What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 May 2022 20:48

wm wrote:Even more preposterous is the idea that Russia was going to fight Germany alone (and for years)
This assertion has the serious problem that Stalin's entire foreign policy was based on creating an anti-Fascist coalition. I recommend reading at least the following:

-The Soviet Union and the Origins of the Second World War by Geoffrey Roberts.
-The Alliance that Never Was by Michael Jabara Carley
-Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 by Stephen Kotkin

Kotkin should have particular credibility here because he is, ideologically and personally, deeply hostile to Stalin and Communism (he's a fellow of the right wing Hoover Institution). When a right-wing biographer of Stalin says the SU was earnestly seeking an anti-Hitler alliance, you should believe him.

See also Soviet policy via Comintern: When the Fascist dictatorships emerged, Stalin ordered all communist parties to form Popular Fronts with the hated liberals to oppose Fascism domestically. In China, Stalin backed Nationalists over Communists. The notion that Stalin/SU were unwilling to ally with the liberal West to oppose Fascism is ahistorical, Cold War garbage.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7157
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by wm » 25 May 2022 21:13

Yes, he ordered all communist parties to form Popular Fronts with the additional (and main) intention to gain control of them from within.
It was the same idea as in 1945 when coalition (the communist + the left) governments were formed in Eastern Europe.
They lasted a few years then the others were assimilated or eliminated.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7157
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by wm » 25 May 2022 21:24

Already, in the early 1920s, Lenin had asked the Communists to cooperate with other groups, to infiltrate them, and to seize initiative within them.

Now the directives stated that the party would cooperate with other political groups, while, at the same time, it would keep itself intact as a separate organization.
In his analysis of the party's situation in mid-1939, the Communist historian Jan Křen quotes Lenin and writes that "this independent position of the party in the overall stream of resistance abroad, bouncing off 'class isolation of the proletariat that tomorrow may find itself in a fight against its allies of today', was applicable to all aspects of the party activity. 




True to Lenin's exhortations, the Communists applied the dialectical rule "unity with them" (the temporary allies) in the struggle for liberation, and "struggle against them" whenever these temporary allies would deviate from the party line or would do something that would conflict with the long-range party interests.
Czechoslovakia’s Role in Soviet Strategy by Josef Kalvoda

rkka_arvgk
Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 01 Jul 2020 17:37
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by rkka_arvgk » 25 May 2022 21:40

"The resistance collapsed because Poland was attacked from behind. Poland indented to resist in the barely-accessible in autumn Eastern parts of Poland. The gradual withdrawal to the East was in the plan. "

False. The condition for Polish forces I described is found in the West Point map series for WWII in the European theater of operations, linked below. The Polish Army is in the condition I describe by 14 September, 3 days before the Red Army moved an inch.

https://www.westpoint.edu/sites/default ... rope06.pdf

And even the map that shows Polish situation by 22 September shows that German forces had surrounded every single significant concentration of the Polish Army by 22 September, even the two Polish divisions at Byalostock!

https://www.westpoint.edu/sites/default ... rope07.pdf

So your claim above is hilariously non-factual.

"The (genocidal) Stalinist Russia wasn't going to pull capitalist chestnuts out of the fire for the benefit of its enemies (i.e., Britain and France.)"

The USSR was going to wage war to thwart Adolf's ambition for a "Drang Noch Osten" to take land for the German plow from the Slavic untermensches, Poles and Ukrainians very much included.

"Even more preposterous is the idea that Russia was going to fight Germany alone (and for years) - as it was obvious France had no offensive capabilities in 1939."

Without the booty Germany seized in France in 1940, the Axis war economy is a very shaky affair, as Tooze's "The Wages of Destruction - The Making & Breaking of the Nazi War Economy"

"When the British committed themselves to the defense of Poland, they simultaneously handed over to Russia the only thing Russia needed - a prospect of a devastating war between capitalist countries without its involvement. Russia simply didn't need and shouldn't have been involved in that."

Given the fate of HMG's guarantee of Czechoslovakia, one would be foolish to place any reliance on a "guarantee" so shot through with loopholes & qualifications as HMG's guarantee to Poland. Which is why the Soviet gvt were holding out for a full-dress warfighting alliance with all the trimmings at the Moscow military staff talks.

"The talks between the Allies and Stalinist Russia didn't collapse because Poland refused"

Up until a mere 3 days before the planned commencement of the German attack on Poland, on 26 August, the Polish attitude was indeed refusal. And even at that very late date, there was no indication that the Polish gvt would actually accept Soviet troops operating on Polish soil in the event of a German attack on Poland. Three days is precious little time for the planning & coordination of joint defensive operations on the scale required to prevent the historical prompt & total collapse of effective resistance by the Polish Army.

"The Allies were reluctant to sign the more important political agreement because Stalinist Russia wanted to be paid for its services with a free hand in Eastern Europe, with the right to sovietize Eastern Europe."

What the Soviet gvt actually proposed was a force to intervene in the event of a German attack on Poland, and an inter-Allied occupation of the Baltic ports.

The actual alternative to that being the prompt & total conquest of all of Poland & likely German occupation of the Baltics subsequently.

Somehow this actually existing alternative seems not to upset you as much as what happened historically.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 May 2022 21:50

rkka_arvgk wrote:Given the fate of HMG's guarantee of Czechoslovakia, one would be foolish to place any reliance on a "guarantee" so shot through with loopholes & qualifications as HMG's guarantee to Poland. Which is why the Soviet gvt were holding out for a full-dress warfighting alliance with all the trimmings at the Moscow military staff talks.
Exactly. Stalin's choice wasn't the Pact and minding his own business. It was between the Pact and a very real prospect of Britain/France allowing Hitler to treat Slavs the way Britain/France treated non-white peoples.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7157
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by wm » 25 May 2022 22:02

rkka_arvgk wrote:
25 May 2022 21:40
The USSR was going to wage war to thwart Adolf's ambition for a "Drang Noch Osten" to take land for the German plow from the Slavic untermensches, Poles and Ukrainians very much included.
Then please show me an example of Nazi Germany calling the Poles or Ukrainians "Untermensch" pre-ww2.
Nazi Germany was a small challenger to the British and French globe-spanning empires. To destroy Germany for the benefit of Britain and France would be idiotic - it would make the enemy (i.e., capitalism) stronger.

Yes! The USSR was going to wage war to thwart Adolf's ambition.
And that's why they attacked Poland and then Finland. And then Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
And Romania. And threatened Bulgaria. Seven countries in total.
It was Adolf who (eventually and unsuccessfully) stopped Stalin's ambitions - because Stalin even demanded more (i.e., the Dardanelles and control of the Baltic Sea).

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 May 2022 22:06

wm wrote:
25 May 2022 22:02
Then please show me an example of Nazi Germany calling the Poles or Ukrainians "Untermensch" pre-ww2.
Mein Kampf. Whether he used the u-word or not, he clearly stated Germany's intent to expand eastwards.
wm wrote:
It was Adolf who (eventually and unsuccessfully) stopped Stalin's ambitions
Oh for f*&$'s sake.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

rkka_arvgk
Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 01 Jul 2020 17:37
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by rkka_arvgk » 25 May 2022 22:08

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
25 May 2022 21:50
rkka_arvgk wrote:Given the fate of HMG's guarantee of Czechoslovakia, one would be foolish to place any reliance on a "guarantee" so shot through with loopholes & qualifications as HMG's guarantee to Poland. Which is why the Soviet gvt were holding out for a full-dress warfighting alliance with all the trimmings at the Moscow military staff talks.
Exactly. Stalin's choice wasn't the Pact and minding his own business. It was between the Pact and a very real prospect of Britain/France allowing Hitler to treat Slavs the way Britain/France treated non-white peoples.
Indeed, especially given the Polish refusal to even discuss admitting the Red Army operating on Polish soil in the event of a German attack on Poland until a time so late as to make the planning & coordination of combined military operations extremely problematic. Ultimately, without visible Anglo-French military preparations to intervene against Germany in the event of a German military attack on Poland, by late August 1939 the USSR was going to have a border with Nazi Germany, Pact of no Pact.

The only open question by that time was where that border would be, and if the USSR was going to have effective allies at the time that border materialized.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 May 2022 22:11

rkka_arvgk wrote:Ultimately, without visible Anglo-French military preparations to intervene against Germany in the event of a German military attack on Poland, by late August 1939 the USSR was going to have a border with Nazi Germany, Pact or no Pact.
Excellent point.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

rkka_arvgk
Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 01 Jul 2020 17:37
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by rkka_arvgk » 25 May 2022 22:11

wm wrote:
25 May 2022 22:02
rkka_arvgk wrote:
25 May 2022 21:40
The USSR was going to wage war to thwart Adolf's ambition for a "Drang Noch Osten" to take land for the German plow from the Slavic untermensches, Poles and Ukrainians very much included.
Then please show me an example of Nazi Germany calling the Poles or Ukrainians "Untermensch" pre-ww2.
You're not up on Nazi racial theories, are you.

All Slavs were "untermenschen" This includes Poles & Ukrainians.

When we speak of land in Europe today we can have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states.

"To destroy Germany for the benefit of Britain and France would be idiotic - it would make the enemy (i.e., capitalism) stronger."

Adolf was a capitalist, believing that the free enterprise system was the only possible economic system. When every single element of German national politics, except the Left, granted him the authority to rule by decree for four years, he used that authority to privatize a number of things like municipal trolly systems & electric power plants.

"Yes! The USSR was going to wage war to thwart Adolf's ambition."

Indeed, at least as long as there was a chance to create a powerful anti-Nazi coalition. But given the Polish gvts refusal to even consider accepting Soviet forces in the event of a German attack on Poland until practically all the sand had drained from the hourglass, the Soviet gvt acted to limit Nazi gains in the Fall of '39.
Last edited by rkka_arvgk on 25 May 2022 22:20, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 May 2022 22:15

The tragedy of all this - maybe obvious but bears repeating because the West won't accept it: West allowed WW2 to happen out of fear of Communist expansion, from which they got Communist expansion anyways (the millions of deaths being just an "extra").
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7157
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by wm » 25 May 2022 22:32

rkka_arvgk wrote:
25 May 2022 22:11
All Slavs were "untermenschen" This includes Poles & Ukrainians.
Not true.
The Poles and the Ukrainians weren't pre-ww2.

rkka_arvgk wrote:
25 May 2022 22:11
Indeed, at least as long as there was a chance to create a powerful anti-Nazi coalition. But given the Polish gvts refusal to even consider accepting Soviet forces in the event of a German attack on Poland until practically all the sand had drained from the hourglass, the Soviet gvt acted to limit Nazi gains in the Fall of '39.
Not true either. The military agreement was subordinate to the political agreement. And the allies refused to sign the political agreement earlier.
This is why the military agreement was negotiated in parallel - to gain time to negotiate the political agreement.

And this:
Cable from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Embassy in London on possible Polish-Soviet military cooperation
Warsaw, 23 August 1939
Cipher cable No. 230
Secret
[...]
I declared that the Polish government did not believe in the effectiveness of these tactical interventions, but we worked out a formula to make the situation of the French-English delegation easier.
With this I repeated, for internal use, our reservations about Soviet troops marching through Poland.
The formula would be that the French and English staffs are certain that, in the event of common action against aggressors, cooperation between the USSR and Poland, on conditions that remain to be defined, cannot be ruled out.
Given this, the staffs consider it necessary to conduct an analysis of all hypotheses with the Soviet staff.
[...]
I reiterated once again the indecency of the Soviets discussing our affairs with France and England without turning to us.
Beck

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7157
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by wm » 25 May 2022 22:40

And this:
7 September 1939
Stalin:
A war is on between two groups of capitalist countries...for the re-division of the world, for the domination of the world!
We see nothing wrong in their having a good hard fight and weakening each other.

It would be fine if at the hands of Germany the position of the richest capitalist countries (especially England) were shaken.
Hitler, without understanding it or desiring it, is shaking and undermining the capitalist system...

We can maneuver, pit one side against the other to set them fighting with each other as fiercely as possible.
The non-aggression pact is to a certain degree helping Germany.
Next time we’ll urge on the other side.
What would be the harm if as a result of the rout of Poland we were to extend the socialist system onto new territories and populations?
The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov, 1933-1949

rkka_arvgk
Member
Posts: 14
Joined: 01 Jul 2020 17:37
Location: USA

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by rkka_arvgk » 25 May 2022 23:27

"Not true.
The Poles and the Ukrainians weren't pre-ww2."

You're claiming that Poles & Ukrainians weren't considered Slavs before WWII?

Syllogism.
Poles & Ukrainians are mostly Slavs.
Nazi racial theories before WWII considered Slavs to be untermenschen.
Therefore, Nazi racial theories before WWII considered Poles & Ukrainians untermenschen.

"Not true either. The military agreement was subordinate to the political agreement. And the allies refused to sign the political agreement earlier.
This is why the military agreement was negotiated in parallel - to gain time to negotiate the political agreement."

Yes true. The Polish gvt refused to even consider discussing accepting Soviet troops operating on Polish soil until 23 August, a mere 3 days before the planned beginning of the German attack on Poland on 26 August 1939. The sands had run out on the time to plan & coordinate Polish-Soviet military operations in defense of Poland.
Last edited by rkka_arvgk on 26 May 2022 00:31, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7157
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by wm » 25 May 2022 23:53

The Soviets never asked the Poles for anything especially to accept Soviet troops.

Although they demanded that the Allies delivered the acceptance (a few days before 23 August), among other demands, as blatantly delaying tactics to gain time to iron out the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

I've said the Poles or Ukrainians weren't considered to be "Untermensch" pre-ww2. And don't tell it's in Mein Kampf.
I've read Mein Kampf many times. I will give you a brand new Tesla if you find it there.
Even the words "Poland" and "Poles" basically don't exist there.
Last edited by wm on 25 May 2022 23:57, edited 1 time in total.

Return to “What if”