De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

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wm
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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 02 May 2021 18:27

How come was the agreement a bluff meant to warn Hitler if Hitler didn't know its content? At least till the Germans captured Polish diplomatic archives.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wwilson » 02 May 2021 19:06

wm wrote:
02 May 2021 18:27
How come was the agreement a bluff meant to warn Hitler if Hitler didn't know its content? At least till the Germans captured Polish diplomatic archives.
wm, thanks for that. I had forgotten the 1939 agreement was a military convention and not a diplomatic agreement.

Still, I would be surprised to learn the Germans didn't know of the existence of the agreement (but perhaps not the precise text of the agreement).

Cheers

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Michael Kenny » 02 May 2021 19:29

gebhk wrote:
02 May 2021 15:42
There can be no doubt that the intention in France and Britain was to throw Poland under the bus to gain time for British and French mobilisation and rearmament.
Would it not been a lot easier to not give Poland a Guarantee of a declaration of War if Germany invaded? Your claim makes no sense at all. Fact is it was realised that Poland would be defeated and that nothing could be done to prevent it. I accept that the intention of the Guarantee was to stop Germany and Poland just happened to be the tripwire but that in no way means the UK 'sacrificed' Poland. Poland's problems stem from complete inability to get on with her two powerful neighbours. What goes around comes around. I am pretty certain Stalin would have made post-war Poland a lot smaller than it is today without UK intervention.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Michael Kenny » 02 May 2021 19:39

gebhk wrote:
02 May 2021 15:42
Much of the thinking was clearly clouded by an almost hysterical fear of the all-powerful Luftwaffe and its vaunted ability to wipe French and British cities off the face of the earth and severely disrupt troop mobilisation plans.
The 'vaunted' Luftwaffe that devastated Poland in a matter of days? That phantom Luftwaffe?
gebhk wrote:
02 May 2021 15:42
Thus in Britain you have a move away from planning a campaign of attacking German military and supporting facilities such as those for fuel production and storage (because of the risk of civilian casualties which might provoke devastating German reprisals) to the Joint Planning Sub-Committee coming to the surprising conclusion days before the war that Poland would be best assisted by bombing the German Navy, the German internal waterway system at points distant from human habitation and dropping leaflets!

The UK knew any war would be a long war. They did something called strategic planning. They worked out what their long-term aims were and stuck to them. There never was any idea that they could knock-out Germany swiftly. Frankly I think those coming up with plans for quick thrusts into Germany are delusional. That was never an option. In fact the UK made a decision to build up her Air Force as a complete functioning Unit and sacrificed front-line fighter strength in order to have a robust replacement system.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Michael Kenny » 02 May 2021 19:42

wm wrote:
02 May 2021 18:27
How come was the agreement a bluff meant to warn Hitler if Hitler didn't know its content?
The meat of the agreement was the promise of a declaration of war. That is it. Nothing is more final in diplomatic terms.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Michael Kenny » 02 May 2021 19:47

wm wrote:
02 May 2021 17:07

The British promised nothing and generally kept their word.
You are woefully misinformed. The UK promised to keep Poland on a map of Europe. They did.
You might not like losing the territory in the east but I know lots of UK residents who would have preferred that the UK did not bankrupt herself in WW2 and had left Poland to its fate. I have never yet met any Pole who would even contemplate giving up what they gained in the west.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by gebhk » 02 May 2021 20:25

Poland's problems stem from complete inability to get on with her two powerful neighbours.
This nonsense straight from the workbook of Herr Goebels and Comrade Molotov I won't even engage with. No doubt Finland's and Lithuania's problems also stemmed from their inability to 'get on' with their powerful neighbours.
The 'vaunted' Luftwaffe that devastated Poland in a matter of days? That phantom Luftwaffe?
This is your own creation, please feel free to argue with yourself, but please leave me out of it. Cheap and offensive jibes don't make for a particularly useful or productive discussion. The fact is that, for a number of reasons, some of them pretty good, others not so much, the destructive potential of the Luftwaffe bomber force was vastly overestimated in the UK.
The UK knew any war would be a long war. They did something called strategic planning. They worked out what their long-term aims were and stuck to them. There never was any idea that they could knock-out Germany swiftly.
That may perhaps be the case, it does not in any way negate what I have written.
There never was any idea that they could knock-out Germany swiftly. Frankly I think those coming up with plans for quick thrusts into Germany are delusional
No one here, apart from yourself it seems, is making any such suggestions. Although, to be fair, gen Westphal never came across as being particularly delusional.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 02 May 2021 20:50

Michael Kenny wrote:
02 May 2021 19:47
wm wrote:
02 May 2021 17:07

The British promised nothing and generally kept their word.
You are woefully misinformed. The UK promised to keep Poland on a map of Europe. They did.
You might not like losing the territory in the east but I know lots of UK residents who would have preferred that the UK did not bankrupt herself in WW2 and had left Poland to its fate. I have never yet met any Pole who would even contemplate giving up what they gained in the west.
No, they not.
Pre-1939 Britain promised; "all the support and assistance in its power" and that "[it] will not conclude an armistice or treaty of peace except by mutual agreement" and absolutely nothing more.
Later (in 1941) Britain promised not to discuss Polish borders with anyone before the end of the war.

In 1939 British powers to help Poland were basically non-existent (it was a maritime power not a land power after all) so Britain is off the hook for 1939.
But they reneged on the 1941 agreement.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 02 May 2021 20:56

Michael Kenny wrote:
02 May 2021 19:42
wm wrote:
02 May 2021 18:27
How come was the agreement a bluff meant to warn Hitler if Hitler didn't know its content?
The meat of the agreement was the promise of a declaration of war. That is it. Nothing is more final in diplomatic terms.
No, it wasn't. It was a military agreement, it concerned itself with the defensive strategy against Nazi Germany.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 02 May 2021 21:01

wwilson wrote:
02 May 2021 19:06
wm wrote:
02 May 2021 18:27
How come was the agreement a bluff meant to warn Hitler if Hitler didn't know its content? At least till the Germans captured Polish diplomatic archives.
wm, thanks for that. I had forgotten the 1939 agreement was a military convention and not a diplomatic agreement.

Still, I would be surprised to learn the Germans didn't know of the existence of the agreement (but perhaps not the precise text of the agreement).

Cheers
if Hitler knew about the convention then surely he knew it was rejected by the French government (or rather by the Minister of Foreign Affairs), and that should have encouraged him.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Michael Kenny » 02 May 2021 21:02

gebhk wrote:
02 May 2021 20:25

This nonsense straight from the workbook of Herr Goebels and Comrade Molotov I won't even engage with. No doubt Finland's and Lithuania's problems also stemmed from their inability to 'get on' with their powerful neighbours.
The reasons are many and complex but both sides in The Polish-Soviet war murdered POWs, civilians and Jews. The hatred was mutual but no less barbaric for it. Both sides thought they were 'right' but both side we in fact wrong.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Michael Kenny » 02 May 2021 21:15

wm wrote:
02 May 2021 20:56


No, it wasn't. It was a military agreement, it concerned itself with the defensive strategy against Nazi Germany.
The Poles threw away their only chance by refusing to allow Soviet participation. The UK had a policy of not allowing any single European nation to dominate. They needed to draw a line and Poland was it. Poland is the one who 'used' this fact to jump on the bandwagon in the hope that it would deter Hitler. It did not work but that does not mean it was not a sound tactic. Hitlers mistake was in believing once the dust had settled the UK would abandon the Poles. The UK did not give in and did ALL IN HER POWER to make sure Poland was restored. If I promise to lend you all my money and you ask for £100 when I only have £20 then you are going to be disappointed.
I am going to be blunt here but any Pole who thinks the UK should have fought a war in 1945 to restore the pre-War Poland is insane.
Instead of blaming everyone for your ills please come up with a practical way you think the UK could have forced Stalin to restore 1939 Poland.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by daveshoup2MD » 02 May 2021 22:07

RedRight wrote:
04 Apr 2021 18:19
Was de Gaulle a supporter of giving Poland a full and effective military aid in September 1939?
de Gaulle was a colonel and commanded what amounted to a army-level armored support group (3-4 battalion equivalents) in 1939; whatever opinion he may have about the Poles' needs when the war broke out, he wasn't really in a position to have done much of anything about it other than follow his commander's orders.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 02 May 2021 22:33

Michael Kenny wrote:
02 May 2021 21:15
The Poles threw away their only chance by refusing to allow Soviet participation.
What only chance?
That was delaying tactics in the few final days before signing the Hitler-Stalin pact.
Stalin never offered anything acceptable (even for the Allies). His plan was to trigger a debilitating war and then to pick up the pieces. At worst he planned to join the war last.
He didn't intend to fight wars for the benefit of others, especially because his country wasn't threatened by Germany.
Had the Poles by any chance been willing to concede to it under Western pressure, the Soviets would undoubtedly have demanded that Russian troops be allowed to enter Poland in peacetime.
Had that by any stretch of the imagination been agreed on, the Russians had another condition that clearly belonged in the realm of political and military fantasy: the British and French fleets were to enter the Baltic and to occupy Finnish, Latvian, and Estonian ports.
Even in World War I, the Baltic had remained a German lake, and to demand that the British fleet operate in that narrow sea in the airplane age "with the object of defending the independence of the Baltic states" could not have been meant seriously.
The Baltic states would not have agreed and at least one of them, Finland, would have fought.
Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-73 by Adam B. Ulam

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Michael Kenny » 02 May 2021 22:48

wm wrote:
02 May 2021 22:33


What only chance?
Ever hear of the lesser of two (we)evils?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-aPp7K ... Dinerboy11

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