Magazine
Latest Issue

Myths of appeasement

Appeasement did not spring from military weakness. 1930s Britain was well armed

By David Edgerton   February 2006

Since 1945, every British military intervention abroad has been justified by the invocation of a particular history of the interwar years. The terms “appeasement,” “Munich,” and “Hitler” are deployed to convince doubters of the wisdom of campaigns against Nasser, Galtieri, Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair have been particularly keen on learning the lessons of their own versions of history.

When Blair presented his notorious Iraq WMD dossier to the House of Commons on 24th September 2002, he said that we knew, “from our history that diplomacy not backed by the threat of force has never worked…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect