De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

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

Post by ljadw » 17 May 2021 15:28

gebhk wrote:
17 May 2021 12:46
Was there a promise for a major relief offensive ?
Clearly yes, at the very least it was powerfully and repeatedly implied in May. I defy anybody who doesn't live in a parallel universe of their own making to explain how talk of a major offensive commencing on the 15th day of mobilisation involving possibly 40 divisions and mobilisation of heavy artillery by day 17 to defeat the Siegfried Line should have been interpreted as meaning 'we will do nothing' (which is what happened) or 'maintaining a mainly passive stance' (which was what had already been agreed with the British prior to the May Polish-French staff talks.

The Saar operation was one of the limited offensive activities agreed to commence from the 3rd day of mobilisations and is of zero relevance to the matter under consideration - the major offensive that was to have been launched on day 15 of mobilisation.
''possibly '' 40 divisions means that the number of divisions committed to this major relief offensive ,was not known .There was thus no such promise .
And ,it is obvious that no one has dared to search for the WHY of the trip of the Poles to France, probably because the truth would shatter their convictions of the importance of the convention .
It was GAMELIN who invited the Poles .
Why ? NOT to know what they would do if Poland/France was attacked,because Gamelin ,and the Germans , and all military attachés in Warsaw knew what the Poles would do :if Poland was attacked,it would fight , if France was attacked, it would not fight : the Polish attitude was dictated by the strength/weaknesses of the Polish Army and by the'' need ''of Poland to have France as an ally .
Why did the Poles accept the invitation for a routine trip to France (one year Poles went to France for what was mainly a superfluous voyage to drink Bourgogne/Bordeaux at the cost of the taxpayer,the other year the French went to Poland to drink vodka )? To have a good time .To hide all this, they said that they went to France to be observers of the annual French maneuvers . It was not to know what the French would do if Poland was attacked or to tell Gamelin what they would do if France was attacked . They knew it/Gamelin knew it : both countries had an embassy with military attachés and the French had a military mission directed by general Faury .
The whole story is much ado about nothing .
The French/Polish military strategy was not determined in May 1939 .
And, there was no urgent need to go to France in May, because in May 1939 there was no war threat .
The French knew already in 1938 that the Poles would come in May 1939.

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

Post by gebhk » 17 May 2021 16:25

As I said - pointless, especially when the basis of discussion is an invented alternative reality.

Just for the record, gen Gamelin did not invite the Polish delegation. In fact he was not even aware of its imminent arrival until the day before.

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

Post by ljadw » 17 May 2021 21:01

If you would google : why was Kasprzycki going to Paris , you will see a picture of him,in civilian dress with Gamelin,also in plain clothes,with the note that Gamelin invited him to Paris .
And, George Sakwa,writes the following in '' The Renewal of the Franc-Polish Alliance in 1936 and the Rambouillet Agreement ''
Gamelin visited Warsaw between August 12-16 1936 and spoke with Kasprzycki.No specific decisions or conclusions were reached ( as to be expected: LJADW) merely blanket formulas and exchange of views.
And also : Smigly-Rydz visited France between August 30 and September 6 1936 .(And here also no specific decisions were reached, only blanket formulas and exchange of views : the only result was that Smigly-Rydz was made knight grand cross of the Legion of Honour :LJADW )
If Gamelin wanted to know something that he did not know, he would phone to the Polish embassy . The same for Smigly-Rydz . These visits were state visits without any importance, as the visit of Poincaré to Russia in 1914 ,which is also an occasion for conspiracy theorists to do a lot of blahblah .
The visit of Kasprzycki was only a courtesy visit .

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

Post by gebhk » 17 May 2021 21:55

'Cos picture captions on Google are an utterly reliable source. As to what the rest of the above has to do with anything, let alone the subject of this thread, is beyond me. As I said - pointless, especially when the basis of discussion is an invented alternative reality.

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

Post by wm » 17 May 2021 22:51

ljadw wrote:
17 May 2021 11:28
they were satisfied with the Polish declaration that they would do nothing if France was attacked .
So then what was this doing in the protocol:
III. - Conversely, with the bulk of the German forces attacking France, in particular by Belgium or Switzerland, which would provoke the entry into action the French armies, the Polish army will endeavour to keep in front of it the maximum possible German forces.
It doesn't look like nothing.

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

Post by wm » 17 May 2021 23:03

ljadw wrote:
17 May 2021 11:31
Was there a promise for a major relief offensive ?
And why would an offensive of 11 divisions not be a major relief offensive .
Martin Alexander writes in his book:
As far as Gamelin was concerned, he had been blatantly misleading in sending Kasprzycki away from Paris believing that, if Poland suffered a German attack, it could count on a bold French relief offensive against the Reich's western frontiers within three weeks.
And as source gives:
Les problèmes de l'Armée de terre française: 1935-1939 by Henry Dutailly
Dutailly, a professor at the École supérieure de guerre doesn't seem to be a born yesterday loser.

The important thing wasn't the number of divisions but the word "relief", i.e., practical assistance given to those in difficulty.

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

Post by wm » 17 May 2021 23:35

[T]he general wanted to declare war over Poland so that France would not have to fight seriously until the following year.
Gamelin's outlook in this sense is crystal clear, for he came clean with his cynicism in the privacy of talks with his British counterpart, Lord Gort.
Meeting in Paris in mid-July 1939, Gamelin told Gort:
'We have every interest in the war's beginning in the east and becoming a general conflict only little by little. We will thus have the time necessary to put on a war footing all Franco-British forces.'The sacrifice of the Poles, continued Gamelin on this occasion, would lead to 'the immobilisation, to our advantage, of important German forces in the east'.
The Republic in Danger: General Maurice Gamelin and the Politics of French Defence by Martin S Alexander

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

Post by ljadw » 18 May 2021 07:16

wm wrote:
17 May 2021 22:51
ljadw wrote:
17 May 2021 11:28
they were satisfied with the Polish declaration that they would do nothing if France was attacked .
So then what was this doing in the protocol:
III. - Conversely, with the bulk of the German forces attacking France, in particular by Belgium or Switzerland, which would provoke the entry into action the French armies, the Polish army will endeavour to keep in front of it the maximum possible German forces.
It doesn't look like nothing.
Does this mean that Poland would declare war on Germany ?
No of course .

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

Post by ljadw » 18 May 2021 07:19

wm wrote:
17 May 2021 23:03
ljadw wrote:
17 May 2021 11:31
Was there a promise for a major relief offensive ?
And why would an offensive of 11 divisions not be a major relief offensive .
Martin Alexander writes in his book:
As far as Gamelin was concerned, he had been blatantly misleading in sending Kasprzycki away from Paris believing that, if Poland suffered a German attack, it could count on a bold French relief offensive against the Reich's western frontiers within three weeks.
And as source gives:
Les problèmes de l'Armée de terre française: 1935-1939 by Henry Dutailly
Dutailly, a professor at the École supérieure de guerre doesn't seem to be a born yesterday loser.

The important thing wasn't the number of divisions but the word "relief", i.e., practical assistance given to those in difficulty.
Is there any proof that Kasprzycki believed this ?

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

Post by gebhk » 18 May 2021 08:18

Does this mean that Poland would declare war on Germany ?
Of course it does. Or do you suggest "the Polish army would endeavour to keep in front of it the maximum possible German forces" by the use of harsh language? As I said - it is pointless discussing something when the basis of discussion is an entirely imaginary alternative reality.

Still waiting for some evidence for your oft-repeated invention that 'the Poles were happy with the terms of the Gamelin-Kasprzycki Protocol'.

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

Post by gebhk » 18 May 2021 08:42

Is there any proof that Kasprzycki believed this ?
Whether Kasprzycki believed that that is what the protocol meant (let alone that the French would comply with it in the event) is besides the point. As you pointed out yourself, it is the intent that is relevant here. And there can be little doubt that the intent was to mislead. There is no point inventing all sorts of bizarre alternative realities to try to deny this, because the chief actor, gen Gamelin, quite openly admits to it in his memoires (indeed, expresses his satisfaction at having achieved that aim) and it is documented in his advice to his President.

The French strategy was to keep the Poles keen while avoiding making any real commitment themselves.

The Polish CiC had limited faith that the French would live up to the spirit of the agreement. However, since Poland had shot her bolt with regard to making an arrangement with Germany, he had little option but to plan on the basis that the French and British would come through. There was no point planning for the alternatives because there was pretty-much nothing that could be done about those other than buy a large megaphone that said 'we surrender' in German and Russian. Gen Stachiewicz's memoires are a useful reference here.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 May 2021 12:54

Hi gebhk,

You ask, "I am a little perplexed why you believe that Czechoslovakia was 'betrayed' but Poland was not. In my view either both were or neither was, though this is, perhaps, somewhat academic. After all, at least the Czechoslovaks were told that they were on their own from the start by the British and soon thereafter by the French. This allowed the Czechoslovak government to make fully informed decisions and, in my opinion, make the right ones - in the teeth of furious objections from their countrymen who mostly wanted to fight, one might add."

I would suggest that neither were betrayed, though the argument is somewhat semantic.

The French did not have to follow through on their defence obligations to Czechoslovakia because they strong armed the Czechs into conceding to German demands. Had the Czech refused to make these concessions and the Germans attacked and France had not gone to war on behalf of them, then betrayal would be a reasonable accusation.

However, the French did follow through on their central obligation to Poland by declaring war when it was attacked. Had Poland been attacked by Germany and France not declared war, then that would undoubtedly have been a betrayal. However, that is not what happened.

Had Poland just conceded to Germany's demands, then the French would presumably not have been at war in 1939. However, for what seems to me good reasons of national sovereignty and quite possibly of national existence, the Poles decided to stand and fight on the issue of the Corridor.

I would suggest that, with hindsight, a lot of countries, including both France and Poland, had waited too long to present a united front against Nazi Germany. I also think that everyone else was too reliant on a France with significant internal problems that could train only half the number of conscripts that Germany could. Germany was a giant in continental Europe, having twice the population of any other state outside the USSR. Only a powerful combination could contain it and this was not forthcoming until both the USSR and USA were in the war.

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 18 May 2021 13:01, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by ljadw » 18 May 2021 12:55

gebhk wrote:
18 May 2021 08:18
Does this mean that Poland would declare war on Germany ?
Of course it does. Or do you suggest "the Polish army would endeavour to keep in front of it the maximum possible German forces" by the use of harsh language? As I said - it is pointless discussing something when the basis of discussion is an entirely imaginary alternative reality.

Still waiting for some evidence for your oft-repeated invention that 'the Poles were happy with the terms of the Gamelin-Kasprzycki Protocol'.
When Kasprzycki returned in Warsaw, no one told him : you stupid one, you are believing what the French are telling you,which is nothing more than a tale, a concoction .
The truth is that every one in Poland accepted what Gamelin said , which was that
a France could not save Poland if it was attacked by Germany
b that notwithstanding this,France would start a small intervention .
Why did every one believe what Gamelin said ?
Because
a what he said was the French strategy since 1929
b because France had not the means to do more .
If Gamelin had said : we will start a big relief offensive and will be in Berlin before October, every one in Poland would have laughed at him .
Poland was on its own,the aid it could expect from France was insignificant .Already in 1920, Poland was on its own : there was no French army in Poland to defend Warsaw .
And about France : it was also alone. The help it could expect from Poland if it was attacked by Germany was insignificant .
Poland refused to say that it would declare war on Germany if France was attacked, or that it would advance to Berlin .
Gamelin repeated only what all French, civilians/military had told Poland .
France was better off without Poland .They would fight only to satisfy the snowflakes in the then France . They were better off with the USSR as ally .
Poland also was better off without France .
The Poles complained only because they lost, if they had won, they would not say that France betrayed them .

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

Post by gebhk » 18 May 2021 16:45

I would suggest that neither were betrayed, though the argument is somewhat semantic.
I would agree, on balance.
Had Poland just conceded to Germany's demands, then the French would presumably not have been at war in 1939.
I think that is dubious. France was next on Hitler's list and there was nothing to be gained and much to lose by delaying. Had he not had to deal with Poland, I doubt he would have sat twiddling his thumbs while France and Britain worked to close the personnel and armaments gap and on mobilising allies.
I would suggest that, with hindsight, a lot of countries, including both France and Poland, had waited too long to present a united front against Nazi Germany.
I would even suggest the relevant problems were already bubbling nicely before AH even came to power and with hindsight, Pilsudzki's view that the 'German problem' should be sorted by force, if necessary, may have been right. To what extent the 'preventive war' was a bluff (and if so a successful one - the Germans were by-and-large convinced the threat was real ands remain so) ) or true intent, remains a subject of debate. The French wanted nothing to do with it and, as I understand this, the British even less so, so it was never going to happen - but with hindsight, that was perhaps unfortunate.

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

Post by ljadw » 18 May 2021 17:46

There is no proof that France was next on Hitler's list and that there was such a list : in Mein Kampf Hitler blamed Imperial Germany for its attack on France .and in September 1939 ,Hitler had no plan for an attack on France : no plan means that France was not on Hitler's list .

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