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 (1939-1945) WWII
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john hayward
Allenstown NH USA
Posts: 877
Joined: 2004
Poland 1933
12/5/2020 11:49:22 AM
Poland signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR in July 1932. In March 1933 Poland discussed and planned a preventative attack against its ancient enemy Germany. With 1 million men under arms, Poland was the 4th largest military force in on the planet and the 4th largest armor force. Taking all this into consideration, would such an attack have been successful? To what ends and to what effect would it have been to future events?
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11789
Joined: 2009
Poland 1933
12/5/2020 12:49:54 PM
John, wasn't Poland looking for allies in this endeavour? The French declined I believe but I do not know why though they were suspicious of the Polish regime of the day.

EDIT: Didn't France and Poland have some sort of defence agreement, post WW1?

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11789
Joined: 2009
Poland 1933
12/5/2020 1:23:17 PM
I was just thinking that in that time period that you mentioned, Hitler had just come to power and he wanted the Polish Corridor eliminated and he wanted Danzig back in the fold. So Poland became quite upset at that development.

George
john hayward
Allenstown NH USA
Posts: 877
Joined: 2004
Poland 1933
12/5/2020 2:01:21 PM
George

In 1921 Poland signed an alliance with France with hope to solidify Its international position and deter both Germany and the USSR. In 1922 Germany and the USSR signed the Rapallo Pact with gave them common cause namely that existence of Poland was "intolerable and incompatible with Germany's (and Russia's) vital interests." With the agreement with Russia, Poland felt it may be time to strike Germany, solving the Danzig question once and for all.
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11789
Joined: 2009
Poland 1933
12/5/2020 2:35:05 PM
John is it not true that the Polish military government was convinced that Hitler would not and could not mount an attack on them in 1933. Poland did send delegates to Germany for discussion and came away thinking that Germany was not going to go to war. The Polish military leader kept a watchful eye on Hitler's Germany but I think that he was duped into thinking that Hitler would not attack.

As well, Poland created a diplomatic rift in Danzig when Danzig wanted to abrogate a treaty between it, a free city, and Poland. That treaty gave Poland some harbour rights and the right to maintain a small garrison. But when the Danzigers who were mostly Germans, indicated that they wanted to be returned to Germany, the Poles sent extra troops to Danzig.

Now they received criticism from Britain and other countries for that aggression and diplomacy eventually brought things back to the original agreement. I am not sure whether the Poles wanted to bait the Germans into attacking in that area and bring other allies into the fray or whether they wanted to indicate to Germany that it would not tolerate any changes to the post WW1 arrangements and that they were prepared to fight.

As you mentioned, Poland had a substantial military and during the Danzig crisis they placed thousands of troops in the Polish Corridor that separated East Prussia from Germany and was a sore spot with the Germans.

What was the allied rationale for partitioning Germany at the end of WW1? Was it just to separate East Prussia from the other parts of Germany? Was the Polish Corridor part of that plan or just a means to give Poland a port.



I really haven't really studied the Poland-Germany relationship well but from what I have read, both the Germans and the Russians had little use for the Poles.

Cheers,

George
john hayward
Allenstown NH USA
Posts: 877
Joined: 2004
Poland 1933
12/5/2020 4:11:07 PM
George

The independence of Poland had been successfully promoted to the Allies in Paris by Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Paderewski. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson made the independence of Poland a war goal in his Fourteen Points, and this goal was endorsed by the Allies in spring 1918. Most Polish leaders of that period wanted to create a larger Polish state; to include the incorporation of East Prussia and the German city of Königsberg being placed in a customs union with Poland. After a series of wars the Polish border was settled and internationally agreed to in 1923.
There seems there was no great discussion at Versailles by the Big 3 about Poland except they should have a port on the Baltic.
There does seem to be demands Poland made on Hitler in 1933 concerning Danzig which he quickly agreed to. This may be part of the "war" Poland threatened. The two countries signed the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact in January 1934.
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

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