Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

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Gorque
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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Gorque » 04 Jan 2019 02:01

See https://www.webdepot.umontreal.ca/Usage ... honest.pdf for some details regarding the half-hearted Anglo French mission to Moscow on a slow boat by Admiral Reginald Drax and General Doumenc. (see p. 326)

I used to be able to access Drax's "Mission to Moscow" at The Naval Institute, which gave greater detail of the mission, but no more. :(

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by wm » 05 Jan 2019 20:55

michael mills wrote:Contrary to what was claimed by Polish leaders during and after the war, Pilsudski and Beck did not definitively reject the German proposal for an alliance. What they did was to delay accepting it, until they could be certain of the attitude of France and Britain.
Is there any proof of that? Because I think there is none.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by wm » 05 Jan 2019 21:13

Futurist wrote:
31 Dec 2018 06:58
Did Stalin demand any territorial concessions from Poland for his assistance? Or was this the type of thing that the Soviets didn't talk about?
Yes, he did but in very veiled form. He knew the Red Army in Poland would be able to destabilize it by the radicalization of Polish minorities, workers, and peasants by using the standard Soviet tactics.
It wasn't just this or that territory, he quite reasonably wanted entire Poland and then entire Europe.
It would be really irresponsible for him to fight a devastating European war just to gain a few pieces of land.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Futurist » 05 Jan 2019 22:15

wm wrote:
05 Jan 2019 21:13
Futurist wrote:
31 Dec 2018 06:58
Did Stalin demand any territorial concessions from Poland for his assistance? Or was this the type of thing that the Soviets didn't talk about?
Yes, he did but in very veiled form. He knew the Red Army in Poland would be able to destabilize it by the radicalization of Polish minorities, workers, and peasants by using the standard Soviet tactics.
It wasn't just this or that territory, he quite reasonably wanted entire Poland and then entire Europe.
It would be really irresponsible for him to fight a devastating European war just to gain a few pieces of land.
France fought and bled a lot in WWI just to get a few pieces of land, though.

Also, did the Soviet message actually hold much appeal to the ethnically Polish working class?

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by wm » 05 Jan 2019 23:19

France was drawn into war by events beyond her control, there was little calculation or even thinking behind it.
Stalin was better than that - he thought and calculated a lot, and he didn't do things for free for others. Actually, nobody did. There was lots of virtue signaling but countries generally followed the tenets of real politics.

The Polish working class was quite small, it had some resilience but without its leaders could have been easy prey. In 1939 the Soviets conquered and pacified their partition much quicker and efficiently than the Nazis theirs. In a few months all Polish resistance was basically destroyed.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Futurist » 06 Jan 2019 05:44

For some reason the Soviets don't appear to have been that capable of crushing Polish working-class resistance in the 1980s, though.

Also, to clarify--you're suggesting that had Stalin been allowed entry into Poland in 1939 and the Allies would have won the war, he would have kept Poland's pre-war borders (with perhaps some Polish territorial gains at Germany's expense) intact but turned all of Poland Communist after the war, correct?

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Futurist » 06 Jan 2019 05:50

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Jan 2019 10:01
Hi Guys,

This is highly unlikely unless one of them gave up one of his primary goals.

To retain full independence, the Poles needed access to the sea via the new port of Gdynia in the "Polish Corridor" and/or the League of Nations-administered Free City of Danzig.

Hitler wanted to consolidate East Prussia into the Reich by reabsorbing Danzig and the "Polish Corridor".

These two positions are incompatible.

None of Hitler's ambitions for lebensraum in the East at the USSR's expense were realisable as long as Poland existed for the simple reason that Germany had no common border with the USSR until Poland was eliminated. If any deal were reached with Pilsudski, Hitler would therefore have to renege on it (as he did on the 10-year+ non-aggression pact) if he were to follow through on lebensraum.

Cheers,

Sid.
AFAIK, Hitler was willing to allow Poland to keep the Corridor if it would have had an extraterritorial road (possibly an elevated one) under German rule.

Also, theoretically speaking, Hitler can have a land connection to his Eastern Lebensraum through the Baltic countries. Of course, I really do wonder whether Hitler's initial plan was to have a land connection between Germany and his desired Lebensraum or whether he would have been OK had there not been such a land connection. Basically, I want to know if annexation of Lebensraum was Hitler's goal from the start or whether he initially would have been content with acquiring and settling Lebensraum but not outright annexing this Lebensraum to the German Reich.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by wm » 06 Jan 2019 15:53

Futurist wrote:For some reason the Soviets don't appear to have been that capable of crushing Polish working-class resistance in the 1980s, though.
It was a different Poland, different workers, and even different communists - lacking the fire and determination of the true Stalinists.
The mass protests were economically not politically motivated, even by communist standards the workers were right and communists knew that.
It changed later when the intellectuals partially highjacked their agenda.

In 1938 and earlier the anger of the (not very numerous) workers and peasant masses were directed against the government and the ruling elites. This especially manifested itself during the occupation when the elites were mass blamed for the defeat. The hate and disdain towards them were very real.
This could have been and eventually after the war was used to subdue Poland.


Stalin generally exploited an opportunity fully, depending on the curse of events he could have annexed Poland, could have created a satellite state. It didn't really matter both outcomes were acceptable and desirable. The were many ways to skin a cat.
But he would certainly annex Eastern territories to make Ukraine and Belarus one again.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 06 Jan 2019 18:12

Hi Futurist,

1) The extraterritorial highway proposal required that Poland surrender sovereignty over land that cut right across the neck of the Polish Corridor, its only access to the sea. It was therefore never acceptable.

Besides, if it chose not to use the existing railways and roads across Polabnd, Germany already had an extraterritorial highway available to East Prussia. It was called the Baltic. If the British could adequately administer some 50 territories tens of thousands of miles around the entire globe by sea, Germany could certainly have adequately administered a single territory a few tens of miles across the Baltic.

The whole territorial highway proposal was a spurious device with no substance. We know this because once Hitler had control of the Polish Corridor he never built the highway to Danzig and East Prussia! Not a metre of concrete was ever laid. If it was really so badly needed it would have been built.

2) Hitler could not "have a land connection to his Easter lebensraum through the Baltic countries" as long as Poland existed. This was because East Prussia only had a land border with Lithuania and Lithuania had no land border with the USSR.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by wm » 06 Jan 2019 21:58

To be quite correct the highway (Reichsautobahn Berlin-Königsberg) was real and was partially built, its remnants exist to this day. Hitler mentioned the highway for the first time in May 1935 - in a friendly manner, in 1938 it was old news already.

The problem wasn't the highway, but its extraterritorial status, a concept unsellable to the Polish people.

It seems it's not known why he wanted an extraterritorial highway, maybe he wanted to avoid transit fees, maybe he wanted to placate the Germans themselves.

According to Polish diplomats, it was Ribbentrop, not Hitler who was behind it, but they could have been mistaken despite the opinion that the knew best what was going on in Berlin.

It seems what the Poles thought and did is perfectly known but what Hitler thought and planned isn't - at all.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Futurist » 07 Jan 2019 03:14

When was this highway built?

Also, what exactly is wrong with an extraterritorial highway as long as it is elevated?

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Futurist » 07 Jan 2019 03:18

Sid Guttridge wrote:
06 Jan 2019 18:12
Hi Futurist,

1) The extraterritorial highway proposal required that Poland surrender sovereignty over land that cut right across the neck of the Polish Corridor, its only access to the sea. It was therefore never acceptable.
This wouldn't be true if this extraterritorial highway was elevated:

Image

Poles could go underneath the highway while Germans could go on the highway.
Besides, if it chose not to use the existing railways and roads across Poland, Germany already had an extraterritorial highway available to East Prussia. It was called the Baltic. If the British could adequately administer some 50 territories tens of thousands of miles around the entire globe by sea, Germany could certainly have adequately administered a single territory a few tens of miles across the Baltic.
I suppose you could also mention the US and Alaska here. And Yes, you are absolutely correct--though I wonder what is cheaper: sea travel or land travel.
The whole territorial highway proposal was a spurious device with no substance. We know this because once Hitler had control of the Polish Corridor he never built the highway to Danzig and East Prussia! Not a metre of concrete was ever laid. If it was really so badly needed it would have been built.
Let's see what am has to say about this.
2) Hitler could not "have a land connection to his Easter lebensraum through the Baltic countries" as long as Poland existed. This was because East Prussia only had a land border with Lithuania and Lithuania had no land border with the USSR.

Cheers,

Sid.
Lithuania has a land connection to Latvia, though, and Latvia has a land connection to Russia. Plus, you could annex Estonia as well.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by wm » 07 Jan 2019 09:31

Futurist wrote:
07 Jan 2019 03:14
When was this highway built?
Its construction started in 1934.
In 1939 it was more or less finished, but as shown below from Stettin it was a two-lane highway built with the possibility to convert to Reichsbahn standards.
RAB1944.JPG
This map, original plans, and lots of pictures can be found here.

Futurist wrote:
07 Jan 2019 03:14
Also, what exactly is wrong with an extraterritorial highway as long as it is elevated?
The main problem was it was never mentioned during negotiations.
Another that there were no real negotiations but mostly initial exchanges of opinions followed by nothing.

The real story is the Germans and the Poles made a few opening moves playing the usual diplomatic chess between them, Hitler invaded Czecho-Slovakia, the Poles got startled and started flirting with the British, Hitler got mighty offended by that and flipped over the board.
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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Jan 2019 14:56

Hi wm,

Hundreds of kilometers of autobahn were completed after the outbreak of war, but not a centimeter of this was in the "Polish Corridor".

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Would Pilsudski have allied with Hitler had he lived?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Jan 2019 15:04

Hi Futurist,

You ask, "what exactly is wrong with an extraterritorial highway as long as it is elevated?"

1) its creation would still require a surrender of sovereignty in the area that was most strategically sensitive to Poland.

2) It was entirely unnecessary for the reasons already explained: Germany already had an extraterritorial highway across the Baltic to East Prussia and access to Polish railways and roads already as well.

The "extraterritorial highway" was a diplomatic leverage device, not a need. We know this because, even when Germany controlled the ex-Polish Corridor over 1939-44 not a meter of cement was laid for it.

Cheers,

Sid.

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