At Munich in 1938, Chamberlain had appeased Hitler by giving him the Sudetenland areas of Czechoslovakia, but in March 1939, Chamberlain promised to defend Poland if the Nazis invaded.
The main reason for this was because on 15 March 1939, Hitler had invaded Czechoslovakia – a non-German country. People realised that appeasement had failed. They realised that Hitler wanted to rule the world, and would only be stopped by war.
However, pressure had been building up for some time for Chamberlain to change his policy.
During the months after Munich, more and more people in Britain came to agree with Winston Churchill, who said that Britain should go to war with Hitler. Chamberlain could not have gone to war in September 1938 – people in Britain had wanted peace – but by March 1939, most people in Britain wanted war.
Also, Kristallnacht in November 1939 had made people realise that Hitler was evil. Fascists were growing in power and people realised that they had to be stopped.
Finally, in 1938, Britain was not strong enough to go to war. By January 1939, the navy had been strengthened, and production of planes had increased. Chamberlain could change his policy in March 1939 because Britain had the military capacity to go to war.
During 1938, Britain had followed a policy of appeasement – with misgivings. But when the Nazis engineered their ‘protectorate’ over Bohemia and Slovakia on 15 March 1939, Chamberlain promised to defend Poland in the event of a Nazi invasion.
- The main reason for this change in policy was what Chamberlain…