(8) The Czechoslovak Government shall release from its military and police forces, within four weeks of the date of this Agreement, all Sudeten Germans who wish to be released, and the Czechoslovak Government shall release within the same period South German prisoners convicted of political offences. The British people expected war to be imminent, and Chamberlain`s “statesman gesture” was initially greeted with applause. Welcomed as a hero by the royal family, he was invited to the balcony of Buckingham Palace before submitting the deal to the British Parliament. The generally positive reaction quickly responded in the negative, despite the royal sponsorship. However, there was resistance from the beginning. Clement Attlee and the Labour Party rejected the deal in alliance with two Conservative MPs, Duff Cooper and Vyvyan Adams, who had previously been seen as a tough and reactionary element in the Conservative Party. I dare to believe that in the future the Czechoslovak State cannot be maintained as an independent entity. I think you will notice that during a period that can be measured in years, but can only be measured in months, Czechoslovakia will be involved in the Nazi regime. Maybe they join her in despair or revenge. In any case, this story is finished and told. But we cannot consider the task and ruin of Czechoslovakia only in the light of what happened only last month. This is the most painful consequence of what we have done and what we have left without a permit over the past five years – five years of vain good intentions, five years of diligent search for the line of least resistance, five years of uninterrupted withdrawal from British power, five years of negligence in our air defence.
Prior to the Munich Agreement, Hitler`s determination to invade Czechoslovakia on October 1, 1938 had caused a serious crisis in the German command structure. The Chief of Staff, General Ludwig Beck, protested in a long series of memos that she would start a world war that Germany would lose, prompting Hitler to postpone the planned war. Hitler called Beck`s arguments against war “childish calculations of force.” A secret army meeting was held on August 4, 1938. Beck read his detailed report to the assembled officers. They all agreed that something had to be done to avoid a certain catastrophe. Beck hoped they would all retire together, but no one but Beck resigned. His successor, General Franz Halder, sympathized with Beck and both scolded several great generals, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (head of the German secret service) and Count von Helldorf (head of the Berlin police) to arrest Hitler at the time he gave the invasion order. . .