B0ycey wrote:No. I am saying he wasn't the greatest man in the 20th Century. A century in which you had Churchill - not that I think he was the greatest either. Chamberlain made some very silly mistakes. He didn't even make it to the end of the war. There is a reason history isn't kind to Chamberlain. So if you make these claims, I want to you back them up with why you think he was the greatest man in the 20th century please.
Part of the problem is that for great events, people demand great causes and preferably great moral lessons as well. The great mistake of Britain and France was their failure to understand anti tank warfare. Its not rocket science and it doesn't even require the expenditure of huge resources. Your main defence against tanks should be anti tank artillery, not your own tanks. Guns are a lot cheaper than tanks, they can be more easily hidden and their supply needs are much lower. The armour on most German tanks in 1940 was very thin, their ranges were short as well. It wasn't even like you needed high calibre anti tank guns in 1940. The second component is defence in depth. If enemy armoured formations make a local break through there is no need to panic. A third component might be tenacity. If your troops that have been bypassed remain operational, armoured formations depend on a large supply trains of un-armoured vehicles that can be picked off even with small arms.
The point is that the strategic position of the allies in 1939 /40 was strong. Germany should have been contained, their defeat should have just been a matter of time. Germany just lacked the resources to sustain a war with the British Commonwealth and France. The catastrophic German breakthroughs in France and the Low Countries should never have happened. if it wasn't for this fatal flaw in army doctrine and application Hitler would almost certainly have been executed by one of his Generals and then Germany would have sued for peace. So its true that Chamberlain failed to grasp the correct methods of anti tank warfare of the period. The allies and the Soviets did all belatedly grasp how to conduct anti tank warfare, but I'm not aware that Churchill, Roosevelt or Stalin had anything to do with this. Chamberlain set up the political conditions for containment and eventual victory against Hitler without the costly frontal assaults of the first world war. It was Chamberlain's military experts who let him down.
Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden Finland and the United States stood by and did nothing in the face of Hitler's aggression in 1939. Stalin allied Hitler. Roosevelt wanted to be the arsenal of democracy (although even that was not in 1939) Stalin seemingly wanted to be the gas station of fascism. Those breakthroughs in the West / Norway were dependant on Soviet oil and other raw materials that Germany couldn't access from the world market. Chamberlain led Britain, the Commonwealth and France into war. He was only able to do that, He ws only able to lead our countries back into the meat grinder again a bare two decades after the guns fell silent on the Western front, precisely because he was an appeaser. Because people really trusted that Chamberlain wasn't a war monger. People really trusted that for Chamberlain war with Germany really was a last resort when all other reasonable options had been exhausted.
Yes others may have finished the war with Hitler, but it was Chamberlain that started it, without Chamberlain there might have been no war to finish.