Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Path to War

During the aftermath of the Munich Conference, I took a cautious course of rearmament. I said that, “It would be madness for the country to stop rearming until we were convinced that other countries would act in the same way. For the time being, therefore, we should relax no particle of effort until our deficiencies had been made good.” Despite the fact that Hitler was relatively quiet as his Reich absorbed the Sudetenland, I was still occupied with foreign policy concerns. I made frequent trips to Paris and Rome, trying to hasten French rearmament and persuading Mussolini to be a “positive influence on Hitler.” Several members of my Cabinet were starting to disagree with my idea of appeasement. I, however, still hoped for reconciliation with Germany. I sought to build an interlocking series of defense pacts among the remaining European countries as a means of deterring Hitler from war. On March 31st, I informed an approving House of Commons of British and French guarantees that we would lend Poland all possible aid in the event that any action threatened the independence of Poland. I was reluctant to seek military alliance with the Soviet Union, but I had little choice but to proceed. However, about a week later, Germany signed the Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union -__- I was, however, dismissive about the publicly announced pact and said that it didn’t affect our British obligation toward Poland. Nevertheless, Hitler instructed his generals to prepare for an invasion of Poland. My last peacetime Cabinet met late that night and determined that an ultimatum would be presented in Berlin the following morning.  However, the ultimatum expired, prior to the Cabinet convening. The very next morning, at 11:15 am, I addressed the nation by radio, stating that our nation was not at war with Germany:
“We have a clear conscience; we have done all that any country could do to establish peace. The situation in which no word given by Germany's ruler could be trusted, and no people or country could feel itself safe had become intolerable [...] Now may God bless you all. May He defend the right. It is the evil things we shall be fighting against—brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression, and persecution—and against them I am certain that the right will prevail.”

 Over the radio, telling my nation that we were now at war. It was a difficult thing to do.

1 comment:

  1. You are simply feeding a angry dog to calm it down for a short time. When you have no more meat, the dog will strike back. You must take a more active role to stop these violent and oppressive countries. Also, holding colonies is simply doing the same thing as those evil countries like Germany. Holding a beautiful country like India under control is simply lessening the power of democracy. Give us freedom and let democracy flourish!