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  • A question?

    I am not a scholar but I am interested in history and I don't know the answer to this question. Why did England and France not declare war on the Soviet Union as well as Germany for the invasion of Poland?
    I know I should probably read the info available on this but I just don't have the time sorry.

  • #2
    The British and French declared war on Germany on September 3rd while the Soviets didn't launch their attack until September 17th. The Allies really didn't want to risk Germany and the USSR allying against them.
    "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Brumbear View Post
      I am not a scholar but I am interested in history and I don't know the answer to this question. Why did England and France not declare war on the Soviet Union as well as Germany for the invasion of Poland?
      I know I should probably read the info available on this but I just don't have the time sorry.
      Nice Thread!
      Here's a question, if the Allies did declare war on the SU on the 17th would Hitler have allied with Stalin?

      Would his feverish prejudices allow him to ally with the Slavic peoples and with all their Jews?

      I don't see the Allies winning this war, on land anyway. They might be able to keep the Germans and the Soviet armies on the continent via their navies but that only goes so far.

      Debate in the making?

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      • #4
        I would agree.... Hitler would not have sided with the communists.

        Originally posted by 45Colt View Post
        Nice Thread!
        Here's a question, if the Allies did declare war on the SU on the 17th would Hitler have allied with Stalin?

        Would his feverish prejudices allow him to ally with the Slavic peoples and with all their Jews?

        I don't see the Allies winning this war, on land anyway. They might be able to keep the Germans and the Soviet armies on the continent via their navies but that only goes so far.

        Debate in the making?
        My worst jump story:
        My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
        As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
        No lie.

        ~
        "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
        -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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        • #5
          The partition of Poland between Germany and the SU was a secret part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and so the western powers had no idea until the SU actually invaded Eastern Poland. France and Britain were a little smarter than Germany not declaring war on the SU. It would have been more possible that the SU declared war on the western powers, mainly because of Stalin's paranoia and hate for capitalism (for example, in the early hours of Germany's attack on the SU, Stalin thought that the news of Hitler's invasion were rumours spread by the British to induce panic in the SU)
          Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas.

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          • #6
            But he did in Poland no? He broke the non aggression pact but they didn't know that would happen or did they? I have read a little on the subject that Stalin did not believe the Germans would attack the Soviets at all I believe the book was called Stalins Folley or something like that it was an older book so I don't even know if it was reputable.
            So maybe there was a back door deal in place and sly Stalin was waiting to see what happened conspiracy theory I know but it fits. It would have given the Soviets breathing room to build there military to a possible attack on a weakened Germany?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Brumbear View Post
              But he did in Poland no? He broke the non aggression pact but they didn't know that would happen or did they? I have read a little on the subject that Stalin did not believe the Germans would attack the Soviets at all I believe the book was called Stalins Folley or something like that it was an older book so I don't even know if it was reputable.
              So maybe there was a back door deal in place and sly Stalin was waiting to see what happened conspiracy theory I know but it fits. It would have given the Soviets breathing room to build there military to a possible attack on a weakened Germany?
              Didn't Stalin hide from public appearances for about two weeks after Barbarossa started? He was ashamed or something, or just couldn't believe it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Brumbear View Post
                would have given the Soviets breathing room to build there military to a possible attack on a weakened Germany?

                I don't know what to say about that, mainly because no one ever knew what Stalin's ideas really were. He trusted Hitler prior to 22nd of june 1941(or seemed to) and, as you said, refused to believe that Germany would attack the SU. So I don't think he would have wanted to attack Germany (maybe he wanted to impose a communist government or something). Anyway, I can't think what kind of war would have emerged if the SU fought the Allies.
                Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas.

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                • #9
                  The British gaurantee to Poland was quite specific. It said they would declare war if GERMANY invaded Poland. It was aimed at thwarting German expansion rather than protecting Poland. Even when given it was realised (in Britian) that any help they could give to Poland would be long term and thus the ultimate defeat of Germany was the aim. It was never an option that Britian would immediately attack Germany. Once The Soviets invaded it was obvious that Britian would be powerless to eventualy 'free' Poland. Realism kicked in!
                  To all those who cry 'betrayal' please explain how Britian could force the Soviets out in 1945?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brumbear View Post
                    I am not a scholar but I am interested in history and I don't know the answer to this question. Why did England and France not declare war on the Soviet Union as well as Germany for the invasion of Poland?
                    I know I should probably read the info available on this but I just don't have the time sorry.
                    VERY SIMPLE :there was a promise for a declaration of war if Germany attacked.
                    :there was nothing if the SU attacked

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                    • #11
                      The French attitude had something to do with this as well. The French leader Renaud was a bit more pragmatic towards the USSR than many of his peers in the French government, and than Chamberlain who was a firm anti communist. Renaud had attempted to bring the USSR into a anti German alliance in the winter /spring of 1939. Lack of support from within the French government and mutual Brit/Soviet antagonism caused the negotiations to fail. At that point Stalin changed forigen ministers and tried for a agreement of some sort with Germany.

                      Renaud still saw a agreement with the USSR as a important part of a sucessfull long term Allied strategy vs Germany. Even if the USSR did not eventually set to war against Germany it would have been to French benefit if the USSR reduced trade with Germany and cheated on the various agreements of the German/Soviet treaty. Declaring war on the USSR in September 1939 would make Renauds strategy that much more difficult.

                      In that sense seeing the USSR taking half or Poland was to the Allied advantage since it meant Germany was denied any benefit of possesing that territory.

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                      • #12
                        i could had that France and Britain had not so much power, not so much will. In fact, not so much nothing.
                        So they played slow game since 1936 (spain,austria...).
                        They have been so slow (and heavy) that a bunch of Panzers is passed by the back door in Sedan in three days.

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                        • #13
                          ...add...

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                          • #14
                            there is also an other (practical) point):if Britain and France had declared war on the SU,what was the benefit for Poland ?It would only had been a high-minded declaration .
                            When the SU occupied the Baltic States and attacked Finland ,there also was no declaration of war .

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                            • #15
                              France and England didn't declare war on the USSR because they never intended to fight a war with anyone, at least for as long as the time allowed them to put their war industries into high gear. The "declaration of war" on Germany after the invasion of Poland were an empty gesture designed to encourage the Poles into taking an uncompromising stance against Germany. The Poles, clinging to every bit of hope, would become encouraged by the British/French "declaration" and would bleed white fighting German tanks, buying time for England to build more Spitfire fighters.

                              The Soviet intervention introduced nothing new to the farce.

                              "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                              --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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