Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
michael mills
Member
Posts: 8824
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by michael mills » 04 Jul 2012 15:03

BTW:there was no German coup at Danzig,for the reason that Hitler was convinced that such a coup would result in a war with Poland,resulting in a partioning of Poland and this would demand Ribbentrop going to the Kremlin (=going to Canossa) with his hat in his hand .
And,this,Hitler was not prepared to do(later,he changed his attitude).
And,Britain ? It remained at the sideline:there was nothing,it could do,and,there was nothing it had the intention to do ,because ,it was convinced that there was no risk on a war .
Hitler had to choose(and decided):to have Danzig meaned to go to the Kremlin .
The problem with the above interpretation is that it was only at the end of July 1939 that Hitler finally decided to accept the offers being made from the Soviet side.

Indeed, he had earlier ordered Ribbentrop to stop the low-level negotiations with Soviet representatives.

It appears that Hitler chnaged his mind after visiting the West Wall construction site, and realised that it was nowhere near complete and would not be able to stop a French offensive.

The first Soviet approaches about a political settlement between Germany and the Soviet Union were made in April, ie after Poland joined Britain in a mutual military agreement aimed against Germany. However, it was not until the end of July that Hitler decided the accept them.

That suggests that the reason for Hitler's decision to betray his entire political ideology and enter into an agreement with his arch-enemy the Soviet Union was not to get Danzig, since he had been trying for almost a year to get Danzig by an agreement with Poland that was implicitly anti-Soviet.

Hitler was most probably driven by desperation, by his realisation that Britain, France and Poland were gearing up to make war on Germany, and were well on the way to inducing the Soviet Union to join the anti-German coalition.

Remember that in the military discussions in Moscow with the British and French military representatives, the Red Army leaders proposed putting over 100 Soviet divisions into the field against Germany. That was enough of an inducement for Hitler to do anything at all to stop the Soviet Union joining Britain and France, even agreeing to a substantial westward advance of Soviet power, right up to the border of East Prussia.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 10013
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by ljadw » 04 Jul 2012 15:35

your question is wrong: it implies that Britain was prepared to go to war because of Danzig,and,this is an assumption that has never been proved .
Poland was prepared to go to war because of Danzig,Britain was totally uninterested in who would rule Danzig .
A war between Germany and Poland (whatever the reason : Danzig,Silesia,the Corridor,all things Britain did not care about) would draw in Britain.

User avatar
waldzee
Banned
Posts: 1422
Joined: 03 Feb 2012 03:44
Location: Calgary Alberta

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by waldzee » 04 Jul 2012 16:38

ljadw wrote:your question is wrong: it implies that Britain was prepared to go to war because of Danzig,and,this is an assumption that has never been proved .
Poland was prepared to go to war because of Danzig,Britain was totally uninterested in who would rule Danzig .
A war between Germany and Poland (whatever the reason : Danzig,Silesia,the Corridor,all things Britain did not care about) would draw in Britain.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
British strategy, pre 1939, assumed a 'rational Hitler ' prepared to limit his goals. Post 1939, Germany was in the grip of a post rational Hitler , aware that his Parkinsons would lead to a near future dementia, determined to go to war immediately or go down in flames.

its impossible to argue against the 'straws & shreds' people , Ijadw, since their arguement imagines a rational Nazi Germany without a near term looming inturnal power struggle.

Hence, people with a die hard belief in 'Fascist rationality' produce these continued conspiracy theories.

Romania in 1939 was faced with the Nazi supported Iron Guard against a bellicose Soviet Union on a new Pan Slavic lebenstraun of its own. King Carol's attempt to preserve the shaky Balkans peace was hammered & anviled.

Boby
Member
Posts: 2548
Joined: 19 Nov 2004 17:22
Location: Spain

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by Boby » 04 Jul 2012 16:53

your question is wrong: it implies that Britain was prepared to go to war because of Danzig,and,this is an assumption that has never been proved .
Obviousy has "never been proved" because there was no such scenario in 1939. But judging from cabinet meetings, we have considerable evidence to the contrary.
Poland was prepared to go to war because of Danzig. Britain was totally uninterested in who would rule Danzig
We have such evidence? Without Britain/France backing Poland, I doubt it. In your words: "this is an assumption that has never been proved". When was the first time Poland warned Germany there would be war over Danzig? It was after the negotiations with Britain/France.
A war between Germany and Poland (whatever the reason : Danzig,Silesia,the Corridor,all things Britain did not care about) would draw in Britain.
There was no need of war, just a "coup" in Danzig or a declaration by the Danzig senate. If Poland considered this a "threat", the guarantee would automatically activate.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 10013
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by ljadw » 04 Jul 2012 16:54

michael mills wrote:
BTW:there was no German coup at Danzig,for the reason that Hitler was convinced that such a coup would result in a war with Poland,resulting in a partioning of Poland and this would demand Ribbentrop going to the Kremlin (=going to Canossa) with his hat in his hand .
And,this,Hitler was not prepared to do(later,he changed his attitude).
And,Britain ? It remained at the sideline:there was nothing,it could do,and,there was nothing it had the intention to do ,because ,it was convinced that there was no risk on a war .
Hitler had to choose(and decided):to have Danzig meaned to go to the Kremlin .
The problem with the above interpretation is that it was only at the end of July 1939 that Hitler finally decided to accept the offers being made from the Soviet side.

Indeed, he had earlier ordered Ribbentrop to stop the low-level negotiations with Soviet representatives.

It appears that Hitler chnaged his mind after visiting the West Wall construction site, and realised that it was nowhere near complete and would not be able to stop a French offensive.

The first Soviet approaches about a political settlement between Germany and the Soviet Union were made in April, ie after Poland joined Britain in a mutual military agreement aimed against Germany. However, it was not until the end of July that Hitler decided the accept them.

That suggests that the reason for Hitler's decision to betray his entire political ideology and enter into an agreement with his arch-enemy the Soviet Union was not to get Danzig, since he had been trying for almost a year to get Danzig by an agreement with Poland that was implicitly anti-Soviet.

Hitler was most probably driven by desperation, by his realisation that Britain, France and Poland were gearing up to make war on Germany, and were well on the way to inducing the Soviet Union to join the anti-German coalition.

Remember that in the military discussions in Moscow with the British and French military representatives, the Red Army leaders proposed putting over 100 Soviet divisions into the field against Germany. That was enough of an inducement for Hitler to do anything at all to stop the Soviet Union joining Britain and France, even agreeing to a substantial westward advance of Soviet power, right up to the border of East Prussia.
1)There was NO military agreement between Poland and Britain against Germany
2)There was no military agreement between Poland and Britain at all
3)The strength of the West Wall is irrelevant for Ribbentrop going to Moscow:a treaty with the SU would not stop the French .
4)Yes,negociations with the SU started only in july,because before july,Hitler was convinced that by bullying and threatening,Poland would back down .
5)the British-French negociations with the SU were window dressing :the British and French knew it,and the Soviets knew it :a Polish-Soviet alliance was out of the question .

ljadw
Member
Posts: 10013
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by ljadw » 04 Jul 2012 17:22

waldzee wrote:
ljadw wrote:your question is wrong: it implies that Britain was prepared to go to war because of Danzig,and,this is an assumption that has never been proved .
Poland was prepared to go to war because of Danzig,Britain was totally uninterested in who would rule Danzig .
A war between Germany and Poland (whatever the reason : Danzig,Silesia,the Corridor,all things Britain did not care about) would draw in Britain.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
British strategy, pre 1939, assumed a 'rational Hitler ' prepared to limit his goals. Post 1939, Germany was in the grip of a post rational Hitler , aware that his Parkinsons would lead to a near future dementia, determined to go to war immediately or go down in flames.

its impossible to argue against the 'straws & shreds' people , Ijadw, since their arguement imagines a rational Nazi Germany without a near term looming inturnal power struggle.

Hence, people with a die hard belief in 'Fascist rationality' produce these continued conspiracy theories.

Romania in 1939 was faced with the Nazi supported Iron Guard against a bellicose Soviet Union on a new Pan Slavic lebenstraun of its own. King Carol's attempt to preserve the shaky Balkans peace was hammered & anviled.
Well,Hitler was more rational than people were thinking :he wanted Danzig (it was out of the question that he would admit the statu quo),as to be expected,Poland was opposing the return of Danzig to the Reich (already BEFORE the Anglo-Polish Treaty):how could he succeed ? by threatening and bullying(like he did a year before),but,Poland continued to say no.
Why did Poland continue to say no?The answer is obvious:because it was convinced that Hitler only was threatening and bullying .A war was put of the questiion:a war was possible only,if Ribbentrop was journeying to Canossa(=Moscow),thus,if Hitler was willing to deny everything he has said he was fighting for :during 6 years ,he was goose-stepping as the defender of the Western civilisation against the judeo-bolchevic threat from the east.And,every one was believing him:in France,in Britain,in Poland :Ribbentrop going to Moscow was as possible as G.W.Bush going to Afghanistan to meet Bin Laden .
Unless Ribbentrop was going to Moscow,Poland was safe.
With Hitler,there would be no Rapallo.(this was what every one believed).
BTW:about the Iron Guard :it was the opposite :in 1940,the Iron Guard was rebelling,and,Antonescu was in trouble,but,he was saved,because Hitler intervened .
But,it became a public secret,that the rebellion happened with the knowledge,the help,the encouragement of the SD Ausland (the SS security service),which was thinking that the Iron Guard was the Roumanian nazi party,and was not shrinking back from short circuiting the German foreign policy .
A furious Hitler threatened to exterminate the black pest (=the SS) and,a pale Himmler was leaving the Reichskanzlei with his tail between his legs .

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8824
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by michael mills » 05 Jul 2012 02:23

Another interesting US diplomatic document is this one, posted by the moderator on page 1 of this thread. Emphases are by me:
740.00/6411 : Telegram
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State
LONDON, March 22, 1939—noon.
[Received March 22---8: 25 a. m.]

383. Personal for the Secretary. My 370, March 20, 5 p. m.[53] Halifax told me last night that he understands the Germans are mobilizing 20 divisions on the western front. He also said that Poland's answer to France is very unsatisfactory. The British have not yet received an answer. The British feel that Russia may go along with them, not to serve the general cause but to serve whatever purpose they have in mind and if they do agree to go along with the French and the English, and if Rumania and Turkey and the Balkan States are prepared to fight, then England is advising France that they should both go along regardless of Poland.

The plan is that the fleet would start an immediate blockade. The French would start to attack on their own borders and England would send over as many planes as they could to help France. Lebrun[54] told Halifax that the language Mussolini used to a very close friend of his regarding Hitler was not fit to repeat.

Halifax made one suggestion last night. He said that in 1936, when the trouble was on with Italy, Great Britain had promised Australia that, in the event of any trouble, they would send a fleet to Singapore. Under present conditions they do not feel they can spare a fleet for Singapore and they wonder if the United States would consider, at the psychological moment, transferring the American fleet back to the Pacific—to Honolulu—or some place else. This would be perfectly satisfactory to Australia and would permit the British Navy to function in the Mediterranean, where they plan to start operations. Lord Chatfield [55] saw me for a few minutes afterwards and also said that this was psychologically important if it was at all possible to be done.

KENNEDY
This telegram shows that on the evening of 21 March 1939, the British Foreign Minister Lord Halifax admitted to the Ambassador of the United states to Great Britain, Joseph Kennedy, that Britain and France were preparing to make war on Germany, and also possibly on Italy.

The plan revealed by Halifax was for Britain to make war on Germany by means of a naval blockade, while France would make war on land, sending its armed forces to invade Germany, with the assistance of the Royal Airforce.

There is also a hint that the Royal Navy would attack Italy. It should be noted that the Royal Navy had a plan to force Italy into the war, on the premiss that as a combatant it would become an economic burden for Germany, forcing the latter to divert forces to defend it, whereas if it remained neutral it could help Germany to circumvent the British naval blockade.

Note also that nowhere in Halifax's words to Kennedy was there any mention of a reaction to a German attack on any state. There was merely the false claim that Germany was massing 20 divisions on its western frontier.

That suggests that Britain was prepared to take the initiative in bringing on a war with Germany, not merely to respond to a German invasion of another state.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8824
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by michael mills » 05 Jul 2012 02:37

Yet another interesting US diplomatic document, bearing on the Tilea hoax, is this one, posted on page 1 of this thread:
740.00/655: Telegram
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State
LONDON, March 22, 1939-7 p. m.
[Received March 22-4: 40 p. m.]
In that telegram, Kenmnedy expressed this conclusion about Tilea's claims:
The Foreign Office now realizes that the story brought by the Rumanian Minister of a German "ultimatum" to Rumania, which was the immediate cause of the inquiries to these Governments, cannot be substantiated. They feel, however, that even though the case had been over-stated by the Rumanians, the danger of further German

92 FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1939, VOLUME I

advance in Eastern Europe is nevertheless existent and that the Rumanian démarche had at least served the useful purpose of galvanizing the Western democratic powers into immediate examination of the new situation and the dangers it presented. It is perhaps needless to add that Foreign Office officials do not regard these vague and generalized replies as a serious contribution toward a solution of the immediate problems.
That shows that the British Foreign Office had realised that Tilea's claims about a German ultimatum to Romania were false, but nevertheless were prepared to use that false claim to induce the British Government to begin moves to bring about a confrontation with Germany by creating a coalition for that purpose.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8824
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by michael mills » 05 Jul 2012 02:49

Another significant US diplomatic document, posted on page 2 of this thread. Emphases are by me:
860k.01/134: Telegram
The Ambassador in Poland (Biddle) to the Secretary of State
WARSAW, March 25, 1939-8 p. m. [Received 8: 35 p. m.]

49. For the President and the Secretary.

1. Beck imparted to British Ambassador Hitler was pressing him for settlement of Danzig negotiations before Easter. Moreover, I am aware Beck does not exclude possibility of Berlin's timing potential trouble in Danzig to prevent Beck's London trip.

2. Meanwhile mobilization of four classes here rapidly nearing completion and large-scale concentrations on northern and western frontiers as well as southeastern Poland indicate Beck contemplates stubborn defense in the light of aforementioned negotiations (it is pertinent that German Ambassador imparted last fall that Berlin was always concerned lest, in the event of a show-down in German-Polish differences, Poland might pounce on East Prussia as a retaliatory measure).

3. Further preparation for possible action is marked by withdrawal of Polish railway rolling stock from Danzig terminal aimed partly : (a) to make it available for Polish troop movements, (b) to withdraw it to a safe position, (c) to impress Nazi Danzigers with their dependence on Polish railways, and (d) importantly to strengthen Beck's hand in further dealings on Danzig and in case of German demand for a double right of way across Corridor.

4. It is, moreover, significant that Warsaw and Moscow agreed to dispense with ratification of trade agreement and to bring it into force March 27.

BIDDLE

The above shows that Hitler was right to fear a Polish invasion of East Prussia. In March 1939, Poland was making preparations to enable it to carry out just such an invasion, by concentrating forces on its northern frontier.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8824
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by michael mills » 05 Jul 2012 03:09

Here is an absolutely crucial US diplomatic document, posted on page 2 of this thread. Emphases are by me:
T41.60043: Telegram
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy) to the Secretary of State
LONDON, March 31, 1939-2 p. M. [Received March 31—noon.]

425. The Prime Minister this afternoon will answer the following question in the following manner :

"Question. To ask the Prime Minister whether he can now make a statement as to the European situation.

Answer. As I said this morning His Majesty's Government have no official confirmation of the rumors of any projected attack on Poland and they must not therefore be taken as accepting them as true.

I am glad to take this opportunity of stating again the general policy of His Majesty's Government. They have constantly advocated the adjustment, by way of free negotiations between the parties concerned, of any differences that may arise between them. They consider that this is the natural and proper course where differences exist. In their opinion there should be no question incapable of solution by peaceful means and they would see no justification for the substitution of force or threat of force for the method of negotiation.

As the House is aware, certain consultations are now proceeding with other governments. In order to make perfectly clear the position of His Majesty's Government in the meantime before those consultations are concluded, I now have to inform the House that during that period in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence, and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty's Government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power. They have given the Polish Government an assurance to this effect.

I may add that the French Government have authorized me to make it plain that they stand in the same position in this matter as do His Majesty's Government."

I asked Cadogan whether this meant if Poland fights Britain fights. He said of course if Poland itself committed an act of aggression it would not mean that but for the first time in the history of Great Britain the latter has left the final decision as to their fighting outside of their own country to the other power.

I asked Cadogan could there be any hedging on the part of Great Britain as to whether Poland was fighting for "Polish independence"; he said absolutely not; that if Poland thought that any gesture of Germany's threatened their independence and they themselves are the judges of that, Great Britain commits itself to fight.

KENNEDY
This document shows that the British Government had knowingly given a "blank cheque" to Poland to plunge Britain into war with Germany.

It also shows that Britain would accept any claim made by Poland that its independence was threatened, and go to war with Germany as a result.

It shows that Britain did not limit the concept of a "threat to Polish independence" to an actual German invasion of Polish sovereign territory. Rather it accepted that what Cadogan called a "gesture" by Germany could be seen as a threat to Polish independence, if so claimed by Poland.

What such a "gesture" might be was left entirely undefined by Cadogan. Prima facie, it might be an SA man farting loudly in Danzig, if Poland chose to claim that as a threat.

Seriously though, the bottom line is that the British Government had set itself up to go to war with Germany over any action whatever by that country, so long as Poland claimed that action to be a "threat to its independence". As Cadogan confirmed, Britain had undertaken to accept any Polish claim about a threat to its independence, no questions asked.
Last edited by michael mills on 05 Jul 2012 11:31, edited 1 time in total.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23272
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by David Thompson » 05 Jul 2012 04:03

Michael -- You wrote:
This document shows that the British Government had knowingly given a "blank cheque" to Poland to plunge Britain into war with Germany.

It also shows that Britain would accept any claim made by Poland that its independence was threatened, and go to war with Germany as a result.

It shows that Britain did not limit the concept of a "threat to Polish independence" to an actual German invasion of Polish sovereign territory. Rather it accepted that what Cadogan called a "gesture" by Germany could be seen as a threat to Polish independence, if so claimed by Poland.

What such a "gesture" might be was left entirely undefined by Cadogan. Prima facie, it might be an SA man farting loudly in Danzig, if Poland chose to claim that as a threat.
I think your imagination is running away with you. "No more" is not the same thing as "Now we fight."

User avatar
waldzee
Banned
Posts: 1422
Joined: 03 Feb 2012 03:44
Location: Calgary Alberta

Re: Tilea, Memel & the Anglo-Polish treaty 1939

Post by waldzee » 05 Jul 2012 04:09

michael mills wrote:Another significant US diplomatic document, posted on page 2 of this thread. Emphases are by me:
860k.01/134: Telegram
The Ambassador in Poland (Biddle) to the Secretary of State
WARSAW, March 25, 1939-8 p. m. [Received 8: 35 p. m.]

49. For the President and the Secretary.

1. Beck imparted to British Ambassador Hitler was pressing him for settlement of Danzig negotiations before Easter. Moreover, I am aware Beck does not exclude possibility of Berlin's timing potential trouble in Danzig to prevent Beck's London trip.

2. Meanwhile mobilization of four classes here rapidly nearing completion and large-scale concentrations on northern and western frontiers as well as southeastern Poland indicate Beck contemplates stubborn defense in the light of aforementioned negotiations (it is pertinent that German Ambassador imparted last fall that Berlin was always concerned lest, in the event of a show-down in German-Polish differences, Poland might pounce on East Prussia as a retaliatory measure).

3. Further preparation for possible action is marked by withdrawal of Polish railway rolling stock from Danzig terminal aimed partly : (a) to make it available for Polish troop movements, (b) to withdraw it to a safe position, (c) to impress Nazi Danzigers with their dependence on Polish railways, and (d) importantly to strengthen Beck's hand in further dealings on Danzig and in case of German demand for a double right of way across Corridor.

4. It is, moreover, significant that Warsaw and Moscow agreed to dispense with ratification of trade agreement and to bring it into force March 27.

BIDDLE

The above shows that Hitler was right to fear a Polish invasion of East Prussia. In March 1939, Poland was making preparations to enable it to carry out just such an invasion, by concentrating forces on its northern frontier.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Actually,your combined posts only show that in march 1939 Nazi Germany had massed 20 divisions on the Polish Border & Poland was mobilising in response.
Which shows that a German invasion plan was in place before March 1939.
The rest is simply Biddle's future projections, unless he had established psychic control over the Britsh government. :)

Pulling the Railway carriages clear is an unusual way to provide a declaration of war- even among railwaymen...
Usually Ambassadors , rather than Sir Toppenhat & Thomas the Tank engine are selected to carry the
"NEWS".

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”