The Soviets, the Munich Crisis, and theComing of World War II
The Munich crisis is everywhere acknowledged as the prelude toWorld War II. If Hitler had been stopped at Munich, then WorldWar II as we know it could not have happened. The subject has beenthoroughly studied in British, French, and German documents, andconsequently we know that the weakness in the Western positionat Munich consisted in the Anglo–French opinion that the Sovietcommitment to its allies – France and Czechoslovakia – was utterlyunreliable. What has never been seriously studied in the Western lit-erature is the whole spectrum of East European documentation. Thisbook targets precisely this dimension of the problem. The Romani-ans were at one time prepared to admit the transfer of the Red Armyacross their territory. The Red Army, mobilized on a massive scale,was informed that its destination was Czechoslovakia. The Polishconsul in Moldavia reported the entrance of the Red Army into thecountry. In the meantime, Moscow focused especially on the Polishrail network. All of these ﬁndings are new, and they contribute to aconsiderable shift in the conventional wisdom on the subject.Hugh Ragsdale is a former Fulbright scholar and American Councilof Learned Societies fellow. He resides in Charlottesville, VA.