Nick Baumann over at Slate, a hard core leftist, has an unbelievably stupid post up titled “Neville Chamberlain was right“, where he makes the insane assertion that Chamberlain, the man that let Hitler rape Czechoslovakia and emboldened him to actually think that he could do whatever he wanted, because the diplomatic types, in an effort to avoid conflict, would turn a blind eye to his efforts. No, I am not making that up. This idiot actually wrote an article where he makes the case that Chamberlain did the right thing by kowtowing to a bully. Baumann writes:
Seventy-five years ago, on Sept. 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, handing portions of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler’s Germany. Chamberlain returned to Britain to popular acclaim, declaring that he had secured “peace for our time.” Today the prime minister is generally portrayed as a foolish man who was wrong to try to “appease” Hitler—a cautionary tale for any leader silly enough to prefer negotiation to confrontation.
But among historians, that view changed in the late 1950s, when the British government began making Chamberlain-era records available to researchers. “The result of this was the discovery of all sorts of factors that narrowed the options of the British government in general and narrowed the options of Neville Chamberlain in particular,” explains David Dutton, a British historian who wrote a recent biography of the prime minister. “The evidence was so overwhelming,” he says, that many historians came to believe that Chamberlain “couldn’t do anything other than what he did” at Munich. Over time, Dutton says, “the weight of the historiography began to shift to a much more sympathetic appreciation” of Chamberlain.
First, a look at the military situation. Most historians agree that the British army was not ready for war with Germany in September 1938. If war had broken out over the Czechoslovak crisis, Britain would only have been able to send two divisions to the continent—and ill-equipped divisions, at that. Between 1919 and March 1932, Britain had based its military planning on a “10-year rule,” which assumed Britain would face no major war in the next decade. Rearmament only began in 1934—and only on a limited basis. The British army, as it existed in September 1938, was simply not intended for continental warfare. Nor was the rearmament of the Navy or the Royal Air Force complete. British naval rearmament had recommenced in 1936 as part of a five-year program. And although Hitler’s Luftwaffe had repeatedly doubled in size in the late 1930s, it wasn’t until April 1938 that the British government decided that its air force could purchase as many aircraft as could be produced.
All of this factored into what Chamberlain was hearing from his top military advisers. In March 1938 the British military chiefs of staff produced a report that concluded that Britain could not possibly stop Germany from taking Czechoslovakia. In general, British generals believed the military and the nation were not ready for war. On Sept. 20, 1938, then-Col.Hastings Ismay, secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defense, sent a note to Thomas Inskip, the minister for the coordination of defense, and Sir Horace Wilson, a civil servant. Time was on Britain’s side, Ismay argued, writing that delaying the outbreak of war would give the Royal Air Force time to acquire airplanes that could counter the Luftwaffe, which he considered the only chance for defeating Hitler. British strategists, including Ismay, believed their country could win a long war (so long as they had time to prepare for it). This was a common belief, and doubtless factored into Chamberlain’s calculations.
Seriously? What a douche you are Baumann. Whether England was ready for war or not, bowing to Hitler’s pressure to allow him to annex his neighbor’s property served only to encourage Hitler to pursue that war Baumann claims England was not ready to fight. Here is a revelation for you Baumann:. Germany was not ready for war in 1938 either.
Hitler bluffed, nobody called that bluff, and he then did the next logical thing in his mind: he got bolder. When he won that easily he took away the lesson that the other European powers, so afraid of war, would do anything to avoid conflict. Queue a series of events that all but guaranteed a war that Europe was never going to be prepared for. Chamberlains weakness all but assured Hitler would push things to the point where war became inevitable. No serious historian would make the case otherwise. No country is ever ready for war when it comes knocking at the door, but the ones that refuse to fight when it is obvious that the fight is coming unless the enemy understands the costs, are the ones that guarantee conflict.
So I ask myself WTF is this idiot trying to make a point about? We finally get it towards the end of this ridiculous article.
Historians often find themselves moving against popular opinion. In the case of Chamberlain, though, the gap between public perception and the historical record serves a political purpose. The story we’re told about Munich is one about the futility and foolishness of searching for peace. In American political debates, the words “appeasement” and “Munich” are used to bludgeon those who argue against war
Revisionist douchebags, especially the pacifist kind, that think they are suddenly being clever and see something nobody else was able to for over 7 decades, suck. Peace at all costs brought Chamberlain’s England, and for that matter the world, a horrible and costly war. Had England told Hitler there would be consequences and war would come if he violated a sovereign nation, Hitler would have thought twice about his “Anshluss” policy. Hitler was the equivalent of your average high school bully. Attempts to negotiate peace with a bully always fail. Anyone incapable of understanding this principle should never be allowed near the leavers of power.