British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French leader Edouard Daladier sign the Munich Pact with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, thus giving the Sudetenland away to German conquest.
In the summer of 1938, Hitler began openly to support the demands of Germans living in the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia for closer ties with Germany. The Czechoslovakian government opposed this threat to its sovereignty, especially after Hitler demanded the immediate cession of the Sudetenland region to Germany.
By September 23, Czechoslovakia called for mobilization and war seemed imminent. Chamberlain and Daladier, unprepared for the outbreak of hostilities, traveled to Munich, where they gave into Hitler’s demands. Daladier abhorred the Munich Pact’s policy of appeasement towards the Nazis, but Chamberlain was elated, and declared before a jubilant crowd in London that the Pact brought peace in our time. On October 1, Germany annexed the Sudetenland, and within six months nearly all of Czechoslovakia was under German control.
In September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, and Chamberlain solemnly called for a declaration of war.