gebhk wrote: ↑
26 Dec 2021 16:35
The Tesin issue was two decades old, but the timing of its resolution in Poland's favour was undoubtedly directly related to Czechoslovakia's need to clear its decks of other potential foes during the Munich Crisis.
I am totally in agreement with that. As the old Polish saying goes, a sinking man will even grab for a razorblade.
The Polish Ultimatum was delivered after the Czechs had prepared an offer on Teschen, but before it had been delivered to Warsaw and before the Czechs had reached a resolution with Germany.
Here I have to disagree. Benes wrote to Moscicki proposing a rectification of disputed boundaries in Poland’s favour on 22nd September, that is a full week before the Munich meeting took place. Moscicki responded positively to Benes on 27 September, inviting the Czechoslovak side to make a practical proposal. This practical proposal (takeover to take place by 31st October at the earliest to 1st December 1938 at the latest) arrived more or less together with the 'Big Four' decision firstly that some of the territories the Czechoslovaks had offered to Poland were now to go to Germany and secondly, that residual minority issues (ie the rest of Tesin/Cieszyn, as far as the Poles were concerned) remaining unresolved after 3 months to be decided by the ‘big four’ at a subsequent meeting. It is with both documents in hand that the Polish senior political and military figures met to discuss Munich, later that day. They decided to accept the Czechoslovak offer but not the timetable and this was the genesis of the ultimatum demanding immediate handover.
The Czechs hadn't undergone a change of heart, just a change of circumstance brought about by German pressure. This induced them to be pragmatic with Poland in the Munich moment after 20 years of stubborness on the issue.
When we say 'the Czechs' and '20 years of subborness' it is probably fair to point out that we mainly mean Benes. Many in Czechoslovakia did not believe that Tesin was worth the discord with Poland but it was the events of 1938 that finally strengthened their hand sufficiently for them to have their way - alas too late for everyone. It is probably also fair to say that there was stubborness on both sides and that in Poland views were no more unanimous than they were in Czechoslovakia. Also, lets not be selective - the French, British and Italians too were free with their pressure on Czechoslovakia, as well as the Germans......
I therefore maintain that the annexation of the Tesin/Cieszyn area by Poland occurred in spite of
and not because of the Munich Agreement. I am very happy to concede that it was only possible because of the whole situation Czechoslovakia found herself in, in 1938, and that Munich stimulated an acceleration of the handowver. However the handover had been agreed in principle before Munich had happened and Munich attempted to stand in its way rather facilitating it.
And WHY did Benes propose a rectification of boundaries in favor of Poland 2 weeks before Munich and not 2 months before Munich or in 1937,1936, etc,etc ?
If the rectification was needed 2 weeks before Munich, it was also needed 2 months, 2 years before Munich .
And WHY was there a Polish ultimatum demanding the immediate handover ? Was it not because otherwise the Germans would get Tesin ?
In 1944,Benes said that the Polish ultimatum demanding the return of Tesin decided him to accept the Munich settlement .While there is no proof for this ( Benes never was willing to fight ) ,the point remains that Poland decided to get back Tesin when the Czechs had problems;the Czechs did the same when they wanted Tesin when the Soviets were before Warsaw .
And the Soviets did the same when on 17 September 1939 Poland was defeated: they did not attack Poland before September 1939 .That would have been foolish,even suicidal .
Japan waited to make additional demands on French Indochina till France was defeated in June 1940.
The Reagan administration was first selling weapons to Iraq and when there was arising a favorable opportunity,it also sold weapons to Iran . Stab in the back ?
When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan,Carter stopped food deliveries to the USSR.Immediately Argentine (where the generals said that there was only one good communist = a dead one ) and Canada increased their food deliveries . Stab in the back ?
When there was a Civil War in Russia, Pilsudski went east to grab a much territory as possible . He did not do it in 1926 ? Stab in the back ?
While the OVRA was going after the communists, Stalin was selling oil to fascist Italy . Stab in the back ?
The Vlassov army attacked the Germans in Prague in May 1945 . Stab in the back ?