The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

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Art
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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by Art » 17 Nov 2020 17:02

gebhk wrote:
17 Nov 2020 12:56
(Order No 1423, Smolensk, 2 July 1920)
There is nothing about watering horses in Seine or overrunning the hole Europe here. I would also consider a PR character of this document whose aim was obviously to raise the troop morale with some flamboyant phrases.
The following from Lenin, 1920:
German steam hammers together with Russian bread will conquer the world.
That is a non-authentic quote, see:
https://labas.livejournal.com/1086217.html
There are no evidences that these words really belonged to Lenin.

Other quotes are either of dubious authenticity too or don't really discuss the march to Seine as a military plan.

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by gebhk » 17 Nov 2020 21:06

Hi Art
There is nothing about watering horses in Seine or overrunning the hole Europe here. I would also consider a PR character of this document whose aim was obviously to raise the troop morale with some flamboyant phrases.
And i never said there was. However there is a clear announcement of intent to continue the campaign beyond the borders of Poland (to the whole world in fact, not just the whole of Europe!). Whether it was real plan, wishful thinking or pure bombast is immaterial. The myth-making - if any - was neither Polish nor patriotic!

With regard to watering horses in the Seine, clearly I mixed my metaphors (possibly with a certain general AS Johnson) - the Budyonny quote refers to hooves in Paris squares instead but it hardly makes much difference to the meaning of the statement.
There are no evidences that these words really belonged to Lenin.

I'm afraid my Russian is rusty to the point of fusion, however if I translate correctly the first post, it ascribes the quote to Avtorkhanov, who I suspect was not a Polish patriot either.

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by gebhk » 19 Nov 2020 10:09

Incidentally, Tukhachevski wrote a monograph about the war, so his views on the matter may well be documented there. I believe it is available translated into Polish, but you may have a copy already Art?

Futurist: Perhaps a more fruitful question might be, what if, for whatever reason, the Red Army was stopped on or around the Curzon Line?

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by Futurist » 20 Nov 2020 09:20

gebhk wrote:
19 Nov 2020 10:09
Futurist: Perhaps a more fruitful question might be, what if, for whatever reason, the Red Army was stopped on or around the Curzon Line?
Agreed.

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by gebhk » 20 Nov 2020 18:18

Again, I think the question has many moving parts.
- Does France and England want to get involved in further aggravation in the East? By now the Civil War is over so not much to be cooked at that fire. Both countries exhausted by war. Lloyd George not particularly fond of Poland. The French evidently never fond of the notion of supporting Poland in a war against 'Russia'. So direct support is unlikely.
- Would the Americans want to get involved? Probably only to pursue policies of self-determination, which would maybe aim at kicking the Soviets out of what became the Kresy but only to set up Ukraine and Belarus as independent countries, return bits or all of Wilno region to the Lithuanians and whatnot. Doesn't forward Polish interests much or at all.
- While both Poland and USSR were fairly exhausted, Poland was, I would suggest, less able to support an attritional shoving match for any length of time, especially if Poland has to rely entirely on her own resources for military supplies.
- Would the USSR want give up at that point is still a valid question? Don't see it. If Poland was alone, and the above suggests that would be likely, the USSR would be able to rebuild its offensive power much more quickly than Poland and be able to resume its glorious march to the West.

I suspect that the only chance would be for Poland to pull a rabbit out of the bag and quickly mount a successful offensive on the scale of the actual Battle of Warsaw. And the 'Miracle of the Wisla' , in part, got its name from the uncanny serendipity of fortuitous coincidences and Soviet errors which made its success as spectacular as it was. Some of these factors - such as the splitting of the Soviet forces and the extension of the Soviet lines of communication would certainly not have been in play in a battle fought along the Curzon line.

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by Futurist » 20 Nov 2020 22:58

Why did the Soviet forces get split near Warsaw in 1920?

As for the US, due to the increased isolationist sentiment in the US back then, I really don't see the US actually being willing to militarily help Poland against the Bolsheviks.

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by gebhk » 21 Nov 2020 01:39

They didn't - they were split before they got to Warsaw by the Polesie Marshes into two fronts. Since the northern front (the 'Western Front') of Tukhachewski advanced faster and further than that of the Southern Front (the 'South-Western Front') of Yegorow it created a weekend joint and exposed the left flank creating an ideal strategic opportunity for a flanking attack from the south.

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by Futurist » 21 Nov 2020 01:55

gebhk wrote:
21 Nov 2020 01:39
They didn't - they were split before they got to Warsaw by the Polesie Marshes into two fronts. Since the northern front (the 'Western Front') of Tukhachewski advanced faster and further than that of the Southern Front (the 'South-Western Front') of Yegorow it created a weekend joint and exposed the left flank creating an ideal strategic opportunity for a flanking attack from the south.
*Weakened joint

Anyway, very interesting!

Why did the Soviets fail to conquer the Baltic countries in 1919-1921?

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by gebhk » 21 Nov 2020 15:02

Blasted predictive script! It was not my intention to imply that Marshall Tukhachewski enjoyed smoking illicit herbs on the Sabbath!

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by Art » 21 Nov 2020 15:10

gebhk wrote:
17 Nov 2020 21:06
And i never said there was. However there is a clear announcement of intent to continue the campaign beyond the borders of Poland (to the whole world in fact, not just the whole of Europe!).
I don't see an intent to continue the campaign. There is a belief that revolution would spread to other European countries (repeated in the Tukhechevsky work on the Polish campaign), which is different thing.
Lenin among other Soviet leaders expressed similar views in 1920: namely that Soviet advance to ethnic Poland would cause a revolutionary outburst and formation of the communist regime there, and then this outburst would contribute to revolution elsewhere in Europe. However, he didn't spoke about definitive plans to continue the campaign beyond Polish borders.
Then it would be a mistake to see this idea as a clear-cut plan unanimously accepted by the Bolshevik leaders. In fact there was a split of opinions and the ideas about revolutionizing Poland were opportunistic and only prevailed following great success on the front. In general, Soviet plans in July-August were two-pronged: either an advance into ethnic Poland was supposed to bring about military or political collapse of the regime and formation of revolutionary government or the present government would be forced to agree on such peace terms which would absolutely preclude further hostilities against the Soviet republics. Both options were considered quite satisfactory, the essential thing was to end the war ASAP.
I'm afraid my Russian is rusty to the point of fusion, however if I translate correctly the first post, it ascribes the quote to Avtorkhanov, who I suspect was not a Polish patriot either
This phrase (in various variation) was really used in early 1920s, but without reference to Lenin, and there is no indications that he really said it.

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by Futurist » 22 Nov 2020 22:20

Art wrote:
21 Nov 2020 15:10
Then it would be a mistake to see this idea as a clear-cut plan unanimously accepted by the Bolshevik leaders. In fact there was a split of opinions and the ideas about revolutionizing Poland were opportunistic and only prevailed following great success on the front. In general, Soviet plans in July-August were two-pronged: either an advance into ethnic Poland was supposed to bring about military or political collapse of the regime and formation of revolutionary government or the present government would be forced to agree on such peace terms which would absolutely preclude further hostilities against the Soviet republics. Both options were considered quite satisfactory, the essential thing was to end the war ASAP.
Was the latter likely to happen if Warsaw fell?

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by gebhk » 23 Nov 2020 11:32

This phrase (in various variation) was really used in early 1920s, but without reference to Lenin, and there is no indications that he really said it.
Hi Art, I think you may be missing the point. I think we all agree that Lenin may or may not have said it. However, the fact remains that the phrase (and its variations) emanated from the Soviet Union and not 'patriotic' Poland.

Your argument about Tukhachewski's order would be more convincing if the phrase
The road to worldwide conflagration leads over the corpse of White Poland.
wasn't immediately followed by:
On our bayonets we will bring happiness and peace to the working (?toiling) masses.
Even if T was being deliberately disingenuous, it is not unreasonable that most folk would interpret this statement the way they did and do. On a wider issue, even if we can't prove beyond doubt that some of the other statements I have quoted were really said by the people they are ascribed to (a problem with all oral statements recorded by others) the sources are not 'Polish patriots' but Soviet, British and German observers/commentators.

On the wider question, however, I think Art is correct. There was no agreed detailed plan as to what the war aims were and the plan evolved, as most war plans do, as the situation developed. However, while finishing the war ASAP was a priority, so was the spread of international communism/socialism (without going into the detail why) and if events had progressed in Poland as the more optimistic Soviet Leaders had hoped, I see little reason why the Red Army's advance would have been halted until it was stopped - either by military action or a very convincing show of force (and the latter only a factor if the view prevailed in the Soviet leadership that it was 'not enough to wave a red flag' to mobilise the workers to overthrow their government).

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by Futurist » 23 Nov 2020 23:46

gebhk wrote:
21 Nov 2020 15:02
Blasted predictive script! It was not my intention to imply that Marshall Tukhachewski enjoyed smoking illicit herbs on the Sabbath!
Is smoking on the Sabbath against Jewish law? ;)

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by maltesefalcon » 27 Nov 2020 17:20

Since I managed to login despite this continued Capcha nonsense I might as well add my comment

The 1920 campaign by the Soviet Union would have to delay a bit. Until December 1922 to be precise, as the Soviet Union did not exist until then.

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Re: The Soviet Union halts its northern offensive at the Curzon Line in July-August 1920

Post by Futurist » 28 Nov 2020 03:21

maltesefalcon wrote:
27 Nov 2020 17:20
Since I managed to login despite this continued Capcha nonsense I might as well add my comment

The 1920 campaign by the Soviet Union would have to delay a bit. Until December 1922 to be precise, as the Soviet Union did not exist until then.
By "Soviet Union", I meant the Bolsheviks.

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