The German annexation of Czechoslovakia took place on March 15, 1939, six months before World War II. The invasion was carried out by six infantry divisions and two armored division of the Wehrmacht through Operation Southeast. However, there was no military confrontation as its President, Emil Hacha, was forced to sign an invasion agreement in Berlin and to step down as President. On March 16, Adolf Hitler established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in the western half of the country. Meanwhile, Slovakia, which made up 35% of Czechoslovakia’s territory, had already seceded (broken away) from the country on March 14, politically aligning with Nazi Germany. The remainder 10% in the eastern corner, Carpathian Ruthenia, was occupied by Hungary on March 17.

Before the invasion of Czechoslovakia was concretized, Germany had first annexed the Sudetenland, a narrow strip of land on the western end, which the Treaty of Versailles had allocated to Czechoslovakia when this country was created right after World War I. It was a small region on the German border inhabited by German speaking people. The incorporation of Sudetenland to Germany was possible after the Munich Agreement was signed by Germany, Great Britain, France, and Italy, on September 30, 1938.

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