What is missing from this reasoning are the enormous changes in the balance of military power and the general strategic situation that occurred between the autumn of 1938 and the very outbreak of war in September 1939. At the time of Munich, the Germans were extraordinarily weaker than a year later. Here is a modest lesson for scholars and others who despise military and strategic history, but who like to comment when the opportunity suits them. The first point of divergence in the series occurred on July 20, 1936, when the Spanish nationalist leader José Sanjurjo listened to the advice of his pilot and changed the conditions of his flight back to Spain, thus avoiding the crash that caused his death in our chronology. However, over the next two years, the Course of the Spanish Civil War remains virtually the same as Sanjurjo, which makes the same military and political decisions as those taken by Francisco Franco in real history; Only the name of the nationalist leader changes. But in 1939, Sanjurjo made a very different decision by deciding to support the conquest of Gibraltar by the axis. (In the real story, Franco carefully maintained cordial relations with the British. But this comes according to the main point of the divergence of the series.) The chronology differs from that of September 1938, much more clearly. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier met German leader Adolf Hitler in Munich, ready to coax Hitler and force Czechoslovakia to accept. But their supreme attitude and their obvious desire to avoid war at all costs are born of Hitler`s predatory instincts. While his generals want to buy time for further construction of the German armed forces, Hitler believes that the time for strike has come now, when his opponents are clearly unprepared.
With the large British and French concessions, Hitler had no excuse to wage war, but the news of the assassination of the German leader of the Sudeten kontes Konrad Henlein by a Czech nationalist suddenly gave him a casus belli (in the real story of Henlein lived until 1945). Hitler exulted that there was no more room for negotiation and that his army would immediately attack Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain and Daladier mistakenly believe that Hitler himself murdered Henlein and that he is forced, in spite of themselves, to declare war and fulfill their contractual obligations to Czechoslovakia. When Chamberlain left Munich, Hitler would have said, “If this stupid old man ever comes back here with his umbrella, I`ll shoot him.” However, the French and British Prime Ministers had triumphantly returned home to greet their peoples, who felt great relief at seeing a new European war averted. Chamberlain went straight to Buckingham Palace, where he appeared on the balcony with George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the hymns of praise downstairs, and then to Downing Street, where he told the admiring crowd: “I believe this is peace for our time.” This soon turned out to be one of the most famous errors of judgment in history. Overall, the series could be considered the main driver of the butterfly effect.