September 17, 70 years ago...

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by v2, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    70 years ago, at 3 a.m. 600,000 Soviet troops crossed Polish-Soviet frontier starting an occupation of more than a half of the Polish pre-WWII territory. 250,000 Polish soldiers were captured and imprisoned in different camps across the Soviet Union. Within few months over 22,000 officers were executed by the Soviet Militia as the enemies of the nation....
    :salute:

    http://www.17september1939.com/
     
  2. Negative Creep

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    Pretty much forgotten in the West as well. Do the Poles still hold any animosity to the Russians? Wouldn't blame you if you did........
     
  3. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    Lets imagine, they didnt ... would that make any difference? Militarily? Politically?
     
  4. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Wehrmacht would have starting line for Barbarossa 200+ km nearer to Moscow...?
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    If the non-aggression pact had not been signed, the partition of Poland would not have occurred. however, the Russians would have entered the war from 1939, on the side of the allies. The germans would not have had access to Soviet oil, grain, and other raw materials. The war would have ended some time in 1940-41, with the total collapse of the Nazi regime.

    The events that surround the dismemberment of Poland, and the concurrent duplicity of the Soviets with the Nazis was an event that cannot be overstated in its importance
     
  6. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    And? How would that help Poles?
     
  7. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #7 imalko, Sep 18, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
    It would not help the Poles at all. But it could have influence on events in 1941.

    The premise for this "what if" of course would have to be that non aggression pact between Germany and USSR was signed but didn't include division of Poland between two countries leaving Germany to occupy entire Polish territory. When speaking about this pact one have to have in mind that Soviet Union was repeatedly trying to make alliance with Britain and France in late thirties. But there was too much distrust towards communism in western democracies which prevented something like that from happening. Seeing that this negotiations will lead them nowhere Soviets made the pact with devil trying to postpone the inevitable conflict with Nazi Germany.

    Had the alliance between USSR, G.Britain and France existed or had the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact not been concluded (even without the aforementioned alliance), Hitler probably wouldn't have dared to attack Poland.
     
  8. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    The only known alliance at the time on August 22nd 1939 was the alliance between Nazi Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy, signed in Munich one year earlier.
    Lets say, Ribbentrop didnt visit Moscow on August 23rd, no Pact was signed... What's next? Would Germany launch an attack on Poland one week later anyway?
     
  9. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    The alliance between USSR, UK an France is not known because it didn't happen. But the fact remain that there was diplomatic initiative on Soviet part in that direction in late thirties. Negotiations failed however and Soviets turned to the Germans as a consequence.

    As I wrote, had Molotov-Ribbentrop pact not been signed on 23rd I seriously doubt that Hitler would have invaded Poland at the time he did. What would happen next is interesting question on which we can only speculate.

    My point about Soviet-German pact is that I completely understand why Soviets did it. But their treatment of Poles after division of Poland was unjust and cruel to say the least.
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    #10 DerAdlerIstGelandet, Sep 18, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
    I don't think it would have ended in 40-41 either. Russia was even more ill prepared for a war than they were when Germany invaded.

    The Russians invading did not help the Poles either. The commies had their own motives. To say the Russians did it to help Poland as some people say (not saying that you are saying this) is completely wrong...
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the Soviets were in a bad way, but consider this. In '39 the gemans had only 50 division in their army, which expanded to about 110 after the completion of the mobilization plan. They had just under 2000 aircraft in their frontline airforce, with about another 1000 in various stages of readiness. They had a handful of MkiIII and Mk IV tanks, the majority of their tank parks were Mks I and II.

    Most importantly the Germans until well into 1940 were totally dependant on Soviet Oil. Rumania as an oil source was not providing much oil to the germans until after the surrender of France. Over 90% of Rumanian oil production was being purchased by the allies, so as to deny this oil to the Germans.

    With the Russians on the allied side, where are the germans going to get their oil. If we acept that the one German soldier was equivalent to about 3 Soviet soldiers at that time, that still means they need to keep 50-60 divisions in Poland to contain the Soviets. Can the Germans overrun the west with no more than 60 Divs and 1000 aircraft and severe fuel shortages, and probably no more than 5 armoured divs available????

    I think the Germans would have had no choice but to capitulate
     
  12. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    Had Germany attack the USSR in 39' right after capturing Poland I doubt that either France or England offered any help to the soviets. The whole idea of Munich Treaty was to sent Hitler to the East and keep him busy over there as long as possible. Why would've they suddenly changed their minds if in 1939 western allies were safe and sound, nothing thretened them?
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Thats inconsistent with the approach taken in 1914. Whilst ther was the anti-communist dogma to deal with in 1939, one has to assume that if the parties (the Allies and the Soviets) had been more genuine in the June negotiations then a possibility of a return to collective defence existed.

    The action by the allies after the entry of the USSR as an allied power also decrease the veracity of what you are saying. The Allies made extraordinary efforts, and big sacrifices to get aid and help to the Soviets from 1941 on. Why would they not do the same in 1939. With a toehold in Europe, I would have thought the Allies would make even greater effort to assist the Soviets.

    Once the allies were at war, the plan was to commence offensive operations in 1941. It was expected that the Belgians would finally honour their traty obligations once the British and the French had sufficient power to protect them. The Allies would have had about 140 modern well equipped divisions by then, supported by something like 10000 aircraft. It would not have been blitzkrieg, but the French in particular were the master of the set piece battle. I think they would have improved their use of artillery, and the effects of a total blockade on Germany would have been devastating. All the Soviets had to do was to survive a single summer camapign from the Germans, who would be fighting without fuel, with half the number of divisions, and with at least 30% less trucks and with a tank park hopelessly obsolete. Logistics would have killed a 1940 German offensive into Russia.

    If somehow the Poles had allowed the Soviets to fight alongside them in 1939, the outlook for Germany becomes even more bleak. But given the record of Polish Soviet relations in the inte4rwar period, this was a very unlikely event.

    The worst outcome for the allies is if the Soviets remained neutral, or pro-Axis, and failed to carve their slice of Poland. this does not help the Poles, but the grab for eastern Poland by the Soviets did give the Soviets a lot of depth to their frontier. Without that, in 1941, the Germans could well have taken Moscow.

    The dismemberment of Poland was a sad chapter for Poland. It cost them countless thousands of lives at the hands of the Soviets, and a territorial land grab that is a shameful stain on the Russians. However, I see the grab, in the wider context, as a necessary evil in the defeat of a greater threat, that being Nazi aggression. The Soviets were not thinking that at the time of their occupatiuon, but it was the nett effect of it.....they got the defensive buffer needed to protect their own homeland, and eventually defeat the Nazis
     
  14. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    The whole attitude of the allied powers had chanched tremedously after they themselves fell victims of the Nazi Germany. But that was later, in 1940. In 39', Hitler was still a friend, at least on paper. They wouldnt interferre, had he decided to procceed to the East anywhere away from their own homelands.


    [/QUOTE]The dismemberment of Poland was a sad chapter for Poland. It cost them countless thousands of lives at the hands of the Soviets, and a territorial land grab that is a shameful stain on the
    Russia[/QUOTE]

    We should also remember those hundreds of thousands of Poles murdered by Ukrainian nationalists during the Nazi occupation in 41-44. Would those numbers be even greater if Western Ukraine fell into Germans hands in 39' instead of 41' you think?

    Massacres of Poles in Volhynia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I always thought the Russian grab of Poland was to help regain the land they lost in WW1.

    Regardless, I have to give the Poles some credit being lasting as long as they did after they both invaded.
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The only way I could see anything chaning, would be if the British and the French invaded from the west as well. I do not see it happening...

    But you do make some very valid and good points.
     
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