Neville Chamberlain, the name brings up to different meaning for which ever stance or belief some one has.
For War hawks, he is the prim example how diplomacy does not work and how not taking a strong stance will lead to betray and destruction.
For those who think that diplomacy is the first and best answer to any conflict and dispute between countries. He is the one sour point that acts as a weight around their neck. His capitulations to Hitler and the Nazis. In the name of trying to avoid a War between Great Britain and Germany has earned him thought not that different from those when someone hears the name of Judas or Benedict Arnold.
By the time that Austria and the Sudentenland had been occupied by the Germans and it became quite apparent that War was unavoidable. Chamberlain was seen as a coward and a set back, the thought that diplomacy was a failed Ideological concept.
I watched a show that brought another unknown aspect to his actions and resulted in the failure to end the threat from Hitler.
One of the first of what would be many plots to either kill or take from power Hitler lynch pinned of the actions of Chamberlain. A group of military and civilian individuals and the largest and best planned
of all the operations. Was waiting for the British and the French to join in a stand and make a statement that they would oppose Hitler.
Once that would happen then the plotters would act and take Hitler into custody and he would have been executed for the good of the country and the German people. They could see the treat that Hitler posed and wanted to take action.
With the threat of once again a great European, they felt that they could act and that the people and military would be supportive. But it did not come to be with Chamberlain agreeing that Great Britain would not take action against the occupation of Austria.
Then the timing seem to be coming with the invasion of the Sudentenland, once again the plotters awaited the declaration by French and Great Britain to stand against the aggression.
They even sent word to Great Britain of their plot and what they were waiting on.
But once again when Chamberlain came back waving the piece of paper with the agreement.
The plotters could not carry out their plans for fear that the people would not support their take over.
To make matter worse, there was the suggestion that in order to show Hitler that he was someone to make a deal with.
That Chamberlain may have actually informed Hitler of the plot against him!
Neville Chamberlain had 100 percent confidence in his diplomatic skill and thought he could negotiate a lasting peace between Great Britain and the Nazis. That to coin a phrase, he could look into the soul of Hitler and see he was a honorable man.
It was told by someone who was in the room after Hitler signed the agreement with Chamberlain and had left. One of Hitler’s Generals expressed concerns about the agreement and that Hitler laughed and said he never had any intention to uphold this agreement. It was to simply give more time to prepare for the future farther grabbing of the rest of the country and then onto Poland!
Hindsight is always 120 by 120, you can always see where the mistakes were made.
What you should have done or not have done and where and when.
History is capable of teaching many lessons, some are true and a forewarning of what should be done or not done. Some people I have found take lessons from history that is not what might have been intended to be learned.
I think of Iran, North Korea and the Taliban, is there signs and indications of which lessons should be referred to? In some respects the Iranians are not all that different from the average German back then.
On a personal level they do not have anything truly against the United States and its people.
Yet they are subject to the same influences as were the average German from the Nazis.
What are the answers that should be came to from a view of history?
How much trust should be given to these countries that they are going to act in their own best interests?
Perhaps one lesson taught from history is to remember the words of Teddy Roosevelt:
“Walk softly but carry a big stick!”.