Graham Macklin

Chamberlain (Neville Chamberlain, 1869-1940, Prime Minister 1937-40). The majority in Britain hoped that a peaceful solution could be found for Germany’s claims on areas of other countries with German populations, and Chamberlain was a willing spokesman for this policy of appeasement. Within the agreement at Munich in 1938 he effectively abandoned Czechoslovakia, but immediately accelerated Britain’s rearmament programme and the following year declared that Britain would defend Poland. The commitment led, in September 1939, to the start of World War II. He brought into his War Cabinet the leading opponent of appeasement, Winston Churchill. The failure of the campaign in Norway in April 1940 led to his resignation.

GRAHAM MACKLIN is manager of the research service at the National Archives. His main academic interests were in British fascism; post-war fascism; and right-wing terrorism. He is the author of Failed Führers: A History of Britain’s Extreme Right .

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