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If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enemy

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby michael mills on 13 Nov 2012 11:01

I am not sure what the map posted by wm is meant to demonstrate. It does not seem to represent any political situation that ever existed.

Perhaps wm would be kind enough to interpret it for us, and provide a commentary. I presume it illustrates some sort of alternative situation, but it is not immediately clear which.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby pugsville on 13 Nov 2012 11:32

It obvious if good treatment of Poland is connected to the need for allies against the USSR. Once the USSR is no longer a threat, that Hitler and Nazis would have Poland completely at their mercy and well history is pretty clear they didnt have much mercy at all. The Hitler/Nazi world view was inherently racist, and the Poles ranked very low, amongst those racists that were to be reduced to slave labour. Alliance with those who resent your countries existence, think your race is good for nothing but slaves, isnt appealing for some reason.

The Treatment given to the Poles during ww2 by the Hitler and the Nazis represented what they really thought of the Poles. To talk of alliance with such is pure reality denial.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby wm on 13 Nov 2012 11:41

michael mills wrote:I am not sure what the map posted by wm is meant to demonstrate. It does not seem to represent any political situation that ever existed.

It would after the destruction of the USSR by the German-Polish Alliance. It can't be denied that Poland would have been a huge barrier between the German West and East territories, a barrier which would have to be removed for military, economic and political reasons.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby Sid Guttridge on 13 Nov 2012 15:27

Hi Michael,

Let us presume, for a minute, that it is true "that Hitler's attitude toward Poland was entirely determined by Poland's attitude toward Germany".

The Polish attitude towards Germany was simple. It was in favour of the status quo. In 1939 Poland had no new demands upon Germany. Therefore Poland did not represent a threat to the Germany Hitler had already inherited and expanded.

So, if "Hitler's attitude towards Poland was entirely determined by Poland's attitude toward Germany" his objection can only have been to Poland's desire to preserve the status quo - an aim that necessarily meant perpetuating the existing peace.

So, Hitler went to war because the Poles wanted to maintain the peacetime status quo?

How provocative of the Poles - to want to maintain the existing pacific status quo!

Cheers,

Sid.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby michael mills on 16 Nov 2012 00:15

It would after the destruction of the USSR by the German-Polish Alliance. It can't be denied that Poland would have been a huge barrier between the German West and East territories, a barrier which would have to be removed for military, economic and political reasons.


The error of logic made by wm in the above statement is to assume that what is possible is ipso facto inevitable.

It is entirely possible that Germany, after overthrowing the Soviet Union and conquering territory in the East, would have seen Poland as a barrier, and would have sought to eliminate it for that reason.

However, it is by no means inevitable that it would have done so. Germany and Poland, after dividing Ukraine between them, would have had a common vested interest in controlling and exploiting the conquered territory, in extirpating the residue of Communist influence, and preventing the return of Soviet power. That common vested interest might have led to a continuation of the German-Polish alliance.

Thus, although it is possible that Germany and Poland might have fallen out with each other, it is equally possible that they might have continued a collaborative relationship based on joint economic exploitation of the conquered territory.

The map posted by wm is also considerably exaggerated. The German plan in 1941 was to conquer Soviet territory as far as the Astrakhan'-Arkhangel'sk Line. If Germany and Poland had not fought each other but had combined to overthrow Soviet power, it is unlikely that Germany would have tried to go any further east than it planned to do in 1941. It is more likely that the joint German and Polish conquests would have been limited to Ukraine and Belorussia, with the Baltic States becoming allies of the German-Polish coalition. It is possible that Finland would have joined in to take Soviet Karelia.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby Sid Guttridge on 16 Nov 2012 12:22

Hi Michael,

Did you really write, "It is entirely possible that Germany, after overthrowing the Soviet Union and conquering territory in the East, would have seen Poland as a barrier, and would have sought to eliminate it for that reason."?

Very strange.

So, at a time when Germany had no common border with the USSR (in the 1930s), you appear to contend that Poland was not seen as a barrier to German expansionism in the USSR, yet you also contend that after Germany had conquered the USSR (presumably in the 1940s) it might well have seen Poland as a barrier and "sought to eliminate it for that reason".

So, when Poland was a genuine physical barrier to German action against the USSR, you contend it wasn't, but once Germany had already occupied the USSR and Poland was no longer a physical barrier you contend it might have been seen as one.

Can we have a bit of clarity please?

Cheers,

A more than usually confused Sid.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby Lokanski on 16 Nov 2012 13:26

michael mills wrote:The result was the German-Polish Declaration on Non-Aggression of 28 January 1934, and subsequent tentative moves toward an alliance based on common hostility toward the Soviet Union.

Michael Mills doesn't know that Poland had Non-Aggression treaty with Soviet Union as well. Polish position was equal balance with both Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. In hindsight of course we know it would be better to ally with Soviets since they didn't envision extermination of Polish citizens in gas chambers and by other means.
Every reputable history of German-Polish relations in the inter-war period affirms that when Hitler came to power in 1933, he reversed the policy of his predecessors,

This is incorrect. Like all his predecessors he was hostile to Poland and wanted to annex Polish territories. Several mainstream historians confirm that in private Hitler never abandoned the idea. There are known speeches and statements regarding this. Not to mention Mein Kampf itself in which he praises conquering of non-German territories in Poland.

Hitler in fact favoured a strong Poland that would form a bulwark against Soviet expansion, and eventually become Germany's ally in a crusade to overthrow Bolshevism.

Hitler had 5 years of absolute control over Poland. Not once did he try to create any Polish state to aid him. For Hitler was more interested in German interests than in anti-communism, and more in racist genocide than in fighting communists-otherwise Jewish infants wouldn't be mass murdered, would they?
There is no reason to doubt that Hitler was entirely genuine in his opposition to Bolshevism, and in his desire to form alliances with states that were equally opposed to the Soviet Union, such as Poland, Hungary and Romania.

If that would be true, he wouldn't invade Poland nor would he mass murder Jews and Poles. He had several years to enlist Jewish and Polish populations in struggle against Soviets. Instead Polish children were murdered in racist medical experiments and Jews in gas chambers. Obviously he didn't really care about fighting communists, but exterminating those considered "untermenschen"


michael mills wrote:A paranoid concept.

Incorrect, if we look at history of WW2 Polish fears are completely justified as they were subjected to ruthless genocide.

The main danger to Poland was the Soviet Union, which had actually invaded the country with the aim of imposing a Communist Government on it that would be totally subservient to Moscow. [/quote]
A communist government is preferable to biological extermination. As history shows Soviet Union allowed Polish state and institutions exists-even when under control. Something that Nazi Germany didn't.

To that end, it offered to abandon all claims to former German territory, except for Danzig

Incorrect. German government had numerous claims towards Poland itself and it did not abandon them.

What you are ignoring here is that Hitler's attitude toward Poland was entirely determined by Poland's attitude toward Germany.

So Hitler according to you was so mentally unstable that based on what he considered personal affronts decided to exterminate whole nations? And the same mentally challenged person would be a trustworthy ally in a situation which Germany would have even more power over Poland than in 1939.Right.

I
Hitler was even supportive of Polish eastward expansion, proposing the division of Ukraine between Poland and Germany, with Poland taking the territory west of the Dnepr.

We all know how good Hitler was at keeping his promises. In any case you forgot the part when he wanted to annex most developed Polish territories and offering barren swamps in return. Which btw weren't even German to start with(hmm offering territories of others, nice)

On the other hand, if Poland turned against Germany and joined its enemies in an encirclement

Poland wasn't an enemy of Germany-it was Germany which invaded Poland.

Furthermore, Hitler took the Polish rejection of his overtures of friendship as a personal affront, and turned his previously positive attitude toward the Polish people into a negative one.After a meeting with Hitler in August 1939, the High Commissioner for Danzig, Carl Burckhardt, commented on Hitler's "feminine" personality; well, Hell hath no fury like a Hitler scorned.

Ah yes, the mentally challenged German leader who according to you would be perfectly loyal ally, never changing his attitude.

Sorry, your theory has more holes than swiss cheese.

Again as is clearly shown by the documentation, it was Stalin who, in the negotiations leading to the Soviet-German Borders and Friendship Treaty of 28 September 1939, vetoed the continued existence of any form of Polish political entity, on the grounds that any such entity would inevitably become a source of contention between German and the Soviet Union. Stalin demanded a common German-Soviet border, with no Polish buffer state separating them.
[/quote]
And as history clearly shows, it was Hitler not Stalin who decided to exterminate Polish people considering them racially inferior, and it was Stalin who restored Polish state.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby wm on 16 Nov 2012 23:37

michael mills wrote:It is entirely possible that Germany, after overthrowing the Soviet Union and conquering territory in the East, would have seen Poland as a barrier, and would have sought to eliminate it for that reason.

Even after putting aside the obvious insurmountable moral, political and even cultural obstacles on the Polish side, and even the Realpolitik considerations that dictate joining the stronger player (the Allies) not the weaker one (Germany) I don't see any benefits for Poland in this alliance.

The Poland's main problem was its economic weakness. But acquiring more rural territory couldn't improve its economics , it had lots of rural territory and peasants already. A new territory can be developed economically but Poland had no spare capital for this(Germany too), the only good sources of capital were the Western Europe and the US.
In this settings more territory means weaker Poland. Please try sometime to buy a few thousand acres of land - you see that in the end, without additional capital, you will be much poorer. :)

As to the map, it is a fact that Poland would have stranded the external communication lines of the Greater Germany. The corridor along the Baltic coast is a joke. The only reaction of any German examining the map of his country would have been WTF because this map of Germany simply looks ridiculous. The pressure to do something would have been enormous.

At least Poland would have had to be subjugated and reduced to a European bantustan to assure that the control of the communication lines between Eastern and Western part of Germany is firmly in German hands. From the military point of view it must have been done.
But why bother with such political intricacy, it would have been a lot easier to remove Poland from the map. Germany, as the master of Europe, would have had no use for Poland anyway.
The problem was that Poland was much weaker than Germany, so it would have depended totally on
Germany's good will (and its usefulness was limited to the time of war with the USSR), but itself was a serious geographical obstacle in efforts to create a Greater Germany.
For Poland such an alliance would have brought not only no benefits but no future too.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby michael mills on 18 Nov 2012 07:31

Not to mention Mein Kampf itself in which he praises conquering of non-German territories in Poland.


Utter rubbish.

Please quote the appropriate sections of "Mein Kampf" containing the alleged praise.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby Sid Guttridge on 19 Nov 2012 16:09

Hi Michael,

Is that one obvious error the only thing you have picked up from the several posts worth of criticism you have received since your last contribution?

How about dealing with some of the rest?

Cheers,

Sid.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby Delwin on 19 Nov 2012 17:53

The problem is that Polish politicians and generals were not paranoid enough. Who sane would thought that Germany (being at its top after seizing Sudetenland) first seize the remaining part of Czech and then start the war with Poland? The war which ultimately lead to Germany divided and under partial control of Soviets? The war, where genocide started to be a "standard approach" of the undoubtly civilised nation like Germans? You need to be really paranoid to expect such stupidity and cruelty.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby michael mills on 20 Nov 2012 00:30

How about dealing with some of the rest?


I will address new arguments opposed to my interpretations in cases where those contrary arguments are rational and based on hard data. That is why I responded to wm's map and his argument based on it.

I see no need to waste my time responding to emotional outbursts and ramblings. Once I have addressed a particular point I do not intend to go on repeating myself ad infinitum.

I suggest you go back to the beginning of this thread and read all my posts in it. I have said all I need to say on this topic in those posts.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby Sid Guttridge on 20 Nov 2012 11:57

Hi Michael,

Absolutely. I, too, "see no need to waste my time responding to emotional outbursts and ramblings." That wasn't what I was asking you to do.

Your posts already do consist of you repeating yourself ad infinitum. You appear to be on a mission to absolve Hitler of all responsibility for the outbreak of WWII in defiance of the bgreat majority of historical evidence. To do this, it is necessary for you to blame somebody else. This necessarily means the Poles, as they were the only other party involved in the outbreak of war.

In this context, I repeat one of my earlier, unaddressed posts:

"Let us presume, for a minute, that it is true "that Hitler's attitude toward Poland was entirely determined by Poland's attitude toward Germany".

The Polish attitude towards Germany was simple. It was in favour of the status quo. In 1939 Poland had no new demands upon Germany. Therefore Poland did not represent a threat to the Germany Hitler had already inherited and expanded.

So, if "Hitler's attitude towards Poland was entirely determined by Poland's attitude toward Germany" his objection can only have been to Poland's desire to preserve the status quo - an aim that necessarily meant perpetuating the existing peace.

So, Hitler went to war because the Poles wanted to maintain the peacetime status quo?

How provocative of the Poles - to want to maintain the existing pacific status quo!
"

If you feel this assessment is accurate, then by all means let it stand. Did Poland have new demands on Germany in 1939? If so, what were they that they so changed the situation that it required Germany to attack Poland?

While you are at it, please clarify the following, which seems genuinely contradictory:

Did you really write, "It is entirely possible that Germany, after overthrowing the Soviet Union and conquering territory in the East, would have seen Poland as a barrier, and would have sought to eliminate it for that reason."?

Very strange.

So, at a time when Germany had no common border with the USSR (in the 1930s), you appear to contend that Poland was not seen as a barrier to German expansionism in the USSR, yet you also contend that after Germany had conquered the USSR (presumably in the 1940s) it might well have seen Poland as a barrier and "sought to eliminate it for that reason".

So, when Poland was a genuine physical barrier to German action against the USSR, you contend it wasn't, but once Germany had already occupied the USSR and Poland was no longer a physical barrier you contend it might have been seen as one.

Can we have a bit of clarity please?


Cheers,

An expectant Sid.
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby Marcus Wendel on 24 Jul 2013 20:17

A post by BuddaBell123 on the topic "What did Germany want from Poland?" was split off into a thread of its own at viewtopic.php?f=76&t=200741

/Marcus
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Re: If Poland had become Germany's ally rather than its enem

Postby gebhk on 25 Jul 2013 10:52

It seems that many of the preceding arguments are based on two assumptions - firstly that that if Poland was allied with Germany, Germany would have conquered the USSR and the whole of Europe; and secondly that survival of an independent Polish state is the only value worth considering. With regard to the first, there are however at least two other possible outcomes
1) Germany and USSR fight each other to a standstill but Germany eventually succumbs to USA + any surviving European allies (lets call it the WW1 scenario :))
2) and by far the most likely of the three for economic reasons alone, Germany and her allies lose against the USSR supported by the US regardless of whether there are any other countries involved (the historical scenario).
Let's for the moment ignore speculation about atomic bomb development.

Regarding the second point, while Polish independence was unlikely to survive the beginning of WW2, that did not necessarily mean biological and economic losses had to be as great as they turned out to be. Saving Polish lives and national wealth was a valuable aim in its own right, which should be considered. It is perhaps no coincidence that the two states which suffered proportionally most in WW2, Poland and Yugoslavia were also the two states who chose to stand against all comers whatever the cost. Those countries in the same geo-political situation (Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary etc) which surrendered to or aligned themselves with their more powerful next door neighbour(s), ultimately suffered a lot less. In other words could a strategy of accommodation have produced a similar political outcome, but at a much lower cost?
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