10 OCTOBER 1998, Page 32

When Heath was right

Sir: Edward Heath is correct; Frank John- son is wrong (Shared opinion, 3 October). Munich was a disaster. Britain and France were far stronger vis-à-vis Hitler in 1938 than in 1939.

In 1938 Russia was on our side, the Czech army and fortifications were strong and there is much evidence that a German generals' plot would have overthrown Hitler if he had gone to war. Germany, with the help of the Czech Skoda factory, manu- factured far more arms than Britain or France in the 12 months following Munich.

The Siegfried Line, in the words of the German general commanding there, was in 1938 'nothing more than a building site' and, while the German divisions were engaged in the east, Gamelin, if he had had the guts, could have advanced into Ger- many and taken the Ruhr.

Richard Lamb

Knighton Manor, Broadchalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire