In 1938 Adolf Hitler felt strong enough to risk his most serious gamble. In a kind of external coup he annexed Austria. With Austria open to the German military, the well prepared defensive positions of Czechoslovakia became obsolete - the southern border was now open to invasion. With this in mind, Hitler now tried to get the "Sudetenland", an area in Czechoslovakia that was inhabited by some three million Germans. When the situation started to shift in the direction of war, Neville Chamberlain offered a direct visit to Hitler. This would result in a conference between Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier and Chamberlain in Munich. On September 29th and 30th, 1938, a Four Power Conference took place in Munich at which Hitler agreed to accept the modified Anglo-French plan. The Munich Agreement affirmed the gradual annexation of predominantly German areas of Czechoslovakia into the Reich agreed to through the Anglo-French Proposals. Democratic Czechoslovakia was carved up but the peace was saved. This crisis caused a great chasm in British opinion sharply dividing those who supported appeasement as the preserver of peace against those who regarded it as a humiliating surrender. Despite the almost universal condemnation of Chamberlain's policy which would come later, the majority of the opinions expressed in the printed media at the time advocated appeasement. They wanted the preservation of peace at any cost-- a war would have meant the destruction of civilization and the world as they knew it. They felt that risking a war to protect Czechoslovakia was not worth it. .
In mid September, British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler at Berchtesgaden where Hitler stated his demand for the annexation of the Sudetenland. Chamberlain was willing to accept the proposal and argued that the only alternative was war, and there was no point in fighting over an issue that could be settled diplomatically.