What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

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rkka_arvgk
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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by rkka_arvgk » 02 Jul 2020 18:49

Futurist wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:45
So, why let the Soviet Union into Poland if they might not leave for an extremely long time, if ever?
Because Poland gets promptly & totally conquered otherwise?
Futurist wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:45
It seems like a couple of years of German occupation would be superior to this if the Holocaust wasn't reasonably foreseeable yet.
"When we speak of land in Europe today, we can have in mind primarily Russia and her vassal border states'" Perhaps the Polish government should have had a look at Nazi racial theory, and the place Slavs occupied in it.
Futurist wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:45
After all, Poland managed to survive several years of German occupation in World War I, so the hope was presumably for a repeat of this during World War II--followed by an eventual Western Allied victory as in World War I, of course.
Kaiser Billy II =/= Kaiser Adolf I. See Nazi racial theories, referenced above.
Futurist wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:45
After such a victory, I am presuming that the hope would be that Poland's independence would be restored without Poland actually having to fall under Communist rule.
As the DCoS mention, long wars transform things, and the only hope of a short war involves the Polish government accepting Soviet assistance.
Last edited by rkka_arvgk on 02 Jul 2020 18:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by rkka_arvgk » 02 Jul 2020 18:58

Futurist wrote:
02 Jul 2020 02:29
I wonder what Poland would have preferred--to make an accommodation with Hitler to prevent being invaded in the first place
Alas, not an option. When Adolf directed the German general staff to begin initial planning for Case White (the invasion of Poland) the response from its chief, Golonel-General Franz Halder & his subordinates verged on glee. "It was if a heavy stone had fallen from our hearts." They rejoiced at no longer having to maintain their false pose of friendship with Poland.

So I'm afraid that once Czechoslovakia's out of the way, the German government aren't particularly interested in support from Poland.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by rkka_arvgk » 02 Jul 2020 19:53

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Jul 2020 01:38
WW2 was perhaps only a chapter of the Cold War.
It has long seemed to me that the Cold War started after the end of the Russian Civil War & the failure of the various interventions.

It was temporarily interrupted by the outcome of the German campaigns in the Spring of 1940, and resumed once West Germany & Japan were occupied & no longer a danger to the Anglosphere.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by David Thompson » 03 Jul 2020 00:41

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Jul 2020 01:22

rkka_arvgk wrote:
02 Jul 2020 18:58
Futurist wrote:
02 Jul 2020 02:29
I wonder what Poland would have preferred--to make an accommodation with Hitler to prevent being invaded in the first place
Alas, not an option.
Indeed. Yet the West expressed some worry about this re alliance with SU. That may have been pretextual - feigned pragmatic cover for ideological orientation. Or it may reflect their persistent failure to understand the scope of Hitler's program. If Hitler just wants to nibble at the edges of Central Europe then maybe he's open to accommodation with Poland and, say, recovery of 1918 Eastern borders. By 1939 it's difficult to imagine how anyone could understand Hitler in this limited way, however.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Jul 2020 03:04

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Jul 2020 01:22
... By 1939 it's difficult to imagine how anyone could understand Hitler in this limited way, however.
Indeed. The occupation of Bohemia & dissolution of the Czech state ended many illusions.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by rkka_arvgk » 03 Jul 2020 10:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
03 Jul 2020 03:04
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Jul 2020 01:22
... By 1939 it's difficult to imagine how anyone could understand Hitler in this limited way, however.
Indeed. The occupation of Bohemia & dissolution of the Czech state ended many illusions.
It removed many, but not all.

John Colville was a junior staffer at 10 Downing Street for both Chamberlain and Churchill. His diary "The Fringes of Power" W.W. Norton 1985, entry for 13 October 1939 relates (pgs 40 & 41):

"Arthur Rucker (Chamberlain's Principal Private Secretary (Chief of Staff for Americans)) says he thinks Communism is now the great danger, greater even than Nazi Germany. All the independent states of Europe are anti-Russian, but Communism is a plague that does not stop at national boundaries, and with the advance of the Soviet into Poland the states of Eastern Europe will find their powers of resistance to Communism very much weakened. It is thus vital that we should play our hand very carefully with Russia, and not destroy the possibility of uniting, if necessary, with a new German Government against the common danger. What is needed is a moderate conservative reaction in Germany: the overthrow of the present regime by the army chiefs."

Isn't it wonderful how Nazi Germany saved the states of Eastern Europe from Communism by conquering or coercing them into alliance, and leading them into the most horrific war in recorded history? :roll:

Illusion dies hard, especially if you've grown deeply attached to it.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Jul 2020 13:21

rkka_arvgk wrote:John Colville was a junior staffer at 10 Downing Street for both Chamberlain and Churchill. His diary "The Fringes of Power" W.W. Norton 1985, entry for 13 October 1939 relates (pgs 40 & 41):
Great quote, thanks - hadn't seen that before. Pure insanity. Capitalist imperialism can be a helluva drug. Luckily Churchill had high drug tolerance, given that he was also an imperialist but clocked Hitler from the get-go.

Here's more from "Failure of the Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance," cited upthread:
Pressure for a Soviet alliance was building up on all sides. Public opinion in Great Britain was vociferous. 'Winston', long a thorn in the side of Tory cabinets, challenged the government in Parliament and in the press. What was going on, why the delay in responding to Soviet proposals, why no pressure on Poland to cooperate? The old hater of bolsheviks was for banding together to 'break Hitler's neck!'1" The British chiefs of staff also started to press for agreement with the USSR. They knew in early May that the French intended to stand on the defensive on the fortified Maginot line in the event of war between Germany and Poland. The Polish army would quickly be defeated without Soviet support, and if the USSR sided with Germany, Great Britain would face the gravest dangers. Vansittart also returned to the charge and seemed to influence the dawdling Halifax.

Chamberlain's entourage was intriguing; Halifax, a young anti-bolshevik 'die-hard' in the early 1920s, was said to regard the USSR as 'the anti-Christ'. Strang, head of the Central department, thought that Chamberlain opposed a Soviet alliance because it would signal the end of appeasement; he said 'all at No. 10 are anti-Soviet'. Halifax explained to the French that 'half the British population' held the Soviet Union responsible as much as the Nazis for 'all the troubles of the last 10 years'."3 Obviously, Halifax had not kept up with British public opinion which massively favoured an Anglo-Soviet alliance, but neither had Chamberlain. He was relieved by Litvinov's sacking and threatened to resign 'rather than sign [an] alliance with the Soviet'. Even Corbin attributed the British cabinet's 'reticence' to anti-communist animosity.114
This was months before the last-minute negotiations portrayed upthread as the bad-faith first instance of Soviet attempts to form an anti-Hitler alliance before the war.

Another VERY interesting passage:
Collier was a member of Vansittart's small circle, and at times he boldly criticised the government. In a shocking comment on the minutes of the Foreign Policy Committee, composed of senior cabinet ministers, he noted that if one 'read between the lines', especially of Chamberlain's comments, one could not 'help feeling that the real motive for Cabinet's attitude is the desire to secure Russian help and at the same time to leave our hands free to enable Germany to expand eastward at Russian expense'. Strang disputed this, but Cadogan, consistent with his earlier views, did not refer to it. Collier warned that the 'Russians are not so naive as not to suspect this, and I hope that we ourselves will not be so naive as to think that we can have things both ways'.
The "Collier" referred to here is Laurence Collier, at that time head of the Foreign Office's Northern Department. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Collier

If a senior official of the British government suspected Chamberlain et. al. of avoiding alliance with the Soviets in hopes that Hitler would attack Stalin instead of the West (which would be free to assume neutrality absent an alliance), it can hardly be impermissible for us to speculate that Chamberlain was so motivated.

...which by the way is also insane. Who would have been next in line after Hitler conquers the SU?

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 03 Jul 2020 17:50

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Jul 2020 13:21
...which by the way is also insane. Who would have been next in line after Hitler conquers the SU?
Even more insane was the Anglo-French discussion about attacking the Soviet Union during the "Phoney War" in an attempt to interdict the flow of supplies from the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany. 8O

See minutes of Anglo-French Supreme War Council of 28 March 1940 (quoted in Gilbert Finest Hour, p.198-199).
Chamberlain told the Supreme War Council of the possibility of striking at the sources of German oil supply in Russia. A successful attack on the Baku oilfields, he said, 'would have the double advantage of paralysing Russia's economic structure and effectively preventing her from carrying out military operations outside her own territory, but also of denying Germany supplies of oil of which she was very much in need'.
Fortunately, at this point intelligence was received at the Admiralty suggesting a German move against Norway and the plans for an attack through Iraq and Syria, or through Iran seem to have been quietly shelved.

Some good information in this thread, thanks for posting.

Regards

Tom

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 03 Jul 2020 22:44

lordroel wrote:
24 Aug 2017 21:13
What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

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.


Not correct.

Britain government was publish transcript of meetings and other documents in 1954. Now is 2020. Peoples was can to read everything on meetings and discusses since 75 years.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Jul 2020 23:07

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
03 Jul 2020 17:50
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Jul 2020 13:21
...which by the way is also insane. Who would have been next in line after Hitler conquers the SU?
Even more insane was the Anglo-French discussion about attacking the Soviet Union during the "Phoney War" in an attempt to interdict the flow of supplies from the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany. 8O

See minutes of Anglo-French Supreme War Council of 28 March 1940 (quoted in Gilbert Finest Hour, p.198-199).
Chamberlain told the Supreme War Council of the possibility of striking at the sources of German oil supply in Russia. A successful attack on the Baku oilfields, he said, 'would have the double advantage of paralysing Russia's economic structure and effectively preventing her from carrying out military operations outside her own territory, but also of denying Germany supplies of oil of which she was very much in need'.
Fortunately, at this point intelligence was received at the Admiralty suggesting a German move against Norway and the plans for an attack through Iraq and Syria, or through Iran seem to have been quietly shelved.

Some good information in this thread, thanks for posting.

Regards

Tom
Yeah the Baku bombing scheme is an all-time great mad caper.

Is there a word for crazy ideas hatched under strategic desperation, when one can't confront reality? Hitler's DoW on the USA is, IMO, the mirror of this Anglo-French scheme. When we're desperate about a problem facing us we humans sometimes create other problems to avoid the current one (see addiction). As discussed in Bouverie's Appeasing Hitler, Chamberlain was still unconvinced that general shooting was inevitable right up to the German invasion of France.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Jul 2020 17:30

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Jul 2020 13:21
...
If a senior official of the British government suspected Chamberlain et. al. of avoiding alliance with the Soviets in hopes that Hitler would attack Stalin instead of the West (which would be free to assume neutrality absent an alliance), it can hardly be impermissible for us to speculate that Chamberlain was so motivated.

...which by the way is also insane. Who would have been next in line after Hitler conquers the SU?
If one places any credibility in the turgidity of Mein Kampf' or assorted other rants, speeches, conversations, ect... then France circa 1942> . There are remarks in all that about 'One final battle with France for domination of Europe.' after the Slavs were subjugated. Perhaps thats seeing too much in the maundering of somewhat crazy politician, but the remarks are there.

My own view is Germany would have been no better off for attacking the USSR in 1940 or 1941 absent war with France or Britain. Smart Francs in France would have been bet on preparations for intervention as the eastern war drags on. Presenting Germany with the two front war.

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by Futurist » 04 Jul 2020 22:03

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
04 Jul 2020 17:30
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Jul 2020 13:21
...
If a senior official of the British government suspected Chamberlain et. al. of avoiding alliance with the Soviets in hopes that Hitler would attack Stalin instead of the West (which would be free to assume neutrality absent an alliance), it can hardly be impermissible for us to speculate that Chamberlain was so motivated.

...which by the way is also insane. Who would have been next in line after Hitler conquers the SU?
If one places any credibility in the turgidity of Mein Kampf' or assorted other rants, speeches, conversations, ect... then France circa 1942> . There are remarks in all that about 'One final battle with France for domination of Europe.' after the Slavs were subjugated. Perhaps thats seeing too much in the maundering of somewhat crazy politician, but the remarks are there.

My own view is Germany would have been no better off for attacking the USSR in 1940 or 1941 absent war with France or Britain. Smart Francs in France would have been bet on preparations for intervention as the eastern war drags on. Presenting Germany with the two front war.
How long until a coup happens in Germany once a two-front war ends up happening in this scenario?

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by Futurist » 04 Jul 2020 22:05

rkka_arvgk wrote:
02 Jul 2020 18:49
Futurist wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:45
So, why let the Soviet Union into Poland if they might not leave for an extremely long time, if ever?
Because Poland gets promptly & totally conquered otherwise?
Being under German occupation for 1-5 years might have been perceived as being better than being under Soviet occupation for 40-100 years, though.
Futurist wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:45
It seems like a couple of years of German occupation would be superior to this if the Holocaust wasn't reasonably foreseeable yet.
"When we speak of land in Europe today, we can have in mind primarily Russia and her vassal border states'" Perhaps the Polish government should have had a look at Nazi racial theory, and the place Slavs occupied in it.
He's still not advocating genocide here, technically speaking.
Futurist wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:45
After all, Poland managed to survive several years of German occupation in World War I, so the hope was presumably for a repeat of this during World War II--followed by an eventual Western Allied victory as in World War I, of course.
Kaiser Billy II =/= Kaiser Adolf I. See Nazi racial theories, referenced above.
In Mein Kempf, the only Jews that Hitler advocated gassing were those 12-15 thousand Jews who were demoralizing the German troops on the front lines during World War I (in other words, Jewish subversives). He was not advocating mass murdering the entire Jewish population in Mein Kampf.
Futurist wrote:
01 Jul 2020 21:45
After such a victory, I am presuming that the hope would be that Poland's independence would be restored without Poland actually having to fall under Communist rule.
As the DCoS mention, long wars transform things, and the only hope of a short war involves the Polish government accepting Soviet assistance.
But even with a short war, Poland could still end up under Soviet occupation and/or under indirect Soviet rule for decades afterwards, no?

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Re: What if: Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Jul 2020 06:01

Carl Schwamberger wrote:My own view is Germany would have been no better off for attacking the USSR in 1940 or 1941 absent war with France or Britain. Smart Francs in France would have been bet on preparations for intervention as the eastern war drags on. Presenting Germany with the two front war.
Had Hitler attacked the SU in '40/'41 in this ATL (Poland conquered but no war with the West yet), we need to specify the strategic conception of the attack to judge its chances of success.

Had Hitler proceeded under the same strategic conception as OTL - that the SU was a house of cards needing a good kick - then you're probably right; the eastern war would have lasted long enough for France/Britain to apply the coup de grace to a weakened Germany.

Had Hitler proceeded under a good strategic conception, however - one that recognized the need for at least a 15-month campaign - then the SU is likely finished/impotent long before France/UK get into gear.

When evaluating this hypothetical Allied strategy on its own terms, however, one must realize that they had about the same judgment of SU's military strength as did Hitler and therefore would have expected Hitler to beat Stalin easily.

So again it's a matter of the Allies being shortsighted and ideologically blinkered because, on their own terms, channeling Hitler's aggression eastwards doesn't solve the Hitler problem, it only delays it.

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