How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by SloveneLiberal » 16 Aug 2019 10:22

Well it can not be just an "offer" - of course declined by Poland. If Hitler promised after Sudeti question that this is all and than just after this he made two new demands it is obvious he could not be trusted.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by SloveneLiberal » 16 Aug 2019 10:42

I would say that it was also quite naive to count on alliance with Slovakia. Poland supported Hungary's plan to annex territory inhabited with Hungarian minority and had border disputes with Slovakia. It was quite predictable they will likely join stronger Germany over weaker and for them problematic Poland.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by wm » 16 Aug 2019 18:52

The Poles supported the Slovak independence movement for years but didn't harbor any illusions about the outcome, they believed the Slovak leaders were politically inexperienced and naive.
And were aware Germany could have dominated Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, all that without resorting to force - just by political means. Germany was the 800-pound gorilla there and had much more to offer.
The Slovak didn't join Germany because of border disputes with Poland, they joined because they had no other choice.

Polish diplomats in Berlin (and they were considered the best informed there) believed Hitler (prodded by Ribbentrop and encouraged by his latest diplomatic victories) was trying to pull a fast one but in the end, he wouldn't resort to war. For this reason, Poland started its war preparation as late as in March 1939.

It really didn't matter, Poland was going to be defeated and military preparations or diplomatic maneuvers couldn't save her. It didn't matter if Hitler could be trusted or not.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by SloveneLiberal » 16 Aug 2019 19:44

Well okay then... But you seem very desperate. XD Germany was to strong, early preparations for the war would not help Poland, different foregein policy could not help Poland, alliance with Hungary, Slovakia and Romania or maybe Finland would not help Poland etc. If you continue with this logic also it was not important if Czechoslovakia was divided and occupied firts. It would not help anyway Germany was to strong. Come on. XD Anyway Hitler at the end did not win over Poland just with political means. And he wanted to start a war without having two frontlines. Situation in March or April 1939 was not very much different than that just after Muenchen agreement when Hitler made two new territorial demands. His governament was just implementing this policy more and more. Just Polish governament was late in its response. I do not say they would be saved just by realizing the real threat four or five months earlier, but anyway they missed time. Polish sentiment for Danzing was very high at that time. And it was neccessary to act quickly and with wisdom to create an international front against Third Reich.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by wm » 16 Aug 2019 23:38

If there was no way out, there was no way out - wishful thinking couldn't change that.

Polish diplomacy actually was quite successful considering the circumstances, despite the fact the Czechs rebuffed Polish efforts, and the other alliances were preempted by the Germans.

But the Slovaks remained friendly, actually more friendly towards the Poles than to their German "brothers in arms" during that invasion.
Romania and Hungary remained friendly too and both helped a lot the Poles during the occupation.
The Hungarian army even militarily supported the Warsaw Uprising.
In the end, it wasn't Poland alone but the British-French-Polish coalition that Germany faced and foolishly attacked.

Strangely, by their own doing Czechoslovakia was alone in 1938, but in 1939 Poland had quite a few friends.

The Czechs collaborated to the hilt with the Nazis, but Poland was the only European country (except neutral Switzerland) that didn't.
So it seems not only Poland was successful but did lots of things right when others miserably failed.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by SloveneLiberal » 17 Aug 2019 09:24

Ok be it as you say that Germany decided to attack not just Poland but British-Polish-French coalition in 1939.

Yet you opened quite some other questions. Slovaks were friendly during their invasion on Poland? Even more friendly to Poland than to Germany with which their were attacking? Hungary under Szalasi regime helped Warshaw uprising? Or what do you mean? That admiral Horthy was sending some weapons to ''Armija Krajova'' which were used later in the uprising? Can you give some evidence about that?

And what do you say about Polish support for Hungary when its forces occupied Carphato Ukraine and destroyed the remains of Czech army there in March 1939?

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by wm » 20 Aug 2019 23:45

The Slovak people didn't support the war, the army basically did nothing (24 killed from 50,000 strong army, about the same number died in accidents).
The Slovak ambassador in Warsaw defected on the first day of the war and denounced in harshest words the Slovak invasion.

The story of Hungarian support of the Warsaw Uprising is here.

Carphato Ukraine was given to Hungary by the Munich Agreement and the First Vienna Diktat.
Later Stalin allocated it to himself without asking anybody's opinion about it.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by SloveneLiberal » 21 Aug 2019 07:45

I must admit that your information about general Bela Lengyel and Hungarian troops near Warshaw in 1944 is very interesting. Lengyel was important figure of Horthy regime. Was it really the case that Szalasi regime turned a blind eye about this yet limited help to Armija Krajowa?

Carpatho Ukraine was not given as a whole to Hungary by the Munich agreement and the first Wienna diktat. Hitler gave in March 1941 an approval to Hungary to annex the rest of the country. And also Poland supported this.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by wm » 26 Aug 2019 23:46

Although Carpatho Ukraine was occupied and annexed by Hungary on 18 March 1939, and that was accepted by Germany on April 4.

That Hitler's mistake allowed tens of thousands of Polish soldiers to reach France after the defeat.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by SloveneLiberal » 27 Aug 2019 20:57

Poland had border with Romania at that time so its army was able to retreat. Only later Stalin annexed Moldavia.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by Steve » 27 Aug 2019 22:16

Hi, Hungary occupied the area of Carpatho Ukraine also known as Carpathian Ruthenia in two stages. The Vienna award of 1 November 1938 awarded the southern part to Hungary. Then on March 12 1939 Hitler informed the Hungarians they could now occupy the rest of Ruthenia. In return Hungary agreed to co-ordinate their economy with Germany and to protect German economic interests and communication lines through Hungary.

In the Wikipedia article on Carpatho Ukraine (Hungarian Invasion part) it is claimed that the Hungarians killed over 27,000 people in the first weeks after taking over in March. Also claimed is that over 75,000 Ukrainians fled to the USSR for asylum. The source for this claim is a document written in Ukrainian (a translation is available) which as far as I can ascertain is an information page put out by UA TV in Ukraine.

As Carpatho Ukraine did not have a border with the USSR can anyone explain how 75,000 people managed to flee to the USSR. The killing of over 27,000 people in a few weeks would seem to be the worst war crime to have occurred in Europe (excluding USSR and Spain) prior to WW2. Is there any evidence for this apart from a Ukrainian TV station information page?

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by wm » 28 Aug 2019 09:54

About 140,000 Polish soldiers and civilians were able to reach Hungary through the common border, in 1944 about 8500 remained there.

Mostly because the Hungarian authorities. for some "strange" reason, never were able to apprehend any escapee from the internment camps.
So maybe it's true, as some say, it's good to have friends.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by gebhk » 28 Aug 2019 10:50

Was it really the case that Szalasi regime turned a blind eye about this yet limited help to Armija Krajowa?
More than that, from 15/8, serious secret negotiations took place between the AK leadership and the Hungarian Corps command in Poland. According to some accounts, the Hungarians proposed a change of alliance of the 20K Hungarian troops in Poland. The Hungarian plan was that a Polish negotiator be flown to Budapest disguised in Hungarian uniform for direct talks with adm Horthy with a view to Hungary changing sides. When the Polish delegate pointed out that the AK had little clout in the matter, the Hungarians offered the use of an aeroplane to take both Hungarian and Polish delegations to London for three-way talks.

Gen Lengyel remembered the affair differently - his version is that the proposition came from the Polish side and that it foundered on the unanswerable question of what would happen to his troops when the Soviets marched in. Naturally, he kept his superiors informed of the talks and was eventually instructed to, inter alia, not join the Poles but to remain on friendly terms with them and provide them with medical aid.

Be that as it may, although the negotiations fell through, the Hungarian government ordered its troops to remain essentially neutral. On the ground, the Hungarians made no effort to conceal their sympathies, aided the insurgents with weapons, medical care, food and ammunition and allowed Polish units through their cordon around the city until they (the Hungarians) were withdrawn from the combat zone. Some went further and individuals and small units went over to the Poles. The grave near Raszyn of sgt Joseph Vonyika and 6 unknown Hungarian soldiers killed in the Warsaw Uprising, bears mute testimony to Polish-Hungarian brotherhood in arms. According to IPN, as of 2017 there were 41 known graves of Hungarian soldiers who fell fighting for Poland in Warsaw, 2 in Modlin, 4 in Sedlce and 4 in Slomczyn. This may well be the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

A historical account can be found in Węgrzy wobec Powstania Warszawskiego (Hungarians and the Warsaw Uprising) by Maria Zima (Ajaks Press, 2015).
Last edited by gebhk on 28 Aug 2019 15:57, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by gebhk » 28 Aug 2019 10:57

Lengyel was important figure of Horthy regime
True, but firstly we cannot assume that adm Horthy at this juncture was convinced that continued alliance with Germany was desirable - quite the opposite, I would suggest. In fact, according to Kovacs (2017) prior to leaving to take over command of the Hungarian troops in Poland, gen Lengyel met with adm Horthy. The Regent is quoted as saying that - "our units have nothing to find in Warsaw. The Poles are our friends and the Germans merely comrades in arms. Do not allow yourself to be manoeuvred into a Polish-German conflict".

Secondly, gen Lengyel had been military attaché in Poland 1934-1939 and his family was reputedly of Polish origin. He was personally acquainted and on friendly terms with gen Bor-Komorowski and lt col Stepien, the latter his counterpart in the negotiations. So even if the first hadn't been true, there are certainly grounds to suspect his sympathies if not his allegiances would have been split on the Polish question.

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Re: How Poland Conspired to Breakup Czechoslovakia

Post by gebhk » 28 Aug 2019 12:22

Finally, it seems that Polish-Hungarian friendship, or at least neutrality, was, in the main, a two-way street. Major Gabor Montspart of the 1 Hussar Division recalls that the Polish command requested the Hungarians mark their vehicles clearly with Hungarian national colours as they had no wish to attack Hungarian troops. The resulting prominent red/white/green stripes painted onto the sides of Hungarian vehicles proved surprisingly effective (and a bonus for military vehicle modellers looking for something a little different!). Maj Montspart describes how a German staff car accompanying him on reconnaissance a mere 300-400 metres ahead, drove into a hail of ordnance and was entirely destroyed with its crew. Not a single bullet came the Hungarians' way.

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