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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The plausible "what if's" of military history.

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  #1  
Old 12 Sep 17, 06:00
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Poland not invaded

Instead of planning the invasion of Poland after Munich Germany enters into a secret anti Soviet pact with the Polish government (not impossible Poland was deeply suspicious of Stalin and the Polish government was very right wing and simpatico with Germany in a number of areas (for example they had openly supported the Nationalists in Spain) as well as with Romania and Hungary. Barbarossa is then launched in 1940.

In such circumstances would Western Europe have rushed to Stalin's aid? I very much doubt it. There was no treaty obligation. Given that Britain and France had been on the verge of going to war over the USSR's invasion of Finland there was no real love lost there and both governments would probably have stayed neutral. Germany's trade would remain untouched and she would not have to spare troops for other fronts or occupied territories.
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  #2  
Old 12 Sep 17, 08:24
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There is the Rudolph Hess theory, still very popular here in certain circles,

as the story goes - before launching the campaign against Russia, but after defeating the Western Allies, short of Britain, Hitler sent Hess to Britain to negotiate an Anti-Soviet alliance even going as far as to propose to withdraw from France/Belgium/Holland in return.

Churchill refuses, and any evidence for such a proposal is buried at Spandau, decades later.

Nothing to do with not invading Poland though - Hitler had to invade something and I doubt the Poles - being allied to France and Britain - would shift from one alliance to the other alone, a simple calculation of odds would argue against it.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 08:59
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Lets say...Hitler sweetens the pot for Beck by allowing Danzig to remain a free city and Poland retains rights to it which keeps their main trading route to the world open. Beck allows German rights to establish an expanded rail and highway link to East Prussia as well as Pomerania in exchange for future territory to the East. Poland is now a German Ally.

So a Wehrmacht unbloodied by the Polish campaign, Norway, Denmark, France and the low countries and the BoB is prepared to invade the SU with an enhanced Polish Army and perhaps the Romanians?
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Old 12 Sep 17, 09:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Instead of planning the invasion of Poland after Munich Germany enters into a secret anti Soviet pact with the Polish government (not impossible Poland was deeply suspicious of Stalin and the Polish government was very right wing and simpatico with Germany in a number of areas (for example they had openly supported the Nationalists in Spain) as well as with Romania and Hungary. Barbarossa is then launched in 1940.

In such circumstances would Western Europe have rushed to Stalin's aid? I very much doubt it. There was no treaty obligation. Given that Britain and France had been on the verge of going to war over the USSR's invasion of Finland there was no real love lost there and both governments would probably have stayed neutral. Germany's trade would remain untouched and she would not have to spare troops for other fronts or occupied territories.
You really think Polish right wing govt will allow Wehrmacht be stationed in Poland so they can launch a invasion of russia ?

And what motivation would germans have to capture Minsk and Vilnus if Danzig and huge parts of old prussia still remained polish ?

Given the mutual suspicison and hostility of germans and poles how would they hinder or help each other ? esp in term of logistics and spoils of war
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Old 12 Sep 17, 09:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastle View Post
You really think Polish right wing govt will allow Wehrmacht be stationed in Poland so they can launch a invasion of russia ?

And what motivation would germans have to capture Minsk and Vilnus if Danzig and huge parts of old prussia still remained polish ?

Given the mutual suspicison and hostility of germans and poles how would they hinder or help each other ? esp in term of logistics and spoils of war
The Poles have a greater suspicion and hostility to the Russians, so it actually makes sense in the context of Poland picking one of the powers to ally to rather than be destroyed by one or both.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 10:52
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The Poles have a greater suspicion and hostility to the Russians, so it actually makes sense in the context of Poland picking one of the powers to ally to rather than be destroyed by one or both.
was this ever seriously considered by the poles ?

And what about the germans why would they kill themselves so poland can absorb lithuania and other parts of russia ?
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Old 12 Sep 17, 10:54
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So a Wehrmacht unbloodied by the Polish campaign, Norway, Denmark, France and the low countries and the BoB is prepared to invade the SU with an enhanced Polish Army and perhaps the Romanians?
is the military capacity of wehrmacht in 1940 such OTL that they can invade USSR?
And what happens when poland allows germany to roll 100 divisions across its plains to get to its eastern order ?
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Old 12 Sep 17, 11:41
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Originally Posted by nastle View Post
is the military capacity of wehrmacht in 1940 such OTL that they can invade USSR?
And what happens when poland allows germany to roll 100 divisions across its plains to get to its eastern order ?
Well it would be much higher given that Germany would have had no war to fight before then and so no losses from a Polish and Western European campaign to replace, just time to build it up - and conversely the USSR would probably be weaker than it was in 1941

And I don't suppose they would have rolled across Poland. Poland had a perfectly good railway system running up to the Eastern border

Of course once the USSR had been defeated Poland might well find itself wondering how to get off the tiger it had gone for a ride on.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 12:18
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Well it would be much higher given that Germany would have had no war to fight before then and so no losses from a Polish and Western European campaign to replace, just time to build it up - and conversely the USSR would probably be weaker than it was in 1941

And I don't suppose they would have rolled across Poland. Poland had a perfectly good railway system running up to the Eastern border

Of course once the USSR had been defeated Poland might well find itself wondering how to get off the tiger it had gone for a ride on.

But the germans would lack the resources of western europe it captured in 1940 plus be heavily dependent on the poles to safeguard their rear
It would make any general nervous , esp given the poor relations with Poland in the aftermath of WW1.

If I was advising the German leaders I would tell them not to trust the poles, they intend to use german manpower to expand their territorial gains eastwards and they can always turn on the bulk of the exhausted Wehrmacht after cutting it off from its supplies.Or worse still march on Berlin while the bulk of german army is locked in a life or death struggle with the soviets.

I could see another scenario happening, germans encouraging a second polish-bolshevik war in 1939 and cautiously backing the poles hoping to get on the french and british good side
it will serve 3 purposes
1-weaken the soviets
2-weaken the poles
3-Produce a second red scare in europe and western allies would overlook the evils of fascists for the time being to concentrate on defeating the soviets.
Bismarck would have probably done something similar

second best solution for germans is the OTL molotov ribbentrop back

The scenario you suggest is ideal for poland but only if germans are willing to trust the poles as allies which is highly unlikely

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Old 12 Sep 17, 12:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastle View Post
But the germans would lack the resources of western europe it captured in 1940 plus be heavily dependent on the poles to safeguard their rear
It would make any general nervous , esp given the poor relations with Poland in the aftermath of WW1.

If I was advising the German leaders I would tell them not to trust the poles, they intend to use german manpower to expand their territorial gains eastwards and they can always turn on the bulk of the exhausted Wehrmacht after cutting it off from its supplies.Or worse still march on Berlin while the bulk of german army is locked in a life or death struggle with the soviets.

I could see another scenario happening, germans encouraging a second polish-bolshevik war in 1939 and cautiously backing the poles hoping to get on the french and british good side
it will serve 3 purposes
1-weaken the soviets
2-weaken the poles
3-Produce a second red scare in europe and western allies would overlook the evils of fascists for the time being to concentrate on defeating the soviets.
Bismarck would have probably done something similar

second best solution for germans is the OTL molotov ribbentrop back

The scenario you suggest is ideal for poland but only if germans are willing to trust the poles as allies which is highly unlikely
And from whom would they need their rear protected pray?

Most of the captured Western resources were used to replace the supplies cut off by the British blockade which would not exist in this scenario. Germany would have been free to trade and the DM would be higher, they wouldn't be dependent on Swiss bankers for FX. In terms of military preparedness Czechslovakia was more important and they had Skoda etc etc.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 13:29
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The trouble is that Hitler had a typically German attitude to Poland - that it shouldn't exist. Danzig and the Polish Corridor were also anathema to German thought (it wasn't that long ago that a Russian general blamed Poland for refusing Germany's, "Reasonable demand," of the return of Danzig - completely ignoring the fact that as a league of Nations Free Port, it was neither Germany's to demand, nor Poland's to give).

To prevent the invasion of Poland would've demanded a clear-eyed pragmatism which Hitler (definitely) and the Polish leadership (possibly) did not have.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 13:44
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Poland always tried to maintain a status quo between USSR and Germany. Siding with Germany would end his alliance with France and Britain. Poland wouldn't take this risk.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 13:51
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The trouble is that Hitler had a typically German attitude to Poland - that it shouldn't exist. Danzig and the Polish Corridor were also anathema to German thought (it wasn't that long ago that a Russian general blamed Poland for refusing Germany's, "Reasonable demand," of the return of Danzig - completely ignoring the fact that as a league of Nations Free Port, it was neither Germany's to demand, nor Poland's to give).

To prevent the invasion of Poland would've demanded a clear-eyed pragmatism which Hitler (definitely) and the Polish leadership (possibly) did not have.
History didn't start in 1920..

A league of Nations Free port? It was not for other nations to take a German port/city, and declare it a free port in the first place, anymore it was for England and France to take German land and give it to a, by them, newly resurrected Poland after WWI either.

They created this damn mess. The treaty of Versailles was a disaster.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 13:53
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was this ever seriously considered by the poles ?

And what about the germans why would they kill themselves so poland can absorb lithuania and other parts of russia ?
"Poland was almost certainly the most disliked and her Foreign Minister the most distrusted. Poland's pursuit of an independent line left her bereft of any close friends by the end of 1938. The Western powers saw Poland as a greedy revisionist power, illiberal, anti-Semitic, pro-German; Beck was a 'menace', arrogant and treacherous"
-per Richard Overy

With the proper concessions on both sides, Poland aligning itself with Germany in the short term was possible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zef_Beck
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Old 12 Sep 17, 14:07
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Originally Posted by walle View Post
History didn't start in 1920..

A league of Nations Free port? It was not for other nations to take a German port/city, and declare it a free port in the first place, anymore it was for England and France to take German land and give it to a, by them, newly resurrected Poland after WWI either.

They created this damn mess. The treaty of Versailles was a disaster.
Of course it didn't.

In the late 18th century, Prussia, The Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia brutally carved up Poland between them.

In 1918, with Germany (successor to Prussia) defeated, Russia in the throes of the revolution, and the Empire rapidly collapsing, the Poles took their country back. While you're right about Versailles, the Poles' legitimate demands for a seaport - and access to international trade - made a city that had changed hands several times (Danzig/Gdansk) the obvious candidate.

Territory usually changes hands after wars (look at the carving-up of Europe after Napoleon), with the victors dictating who has the right to what.

Of course, the Poles had never been in any danger of being nice, but that's not the point.
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