University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1938. General

The German-Czechoslovak crisis,   pp. 483-739 PDF (95.9 MB)

Page 735

be shared by the German Government which I understand has already turned
the areas in question over to the German civil administrative authorities
and is treating them in most respects as integral portions of the German
 Since there appears to be no authoritative expression of opinion and probably
not even any agreement on this point between the parties concerned I can
only suggest that the Department draw its own conclusions on the basis of
the facts reported above.
* Memorandwim of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs
[WASrnNGT0N,] December 22, 1938.
 Major Percy Black, IT. S. A., Assistant Military Attache in Berlin, called.
He reported that he had every reason to believe that Germany would start
moving again in the early Spring. He knew as a fact that certain key reserve
officers and certain transport bodies had received orders to hold themselves
in readiness as of January 20. (Curiously enough this date coincided closely
with the time Ambassador Kennedy had told me the British regarded as the
end of the safe era.) He thought that the move would be eastward this time
though he was indefinite in his opinions as to just where it would strike.
He felt that Danzig would be absorbed without difficulty and likewise Memel.
He thought that ultimately the Polish Corridor would be solved—not
by granting Germany an autobahn across the Polish Corridor but by granting
Poland an autobahn to Gdynia across German recovered territory. He did not
believe that this eastward movement would result in general war: (a) partly
because France and England could not close in the gap between Germany and
themselves, and (b) partly because nobody would fight for Poland. On the
other hand, he thought the Poles themselves would fight, rather than follow
the surrender technique of the Czechs. During the crisis of last September
the Germans had denuded East Prussia of troops and had made no efforts to
cover their left flank in Silesia. This could only indicate close cooperation
between Polish and German General Staffs. I asked Major Black how long he
thought it would have taken the German Army to overcome Czech resistance.
He replied, "Not more than two weeks and probably less". The Czech
such as they were were excellent, but there were serious gaps in them which
the Germans knew about. More important, however, was the fact that the Czech
plan of defense was to protect the frontiers with approximately equal strength
everywhere rather than mass a preponderant

Go up to Top of Page