17 september 1939 - Page 4




 
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May 14th, 2010  
LeEnfield
 
 
Jeff.....I always thought that Britain went to war with Germany for invading Poland
May 14th, 2010  
Naddošur
 
 

Topic: Why did Stalin become an ally with Hitler


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Simmons
I don't know if any single individual was "shameful" when it came to the division of Poland. I would imagine that much of the blame lies with Hitler, but this lies outside my area of expertise (WWI). I would greatly appreciate it if someone might take a few minutes to explain to me exactly what agreement was made between Hitler and Stalin and how they carried it out (I know the German action.) What, precisely, was Stalin's role in this, and did he gain more than just buffer space between his own troops and the Nazis?

BTW, what is a "pom" or "Pommy?" I've come across that in a few places (usually with a negative connotation). Let me know on this, too.
In August 1939, on the very eve of the Second World War, the totalitarian governments of Germany and the Soviet Union did something that ought to have been unthinkable: they became allies. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, also known more formally as the German-Soviet Treaty of Non-Aggression, arranged the carving up of the country of Poland, and regulated peace between Germany and Russia until the Nazis broke its terms and invaded Russia on June 22, 1941.

- Unlikely Allies? -

On the one hand, the two countries made unlikely allies. Hitler was a fervent anti-communist (one of his several saving graces in the eyes of many Western leaders prior to the events of 1938 and 1939). Although he relied on their support in the legislative assembly, the Reichstag, when he came to power in 1933, official Nazi policy claimed that there was a conspiracy between Jews and Communists (often referred to as the "Jewish-Bolshevist conspiracy") to undermine German power, and that this Communist-Jewish plot had already caused Germany to lose the First World War.

On the other side of Poland, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin was no less ideologically predisposed toward Nazi fascism. Despite the fact that the Nazis did formally call their ideology "national socialism," they relied on alliances with sympathetic capitalists and factory owners - the sort of ties denounced by Stalin. One of the few things the two dictators agreed on, tragically, was their anti-Semitism. Jewish people were systematically oppressed in the Soviet Union under Stalin, as well as Nazi Germany under Hitler.

- Reasons for "Peace" -

Nevertheless, in 1939 there were strong reasons for Stalin to seek an alliance of convenience with Hitler. Stalin was paranoid not only of internal plots (which he attempted to suppress in the 1930s through the massacre and mass imprisonment of millions of his own citizens), but external invasions arranged by capitalists. It was not a completely irrational fear: after all, American, British, Japanese, and Canadian forces had invaded Russia during the Russian Revolution in an attempt to put down the communists and restore their ally, Tsar Nicholas II, to power. It was, however, an exaggerated fear. There is no evidence whatsoever that any Western power except Germany itself planned on mounting a new invasion of Russia at any time during the 1930s.

For the Soviets, however, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was appealing for several reasons. First, it gave them an important source of quasi-military aid. Under the Pact, the Soviets exported raw materials and metals west into Germany, and received relatively advanced (though not state-of-the-art) German military technology in return. This was a key source of new arms for a Red Army which lay in organizational shambles following the execution of most of its general staff during the purges of the 1930s.

In addition, the Pact seemed to offer to Stalin what he had been seeking since coming to power in the 1920s: security from foreign invasion. The Pact divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of responsibility, with each side agreeing to allow the other more or less free reign to invade, occupy, and set up puppet governments in countries within each country's sphere of influence. (This, for example, gave the Soviets Germany's blessing in the suppression of the Baltic States, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.) Crucially for World War II, it also made arrangements to divide Poland between the two countries.

- Significance -

A week after the Pact was signed, German forces followed through on the terms of the agreement by invading and annexing western Poland. Germany and France declared war, sparking the beginning of the Second World War. The Soviets waited several judicious weeks before invading and occupying their side of Poland. It was, by most accounts, a brutal and criminal affair, including the massacre of thousands of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. However, because it came later, it did not attract the same condemnation of the West as Germany's invasion did.

Ultimately, the "alliance" between Stalin and Hitler was one of convenience, not of principle. For this reason, Hitler intended to betray it more or less from the outset. Stalin, in a strange and appalling misjudgment, believed the alliance would continue nevertheless for many years. The result was that when German forces crossed the frontier into the Soviet Union in June 1941, Stalin was completely taken aback. Ironically, in retrospect, it would have been better for Germany had he kept his alliance with Stalin intact. The invasion of Russia was a disaster for the German army, which was badly weakened by the time it was forced to turn to Western Europe and confront Allied forces streaming into France in 1944.
May 14th, 2010  
Naddošur
 
 

Topic: "pommy" Australian slang term for attacks on the English


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Simmons
I don't know if any single individual was "shameful" when it came to the division of Poland. I would imagine that much of the blame lies with Hitler, but this lies outside my area of expertise (WWI). I would greatly appreciate it if someone might take a few minutes to explain to me exactly what agreement was made between Hitler and Stalin and how they carried it out (I know the German action.) What, precisely, was Stalin's role in this, and did he gain more than just buffer space between his own troops and the Nazis?

BTW, what is a "pom" or "Pommy?" I've come across that in a few places (usually with a negative connotation). Let me know on this, too.
The word 'pommy' derives from pomegranate. The English were called Limeys because they ate limes to ward off scurvy on the long sea voyage, but the pomegranate tag didn't originate that way. Pommy grant is likely to have originated as a form of rhyming slang for immigrant.

Popular myth has it that pom derives from the fact that many immigrants to Oz were British convicts who had been transported there. They supposedly arrived with POHM (Prisoner of Her Majesty) printed on their clothes. Like most phrases that are supposed to derive from acronyms, that notion is supported by no evidence whatsoever.

The terms pom and pommy began to be used in Australia just before WWI and the first known citations of it in print date from 1912 and 1913 respectively.
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May 14th, 2010  
Naddošur
 
 

Topic: Why did Stalin become an ally with Hitler 2


Prior to World War Two the soviet had had and still had many problems and one of their biggest threats was Germany. In the 30's the soviet union was in a week state Stalin's key objective was to ensure it did not become involved in any wars however Stalin knew that war with Germany was evitable. At the time there was another serious threat of war to Russia from Japan in the east after their refusal in 1932 to sign a non aggression pact with Russia, France, Poland, Finland and Estonia. Stalin was left with two choices ally with Britain and end up fighting Germany or ally with Germany and prepare for war against Germany.

In March 1939 Britain had guaranteed Poland's security, London along with France was seeking a military alliance with the Soviet Union. Stalin was very wary of this because he didn't want to be drawn into a war with Germany with the possibility of Britain and France being stood in the sidelines. Therefore at whatever the cost, it came to be seen as the sacred duty of all communists to do whatever necessary to ensure the survival of the socialist fatherland'. The Nazi-Soviet Non Aggression pact would allow Stalin to buy time to prepare themselves for the coming war by further industrialization, rearmament and military reorganization. A second part of the pact was an economic agreement which would help Russia prepare this was the exchange of Russian Food Products and raw materials in return for German manufactured goods and machinery.

In addition another reason for Stalin's decision was the reluctance of France and Britain to negotiate seriously with Russia. Stalin was insulted by Britain's slowness to negotiate and did not trust them. Stalin thought that Britain was delaying when they sent a group of officials (diplomats) to Leningrad to discuss terms for a pact however these officials could not make any decisions. Britain did not believe that Russia had any other choice but to ally with them. Stalin was very apprehensive and at the back of his mind believed that when the crucial moment came the western powers might choose to opt out and leave Russia on its own against Germany.

A secret protocol was also added into the pact which meant territorial gains for Russia. The arrangement was that Russia would occupy the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania and Poland would be split between the two. On the one hand Stalin was being offered what he hoped was peace which was needed to help restore Russia and on the other hand was territorial gains all for keeping out of the war which he had wanted all along.
May 15th, 2010  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Jeff.....I always thought that Britain went to war with Germany for invading Poland
Well that is theoretically true I guess but if Poland's freedom was the main allied concern why didn't Britain and France declare war on Russia for the same invasion while allied with Germany?
May 15th, 2010  
Shmack
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lljadw
Nope
1)The Germans attacked Poland with 1.5 million men
2)If the war with Poland was a grand war,how would you qualify the war with the West ? A mega-super-grand war ?
3)"it was absolutely clear that no power in Europoe could stand German agression " :this is totally ridiculous.
The French army was considered by every one as the best in the world.
The German army was numerically inferior to the West in may 1940;they had less:
tanks
aircraft
artillery
men
divisions
Qualitatively,their aircraft,tanks,artillery,men and divisions were not better than the Allied ones .
Last point:in 1939,the Wehrmacht was no danger for the SU.
No, i don't call polish-german war a 'grand war'. I'm just telling that by the time Hitler invaded Poland it was clear that Hitler was preparing for a war with at least France, Britain and Russia.

True, Wermacht attacked Poland with 1.2 million ground forces, 200 thousand air force, and 50 thousand navy. But that was approx. 1/3 of all their Army which was 3,214 thousand people by September, 1939.

As of May 1940, the Germans had fewer men on German-French border that France and its allies, but all in all they had 4 million army by that time. Also, i woudln't agree that qualitatively their aircraft were no better, for example Bf.109 or Junkers 87 bomber.
May 15th, 2010  
Jeff Simmons
 

Topic: thanks for the info


Thanks, Nadoour (forgive the spelling), for clearing that up for me. And Shmack...I guess I didn't make myself clear in referring to Hitler as preparing for a "grand war" when he invaded Poland. I was speaking in the general sense that Hitler knew a much greater conflict could arise via is actions and for that he was prepared.
May 15th, 2010  
Botak
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naddošur
The word 'pommy' derives from pomegranate. The English were called Limeys because they ate limes to ward off scurvy on the long sea voyage, but the pomegranate tag didn't originate that way. Pommy grant is likely to have originated as a form of rhyming slang for immigrant.

Popular myth has it that pom derives from the fact that many immigrants to Oz were British convicts who had been transported there. They supposedly arrived with POHM (Prisoner of Her Majesty) printed on their clothes. Like most phrases that are supposed to derive from acronyms, that notion is supported by no evidence whatsoever.

The terms pom and pommy began to be used in Australia just before WWI and the first known citations of it in print date from 1912 and 1913 respectively.
Credit where it's due, mate that's a pretty good analysis for someone living on the other side of the planet to Australia Nice work

Jeff - a slightly less academic definition...

"Pom" or "Pommy" is as previously mentioned a term, occasionally (not always) pejorative, used by an Australian to describe a person from the United Kingdom, but especially England (as opposed to Welsh, Scottish or Irish).

Naddošur has already gone into the etymology of the word, and quite accurately, I believe.

In terms of establishing context for it's common usage nowadays, whether or not it's a truly pejorative term or whether it's meant as more of a gentle insult denoting veiled affection is dependant largely upon context, usually represented by it's use an an adjective rather than a noun.

For example... "Pom" or "Pommy" by itself (and thus as a noun) is usually relatively neutral, and can even be affectionate - or as openly affectionate as Australians get without imbibing a considerable amount of alcohol first

"Pom" or "Pommy", followed by another obviously pejorative word such as "b@stard", "w@nker" or "c#nt" is an adjective, and obviously not a very nice thing to say.

I've used the word in the former sense plenty.... can't say I've had opportunity to use the word in the latter sense and I'm glad for the fact.
May 15th, 2010  
LeEnfield
 
 
Monty B....I think we had our hands full with Germany, let alone take on Russia as well, and we needed to fight the biggest threat first
May 21st, 2010  
Panzercracker
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lljadw
Nope
1)The Germans attacked Poland with 1.5 million men
2)If the war with Poland was a grand war,how would you qualify the war with the West ? A mega-super-grand war ?
.
What war in the West? The 1940 war was a minor skirmish compared to the 1939 invasion of Poland.

Poles engaged Germans in several particulary bloody battles such as Battle of Bzura where 250.000 Poles fought 400.000 Germans for two weeks, two battles of Tomaszów Lubelski where first 70.000 Poles fought against 140.000 Germans and in the second 130.000 Poles fought against 280.000 Germans.

Both battles lasted over 10 days.

Polish war was outside of SU and Ardennes offensive the face of some of the largest most bitterly contested battles of WW2 without comparison to the joke of a war in France or minor engagements in Italy and Africa.

Warsaw itself was being assaulted by over a quarter milion men and defended by over a hundred thousand for a month making it the largest urban engagement outside Russia.

Just because the West attempts to marginalize Polish efforts to hide the fact that Poland was sold, betrayed and was outside of Russian and USA the only country on the allied side that posed some sort of a military threat to Germany, doesnt mean it didnt.

Poles with their cavalry were able to stop and roll back the entire german front and engage Germans in a two week long battle that was larger than any outside Kursk while UK and France did what? No wonder you dont learn about Poland, that month long campaign puts combined western efforts to shame.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Monty B....I think we had our hands full with Germany, let alone take on Russia as well, and we needed to fight the biggest threat first
Given that UK declared war and did absolutely nothing saying Brits had their hands full is a bit of a joke no? Not a single soldier landed in Poland, no naval blockade happened, a token bombing run here and there, some leafleats and thats about it.

French were even better, having 200.000 unarmed militias against them they moved a few miles into Germany and stopped, then UK and France met at Abbeville and decided Poland is lost and helping it is pointless.

Then Poland launched a massive two week offensive at Bzura which broke the back of multiple German units and engaged Germany in the second or third largest battle in WW2 but the allies have decided.

UK and France did absolutely nothing, saying you had your hands full when your army didnt shoot a bullet and your govt sat their wasting their only chance to quickly end WW2 while Germans were destroying the only truly capable army (Poles) the Western allies had at their disposal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmack
.

True, Wermacht attacked Poland with 1.2 million ground forces, 200 thousand air force, and 50 thousand navy. But that was approx. 1/3 of all their Army which was 3,214 thousand people by September, 1939.
Wechrmatch attacked Poland with 1.7 milion men, 2800 tanks, 1012 armored cars and that constituted 90% of combat capable units, 100% first line units, fast divisions, second line units, 100% tanks and armored cars.

The western border was defended by 150.000 Landwehr units and approx 50.000 second line infantry units with a small portion of combat aircraft, less than 1/10th artillery complement, no tanks or armored cars.

In other words everything that went boom was fighting in Poland, approximately 600.000 personnel that you refer to were non-combatant, police and militia units in the Reich or members of other arms.