Poor Poland.

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
carll
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Poor Poland.

Post by carll » 14 Apr 2016 03:54

Reading the literature and watching documentaries about the second world war it seems that the consensus regarding Poland is of a peaceful democratic victim of aggression, when in fact prior to the war, it could justifiably be viewed as a nasty militaristic backstabbing state.

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wm
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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by wm » 14 Apr 2016 10:45

Poland wasn't a militaristic country like Germany and the USSR were. There was any predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state in Poland. Although some Polish leaders were army officers, it was a fluke of history, as they were the people who won Polish independence in 1918.
Actually they were former hard core socialists, who earlier worked and fought together with such people like: Karl Liebknecht, Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg and even Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky.

And really Poland didn't backstab anyone, although was labeled as a backstabber by failed Western politicians eager to hide and blur their own persistent appeasement and backstabbing efforts. Like Ethiopia 1936, Shanghai 1937, Czechoslovakia 1938, Poland 1943, Vietnam 1945 and a few others.

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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by pugsville » 14 Apr 2016 12:00

yeah Poland had some aggression picked it's very small peace of Czechoslovakia but in contest very very small bikes, compared to the aggression and militarists of Germany. Poland was not going to start a large scale war.

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wm
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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by wm » 14 Apr 2016 14:01

Actually it wasn't an aggression but a boring Polish-Czechoslovak border conflicts dating from the end of the Great War.

And actually Poland told the Allies plainly and openly, many months before the Munich Agreement about her designs.
It wasn't something sudden and unexpected; they were told if you are going to appease your enemy and partition Czechia, please consider the demands of your ally too.
And Britain and France agreed that it was a reasonable demand (see the Declaration to the Munich Agreement). They were going to give that very small piece of Czechoslovakia to Poland at a later date.

The only crime there was Poland for various reasons didn't want to wait for their mercy (more properly for the mercy of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy because they were going to be the judges in this, see the First Vienna Award for how it was handled).

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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by Futurist » 29 Apr 2016 21:50

wm wrote:Poland wasn't a militaristic country like Germany and the USSR were. There was any predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state in Poland. Although some Polish leaders were army officers, it was a fluke of history, as they were the people who won Polish independence in 1918.
So, they were the George Washington(s) of Poland? :)
Actually they were former hard core socialists, who earlier worked and fought together with such people like: Karl Liebknecht, Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg and even Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky.
Including Pilsudski?
And really Poland didn't backstab anyone, although was labeled as a backstabber by failed Western politicians eager to hide and blur their own persistent appeasement and backstabbing efforts. Like Ethiopia 1936, Shanghai 1937, Czechoslovakia 1938, Poland 1943, Vietnam 1945 and a few others.
So, Poland never recognized its border with Czechoslovakia before 1938?

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wm
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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by wm » 02 May 2016 11:31

The Poles were forced to recognize the new border because the Czechs made their move and annexed that region during the Polish-Soviet war, when when Poland was basically on her knees militarily. They blocked weapons shipments to Poland, prevented the Hungarian help from reaching Poland - the pressure was enormous.

Futurist wrote:So, they were the George Washington(s) of Poland? :)
The were others - Dmowski and his adherents, but those people provided first class leadership when it was really badly needed.

Futurist wrote:Including Pilsudski?
Piłsudski was a high ranking functionary in the Polish Socialist Party, a card carrying radical socialist who, like the young Stalin, with a gun in his hand helped the Czarist Regime to part with its "ill-gotten wealth".

His brother and a Russian Alexander Ulyanov plotted an assassination of Alexander III of Russia. For their efforts his brother got fifteen years of hard labor, Ulyanov was executed, and Piłsudski got five years - because he knew and approved.
Alexander Ulyanov of course was the brother and the mentor of Vladimir Lenin.

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Steve
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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by Steve » 10 May 2016 19:39

When Chamberlain met Hitler at Bad Godesburg September 22 1938 Hitler brought up the Polish claim on Teschen also claims by Slovaks and Hungarians. He told Chamberlain that there could be no peace in central Europe until claims by these minorities were also settled.

That the Polish government seemingly never understood the strategic implications for Poland if Hitler got his way and Czechoslovakia became a German vassal is amazing.

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wm
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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by wm » 11 May 2016 01:28

Steve wrote:When Chamberlain met Hitler at Bad Godesburg September 22 1938 Hitler brought up the Polish claim on Teschen also claims by Slovaks and Hungarians. He told Chamberlain that there could be no peace in central Europe until claims by these minorities were also settled.
How did he know that? That there could be no peace? By psychological projection, by attributing his own desires to others? :)
Steve wrote:That the Polish government seemingly never understood the strategic implications for Poland if Hitler got his way and Czechoslovakia became a German vassal is amazing.
Although Czechoslovakia didn't become a German vassal because Poland had recovered a piece of land. Poland could have done nothing and Hitler still would invade and vassalize Czechoslovakia.

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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by pugsville » 11 May 2016 02:56

Poland could have sought a military alliance with Czechoslovakia and backed the czechs to the hilt. together they would have been significant tougher than separately and if both were steady and stood up the french may well have backed them.

they had shared interests and enemies working tother they would have stood much more of a chance.

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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by Steve » 11 May 2016 14:57

Unfortunately the only way we can know what Hitler meant would be to contact him via a spirit medium. I would guess that he meant there was not going to be an agreement unless the other claims were settled or that future problems were bound to arise if these claims were not settled now. As to what Poland could have done pugsville is absolutely right.

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wm
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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by wm » 11 May 2016 18:16

pugsville wrote:Poland could have sought a military alliance with Czechoslovakia and backed the czechs to the hilt. together they would have been significant tougher than separately and if both were steady and stood up the french may well have backed them.
An excellent idea. This is why the Poles tried to do exactly this a few times, for example by offering to forget about Teschen in exchange for a defensive agreement (the so called Skirmunt-Plitz rapprochement).
The Czechs didn't want it and never proposed anything themselves. You can't help people who don't want to deal with you at all.

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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by Steve » 12 May 2016 10:18

The Czechs seem to have taken the view that as they did not have a problem with Germany it was best not to get mixed up in territorial disputes between Germany and Poland. In 1938 the Poles should have understood that the continued existence of Czechoslovakia, no matter what their problems, was vital to their security. At best their attitude can be described as sitting on the fence and at worst as backing Germany.

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wm
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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by wm » 12 May 2016 13:23

But, after the Munich Agreement had been concluded, Czechoslovakia still existed. The main difference was there were much less Germans there - some might say it was a good thing.

And actually Polish security improved because the Poles gained an important railway junction. The Polish-German border was as it was before - not even an inch longer.

The Poles knew Czechoslovakia was important for their security. This is why they hoped that some day in the future Slovakia would secede and become a Polish ally, the ungrateful Czechs be damned.
As they say: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. :)

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Steve
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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by Steve » 21 May 2016 03:10

After Munich the Czech border defences were in German hands and Czechoslovakia was no longer a military problem for Hitler.

The Polish leadership apparently thought they would be better off with Czechoslovakia broken up. They wanted an independent Slovakia which would become an ally or client state. Ruthenia could then go to Hungary which would make the Hungarians grateful. Poland was not invited to Munich making it clear who the main player in central Europe was.

Hitler later decided that Slovakia would become a German client state and gave Ruthenia to Hungary. The Poles badly miscalculated in 38 and they repeated the mistake a year later. Of course they were not the only ones to underestimate Hitler.

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Re: Poor Poland.

Post by michael mills » 11 Jun 2016 16:04

Poland was not going to start a large scale war.
But it did start a large-scale war, by invading Ukraine in May 1920 and advancing all the way to Kyiv. That is the reason why it ended up being invaded itself by the Red Army.

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