Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Piotr Kapuscinski.
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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 31 Mar 2021 18:15

One would think that, even without Lithuania, Poland would have been enough of a guiding light for both Belarus and Ukraine, though.

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by gebhk » 01 Apr 2021 08:16

And from a practical point of view, in pretty much every way, Czechoslovakia was what was really needed for such a Federation to work.

Now I've done it, I'll never hear the end of it.

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 03 Apr 2021 00:57

gebhk wrote:
01 Apr 2021 08:16
And from a practical point of view, in pretty much every way, Czechoslovakia was what was really needed for such a Federation to work.

Now I've done it, I'll never hear the end of it.
You mean outright annexing Czechoslovakia due to its huge amounts of industry and natural resources?

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 03 Apr 2021 09:38

Czechoslovakia wasn't part of the Jagiellonian thing. The plan was to sign an anti-Soviet/anti-German military agreement with the Czechs but they never accepted it.
Poland would never annex Czechoslovakia it was simply impossible.

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by gebhk » 03 Apr 2021 10:49

I'm not sure any of that matters - the point is that without Czechoslovakian involvement, any Federal plan was doomed to failure because Poland had little or nothing to offer potential members. It did however have geo-strategic and manpower benefits to offer Czechoslovakia. The two complimented each other in a great many ways and could mutually ameliorate deficits - politically, structurally and militarily. A strong Polish-Czechoslovak union/federation, whatever the precise form, could have provided a cornerstone for a larger federation and therefore the chance of success of such a venture. This could not be achieved by either alone.

As an aside, i think it a mistake to assume that entire nations (in this case 'the Czechs') have the same views. The main obstacle on the Czechoslovak side to Polish-Czechoslovak cooperation was Benes and his circle. Seeing the way the wind was blowing and having, perhaps, a more realistic appreciation of the military realities, much of the senior Czech Military was very much in favour of closer ties with Poland in the late 30s, up to and including outright union. A significant group were certainly contemplating removing Benes at the point of a bayonet if it was necessary to make that happen.

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 02 May 2021 01:42

@gebhk: Are you thinking of a broad Intermarium federation here? Because Hungarian participation in such a federation might be difficult to achieve.

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 07 Nov 2021 21:58

wm wrote:
03 Apr 2021 09:38
Czechoslovakia wasn't part of the Jagiellonian thing. The plan was to sign an anti-Soviet/anti-German military agreement with the Czechs but they never accepted it.
Poland would never annex Czechoslovakia it was simply impossible.
Hey wm, sort-of off topic, but I have a question for you and I don't want to start a new thread about this:

Had the Bolsheviks conquered Poland in 1920, would they have outright incorporated Poland into the USSR or created a nominally independent Communist Polish puppet state just like Joseph Stalin did in 1945?

For what it's worth, Lenin and Stalin had split minds on this issue in 1920:

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/ ... sr.400398/
First of all, even in 1920 (when the Bolsheviks were anticipating victory over Poland), Stalin insisted that Poland be an at least nominally independent soviet republic. As Robert Service notes in his *Stalin: A Biography* (pp. 179-80) this
question was being debated in the summer of 1920--not only for Poland but for Germany as well--by Lenin and Stalin:

"Stalin and Lenin also undertook preliminary planning for the kind of Europe they expected to organise when socialist seizures of power took place. Their grandiose visions take the breath away. Before the Second Comintern Congress, Lenin urged the need for a general federation including Germany, and he made clear that he wanted the economy of such a federation to be 'administered from a single organ.' Stalin rejected this as impractical:

'If you think you'd ever get Germany to enter a federation with the same rights as Ukraine, you are mistaken. If you think that even Poland, which has been constituted as a bourgeois state with all its attributes, would enter the Union with the same rights as Ukraine you are mistaken.'

"Lenin was angry. The implications of Stalin's comment was that considerations of national pride would impel Russia and Germany to remain separate states for the foreseeable future. Lenin sent him a 'threatening letter' which charged him with chauvinism. It was Lenin's objective to set up a Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. His vision of 'European socialist revolution' was unchanged since 1917. But Stalin held his ground. The Politburo had to acknowledge the realities of nationhood if the spread of socialism in Europe was to be a success.

"These discussions were hypothetical since the Red Army had not yet reached Poland, far less set up a revolutionary government in Warsaw..."

In 1945, incorporating Poland into the USSR made even less sense. Why alienate so many Poles this way (granted most Poles would oppose a communist-dominated government in any event, but even left-wing Poles otherwise open to such a government would be violently opposed to the loss of independence) when you had a secure "loyal" government with the trappings of independence? Also, it would make relations with the West even worse, deprive the Soviet bloc of another UN seat (the West was reluctant enough to give the USSR three UN seats; they would not give it a fourth), etc.

And btw, Stalin did not try to create a Finnish SSR--even the Finnish Democratic Republic of 1939-40 was nominally independent--even though Finland had been under the Tsar...
I suspect that with a 1920 Soviet conquest of Poland, Lenin's view would have prevailed, but what do you yourself personally think about this question, wm?

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 07 Nov 2021 22:42

Well, it seems that the Stalin guy really understand politics when at the same time Lenin didn't.

At the height of their success, during the advance into Poland, the Soviets presented their peace terms, and small but independent Poland was there with an equally small army. Was that sincere who knows.

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 07 Nov 2021 22:44

wm wrote:
07 Nov 2021 22:42
Well, it seems that the Stalin guy really understand politics when at the same time Lenin didn't.

At the height of their success, during the advance into Poland, the Soviets presented their peace terms, and small but independent Poland was there with an equally small army. Was that sincere who knows.
Was this Poland going to be Communist?

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 07 Nov 2021 23:12

No, it was going to be a nominally free country.

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 08 Nov 2021 05:15

wm wrote:
07 Nov 2021 23:12
No, it was going to be a nominally free country.
Nominally free but not Communist? Can you please elaborate on this part?

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 08 Nov 2021 21:25

It would like post-war Finland + the Curzon Line.

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by Futurist » 08 Nov 2021 21:49

Interesting. And identical Polish-German borders as in real life?

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Re: Polish plans for Belarus during the Polish-Soviet War?

Post by wm » 08 Nov 2021 22:55

Of course, in politics nothing for free.

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