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Old 01-01-2020, 08:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestPreussen View Post

B. Once it was obvious that the war had been lost, the politicians and generals remembering the slaughter and trauma that the previous war had caused wanted to get any benefit in negotations that they could get, and save more pointless deaths among soldiers, before it would be to late for that as they knew the war had been already lost. So it could only get worse for them.

But the fact that french soldiers were cowards is one of the biggest myths in the history as they were prepared to fight till the very end for their country. It was generals and politicians who lacked the will to lead a war as they knew it had been already lost and as I said before, wanted to save soldiers life and gain the more benefits during negotiations when they still had the chance.
Thanks for your common sense!

A French Village on Amazon Prime French TV series. it was produced in France with French actors. It is pretty historical accurate.


I recommend it for anyone interested in this history.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
As if anyone believes Russia when they suddenly find a stash of highly convenient "secret documents".

The Soviet Union happily allied themselves with the Nazis right until the Nazis - surprise, surprise - showed themselves to be less than trustworthy. Stalin was consistently outmaneuvered and outclassed - by Germany and by the Allies.
The Soviet Union used their treaty with the Nazi's to buy time to prepare for war. Both the Soviet Union and Nazi knew the treaty was for each other convenience and not a permanent truce.

Stalin won WWII. We, the Allies, gave him Poland after promising the Poles their own nation. Never mind Stalin got the whole Eastern Europe satellite countries.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:04 AM
 
Location: southern california
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To be fair the German lightening warfare technique caught many off guard
But to defend the French on this point -a country I lived in for many years -is difficult
Law enforcement and military is not their strong suite
Music and art -second to none
❤️❤️❤️
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:45 AM
 
Location: The North Star State
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Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
The Soviet Union used their treaty with the Nazi's to buy time to prepare for war. Both the Soviet Union and Nazi knew the treaty was for each other convenience and not a permanent truce.
It should be noted that the USSR got more than simply 'time to prepare'. It got a free hand for conquest, which allowed it to seize part of Poland, the Baltic States, and attempt to take Finland. The latter move failed, though it did gain some territory and wring out various other concessions from Helsinki.

In the cases of Poland and the Baltics, a cynical argument could be made these were merely defensive moves by the Soviets - as if invading and annexing sovereign states, and using terror to enforce one's rule, is somehow justifiable in the face of some third-party threat. Anyway, to the extent that that was a rationale behind the 1939 attack on Finland, it failed spectacularly, for it drove Finland to work with Germany and significantly improved the German strategic position for launching Barbarossa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
Stalin won WWII. We, the Allies, gave him Poland after promising the Poles their own nation. Never mind Stalin got the whole Eastern Europe satellite countries.
It should be noted that the Allies 'gave' Stalin what he already possessed - ie, Poland and the rest of eastern Europe. The Allies preferred a free Poland, but not to the point where they were willing to suffer millions of casualties and who knows how many more years of war (against the USSR) to achieve that end.

I mean, it's not like Poland was falling all over itself to assist other nations of Europe. Poland was one of the countries proximate to Germany that did nothing while the Nazi threat metastasized. The repudiation of Versailles and rearmament? The reoccupation of the Ruhr? (after all, Poland was both signator and guarantor of the treaty) The Anschluss? Poland did nothing (well, not nothing - as Hitler was gobbling up Austria, Poland used the distraction to issue an ultimatum of various demands on Lithuania). The Sudeten crisis and Munich? Poland massed forces on Czechoslovakia's border before the Munich Agreement was signed, thereby weakening Prague's position and helping to force it to concede to Germany's demands. And Poland was quick to swoop in and seize a chunk of the country. This played right into Hitler's hands; indeed, the Fuehrer at Munich was demanding of Chamberlain that Poland get 'its share', thereby providing Germany with cover while pitting various other nations (Hungary got a piece, too) against his Czechoslovak foe.

While what was done to Poland by Germany and the USSR was reprehensible in the extreme, the idea that the western Allies had some sort of moral obligation to expend any amount of blood and treasure to restore Poland's independence is more than a little rich.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
I've heard some people (rather tongue in cheek) say that the French didn't want their beautiful cities being wiped out, especially if they knew they didn't have much of a chance at beating the German head on.

I've also heard some people claim general cowardice on the part of the French.

I'm not passing any judgement on either of the above, but I will say that it was an interesting contrast to see French police officers running away from the scene when the Jewish grocery store was attacked in Paris (I think in Paris) vs. the Texas and Nevada police officers running toward the gun battle during the Garland and Las Vegas shootings.
As did officers in Dayton during the mass shooting there last summer, thereby preventing the gunman from entering the Ned Peppers nightclub where hundreds of people were trapped.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:54 PM
 
2,397 posts, read 796,586 times
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Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
I mean, it's not like Poland was falling all over itself to assist other nations of Europe. Poland was one of the countries proximate to Germany that did nothing while the Nazi threat metastasized. The repudiation of Versailles and rearmament? The reoccupation of the Ruhr? (after all, Poland was both signator and guarantor of the treaty) The Anschluss? Poland did nothing (well, not nothing - as Hitler was gobbling up Austria, Poland used the distraction to issue an ultimatum of various demands on Lithuania). The Sudeten crisis and Munich? Poland massed forces on Czechoslovakia's border before the Munich Agreement was signed, thereby weakening Prague's position and helping to force it to concede to Germany's demands. And Poland was quick to swoop in and seize a chunk of the country. This played right into Hitler's hands; indeed, the Fuehrer at Munich was demanding of Chamberlain that Poland get 'its share', thereby providing Germany with cover while pitting various other nations (Hungary got a piece, too) against his Czechoslovak foe.

While what was done to Poland by Germany and the USSR was reprehensible in the extreme, the idea that the western Allies had some sort of moral obligation to expend any amount of blood and treasure to restore Poland's independence is more than a little rich.

So you realized that there was no Poland before 1918. It was recreated by the Versailles treaty. You realize that as a new county, Poland was at war with the Soviet while the Nazi were arming Germany. Poland in a fragile and precarious situation.
Quote:
Though the seventeenth-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had extended deep into present-day Russia and Ukraine, Poland as an independent nation had been snuffed out in the eighteenth century, its territory partitioned between the Russian, German and Austrian empires. When those empires collapsed after World War I, the Poles took advantage of the chaos to resurrect their nation.

Quote:
1919 . Recreation of Poland

In the aftermath of World War I, the Polish people rose up in the Greater Poland Uprising on December 27, 1918, in Poznań after a patriotic speech by Ignacy Paderewski, a famous Polish pianist. The fighting continued until June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed, which recreated the nation of Poland.
And you realized that Poland continue fighting between 1919-1921 after the Allies end WWI.

Quote:
Polish–Soviet War

The Polish–Soviet War (February 1919 – March 1921) was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine on the one hand and the Second Polish Republic and the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic on the other. The war was the result of conflicting expansionist ambitions. Poland, whose statehood had just been re-established by the Treaty of Versailles following the Partitions of Poland in the late 18th century, sought to secure territories it had lost at the time of the partitions. The aim of the Soviet states was to control those same territories, which the Russian Empire had gained in the partitions of Poland.[69]

Poland fought a two front war from the beginning of WWII

Quote:
But the Polish military was no match for Hitler's war machine. While Poland and Germany deployed similar numbers of men, Germany's troops were much better supplied. According to historian Max Hastings, Germany had 3600 armored vehicles against 750 in Poland. Germany had twice as many airplanes as Poland did — and its planes were more advanced.

So Poland found itself overmatched. And because the German army in 1939 was a lot more mechanized than it had been in previous wars, the Germans were able to make progress extremely quickly. A little over a week after the start of combat, German troops had reached the outskirts of the Polish capital, Warsaw. It fell on September 29.

The Polish situation became even grimmer on September 17, when Russian troops began pouring across the border from the East. The Polish army had already been at a disadvantage, but when the Soviets attacked the Polish situation became hopeless. German and Russian troops secured full control over Poland by October 6, 1939.
As for "Poland was not falling all over itself to assist other nations of Europe."

Quote:
fter the fall of France in June 1940, the formations were recreated in the United Kingdom. Making a large contribution to the war effort, the Polish Armed Forces in the West was composed of army, air and naval forces. The Poles soon became shock troops in Allied service, most notably in the Battle of Monte Cassino during the Italian Campaign, where the Polish flag was raised on the ruined abbey on May 18, 1944, as well as in the Battle of Bologna, also in Italy, and Hill 262 in France in 1944. The Polish Armed Forces in the West were disbanded after the war, in 1947, with many former servicemen forced to remain in exile.

After Poland's defeat in September–October 1939, the Polish government-in-exile quickly organized in France a new fighting force originally of about 80,000 men.[2] Their units were subordinate to the French Army. In early 1940, a Polish Independent Highland Brigade took part in the Battles of Narvik in Norway. A Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade was formed in the French Mandate of Syria, to which many Polish troops had escaped from Poland. The Polish Air Force in France comprised 86 aircraft in four squadrons; one-and-a-half of the squadrons were fully operational, while the rest were in various stages of training.[2] Two Polish divisions (First Grenadier Division, and Second Infantry Fusiliers Division) took part in the defence of France, while a Polish motorized brigade and two infantry divisions were being formed.

At the capitulation of France, General Władysław Sikorski (the Polish commander-in-chief and prime minister) was able to evacuate many Polish troops—probably over 20,000—to the United Kingdom.[2]

The Polish Navy had been the first to regroup off the shores of the United Kingdom. Polish ships and sailors had been sent to Britain in mid-1939 by General Sikorski, and a Polish-British Naval agreement was signed in November of the same year.[5] Under this agreement, Polish sailors were permitted to don Polish uniforms, and their commanding officers were Polish; however, the ships used were of British manufacture.[5] By 1940, the sailors had already impressed Winston Churchill, who remarked that he had "rarely seen a finer body of men".[6]

After being evacuated after the defeat of France, Polish fliers had an important role in the Battle of Britain. At first, the Polish pilots were overlooked, despite their numbers being high (close to 8,500 by mid-1940).[6] Despite having flown for years, most of them were posted either to RAF bomber squadrons or the RAF Volunteer Reserve. This was due to lack of understanding in the face of Polish defeat by the Germans, as well as language barriers and British commanders' opinion of Polish attitudes.[7] On 11 June 1940, the Polish Government in Exile finally signed an agreement with the British Government to form a Polish Air Force in the UK, and in July 1940 the RAF announced that it would form two Polish fighter squadrons: 302 "Poznański" Squadron and 303 "Kościuszko" Squadron. The squadrons were composed of Polish pilots and ground crews, although their flight commanders and commanding officers were British. Once given the opportunity to fly, it did not take long for their British counterparts to appreciate the tenacity of the Poles. Even Air Officer Commanding Hugh Dowding, who had been one of the first to voice his doubt of the Poles, said:

I must confess that I had been a little doubtful of the effect which their experience in their own countries and in France might have had upon the Polish and Czech pilots, but my doubts were laid to rest, because all three squadrons swung into the fight with a dash and enthusiasm which is beyond praise. They were inspired by a burning hatred for the Germans which made them very deadly opponents.

Dowding later stated further that "had it not been for the magnificent [work of] the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of the Battle would have been the same."

As for ground troops, some Polish ground units regrouped in southern Scotland. These units, as Polish I Corps, comprised the 1st Independent Rifle Brigade, the 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade (as infantry) and cadre brigades (largely manned by surplus officers at battalion strength) and took over responsibility in October 1940 for the defence of the counties of Fife and Angus; this included reinforcing coastal defences that had already been started. I Corps was under the direct command of Scottish Command of the British Army. Whilst in this area, the Corps was reorganised and expanded. The opportunity to form another Polish army came in 1941, following an agreement between the Polish government in exile and Joseph Stalin, the Soviets releasing Polish soldiers, civilians and citizens from imprisonment. From these, a 75,000-strong army was formed in the Soviet Union under General Władysław Anders (Anders' Army). This army, successively gathered in Bouzoulouk, Samarkand, was later ferried from Krasnovodsk across the Caspian Sea to the Middle East (Iran) where Polish II Corps was formed.

By March 1944, the Polish Armed Forces in the West, fighting under British command, numbered 165,000 at the end of that year, including about 20,000 personnel in the Polish Air Force and 3,000 in the Polish Navy. By the end of the Second World War, they were 195,000 strong, and by July 1945 had increased to 228,000, most of the newcomers being released prisoners-of-war and ex-labor camp inmates.

The Polish Armed Forces in the West fought in most Allied operations against Nazi Germany in the Mediterranean and Middle East and European theatres: the North African Campaign, the Italian Campaign (with the Battle of Monte Cassino being one of the most notable), the Western European Campaign (from Dieppe Raid and D-Day through Battle of Normandy and latter operations, especially Operation Market Garden).

After the German Instrument of Surrender, 1945, Polish troops took part in occupation duties in the Western Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. A Polish town was created: it was first named Lwow, then Maczkow.
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:40 PM
 
Location: New York Area
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Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
So you realized that there was no Poland before 1918. It was recreated by the Versailles treaty. You realize that as a new county, Poland was at war with the Soviet while the Nazi were arming Germany. Poland in a fragile and precarious situation.
Poland existed before (mostly) Russia gobbled it up during the 18th and 19th centuries.
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Old 01-02-2020, 05:43 AM
 
Location: The North Star State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
So you realized that there was no Poland before 1918. It was recreated by the Versailles treaty. You realize that as a new county, Poland was at war with the Soviet while the Nazi were arming Germany. Poland in a fragile and precarious situation.
Yes, Poland was newly-liberated after World War I. This is irrelevant to the actions of Poland and the Allies in the 1930s and 1940s.

No, Poland was not fighting the USSR while the Third Reich was building up its military might. The Polish-Soviet War ended in 1920. Hitler was not appointed Chancellor until 1933. It was then that Germany began repudiating the limits of Versailles and re-arming in violation of its terms. And what happened in January 1934? Poland negotiated and signed the Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact. This supposedly secured German peacefulness towards Poland for ten years. How did that work out? As for Germany, in 1934 it was weak and completely vulnerable. The Pact was a tremendous victory for Hitler. His flank secured, he could focus on the West: France and the UK. They did nearly as little as Poland to stop Hitler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
And you realized that Poland continue fighting between 1919-1921 after the Allies end WWI.
Yes, I realize this fact that has absolutely no relevance to Polish actions well over a decade later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
Poland fought a two front war from the beginning of WWII
Yes. Poland was doomed once the war began. Again, that has no relevance to either Polish pre-war decisions or the reality facing the Allies in 1945.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
As for "Poland was not falling all over itself to assist other nations of Europe."
Quoting my reference to Polish actions prior to the war, and attempting to refute it by noting what Poland did after war began, makes no sense. Poland was fighting for its liberation and seeking to help in the war effort once it had been dismembered. Prior to that dismemberment it sat idly by watching as Austria was gobbled up (well, not completely idle - as I noted, it used the event to turn on Lithuania with demands that were only partially met). It helped Hitler dismember Czechoslovakia. It was only after the Nazis and the Soviets came knocking that Poland said to the rest of Europe "Hey guys, we want to be on your side now!".

***********************************************

This isn't hard. Again, what happened to Poland was appalling and entirely unjustified. But that doesn't mean that there was some sort of moral obligation for people from Iowa and Ontario and the Midlands to spare no cost to save the Poles. The bottom line in World War II - and adherents of the historical fairy-tale don't like to hear this - is that countries primarily fought for their own self-interests. No, I am not drawing an equivalence between the interests of Berlin and Moscow compared to those of Washington and London. There is a clear difference between seeking, where practical, local independence and liberty on one hand, and seeking to conquer and oppress on the other. But the western Allies could live with Stalin because he could be deterred by a stolid defense, whereas Hitler demonstrably could not.

And in 1945, it was not perceived in either Washington or London (or Paris, or Ottawa, or Canberra... you get the idea) that initiating a war that would kill millions against the USSR - because, Poland! - was a good idea.

Just like, in early 1938, no one in Warsaw much cared to send Polish soldiers to die fighting Germany, in order to save Austria or Czechoslovakia. Essentially, Poland played realpolitik (albeit rather poorly) and then was outraged when the western Allies did the same.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post


Just like, in early 1938, no one in Warsaw much cared to send Polish soldiers to die fighting Germany, in order to save Austria or Czechoslovakia. Essentially, Poland played realpolitik (albeit rather poorly) and then was outraged when the western Allies did the same.
Poland was a new nation, had limited resources with no political clout. The idea that Poland could have saved Austria or Czechoslovakia, when a stronger Britain and France had no interest in doing so, is ridiculous.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:53 AM
Status: "positive" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: London
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Originally Posted by Brandono View Post
In WWI they went 4 1/2 whole years sending hundreds of thousands to die to fight off Germany, yet when Germany came rolling in during WWII they hardly put up any resistance. Why did they not definitely oppose Germany and send out a message to every part of France that every man, woman and child should fight to the death to defend France? Make it so the Germans have no one within that will cooperate or talk to them in anyway shape or form, that every single man, woman and child in France is an enemy that will kill any invading German?
David Willy in this talk covers the Battle of France very well:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPKp-GKgbl0&t=1s

British forces were 9% of total allied ground troops - not much at all in the whole scheme. When General Ironside found out what the French had done, or not done, he grabbed one French general by his coat buttons. The British then decided to leave as the situation was untenable.

Last edited by John-UK; 06-03-2020 at 10:01 AM..
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