On returning from Germany on 30 September 1938 after his agreement with Hitler on the carve-up of Czechoslovakia, Neville Chamberlain addressed the British crowds: 'My good friends... I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.' Winston Churchill commented: 'You have chosen dishonour and you will have war.'
P.E. Caquet's history of the events leading to the Munich Agreement and its aftermath is told for the first time from the point of view of the peoples of Czechoslovakia. Basing his account on countless previously unexamined sources, including Czechoslovakian press, memoirs, private journals, military plans, parliamentary records, film and radio, Caquet presents one of the most shameful episodes in modern European history in a tragic new shape. Among its his most explosive revelations is the strength of the French and Czechoslovak forces before Munich. Germany's dominance turns out to have been an illusion. The case for appeasement never existed.
The Czechoslovakian authorities were Cassandras in their own country, the only ones who could see Hitler's threat for what it was. In Caquet's devastating account, their doomed struggle against extinction and the complacency of their notional allies finally gets the memorial it deserves
P.E. Caquet is a senior member of Hughes Hall, Cambridge. His PhD was published as The Orient, the Liberal Movement, and the Eastern Crisis of 1839-41. Before studying as a historian at Cambridge, he lived for ten years in Prague. He is fluent in Czech, Slovak, French, and German.