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Author Topic: Neville Chamberlain - Peace in our Time  (Read 1158 times)
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« on: November 03, 2015, 09:25:40 PM »


Had Chamberlain and the British not exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution before finally realizing the inevitability of a second World War, then he would have had far more fundamental questions to answer. He had to play the hand dealt in the time frame when people world wide were war weary. Economically Britain was unable to provide the resources necessary nor had it significant allies. Russia was happy to watch capitalist democracies tear at each other, and move in to mop up after the dust settled. Thankfully the US put a stop to this plan of the 'Arch Calculator' after World War Two with the military strategy of 'Containment' and the economic rescue package 'The Marshal Plan' A silver lining of sorts.

Back to Chamberlains predicament. He had to test the resolve of the British nation by testing how far peace could be pursued. In the thread it is explained that after the negotiations with Hitler and the infamous agreement 'we shall have peace FOR our time' Chamberlain said on his way back from the airport to Lord Haliflax "...hope for the best and prepare for the worst. He was under no illusion and wisely facilitated British opinion to formulate resolutely against Nazism and Hitler. So Britain, and her newly formed ally France, declared war on Germany. By then Germany had annexed Czechoslovakia and Poland and so this alarming speed of aggression may explain this alliance. As Chamberlain waited for public opinion to become more informed, his American counterpart had similar difficulties as public opinion there was of an isolationist hue. Roosevelt through his radio programme 'fireside chats' gently indoctrinated patriotism and realism on his people, bringing them to the realization that Nazism had to be stopped. Australia and Canada were also abstaining on this issue at that time.

One could argue that Hitler saw World War One as an asset, creating conflict of opinion and hesitation in many war weary countries whose sclerotic appeasement allowed Hitler to build up a formidable military strategy. Britains strategy was hamstrung with bureaucratic handle bar moustachioed admirals pressing for finances for battleships to rule the waves.

A book entitled "Why England Slept" by J. F.Kennedy as a 23 year old living in London at that time with his father ambassador Joe Kennedy, gives an interesting perspective on political philosophy and may well have shaped the Presidents views on crises and how they might be handled...

"We must always keep our armaments equal to our commitments. Munich should teach us that; we must realize that any bluff will be called. We cannot tell anyone to keep out of our hemisphere
unless our armaments and the people behind these armaments are prepared to back up the command, even to the ultimate point of going to war. There must be no doubt in anyone's mind, the decision must be automatic: if we debate, if we hesitate, if we question, it will be too late"

On Hemisphere and the world we live in today it is questionable if such resoluteness would be the wisest strategy or is it in fact our hesitation that is interpreted as weakness, leading to the disaster of the Middle East and Africa?

Epic - Poem by Patrick Kavanagh

I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
I heard the Duffys shouting "Damn your soul!"
And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen
Step the plot defying blue cast-steel -
"Here is the march along these iron stones."
That was the year of the Munich bother. Which
Was more important? I inclined
To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin
Till Homer's ghost came whispering to my mind.
He said: I made the Iliad from such
A local row. Gods make their own importance.

"see you out there"
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