Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

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Takao
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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by Takao » 29 Jul 2022 01:52

Steve wrote:
29 Jul 2022 01:01
By mid August the Germans had driven a coach and horses through the treaty that set up the Free City. The Poles did not intervene though the conditions for an intervention existed. By September 1st Danzig was de facto already in the Reich. If Hitler had stopped at the end of August he would only have had the problem of the corridor which a humiliated Poland may have been prepared to compromise on.
By September 1st, 1936, Danzig was de facto already in the Reich.

The Poles would compromise on a German corridor to Danzig? Or, the Poles would compromise on the Polish Corridor to the sea?
Either way, the Poles lose Gdansk, or for all practical purposes it is lost. But, given your ramblings on how superior Gdansk was to Danzig...I cannot see the Poles compromising on Gdansk.

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by Takao » 29 Jul 2022 02:04

Gorque wrote:
29 Jul 2022 01:49
I'm a little confused here: Wasn't Danzig like 80% German and wasn't Gdansk a fully operational port by then? If so, then what does it matter if Danzig gets incorporated into the Reich if Poland has a equally viable and much friendlier alternative?

Someone kindly correct me as to my error in logic. :)
More like 90% or more German.

Logic? That went out the window in 1939 after the non-German part of Czechloslovakia was finished off. I am sure some Czechloslovakian clowns said something similar, in 1938, about the Sudetenland..."It's mostly German, so what harm can come from giving to Germany.

Now, say the Poles give Danzig up? Then Hitler wants the Polish Corridor(after all, it is ex-German territory lost at Versailles).
But wait, Germany takes the Polish Corridor, the Poles get to wave bye-bye to Gdansk. Or, Hitler hedges, and asks only for a German Corridor to Danzig - A corridor which the Germans can close at any time). Here, the Poles still get to wave bye-bye to Gdansk.

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by Gorque » 29 Jul 2022 02:42

Takao wrote:
29 Jul 2022 02:04
Gorque wrote:
29 Jul 2022 01:49
I'm a little confused here: Wasn't Danzig like 80% German and wasn't Gdansk a fully operational port by then? If so, then what does it matter if Danzig gets incorporated into the Reich if Poland has a equally viable and much friendlier alternative?

Someone kindly correct me as to my error in logic. :)
More like 90% or more German.

Logic? That went out the window in 1939 after the non-German part of Czechloslovakia was finished off. I am sure some Czechloslovakian clowns said something similar, in 1938, about the Sudetenland..."It's mostly German, so what harm can come from giving to Germany.

Now, say the Poles give Danzig up? Then Hitler wants the Polish Corridor(after all, it is ex-German territory lost at Versailles).
But wait, Germany takes the Polish Corridor, the Poles get to wave bye-bye to Gdansk. Or, Hitler hedges, and asks only for a German Corridor to Danzig - A corridor which the Germans can close at any time). Here, the Poles still get to wave bye-bye to Gdansk.

Hi Takao:

Thanks for responding so quickly. :)

90%? Dang. And Gdansk was somewhat operational by then. Sure sounds like a trading card for the Poles by then.

Wasn't the initial request for a overland (i.e. bridges, etc. or am I wrong), toll-free land and rail link to East Prussia as well as Danzig? I'm sure the ultimate goal was to establish suzerainity over Poland in order to turn the Polish state against the Soviet Union; not to mention to use the Polish state as a marshalling site for the same.

I do concur that A.H. lost all of his diplomatic credence when German troops marched into the rump Czech state, but that was after the initial request. No fair using hindsight, :)

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by wm » 29 Jul 2022 04:05

Gorque wrote:
29 Jul 2022 01:49
I'm a little confused here: Wasn't Danzig like 80% German and wasn't Gdansk a fully operational port by then? If so, then what does it matter if Danzig gets incorporated into the Reich if Poland has a equally viable and much friendlier alternative?
The Free City of Danzig was a Polish-international (represented by the League of Nations) condominium. Additionally, at the beginning of 1939, Poland and Germany agreed that a Polish-German condominium there would have been a good idea.

The difference was between inherent and enforceable rights (the condominium) and (unenforceable) privileges granted by someone else (Danzig in Germany).
Germany didn't need Danzig; it had 15 such large ports (so by comparison, Poland needed 7). Danzig couldn't even exist without Poland; its goods traffic to Germany (i.e., East Prussia) was 1 percent of its traffic to Poland.

But even that was immaterial; Poland didn't argue that Danzig shouldn't have returned to Germany but that the compensation offered was inadequate. And that the other part - the extraterritorial road was unacceptable.
Hitler was aware that his offer was inadequate, so in the end, he offered a part of Ukraine for Danzig - something he didn't have and the Poles didn't need.

But even that was immaterial; Hitler went bonkers not because of Danzig but because of the British guarantees to Poland (and Eastern Europe) - negotiated, according to him, in violation of the German-Polish declaration of non-aggression.

And during the negotiations with Britain, the Poles didn't even argue that they needed Danzig badly.
The primary and only argument was Nazi Germany could have become a rogue state, determined to achieve its broader goals in Europe by military means.
That the line in the sand must have been drawn at Danzig, and Nazi Germany needed to be stopped there.

That Hitler's willingness to go to war for Danzig against the French-British-Polish coalition was the best indicator he wouldn't stop there, that there would be more.
And the "more" would directly threaten France and Britain.

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by ljadw » 29 Jul 2022 06:09

Takao wrote:
28 Jul 2022 20:03
ljadw wrote:
28 Jul 2022 15:51
That would mean that Poland would start the fighting and that Britain would have the ideal excuse to not to intervene .
Well, that would depend on the Germany "provocations" would it not?

The Poles probably would not send their QRF, if say, the SA were parading around in shirts that said "POLES SUCK!". The Poles probably would send their QRF if the SA attempted something akin to the Battle of Westerplatte.
ljadw wrote:
28 Jul 2022 15:51
Preempting something for which there is no proof ( there is no proof for a German coup against Danzig ) is a suicidal strategy .
There is German proof that the Danzig Germans had plans to capture key Polish positions in Danzig. This would be a "coup" would it not? Then, the question becomes, did the Poles know of these plans? Or was the Polish hasty attack just contingency planning.
If Poland had any proof that the Danzig Germans ( who are not the government of the Third Reich ! ) had any plans to capture key Polish positions in Danzig, they would have made these plans public .
They did not,thus they did not have any proofs of such plans .
Besides :plans are not intentions .
The Nazis of Danzig ruled the city since 1933, thus Hitler could not plan a coup against Danzig .
And :if the Nazis of Danzig had plans to act against Polish interests in the city, since when did these plans exist ? If they existed since March and Poland knew about these plans in March ,why did Poland not react in March ?
That today there are proofs that Greiser and Förster planned to capture key Polish positions in Danzig, AFTER having the consent of Hitler, is totally meaningless and not a justification for a Polish reaction 83 years ago .

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by ljadw » 29 Jul 2022 06:29

wm wrote:
29 Jul 2022 04:05
Gorque wrote:
29 Jul 2022 01:49
I'm a little confused here: Wasn't Danzig like 80% German and wasn't Gdansk a fully operational port by then? If so, then what does it matter if Danzig gets incorporated into the Reich if Poland has a equally viable and much friendlier alternative?
The Free City of Danzig was a Polish-international (represented by the League of Nations) condominium. Additionally, at the beginning of 1939, Poland and Germany agreed that a Polish-German condominium there would have been a good idea.

The difference was between inherent and enforceable rights (the condominium) and (unenforceable) privileges granted by someone else (Danzig in Germany).
Germany didn't need Danzig; it had 15 such large ports (so by comparison, Poland needed 7). Danzig couldn't even exist without Poland; its goods traffic to Germany (i.e., East Prussia) was 1 percent of its traffic to Poland.

But even that was immaterial; Poland didn't argue that Danzig shouldn't have returned to Germany but that the compensation offered was inadequate. And that the other part - the extraterritorial road was unacceptable.
Hitler was aware that his offer was inadequate, so in the end, he offered a part of Ukraine for Danzig - something he didn't have and the Poles didn't need.

But even that was immaterial; Hitler went bonkers not because of Danzig but because of the British guarantees to Poland (and Eastern Europe) - negotiated, according to him, in violation of the German-Polish declaration of non-aggression.

And during the negotiations with Britain, the Poles didn't even argue that they needed Danzig badly.
The primary and only argument was Nazi Germany could have become a rogue state, determined to achieve its broader goals in Europe by military means.
That the line in the sand must have been drawn at Danzig, and Nazi Germany needed to be stopped there.

That Hitler's willingness to go to war for Danzig against the French-British-Polish coalition was the best indicator he wouldn't stop there, that there would be more.
And the "more" would directly threaten France and Britain.
''Condominium " ? That was what Poland claimed .In 1919 Germany was defeated and the wishes of the Germans had no importance . But the situation of 1939 was totally different .
The reality was that the population of Danzig wanted to return to the Reich and that Poland refused ,not because Danzig had any economic importance for Poland, but because there were millions in Poland who wanted to leave and that to yield for Danzig would only strengthen the claims of the others .
A multinational state as Poland ,dominated by the Poles, could never accept the claims of the non Poles living in the state :If Danzig returned to the Reich ,the Germans of Polish Silesia and of the Corridor would demand the same .And for the average Pole,the right of self determination did not apply to the Germans .Given the German persecution after the Polish divisions,the Polish attitude can be defended, but, OTOH, one can doubt that it was a wise attitude .
Two more points :
1 There was NO French-British-Polish coalition before 1 September 1939 . And France and Britain did not fight for Poland, but against Germany .
2 There was no German threat to France and Britain :Hitler had not the forces, not the plans, not the intention to attack France and Britain after he would have eliminated Poland .

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by wm » 29 Jul 2022 10:32

Yes, poor Hitler ("I wanted first of all to establish a tolerable relationship with Poland in order to fight first against the West") he wanted to do good, but Jewish dark forces wouldn't let him.
Because this you could hear during the Polish-German negotiations in 1939:
international Jewish and Masonic forces, unable to Bolshevise Europe through communist agitation, as this would meet with the counteraction of the states of order, now intend to combat these countries by means of other capitalist countries under the guise and slogan of defence of liberty and democracy, ...
to set states living in harmony against one another and for this reason dark international elements are trying, for example, to set Germany against Italy in connection with South Tyrol and the Brenner Pass, and for example, Poland and Germany in connection with this Danzig matter, or with the matter of Carpathian Ruthenia.
And exactly this was what Nazi propaganda was claiming during the invasion of Poland: that the Poles were innocent - the Jews brought the war.

A condominium is a territory over which powers share sovereignty, in this case: Poland, the League of Nations, and the population of Danzig.
Nothing wrong with it, and it has nothing to do with the subject at hand anyway.

During the Polish-German negotiations, the Germans didn't resort to the concept of self-determination, so it has no place here.
The main argument was that Hitler couldn't allow, for internal political reasons, the status quo to remain - literally because it would reflect badly on his greatness. True story.

"The Germans of Polish Silesia and of the Corridor" couldn't demand anything as they didn't form a majority anywhere.

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by ljadw » 29 Jul 2022 11:08

Poland had no sovereignty in Danzig .

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by ljadw » 29 Jul 2022 11:13

wm wrote:
29 Jul 2022 10:32
Yes, poor Hitler ("I wanted first of all to establish a tolerable relationship with Poland in order to fight first against the West")
There is no proof that Hitler said this and there is no proof that he had the intention to fight first against the West ( against whom would he fight after an impossible victory against the West ? )
There are proofs that he did not have the intention to fight against the West : = he had no plans and intentions without plans mean nothing .

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by Gorque » 29 Jul 2022 13:35

Some good information provided in this thread as well as spirited debate. :thumbsup:


I found this little tidbit from Professor Anna M. Cienciala (RIP) here:

https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream ... sequence=3

Scroll down to the middle of p. 202
Finally, we should recall that German demands for the return of Danzig to Germany and for German extraterritorial communications through the Polish
Corridor to Danzig and East Prussia—demands put forward in October 1938, repeated in January 1939, and again in March 1939—were rejected by Poland. In January 1939, the Polish Cabinet decided not to negotiate on the basis of Hitler's demands since, if granted, more would follow and lead ultimately to the loss of Polish independence. Therefore, Polish counter-proposals envisaged a joint Polish-German guarantee of the Free City and more facilities for German traffic through the Corridor, but without extraterritorial rights. Although these Polish-German talks were secret—for each side hoped to reach its respective goals with time—it should be noted that the Polish decision to stand and fight, if need be, was made on March 24, 1939, i.e., six days before Britain gave her guarantee to Poland. 14

14 See : Cienciala, Poland and the Western Powers, ch. VI, VII, and same , article in Zeszyty Historyczne, no. 75 .

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by wm » 29 Jul 2022 15:31

Lord, have mercy. The last sentence is absolutely incorrect.
Yes, it was a week before the guarantee, but the guarantee was offered three days earlier, i.e., on March 21.
Simultaneously, in London (by Halifax in talks with the Polish ambassador) and in Warsaw by the British ambassador Kennard.
The offer became publicly known just days later, on March 23 - when The Times wrote:
WARSAW CONSULTATIONS
Sir Howard Kennard, the British Ambassador, had another talk with Colonel Beck, the Foreign Minister, this morning, and it is believed the subject was connected with the plan initiated from London and Paris to harmonize the efforts of certain European nations to cope with the German menace.
On March 24, 1939, the Polish leaders made the decision to start war preparations in all seriousness. It had nothing to do with the "decision to stand and fight" - this had never been in doubt.

Earlier, war was considered unlikely, and no preparations were made. Especially that Hitler constantly declared peaceful intentions, and for example, in the same month, he stressed:
as long as he, as a partner of Marshal Pilsudski in the Polish-German agreement, is in charge of the Reich's policies, there will be no conflict.
In Poland, at the head of Polish foreign policy, stands Minister Beck, 'a very clever and noble man'.
Nevertheless, in the future someone might take the Chancellor's place in Germany, just as some changes may occur in the political leadership in Poland. Therefore, it would be desirable to reach an agreement on this matter before then.

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by wm » 29 Jul 2022 15:35

ljadw wrote:
29 Jul 2022 11:08
Poland had no sovereignty in Danzig .
What about this sovereignty: the Free City was represented internationally by Polish embassies, the Danzigers were carrying Polish passports, had to travel through Polish border controls, and paid customs duties to Poland.

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by Gorque » 29 Jul 2022 19:14

wm wrote:
29 Jul 2022 15:31
Lord, have mercy. The last sentence is absolutely incorrect.
Yes, it was a week before the guarantee, but the guarantee was offered three days earlier, i.e., on March 21.
Simultaneously, in London (by Halifax in talks with the Polish ambassador) and in Warsaw by the British ambassador Kennard.
The offer became publicly known just days later, on March 23 - when The Times wrote:
WARSAW CONSULTATIONS
Sir Howard Kennard, the British Ambassador, had another talk with Colonel Beck, the Foreign Minister, this morning, and it is believed the subject was connected with the plan initiated from London and Paris to harmonize the efforts of certain European nations to cope with the German menace.

Hi wm:

I think Ms. Cienciala might have been referring to the official pronouncement of the guarantee in Parliament, March 31. On the 24th, Halifax received a request from Beck for secret negotiations between the two.

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by Gorque » 29 Jul 2022 19:51

wm wrote:
29 Jul 2022 15:31
On March 24, 1939, the Polish leaders made the decision to start war preparations in all seriousness. It had nothing to do with the "decision to stand and fight" - this had never been in doubt.
Hi wm:

I believe Anne Cienciala was referring to this blurb from Beck on the 24th:
In Warsaw, on 24 March, Beck told his closest collaborators that the situation had to be examined anew since Germany had lost 'all sense of responsibility'. The Polish line of conduct, said the Foreign Minister, was fixed; the limits of possible concessions had been determined and beyond that line lay the Polish non possumus - 'Poland would simply fight.' She could not, said Beck, accept a unilateral solution of the Danzig question and he expressed the hope that if Hitler met with a determined attitude he would recover his sense of proportion, 40
p 218, Poland and the Western Powers1938-1939 Anna M. Cienciala

footnote 14: Szembek Journal 24 March 1939, pp.434-7. Szembeck makes no mention of Raczyński-Halifax conversations of 21 and 24 March.

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Re: Chamberlain REFUSES to declare war on September 3 1939

Post by ljadw » 29 Jul 2022 20:36

wm wrote:
29 Jul 2022 15:35
ljadw wrote:
29 Jul 2022 11:08
Poland had no sovereignty in Danzig .
What about this sovereignty: the Free City was represented internationally by Polish embassies, the Danzigers were carrying Polish passports, had to travel through Polish border controls, and paid customs duties to Poland.
And, there was a High Commissioner who had as mission to prevent all Polish attempts to take away the sovereignty of Danzig .
Your examples are meaningless : they do not prove that Poland had any sovereignty over/in Danzig : the embassies and passports from Poland were only used because Danzig was to small to have its own embassies and passports .

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