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What if Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Discussion in 'Alternate History' started by lordroel, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. lordroel

    lordroel Member

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    What if Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

    Here is another thread i hope can create some discussions here.

    How would the world look today if the French and Brits responded positively to a offer made by Stalin on August 15th 1939, papers which were kept secret for almost 70 years show that the Soviet Union two weeks before war broke out in 1939 proposed sending a powerful military force in an effort to entice Britain and France into an anti-Nazi alliance. But the British and French delegation that had a meeting on August 15th 1939 at the Kremlin with a senior Soviet military delegation made up of the chief of the general staff, Boris Shaposhnikov, Defense Commissar Kliment Voroshilov and the naval minister, Admiral Nikolai Kusnezov who offered to dispatch 120 infantry divisions (each with some 19,000 troops), 16 cavalry divisions, 5,000 heavy artillery pieces, 9,500 tanks and up to 5,500 fighter aircraft and bombers on Germany's borders in the event of war in the west if Polish objections to the Soviet Army crossing its territory could first be overcome. But Admiral Sir Reginald Drax, who was leading the British delegation briefed by their governments to talk, but not authorized to commit to binding deals - did not respond to the Soviet offer. Instead, Stalin turned to Germany, signing the notorious non-aggression treaty named the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact after the foreign secretaries of the two countries barely a week later.

    Photo of the arrival of the British-French delegation in Moscow
    [​IMG]

    But What If the British and French had taken this offer seriously then together the British, French and Soviet armies could have put some 300 or more divisions into the field on two fronts against Germany - double the number Hitler had at the time, this might have forced Hitler to backed off, lest he trigger a two-front war. Hitler believed that he could defeat Poland well before the western powers could intervene, but could scarcely have entertained the same hope with regard to the Soviet Union. In his manifesto, Mein Kampf, the Nazi leader warned against the danger of fighting on two fronts. And, if anything, his generals feared that prospect more than he did. A secret resistance to Hitler among the men of the German High Command already existed. An alliance between the British, French and Soviets might have made Hitler’s foreign policy course seem so reckless as to spur that resistance into action.

    But Hitler might have invaded Poland anyway. It was well known throughout Europe that Stalin’s military purges of the late 1930s had enormously damaged the Soviet armed forces. Hitler had contempt not only for the Soviet military but for its political leadership, and, countervailing alliance or no countervailing alliance, may well have pressed ahead with an attack on Poland, gambling that he could eliminate Poland before the Red Army could lumber into action and intervene effectively.

    An Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance might have achieved the desired effect of deterring Hitler from invading Poland. But an alliance also might merely have postponed that invasion while Hitler engaged in more of the diplomatic maneuvering that had characterized his foreign policy for years. Or a Soviet alliance with the Western Allies could have had scant effect, with Germany invading Poland on September 1st 1939, as occurred historically.

    What then would have been the impact of an alliance between the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the French Republic? In many respects the Soviet Union would have annexed the Baltic states and Eastern European would fall under its sphere of influence. But although it is unlikely that it would have helped the Poles fend off the Germans, the Soviet Union could have wound up holding onto an eastern strip of Polish territory.

    The main difference—and this is vital—is that instead of a second front breaking open with the surprise attack of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, war would have broken out between Germany and the Soviet Union in Sept ember 1939. The French army would have stood undefeated, Britain’s forces on the continent would have remained formidable, and, whatever their military shortcomings, the Soviets would have threatened Germany in a way that Hitler could not have ignored. In short, an Anglo-French-Soviet alliance might not have achieved its objective of deterring war. But the alliance would have forced Germany into a two-front conflict that would have played out very differently— to Germany’s disadvantage.

    In the end no such alliance was formed, Poland whose territory the vast Soviet army would have had to cross to confront Germany, was firmly against such an alliance as they had good reasons to mistrust the Soviet Union and Britain was doubtful about the efficacy of any Soviet forces because only the previous year, Stalin had purged thousands of top Red Army commanders.

    A desperate attempt by the French on August 21st to revive the talks was rebuffed, as secret Soviet-Nazi talks were already well advanced, it was only two years later, following Hitler's Blitzkreig attack on Russia in June 1941, that the alliance with the West which Stalin had sought finally came about - by which time France, Poland and much of the rest of Europe were already under German occupation.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    If you scroll down to the Color Books section at New Page 1, you'll find diplomatic communications between the various parties during the run-up to the war.
     
  3. lordroel

    lordroel Member

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    Interesting, thanks will have to read them.
     
  4. green slime

    green slime Member

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    1) What exactly was secret for 70 years? I have books published in 1959 that discuss the Soviet-UK-French negotiations of 1939, including proposals from the Soviets to extend their "protection" into Poland by the Red Army...

    2) Poland had fought hard to liberate herself from the Russian / Soviet yoke in the Polish-Soviet War 1919-1921. Now the Western Allies should just let the Red Army back in? I'm sure the Poles would love that idea. Some Poles today think the Western powers sold out Poland at Yalta. The idea that Poland in 1939 is going to let any Soviet force enter its territory voluntarily is not realistic. This is the primary reason why the Anglo-French never took the proposal seriously.

    3) The only state to successively evade incorporation into the Soviet sphere following such "requests" for "defensive arrangements" prior to Barbarossa was Finland, and they had to fight for the "privilege." Why did the Soviets grab the Baltic states: because Germany allowed them to. Had the Anglo-French come to an understanding with the Soviet Union over Poland, the Soviets would have grabbed Poland and the Baltic states, because the Western powers allowed the Soviets to. That is a hard sell to democracies.

    If somehow, the Western powers take leave of their senses, "give away" Poland (in spite of what the Poles may feel) to the Soviet Union, in the fall of '39. The French and British may as well start teaching Russian in their primary schools, and ban private ownership. Because accepting the Soviet offer is akin to surrendering any pretense of diplomatic leadership. The international community did not look to the Soviets to resolve the issue of the Fascist threat, they looked to the Anglo-French.

    Allowing the Stalin and Soviets to encroach towards the West is a very bad idea.
     
    Mutley and von Poop like this.
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have the Soviet "color book", but the number of ... disagreements ... between it and other sources kind of makes my head spin.
     
  6. lordroel

    lordroel Member

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    Well if this alliance ever existed, one would in the end betray the other two.
     
  7. Mutley

    Mutley Active Member

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    I could be wrong but the British establishment we're running a little scared of the rise of socialism and Communism and resulted in the Pact of Non Intervention with the French during the Spanish Civil War. It would hardly have been the done thing to get into bed with the Communists in front of the eyes of British public, especially with Russia arming the common man in Spain. The common man had also brought down the Royal family in Russia, relatives of British royalty. This was always on their mind.
     
  8. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    The Western Powers had more in common with the Nazis than the Soviets. If Hitler didn't do what he did in Poland, I think there would have been a cold war with Nazi Germany leading the way and the rest of us either remaining neutral or being anti-communist. We took over for the Nazis in the Communist Crusade after we defeated them, and we also took over some of their tactics as well, especially in the covert/secret activities areas.
     

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