Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

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wm
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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 05 Nov 2020 19:50

Czechoslovakia didn't merely annex the Sudentenland but parts of Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, and even Slovakia.

Actually, the Czechs were a major Eastern European predator, and their antics made any meaningful alliance between Eastern European countries impossible.

Interbellum Poland didn't live in the past and didn't try to recreate the former Commonwealth. It was a modern state (certainly more modern than the colonial or apartheid empires that dominated the world at that time) - based on a single culture and as minimal minority populations as possible.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 06 Nov 2020 12:48

wm wrote:
05 Nov 2020 19:50
Czechoslovakia didn't merely annex the Sudentenland but parts of Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, and even Slovakia.

Actually, the Czechs were a major Eastern European predator, and their antics made any meaningful alliance between Eastern European countries impossible.

Interbellum Poland didn't live in the past and didn't try to recreate the former Commonwealth. It was a modern state (certainly more modern than the colonial or apartheid empires that dominated the world at that time) - based on a single culture and as minimal minority populations as possible.
A single culture ?As minimal minority populations as possible ?
Polish population was in 1939 35 million of whom 38 % ethnic minorities,thus 21,7 million of Poles and 13,3 million of non Poles.
Wilson ( always him ! ) said that AH should disappear and should be replaced by new states founded on one single culture .
The result was that the 3 new states were multi cultural based states where the dominating group had 62 % of the population (Poland ),55 % of the population (CZ) and only a minority in Yugoslavia .( 40 % )
These situations were unsustainable.
These situations would result in a new war . That's why Britain refused in Versailles and even in 1939 to guarantee the borders east of the Rhine .

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 06 Nov 2020 18:59

The numbers are wrong; about 50 percent of those minorities didn't form a local majority anywhere.
The Jews (10 percent) didn't; the Germans didn't.
A large group of peasants didn't identify themselves with any nationality.

Poland wasn't like Czechoslovakia or Yougoslavia by any stretch of the imagination.
The only minority worth speaking of was the Ukrainians, and Poland literally saved them from the Soviet genocide.

Today the majority of countries on this planet are like pre-war Poland or worse. We may start with Britain and Israel, Russia, India, China.

As seen from the interbellum period, where the world was dominated by huge colonial empires of Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Russia, Japan, Italy - preaching from a high horse that Poland was a bad boy because 10+ percent of Ukrainians formed a majority locally is beyond absurd.

The situation didn't result in war.
Poland was invaded by Germany because of Hitler's geopolitical ambitions; he said that himself.

Poland was invaded by Russia because of Stalin's ambitions and because communist doctrine demanded that.
Anyway, Stalin invaded five(!) other countries besides Poland and threatened another (Bulgaria.)

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Futurist » 09 Nov 2020 03:32

wm wrote:
06 Nov 2020 18:59
The only minority worth speaking of was the Ukrainians, and Poland literally saved them from the Soviet genocide.
Wasn't that an argument in favor of having Poland annex even more Ukrainians and Belarusians in 1921, though?

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 09 Nov 2020 11:10

The Polish negotiators at Riga represented Poland, not the Ukrainians.
And actually, they consciously left hundreds of thousands of Poles on the other side.
People who were later systematically exterminated during the so-called Polish Operation of the NKVD.

Although it was certain that the Bolsheviks would commit cultural genocide on Russians and the minorities nobody expected what came next.
Like the Holocaust, it was a little too hard to imagine.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 10 Nov 2020 10:50

Futurist wrote:
09 Nov 2020 03:32
wm wrote:
06 Nov 2020 18:59
The only minority worth speaking of was the Ukrainians, and Poland literally saved them from the Soviet genocide.
Wasn't that an argument in favor of having Poland annex even more Ukrainians and Belarusians in 1921, though?
You never heard of the OUN ?
Besides : the fate of the Ukrainians was not the business of Poland .
During WWII the OUN killed 100000 Poles in Galicia,after the war Poland expelled more than 100000 Ukrainians .

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 10 Nov 2020 11:12

wm wrote:
06 Nov 2020 18:59
The numbers are wrong; about 50 percent of those minorities didn't form a local majority anywhere.
The Jews (10 percent) didn't; the Germans didn't.
A large group of peasants didn't identify themselves with any nationality.

Poland wasn't like Czechoslovakia or Yougoslavia by any stretch of the imagination.
The only minority worth speaking of was the Ukrainians, and Poland literally saved them from the Soviet genocide.

Today the majority of countries on this planet are like pre-war Poland or worse. We may start with Britain and Israel, Russia, India, China.

As seen from the interbellum period, where the world was dominated by huge colonial empires of Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Russia, Japan, Italy - preaching from a high horse that Poland was a bad boy because 10+ percent of Ukrainians formed a majority locally is beyond absurd.
I have ''only 'one Soviet invasion , that of Finland , the Baltics did not fight, thus there was no Soviet invasion of the Baltics . Neither was Romania fighting .
One should also not exaggerate the Holomodor.
Whatever, Europe east of the Rhine was a tinderbox :
Poland encircled by hostile Germany, USSR., CZ and Lithuania
CZ encircled by hostile Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria
Hungary encircled by hostile CZ,Romania and Yugoslavia
Romania by Bulgaria, USSR and Hungary
Greece by Turkey and Bulgaria
Yugoslavia by Austria, Italy, Hungary and Greece.
Poland, CZ and Yugoslavia existed after WWI thanks to the defeat of Austria-Hungary, of Germany and of Russia .
Every one could know /and knew that Germany and Russia would become strong again and no longer accept the Treaty of Versailles.
Every one could know/knew that for France the independence/even the existence of Poland, CZ and Yugoslavia was not worth the bones of a French poilu and that France would thus not fight for the independence /existence of Poland, CZ and Yugoslavia .
Besides, France told it openly and also implicitly that it would not fight to conserve Versailles in 1929 when it decided to build the Maginot Line : for France the Maginot Line was better than the Polish army, than the CZ air force .
Every one knew also that even if the outcome of the war ( and the decision of war was in the hands of Benesj and Beck )was the defeat of Germany , it would also be the end of Poland, CZ and Yugoslavia as independent states .
These countries had the choice : to become satellites of Germany or to become satellites of the USSR .And in both cases with a different border and a different population .

The situation didn't result in war.
Poland was invaded by Germany because of Hitler's geopolitical ambitions; he said that himself.

Poland was invaded by Russia because of Stalin's ambitions and because communist doctrine demanded that.
Anyway, Stalin invaded five(!) other countries besides Poland and threatened another (Bulgaria.)

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 10 Nov 2020 16:01

There were various "encirclements" but they didn't and wouldn't lead to war.
The countries played diplomatic games with each other but didn't intend to resort to war to resolve their differences.
Even the Soviets behaved itself - till Hitler provided help and protection for their aggressions.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 10 Nov 2020 16:09

ljadw wrote:
10 Nov 2020 10:50
During WWII the OUN killed 100000 Poles in Galicia,after the war Poland expelled more than 100000 Ukrainians .
To be correct, the Soviets expelled the Ukrainians from Poland - to the USSR or Siberia.

The Polish commies dispersed the remaining Ukrainians all around the so-called recovered territories and gave them former German houses and homesteads - actually vastly better than their own rickety thatch houses.

That was quite nice of them. The Soviets and the Nazis didn't give anything to the people they expelled, especially good houses.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 10 Nov 2020 19:07

wm wrote:
10 Nov 2020 16:01
There were various "encirclements" but they didn't and wouldn't lead to war.
The countries played diplomatic games with each other but didn't intend to resort to war to resolve their differences.
Even the Soviets behaved itself - till Hitler provided help and protection for their aggressions.
Hungary forced Romania to give back Transsylvania, the Soviets forced Romania to give back Bessarabia.
The Soviets took back the eastern territories from Poland .
Poland took a part of Lithuania, Bulgaria a part of Greece,Greece a part of Turkey, Turkey took it back. Italy and Yugoslavia fought over Fiume,...dozens of Sudeten Germans were killed by the Czech police in 1919 . Austria and Serbia fought over Karinthia,....
The list is incomplete .
The whole region was a minefield . Hitler did not create the problems, the problems existed before 1933 .
Versailles ( Wilson was the main responsible ) had created east of the Rhine a situation that could not last .
There was no big war before 1933 because Germany was to weak . After 1933,Germany became strong enough to change the existing situation .
The solution of the Sudeten problem resulted in the emerging of other problems in CZ :the Slovaks, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Teszin .
The solution of the German problem in Poland (as how the Germans wanted ) exacerbated the problems with the Ukrainians ,which meant : a Soviet intervention: Stalin would never admit that the Germans would occupy eastern Poland with its Ukrainian majority and that the Germans could create an Ukrainian state .
The same problem existed and exists,mutatis mutandis,in the ME ,where a Kurdish state would result in the intervention of Turkey and Iran .
That's why Old Bush did nothing after the First war with Iraq when Saddam crushed a Kurdish rebellion .
The fall of the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago created the Kurdish problem .
The fall 100 years ago of A-H and Russia created the Ukrainian problem .
There was a silent agreement between Stalin and Pilsudski to prevent the existence of an Ukrainian state .
There was a silent agreement between Pilsudski, Stalin and Hitler in March 1939 to prevent an Ukrainian state .Ruthenia was occupied by Hungary and thousands of Ukrainians were shot .
Iraqi Kurdistan has been several times invaded by Turkey and Iran and thousands of Kurds were shot .
The parallel is striking .

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2020 02:16

ljadw wrote:
10 Nov 2020 10:50
Futurist wrote:
09 Nov 2020 03:32
wm wrote:
06 Nov 2020 18:59
The only minority worth speaking of was the Ukrainians, and Poland literally saved them from the Soviet genocide.
Wasn't that an argument in favor of having Poland annex even more Ukrainians and Belarusians in 1921, though?
You never heard of the OUN ?
Besides : the fate of the Ukrainians was not the business of Poland .
During WWII the OUN killed 100000 Poles in Galicia,after the war Poland expelled more than 100000 Ukrainians .
I'm well-aware of them, but Poland appears to have managed them relatively well before 1939, no?

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 11 Nov 2020 07:27

Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2020 02:16
ljadw wrote:
10 Nov 2020 10:50
Futurist wrote:
09 Nov 2020 03:32
wm wrote:
06 Nov 2020 18:59
The only minority worth speaking of was the Ukrainians, and Poland literally saved them from the Soviet genocide.
Wasn't that an argument in favor of having Poland annex even more Ukrainians and Belarusians in 1921, though?
You never heard of the OUN ?
Besides : the fate of the Ukrainians was not the business of Poland .
During WWII the OUN killed 100000 Poles in Galicia,after the war Poland expelled more than 100000 Ukrainians .
I'm well-aware of them, but Poland appears to have managed them relatively well before 1939, no?
The OUN tried to kill Pilsudski, in 1930 1700 people were arrested in the Lvov region,on September 21 ,when the Soviets came, there was a mass anti Polish pogrom .
The hatred between Poles and Ukrainians was enormous .
The Ukrainians (15 % of the population ) were hostile to the Polish state .Eastern Poland was occupied territory .
''Relatively well "" ?

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 11 Nov 2020 12:54

The Polish-Ukrainian conflict was a tiny one, nothing in comparison with the Troubles, The Algerian War of Independence, The First Indochina War, and masses of other colonial wars of independence.

The Ukrainian peasants (i.e., the absolute majority of the Ukrainians) were largely indifferent and could only have been roused to action by incessant propaganda efforts.

Actually, my family that lived there, till the war, didn't record any act of Ukrainian hostility, my grandfather had many Ukrainian friends.
it seemed the Ukrainian peasants were mostly preoccupied with trivial conflicts among themselves (a common trait among the poor), and some in my family helped them to fill out relevant court fillings.

Even more, when the OUN ordered the genocide of all non-Ukrainians (it wasn't actually about the Poles - the Jews, Czechs, Russians, even some Ukrainians got the same treatment) and my family was on the run for months, they were many times helped by Ukrainians - people they knew and sometimes didn't. They wouldn't survive without them.
It should be added the OUN (or rather the faction called Banderities) killed Ukrainians in large numbers too - from other factions and people they didn't like.

The genocide of all non-Ukrainians was absolutely surprised to my family, even tens of years later many could understand why it happened. The Polish-Ukrainian conflict was something you could read in Western media, it was largely invisible to the people there.

And there wasn't any real anti-Polish pogrom, the Ukrainian underground was mostly concerned with attacking and disarming retreating Polish soldiers, trying to secure as many weapons as possible.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 11 Nov 2020 13:21

ljadw wrote:
10 Nov 2020 19:07
Hungary forced Romania to give back Transsylvania, the Soviets forced Romania to give back Bessarabia.
The Soviets took back the eastern territories from Poland .
Poland took a part of Lithuania, Bulgaria a part of Greece,Greece a part of Turkey, Turkey took it back. Italy and Yugoslavia fought over Fiume,...dozens of Sudeten Germans were killed by the Czech police in 1919 . Austria and Serbia fought over Karinthia,....
The list is incomplete .
After the Great War, the newly emerged states lacked proper borders so they had to negotiate or fight them out among themselves.
That was a natural development and basically nothing wrong with it.
After that, Eastern Europe was stable although unable to form a common political bloc.

The only destabilizing element was Hitler and his dreams of global domination.
It wasn't even Germany as Weimar Germany supported the Kellogg-Briand Pact, renounced the use of force in international disputes. The Germans themselves didn't support the initial Hitler's aggression (or rather were afraid of its results.)

A silent agreement between Stalin and Pilsudski to prevent the existence of a Ukrainian state never existed. Especially in 1939.
In fact, Polish diplomats invariably and emphatically refused to even discuss Ukraine with the Germans.
January, 1939
Minister Beck then said that since Mr. von Ribbentrop speaks of the matter openly, he also prefers to treat it entirely openly, because it is preferable to speak frankly than to engage in false courtesy.
When Ribbentrop attempted to suggest compensation in the Ukraine, Minister Beck replied that what he was proposing was not an object of compensation, as Minister Beck wouldn't even know what to do with such an object.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 11 Nov 2020 14:26

Poland did not want an Ukrainian state .
Stalin did not want an Ukrainian state . That's why he took eastern Poland in September 1939 .
In March 1939 Hitler could have created an Ukrainian state, but this could have resulted in a rapprochement between Poland and the USSR, that's why Hitler decided to give Ruthenia to Hungary .
Thus,there was a silent agreement between Poland, Germany and the USSR to prevent the creation of an Ukrainian state.Such a state was a danger for Poland, for Stalin, for Hitler ..
The only reason why Weimar supported K/B was that Germany was too weak to change Versailles .And, Hitler's foreign policy ( which was the continuation of the foreign policy of Weimar ) was supported even by the German communists .

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