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What if...Russia invaded Poland before Germany?

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  • What if...Russia invaded Poland before Germany?

    We all know Stalin's forces followed Hitler into Poland as prescribed by the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. What if Hitler had asked Stalin to be the first one through the door? Would Britian and France send their war declarations to Moscow instead of Berlin? Or to both? This always troubled me anyway, why not declare war on Russia if your aim was truly to defend the Poles? Germany invades Poland, Britian and France demand German forces retreat, German forces do not retreat, Britian and France declare war on Germany, Russia invades Poland 2 weeks later, Britian and France do nothing. Very strange. So my question is, if Russia invades first, is there a war at all?(at least in 39). And what are the ramifications if the two bullies are appeased once again?
    "In the absence of orders...find something and kill it!" Lt. General Erwin Rommel, 1942

  • #2
    Originally posted by smallvillekalel View Post
    Russia invades Poland 2 weeks later, Britian and France do nothing. Very strange.
    In this case the Allies figured it was better the USSR got part of Poland, than if Germany got all of it. And, the French had attempted to negotiate a alliance with the USSR earlier that year. Perhaps they still hoped to.

    Originally posted by smallvillekalel View Post
    So my question is, if Russia invades first, is there a war at all?(at least in 39). And what are the ramifications if the two bullies are appeased once again?
    Yes, but the war comes later. The Germans had based their armament & industrial plans on a general war occuring sometime from 1942. The most likely scenario was war with the USSR first, with France joining in shortly, or a seperate war with France and maybe Britian even later.

    So the possible scenario would be: the USSR asorbs Poland. Germany continues preperations and initiates war against the USSR in 1940, 41 or 42. I'd think sooner rather than later as nazi fical policys were rapidly taking Germay to bankruptcy. If the USSR survives the inital year of war then France might join in 1941 or 42 as its reamament program would be near completion then.
    Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 15 Oct 08, 20:15.

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    • #3
      If Russia were to have invaded Poland instead of Germany following the same historical path up to that point, there would not have been the Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact and it would have been a declaration of war by Germany the second the poles were defeated against Russia. The Allies would have declared war on Russia the second Russia invaded Poland. So it would have been Axis vs. Russia, Allies vs. Russia, No war between Axis and Allies.
      If you sacrifice freedom to obtain some security, you deserve neither and will gain none.

      There never was a good war or a bad peace.

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      • #4
        yup.

        a disaster for the Soviets, but in fact a liberation for ukrainians and russians. even for Germany and other europeans, a short 1938-1940 war would have destroyed Stalin's totalitarian system, and Germany woudl not have been able (playing asige britain and france) to be that cruel....

        a better word for all.
        "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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        • #5
          Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
          yup.

          a disaster for the Soviets, but in fact a liberation for ukrainians and russians. even for Germany and other europeans, a short 1938-1940 war would have destroyed Stalin's totalitarian system, and Germany woudl not have been able (playing asige britain and france) to be that cruel....

          a better word for all.
          You mean the Poles would defeat the USSR?

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          • #6
            Sorry if I did not make the question clear. In history, both Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland. This scenario only places Russia as the First to enter Poland, not the only one of the two. You are correct Carl...not to mention Raeder's "Z Plan would be complete by 1943 at the latest and all Mussolini's advisors requested a delay in any war plans to at least 1942. This may have been the time hostilities opened, but as for the Pacific, that would be a whole other topic.
            "In the absence of orders...find something and kill it!" Lt. General Erwin Rommel, 1942

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
              You mean the Poles would defeat the USSR?
              yes, with the help of the germans, french (and a bit of the british).
              "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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              • #8
                Originally posted by smallvillekalel View Post
                Sorry if I did not make the question clear. In history, both Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland. This scenario only places Russia as the First to enter Poland, not the only one of the two. You are correct Carl...not to mention Raeder's "Z Plan would be complete by 1943 at the latest and all Mussolini's advisors requested a delay in any war plans to at least 1942. This may have been the time hostilities opened, but as for the Pacific, that would be a whole other topic.
                I do believe if Russia entered Poland first the war would be against Russia by the Allies instead of against Germany. Poland had a defense pact with the Allies, and in essence was part of the Allies so...
                If you sacrifice freedom to obtain some security, you deserve neither and will gain none.

                There never was a good war or a bad peace.

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                • #9
                  This is an interesting question but i believe that A: Stalin would not of agreed to it as B: if he did Germany and the allies would proberly declare war on and destroy the USSR (which was Hitler's main aim) and Nazi Germany would get on with the allies? or try to take control of poland and the baltic states creating Allies vs Axis?
                  "Battle doesn't need a purpose; the battle is its own purpose. You don't ask why a plague spreads or a field burns. Don't ask why I fight."

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                  • #10
                    Stalin was a shrewd and careful man plus he was much more worried about having semi-plausible legitimacy to his actions compared to Hitler. I cannot really see a scenario where he would have accepted acting on the MRP before Hitler. OTOH if he did and it occurred under the MRP then the only difference I can see is that UK and France would be more reluctant to declare war. Compared to Germany they had nothing really to threaten Russia with and declaring war on Germany and not on Russia, if Russia attacked first would seem silly.

                    If the scenario was that Stalin felt so sure about himself that he committed to an early assault on Poland and Germany then Piero's version of events seem likely. At that time before winter war and after the Mongolia operation he would be overestimating the capabilities of his forces.

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                    • #11
                      I flipped back thru my old Eruopean history books. Took a semester course on the interwar years (1918 to 1939) long ago. Not much in them that reflects directly on this situation. The British had a lot of anti Communists in the government, which seems to be the most important reason why the Brit/French/Soviet talks in early 1939 failed. Suprisingly the French government did want a alliance with the USSR. There were a lot of anti Communists in the legislature, but the priniciple ministers were rather pragmatic. It is clear the French leaders of 1939 saw Germany as the most important threat and were prepared to sacrifice a lot to counter it. It is difficult to see Reynaud or Daladier and the other ministers making any sort alliance with Germany. A complete change of government may have necessary to bring the ultra right wingers into power before that could happen.

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                      • #12
                        What if...Russia invaded Poland before Germany? Nothing! It isnít first soviet-polish war.
                        The Soviet invasion, which the Politburo called "the liberation campaign", led to the incorporation of millions of western Ukrainians and western Belarusians into the Soviet Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics.

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                        • #13
                          Poland in 1939 had military alliance with France against Germany only, but as well had military alliance with Romanians against Soviets, and in fact of the agression they fullfil it. Probably Hungary as well join to war on Polish side. So war shortly spread aver Middle-east Europe.
                          - Your Highness, the enemy is so numerous... they outnumber your army.
                          - My friend, first I beat 'em then I'll count 'em
                          (Polish King Jan III Sobieski during his campaigns)

                          Historia Wojskowa Portal Historyczno-Wojskowy phw.org.pl

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                          • #14
                            France and Britain would not have been able to blithely ignore the Russian role in the crushing of Poland.

                            THey would have had to face Germany and the USSR as one block, and deal with them accordingly.

                            I am not sure if this would have stopped them from declaring war, in fact, I rather doubt it. Blockading Russia would have been almost as simple on paper... and blockading Germany. THe French General staff even had a plan kicking around for attacking Russia from the Mid-East, historicaly!

                            Which way would Italy have jumped if south-eastern Europe looked like it was becoming a war-zone in late 1939?
                            "Why is the Rum gone?"

                            -Captain Jack

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by UeArtemis View Post
                              What if...Russia invaded Poland before Germany? Nothing! It isnít first soviet-polish war.
                              The Soviet invasion, which the Politburo called "the liberation campaign", led to the incorporation of millions of western Ukrainians and western Belarusians into the Soviet Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics.
                              I had recalled that war, but did not know what to make of it in terms of the politics of 1939. The French aid had been important in defending Warsaw in that earlier war.

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