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Churchill turning his back on Poland

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by Ben Dover, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I would point out that the League had essentially "closed up shop" in 1940. Further, rules are only rules when they are enforced - Something the League rarely did, even when it was "open for business."


    If that is true, then, why did the League of Nations very rarely act to uphold Article 10? The League seems to have made a habit out of doing nothing when it came to acts of external aggression. Thus, apparently, far more disagreed with that statement, than agreed with it.



    Unfortunately, for Poland, times change. The Soviet Union was at it's nadir when Eden wrote those words. Three years later, the Soviets were at the zenith, and the UK was essentially powerless to stop them.


    Forgive my impertinence, but you are confused on the issue...The Soviet Union imposed a puppet government on Poland.
    It is rather hard to run Poland from London.


    Of course, Soviet losses were quadruple that...


    Orwell was rather specific about which British attitudes he was writing about...

    You dropped the first part of the sentence, which is


    I certainly wish you would stop this "cherry-picking" concerning your quotes.

    For those interested, Orwell's article can be viewed here:
    http://www.telelib.com/authors/O/OrwellGeorge/essay/tribune/AsIPlease19440901.html
     
  2. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    Takao Wrote [If that is true, then, why did the League of Nations very rarely act to uphold Article 10? The League seems to have made a habit out of doing nothing when it came to acts of external aggression. Thus, apparently, far more disagreed with that statement, than agreed with it.]


    Not always, but in too many cases the UN and NATO uphold that tradition of aloofness, wanton disregard or treachery - to this day. I wish we could say it wasn't so.
     
  3. green slime

    green slime Member

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    What Utter Garbage.

    Your arguments have been thoroughly dismantled, yet you still try to mislead by deliberately misquoting. Is it any wonder, then, that you also misread what is written. You have an abject, absolute inability to deal with this subject fairly and dispassionately.

    There is no point discussing this issue further with you.
     
  4. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    Orwell talks about "intellectuals generally", i.e. British intellectuals, basically the British elites which in the forties were mostly (frequently rabidly) pro-Soviet (all the appeasers [...] have switched their allegiance from Hitler to Stalin - George Orwell, Stalin actually considered the British Labour Party his ally). This love culminated in selling cutting-edge military technology to the USSR in 1946, which with great success was used to kill American soldiers during the Korean war.
     
  5. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Always found it interesting why France and Britain are blamed for what happened to Poland. Don't Poles live in Poland?
     
  6. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Now, it's my turn to say:

    What a Pile of Utter Garbage!
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I don't think that Stalin ever considered the British Labour Party to be an "Ally." He considered them dominated by urban petty bourgeois and were and extension of the bourgeois liberal party.

    They were a gift horse to be taken advantage of, not a party to ally with.
     
    Terry D likes this.
  8. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    As I read this conversation I wonder why Poles have entered a dangerous game without considering consequences? If you play fair, there is no need for others to cover your back. I mean, what was so terribly wrong in allowing Germany access to East Prussia, providing equal rights to all citizens regardless of their ethnicity/faith and returning Danzig to citizens of that city - Germans. Why creating unnecessary trouble in the first place?

    Poles have turned their backs on Poland and ALL citizens of Poland.
     
  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I would agree little could be done in 1945, but still believe 1941 or 1942 would be a very different story, Stalin was in deep trouble and post war Soviet Polish borders were a lot less important than getting all the aid he could right now.
    After US entry the final result was not much in doubt, it was just a matter of time given the manpower and economic imbalance, on the other hand whether the USSR would survive was still in doubt, so Stalin was in a position of weakness.
    His only card was the threat of a "separate peace" but that was mostly a bluff, personally he was unlikely to survive the power reshuffling such an event would cause unless Hitler was making him an "offer much too good to refuse" and that was highly unlikely.
    The only thing the western allies had to fear after US entry was Germany managing to grab enough resources East to be make a mainland Europe invasion an almost impossible proposition, with 20/20 hindsight we know the chances of them doing that were nil, the Heer was spent, the KM half destroyed and the LW on a steady decline.
     
  10. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    Not for the development, which was inevitable - for the colluding with the enemy, naively hoping for prospective benefits - which never materialized, and it was known from the day one they never would.
    The Allies could have done what they did in the case of the Baltic countries - nothing.



    So it seems the news about the sell of the revolutionary Rolls-Royce Nene jet engine to the Stalinist Soviet Union in 1946 by a traitorous Labour Government haven't reach Slovenska Štajerska as yet. But that's ok, the education levels there must have collapsed after you had expelled all your Germans after the WW2 :).

    The Nene was copied and produced in huge numbers (without paying any license) as the Klimov VK-1 and the Wopen WP-5. And used in the MiG-15, MiG-17, and the Il-28 bomber.



    Certainly, according to the communist ideology all capitalist countries were enemies, temporary alliances were kosher (like that with Hitler and later win the Allies) - to be milked for maximum profits ("the Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them").
    That they were enemies was an "objective" historical development, they were enemies as the fox is an enemy of the hen.
     
  11. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    And what's wrong with that dangerous game? Too hot for Hitler?
    It was Hitler who created the unnecessary trouble, he was its sole creator.

    The German minority in Poland had equal rights (and more of them than the Polish minority in Germany) - well, they had more rights than the Germans themselves in Nazi Germany, imagine that!
    Germany was a totalitarian country, Poland was, maybe failed, but still democracy.

    The Germans had access to East Prussia, it wasn't different than today's US and Alaska.


    At the beginning of 1942 a half of the Polish Government in Exile resigned because of it wasn't done like that.
    But in the end it would be pointless, the Soviets were good at annexing other countries, they created facts on the ground by using any means necessary to convince the population to vote for the communists in (rigged) elections. And then the country was theirs.
     
  12. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Not that sure, even Stalin could be played into a corner he would have problems getting out of, he was totally ruthless and more than a little paranoid (though not paranoid enough when it came to Hitler) but not a gambler.
    Getting him to make explicit promises and airlifting the goverment in exile and the Polish brigade at Warsaw, as they were at one time promised, plus the implied A bomb threat have a good chance of keeping him honest.

    But moving the Polish border West killed two birds with one stone, it avoided conflict with Stalin, that was still required to provide the main cannon fodder, and weakened post war Germany, that it made the official motivations for the 1939 DOW look "a bit "inconsistent" was a small cost for that.
     
  13. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    That is possible, but the American, the British people wouldn't support it. They had enough wars already.

    And earlier, in 1918, moving of borders, weakening of Germany resulted in the WW2. Poland had lots of luck this didn't happen again.
    Till the seventies the Germans were hell-bent to regain the territories, only not at any cost as Hitler did.
     
  14. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    There would be very little support for a "Patton like" continuation of the war, but that situation would not happen in the scenario I'm thinking of,

    - in 1941/42 the western allies get Stalin to recognize the government in exile and repudiate the Ribbentrop Molotov borders.
    - in 1944 the Polish para brigade is airlifted to Warsaw and takes part in the retaking of the city, this also delays the historical uprising to when the red Army is ready to resume the offensive so the uprising is succesfull. as the Germans will not try to hold a city with both an upraising and an approaching army to fight against.
    - After the liberation of Warsaw the government in exile is brought in.
    - The, no longer in exile, Polish government asks for administrative control of the Polish volunteers divisions that were raised by the red army, and Anders's Polish corps is brough back through Iran. Removing the II Polish corps from the 8th Army will create a gap but IIRC it was suffering from a replacements crisis that made it unsuitable for offensive operations by late 1944 so it's not as big a weakening as it may seem. Stalin may try to delay but has no ground to refuse,

    So by 1945 he has a much weaker hand to play, the A bomb threat is overkill, there are still millions of allied soldiers in Europe but the main factor is both sides are war weary, all the Poles need is to have enough force to trigger a fight nobody can afford if Stalin attempts a coup, and a couple of veteran corps are enough for that.

    It does take some 20/20 to get this scenario but I believe there is nothing impossible in the above.
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member

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    IMO, the embolded was not going to happen. Ever. What on Earth are the Western powers going to offer Stalin in their stead? Iran?

    The only way to guarantee Polish liberation from tyranny, was to overrun Berlin and get to Warsaw before the Red Army. Something the Western Powers were completely unable to do.
     
  16. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    IMO all they need to offer is lend lease, they don't even need to put on the table recognition of the "staus quo" concerning the Baltics and the 1940 Finnish and Rumanian borders, at the time we are assuming this negotiation to take place the USSR has been kicked out of all of them. In 1941 Stalin is a beggar and beggars can't be choosers, up to winter 1942 things were touch and go for the USSR.
    The allies do not need to get to Warsaw first, if they get Anders's troops and the government there Stalin is unlikely to get control. The Polish government may end up having to negotiate it's Eastern border if there was no previous clear agreement and it might end up with something very similar to the historical result but the west will save face (and possibly move the "iron curtain" a lot further East).

    Very much a "possible" rather than a "sure thing" but it has a pretty decent chance to work, in early 1942 there was no idea about who would eventually get to Berlin or Warsaw, so Stalin is not giving away anything he actually holds. The red army was still retreating and the British had yet to gain the upper hand in North Africa, even after Uranus, Torch and El Alamein things were not clear cut, it takes Kursk, the liberation of Kiev and the Anzio and Cassino debacles to give a good indication of who is going to get to Berlin first and even then Overlord is sill an unplayed trump card.
     
  17. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The USSR realises that Britain needs their continued existence in the fight against Nazi Germany; that it is Britain's best interest to ally itself with the USSR. Lend Lease did not radically affect anything until well after the Winter of 41/42. By the end of 1941 Britain had delivered 466 tanks, of which 90 were in front line service (British tanks are first reported seen by Germans in late November '41). A total of 699 Lend-Lease aircraft had been delivered to Archangel by the time the Arctic convoys switched to Murmansk in December 1941. Of these, 99 Hurricanes and 39 Tomahawks were in service with the Soviet air defense forces on January 1, 1942. It was Britain that rushed and pushed to extend the aide, not the Soviet Union that came begging.

    The summer campaign of '42 was ever a disaster for the overstretched Germans, and never a real threat to Soviet existence. Already it should've been clear that the German's were unable to force the issue, unable to resolve the Eastern front through force of arms. This is made apparent by the inability to a large degree of the Germans to engage, never mind encircle, any substantial forces during Fall Blau (the intention had been to capture them akin to '41), until the Soviets elected to stand at a minor city on the banks of the Volga, with the known results. Even though the direction of the attack came as a surprise.

    Once again, the UK needed to keep the USSR in the fight, ensuring they didn't seek a ceasefire or peace as Imperial Russia had in 1917. It was imperative that the Western Allies show good will towards the USSR, both it's leadership and people. Trying to wrangle political concessions from the Soviet Bear, while it is fighting a war the British Lion can't afford to have it draw, never mind lose, is not negotiating with a strong hand.
     
  18. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    It was the original Polish plan: a General Uprising, then the Warsaw Uprising, a government in Warsaw in a closely guarded governmental quarter, waiting for reinforcements. It was called Operation Tempest.
    But fighting without heavy weapons and constant supplies is not really possible. The Polish partisans were capable of hit-and run operations and nothing more.
    The Soviet partisans were supported and supplied by the Soviet Air Forces, the Yugoslav and Greek partisans by the Allies. The Poles had nothing so they had to fail.
     
  19. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Or they failed, so they must've had significantly less than everyone else, apparently.

    Never had anything to do with any diplomatic failings on the part of Poles.

    It's not like the Greek and Yugoslav partisans had it all smooth sailing with limitless supplies from their backers, only confronting wayward Germans armed with a set of false dentures.
     
  20. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    I think the hundreds of thousands of killed Yugoslavians and Greek partisans, and countless civilians killed in reprisals severely resent the claim they all were killed by a few people with false dentures.
    Especially that they were fighting the armed forces of Germany, Italy, NDH, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Chetniks.

    At the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising only one in every twenty five fighters was armed, frequently in some pre-war home defense revolver.
     

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