If WWII breaks out in 1938 and the Soviets attack Poland, where would the eastern front line end up?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.
Futurist
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If WWII breaks out in 1938 and the Soviets attack Poland, where would the eastern front line end up?

Post by Futurist » 31 Mar 2019 23:15

If WWII breaks out in 1938 over Czechoslovakia and the Soviets attack Poland in response to a Polish seizure of Teschen (the Soviets were Czechoslovak allies), where would the eastern front line end up? I'm presuming that Germany would militarily intervene to protect Poland from the Soviet threat considering that it would want to keep the Soviets as far away from its own borders as possible, but where would the front line in the East ultimately end up? Poland is a large country and I want to know if the front line is going to be in western Poland, central Poland, or eastern Poland. I also want to know if most Polish Jews are going to end up on the German or Soviet side of the front line since that could ultimately determine what their final fate is going to be in this scenario.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?

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wm
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Re: If WWII breaks out in 1938 and the Soviets attack Poland, where would the eastern front line end up?

Post by wm » 01 Apr 2019 15:44

There wouldn't be any war whatsoever.
The Soviet-Czechoslovak treaty depended on the French-Czechoslovak treaty, it couldn't be activated alone.
The French-Czechoslovak treaty couldn't be activated against Poland.
nothing in the present Treaty is contrary to the above Agreements, and in particular to the Treaty of Alliance between France and Poland
Poland didn't attack Czechoslovakia and didn't intend to so really there was no reason for intervention.
Stalin was a good politician, he didn't intend to fight for free.
A few days before Munich the Czechs offered to return the territory in some unspecified future, in case war with Germany they would return it immediately in exchange for Polish support.

Futurist
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Re: If WWII breaks out in 1938 and the Soviets attack Poland, where would the eastern front line end up?

Post by Futurist » 02 Apr 2019 00:21

If the Czechs will hypothetically refuse to return Teschen, though, then Poland isn't actually going to invade Czechoslovakia in order to acquire Teschen--will it?

Sid Guttridge
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Re: If WWII breaks out in 1938 and the Soviets attack Poland, where would the eastern front line end up?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Apr 2019 05:51

Hi Fururist,

I would suggest that this is ahistorical.

The Czechoslovak-USSR alliance only came into force if France supported the victim.

Your premise would require France to declare war on its close ally Poland first, which is unlikely.

Cheers,

Sid.

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wm
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Re: If WWII breaks out in 1938 and the Soviets attack Poland, where would the eastern front line end up?

Post by wm » 02 Apr 2019 12:51

Poland didn't demand the territory, it demanded: "the same rights as granted to the German minority."
So no Munich means nothing would happen.

The post-Munich ultimatum was based on:
- on the Czech offer to return the territory, provisionally in a month,
- the Munich Agreement, accepted by Czechoslovakia, which required the territory was handed over in three months through the process of the First Vienna Arbitration.

The Poles were offended by the three months, the arbitration and the nationality of the arbiters so they resorted to the ultimatum because "the same rights as granted to the German minority" and the Germans didn't have to wait.

The Czechs accepted the Munich Agreement so they really had no reason to refuse, the refusal and a war over "three months" didn't make sense.
The Poles knew that and I don't think such an eventuality was ever discussed so we really we don't know.
But still four months earlier the Polish leader Rydz-Śmigły declared to the French that under "no circumstances Poland would attack Czechoslovakia" and as a guarantee gave his "officer's word of honor."

But because of the forthcoming elections in Poland the government was under enormous pressure, and failure in this case wasn't an option.

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