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"Exactly 80 years ago USSR backstabbed Poland" Topic

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Umpapa17 Sep 2019 1:37 p.m. PST

Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939

To this article in Wiki I would add:
without a formal declaration of war USSR invaded Poland
breaking 4 international treaties signed and ratified by USSR:
1.Peace of Riga
2.Soviet–Polish Non-Aggression Pact
3.Kellogg–Briand Pact
4.The Convention for the Definition of Aggression
PDF link

Especially the last one treaty ratified by USSR and Poland explicitely forbid (against official Moscow excuses):

"invasion by its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State. No political, military, economic or other considerations may serve as an excuse or justification for the aggression referred to in Article 2. (For examples, see Annex.)
… A. The internal condition of a State:
E.g., its political, economic or social structure; alleged defects in its administration; disturbances due to strikes, revolutions, counter-revolutions, or civil war.
B. The international conduct of a State:
E.g., the violation or threatened violation of the material or moral rights or interests of a foreign State or its nationals; the rupture of diplomatic or economic relations; economic or financial boycotts; disputes relating to economic, financial or other obligations towards foreign States; frontier incidents not forming any of the cases of aggression specified in Article 2.

Which was just one of the first examples of Moscow policy regarding their own treaties:
Soviet Treaty Violations

Consequently in Soviet taken half of Poland:
100 000 were raped,
500 000 died (including brother of my Grandpa),
2 000 000 people were deported to Siberia.
Not only Katyń.

If Stalin-Hitler cooperation survived just a bit longer, Polish nation would stop to exist due to concerted efforts of both neighbours:
Gestapo-NKVD conferences
German Nazi efforts
Russian Soviets efforts
with a little help of
Ukrainian Fascist efforts.

Thanks to Operation Barbarossa and German-Soviet war lucky 25% of my mother's family surivived till 1946 and my humble person could be born.

Soviets already proved their efficiency at Polish genocide in 1937: "It is estimated that the Polish minority in Belarus was almost completely annihilated":
Polish Operation of the NKVD

News Articles:



Oh, for all those wargamers: there are several really interesting wargaming scenarios, like Battle of Wilno, Battle of Wytyczno, Battle of Szack, Battle of Grodno.

In the last one if you want to play Soviets, do not forget to attach to Soviet tanks "human shield", like this 13 year old boyscout

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 2:07 p.m. PST

Next you'll bring up the only country Russia sent lend lease to was Germany.

Legion 417 Sep 2019 2:22 p.m. PST

No doubt the USSR treated Poland "very poorly" to say the least in WWII and in some cases afterwards. It must really Bleeped text out Putin that the US and other NATO members are in Poland, across his border …

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 4:45 p.m. PST

I loved the time the Soviets made some comment about Montgomery "finally" creating the second front. Monty replied that "actually, I created the second second front--but you were on the other side for the first one."

Cuprum217 Sep 2019 5:50 p.m. PST

Is it about the very Poland that seized the lands of Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania by the armed forces in the 1920s? Which in 1938 brought to Lithuania a demand to recognize the legal occupation of a third of its territory? The same Poland, which, together with Hitler, took part in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and tore away the Teszy region (with powerful metallurgical plants) from it? At the same time, barring the passage of Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia to counter Hitler aggression? Is this the same Poland whose inhabitants, along with the Nazis, actively participated in the Holocaust?

Old Contemptible17 Sep 2019 7:11 p.m. PST

I am thinking a Polish vs. Russians scenario in 1939 would be interesting.

raylev317 Sep 2019 7:23 p.m. PST

Way to many Russian apologists here. I think it's funny that Russia resents it when the nations they occupied in cooperation with the Germans, don't want to celebrate their "liberation" by Russia.

Let's not forget that Russia occupied Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, eastern Poland, and Moldova, not to mention their invasion of Finland.

oldnorthstate17 Sep 2019 7:26 p.m. PST

History goes back further than the 1920's Cuprum2…Lithuania, the Ukraine and portions of Belarus have historically been part of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth…the Holocaust was the brainchild of the Germans, the Poles were as much victims as any other European.

raylev317 Sep 2019 7:31 p.m. PST

Cuprum2: And let's not forget, Russia was supplying tons of war materials to the Germans throughout this whole period. And then sat back hoping Germany, France and the UK, would beat the crap out of each other.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 7:40 p.m. PST

And the allies ended up joining Russia despite this backstab. So much for starting the war to restore Poland.

raylev317 Sep 2019 9:01 p.m. PST

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Germany was the biggest threat to France and the UK. And, yes, it was a shame that Poland and the rest of eastern Europe lived under Russian occupation for decades.

Cuprum217 Sep 2019 11:56 p.m. PST

That is, I did not lie anywhere? )))

I am not going to justify the actions of the USSR. I just want to say that each country has its own (and considerable) skeletons in the closet. Including Poland.

Russia is not offended that someone does not consider it a liberator. Russia regrets that millions of Soviet people gave their lives for those whom it would probably be worth, as it turned out now, to leave under Nazi occupation. After all, there was no difference?)))

Yes, Ukraine, Lithuania and part of Belarus were part of the Polish-Lithuanian Union. And then they were part of the Russian Empire … Maybe it makes sense to ask Ukrainians and Lithuanians how much they wanted to become Poles? After all, we know what kind of policy the Poles pursued with regard to these national minorities))) In Ukraine, Belarus and even Lithuania there were communists of their own, and none of these nationalities tried to make Russians. In Poland, all these peoples were subject to violent polonization. Ukrainians and Belarusians met the Red Army in this territory with flowers, and detachments of local volunteers took part in the fight against the Poles. You can't talk about subsequent repressions. They were, but they did not have a national character – they were of a class character. And it was the Russians who suffered the most from the repressions.

Regarding the Holocaust in Poland, I think you need to get acquainted with the opinion of Israeli researchers)))

Russia did not occupy Bessarabia, but liberated it. The USSR never recognized the rejection of these territories.

Actually, Russia has economically cooperated with Germany for a short time. But Germany was the only country that supplied the USSR with the equipment and technologies necessary for a future war. But before that, the USSR had repeatedly proposed the military anti-Hitler alliance of France and Great Britain. All offers were rejected in one way or another. In this case – the interests of the USSR were above the interests of all other countries.

Conclusion: Poland is no better than Germany or the USSR. Each pursued their own interests. She was just less fortunate)))

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2019 12:11 a.m. PST

I think that last sentence above is very profound and honest.

Well done for arguing your case so well but conceding that.

Cuprum218 Sep 2019 1:01 a.m. PST

You know, for many years I have been studying the topic of the Civil War in Russia. In Russia, this is still a very sore subject, one way or another affecting everyone. In order for me to see an objective picture of events, I need to be able to give up my sympathies and preferences. You need to consider only dry and bare facts – emotions have no place in the study.
The USSR was not an ideal. More precisely – he was extremely far from perfect. But, from my point of view, he was still a step towards the future. A step towards a world in which there should be no insoluble contradictions and inequalities. Nazi Germany – it was a step into the distant past. It would be a world of slaves and masters. Without any chance of equality and justice.
And do not praise me for not mentioning those skeletons that are in the cabinets of the United States or Great Britain. They just do not relate to the topic of this conversation)))

Umpapa18 Sep 2019 1:59 a.m. PST

Is it about the very Poland that seized the lands of Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania by the armed forces in the 1920s?

You were mistaken. Ukraine and Belarus and Lietuva and Central Lithuania were Polish, not Soviet, allies in 1920 war. Belarussian, Ukrainians, Lietuvans, even 30 000 Russians (Savinkov) fight against Soviets. If we were more succesful, in 1921 there would be independent Ukraine and Belarus. Bear in mind Poland liberated Minsk, Kiev, Davgapilis on behalf of allied national governments and with cooperation of local national forces and none of this territory was annexed or ethnically cleansed.

Poland wanted to set up Intermare Confederation/Alliance of independent states: Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Lietuva, Estonia as such confederation would become a counter-weight to any potential imperialist intentions on the part of Russia or of Germany. Old Polish axiom, proven in 1939, till today: "There can be no independent Poland without an independent Ukraine". Without independent Poland there can be no independent Baltics, which again 1939 proved.

Which in 1938 brought to Lithuania a demand to recognize the legal occupation of a third of its territory?

You mean Wilno/Vilnius, which 80% were Poles and only about 2–3% of the population were Lithuanians, according to Russian 1897 and German 1916 censuses?
You know, Kiev and Smoleńsk were also once Lithuanian capitals.

The same Poland, which, together with Hitler, took part in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and tore away the Teszy region (with powerful metallurgical plants) from it?

Poland several times (1933, March 1936, and May, June, and August 1938), declared that it was prepared to fight Germany if the French decided to help Czechoslovakia)

Poland few times asked France and Czechoslovakia to attack Germany in so called preventive war (after remilitarization, when Hitler was weak and unsecure). "Polish government indicated multiple times: in March 1936, and May, June, and August 1938, that it was prepared to fight Germany if the French decided to help Czechoslovakia. : "Beck's proposal to Bonnet, his statements to Ambassador Drexel Biddle, and the statement noted by Vansittart, show that the Polish foreign minister was, indeed, prepared to carry out a radical change of policy if the Western powers decided on war with Germany. However, these proposals and statements did not elicit any reaction from British and French governments that were bent on averting war by appeasing Germany." link

In 1932 Poland could defeat Germany alone if only France allowed for it. Poland asked only for mobilization of French army (not any real military operations) and French approval. French refuse due to mostly financial reasons.
Poland had no hope that Great Britain would support such Polish operation, as GB (and USA) was then supporting Germany to keep balance.

Just before Munich (where Poland was also not invited) Poland proposed 4 times to Czechoslovakia joint military operation against Germany if Czechoslovakia give up USSR alliance and ignore France/GB verbal protests. Romania (ally of Poland and Czechoslovakia) would then guard against USSR (weakened by purge).

There were a lot of bad blood between Poles and Czechs (killing Polish POWs in 1920, assimilation/czechization etc but the generals of both countries were not stupid and solution was obvious. Czech GHQ want to cooperate with Poland, but government of Czechoslovakia refused Poles as they hoped for GB/F protection AND USSR alliance.

And Zaolzie and Cieszyn is complicated issue, best described here:
"The Polish side based its claim to the area on ethnic criteria: a majority (69.2%) of the area's population was Polish according to the last (1910) Austrian census."
Czechoslovakia backstabbed Poland in 1919 (killing POWs and blocking ammo transport, czechization). Poland reacquired lost in 1919 territory with Polish majority (polonization). Slovakia attacked Poland in 1939. Czechia re-reacquired territory in 1945 (czechization). Let's say we are even.

At the same time, barring the passage of Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia to counter Hitler aggression?

As I already explained You 4 months ago Poles could not let any Soviet units inside the Poland as Soviets in 1938 just finished genocide against Polish minority in USSR during so called "Polish Operation of NKWD"
Citing wiki, between 1937-38: "as the Soviet statistics indicate, the number of ethnic Poles in the USSR dropped by 165,000 in that period. The Polish minority was almost completely annihilated." Holodomor also counted. In 1938 Stalin appeared more dangerous than Hitler. USSR just obliterated 12 national minorities, whch I proved You
TMP in this thread.

You are repeating the same Soviet propaganda, like 4 months ago. I had explained it to You that it is not true, but You keep repeating those propaganda – please forgive me – lies. Why?

There wasnt slightest need for Soviet units in Poland to defend Czechoslovakia. Poles and Czechs units before Munich would be more then enough to oppose Wehrmacht leading to overthrowing Hitler, if France/GB agreed.

Is this the same Poland whose inhabitants, along with the Nazis, actively participated in the Holocaust?

Few renegades, "Volksdeutsch" (usually of choice), which here hunted and killed by Polish underground and condemned by London Government exile. I remind You that no Pole could be (or was) a member of SS or SD.
I do not accuse Russian nation(or government) for RONA Russian renegades atrocities.

Criminals and renegades are everywhere.

Its the popular opinion of masses and decisions of government that really matter.

Conclusion: Poland is no better than Germany or the USSR.

It's a lie. Please show me polish (non-communist) free government organized: extermination lagers, ethnic cleansing, mass raping, killing children and women, mass torturing, SS formation. There is none, You wont find one. Yes, there were repression against communists (perceived as agents of enemy) and Ukrainian UPA terrorists. For a few years also polonization of Kresy, I am ashamed of that. But there were no mass extermination, no enslavement, no mass repressions. We may have shame, but we do not have thousands of skeletons.

Not only its a lie, it's equalizing victims and opressors. It's immoral.

Germans at least are ashamed of their past.

You, as Russian, is proud of it?! Soviets killed more Russians than Mongol Empire. Thanks to brave Russian people from the "Memorial" we know the fate of some of them.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor."

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2019 3:02 a.m. PST

Cuprum2, the Soviet Union may very well be a step toward the future. Personally, I would prefer a future without single-party states, secret police, censors and destructive labor camps. But if that's the future you prefer, please advocate it openly, and not mumble about "contradictions and inequalities."

Cuprum218 Sep 2019 3:43 a.m. PST

Dear Polish friend, referring to Wikipedia (especially in matters of history) is a bad taste))) Anyone writes it and whatever, referring to television programs and glamorous magazines)))

In the territories of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania, as well as in most of all other territories of the former Russian Empire, there was a civil war. In addition to nationalist governments in these states, there were communist governments. And they all had, at least, by no means less rights to speak on behalf of these territories. Not only that – on the side of Soviet Russia, had the "Western division", which consisted of volunteer Poles, fought and they supported the creation of Soviet Poland)))

What Poland wanted to create and how is well known to Ukrainians, Belarusians and Lithuanians. Ask them)))

I mean Vilno. If you consider it illegal to join the territories of a neighboring state only because citizens of Polish nationality live there, then why do you make claims to the Germans and Russians for such aspirations?)))

I know the re-drinking of European politics of the 30s. But after participating in the division of Czechoslovakia along with Hitler, claims from Poland to the USSR look like great hypocrisy)))

I do not need to talk about ethnic cleansing in the USSR – there were none. Repression had a completely different ideology. If you want to prove the opposite, show me the DOCUMENTS, which deals specifically with repressions against Poles as a nation, and not against Polish underground organizations (regardless of their real existence, although I suspect that there could be none).)))

Let us leave the question of the Holocaust to Jewish organizations – they will cope with it better than me)))

Indeed, there were not many Poles on the German side: the "blue" police, several battalions of auxiliary police, the Poles from the Todt Organization (which in 1944 became full-fledged military personnel of the Wehrmacht). There was also the "White Eagle Legion" – by the way, they just wanted to create Polish SSs on its basis.

But on the side of the USSR, two full-fledged Polish armies fought)))

There were no mass repressions in Poland (although there were unpleasant stories with the extinct Soviet prisoners of war in 1920, there were some incidents with German citizens of Poland in Bromberg and Schulitz in 1939, again, with the Germans living in the territories that went to Poland, somehow they didn't manage well – if you believe, for example, the Union of Exiled Germans, then three million Germans died as a result of these events). But this is an accident?)))

What is immoral and what is not – let me decide for myself. As well as evaluate what I should be ashamed of and what not.
I do not urge you to share my point of view – I just want not a single fact that took place to be forgotten)))

Cuprum218 Sep 2019 3:50 a.m. PST

robert piepenbrink oh no I believe that in the future there should be no states at all. If the state is absent, then all the tools you listed will not be needed. Although – something like this should be to protect citizens from crazy and degenerates. I think there will be enough elections sheriffs)))
  By the way, are there secret police and prisons in Western countries?

Fred Cartwright18 Sep 2019 4:40 a.m. PST

By the way, are there secret police and prisons in Western countries?

Not in the way that I understand Soviet secret police operated. No one fears the knock on the door in the middle of the night and to disappear into the system never to be seen again. Everyone is entitled to legal representation and there are limits on how long a person can be held without trial. Yes there are prisons and mistakes are made and innocent men sent to prison, but equally there are guilty men who walk free because the state has insufficient evidence to convince a jury of their guilt.

oldnorthstate18 Sep 2019 4:43 a.m. PST

Ah Cuprum2, obviously a commie sympathizer…what did it last 70 years, until the Socialist paradise collapsed under its own weight…but, no the system could work, just with different leaders…where do we hear that today…socialism of course.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2019 5:34 a.m. PST

oldnorthstate; don't fall into the trap of equating socialism with communism. They are different especially when you consider can have socialism with a democracy but you can not have communism without authoritarianism. However this thread is not about political systems nor should it denigrate into one. It is about the actions of nation states and the morality of those actions. The sad fact is the Soviet Union behaved no better than Nazi Germany in its invasion of Poland. It was forcing itself on a weaker nation for its on interests without regard for the morality of its actions. I do not see how anyone can argue differently but some folks will.

Caprum2 made a comment about Poles helping the Germans in conducting the holocaust and he is correct in that some Poles did, as did Russians, Ukranians, French, Danish, Dutch, etc. Also members of the same nations tried to fight the holocaust. We can't overlook the complicity nor can we over look the struggle against.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2019 5:49 a.m. PST

I find it hard to believe the way to "no states at all" leads through totalitarian ones. In fact, I don't believe there is a way to "no states at all" unless one favors the Hobbesian model.

Start with those sheriffs. Who decides what's "crazy and degenerate?" What's the standard of evidence once they have? Sounds a lot like government--and even politics--to me. Will they need roads and bridges in the Radiant Future of All Mankind? Who decides where they go, and where the materials come from? Who decides what the builders are paid, or punishes someone for not working? Will no one be sick and need someone else to aid them? Or medicines and treatments which must be researched? And who will prioritize the research? Will communities have no sanitation or building safety issues, for which, again, there must be regulations, standards of evidence, agreed punishments and enforcers?

Marx described his future worker of the post-Revolutionary future working in the morning, hunting in the afternoon and writing in the evening. He didn't mention fish and game laws, firearms laws or the technology of writing, publishing and communication generally, because as soon as you start actually thinking of such things, the glorious stateless future is rightly consigned to the dustbin of history, where it belongs.

Anyone who thinks a village existence somehow gets around this should live in one for a year or two with nothing standing between them and the will of their neighbors. They'll flee back to a governed city where there are things people aren't allowed to do to you and police and courts to enforce it fast enough.

Legion 418 Sep 2019 6:37 a.m. PST

With Umpapa being a Pole and Cuprum2 being Russian it is no real surprise they don't agree. I am a bit biased with Poland now being part of NATO. With the US and other NATO forces deployed/training in Poland.

Plus let there be not doubt, US-Russian relations are not all that "rosy" and have not been for quite sometime.

Many in the US military, gov't, etc., believe : Russia wants to destroy us and China wants to own us. I too have a tendency to believe that.

E.g. the UN P5, generally the US, UK, and France end up vs. Russia and China in many situations.

I have to believe we are seeing the Cold War 2.0 … with the addition of the GWoT.


Cuprum218 Sep 2019 9:52 a.m. PST

Fred Cartwright. Are you absolutely sure? Have there been periods in recent US history in which this was not entirely true? Were people persecuted there for their political convictions? Do you know what McCarthyism is? This, of course, cannot be compared with the repressions in the USSR, but there was no bloody civil war between the representatives of the two ideologies. By the way, in the USSR, the horrors you described also did not occur all the time, but in a relatively short period.
In addition, I have always said that socialism of the USSR model is not at all the option that should have been realized. There can be no socialism without real democracy.

oldnorthstate, the history of capitalism, as a state system – dates back to about 500 years. And new economic forms also came in the form of revolutions and civil wars. Is not it so? How many times did the monarchy fall and restore? What you consider the victory of capitalism is just a temporary retreat of socialist ideas. Everything will be rethought, modified – and will be repeated again. In a different form, in another place – but this is inevitable. This is my belief. This is the usual course of progress.

I already wrote: communism is a matter of a very distant future. This is a society of people completely devoid of animal instincts. While this can only be dreamed of. Perhaps such a society is generally impossible. But who knows …

 A personal matter, how do you feel about the joint invasion of Great Britain and the USSR in Iraq in 1941? Should Britain be condemned as an aggressor? Was the British attack on the French fleet an aggression? Do not look for simple answers to difficult questions)))

Robert Paypenbrink, well this is elementary. Let's imagine that there is a Republic of the Globe. This is an ordinary democratic republic. Something like the USA))) And what is the problem? I will say what – there is no need for gigantic military expenses, there is no policy of opposition, there is no fear … This is a completely different world. Of course, some security forces will be present in it. But compared to the existing ones in the world now it's a trivia))) It's hard to even imagine how many forces and possibilities mankind can free up for creation. But capitalist countries never form such a republic. Think for yourself why.

The cold war is really on. And she, in my opinion, is even more dangerous than the previous one. But Russia can destroy the United States in only one way – if it wants to end the world history with mass suicide)))

I propose to end the conversations that are not related to the topic stated in the title.

Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2019 10:06 a.m. PST

Perhaps a better perspective is to look to the history of a people rather than a nation? That history neither started nor ends in the 20th century and whilst I understand the keenly felt resentment toward the former Soviet Union (Russian peoples) they were not the only but simply the last group to persecute the Poles. German peoples, the Russians before the Soviets and even the French under Napoleon strung them along, manipulated and used them. On balance, the peoples all over the world have done this forever – something wrong with the species as a whole. Keep your fire burning by all means – you have my sincerest sympathies but it is but one crime in the midst of many.

Legion 418 Sep 2019 12:07 p.m. PST

But Russia can destroy the United States in only one way – if it wants to end the world history with mass suicide)))
That is true … but we all know that no one wins that way. And yes we know wanting to and actually having the ability to do that are too sides of the same coin.

However the Russians can make things very difficult for the US and our allies. It has, it is and will probably do so in the future. That being said. Geopolitics and "Realpolitik" are a constant.

I will freely admit being an old former Cold War Warrior, '79-'90. In the US ARMY Infantry, I may be a little biased.

Telamon18 Sep 2019 12:29 p.m. PST

A personal matter, how do you feel about the joint invasion of Great Britain and the USSR in Iraq in 1941? Should Britain be condemned as an aggressor? Was the British attack on the French fleet an aggression? Do not look for simple answers to difficult questions))) "

1. IraN.
2. Britain & USRR – Yes
3. Yes. Just like the attack on Dakar (Operation Menance), Syria (Operation Exporter), Madagascar (Operation Ironclad) …

oldnorthstate18 Sep 2019 4:49 p.m. PST

I understand why Private Matters wants to differentiate between Communism and Socialism, but it is a false distinction without a difference. Socialism is simply the entry drug that leads towards Communism. They both promote state control over the economy and ultimately peoples lives, all under the rubric of solving seemingly intractable problems like the disparity of income, poverty, etc. Just listening to the American Democratic socialists and the Labor Party in England is chilling.

And let's not forget while Stalin was a Communist, Hitler was a National Socialist…not much distinction between the two. And do not forget that while Hitler was responsible for 12 or so million dead in the Holocaust, Stalin is credited with 30 million dead, between his purges and the starvation of the Ukraine. But they all pale in comparison to Mao, another socialist/communist.

USAFpilot18 Sep 2019 8:24 p.m. PST

Don't forget the Katyn Forest Massacre where the Soviets executed thousands of Polish officers.

Zephyr118 Sep 2019 8:58 p.m. PST

Pretty sure it was more of a USSR frontal stab of Poland than a backstab.

And I for one do not care to live in the world of a John Lennon song… ;-)

Cuprum218 Sep 2019 9:30 p.m. PST

Atlant. Oh yeah. Of course Iran)))

oldnorthstate, the differences are just absolute. They are ideological antagonists))) But the methods – they really have similarities.

Decebalus19 Sep 2019 2:14 a.m. PST

Can you explain to me, how do you justify military planing in Poland against Germany before Munich? From the view of today, it would have stopped Hitler, at the time it would have been simply an agression and against the Kellog-Briand pact!? (That someone will be in the future a mass murderer is obviously a weak argument, because everyone can say that.)

Do you know, that Neo-Nazis in Germany use the same argument to justify the war, that Poland planed agression against Germany before?

Fred Cartwright19 Sep 2019 5:24 a.m. PST

Do you know what McCarthyism is?

Yes I am aware of McCarthyism, but I am not American so will leave it to others to give a fuller account, but my understanding is that no one was locked up in a Gulag as a result of that.
I am British and while we had our own "reds under the bed" scares they turned out to be real. No doubt you have heard of the "Cambridge Five" spy ring which gave many valuable secrets to the Soviets.

A personal matter, how do you feel about the joint invasion of Great Britain and the USSR in Iraq in 1941? Should Britain be condemned as an aggressor? Was the British attack on the French fleet an aggression?

I think you mean Iran not Iraq! Yes it was an act of aggression, but at the time Britain was involved in a desperate war and desperate times call for difficult decisions. As for the attack on the French fleet you have to remember that the French had already signed an armistice with the Germans something both countries agreed would not happen, so they had already broken their word. It always puzzles me too why the French Admiral did not take his fleet to a neutral port, something the British offered as a solution and something his orders specifically permitted. But tell me what desperate war was the Soviet Union engaged in when they invaded Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Poland etc? What desperate fight for survival made such actions necessary? You try to make moral equivalences for things that are quite different!

Cuprum219 Sep 2019 7:08 p.m. PST

I correctly understood that you justified the persecution of people for their political convictions, without any real crimes on their part?

The French violated the agreement? OK. But who attacked whom? Or maybe the French entered into a military alliance with Hitler? But maybe, nevertheless, the British were guided by common sense and military necessity, neglecting conventions?

Desperate times, difficult decisions …

Apparently the USSR should have hoped that the impending war (I think then few real politicians doubted that it would be) would bypass it))) Finland had constant conflicts with Soviet Russia, had territorial claims against the USSR, and repeatedly invaded Russian territory in the 20s. That is, it was a hostile state and a very likely ally of Nazi Germany. The Finnish border passed 25 kilometers from Leningrad, the largest industrial and military center of the USSR in the Baltic, the main base of the Soviet Baltic fleet. This, in the context of the impending war, posed a great threat to the USSR. The territory of the city could be fired from cannons directly from Finland. In the event of a possible attack on the city, the probability of its loss was extremely high. Naturally, this was extremely worrying for the leadership of the USSR. The Finnish government was offered to solve this issue by exchanging territories, but it refused. Desperate times, difficult decisions …

Also in the coming war, all small countries, including the Baltic ones, could not remain neutral. What do you know about the Selter-Ribbentrop and Muthers-Ribbentrop Pacts, which were concluded in Berlin on June 7, 1939? Especially about their secret protocols?

Those territories of Poland that the USSR occupied in 1939, Poland occupied in 1921))) Have you heard anything about the "Curzon line"? The border went a little different in 1921. This was decided by military force. Why was it impossible to replay the situation in 1939? Moreover, if the Soviets had not come there, these territories were definitely occupied by Hitler. There are simply no other options. And why was this situation then even welcomed by London?

By the way, the USSR faced the prospect of a war on two fronts – in Europe against the Nazi coalition, and in the Far East – against Japan. And clashes with the Japanese have already occurred on a fairly large scale. Desperate times, difficult decisions…

Cuprum219 Sep 2019 7:21 p.m. PST

Let's give the floor to Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. I think he understood the situation that existed in the world much better, and our current "after knowledge" did not introduce any distortions into his views:

Although the Russians were guilty of the grossest bad faith in the recent negotiations, their demand, made by Marshal Voroshilov that Russian armies should occupy Vilna and Lemberg if they were to be allies of Poland, was a perfectly valid military request. It was rejected by Poland on grounds which, though natural, can now be seen to have been insufficient. In the result Russia has occupied the same line and positions as the enemy of Poland, which possibly she might have occupied as a very doubtful and suspected friend. The difference in fact is not so great as might seem. The Russians have mobilized very large forces and have shown themselves able to advance fast and far from their pre-war positions. They are now limitrophe with Germany, and it is quite impossible for Germany to denude the Eastern Front. A large German army must be left to watch it. I see General Gamelin puts it at least twenty divisions. It may well be twenty-five or more. An Eastern Front is, therefore, potentially in existence.

What is the second event of this first month? It is, of course, the assertion of the power of Russia. Russia has pursued a cold policy of self-interest. We could have wished that the Russian armies should be standing on their present lines as the friends of the allies in Poland, instead of as invaders.
 But that the Russian armies should stand on this line was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace.
 When Herr von Ribbentropp was summoned to Moscow last week it was to learn the fact, and to accept the fact, that the Nazi designs upon the Baltic States and upon the Ukraine must come to a dead stop.

Triple Community of Interests

 I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.
 It cannot be in accordance with the interest or safety of Russia that Nazi Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that is should overrun the Balkan States and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of south-eastern Europe. That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia. But in this quarter of the world, the South East of Europe, these interests of Russia fall into the same channel as the interests of Britain and France. None of these three Powers can afford to see Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and above all, Turkey, put under the German heel.
 Through the fog of confusion and uncertainty we may discern quite plainly the community of interests which exist between England, France and Russia to prevent Germany carrying the flames of war into the Balkans or Turkey.

And a little more about the "Hyena of Europe")))

Fred Cartwright19 Sep 2019 10:48 p.m. PST

I correctly understood that you justified the persecution of people for their political convictions, without any real crimes on their part?

Not at all, I suggested that the persecution was on a completely different scale to that instituted by the Soviets and not just against political activists, but against those with religious convictions too. But I am not American, so will defer to a native of that country to discuss the issues around McCarthyism.

Let's give the floor to Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. I think he understood the situation that existed in the world much better, and our current "after knowledge" did not introduce any distortions into his views:

Winston's words sound much more like a pragmatic acceptance of the situation as it was in late ‘39 rather than a ringing endorsement of Russian aggressions!

But maybe, nevertheless, the British were guided by common sense and military necessity, neglecting conventions?

The British asked the French to put their fleet out of reach of the Germans, not an unreasonable request and one permitted by the commanders orders. Why he chose not do so remains a mystery to me. In Alexandria it was all settled without a shot being fired.

If the Russians were preparing for a coming war with Germany why were they helping the Germans with so much? And your analogies are quite different with the situation in 1941 facing the British in Iran. An equivalent would have been Britain and France invading Holland and Belgium in 1938 to secure the border with Germany.

Cuprum220 Sep 2019 12:27 a.m. PST

Let us leave McCarthyism – I am not going to justify the repressions against people whose fault has not been proved in court. This is an absolute crime. In any country, including the USSR. But this happened not only in the USSR – and this is a fact. We are not talking about the scale and form. Where there was a civil war, similar to the Russian one, there were also cruel repressions (for example, Spain and Finland).

Of course not approval. But an undoubted understanding of the reasons that guided the USSR. Note that we are not yet allies and there are no agreements and obligations between us. And what happens, Churchill considers it right and useful for the fight against the Nazis.

The French decision is their decision. They were in their own right.

Did the USSR render the Germans much help?The USSR helped itself. We needed technology and equipment. The West refused to provide them to us. We had to buy them from a future enemy, in exchange for raw materials. I think this is a good deal. This equipment and these technologies helped destroy Hitler.

It is a pity that the French and English did not do this in 1938. It is very likely that this would save millions of lives. Including the lives of the same Dutch and Belgians … However, Hitler could be stopped even on the threshold of Czechoslovakia.

Fred Cartwright20 Sep 2019 2:34 a.m. PST

Did the USSR render the Germans much help?

My understanding is yes. They were assisting the Germans in tank development when they were still outwardly bound by treaty strictures and with out the raw materials, particularly oil the Germans could not have prosecuted the early part of the war in the way they did. Even with the oil they were still constrained by available stocks.

Did the Soviets benefit much from German technology? The 2 commonest ranks in service in 1941 were based on British and US designs!
Did attacking Finland provide mire security? My understanding is it firmly pushed the Finns into the German camp and without it there would have been no war between Finns and Soviets in 1941. My understanding is there had been no conflict between the 2 countries for 15 years or more.

Churchill considers it right and useful for the fight against the Nazis.

Churchill considers it useful, but not right. Not that it proved so, of course, as the Soviets did nothing to help the western allies in 1940, but then they had already made their deal with the devil.

Barin120 Sep 2019 3:57 a.m. PST

Ah, we're regularly on this subject…at least once in 2-3 years I guess.

We're often looking at something happening years ago with our current morale set, adn that's why we can't fullu understand the decisions made even 80 years ago, not talking about smth that happened several centuries into the past.

Both UK and France from their side and USSR saw Hitler as a threat. I guess with USSR it happened after elimination of German communist party by the fascists as well as some Hitler books and speeches in which he very clearly saw no space for Slavs in the future apart of slave labour.
Western powers understood, that Germany is definitely building up for revenge.
Both sides more or less undertsood that the fight with Germany (and may be Italy, too) is inevitable. Still, all German land grabs starting from Austria were approved, or, lets's say, not condemned too much and went without serious economic consequences to Hitler.
The West preferred that Hitler will first start eliminating Jewish communist conspiracy in Russia, while Stalin wanted to point Hitler in Western direction.

After Molotov-Ribbentrop pact Germany even invited Soviet specialists to their airplanes and tanks factories and allowed purchasing models of their actual equipment. Of course, hoping that USSR will not have enough time to make a use of the knowledge – but it is still a fact. Very good description of this visit in A.Yakovlev's book.

Russia/USSR and Poland have a lot of bad blood in our relationship. The first time Polish troops tried to change a ruler of Kiev I think was in 9th or 10th century. We were natural rivals (with Tartar, Turks, and Lithuanians in the mix) for ruling a huge territory. I was trying to recall when we were one side of the fight in any wars, and I could only remember Peter the First and August the Strong fighting Karl XII (and his Polish marionette).
Poland was on the rise up to 17th century, culminating in capturing of Moscow by Poles (and Vienna miracle). After this Poland own problems and strong agresssive neighbours put an end to the dream of Poland from Baltic to Black Sea.
We've never trusted each other – even during Warsaw pact times – so I'd also say that what happened in 1939 wasn't backstabbing, it was another page in the rivalry.

At certain point in my life I was travelling to Poland, and working with Poles a lot. Four times I was walking in Warsaw near Vistula with four different companions – some older than me, some younger – and at certian point all of them were talking about Warsaw uprising and how we have betrayed them. I was on pretty good terms with most of them, but they still thought they should tell me this.
1944 is another story (we also discussed it here several times) but you get the idea.
When I was an active WHFB player I had some heated discussions with some Polish guys on the forums about WWII..and as GW had Eastern Europe tourneys, I've played in Warsaw a number of times with my opponents, we've enjoyed the matches and beers after.
I even got player's choice for my army (but it also happened because of rivalry between Polish players from different regions – they've voted for me bcs. they didn't want to vote for their local rivals).
So…very complicated history, bitterness to each other in the blood, but we can be friends, at least on personal level once we know each other…

Cuprum220 Sep 2019 4:03 a.m. PST

Well, who is to blame for the fact that the USSR was under sanctions for almost its entire history? Germany was the first, and for a long time, the only one of the developed countries that cooperated with the USSR in the military and technological sphere. The Germans did have military schools, design bureaus, and factories (including military ones) in the USSR. And everywhere they worked together with Russian specialists who adopted the German experience.
After 1933, after Hitler came to power, these relations were broken. But the factories built by the Germans remained))) How remained, for example, in the Soviet Navy submarines and ships developed with their help. And what else was the USSR supposed to do? He was left with no choice.

From 1939 to 1941, the Soviet Union received from Germany (according to German data) 6430 of the latest metalworking machines, 35 of the latest aircraft, samples and technological documentation for aircraft propellers, piston rings for aircraft, aircraft instruments, oxygen systems for flights at high altitudes, aerial cameras , direction finders, radio stations, batteries, test benches, bomb sights, aerial bomb samples. Samples of the latest heavy, anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery guns, various devices for controlling artillery fire, a medium tank, half-tracked tractors, diesel engines. Equipment for chemical laboratories and troops, chemical protection suits. Refractory, anti-corrosion and special ship paints, synthetic rubber samples. Equipment for oil refining and mining industry. 87 excavators. Three cargo-passenger ships, a tanker. And much more … Was it worth the USSR to go for an exchange with the Germans? I think so.

The attack on Finland, quite possibly, was a mistake. But we know that now. No one could then predict the development of events in advance. We are now easy to say what was true and what is not.

I do not claim that the USSR was impeccable. I affirm that he acted quite rationally, proceeding from national interests before the inevitable world war and in the conditions in which he was.

shthar07 Oct 2019 11:34 a.m. PST

Be interesting what happens when Poland decides they want it back.

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