Europe 1939: End of Czechoslovakia
The 1938 Munich Agreement did not end German expansionism. In March 1939, Hitler encouraged the breakup of what was left of Czechoslovakia and proceeded to occupy the Czech rump state. Britain and France now saw that war was inevitable.
14–17 Mar 1939 Hungarian invasion of Carpatho-Ukraine▲
On 14 March 1939 Hungary demanded that the collapsing Czecho-Slovak government withdraw all its forces from the region of Carpatho-Ukraine. The Czecho-Slovaks responded by attacking Hungarian forces on the border, but were quickly overwhelmed. On the 16th the Hungarians entered Khust, declaring the annexation of Carpatho-Ukraine to Hungary. The remaining resistance, including the irregular Carpathian Sich, was crushed by the next day.
14 Mar 1939 Slovak State▲
On 13 March 1939, Jozef Tiso—the former Prime Minister of the Autonomous Slovak Region—met with German leader Adolf Hitler in Berlin. Hitler urged Tiso to declare Slovakia’s independence, implying that otherwise Germany would let the country be divided between Poland and Hungary. Returning home with this news the following day, Tiso persuaded the Slovak parliament to declare independence from Czechoslovakia as the Slovak State.
15 Mar 1939 Occupation of Czech state▲
Claiming the country was country was breaking apart on ethnic lines following the Slovakian declaration of independence, Germany occupied the Czech rump state. The pro-German Czechoslovakian President, Emil Hácha, accepted Germany’s demands, declaring that the fate of the Czech people was now in German hands. Germany responded the following day by establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, with Hácha appointed as president.
15 Mar 1939 Carpatho-Ukraine▲
Following the collapse of Czechoslovakia, the autonomous region of Carpatho-Ukraine—formerly Subcarpathian Rus—declared its independence, with Avgustyn Voloshyn as president and Ukrainian as the state language. The state existed for about a day before falling to Hungarian troops.