5th May 1938
Generaloberst Ludwig Beck has submitted a memo to Hitler stating his opposition to Fall Grun (Case Green), Hitler’s code name for a general invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Beck isn’t opposed to the invasion of Czechoslovakia, but has serious doubts as to Germany’s readiness to deal with the resultant backlash from other nations. Hitler has almost 100 divisions available to deal with Czechoslovakia, Beck is more concerned with how other nations will react. It is likely that Russia will side with the Slavik nations, in the same manner as in 1914, on Germany’s eastern frontier. France has publicly announced it’s intention to protect Czechoslovakia and it’s entente with Great Britain would almost certainly bring Europe’s largest army (France) and largest navy (Britain) together on Germany’s western borders and sea lanes.
Beck is advocating waiting until German forces are stronger both technologically and in terms of manpower before attacking Czechoslovakia, which he agrees must be destroyed to provide Germany with the lebensraum advocated in the Hossbach Meeting of November 1937. Hitler isn’t used to being questioned, but seems to be taking Beck’s advice as it is intended, as an opposing view, aimed at Germany’s best interests. His strong support of Hitler’s remilitarisation has clearly gained him favour with the Fuhrer, even after he refused the order to draw up Fall Otto (Case Otto – the invasion of Austria) last May. Hitler has continued to listen to his advice, even if he doesn’t heed it. His reasoning for disobeying that order was that he didn’t want to provoke a world war before Germany was ready for one.
In other news, the Vatican has recognised Franco’s government in Spain. This development is a blow for the Republican forces in the largely Catholic nation. Formal recognition is increasing with a number of states recognising the Fascist government of Franco. The fact that the head of the major religion of the nation has recognised Franco is a significant development and a morale booster for the Nationalists.