Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

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Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by Futurist » 23 Sep 2018 23:59

Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe in the 1920s and beyond if Poland fell in 1920?

Specifically, I am thinking of having the Red Army win the Battle of Warsaw in 1920 and thus capture most of Poland--with Germany capturing the westernmost parts of Poland and returning to its 1914 borders in the East.

If most of Poland--and possibly the Baltic countries as well--would have ended up under Soviet rule and the Soviet Union and Germany would have had a common border, would the U.S. have been willing to form alliances with European countries in the 1920s and beyond to combat the further spread of Communism?

For the record, I am thinking of a US-Franco-British alliance against Communism which Italy, Germany, and other countries can join later on.
Last edited by Futurist on 24 Sep 2018 00:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by Futurist » 24 Sep 2018 00:00

What makes me curious about this is that the US stood aside while Hitler was posing more and more of a threat to his neighbors in the 1930s while the US was much more willing to aggressively combat Communism in the decades after the end of World War II in our TL.

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by BDV » 24 Sep 2018 00:33

Depends on what do you think that the conceptual, philosophical, goals of US relation to the world, Europe in particular, are.

If you think that the American long term goal (consciously or unconsciously) is to remake the world in its image, the chances that US would get involved in a European brou-ha-ha, were 100%. Also expect US to enter the side of the weaker (but not too weak) party as to carry them over the goal line, and inflict maximal mayhem.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by maltesefalcon » 24 Sep 2018 02:12

The US did get involved in Russian affairs as one of the allies militarily supporting the White Russians in the Russian Civil War.
This occured around the same time frame as mentioned and was largely unsuccessful.

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by Futurist » 24 Sep 2018 02:26

maltesefalcon wrote:
24 Sep 2018 02:12
The US did get involved in Russian affairs as one of the allies militarily supporting the White Russians in the Russian Civil War.
This occured around the same time frame as mentioned and was largely unsuccessful.
That was a relatively small-scale intervention, no?

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?p

Post by maltesefalcon » 24 Sep 2018 04:51

Nevertheless it did happen and both the underwhelmng results and the overall war weariness combined to undermine popular support for any continued endeavours vs. the Bolsheviks.

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?p

Post by Futurist » 24 Sep 2018 05:19

maltesefalcon wrote:
24 Sep 2018 04:51
Nevertheless it did happen and both the underwhelmng results and the overall war weariness combined to undermine popular support for any continued endeavours vs. the Bolsheviks.
Defending Western Europe is in a different category from fighting the Bolsheviks in their own homeland, though.

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RE: Would The U.S. Been More Willing To Make Military Commitments In Europe If Poland Fell In 1920?

Post by Robert Rojas » 24 Sep 2018 06:40

Greetings to both brother Futurist and the community as a whole. Howdy Futurist (or Alvin Toffler if you so prefer)! Well sir, in respect to your introductory posting of Sunday - September 23, 2018 - 2:59pm, old yours truly thought that it just might surprise you of the disposition and strength of the United States Army after the armistice of November 11, 1918. At its height, there were no fewer than 250,000 military personnel in the German Rhineland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg conducting occupation duty. The period of occupation initiated in December of year 1918 and terminated in July of year 1923. After year 1923, the United States Army withdrew from Europe. Given the scale of the force in Western Germany, both the Wilson and Harding administrations certainly would have had the physical wherewithal to address the unpleasantness in neighboring Poland if they were inclined to do so. As cousin Maltese Falcon rightly points out within his posting of Sunday - September 23, 2018 - 7:51pm, there was no popular support for continued involvement in the affairs of Europe by the body politic of the United States of America. The body politic of the United States of America was ostensibly ISOLATIONIST in its world view - especially after the quite recent slaughter of 100,000 plus servicemen on the battlefields of France. If Europe was going to save itself from the Scarlett Legions of Bolshevism, then the Europeans would have to do it themselves. Back in the United States of America, the great economic boom that came to be known as the ROARING TWENTIES was under way without much domestic threat from the ilk of Marxist-Leninism. After all, the business of America is BUSINESS! Well, that's my initial two Yankee cents worth on this ill disguised political exercise - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in your corner of what was once our Golden State of California.

Best Regards From The Greater San Francisco Bay Area,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 24 Sep 2018 11:45

Wilson was incapacitated, and Mrs. W was by all reports "regent." Really, more than Wilson, the question should probably be "What does Edith think?"

The Republican Senate was uncategorically opposed to the League of Nations; Wilson had a stroke while barnstorming the Country trying to generate support for the League.

The 1920 elections were a complete rejection of Wilsonism; President Harding's campaign was centered on a "return to normalcy." Not a word in the American language. Got that. Gamaliel wasn't one to let THAT inconvenient fact get in his way, though.

Having made the World safe for Democracy, the American mind in 1920 was to get the troops home as quickly as possible. War's won. Kaiser's abdicated. Bury the dead, build memorials, write the official reports and history, go home and press on with what's next. Russia and Armenia didn't make any difference, and there's no reason to think Poland would either.
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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?p

Post by maltesefalcon » 24 Sep 2018 19:01

Futurist wrote:
24 Sep 2018 05:19
maltesefalcon wrote:
24 Sep 2018 04:51
Nevertheless it did happen and both the underwhelmng results and the overall war weariness combined to undermine popular support for any continued endeavours vs. the Bolsheviks.
Defending Western Europe is in a different category from fighting the Bolsheviks in their own homeland, though.
We are talking about 1920, not 1945. 1920 Soviet Russia did not have either the military or industrial strength it did in 1945. So they would not seem to be as formidable a threat at that time.

After Poland, the country most likely to be targetted by Soviet Russia is Germany. Perhaps after that a trek south into Austria? There would be little sympathy for these nations considering the ill will towards them that still remained post-Versailles.

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by Futurist » 25 Sep 2018 01:03

Plain Old Dave wrote:
24 Sep 2018 11:45
Wilson was incapacitated, and Mrs. W was by all reports "regent." Really, more than Wilson, the question should probably be "What does Edith think?"

The Republican Senate was uncategorically opposed to the League of Nations; Wilson had a stroke while barnstorming the Country trying to generate support for the League.

The 1920 elections were a complete rejection of Wilsonism; President Harding's campaign was centered on a "return to normalcy." Not a word in the American language. Got that. Gamaliel wasn't one to let THAT inconvenient fact get in his way, though.

Having made the World safe for Democracy, the American mind in 1920 was to get the troops home as quickly as possible. War's won. Kaiser's abdicated. Bury the dead, build memorials, write the official reports and history, go home and press on with what's next. Russia and Armenia didn't make any difference, and there's no reason to think Poland would either.
The Republicans (well, most of them) actually were willing to enter the League of Nations with reservations. Also, a significant number of Republicans were willing to agree to the security treaty with France (which would have established an Anglo-Franco-American alliance) in 1919-1920 but Wilson foolishly declined to take them up on this offer.

The common narrative about Wilson = internationalist and Republicans = isolationist has been debunked by Lloyd Ambrosius's work on this subject:

https://books.google.com/books?id=_0m4X ... us&f=false

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?p

Post by Futurist » 25 Sep 2018 01:04

maltesefalcon wrote:
24 Sep 2018 19:01
Futurist wrote:
24 Sep 2018 05:19
maltesefalcon wrote:
24 Sep 2018 04:51
Nevertheless it did happen and both the underwhelmng results and the overall war weariness combined to undermine popular support for any continued endeavours vs. the Bolsheviks.
Defending Western Europe is in a different category from fighting the Bolsheviks in their own homeland, though.
We are talking about 1920, not 1945. 1920 Soviet Russia did not have either the military or industrial strength it did in 1945. So they would not seem to be as formidable a threat at that time.

After Poland, the country most likely to be targetted by Soviet Russia is Germany. Perhaps after that a trek south into Austria? There would be little sympathy for these nations considering the ill will towards them that still remained post-Versailles.
Sure, the U.S. would dislike the Germans. However, it certainly wouldn't want Germany to fall under Soviet rule.

Also, while the Soviet Union wasn't a significant threat yet in 1920, this could change later on.

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by maltesefalcon » 25 Sep 2018 01:38

Historically the US entered both World Wars well into the game, as their allies were either being crushed or threatened to imminent defeat.

If they would stand by for 2-3 years in the face of aggression against their friends, I remain unconvinced they would shed any tears, let alone blood to defend their enemies. Again I am talking about the year 1920 not the Cold War era.

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by BDV » 25 Sep 2018 03:37

maltesefalcon wrote:
If they would stand by for 2-3 years in the face of aggression against their friends, I remain unconvinced they would shed any tears, let alone blood to defend their enemies. Again I am talking about the year 1920 not the Cold War era.

Funny because that's exactly what USofA did with the nah-zee Germany, anointing it staunch ally and defender of Demo-Cratie 4 short years after end of big brou-ha-ha

Also Entente only became 'allies' in AD 1917; 1916 saw German blockade runners fetted by the Yankee populace.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Would the US have been more willing to make military commitments in Europe if Poland fell in 1920?

Post by maltesefalcon » 26 Sep 2018 01:02

BDV wrote:
25 Sep 2018 03:37
maltesefalcon wrote:
If they would stand by for 2-3 years in the face of aggression against their friends, I remain unconvinced they would shed any tears, let alone blood to defend their enemies. Again I am talking about the year 1920 not the Cold War era.

Funny because that's exactly what USofA did with the nah-zee Germany, anointing it staunch ally and defender of Demo-Cratie 4 short years after end of big brou-ha-ha

Also Entente only became 'allies' in AD 1917; 1916 saw German blockade runners fetted by the Yankee populace.
Not funny at all. The OP clearly pointed out it was 1920 Poland and I was careful to point that out myself in the reply you just cited. Nevertheless you managed to time travel this to 25 years later under far different circumstances.

You also pointed out that the USA feted Germans while France was under attack. This does not support your argument, quite the opposite.

My reasoning for the specific time was that circumstances, enemies and friends can change with time. In the Napoleonic era, France was the enemy of the UK. By the time of Crimean War, France was an ally to defend Turkey against enemy Russia. Germany and Austria fought a war in the 1860s but were allies in 1914. Turkey was now an enemy of the Anglo French and both Japan and Italy were allies in 1914 but enemies in 1939. Even the US and UK fought two wars against each other.
Point is we need to focus our thoughts and comments on a snapshot of the period in question, not extrapolate with 20/20 hindsight over events No one at the time would have foreseen.

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