The historical facts are in no way consistent with the accusations hurled by American hawks at former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
The picture of Chamberlain stepping off the airplane with his umbrella and waving the treaty he signed with Reichskanzler Hitler is one of our iconic images.
The American public seems to believe that Chamberlain lost the confidence of the British House Commons after this act.
Chamberlain challenged the Nazis on the very first front accessible to British forces: the Norwegian city of Narvik.
The humiliating repulse of the BEF and the loss of several capital ships at Narvik was the crisis that precipitated the vote of confidence and subsequent resignation of Chamberlain.
Had the German Eighth Army not been destroyed at Stalingrad and the entire eastern front placed in jeopardy by the Soviets' Red Army, it is unlikely the conflict ever would have turned favorably for the British.
The simple fact of the matter was that the UK and France between them did not have the forces to interfere with, let alone block, German rearmament or expansion.
The appeasement myth probably has its beginnings in John F. Kennedy's seminal book, Why England Slept.
Since Joseph Kennedy, the patriarch of the Kennedy clan, was prominent supporter and admirer of Hitler and the Third Reich in pre World War II politics, it was important to the Kennedy political ambitions for the clan to distance themselves from their father's previous position.
Young Jack's book provided the intellectual ammo that, combined with Joe Jr's stellar war record, would have established the Kennedy bona fides for the 1956 Presidential election. The election Joe Jr. was supposed to have won.
The appeasement argument was picked up later by the Dulleses as a GOP Cold War argument against the Democratic strategy of containment. Hence, the appeasement theory had bipartisan support, was accepted true and wasused to justify America's glorious military campaigns against the Peoples' Democratic Republics of Korea and Vietnam.
On an intellectual and moral basis the hard-liners are on no better ground than they are on historical factuality.
In order for the appeasers to be wrong, there must be an alternative argument that is right.
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