Invasion of Czechoslovakia

Invasion of Czechoslovakia


When Hitler informed the Czech president of the imminent invasion of his country, he suffered a heart attack and had to be kept awake to sign his surrender.


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The German occupation of Czechoslovakia (1938–1945) began with the German annexation of Sudetenland as outlined by the Munich Agreement. Adolf Hitler justified the invasion by the purported suffering of the ethnic Germans living in these regions. The Sudetenland annexation by Nazi Germany was detrimental to the future defense of crippled Czechslovakia as the extensive Czechoslovak border fortifications were also located in the same area.

Following the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany in March 1938, the conquest and breakup of Czechoslovakia became Hitler's next ambition. The incorporation of the Sudetenland into Germany that began on 1 October 1938 left the rest of Czechoslovakia weak, and it became powerless to resist subsequent occupation. Moreover, a small northeastern part of the borderland region known as Zaolzie was occupied and annexed to Poland ostensibly to "protect" the local ethnic Polish community and as a result of previous territorial claims (Czech-Polish disputes in the years of 1918–20).

On 15 March 1939, one day after the proclamation of the Slovak State the German Wehrmacht moved into the remainder of Czechoslovakia and from the Prague Castle, Hitler proclaimed the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia after the negotiations with Emil Hácha, who remained as technical head of state with the title of State President. However, he was rendered all but powerless; real power was vested in the Reichsprotektor, who served as Hitler's personal representative. The occupation ended with the surrender of Germany following World War II.


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