The German opponents of Hitler had set considerable store by his first real international clash. In order to make sure of overcoming Czech resistance, the German general staff only felt able to leave eight divisions on the western front. If the French had decided to renounce an essentially defensive strategy based on the Maginot line and gone over to the attack, the position of the Germans would have been precarious. General Gamelin described their western defences as being de la marmalade. Moreover many people, in the light of history, did not believe that Germany could withstand a war on two fronts if Britain were among her enemies. For these reasons the conspirators in Berlin had planned to arrest (and if necessary shoot) Hitler and his immediate associates as soon as he gave the order to attack Czechoslovakia. If on the other hand he had backed down on finding that the French and British really were going to fight, he would have suffered a major loss of face which might have undermined his whole position.
KeywordsDefensive Strategy Official Gazette Weimar Republic Western Front Junior Official
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Carl Zuckmayer, A Part of Myself (1970), p. 43.Google Scholar