The action came too late, or was too limited, to be effective
This saying appears to have originated in the USA in 1935 and is attributed to historian Allan Nevins (1890-1971) who wrote in the May 1935 issue of Current History,
"The former allies have blundered in the past by offering Germany too little, and offering that too late, until finally Nazi Germany had become a menace to all mankind."
English Statesman David Lloyd George (1863-1945) is also known to have expressed a similar sentiment: "It is always too late, or to little, or both," but it's not clear whether this was before or after Nevins.
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