Britain's Declaration of War?

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WHEELER
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Britain's Declaration of War?

Post by WHEELER » 28 Jun 2004 14:48

I have got a mystery that I am not able to solve?

If Britain and France declared war on Germany because she invaded Poland, why didn't they declare war on Russia also? Both Russia and Germany invaded Poland, yet Britain and France and ultimately America only declared war on Germany and America gave arms and money to Russia?

Why is this?

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 28 Jun 2004 15:07

It was certainly considered, and with the Soviets fighting the Finn's the western democracies came close to fighting there would be ally. But in strategic terms it just wasnt sensible for the west to fight Russia and Germany. Especially when all expected Russia to be the ultimate target of German agression.


Hope this helps. Although strangely I find myself in the position of having very little information on this.

Friendly Regards,

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Post by Sturmmann_Fritz » 28 Jun 2004 15:25

What Lord Gort said is probably the best, and only, reason Great britain didn't declare war on both Germany and Russia. GB would have gotten their assses handed to them.

lata,

Fritz

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Post by WHEELER » 28 Jun 2004 19:31

Then, I can only say that Germany is not the only bugaboo of WWII. It was Russia too. I find it scandalous that GB France and US did not. This is not by chance and I think there is more to this. Russia deserved to be attacked and declared war on just as much as Germany did.

Yet America helped Russia. Russia attacked Poland and Finland, destroyed the Christian Church in her country and America helped her. This is obviously very wrong.

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Post by Lord Gort » 28 Jun 2004 19:43

The lesser of two evils.


Churchill famously said that if Hitler invaded hell..."I would at least make a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons"


regards,

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Post by Jon G. » 28 Jun 2004 20:30

The Soviet Union didn't attack Poland as such - they merely moved in and took what they lost in the Russo-Polish war in the 20s, and then only after the Germans had been at war with Poland for two weeks. So on Sept. 3rd, when the declarations of war came from the UK and from France, only Germany had violated their guarantee for Poland's borders at that time.

The Allies certainly considered going to war with the USSR - the original plan for invading Norway was to send an Allied expeditionary force across neutral Sweden into Finland and assist the Finns against the Russians, and there were plans to bomb the oilfields at Baku also - plans that got so far that a RAF recon plane flying out of Iraq was shot at (but not shot down) in early 1940.

As it transpired that the USSR was an alliance partner of Germany, but not an active belligerent, I figure common sense took over. The last thing the UK needed after the fall of France was another enemy. To a degree, the same thing happened in the Far East, where Japan was on a direct collision course with English and French interests.

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Post by WHEELER » 29 Jun 2004 14:19

This makes sense thanks guys for your replies.

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Post by panzertruppe2001 » 29 Jun 2004 18:35

At the beginning of 1940 there was a plan to bomb the Caucasus by Allied planes. The plane would departure from French occupied Syria.

Source: The Second World War, Pierre Miquel

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Post by Sturmmann_Fritz » 29 Jun 2004 19:52

they would need a lot of bombers for that.

Fritz

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Post by Jon G. » 29 Jun 2004 19:57

That was the Baku plan I mentioned above. The RAF flew reconnaissance missions in planes with civilian markings - in fact, the plan may have been carried out if it wasn't for the rapid French collapse in 1940.

After the French capitulation, the Germans found the plans and (gleefully, one imagines) published them :)

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Re: Britain's Declaration of War?

Post by tonyh » 30 Jun 2004 12:03

WHEELER wrote:I have got a mystery that I am not able to solve?

If Britain and France declared war on Germany because she invaded Poland, why didn't they declare war on Russia also? Both Russia and Germany invaded Poland, yet Britain and France and ultimately America only declared war on Germany and America gave arms and money to Russia?

Why is this?


Because Britian's declaration of war (As it was primarilly a British motivation, France reluctantly declared war six hours after the British) had nothing to do with Poland really and more to do with British control in European affairs and tussling with Germany about who would be the "top dog". The economic might of Germany was the only real direct threat to Britain's position within European politics and naturally it was a worry to them. But Chamberlain's declaration (and its combination with France) was more about getting Hitler back to negotiation over the Danzig issue than "helping" Poland, perhaps Britain and Frances combined might could force Hitler to withdraw his troops and maybe even to accept lesser terms over Danzig than he had asked. Hitler called Chamberlain's bluff however as he suspected that the British would fluff like they did with Czechoslovakia. Hitler had no reason to believe that the British would actually declare war, never mind carry out any plan against Germany over Poland.

Unfortunately Chamberlain had basically shot his mouth off and then spent the rest of his Prime Ministership trying to save face, which eventually led to the fiasco of Norway in 1940. Chamberlain never really wanted to confront Germany in another European war, but his sudden about face policy of his "guarantee" to Poland practically made war with Germany and Poland enevitable, as it gave the Poles the reason to front Hitler about Danzig because they believed that the British would come running to help them. The British knew that they could do nothing realistically to help Poland even if the German/Polish war dragged on for 6 Months. However, while Chamberlain's "guarantee" was a silly move, a war between Germany and Poland was "on the cards" as it was either necessary to either occupy Poland or Ally with her in some way for the future war against Russia, which was Hitler's reason for war.

When the Soviets attacked from the East late in September, the chance that Britain would do anything to really "help" Poland became less than nil.

Tony

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Post by WHEELER » 30 Jun 2004 14:23

Thanks for your reply.

I have read Hermann Rauschning's book, "The Revolution of Nihilism, Warning to the West" in l938. He was an ex-Nazi who fled Germany. His take on the foreign policy of Hitler was just to conquer all anyway. This book has several chapters on National Socialist foreign policy and Hermann Rauschning was sent to Poland by Hitler in 1933.

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Post by panzertruppe2001 » 30 Jun 2004 17:02

I am reading again Hitler's War by Irving and find out something interesting about this. Great Britain and France signed with Poland a treaty of mutual help in case Poland were attacked by an European power (no details about which European power. It seems to be any European country, for example Germany, USSR, Italy, Romania, etc
But... there was a secret protocol in the treaty. This protocol specify that the meaning of "European power" is only Germany. So Great Britain and France were forced to made war only against Germany in case that Poland would be invaded

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Post by tonyh » 30 Jun 2004 17:26

The provision of the "garrantee" is rather obvious that "European power" is Germany. With France in political chaos for quite some time, she really was the only Nation on the European Continent that could challenge Britain for " Social Control" of Europe as she was the strongest industrial nation on the Continent, but her weakness was Agricultural developnment and her ability to feed itself should Germany find itself inbroiled in another major war, a worry that haunted Hitler after Germany's disasterous blockade experience in WWI, in which a million of her citizens starved.

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Britain Faced with Decision of Fighting Russia

Post by Globalization41 » 03 Jul 2004 02:29

London, United Press, The Merced
(California) Sun-Star,
Tuesday, December 5,
1939:
Britain and France were faced today
with the problem of whether they are going to
have to fight Russia as well as Germany. ...
Russia is already at war in Europe [after
having launched an invasion of Finland on
November 30]
and it becomes a question of
whether the war is going to be confined to
Finland or spread and involve the other
powers. ... It is doubtful, in the final analysis,
if the war can be confined to Finland.
Russia probably can in the long run, with her
overwhelmingly superior strength and
resources, conquer Finland if the Finns are
left to fight it out alone. ... The [surprising]
strength and success of Finnish resistance
[in six days of fighting] indicates it may take
Russia many months. After that, would
Russia stop for long?
The great Swedish-
Norwegian peninsula lies in her westward
path. ... If Germany is subdued, and Russia
is left alone to push westward while the
subduing is going on, the allies will be faced
with the same thing [expansionism by military
force]
all over again. There will be Russia,
capable of taking over where Hitler left off.
[Subsequently as it turned out, Stalin's Red
Army quickly filled all power vacuums in
Eastern Europe created by Hitler's eventual
defeat.]
... In the minds of those British and
French statesmen who dread the penetration
of bolshevism into Europe,
"the last state
shall be worse than the first." ... Sweden and
Norway have no illusions about Russia aims
in northern Europe. Both have tried
desperately to stay neutral, but the danger is
at their borders now. ... A school of thought
has developed in Sweden which favors
jumping in to aid Finland now before Russia
can overthrow that country and establish
fortified bases in the Aaland islands, just a
broad jump from Sweden. ... If Norway and
Sweden go in, there is a good chance that
Britain might class Russia with Germany
as
a belligerent and throw her weight behind the
Scandinavians.

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]
Last edited by Globalization41 on 01 Aug 2004 08:32, edited 1 time in total.

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