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Latchford Locks

This has always baffled me

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In 1939 The USSR and Nazi Germany invaded Poland (by previous agreement in 1938), and divided it into two sectors.

Britain and France had a defensive pact with Poland to protect it in case of invasion.

Why then did Gt Britain only declare war on Germany ?

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Sorry but You are so very very missinformed. 

 

World War II

17th September 1939

Soviet Union invades Poland

 

On this day in 1939, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov declares that the Polish government has ceased to exist, as the U.S.S.R. exercises the “fine print” of the Hitler-Stalin Non-aggression pact—the invasion and occupation of eastern Poland.

Hitler’s troops were already wreaking havoc in Poland, having invaded on the first of the month. The Polish army began retreating and regrouping east, near Lvov, in eastern Galicia, attempting to escape relentless German land and air offensives. But Polish troops had jumped from the frying pan into the fire—as Soviet troops began occupying eastern Poland. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Non-aggression Pact, signed in August, had eliminated any hope Poland had of a Russian ally in a war against Germany. Little did Poles know that a secret clause of that pact, the details of which would not become public until 1990, gave the U.S.S.R. the right to mark off for itself a chunk of Poland’s eastern region. 

 

Some myth !

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The Soviets occupied the eastern half of Poland, executing thousands of Polish Army Officers and intellectuals at Katyin(?) Wood.  Fortunately, with hindsight, we didn't declare war on Russia, but allowed Hitler to bring them onto our side by invading them in June 1941 (Operation Barbarossa). Hitler again sealed his own fate, by declaring war on the USA, following the Pearl Harbour attack by Japan.

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A very interesting thought..but

 

If we had declared war on USSR would Adolf had done an about turn and attacked Russia immediately the mind just boggles at this scenario ! 

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Hey Robbo, if you watch freeview, there are plenty of WW2 archive films, showing the Soviets linking up with the Germans, as they occupied Poland.

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The Germans had a back-up plan for the total control of Europe..... took a few decades after the war to achieve it but they got there in the end :)

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Unfortunately, Churchill (a veteran anti-communist) had to apply the political expediency of "your enemy's enemy is your friend"; not particularly moral, but realistic. This later allowed the Soviets to soak up 75% of German forces, at a cost of 22million lives. 

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Hey Robbo, if you watch freeview, there are plenty of WW2 archive films, showing the Soviets linking up with the Germans, as they occupied Poland.

If you follow the link I posted it will show that Poland did not exist, it had no government and was not recognised internationally

 

'The Secret Protocol to the M-R Pact was no longer valid, in that it was about spheres of influence in "Poland", a state.

By September 15 at the latest Germany had taken the position that Poland no longer existed as a state.

Once Poland ceased to exist as a state this Secret Protocol did not apply any longer.

Therefore if they wanted to the Germans could march right up to the Soviet frontier.

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Poland "ceased to exist as a State"? Only in the minds of the Nazis. The Polish Gov fled to exile in the UK, as with many later occupied European countries. So, as far as the UK was concerned Poland existed, but was occupied. Many Poles fought with the British Forces, whilst the Polish Home Army attempted to free Warsaw, and re-establish their Gov in August 1944, as Russian Forces approached the capital.  Historians tend to argue as to whether, the Soviet failiure to continue their assault across the Vistula, was due to exhaustion or the deliberate policy of Stalin to allow the Germans to wipe out such a potential anti-communist group.  Unfortunately for the Poles, Churchill chose political expediency, having already formed an understanding with Stalin as to the post-war "spheres of influence" of the victors. So to put it bluntly, the Poles were sold out; they weren't even allowed to march in the victory parade in London on VE day.

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The Polish government and President fled to Rumania, and without a government, Poland as a state ceased to exist under international law. 

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Unfortunately for the Poles, Churchill chose political expediency, having already formed an understanding with Stalin as to the post-war "spheres of influence" of the victors. So to put it bluntly, the Poles were sold out; they weren't even allowed to march in the victory parade in London on VE day.

 

Blimey even I wasn't aware of that  :shock:

 

Why did Churchill still keep doffing his cap to Stalin,

When the USA saw straight through him and was already becoming aware of the Evil Empire that was ?

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Political realism Latch.  People were war weary and looking forward to rewards for their war efforts in a more socially just peace. The Soviets were viewed by many, especially the left, as valued allies. So any thought of taking on the Red Army wasn't an option, though some US Generals like Patton were keen to try !   It wasn't long before Churchill coined the phrase "iron curtain" (borrowed from Goebles), which set the scene for the "cold war", starting with the Berlin airlift.  The Yanks believed they had a political ace to play with "the bomb"; but Stalin (through his spy network in the Manhattan project) knew all about it; and both Russia and the US, used their German scientists to produce the atomic armoury we still see today.  Despite his brilliance as a war leader, Churchill lost the post war election, to Labour.

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I wonder whether or not if the USA had not developed the atomic bomb and they were therefore involved in the horrendous carnage of invading mainland Japan,

If Stalin may have grabbed his chance and carried on his sweep across Germany and only stopped at the English Channel ?

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Interesting speculation Latch;  I believe the Yanks only had two bombs (the ones they used on Nagasaki and Hiroshima); and it would have taken months to produce new ones.  Stalin would have known this, through his spy network in the US.  The Red Army probably had sufficient strength to have overrun western Europe; but Stalin was probably content to consolidate his hold on E/Europe as (from their point of view) a buffer against any future invasion of their territory. As a condition of a Soviet attack on Japanese Manchuria; he demanded and had the agreement of Roosavelt, for Russia to annexe Mongolia, Manchuria, the Japanese Kurile Islands and Port Arthur; so presumably he was content !  

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