The Soviets, the Munich Crisis, and the Coming of World War II

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The Munich crisis is everywhere acknowledged as the prelude to World War II. If Hitler had been stopped at Munich, then World War II as we know it could not have happened. The subject has been thoroughly studied in British, French, and German documents, and consequently we know that the weakness in the Western position at Munich consisted in the Anglo-French opinion that the Soviet commitment to its allies - France and Czechoslovakia - was utterly unreliable. What has never been seriously studied in the Western literature is the whole spectrum of East European documentation. This book targets precisely this dimension of the problem. The Romanians were at one time prepared to admit the transfer of the Red Army across their territory. The Red Army, mobilized on a massive scale, was informed that its destination was Czechoslovakia. The Polish consul in Moldavia reported the entrance of the Red Army into the country. In the meantime, Moscow focused especially on the Polish rail network. All of these findings are new, and they contribute to a considerable shift in the conventional wisdom on the subject.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...indispensable reading." American Historical Review

"This is a thoroughly researched, persuasively argued work that materially advances our knowledge of the origins of World War II. It contributes not only to the study of Soviet foreign policy but to the understanding of Romanian diplomacy as well. Furthermore, it develops these central themes in the context of German, British, French, Romanian, Czech, Polish, and Hungarian policy. This is the way international history should be written."
Teddy J. Uldricks, Slavic Review

"Hugh Ragsdale's work has the advantage of expanding research to include the Eastern European scenario, thanks in particular to documentation from Romania." Journal of Modern History Silvio Pons, Universita degli studi di Roma, Tor Vergata

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521099189
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/9/2009
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps
List of Abbreviations
Preface: A Test Case of Collective Security
Introduction: The Nature of the Problem 1
Pt. 1 Background of the Munich Crisis 27
1 The Shaky Foundations of Collective Security: Moscow, Paris, London 28
2 Soviet-Romanian Relations I: 1934-1938 53
3 Soviet-Romanian Relations II: Summer 1938 76
Pt. 2 Foreground: Climax of the Crisis 93
4 East Awaiting West: Berchtesgaden to Godesberg 94
5 The Red Army Mobilizes 111
6 Denouement 127
Pt. 3 Conclusion 139
7 What the Red Army Actually Did 140
8 What the Red Army Might Feasibly Have Done 149
9 Epilogue 168
10 Assessment of Soviet Intentions 182
App. 1 Pertinent Paragraphs of the League of Nations Covenant 193
App. 2 Franco-Soviet and Czechoslovak-Soviet Pacts: Excerpts 195
Selected Source Materials and Literature 197
Index 207
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