What was the purpose of the Munich Pact?

To avert a general war in Europe.

The Munich Pact of 1938 reflected the policy of appeasement by the West towards Hitler. He had already re-occupied the Rhineland in clear breach of the Treaty of Versailles and absorbed Austria into a greater Germany through the Anschluss.

Hitler made demands on the Sudetenland in Western Czechoslovakia which was occupied by German speaking Sudetens.

At Munich a deal was brokered by Mussolini whereby in effect France and Britain signed over the Sudetenland to Hitler.

The assumption was that such actions towards territories which had strong links with Germany could be justified for this very reason. Moreover there was a strong desire to avoid another general war in Europe.

However Hitler felt cheated out of a war and shortly afterwards occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia. His intentions if not clear to the West beforehand were now.

In September 1939 he attacked Poland assuming the West would once more stand by. However two days later on September 3rd Britain and France declared war. Appeasement had failed and World War 2 had begun.

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