In 1938, Britain, France, and Italy signed an agreement with Hitler, giving away Czechoslovakia. Many saw this as a triumph (the promoters of peace had triumphed over the evil forces of war), but it was a defeat. It was a pathetic appeasement. The only person it benefited was Hitler, and this effort to "maintain the peace at any cost" ultimately destroyed millions of lives.
At the time, Churchill said: “If only Great Britain, France and Italy [today we would add the United States, of course,] had pledged themselves two or three years ago to work in association for maintaining peace and collective security, how different might have been our position... But the world and the parliaments and public opinion would have none of that in those days. When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have affected a cure.”