wm wrote: ↑
08 Feb 2023 22:23
Assuming 50 percent of the Sudeten Germans were pro-German (after all, blood is thicker than water) and the usual 15 percent was ready to sacrifice everything for the cause, there should have been 200,000 people ready to fight for their freedom.
Haha, you are counting 15% of entire German population, so there were 15% of infants and elder ready to "fight", correct?
The real numbers (taken from book by historian P. Šrámek) were that Czechoslovak army expected to gain 1 253 000 soldiers through mobilization and there were some 126 000 men who avoided entering the army after 23.9 (of which roughly 100 000 were germans), total expected number of German speaking soldiers in the Czechoslovak army were 315 000.
Lots of these Germans who reported to the army at the mobilization were members of the social democrats and other parties not sympathetic with Hitler, so there definitely were German soldiers who would fight plus majority of the German soldiers were dislocated in Slovakia and in non first line of combat roles, thus their ability to participate actively as the "fifth colon" was quite limited. I am not saying this was not a problem, but you are greatly exaggerate the importance of this factor.
The estimated size of Suddetendeutsche Freikorps were 40 000 people (so those were ready to "sacrifice everything for the cause", and most of them fleeced to Germany after 23.9 so the Gruene Freikorps (the real force operating underground from the Czechoslovak territory behind the army) was much smaller. Sure there would be some disruptions, but nothing that would have any important role.
wm wrote: ↑
08 Feb 2023 22:23
The reason was that Hitler attacked the French-British-Polish alliance. There was no such alliance in 1938.
The alliance existed because, in 1939, the British and the French people grimly supported war with Germany; they didn't in 1938.
There was a French-Czechoslovak alliance in 1938.
So the French were to send millions of their young men to death (after the bloodbath of ww1) because the Czechs were cute? Please explain.
Yes, it was possible that 1938 ww2 had some advantages over 1939 ww2, but still, it would be (and would be seen as) a pointless bloodbath (of an uncertain end) not that much different from ww1 - fought because some prince got killed.
There was still not much of the support, they declared war on Germany, but did very little and Poland got defeated. France got defeated a year later and lost its status of superpower. I think it is safe to state that their approach turned out to be a mistake.
There was a huge difference between situation of 1938 and 1939, as Germany was in much better shape and had France and UK actively attacked in 1939, Germany would still most likely defeat Poland before being overrun from the west. While Germany in 1938 would have a difficult time against Czechoslovakia (just compare the sizes of the armies on both sides of the potential conflict in 1938 and 1939) and had France intervened there would be no blood bath - Germany would simply collapse, they had no troops left to defend, and their western line was much weaker in 1938 (wehrmacht gained more than 1 000 000 soldiers in that span, almost 40% of its size and got much better training and equipment). Also Hitler's position in regards of Wehrmacht was totally different in 1938, pulling off the Munich treaty did wonders for strengthening his position among the generals. France (and UK) made a mistake in 1938, and my point is that this was the last point where Hitler could be stopped without another world war.
This can be tracked even further back, had France intervened during re-occupation of Rhineland in 1936, Hitler regime might collapse right there, even without single shot being fired. Or even as early as 1935 when he announced the rearmament which was blatant violation of the Versailles treaty. Or perhaps all the way to 1925 (Locarno) and 1919 (Versailles), this was a biggest mistake, France and UK set the terms for the Germany and were not willing to enforce them.