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Neville Chamberlain
Chamberlain
Historical Figure
Nationality: United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 1869
Date of Death: 1940
Cause of Death: Cancer
Religion: Unitarian
Occupation: Politician
Spouse: Anne Chamberlain
Children: Dorothy, Francis (daughters)
Political Party: Conservative Party
Political Office(s): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Turtledove Appearances:
Worldwar
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): Upsetting the Balance
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Hitler's War
through
The Big Switch
Type of Appearance: Direct
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Arthur Neville Chamberlain (18 March 1869 – 9 November 1940) was a British Conservative politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1937 to 1940.

Chamberlain's legacy is marked by his appeasement policy regarding his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding part of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler. In the same year he also gave up the Irish Free State Royal Navy ports.

Chamberlain was forced to resign the premiership on 10 May 1940, after Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and France. He was succeeded by Winston Churchill but remained very well regarded in Parliament. Before ill health forced him to resign, he was an important member of Churchill's war cabinet. He had a key role in the formation of the Special Operations Executive. Chamberlain died of cancer six months after leaving office.

Neville Chamberlain in WorldwarEdit

While Neville Chamberlain had been dead for almost two years when the Race's Conquest Fleet arrived, certain parties among his country's allies, Vyacheslav Molotov especially, never forgave his decision to appease Adolf Hitler.[1] This was somewhat ironic as the alien invasion had forced all human powers to ally.

Neville Chamberlain in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Neville Chamberlain was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the first two years of the Second World War. While he initially sought to prevent war at all costs by appeasing German leader Adolf Hitler, he was forced into a war that his country was ill-prepared for in 1938, and ultimately negotiated a bargain with the devil by making peace with Germany and then allying with her against the Soviet Union in the summer of 1940. Failing health prompted Chamberlain to resign as PM a few months later, and he did not live to see the final outcome of that "big switch" or the war.

On 30 September 1938, Chamberlain and his French counterpart, Edouard Daladier, had all but signed over the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Hitler at the Munich Conference when word came that Konrad Henlein, the leader of the Sudeten Germans, had been murdered by a Czech assassin named Jaroslav Stribny. Hitler seized upon the murder as an excuse for war with Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain initially tried to convince Hitler that the Czechs would agree to more concessions, but Hitler remained steadfast. Soon, Chamberlain concluded that Hitler and the Nazis had to have been behind Henlein's death; the cause for war was too much of a coincidence for Chamberlain to swallow, and with Daladier's support, Chamberlain warned Hitler that any attack upon Czechoslovakia would lead to war with Britain and France. Hitler welcomed this wider war. Germany attacked Czechoslovakia, and Britain, France and the Soviet Union all declared war on Germany.[2]

The first few months of the war were not terribly successful for the Allies. While French troops did invade Germany while Germany was busy invading Czechoslovakia, they did not press their offensive. The BEF in turn didn't leave the borders of France. The Soviet Union did not share a land border with Czechoslovakia, and while some Soviet troops made their way inside the country, the USSR and Germany met in an aerial war over Czechoslovakia. When Czechoslovakia fell in November 1938, both Allies suddenly found themselves at a disadvantage as they faced Germany. Soon, Germany had occupied the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium, and British troops were fighting Germany on French soil.

Chamberlain survived two confidence votes in Parliament by the beginning of 1939.[3] He was a spared a third one when a joint Anglo-French offensive halted the German drive on Paris in April of that year. The Germans began a gradual retreat, although they still remained on French soil into the Summer of 1939.[4]

Despite this, Chamberlain still faced opposition in Parliament. Even fellow Conservative Winston Churchill remained critical of Chamberlain's handling of the war.[5] This criticism did not prevent Chamberlain from appointing Churchill to the new office of Minister of War in the Winter of 1939.[6]

In the Spring of 1940, Germany's Deputy Führer, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland, where he was found by Sgt. Alistair Walsh. Walsh took Hess to the appropriate authorities. Germany called for a truce with Britain and France, and Hess began negotiations with the Chamberlain government for a new alliance among Britain, France, and Germany against the Soviet Union.[7] Churchill strongly and publicly opposed this course of action[8] until he was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street in London.[9] Chamberlain saw to it that Churchill received a hero's funeral, which simply confirmed for many that he'd been murdered.[10] At the funeral, Chamberlain took the opportunity to bolster the "big switch" by reminding the British people that Churchill had opposed Bolshevism.[11]

In the Autumn of 1940, Chamberlain, suffering from ill health, resigned as PM, and hand picked his successor, Sir Horace Wilson.[12] Chamberlain subsequently died of bowel cancer.[13]

Neville Chamberlain in Joe SteeleEdit

In September 1938, despite pledges of support from U.S. President Joe Steele and Soviet leader Leon Trotsky, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his French counterpart Edouard Daladier agreed to transfer the Sudetenland to Germany after repeated demands by Adolf Hitler.[14]

Almost a year later, Hitler was making territorial demands on Poland. Britain and France attempted to cement an alliance with Trotsky in August 1939, but he instead entered into a non-aggression pact with Hitler. Germany declared war on Poland on 1 September 1939, and Britain and France declared war on Germany. The Soviet Union attacked Poland two weeks later. [15] The Allied war effort was tentative at best, and by May 1940, Germany had occupied Norway and Denmark, and had begun the invasion of the Low Countries. In the face of these losses, Chamberlain had lost confidence in the House of Commons, and resigned. He was succeeded by Winston Churchill.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Upsetting the Balance, pg. 349.
  2. Hitler's War, pgs. 8-16.
  3. Ibid., pg. 213.
  4. Ibid., Chapter 26, generally.
  5. West and East, pg. 223.
  6. Ibid., pg. 378.
  7. The Big Switch, pg. 150-51.
  8. Ibid., pg. 197.
  9. Ibid., pg. 214.
  10. Ibid., pg. 234.
  11. Ibid., at pg. 238.
  12. Ibid., pg. 339
  13. Coup d'Etat, pg. 22, HC.
  14. Joe Steele, pgs. 202-203.
  15. Ibid., pgs. 214-215.
  16. Ibid., pgs. 222-223.
Political offices
(OTL)
Preceded by
Stanley Baldwin
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
May, 1937-May, 1940
Succeeded by
Winston Churchill
Political offices
(Joe Steele)
Preceded by
Stanley Baldwin
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
May, 1937-May, 1940
Succeeded by
Winston Churchill
Political offices
(The War That Came Early)
Preceded by
Stanley Baldwin
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
May, 1937-Fall, 1940
Succeeded by
Horace Wilson

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