Romania undisturbed.
 

Chlodio

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Aug 2016
3,379
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#4
What if Poland joined the anti-German alliance and let the Soviets cross their territory on the way to Germany or Czechoslavakia? I don't think it would be very hard to convince Poland that after Czechoslavakia they were next. It would seem a pretty obvious strategy for Poland to play Germany and the Soviets off against each other - ally with the Soviets against Germany and ally with Germany against the Soviets.

I don't see Chamberlain or any other British leader going to war to save Polish Jews.

It would be very difficult for Stalin to overthrow the existing governments of Poland, Czechoslavakia, or Romania and still keep the alliance with the British and French.

I think Poland joining the alliance and letting Soviet forces cross their territory is more likely than Soviets invading Poland just to get to Czechoslavakia. If the Soviets did invade Poland just to cross its territory, then Poland would ally with Germany against the Soviets like Belgium allied with France in 1914.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,830
SoCal
#5
What if Poland joined the anti-German alliance and let the Soviets cross their territory on the way to Germany or Czechoslavakia? I don't think it would be very hard to convince Poland that after Czechoslavakia they were next. It would seem a pretty obvious strategy for Poland to play Germany and the Soviets off against each other - ally with the Soviets against Germany and ally with Germany against the Soviets.
The risk for the Poles, though, is that if the Red Army occupies all of Poland, then they might not leave afterwards. True, Poland ended up getting occupied by the Red Army in 1945 anyway, but only Chamberlain is going to know this in this scenario--the Poles certainly wouldn't know this!

Also, I really don't think that it would be a good idea to risk having Nazi Germany--even temporarily--occupy parts of Poland. After all, that would cause some Polish Jews to get into its hands--something which one certainly doesn't want!

Indeed, I am suspecting that the best move would probably be to have Romania give the Soviet Union entry through its territory. However, this entry has to be conditional--indeed, only the small part of Romania between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union should actually be occupied.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,688
Georgia, USA
#6
What if Neville Chamberlain in 1938 would have gotten a vision of what 1945 is going to look like?

I mean, I'm presuming that he is going to go to war over the Sudetenland in this scenario and support a Soviet invasion of either Poland or Romania (after all, they're going to end up Communist in 1945 anyway) in order to ensure that the Soviet Union would likewise be able to aid Czechoslovakia.

However, how would things go from there?
If Chamberlain knew what was to happen, there's really not much more he could do about it.

Britain wasn't ready to fight in 1939...and it certainly wasn't ready in 1938.


Chamberlain could have made some better decisions though - like not invade Norway in 1940.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,830
SoCal
#7
If Chamberlain knew what was to happen, there's really not much more he could do about it.

Britain wasn't ready to fight in 1939...and it certainly wasn't ready in 1938.

Chamberlain could have made some better decisions though - like not invade Norway in 1940.
He could have agreed to a Soviet alliance on whatever terms the Soviets would have desired, no?
 
Mar 2015
1,286
Yorkshire
#9
What is the 1945 vision? Are you are talking of a bi-polar world divided by the USA and communist USSR, neither of which he liked, with a sidelined Europe and dismembered, impotent, bankrupt British Commonwealth and Empire.


In which case I think you might find that Chamberlain (Halifax certainly would have) swallowed his reservations about Hitler and done a deal from a position of strength and hence no WW2 or rather a WW2 without British involvement - glorious isolation rearming like mad, forget the French and wait for the Nazi Empire to fall apart.
 

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