Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

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wm
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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 11 Nov 2020 17:09

There wasn't any agreement unless silent means nonexistent.

The Poles promised the Ukrainians their own country in the Treaty of Warsaw (1920), and the Ukrainian People's Republic was a Polish ally against the Bolsheviks.
Later Ukrainian officers served in the Polish Army including the highly decorated (and considered to be a Polish hero) Pavlo Szandruk - later the commander of the Ukrainian National Army.

I wonder how Hitler was going to create a Ukrainian state on territories he didn't have, populated by a marginal Ukrainian majority.
The territories were poverty-stricken and devoid of any politicians capable of meaningful leadership. Ribbentrop mentioned that many times.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 11 Nov 2020 19:18

More than 100000 Ukrainian soldiers were in 1919-1920 in Polish camps ,where 20000 died .
The Ruthenians declared in March 1939 their independence, but Hitler abandoned them to Hungary .
The reason is very simple : an independent Ukrainian state would have been a magnet for the millions of Ukrainians in Poland and the USSR . And it could result in a rapprochement between Poland and the USSR,what Hitler wanted to avoid .
That Ruthenia was poverty stricken is totally irrelevant .
It is the same for the Kurds in the ME : after the defeat of Saddam at the end of the first war against Iraq, the ( better a big part of ) Iraqi Kurds wanted to have their own state, but old Bush let them down (there was some one in DC who used his brains,probably Scowcroft ) and let Saddam solve the problem, because Turkey neither Iran would accept a Kurdish state in Iraq and would invade Iraq .
It was the same for Ruthenia : Poland neither the USSR would accept the existence of an Ukrainian state and would cooperate. Against Germany .

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 11 Nov 2020 22:04

It wasn't soldiers, Ukraina (or rather both of them) didn't even have so many soldiers.
It was Ukrainians, usually interned for a short time during the Polish-Ukrainian war.
Eventually, the sum reached 100,000 but the number was much less at any given time.
The mortality was typical for such camps in Eastern Europe, especially in Austro-Hungary during the war.

That the abjectly poor Carpathian Ruthenia would have been a magnet for anybody was highly unlikely. Not that Poland or the USSR would allow them to migrate.
That millions of Ukrainians would have abandoned their homes and work and moved to basically the poorest European shith.le is fantasy. It wasn't going to happen.

Poland and the USSR didn't need any rapprochement, they had signed the non-aggression pact already (in 1932, valid till 1945).

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2020 22:43

wm wrote:
11 Nov 2020 17:09
I wonder how Hitler was going to create a Ukrainian state on territories he didn't have, populated by a marginal Ukrainian majority.
The territories were poverty-stricken and devoid of any politicians capable of meaningful leadership. Ribbentrop mentioned that many times.
Do you mean southwestern Poland?

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 11 Nov 2020 23:25

It was Carpathian Ruthenia.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 12 Nov 2020 11:23

wm wrote:
11 Nov 2020 22:04
It wasn't soldiers, Ukraina (or rather both of them) didn't even have so many soldiers.
It was Ukrainians, usually interned for a short time during the Polish-Ukrainian war.
Eventually, the sum reached 100,000 but the number was much less at any given time.
The mortality was typical for such camps in Eastern Europe, especially in Austro-Hungary during the war.

That the abjectly poor Carpathian Ruthenia would have been a magnet for anybody was highly unlikely. Not that Poland or the USSR would allow them to migrate.
That millions of Ukrainians would have abandoned their homes and work and moved to basically the poorest European shith.le is fantasy. It wasn't going to happen.

Poland and the USSR didn't need any rapprochement, they had signed the non-aggression pact already (in 1932, valid till 1945).
We have seen the value of this non-aggression pact in September 1939.
The economic situation of Ruthenia was irrelevant : an independent Ukrainian state would be a mortal danger for Poland and the USSR ,as would be an independent Kurdish state in Iraq for Turkey and Iran .If the Ruthenians had their own state, why not the Ukrainians in Poland ?
About the 100000 Ukrainians : their confinement which resulted in 20000 deaths increased the hatred of the Ukrainians for Poland and the war between both continued .
Poland could easily have admitted the existence of an Ukrainian state in the eastern parts of Poland . Poland chose not to do this .Now, in 2020, eastern Poland belongs to the Ukrainians,and Poland still exists .Maybe Poland could have taken an other decision in 1919, but the dream of a Great Poland,as it existed in the past as a multicultural society,dominated by the Poles, was too tempting .
The Polish leaders wanted to recreate the pat,but such an attempt is always doomed to fail .
The Czechs tried to rule CZ without and against the SD Germans and the Slovaks .They failed. This should have been a warning for the Polish leadership : you can't rule against 15 % of the population .That comes home to roost .

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2020 17:54

More than a million (if not millions) Ukrainians died as a result of ww1 and wars that followed, the Ukrainians had lots to remember.

Anyway, I don't think anybody ever heard about the 100,000 pre-war. That originated in an obscure American source in the fifties.
And I'm rather sure the numbers were divined out of thin air.
In camps, deaths from infectious diseases were the norm at that time, but only Polish sources could have been authoritative in this case. As far as I know, they don't exist.

That a tiny, rural Carpathian Ruthenia could have been a threat to anybody is a fantasy. Any sign of trouble and Poland would invade and hand over the territory to Hungary later.
A common border with Hungary in Ruthenia, independence for Slovakia, suppression of Ukrainian/communist anti-Polish activities in Ruthenia/Czechoslovakia were long-term Polish goals.

Strangely, today many countries (if not the majority of them) exist with their own substantial minorities just fine.
Only thanks to the Eastern Borderlands Poland was allocated the so-called Recovered Territories by the Allies. For the millions of Poles that were expelled from Eastern Poland by the Soviets.
It would be nice to remember that in the Eastern Borderlands the Poles were the largest "minority."

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by ljadw » 12 Nov 2020 19:14

After WWI ,Poland repeated the failed policies of the Tsar and of Bismarck,although Poland knew that this would result in failure : Russification, Germanisation,...they only increased the hatred of the oppressed populations : the policy of Franco against the Catalans and the Basks,the Magyarisation of Transylvania, the Russification of the Caucasus,...they all failed .
So did the Polonization of East Poland : when the Soviets invaded in September 1939,this was preceded and followed by an anti Polish pogrom .That was the result of 20 year of anti Ukrainian oppression .
I have heard from a Polish neighbor horror stories of what happened to the Polish minority during the Soviet invasion .
Poland had several options after 1918
1 To let the Ukrainians have their own state ,with or without a POlish minority
2
Annex these territories
and expel/exterminate the Ukrainians
let the Ukrainians live in the new Poland and treat them well
let the Ukrainians live in the new Poland and persecute them .
They chose the last option, the worse for Poland .
Why did Poland not create an Ukrainian state who would function as a buffer against the USSR ?
Why ? Because they preferred the old Poland that included Kiev : Polonia Restituta .This Polonia Restituta included Volhynia with a majority of Ukrainians of 65 % and Tesin with 30 % of Poles .If Volhynia was not a part of Poland, the Ukrainians could not have massacred there 50000 Poles during WWII.Was the loss of Tesin after WWI worth a dispute with CZ ?
Poland was looking for problems,and, if you search for problems,you will find them,or better,they will find you .
CZ was not better, neither were Romania and Yugoslavia .

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 13 Nov 2020 19:22

Poland didn't intend to Polonize the Ukrainians. Actually for some time Polish children in Volynia were required to learn the Ukrainian language in schools in an effort to go "native."
So no, the Poles didn't know it would have resulted in failure.

And in fact, it didn't result in failure. The ww2 wasn't caused and wasn't influenced by events in Polish Ukraine.

It's madness to base foreign policy on impossible to predict developments, especially genocides.
But if such a Nostrodamous could have been found he would certainly recommend Poland recovered much more of its Eastern territories - as far as pre-partition borders reached.
The Ukrainians killed maybe 50 thousand, but the Soviets killed +110 thousand Poles during their extermination of diaspora nationalities in the thirties.

Such Poland wouldn't merely save the murdered by Soviets Poles but millions of Ukrainians too.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 13 Nov 2020 20:08

btw the Ukrainians didn't kill Poles in Volynia because they were "angry" at Poland.
They, learning from the Soviet and Nazi genocidal efforts, decided to expel all non-Ukrainians, later to kill them. After all, what was good for the goose was good for the gander.
They believed it would help their country to survive post-war. It wasn't an act of vengeance, it was nation-building.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Futurist » 13 Nov 2020 23:28

wm wrote:
13 Nov 2020 19:22
Poland didn't intend to Polonize the Ukrainians. Actually for some time Polish children in Volynia were required to learn the Ukrainian language in schools in an effort to go "native."
So no, the Poles didn't know it would have resulted in failure.

And in fact, it didn't result in failure. The ww2 wasn't caused and wasn't influenced by events in Polish Ukraine.

It's madness to base foreign policy on impossible to predict developments, especially genocides.
But if such a Nostrodamous could have been found he would certainly recommend Poland recovered much more of its Eastern territories - as far as pre-partition borders reached.
The Ukrainians killed maybe 50 thousand, but the Soviets killed +110 thousand Poles during their extermination of diaspora nationalities in the thirties.

Such Poland wouldn't merely save the murdered by Soviets Poles but millions of Ukrainians too.
Why stop at Poland's pre-partition borders? Why not go even further than that, if doing this was actually politically and militarily feasible?

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Futurist » 13 Nov 2020 23:29

wm wrote:
12 Nov 2020 17:54
More than a million (if not millions) Ukrainians died as a result of ww1 and wars that followed, the Ukrainians had lots to remember.

Anyway, I don't think anybody ever heard about the 100,000 pre-war. That originated in an obscure American source in the fifties.
And I'm rather sure the numbers were divined out of thin air.
In camps, deaths from infectious diseases were the norm at that time, but only Polish sources could have been authoritative in this case. As far as I know, they don't exist.

That a tiny, rural Carpathian Ruthenia could have been a threat to anybody is a fantasy. Any sign of trouble and Poland would invade and hand over the territory to Hungary later.
A common border with Hungary in Ruthenia, independence for Slovakia, suppression of Ukrainian/communist anti-Polish activities in Ruthenia/Czechoslovakia were long-term Polish goals.

Strangely, today many countries (if not the majority of them) exist with their own substantial minorities just fine.
Only thanks to the Eastern Borderlands Poland was allocated the so-called Recovered Territories by the Allies. For the millions of Poles that were expelled from Eastern Poland by the Soviets.
It would be nice to remember that in the Eastern Borderlands the Poles were the largest "minority."
What were Poland's thoughts on the Nazi occupation of Bohemia in March 1939?

Also, do you think that Poland's territorial gains in the West after the end of World War II would have been much more modest had Poland never controlled the Kresy in the interwar era?

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 14 Nov 2020 00:47

That Germany had lost its calculability, with which it was endowed even amidst difficult problems.
That this enemy is a troublesome element since it seems that he is losing the measure of thinking and acting.
But might recover that measure once he encounters determined opposition, which hitherto he had not met with.

The gains in the West were dictated by Soviet strategic goals, the Polish population relocation was just a smokescreen for them.
Without the smokescreen, It would have been much harder for the Allies to accept such large Polish but in fact Soviet gains.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by wm » 14 Nov 2020 00:48

Futurist wrote:
13 Nov 2020 23:28
Why stop at Poland's pre-partition borders? Why not go even further than that, if doing this was actually politically and militarily feasible?
Because literally nobody wanted it, the thinking was the second partition was more than enough.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by Futurist » 14 Nov 2020 03:27

wm wrote:
14 Nov 2020 00:48
Futurist wrote:
13 Nov 2020 23:28
Why stop at Poland's pre-partition borders? Why not go even further than that, if doing this was actually politically and militarily feasible?
Because literally nobody wanted it, the thinking was the second partition was more than enough.
An independent Ukrainian state could have been created east of the Zbruch River.

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