De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

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gebhk
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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by gebhk » 31 Dec 2021 11:31

Hi Sid

Again where was Poland's opportunism? In short what do you think Poland should have done?

The only people who seem to have got comfort, as you say, from Poland's ultimatum (aside from the Poles living in Tesin who were spared the dubious pleasures of living under a particularly vicious brand of Nazi terror for a year or so), were the French, Belgians, British, Soviet apologists and Italians who used this event to rationalise transference of their own unease and their own failure to support Poland later on and continue to do so.

The Germans got little comfort - some of the territory they had allocated to themselves with their mates' approval at Munich, including some strategically important junctions, the Poles, having already been offered this by Chechoslovakia, refused to give it up. You may not like this view, but nonetheless that was the view in the Polish perspective at that time. It is difficult to see this otherwise from that perspective.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Sid Guttridge » 31 Dec 2021 12:49

Hi gebhk,

Is it entirely a coincidence that after 20 years of claiming Tesin, Poland only got round to giving Czechoslovakia an ultimatum during the Munich Crisis? Poland picked its moment well. To observe that Poland was opportunistic on this occasion is not to take a stand on the rights or wrongs of the issue. It got what it wanted and didn't have to fight for it.

The Czechs had been similarly opportunist in occupying the whole territory in January 1919 while Poland was pivoting to face the Bolshevik threat.

An open question - did the Poles occupy Frydek in 1938? It was part of the whole Teschen package, but it is today in Czechoslovakia. When was this agreed? In October 1938, or later?

I have been trying to find out where Germany was offered Teschen during the Munich Conference. Have you any details? It doesn't appear on any of the maps agreed.

Cheers,

Sid.

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wm
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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 31 Dec 2021 13:01

Polish demand (equal rights for the Polish minority and the German minority) had been well known to all sides of the conflicts for months (if not for years), discussed many times, generally accepted in principle by all sides.
By accepting the Munich Pact, the Czechs accepted the Polish demand too.
It wasn't like that ignoramus Churchill wrote the "Polish hyaena" suddenly appeared from nowhere.

By rejecting Polish offers of anti-German alliance, by rejecting Czech generals pleas for such an alliance, by not asking Poland for help, the Czechs literally dug their own grave.
Not to mention their morally questionable conquest of Sudentenland (purely German territory), the killings of anybody protesting, the promised but denied later rights, their efforts to denationalize the territory, to suppress the German culture there.
That was too much; the German chickens (and the tiny Polish one with them) would eventually come home to roost.

The Sudeten Germans' demands were morally justifiable (although not from the international law point of view); they were victims, the Czechs aggressors.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by Sid Guttridge » 31 Dec 2021 13:23

Hi wm,

The Sudeten Germans may not have got what they wanted after WWI, but they were hardly "victims". If you look at the Reich yearbook for 1940, you will find that they had a longer life expectancy than Alt Reich Germans! One of the Czech military problems was that they had used many Sudeten German contractors in the building of their fortifications along the German-Austrian border, with the result that Germany knew about them in great detail. Sorry, but I find it difficult to feel too sorry for the Sudeten Germans as victims between the wars. However, they certainly paid a very heavy price after WWII for their adherence to Hitler's Reich.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by ljadw » 31 Dec 2021 18:29

gebhk wrote:
29 Dec 2021 19:02
As Poland was not involved in the Munich Agreement,it could not refuse it .
OK, it could refuse to accept what the agreers at Munich agreed to and she did. Just as Czechoslovakia could have chosen to refuse to accept but did not (probably wisely).
And about Hitler bluffing : til March 1939 he had no plans to attack Poland, this means that he bluffed .
That is soimewhat irrelevant to the question of evidence that
Poland was convinced/convinced itself that Hitler was bluffing.
If Poland was convinced that Hitler was serious, it would have taken serious precautions ,countermeasures . Which it did not .
The whole March crisis had been artificially created .
Poland said no to Hitler in December 1938,before the guarantee,and Hitler did nothing .
Poland said no to Hitler after the guarantee and Hitler did nothing .

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by ljadw » 31 Dec 2021 18:40

Sid Guttridge wrote:
31 Dec 2021 10:53
Hi ljadw,

Poland did not attack Czechoslovakia, so there was "no stab in the back". It certainly threatened to stab a distracted Czechoslovakia in the back, as it issued an ultimatum. But Czechoslovakia conceded and Poland got its way without actually having to stab anyone.

Doubtless Poland's opportunism was of comfort to Germany, as was Hungary's, and both rode on the back of the Munich Crisis, but they stopped short of being a "stab in the back".

Cheers,

Sid.
Poland took back a part of Czechoslovakia when Czechoslovakia was weak,as did Czechoslovakia in 1920 when Poland was weak and as did Hungary when Czechoslovakia was weak and as did the USSR in 1939 when Poland was weak . All these actions had several points common .
1 They were acts of revenge
2 They took back what they had lost
3 If they did not take it back,someone else would do it .If Poland did not take back Tesin, Germany would do it . If the Soviets did not take back Eastern Poland,Hitler would do it and for Stalin a possible cooperation of Germany and the OUN was a mortal danger .
And that Poland's ''opportunism '' was of comfort to Germany is a questionable and unproved claim .
Both Poland and Hungary did not help the Czechs ,but : no one asked them to help and they had no reason to help Benes.

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wm
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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 01 Jan 2022 23:43

You are repeating the same nonsense again and again.
The Czechs committed an act of aggression against Poland (and btw against Austria, Hungary, Slovakia) at the exact time the Soviets were at the gates of Warsaw.
Despite that Poland offered the Czechs an anti-German alliance and agreed to forget about their aggression forever.
The Czechs rejected that.

From that moment the Poles decided to support Slovakia's independence with the goal of creating an alliance with Slovakia, Romania, Hungary (because of lack of common border).
The recovery of Teschen was just part of it.
It wasn't an act of vengeance - it was a (reasonable) long-term policy with strategic goals in mind.

But even more, the recovery was badly needed for internal political reasons. The Polish people wouldn't accept handing over the territory to Germany (as it was initially planned). The government would pay dearly for that. In the extreme case it could have led to civil war at the exact moment Poland couldn't afford it.
Last edited by wm on 01 Jan 2022 23:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 01 Jan 2022 23:50

ljadw wrote:
31 Dec 2021 18:29
If Poland was convinced that Hitler was serious, it would have taken serious precautions ,countermeasures . Which it did not .

Where did you get those "precautions," from Wikipedia?
In the last years before the war Polish Army was modernized as fast as the economy allowed, with the completion date of 1942.
Only F-35 Lightning II like mess and problems prevented Poland from acquiring modern fighters in 1939.
The plan of war with Germany had been in the works since March 1939, before even Hitler was aware he was going to invade.

The Polish Foreign Minister warned Polish leaders about the possibility of conflict as early as January 1939!

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by ljadw » 02 Jan 2022 07:01

wm wrote:
01 Jan 2022 23:43
You are repeating the same nonsense again and again.
The Czechs committed an act of aggression against Poland (and btw against Austria, Hungary, Slovakia) at the exact time the Soviets were at the gates of Warsaw.
Despite that Poland offered the Czechs an anti-German alliance and agreed to forget about their aggression forever.
The Czechs rejected that.

From that moment the Poles decided to support Slovakia's independence with the goal of creating an alliance with Slovakia, Romania, Hungary (because of lack of common border).
The recovery of Teschen was just part of it.
It wasn't an act of vengeance - it was a (reasonable) long-term policy with strategic goals in mind.

But even more, the recovery was badly needed for internal political reasons. The Polish people wouldn't accept handing over the territory to Germany (as it was initially planned). The government would pay dearly for that. In the extreme case it could have led to civil war at the exact moment Poland couldn't afford it.
It is not serious to blame someone else for the disasters that happened to Poland .
The Czechs did not need Poland to prevent a German attack and Poland would be very stupid to fight against Hitler (who was the only one who could prevent a Soviet invasion )to prevent the cession of the Sudeten to Germany .
Why would the Czechs accept an anti-German alliance with Poland ?
And why would Poland offer such an alliance to the Czechs ?
There was no reason for Poland to fight for the Czechs and for the Czechs to fight for Poland .
And, why would Poland need an anti-German alliance with Romania ? Romania could not and would not help Poland .

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by gebhk » 02 Jan 2022 14:32

serious precautions ,countermeasures
Like what, exactly?

gebhk
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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by gebhk » 02 Jan 2022 15:57

Is it entirely a coincidence that after 20 years of claiming Tesin, Poland only got round to giving Czechoslovakia an ultimatum during the Munich Crisis? Poland picked its moment well.
That is your creation not mine, so please forgive me, but not mine to defend. You seem to be desperately trying to igniore that inconvenient fact that the ultimsatum was not the result of twenty years or anything else other than the Munich agreement itself - something neither the Poles nor the Chechoslovaks had a hand in. I had a similar experience myself a few weeks or so ago. I had demanded a replacement part from a supplier because of some faulty goods I had received from them. Eventually the suppier agreed to send me the part. The postal service decided to give my part to someone else. I issued an 'ultimatum' to the supplier, who found out where the part was and as it happened to be nearby, I went and collected it. If that makes me an opportunist (I got the part I wanted without having to fight for it), so be it - but it is a new usage of the English language I am not familiar with.

Also I am keen to hear what, in your view, the Polish government should have done instead, given the situation it found itself in. While the criticism is plentiful, I find suggestions of alternative actions very thin on the ground. Actually non-existent.
I have been trying to find out where Germany was offered Teschen during the Munich Conference. Have you any details? It doesn't appear on any of the maps agreed.
I think a careful study of the maps will show the overlay. It is not great but it is there. I think the biggest issue from the German point of view was the Bogumin railway junction. Given subsequent events, the Poles seemed to have guessed right that this was a significant issue.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by gebhk » 02 Jan 2022 16:02

Only F-35 Lightning II like mess and problems prevented Poland from acquiring modern fighters in 1939.
That is simply not the case, but this is not the right place to debate it. There is a thread which dealt with the issue exhaistively in this section of AHF.

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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by ljadw » 02 Jan 2022 20:12

gebhk wrote:
02 Jan 2022 14:32
serious precautions ,countermeasures
Like what, exactly?
If in March 1939 Poland was convinced that Germany would attack her,as soon as it could do it, it would have asked the USSR for a military treaty,it would have asked France and Britain for a military alliance, it would have asked the transfer of a part of the RAF and of the French army to Poland, it would have mobilized its reserves and declared a state of emergency .
It did nothing of this .
If it knew that the USSR, France and Britain would not help her,it would have capitulated to Germany : it would give Germany the territories it claimed and it would become a German satellite .
It did nothing of this .
Poland did nothing to prevent a German invasion,because it did not believe that Germany would attack .
Til the end of August Germany believed that Poland and the West were bluffing and Poland and the West believed that Germany was bluffing .
And the West believed that Poland was bluffing .And Poland believed that the West was bluffing .

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wm
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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 02 Jan 2022 21:10

ljadw wrote:
02 Jan 2022 07:01
It is not serious to blame someone else for the disasters that happened to Poland .
|
I don't remember blaming anybody.
"Why" and "no reason" speculations are irelevant.
The point is Poland offered an alliance, believing it was beneficial to both sides and it was rejected.

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wm
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Re: De Gaulle and French betrayal of Poland in Semptember 1939

Post by wm » 02 Jan 2022 21:13

gebhk wrote:
02 Jan 2022 16:02
Only F-35 Lightning II like mess and problems prevented Poland from acquiring modern fighters in 1939.
That is simply not the case, but this is not the right place to debate it. There is a thread which dealt with the issue exhaistively in this section of AHF.
Why is that? Wasn't the projects badly managed and that promising aircraft designer killed climbing some stupid mountain?

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