1930: Kaiser Wilhelm II may today occupy "the most splendid situation in Europe." But "let him not forget that he might well have found himself eating the bitter bread of exile, a dethroned sovereign and a broken man loaded with unutterable reproach...if Lee had not won the Battle of Gettysburg."
Regardless of whether you like the movie—and Jeremy Irons gives it an authentic, watchable flavor—we know much more about Munich in the light of scholarship since. We know that Soviet Russia was prepared to stand with Czechoslovakia in 1938, and had become a German ally in 1939. We know how—with the help of Czech armaments—Poland was eradicated in three weeks, the Low Countries in eighteen days, France in six weeks. If resisting Hitler was so ludicrous an idea in 1938, what was there about fighting him in 1939-40 that made it preferable? Given what we know, we are obliged to consider Churchill’s opinion—which was, characteristically, far from baseless.
Clementine Churchill dramatic word-picture of Russia’s devastation remind us of Winston’s words to her about war: “I feel more deeply every year—and can measure the feeling here in the midst of arms—what vile and wicked folly and barbarism it all is.”