Mini BEF to Poland, April 1939

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Admiral Beez

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Oct 21, 2019
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31 March 1939, Britain and France issued a security guarantee to Poland. Historically, Britain and France did little to actively protect Poland, but not this time. 20 April 1939, a British and French transport fleet escorted by RN and French warships sails around Denmark and into the peacetime Baltic Sea, arriving at Gdynia. Off loaded are ten thousand combined British and French troops, a small artillery contingent and two RAF and two Armée de l'Air squadrons. 1 May 1939, the battleships return to the North Atlantic, but a few RN and MN warships remain at the main Polish naval base at Gdynia, planning to stay through to the coming of winter ice in Nov 1939. The troops and aircraft plan to remain in Poland to autumn 1940, at which time London and Paris will reassess and decide what/where to deploy.

This is a tiny force, a fly for the invading Germans and Russians to swat away. But what does this move do to Germany and Soviet assumptions and plans?
 
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It might put Germany off as their assumption I believe was that the UK and France would not protect Poland. Certainly they wouldn't last long but war would break out earlier than Germany planned.
The interesting thing which I cannot work out is what would it do the Russia's plans. Would they go it alone?
 
It is it all politics. Does it convince Hitler that the British and French are serious or do they take a good look at what was sent and after laughing, they delay the invasion by one week.

The Poles mustered around 30 divisions, some were under strength. a 10,000 man force is under strength division, and sending it in under equipped with heavy weapons, armor, and transport may not give the symbol of strength/resolve you are looking for.

for the British especially you have sent part of the training cadre off to Poland making harder to get the rest of the Army up to speed.

You might have gotten similar results with a few cargo ships of weapons. But they have to be sent in the spring and not late summer.
 
Was it when Hitler went into the Sudetenland he planned to back off if challenged? Had Germany assimilated Czech weapons and munitions manufacturing assets yet? He might have backed off a bit. Even Admiral Raeder thought he had until 1945. I really don't know. As there were few aircraft carrier vs. aircraft carrier battles, I never read up on this theater.
Yeah, I could have looked it up but I enjoy conversation more than homework.
 
Well, there is also a twist to this scenario:
If Germany decides not to invade, but the Soviets do, then I can just imagine Hitler doing his "Paris Jig" (little dance in front of the Eiffel Tower) a little early.

Now he has an excuse to attack the Soviet Union under the auspices of "saving Poland".

If this were the case, how would France and Britain view the Soviet attack on Poland?
 
Was it when Hitler went into the Sudetenland he planned to back off if challenged? Had Germany assimilated Czech weapons and munitions manufacturing assets yet? He might have backed off a bit. Even Admiral Raeder thought he had until 1945. I really don't know. As there were few aircraft carrier vs. aircraft carrier battles, I never read up on this theater.
Yeah, I could have looked it up but I enjoy conversation more than homework.
Sudetenland was Oct 1938. The rest of Czechoslovakia was effectively annexed in mid-March 1939 a bare two weeks before this scenario kicks off.

Not sure how quickly the Czech armaments industry was assimilated. But the Czech steel industry continued to meet its overseas commitments right up to Aug 1939. The last deliveries of Czech armour plate for warships building in Britain only left Europe a few days before the German invasion of Poland on 1 Sept 1939.

There were NO carrier v carrier battles in European waters as neither Germany nor Italy ever got round to completing the carriers they set out to build.
 
If this were the case, how would France and Britain view the Soviet attack on Poland?
Considering the Poles themselves were almost ambivalent about it, declining to declare war on Russia and ordering Polish forces to not engage the Russian invaders.....
 
Sudetenland was Oct 1938. The rest of Czechoslovakia was effectively annexed in mid-March 1939 a bare two weeks before this scenario kicks off.

Not sure how quickly the Czech armaments industry was assimilated. But the Czech steel industry continued to meet its overseas commitments right up to Aug 1939. The last deliveries of Czech armour plate for warships building in Britain only left Europe a few days before the German invasion of Poland on 1 Sept 1939.

There were NO carrier v carrier battles in European waters as neither Germany nor Italy ever got round to completing the carriers they set out to build.
The Germans even had an opportunity for a carrier with the captured MN Joffre, which was 25% (or so) complete by 1940.
 

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