12 March 1938
This morning the 8th Army of the Wehrmacht marched into Austria in Operation Otto, which has unofficially been named Blumenkreig – the war of flowers. Despite a lack of co-ordination between units, the operation was a complete success, largely due to the lack of opposition. Rather than resist the Third Reich’s ‘invasion’ the locals poured into the streets with cheers, presenting flowers to the troops as they passed.
Exactly one month after his Berchtesgarten ultimatum and the day after Schuschnigg’s forced resignation, Hitler himself has crossed the border at his birthplace, Braunau, before moving on to Linz where he was greeted by jubilant crowds of adoring locals.
The only hint of trouble has been the rounding up of left wing politicians, jews and other ‘undesirables’ which continues now. Tens of thousands of people are said to have been arrested, who knows what number will be rounded up over the coming days.
Despite the Treaty of Versailles, Austria now appears to be part of Germany Lock, Stock and Barrel! Britain and France have hardly wimpered a vague objection and certainly there is no military response to Germany’s actions.