In 1938, facing down Nazi pressure to secede the Sudetenland to the Third Reich, the President of Czechoslovakia Edvard Benes declared war on Germany.
Fire your cannon & all will be wellThe catalist was a a fateful telegram from anti-appeasement politican Winston Spencer Churchill advising "Fire your cannon, and all will be well".
Neither Churchill nor Benes were aware that the British and French Governments had been in secret negotiations with Herr Hitler to find a peaceful settlement to the crisis.
In a press release that same evening, Churchill explained that "the mere neutralisation of Czechoslovakia means the liberation of twenty-five German Divisions, which will threaten the Western front; in addition to which it will open up for the triumphant Nazis the road to the Black sea. It is not Czechoslovakia alone which is menaced, but also the freedom and the democracy of all nations, The belief that security could be obtained by throwing a small nation to the wolves is a fatal delusion. The war potential of Germany will increase in a short time more rapidly that it will be possible for France and Great Britain to complete the measure necessary for their defence".