Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
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22-11-2016, 12:22 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 10:57 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Both Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939 but France and Britain only declared war on Germany. Why?

In the early 20s there was a polish-russian war, in which Poland occupied parts of Lithuania (including its capital Vilnius) and went as far as Kiev and Minsk (they later had to retreat from Kiev). So in 1921 white russian and ukrainian territory was annexed by Poland! So the territory occupied by russian troops in 1939 is basically what was occupied by Poland in 1921. If i was Chamberlain or Daladier, having declared war on Germany already, while having ab-so-fucking-lutely no clue on how to actually fight against Germany, then my least concern would be some russo-polish bitchslapping going on in a part of europe i ab-so-fucking-lutely have no access to and have no influence in. So what would have been the point to declare war on Russia? Russia may had some good reasons to get back territory "stolen" by the treaty of Riga. I would rather shoot myself a bullet in the head than to ad this to my list of problems (with Germany ranking #1...#999).

Lets have a closer look at the military situation in this context:
In 1939 the russian troops invaded Poland on September, 17th, a date by which Warsaw was already encircled as well as major parts of the polish army, and this after hardly 3 weeks of war (remember: WWI lasted 3 years as well in the east, thats what was the standard for eveyone who looked at the military situation). The war was lost for Poland, 100,00%, and with the russian argument of "only protecting white russians and ukrainians", there possibly was a valid reason for Russia to do so (see above). On Spetember 18th, german troops reached Brest-Litowsk, the later demarcation line that was agreed on by Molotov and Ribbentrop (but of course Daladier and Chamberlain couldnt know). At the same day the polish government fled to Romania.

So what reason on earth could have Chamberlain and Daladier have had to declare war on Russia 1 day after russian troops crossed the russo-polish border into former russian territory occupied by Poland for a mere 15 years, a country whose government just went into Romanian exile, whose armies were encirlced to a major part and its capital too?

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22-11-2016, 12:23 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 12:16 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 11:37 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  My dearest Thumpalumpacus, there's a reason why the Nazis had so many sympathizers.

I'm afraid you're misunderstanding me. I'm asking you to support your claim, not avoid the question. I'll give you credit, though, that was somewhat creative.

Anyway -- please link to a reputable source for your claim that had the French and British somehow managed to defeat Germany and still have enough remaining strength to defeat the USSR, they would have received support from an outside, unnamed nation.

I was talking about public support from their own citizen class.
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22-11-2016, 12:26 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 12:07 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Furthermore the British even were thinking about going to war with the Soviet Union after WWII called operation unthinkable.

Yet again you play games. You are talking about a battle plan that was designed to be fought in Europe against Russia, not an invasion. The successive plan was a defensive action.

If you are using Operation Unthinkable as support for your idea of Britain conquering the Soviet Union, then you fail.

Quote:Operation Unthinkable was a code name of two related plans of a conflict between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. Both were ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces' Joint Planning Staff at the end of World War II in Europe.

The first of the two assumed a surprise attack on the Soviet forces stationed in Germany in order to "impose the will of the Western Allies" on the Soviets. "The will" was qualified as "square deal for Poland" (which probably meant enforcing the recently signed Yalta Agreement). When the odds were judged "fanciful", the original plan was abandoned.

The code name was used instead for a defensive scenario, in which the British were to defend against a Soviet drive towards the North Sea and the Atlantic following the withdrawal of the American forces from the continent.

wiki FTW

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22-11-2016, 12:29 PM (This post was last modified: 22-11-2016 08:16 PM by DLJ.)
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 12:21 PM)tomilay Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 12:09 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  Wasn't it? I would say that Poland was last straw.

I should have said in practice. The agreement was there with no real intention to enforce when the rubber meets the road - onlinebiker called it. A bit like the situation, in Ukraine(who were promised protection in exchange for giving up nukes to Russia).


There might have been intention but Poland fallen too soon - I heard such version too.

Honestly though I think that you're right.

(22-11-2016 12:21 PM)tomilay Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 12:09 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  It could have been more. Allies were hardly unarmed. Problem was in lack of will I think.

Agreed. There was this lingering belief that Hitler could be appeased - unfortunately one way of doing that was letting him take whatever he felt like.


Maybe it was playing for time?

(22-11-2016 12:21 PM)tomilay Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 12:09 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  Allies hardly were going to get trust from Hitler after declaring war on him.

Or if you speak about USSR then I wouldn't say that there was much trust on both side of the pact. Ideological differences and conflicting interests made that impossible for long term.

I meant something more in line with the last paragraph. I think there was little trust between them(USSR/Hitler). Stalin probably figured that appearing to connive with Germany would at least buy the USSR some time.

Stalin was too pragmatic to think that Hitler will attack him. Supposedly he even trusted him.

Problems with their alliance are nicely shown in Roger Moorhouse "The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941".

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22-11-2016, 12:35 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 12:26 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 12:07 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  Furthermore the British even were thinking about going to war with the Soviet Union after WWII called operation unthinkable.

Yet again you play games. You are talking about a battle plan that was designed to be fought in Europe against Russia, not an invasion. The successive plan was a defensive action.

If you are using Operation Unthinkable as support for your idea of Britain conquering the Soviet Union, then you fail.

Quote:Operation Unthinkable was a code name of two related plans of a conflict between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. Both were ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces' Joint Planning Staff at the end of World War II in Europe.

The first of the two assumed a surprise attack on the Soviet forces stationed in Germany in order to "impose the will of the Western Allies" on the Soviets. "The will" was qualified as "square deal for Poland" (which probably meant enforcing the recently signed Yalta Agreement). When the odds were judged "fanciful", the original plan was abandoned.

The code name was used instead for a defensive scenario, in which the British were to defend against a Soviet drive towards the North Sea and the Atlantic following the withdrawal of the American forces from the continent.

wiki FTW

If you look a little more closely, I didn't use the word invasion, I used the word war.
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22-11-2016, 12:38 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 12:35 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  If you look a little more closely, I didn't use the word invasion, I used the word war.

It's rather difficult to conquer a nation without invading it, wouldn't you think?

(22-11-2016 11:29 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  The British declared war on Iran and Iraq and conquered them too. If they could conquer such distant nations they could have done the same with the Soviet Union.

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22-11-2016, 12:45 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 12:38 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 12:35 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  If you look a little more closely, I didn't use the word invasion, I used the word war.

It's rather difficult to conquer a nation without invading it, wouldn't you think?

(22-11-2016 11:29 AM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  The British declared war on Iran and Iraq and conquered them too. If they could conquer such distant nations they could have done the same with the Soviet Union.

Again, that was referring to the logistical aspect of it hobbit.
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22-11-2016, 01:03 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 11:23 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 11:20 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Maybe they saw Germany as bigger threat? Or maybe seeing as Poland already lost they simply don't cared? After all they didn't do much to help Poland with German attack.

There's not much anyone COULD have done..... Nobody had as good as weaponry as the Germans -- and it was right in Adolph's backyard, so to speak..... Logistics simply made it impossible for the Allies to do anything...

By September 1939, the french (and later british) army had more tanks (almost twice as many as Germany) and -particularly with the french Somua- better ones! They also had a distinct advantage in numbers of planes.

As far as troops are concerned, while the "polenfeldzug" was running, Germany had 11 (eleven!) active divisions at the border to France. 25 3rd and 4th rate divisions were created hastily to have anything availiable to counter the 100 (one hundred!) french and 20 belgian divisions (BEF only started to arrive in France in September and was ready to fight in December). German high command was very concerned and well aware of the situation in the west, so that any availiable divisions were taken from Poland and transfered ASAP to the Rhine. German high command was absolutely aware that French troops just had to start and march towards Berlin, and nothing, ab-so-fucking-lutely nothing would have been able to stop them.

It wasnt German tactics, nor German numbers, nor German quality of weapons that made the french army just sit around and scratch their asses. It was the WWI trench warfare mindset and the experience of having fought that terrible war against Germany 20 years ago, that frightened the french high command to do something. The maginot line was an expression of the very defensive nature of french military strategy towards Germany, and they just couldt imagine that they would just have needed to cross the border and march through Germany, like Patton later did in 1945. Of course the constant warmongering and threatening by Adolf helped to fortify the illusion that by 1939 Germany was armed to the teeth. Same for the legend of "swarms of german tanks flooding France" in 1940. When you have a closer look, only a few meager divisions were fully motorized (140 divisions total, 10 Panzer divisions and 2-3 motorized infantry divisions, thats 10% of the german field army!). The rest of the german army had to rely on horses just like everybody else.

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22-11-2016, 01:34 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 01:03 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 11:23 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  There's not much anyone COULD have done..... Nobody had as good as weaponry as the Germans -- and it was right in Adolph's backyard, so to speak..... Logistics simply made it impossible for the Allies to do anything...

By September 1939, the french (and later british) army had more tanks (almost twice as many as Germany) and -particularly with the french Somua- better ones! They also had a distinct advantage in numbers of planes.

As far as troops are concerned, while the "polenfeldzug" was running, Germany had 11 (eleven!) active divisions at the border to France. 25 3rd and 4th rate divisions were created hastily to have anything availiable to counter the 100 (one hundred!) french and 20 belgian divisions (BEF only started to arrive in France in September and was ready to fight in December). German high command was very concerned and well aware of the situation in the west, so that any availiable divisions were taken from Poland and transfered ASAP to the Rhine. German high command was absolutely aware that French troops just had to start and march towards Berlin, and nothing, ab-so-fucking-lutely nothing would have been able to stop them.

It wasnt German tactics, nor German numbers, nor German quality of weapons that made the french army just sit around and scratch their asses. It was the WWI trench warfare mindset and the experience of having fought that terrible war against Germany 20 years ago, that frightened the french high command to do something. The maginot line was an expression of the very defensive nature of french military strategy towards Germany, and they just couldt imagine that they would just have needed to cross the border and march through Germany, like Patton later did in 1945. Of course the constant warmongering and threatening by Adolf helped to fortify the illusion that by 1939 Germany was armed to the teeth. Same for the legend of "swarms of german tanks flooding France" in 1940. When you have a closer look, only a few meager divisions were fully motorized (140 divisions total, 10 Panzer divisions and 2-3 motorized infantry divisions, thats 10% of the german field army!). The rest of the german army had to rely on horses just like everybody else.

You may like this guy, he gives some good insights to the some of the armored tactics in ww2.



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22-11-2016, 01:49 PM
RE: Why Didn't Britain and France declare war on the Soviet Union?
(22-11-2016 01:34 PM)Celestial_Wonder Wrote:  
(22-11-2016 01:03 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  By September 1939, the french (and later british) army had more tanks (almost twice as many as Germany) and -particularly with the french Somua- better ones! They also had a distinct advantage in numbers of planes.

As far as troops are concerned, while the "polenfeldzug" was running, Germany had 11 (eleven!) active divisions at the border to France. 25 3rd and 4th rate divisions were created hastily to have anything availiable to counter the 100 (one hundred!) french and 20 belgian divisions (BEF only started to arrive in France in September and was ready to fight in December). German high command was very concerned and well aware of the situation in the west, so that any availiable divisions were taken from Poland and transfered ASAP to the Rhine. German high command was absolutely aware that French troops just had to start and march towards Berlin, and nothing, ab-so-fucking-lutely nothing would have been able to stop them.

It wasnt German tactics, nor German numbers, nor German quality of weapons that made the french army just sit around and scratch their asses. It was the WWI trench warfare mindset and the experience of having fought that terrible war against Germany 20 years ago, that frightened the french high command to do something. The maginot line was an expression of the very defensive nature of french military strategy towards Germany, and they just couldt imagine that they would just have needed to cross the border and march through Germany, like Patton later did in 1945. Of course the constant warmongering and threatening by Adolf helped to fortify the illusion that by 1939 Germany was armed to the teeth. Same for the legend of "swarms of german tanks flooding France" in 1940. When you have a closer look, only a few meager divisions were fully motorized (140 divisions total, 10 Panzer divisions and 2-3 motorized infantry divisions, thats 10% of the german field army!). The rest of the german army had to rely on horses just like everybody else.

You may like this guy, he gives some good insights to the some of the armored tactics in ww2.




I have multiple bookshelves full of books about WWII strategy, tactics and weaponry, thx.

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