Did the USSR pledge support to Czechoslovakia before the Munich Agreement (1938 Sep 29 - 30)? If so, what kind of support did it pledge?
The reason I ask is because I recently came across this article. Down a ways, there is a paragraph in which I hilighted the Soviet part:
The Czechoslovak capitulation precipitated an outburst of national indignation. In demonstrations and rallies, Czechs and Slovaks called for a strong military government to defend the integrity of the state. A new cabinet—under General Jan Syrový—was installed, and on 23 September 1938 a decree of general mobilization was issued. The Czechoslovak army—modern and possessing an excellent system of frontier fortifications—was prepared to fight. The Soviet Union announced its willingness to come to Czechoslovakia's assistance. Beneš, however, refused to go to war without the support of the Western powers.
There's no citation anywhere in that paragraph. Is it true? Did the USSR really pledge assistance? If so then I have to rank this as a shocking revelation to my understand of WW2. Why would Stalin risk early war? My understanding was that the Soviet Union did not feel ready even in 1941 and thus wanted to stall for time as much as possible.
Note also that this was before the Molotov-Ribbentropt Pact (1939 August) and of course just before the British-French-Polish alliance (1939 March).