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ljadw wrote:There also is ,for those who,unlike me want to spend 27 Euro on an article,: Vansittart,intelligence and appeasement .
following : Dilemmas of appeasement: British deterrence and defense : 1934-1939 (note 37),Vansittart said :the country is overfed and underarmed.
I can imagine the reactions of the politicians: most likely,doubting his common sense and questioning his judgement .
Memorandum by the Minister in Hungary
RECORD OF THE RECEPTION OF THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER BY THE FÜHRER AT THE OBERSALZBERG ON AUGUST 8, 1939, AT 3 P.M.
The Führer, who received the Hungarian Foreign Minister in the presence of the Reich Foreign Minister, Counsellor Hewel, Legation Secretary Ujpéteŕy and myself, opened the conversation by stating that we were shocked by the Hungarian Minister President's letter, which said that Hungary could not participate in the event of a German-Polish conflict. He remarked that we had never expected military participation by Hungary in a conflict of that kind. The military aspect of the problem was moreover the exclusive concern of Germany. Support from other States was not even welcome.
Moreover Poland presented no military problem to us. The present behaviour of authoritative circles there must be described as sheer madness. The Führer stated emphatically that a repetition of the attempt to present a Polish ultimatum to Danzig would be appropriately answered by Germany. France and Britain would not be able to prevent us from doing this. Whether in the event of a general war in the West we would adopt a defensive or an offensive attitude was a question for later decision. The tone of the Polish press, and the way in which maps were circulating in Poland in which the territory of the Reich was partitioned, could only be described as a morbid degeneration
 See document No. 712, enclosure 2.
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of reason. The Poles were evidently incapable of realistic thinking either in the military or in the political field. They were labouring under a dangerous delusion with regard to their own strength. Their illusions about the strength of the German Army were incomprehensible.
The Führer then emphasized again that Count Teleki's letter was impossible as it indicated an atmosphere which was incomprehensible in view of all the lost territory which Hungary had been able to recover during this and the previous year exclusively through German support. The Regent too had last August expressed the opinion that Germany would collapse in the event of a conflict and had also conveyed this view to German military circles. The practical realization of Hungarian revision had only been made possible by great sacrifices on Germany's part (extension of our system of fortifications and the expenditure of seven thousand million gold marks for the Army). Further support for Hungarian revisionist desires was at present impossible in view of military factors, just as Hungary would not think of going to war on account of possible German claims to Alsace-Lorraine. The various problems were inseparable. If Germany were defeated in a war, Hungary's revisionist dreams would also be at an end. The Western Powers would then not only take care to restore Czecho-Slovakia but even to strengthen her. Mussolini and he, the Führer, clearly realized that they could only win together or lose together in all theatres of war. No enticements from the other side would succeed, therefore, in separating the Axis Powers from one another. In the event of a Mediterranean conflict Germany would support Italy with all her strength, and, conversely, Italy would support us in a struggle for Danzig as she had also done in the Austrian Anschluss and in the Czech crisis. Germany had no aspirations at Italy's expense. She required vital necessities in the North Sea and Baltic Sea areas, of mountains she had enough already. If Germany were to lose her position today, Hungary would automatically be smashed too. In this case, according to the plan of the Western Powers, Upper Austria, the Regensburg area and parts of Silesia were to be added to the new Czecho-Slovakia, which was to receive a common frontier with Yugoslavia, thus forming a Slav corridor through Central Europe. The new structure would naturally be made to serve the Western Powers.
If people in Hungary resented Germany's attitude towards Slovakia, he would say that we had no vital interests east of the Carpathians. From the military point of view too we did not want to burden ourselves with an appendix in the East. At present Slovakia was of military importance to us in respect of Poland. Otherwise the fate of Slovakia was a matter of indifference to him personally. With the
 No record has been found; for Horthy's visit to Germany in August 1938, see vol. II of this series, document No. 383.
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well known proposal, he had made the most far-reaching offer to Poland that anyone could have made. Such an offer would not be made a second time. No other German could have been in a position voluntarily to offer Poland such a long-term understanding and at great sacrifices. The Poles had, however, brusquely rejected the offer and instead had concluded an alliance with Britain and begun a rabid press campaign. Had they gone mad in Warsaw ? If an encounter with Poland and the Western Powers were necessary, then he, the Führer, wished it would come soon while he was still alive and the movement was still young. His experiences of Britain gained in the World War had not inspired in him any deep respect for her. The war would have ended very differently if Germany had not been led so miserably. Even after 1918, without revolution, we could easily have held out on the defensive for at least a year.
Poland presented no military problem at all for Germany. The tension with Poland had brought him the fanatical 100 per cent support of the Army as well as that of the last remaining opposition, namely certain Prussian aristocratic families who had been unable to understand his previous accommodating attitude to Poland. He knew the Polish Army well, from the numerous Germans who were serving there. Poland possessed a few good divisions which were moderately equipped, then medium and poor divisions with very bad equipment. We had exact information on the Polish mobilization machinery and the tactical knowledge of the Polish leaders, and also on the munitioning of the Army and its degree of reliability. The face of the Polish Army already bore the signs of death. There would never be a Greater Hungarian Kingdom if Germany lost the war.
It was to be hoped that Poland would still see reason at the last minute. Nevertheless we were reckoning from the start with a war on two fronts, which, if it came, would be conducted with lightning speed. Not only the Polish Army but also the Polish State would then be destroyed. Slovakia was, for us, an important military-political springboard. It would be very regrettable if the idea prevailed in Hungary that Hungary had only a limited interest in Germany's success. As long as Slav Czechs, Slav Slovaks, and also Slav Serbs, Slav Croats and Slav Poles oppressed Slav Ukrainians, the Panslav idea had perhaps lost in significance, but it would revive. Opposed to it would be only Germans, Hungarians and to a certain extent also Italians. The West would identify itself with this spiritual uprising, finding it useful.
Count Csáky interjected that Vansittart had had him informed four days ago that Hungary would share Germany's fate.
The Führer remarked that the Western Powers had created Czecho-Slovakia, which was not viable. She had become their most compliant and submissive State.
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Count Csáky emphasized that on the whole in Hungary the general political situation was judged no differently from here. He regretted that the initiative taken by the Hungarian Government in the matter of the two letters had not had the desired result. The Hungarian Government had wanted to tell the Italians and us: "We stand by you. But our national honour does not allow us to fight against Poland."
The Führer added that the German people were now much more whole-heartedly anti-Polish than they had been anti-Czech, as the Poles had seized what had formerly been German territory and had behaved in the most bestial manner towards innocent Germans. So far he had not allowed publication of the fact that Germans had been castrated, as otherwise this would have caused an uproar. The Polish behaviour was impossible. The mood of the German Army, which had been derided by the Poles, was such that it would be a terrible disappointment for them if the Poles were, after all, to see reason at the last minute. The German people, who had not understood the policy of reconciliation hitherto adopted towards Poland, were of the same mind. The Führer repeated that if Poland again addressed to Danzig such a Note as the last, Germany herself would immediately take it upon herself to answer it. It was a fallacy to assume that he was afraid of a reckoning with France and Britain. There would never be a more favourable moment than the present. No British ship would reach the North Sea, let alone the Baltic. A blockade of Germany would be possible only with fearful losses. We were also independent in the sphere of the most important raw materials. Between August 1 and September 1, the German Luftwaffe would be brought up to the enormous figure of 490,000 men, and next year to 600,000. We had the strongest air force in the world, twice as strong as that of France and Britain together.
Our types of aircraft, too, were superior. We had also the strongest anti-aircraft defence in the world, and in addition over six and a half thousand armoured vehicles of the most modern. construction. The German anti-tank defence was excellent. No Power in the world could penetrate Germany's western fortifications. Nobody in all his life had been able to frighten him, neither could Britain do so. Nor would he succumb to the oft predicted nervous breakdown. Perhaps Poland would still see reason, but recently his belief in this had vanished in consequence of the support given to the Poles by the British. If the Poles had accepted Germany's offer, they would have entered into the same friendly relations with us as Lithuania had done. It was our desire to gain good trading partners in the North Eastern States. As these countries had not been settled by Germans, their inhabitants could not, of course, become German.
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Count Csáky, in further explanation of the two Hungarian letters, said that the Hungarian Government had not wished to expose themselves afterwards to the reproach of shirking, if they kept silent now on their attitude in a possible conflict with Poland. The Hungarian military authorities too were pressing for a clarification of political issues between Germany and Hungary, so that certain military conversations could begin soon. He knew that talks had already begun between Ambassador Ritter and Minister Sztöjay on the matter of cooperation in the field of war economy.
The Führer added that Britain was seeking mercenaries and had therefore given guarantees to the various countries. France was in mortal dread of isolation and thought she could gain courage by shouting. The Soviet Government apparently wished to bind themselves to no one, nor would they fight against us, as they were equally afraid of defeat or victory for their army. Furthermore their army was immobile. Their motorization was if anything a hindrance. Military leaders for the direction of operations did not exist. The Soviets would not repeat the Czar's mistake and bleed to death for Britain. They would, however, try to enrich themselves, possibly at the expense of the Baltic States or Poland, without engaging in military action themselves.
Germany's small western neighbours would try to remain neutral. Switzerland would fire on anyone who did not respect her neutrality. Yugoslavia was pursuing a policy of cautious, reserved neutrality, not from her own choice but at the dictates of necessity. In a crisis she would make every possible attempt to range herself against the Axis Powers, especially Italy. The occupation of Albania had brought to Italy an immeasurable improvement in the whole political situation. Greece would prefer to remain neutral but would regard British violation with mixed feeling, as at present she considers Britain to be the stronger and she needs British money. In theory, Rumania (Gafencu) was pursuing the policy of the honest broker, but in practice she was trying to mobilize as many as possible against us. Gafencu was, however, being cautious, knowing the poor condition of the Rumanian Army. Under cover of harmless journeys to England, the Prince Regent Paul and Gafencu were trying to attach themselves to Britain, without prematurely showing their hand. Turkey was dominated by the desire for British money. The Italian threat had been only a pretext for the change in her attitude. The Bulgarians were the only reliable nation in the Balkans and were not now quite so nervous since Italy's action in Albania and since we were supporting them in their rearmament. Bulgaria's army was not large but was well trained, and was a factor which at least compelled the others to be cautious. The most uncertain
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factor was Rumania, next came Yugoslavia and then Greece. The Rumanians had a guilty conscience where we were concerned. Their character lacked a strong foundation. They were, however, also afraid of documenting their opposition to us too obviously.
Count Csáky said that he knew Rumania very well. A distinction must be made between the Rumanians of Transylvania, who had proved trustworthy even under Hungarian leadership and the Old Rumanians, particularly the Rumanian intelligentsia, who had been educated in Paris. On the defensive, the Rumanians were not bad soldiers. The Officers' Corps was bad. The Rumanians probably would not attack Hungary on their own initiative but would await a suitable opportunity, such as they considered to have arisen after the battle of Luck in 1916.
The Führer agreed with this.
Count Csáky went on to say that even now the Rumanians had mobilized 150,000 men. Hungary was not doing so in order to save money, with which the Führer agreed. Count Csáky added that the Rumanians were at present constructing a line of defence some 650 km. in length from Yugoslavia to the Carpathians, with underground shelters and revolving armoured turrets, as well as a second line near Cluj and a third in the Carpathians. On the other hand they were completely neglecting the line of the Pruth and Dniester facing Russia. The Dobruja frontier, however, was being fortified with feverish haste.
The Führer also thought that should any occasion arise the Rumanians would at first take no action of their own accord.
Count Csáky expressed the opinion that Rumania would remain neutral as long as possible and that Yugoslavia would only intervene against us if things were going really badly for us.
The Führer said that calm prevailed in the Protectorate. Only two insignificant incidents had taken place. We were satisfied with the Czech workers and they were sending back enthusiastic reports to their homes. The Czechs were not united among themselves. A German-Polish conflict with its serious consequences for Poland would be the strongest vindication for Czech politicians such as Hácha.
Count Csáky remarked that in. the event of a revival of Russian nationalism, Czechia, as an exponent of Panslavism, might become dangerous, and the Führer agreed with this.
Count Csäky went on to relate that patriotic radio talks in Russian from Moscow were said to be finding a strong response among the youth of Yugoslavia.
The Führer remarked that although no member of the Romanov
 i.e., from the Regat, the Old (pre-1919) Kingdom.
 In June 1916, the first Brusilov offensive opened against Lutsk- In August Rumania declared war on Austria-Hungary and invaded Transylvania.
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family would find himself at the head of a new Russia it was quite possible that Bolshevism might put on a nationalist helmet. He then spoke of impressions gained from showings of Russian news-reels. It must be remembered that the younger generation in Russia knew only Bolshevism.
Count Csáky asked if the Führer thought it possible that, after the defeat of Bulgaria, a Turkish army might in certain circumstances advance against Hungary through Rumania. The Führer considered this out of the question, as the Turks had shown themselves to be lazy and had always required a lead from someone else. It was of course possible that they were fortifying the Chatalcha line and the Straits. With regard to the latter, incredibly little had been done in the years since the Montreux Convention.
Count Csáky said that Atatürk  had told him in 1927 that if the Serbs and Bulgarians united in any way, that meant war for Turkey. Moreover, the latter would never wage war against Hungary. The new President of Turkey had recently confirmed this statement.
The Führer again emphasized that he thought it was out of the question that the Turks could be used in the West outside the frontiers of their own country. Moreover they would have to reckon with a devastating Italian air attack on Constantinople, good bases for which had been gained in Albania. By their new attitude the Turks were hoping to amass a great deal of gold but they would not want to bleed to death for Britain. He had ordered that our deliveries of arms to Turkey, to Rumania and, to some extent also, to Yugoslavia should be stopped and that these countries should receive from us only such war material as they could otherwise also buy elsewhere. It was nonsense to say that the French would not attack our West Wall but would fight in North Africa or throw themselves upon the Italians, for thanks to our own and the Italian submarines and their excellent bases, the enemy would not be able to operate in the Mediterranean. Besides, he would certainly not look on inactively if Italy were attacked by France.
After this conversation, which lasted one hour and forty minutes, a further conversation of almost one and a half hours took place during tea, in which the Führer dealt in detail, among other things, with German-British relations, making reference to historical events, and said that had Chamberlain already been at the helm in 1935, the British Government might perhaps have accepted his generous offer, whereby the whole world situation would have been changed. It had merely been his wish to secure the necessary German Lebensraum including the Colonies, in return for which he would have supported Britain in every
 Of July 20, 1936 ; for the text see B.F.S.P., vol. 140, pp. 288-300.
 Kemal Atatürk, President of Turkey 1923-1938.
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way, including the protection of her interests in East Asia. A European war would probably result in Britain losing Hong Kong, Singapore and India, but German colonies in East Asia and New Guinea were untenable without British rear cover against the advance of the yellow race which was to be expected owing to Britain's fault. If Britain were defeated we would never struggle for India. Chaos and war by all against all would start there. The Führer dwelt in detail on the different values and special peculiarities of the Czech and the Polish armies and stressed the megalomania of the latter.
The Reich Foreign Minister told me that Count Csáky, in a conversation which he had with him in private today, had promised to withdraw the two letters from the Hungarian Prime Minister to the Führer and Mussolini as, unfortunately, they had apparently been misunderstood. He accepted responsibility for this in the name of his Government.
Count Csáky told me on the return journey that he would notify us officially of this through the Hungarian Minister, Sztöjay. A corresponding communication would be sent to Rome. In the very improbable event of the Hungarian Government disapproving of his action, he would resign.
 In a minute of Aug. 9 (73/51973) to Weizsäcker, Hewel wrote: "At his visit to the Obersalzberg yesterday the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Csáky, told the Führer that he was authorized by his Government to request the German Government to regard the two letters in question signed by Imrédy [sic ? Teleki] as not having been written. He would also have this communication made officially to the respective Governments by the Legations in Berlin and Rome." According to a memorandum by Woermann dated Aug. 10 (not printed, 73/51974-75) a communication in this sense was handed to him by the Hungarian Minister on that date.
Count Ciano thanked the Führer for the extremely clear exposition
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of the situation. He had nothing to add for his part and would report to the Duce all the details of the information given by the Führer. There was one point perhaps on which he would like to have more precise information, in order to provide the Duce with all the data necessary for assessing the situation. The Duce would probably not have to make any decision, since the Führer had expressed his conviction that the conflict with Poland could be localized. From long experience Count Ciano could say that, so far, the Führer had always been right in his judgement of the situation. But even if Mussolini did not have to make any decision, he would nevertheless want to take certain precautionary measures, and for this reason Count Ciano wished to ask the following question:
The Führer had given two reasons for taking action against Poland. Firstly, if Poland were to commit an act of grave provocation, and secondly, if she did not clarify her political attitude. The acts of provocation would not be dependent on the Führer's will and might occur at any time, thus causing German counter action at any moment. The second case implied, however, a certain time limit. He wished therefore to ask what was the latest date by which, in Germany's view, Poland must clarify her political attitude, and in this connection he fully understood the seasonal conditions governing the situation.
The Führer replied that Poland's political attitude must be clarified by the end of August at the latest, for although the principal and decisive part of the military operations could be carried out within a fortnight, final liquidation would nevertheless still require a further two to four weeks and could therefore not be concluded before the end of September or the beginning of October. Hence, the end of August must be the time limit.
In conclusion the Führer again assured Count Ciano that since his youth he had always supported German-Italian cooperation, and nothing to the contrary could be found in any of his published works. From the very beginning, he had been of the opinion that Germany and Italy were destined by nature to collaborate, because there was no clash of interests between them. He personally was fortunate to live at a time when, apart from himself, there was another statesman living who would stand out in history as a great and unique figure. It was a source of great personal happiness to him that he could be the friend of this man. When the hour struck for the common fight he would always be found at the side of the Duce, come what may.
Thanks for all the material. I hope it doesn't get buried.
from Robert Michulec "Ku wrześniowi 1939"Ribbentrop expresses satisfaction with his visit in Warsaw and understands that the earlier date of his visit could be a cause of difficulties. He is concerned if the Minister has understood correctly the Chancellor.The Chancellor sees this case from the millenial perspective. Germany have largely rectified the treaty of Versailles. The Chancellor is ready to to renounce territorial claims in Poland but he is facing a substantial internal opposition. But anyway he is ready to bite the bullet for a price: the extraterritorial road and the possibility for the Danzig population to achieve the aim of Zuruck zum Reich. The Polish nation should understand how painful it has been for Germany the loss of this territory.
The Minister [Beck] said that in Berchtesgaden and Muchen he had already warned that the matter is difficult and dangerous.
In the case of communication he advises to forego the term "extraterritorial road" because Poland is not Czechia. In politics many things are changing now so we have to hold fast to fundamental ideas like: sovereignty, borders and territory. Poland is not governed by the parliament but territorial changes are the prerogative of the parliament and the Minister has a dim view of bringing the case before it. But the Polish Government will most favorably consider facilitating of transit, even for cars. The facilitation of transit could be a subject of talks.
Next Minister Beck asked Mr. von Ribbentrop what is his idea of fulfilling the Polish interests in Danzig anyway. Withdrawal of the Polish border customs would make Danzig a crummy border town. No doubt Mr. Ribbentrop hasn't studied this question in detail yet.
Ribbentrop admits that in fact he hasn't and asks what was the impression of the Berchtesgaden talks in Poland.
Mr Beck: the worst imaginable. It is hard to rationalize them and equally hard to find a solution. All the more, this is difficult to understand, Poland didn't do anything that would restrict the free development of the German population in Danzig. The Chancellor emphasized himself the importance of the access to the sea for Poland. The access is very limited, precious is every meter of the coast. Maybe Mr von Ribbentrop has any idea.
Anyway putting this aside, it seems that in Poland the political feelings are that everything comes easy for Germans and now they set their aim on Poland. The Chancellor talked about mutually beneficial agreements but the German proposals are one-sided and beneficial for Germany only. The German guarantee is very valuable, but who knows maybe there will be a German Government with a different attitude.
Anyway assuming we agree to the Germans demands - the Poles will ask what is the purpose of this, where is the Gegenleistung. Mr von R. remembers the German Danzig, the Poles remember the Polish Danzig.
Next the Minister said: as Mr von R. is talking openly he would like to do the same. It is better to be frank and open than to play the courtesy game.
When R. was trying to suggest a compensation in Ukraine, the Minister responded, that this was not a compensation, he didn't know what to do with this. [ illegible]
Next day, January 27, Ribbentrop asked for a clarification of the point, so the Minister confirmed that he deems he has no right to give one sided concessions and advises lack of optimism to the Chancellor.
Additionally the Minister noted the balance of the talks:
a) the great east policy and the Russian matter were clarified, In case of any radical changes in this matter both Governments could call for consultations.
b) we shouldn't overestimate the elements trying to derail ausgleich.
On the other side, the Minister mentioned Ribbentrop's seemingly desire to return to the Stresemann policy of differentiation between the east and west borders. Poles are not excitable, it is enough for them that the Chancellor has no territorial demands in Europe and declares this publicly /although the Danzig matter seemingly contradicts this/, but the Minister has to note that this Stressman style have always been damaging to the Polish-German relations.
As to Danzig, any day the League is going to make a joke and withdraw itself and its high Commissioner. Then Poland will have to demand material guaranties from the Senate of the Free City. This matter is not urgent but in this case there is a high possibility of an open conflict.
Ribbentrop agreed that both sides will have to make an agreement immediately to avoid this.
So Minister Beck proposed then the following formulation: in case of changing of the attitude or working disposition of the League of Nations both Governments shall immediately /24 hours ?/ make an agreement and declare that der bestehende Zustand in Danzig nicht geändert wird.
These formulations were agreed and repeated during the talks on 26 and 27.
There were, in addition, apparently compelling reasons to base the second front on Poland. Halifax feared that Colonel Beck might reach some kind of accord with Hitler unless he received a strong British commitment to fight in defence of Poland. Britain's, and especially France's, relations with Poland had deteriorated after the nazi-Polish bon voisinage agreement of 1934, and the Polish government had shown a sympathetic attitude to Italy during the Abyssinian War. The most serious breach in Poland's relations with the western democracies, however, came over the Czechoslovak crisis. Despite Polish assurances to Bonnet, the French ambassador, and to the President du Conseil Superieur de la Guerre, General Gamelin, that Poland would not attack Czechoslovakia, Beck had exploited events to share in the dismemberment of that country.84 Many British statesmen tended to see in the Polish regime 'deviousness, megalomania, total national self-centredness, and greed'.85 During March, Halifax had received reports from a variety of sources regarding Beck's potential to arrange a deal with Hitler. Leger warned that Beck was both cynical and duplicitous, and that the Polish Foreign Minister was trying to manoeuvre Britain into refusing an alliance, which would give him the necessary pretext to conclude an alliance with Hitler.86 More importantly, Halifax received Ian Colvin's assessment of Polish and German relations, through the auspices of one of Halifax's 'oldest political friends' and head of the British Council, Lord Lloyd.87 Lloyd also maintained a private intelligence service, and regularly read SIS reports and corresponded with Quex Sinclair. Ian Colvin, one of Lloyd's most prolific correspondents, had informed Lloyd of an imminent German drive through the Balkans, aided by Beck who 'was firmly in the Germans' pocket'. Although some of Colvin's information was hard to credit, as it apparently contradicted the offer of an alliance made to Halifax by the Polish ambassador, Count Raczynski, on 24 March 1939, it did raise the prospect, if Halifax failed to secure Polish participation in an eastern front, of Poland's joining the German camp.88
The final strategic aspect to the guarantee was the belief that Poland would provide a sound basis for a military front in Eastern Europe if Germany forced a war through further aggression. The Foreign Policy Committee on 27 March and the Cabinet on 29 March gave the essential approval to issue the guarantee to Poland. At these meetings, ministers also weighed the relative merits of basing the eastern front on Poland or the Soviet Union. Halifax argued that the Polish military 'would give the greater value' than the Red Army. Chatfield allowed that the Soviet Union would have a greater deterrent effect on Germany, but said that Poland was 'from the military point of view the best of potential eastern allies'.89 These views constitute either a misunderstanding or deliberate misrepresentation of the Chiefs of Staffs advice presented in the 18 March memorandum, which was available to a small number of ministers in a more strongly
worded re-draft dated 28 March.90 This revised draft warned in plain language against issuing a guarantee. In the Service Chiefs' view, a guarantee to Poland or Rumania could spark a European war over as tenuous a cause as aggression against Danzig alone.The Wehrmacht would eliminate any Polish resistance within at most a few months, and there was no possibility whatsoever that either Britain or France could give Poland any assistance. Most
importantly, Britain and France would 'have surrendered the issues of peace and war with Germany to the action of governments over whom we have no control, and at a time when our defence programme [was] far from complete'.9' In short, neither Danzig nor the Corridor were worth the bones of a British grenadier.
Halifax and his Foreign Office advisers considered but rejected certain unwelcome aspects of this advice. The Chiefs of Staffs objection, after all, was based primarily on political considerations; they objected to a foreclosure of Britain's diplomatic options. Despite their pessimistic appreciation of Poland's ability to resist, they also wrote that a German campaign in Poland would seriously weaken the German army, as the Wehrmacht would suffer heavy casualties and would have to detail large numbers of troops for occupation duties. More importantly, Germany would require many more divisions to guard its new frontier with the Soviet Union. Even after a complete victory, therefore, Germany would not be able to reduce substantially the number of its troops in Poland. This dispersion of Germany's resources combined with an economic blockade would, in time, allow Britain and France to win the war. In the Chiefs' own words, a two-front war 'would greatly increase the strain on Germany's resources. This should reduce the period of her resistance, and we could regard the ultimate issue with confidence'.92 Quite unwittingly, the Chiefs of Staff had confirmed Halifax's rationale for issuing the guarantee to Poland.
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