Britain was far from ready for war in 1939. For years the government’s
foreign policy had been conducted on the assumption that Hitler, with
his huge and well-equipped army, was poised to strike East and fight it
out with Bolshevik Russia.

Another assumption
made by the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, was that the German Chancellor
Adolf Hitler would tell the truth and honour his verbal agreements. This
turned out to be a fatal mistake.

The pact between Hitler
and Stalin in late August 1939 made it plain that these two leaders had
quite different plans. Poland would clearly be the next victim, after
which the German Army would turn on Belgium and France.

But plans to evacuate
as many children as possible from the cities had already been made, and
were now put into effect.

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