The Twilight of French Eastern Alliances, 1926-1936
French-Czechoslovak-Polish Relations from Locarno to the Remilitarization of the Rhineland
Piotr Stefan Wandycz
Although France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia were in jeopardy from a recovery of German power after World War I and from a potential German hegemony in Europe, France failed in her efforts to maintain a system of alliances with her two imperiled neighbors. Focusing on the period from 1926 to 1936, Piotr Wandycz seeks to explain how and why these three nations, with so much at risk, neglected to act in concert. Wandycz is the author of a well-known study on the series of alliances constructed by France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia in the years following the Treaty of Versailles. In this current volume he picks up the story after the Locarno Pact (1925) and follows the progressive disintegration of the alliance system until the time of Hitler's remilitarization of the Rhineland.
Through an examination of the political, military, and economic relations among France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, the author provides valuable insights into an era that contained the seeds of the future war and the collapse of the historic European system. By relying on French, Polish, and more selectively Czechoslovak and Western archives, and thanks to his intimate knowledge of Central and East European published sources, he has filled a large gap in the history of prewar diplomacy. He shows how the divergent aims of Czechoslovakia and Poland combined with a decline of French willpower to prevent a real cohesion among the partners.
First published in 1988.