By Christopher Lascelles
A sincerely written, remarkably finished advisor to the best tale on the earth - man's trip from the earliest occasions to the trendy day.
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Extra resources for A Short History of the World
A vast and expensive programme got under way for synthetic oil and rubber, and a huge metallurgical complex was set up under the Four-Year Plan organization of Hermann Goering, the chief of the Luftwaffe, the air force. The totalitarian character of the country was intensified, and the political police—Gestapo, for 9 9780465013722_text_stone 10/22/12 9:28 AM Page 10 WORLD WAR TWO short—were fused in 1936 with the SS, the élite element in the Nazi Party, run by Heinrich Himmler. In that summer of 1936, circumstances were right for a forward move by Hitler.
The Czechs were not invited. Nor was Czechoslovakia’s other ally, the Soviet Union. British opinion was badly divided, but in the end Chamberlain gave Hitler the German-inhabited parts of Czechoslovakia, which in fact contained many Czechs and Jews. ‘Munich’ has since entered the world’s vocabulary as code for shameful and cowardly behaviour, but Chamberlain for a time was wildly popular, and even the French prime minister, Édouard Daladier, was amazed when he discovered how popular he had become for giving up his country’s ally.
There had been a modest recovery in the summer of 1939, for the 29 9780465013722_text_stone 10/22/12 9:28 AM Page 30 WORLD WAR TWO 150th anniversary of the Revolution, but its spirit no longer came through to the rat-trap faces of the politicians of the Republic’s last phase. Besides, what help would come from the British? As in 1914, there would be a skirling of pipes at the gangplank in Boulogne, and a few Scottish regiments would arrive with the regimental mascot, a terrier, and a colonel smoking a pipe.