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 » 04 May 2021 18:41

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 May 2021 19:48

Hi gebhk,

You ask, "So the French didn't sign an armistice or the Paris Protocols, or am I missing something?" Nope, you are missing nothing. Neither Vichy nor de Gaulle signed a peace. De Gaulle didn't even sign an armistice and it was him who ended the war representing France.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 May 2021 19:53

Hi wm,

You say, "If the French didn't like it they didn't have to sign the agreement."

Very true. However, according to the thread title, it is not the French who are complaining about the outcome. It is the Poles.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by wm » 04 May 2021 20:53

The point is the French made and executed a plan to use the Poles as a human shield protecting their military and political designs.

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

Post by Michael Kenny » 04 May 2021 21:03

wm wrote:
04 May 2021 20:53
The point is the French made and executed a plan to use the Poles as a human shield protecting their military and political designs.
Incorrect. The BrItish and France wanted to stop German expansion. After the dismembering of Czechoslovakia (of which Poland took a bite) it was decided there could be no more accommodation of Hitler. Therefore a line was drawn at the next potential victim. Poland was not chosen by a desire to 'protect' it but more as a warning to Germany. It suited Poland that she was the trip-wire and if was always an option for her not to enter into any agreement with The UK/France. All choices were voluntary and if you enter a deal that goes wrong then it is no ones fault but your own if you failed to read the small print.

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

Post by gebhk » 04 May 2021 22:02

Hi Sid

Colonel DeGaulle did not represent France in 1940 (much as perhaps he thought he did), so what he did or didn't sign is irrelevant here. -
Otherwise, splendid sophistry, I am impressed. I am sure the allied troops fighting the Vichy French were most comforted by the fact that the armistice and the Paris Protocols signed by the actual French representation with the Germans, were technically not a 'peace treaty'.

None of this however elucidates whether the then col De Gaulle was a supporter of giving Poland a full and effective military aid in September 1939, which is the subject of this topic.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 May 2021 22:09

Hi wm,

You post, "The point is the French made and executed a plan to use the Poles as a human shield protecting their military and political designs."

If true it failed spectacularly, because the Poles failed to protect themselves, let alone anyone else!

Remember, France declared war on behalf of Poland. Poland did not enter the war on behalf of France. France found herself defeated and humiliated as a result. The French made a great sacrifice for Poland. Poland made no sacrifice for France.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 May 2021 22:23

Hu gebhk,

Peace and an armistice are spoken of as different things in the French guarantee to Poland. You may wish to conflate them now, but they weren't then.

You post, "I am sure the allied troops fighting the Vichy French were most comforted by the fact that the armistice and the Paris Protocols signed by the actual French representation with the Germans, were technically not a 'peace treaty'." I dare say but, without exception, they were attacking the French, not the reverse, so the responsibility for any discomfort was their own.

You post, "None of this however elucidates whether the then col De Gaulle was a supporter of giving Poland a full and effective military aid in September 1939, which is the subject of this topic." Indeed, but this rather presumes (1) "full and effective military aid" was available and (2) if it was, that the Poles held out long enough to benefit from it. Neither seems to have been the case. This makes the then rather junior de Gaulle's opinion on the subject of little import.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by wm » 04 May 2021 22:30

Sid Guttridge wrote:
04 May 2021 22:09
Hi wm,

You post, "The point is the French made and executed a plan to use the Poles as a human shield protecting their military and political designs."

If true it failed spectacularly, because the Poles failed to protect themselves, let alone anyone else!

Remember, France declared war on behalf of Poland. Poland did not enter the war on behalf of France. France found herself defeated and humiliated as a result. The French made a great sacrifice for Poland. Poland made no sacrifice for France
Please that absurd and ahistorical that France did it for Poland and not in defence of their own interests and security. Sending millions of young French men to their death for nothing would be literally a crime and betrayal of their trust.

The Poles failed by doing what? How do you propose to defend yourself from an agreement signed in bad faith?

If I promise you my kidney for your badly needed operation in precisely three months and then I won't deliver and disappear you can't do anything about it - except dying.

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

Post by gebhk » 05 May 2021 03:02

Remember, France declared war on behalf of Poland. Poland did not enter the war on behalf of France. France found herself defeated and humiliated as a result. The French made a great sacrifice for Poland. Poland made no sacrifice for France.
What sacrifice was that exactly? Are you really trying to tell us that France declared war on Germany purely out of benevolence for Poland? Do you not think that might be a tad naïve? And of course in your view, I can only presume, the millions of dead in Poland were no sacrifice at all - millions that could have been avoided had Poland sought accommodation with Germany instead of alliance with France and the UK.

I would suggest a more realistic view is that all three countries sacrificed a great deal - some more than others through the exigencies of fate and politics - for an alliance to bring down Nazism.
Peace and an armistice are spoken of as different things in the French guarantee to Poland. You may wish to conflate them now, but they weren't then
.
Wonderful sophistry, please carry on. I am sure it brought as much comfort then as it convinces now. Though on balance you may be right - because the French government went a lot further than just making peace when on 30 October 1940 Pétain declared "I enter today on the path of collaboration". Since, no doubt, the French did not mention they would not collaborate with the Germans in their 'guarantee to Poland' then that's OK too.
without exception, they were attacking the French, not the reverse, so the responsibility for any discomfort was their own.
Because, no doubt, the German military facilities established on the basis of the Paris protocols were no threat whatsoever and the material support Vichy France was giving to Germany did not harm the allied cause in any way?
Indeed, but this rather presumes (1) "full and effective military aid" was available and (2) if it was, that the Poles held out long enough to benefit from it.
It presumes nothing. Just because you have one opinion does not preclude one Charles de Gaulle from having a different one - one shared by many of his senior professional colleagues on the other side, incidentally.
This makes the then rather junior de Gaulle's opinion on the subject of little import.
That may be so, but the author of the thread did not ask what the import of De Gaulle's opinions were but whether he had one and, if so, what it was.
If true it failed spectacularly, because the Poles failed to protect themselves, let alone anyone else!
The fact that the French and to a lesser extent the British failed to make best use of the time and experience won for the allied cause by Poland's sacrifice is hardly the fault of the Poles. You do little to prevent your enemy from smashing your shield and then blame the shield when he goes on to smash you in exactly the same way. Very comforting, but not very helpful if you wish to learn useful lessons for the future. While somewhat petty, it is difficult to not point out that the French, even more spectacularly, failed to protect themselves let alone anyone else.....

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 05 May 2021 07:00

Hi wm,

You post, "Please that absurd and ahistorical that France did it for Poland and not in defence of their own interests and security." I don't have to defend what I didn't say. Of course the French were acting out of national self interest. But the fact remains that they were in the war because they had guaranteed Poland and paid a very heavy national price for that.

You post, "The Poles failed by doing what? How do you propose to defend yourself from an agreement signed in bad faith?" So, are you saying that Poland would have been better off without the French guarantee?

What alternative action are you proposing Poland should have taken in the absence of a French guarantee?

Fighting alone clearly wasn't going to help Poland. We know that from what actually happened.

How are you planning to preserve the Polish state in 1939 without allies?

What about agreeing to Danzig going to Germany and surrendering the Polish Corridor?

You post, "If I promise you my kidney for your badly needed operation in precisely three months and then I won't deliver and disappear you can't do anything about it - except dying." If the patient dies in one month, what is the point of giving up one's kidney in three months?

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 05 May 2021 07:21

Hi gebhk,

If it is sophistry, then it is sophistry contained in the text of the original Franco-Polish agreement. I am just the messenger here.

You ask, "What sacrifice was that exactly?" You may have missed that France was over run in 1940 and suffered a national humiliation as a consequence of declaring war on behalf of Poland.

You ask, "Are you really trying to tell us that France declared war on Germany purely out of benevolence for Poland?" No, so I don't have to defend that proposition of yours.

You post, "And of course in your view, I can only presume, the millions of dead in Poland were no sacrifice at all....." They were a great sacrifice, but not one made on behalf of France. Poland fought because it was attacked. France fought because Poland was attacked.

You post, ".....millions that could have been avoided had Poland sought accommodation with Germany instead of alliance with France and the UK." I am not sure how true that might have turned out to be. Czechoslovakia did a similar deal and was wiped off the map. You may be placing a little too much trust in Hitler's good faith.

Are you suggesting that, rather than accept the Anglo-French Guarantees, Poland should have cut a deal with Germany? That 50 million lives might have been saved had Poland only adopted appeasement as its foreign policy?

You ask, "Because, no doubt, the German military facilities established on the basis of the Paris protocols were no threat whatsoever and the material support Vichy France was giving to Germany did not harm the allied cause in any way?" Of course they did, but did the Paris Protocols come before or after the British began to dismantle the French empire and fleet?

You post, "The fact that the French and to a lesser extent the British failed to make best use of the time and experience won for the allied cause by Poland's sacrifice is hardly the fault of the Poles." True, but nobody is suggesting that it was.

You post, "You do little to prevent your enemy from smashing your shield and then blame the shield when he goes on to smash you in exactly the same way." I presume Poland is meant to be the shield in this analogy? If so, it was spectacularly ineffectual. Poland was more of a diversion that the French, in particular, failed to exploit or learn sufficiently from. It was no shield.

And who is blaming the Poles here? The thread is about the Poles blaming the French, surely?

You post, "I would suggest a more realistic view is that all three countries sacrificed a great deal - some more than others through the exigencies of fate and politics - for an alliance to bring down Nazism." I would suggest that Poland essentially fought because it was attacked. Its preferred policy from 1934 was accommodation with Nazi Germany and it still had a non-aggression pact with Germany with five years to run at the time. This pact guarded Nazi Germany's back throughout the second half of the 1930s.

If Poles are looking for "betrayal" of Poland, I would suggest that Germany is where their eyes should fall, not on a France that was slow out of the starting blocks and ended up paying a heavy price for its Polish alliance.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by wm » 05 May 2021 09:32

Sid Guttridge wrote:
05 May 2021 07:00
What alternative action are you proposing Poland should have taken in the absence of a French guarantee?
What a guarantee? France never guaranteed anything except promising nebulous help in case of a war with Germany for which Poland had to pay billions of francs.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 05 May 2021 16:15

Hi wm,

Please tell us more.....

Sid.

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

Post by wm » 05 May 2021 23:03

Why don't you try to read the topic from the very beginning to familiarize yourself with the subject at hand?
Because all you've written so far has nothing to with it whatsoever.

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