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Sudetenland

German propaganda postcard showing the areas inhabited by Germans within Czechoslovakia.

The Sudetenland was the portion of Czechoslovakia inhabited by over 3 million Sudeten Germans. It was invaded by forces of the Third Reich in October 1938, after a period of tension throughout Europe, as the continent's main powers, including Britain and France, contemplated war over Nazi Germany's demands for the region. However, after the Munich Conference, Britain and France acceded to Germany's demands, and the Sudetenland was annexed.

After Czechoslovakia was liberated in the closing days of World War II, roughly 100,000 Germans were expelled from Sudetenland, and the area was resettled by Czechs. The name "Sudetenland" was banned.

Literary commentEdit

The Sudeten annexation occurred in all Harry Turtledove timelines with a Point of Divergence after 1938. It also occurred in Joe Steele, where the POD came earlier but did not affect this particular event.

Sudetenland in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Adolf Hitler's demands for the Sudetenland were very nearly acceded to by Britain and France in September 1938. However, the Munich Conference was interrupted by the news of the assassination of Konrad Henlein, political leader of the Sudeten Germans, on 29 September while he was in exile in Berlin. Hitler welcomed this news, as it gave him a legitimate excuse for war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Premier Edouard Daladier believed Hitler to be responsible for Henlein's death, and the Second World War. Ironically, Hitler had no involvement in the assassination plot.

Germany immediately invaded the whole of Czechoslovakia, taking the Sudetenland in short order, and ultimately subduing the whole country by the end of October. Germany carved Slovakia off as an independent country, and annexed the remainder.

After Hitler was overthrown by the Committee for the Salvation of the German Nation in April 1944, the new government of Germany negotiated an peace that ensured the Sudetenland remained part of Germany.

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