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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


Dominus et Deuculus
Dec 6, 2005
The reason I started this topic is to give modders better "feel" of Poland 1918-39; I'll describe here briefly Polish foreign affairs and military doctrine, hope it'll help some modders :rolleyes:

Poland before 1918
Poland had long tradition, but ceased to exist in 1795, as a result of partition between Prussia, Russia and Austria. During napoleonic period we allied ourselves to Napoleon and, of course, lost. Later on polish territory was occupied mainly by Russia and Prussia (later II Reich) until the end of I World War.

So first thing inheritated after this period (for 1919-39 years) is bad relations with Germany and Russia. After two polish uprisings (1830-31 - November Uprising; 1863-64 - January Uprising) Polish were to be culturaly submitted: "Rusification" and "Germanisation" proceeded. Polish emigration to France and USA also created very good relations with those countries.

Polish first years
Poland was created as an ally of Western Allies in XI.1918, especialy tied with France. In this time UK feared that France will be to strong, so it was against strengtening Poland. Especially UK's Prime Minister, Lloyd George and his foreing secretary George Curzon were against Polish gains in Greater Poland, Silesia, Bellarussia and Ukraine; they even refused to support Poland against Bolsheviks

In 1920 Polish Army defeated Bolsheviks (Miracle at the Vistula, VIII.1920) and ensured that "World Revolution" won't become true. In Riga Peace treaty (18.III.1921), however, Poland withdrawn itself from the concept of "federation" (Pilsudski idea - Poland allied with many independent/semi independent contries like Bellarussia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Romania), choosing Christian-Democrats option instead (big, national country - but with large minorities).

Democratic Poland was stabilised later on, with good relations with France (alliance 2.II.1921), Romania (alliance against Soviets, 2.III.1921) and Baltic countries, and bad with Germany, USSR, Czechoslovakia (Chechs broke an agreement with Poland and seized highly industrialized border area - Cieszyn Silesia) and Lithuania (Poland seized Lithuanian capital, Vilnus - it's population was mainly Polish but surrounding areas were mainly populated by Lithuanians)

Poland foreign relations 1926-35
In 1926, during crisis (Poland was economically very weak), Pilsudski led coup d'etat and introduced autoritarian government.

Relations with USSR
Poland knew what was happening in USSR - spies, smugglers and atrocities of the war with Bolsheviks (1920) helped to know Soviets better. That's why closer relations with them were never an option. However, as world economic crisis grown, Poland wanted to make better relations with them. Another reason was Soviet-German cooperation (dating back to Rapallo, 16.IV.1922) that could threaten Poland, should be stopped. Talks followed and Polish-USSR non-agression treaty was signed (25.VII.1932).

Relations with Germany..
..were much more difficult. Germany lost Greater Poland, Upper Silesia and Eastern Pommerania to Poland. Eastern Prussia was cut from Germany by Polish Territory. (It's not ideally shown in HoI2, as Gdansk [Danzig] was a Free City, populated by Germans but strongly tied to Poland, with control of the League of Nations).

German politicans claimed that Poland is a "Bastard of Versaille Treaty" and should be wiped out. After 1926, when Polish-German economic agreement expired, custom war started. However, Hitler regime wanted better relations with Poland, so Poland and Germany signed non-agression treaty (26.I.1934).

Altogether, Pilsudski choose and advised "Middle of the Road" option - not allying with Germany nor USSR, with close relations to western countries. But 12.V.1935 Pilsudski died of cancer..


Dominus et Deuculus
Dec 6, 2005
Today we know that "Middle of the Road" policy ended up with Ribbetrop-Molotov agreement and yet another, fourth partition of Poland. But was there any other way?

Allying with USSR, as I wrote above, was't an option. As later communist leader of Poland said "Once gained power we'll never return". Soviet entering into Poland (as well as any other country) would mean occupation and sovietization, something Poland could not agree with.

Allying with Germany? It was mainly dependant of Hitler's view of Poland, with two possible outcomes:
-"Main Kampf point of view". Hitler rarely mentions Poland there, and when he do so, he write about need of Germanization of Polish land, not Polish people (which can't be done). This point of view assumes that Hitler's only option was to eliminate Poland and Polish people, so any agreement is impossible.
-second option, based on actual diplomatic actions Hitler used towards Poland, which I strongly support. This point of view assumed that Hitler still wanted expansion, especially Eastwards, but was far more pragmatic initially.

Polish propaganda claimed that Poland is "8th power in the world" (which it wasn't), it's soldiers were underequipped but quite numerous and very brave and ferocious, with high morale - having such an ally was tempting option, and Hitler tried it, which I'll describe below..

In other words, could Poland became another Hungary, Romania or Finland?
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Dominus et Deuculus
Dec 6, 2005
Polish-German relations 1935-39 - possible modding opportunities for ahistorical outcome (Axis Poland):

I see two major proposals of Hitler's state that could be included as events (although there were many more, like famous Goring's trip to Bialowieza):

-Poland in anti-comintern pact. Poland was proposed this pact, but it refused. It means early Axis Poland.
It was very unlikely that Poland would give up Pilsudski's policy so fast, so AI chance should be very small. Acceptance should include major dissent hit (big political and propaganda turn) - around +20, but also relatively strong Poland (compared to Germany) means that giving up Danzig would be enought.

-1938 brought major change. Germany got much stronger, gaining Austria and Sudetenland. Poland got much weaker (diplomatically) by using opportunity and seizing Cieszyn Silesia (border dispute with Czechs) 2.X.1938 (Poland was charged as country that cooperated with Germany later on). In such a situation Ribbentropp met Lipski (Polish ambassador in Berlin) 24.X.1938 and proposed him alliance, Poland seceding Danzig in return for Ukraine (gained from SU).
It should bring still dissent hit (smaller then in previous one), about +10; It should be also a little more likely, but only a little (Polish sense of honour ;) :D). Initial claims (Danzig) should be later followed by more (Torun, Bydgoszcz, Poznan).

Poland in Axis still means Anshluss and Czechoslovakia annexation. Then Germany should have choice for either early Barbarossa or securing western flank first (more likely, event could be similar to Danzig or War - Lorraine or War :) )

GER AI needs to have good border with SOV to invade properly. That's why we need some "Prepare to Barbarossa" events:
-invade/puppet Lithuania (to widen access), probably Latvia/Estonia too.
-seceding of Polish lands to GER (including Swieciany, Molodeczno, Wilno, Lida, Baranowicze, Luciniec, Grodno, Suwalki; maybe even Bialystok, Lomza, Bielsk, Slonin)

-most of Ukraine given to Poland after successful war
-maybe :confused: Poland should get back some of it's land given to GER by "Prepare to Barbarossa"

Axis Poland is very unlikely turn, moreso without any "real" reason. That's why I strongly advise creating event - if Poland is in axis, add 30 dissent! And secede Danzig to GER (of course two above events will sleep this one).
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Aug 13, 2006
After what I have heared, the allies would propably invade Germany if they attacked Soviet. Also how would Germany be able to defeat Soviet with no expirience of the Blitzkrieg, no exp. troops, teachteams; bad tanks, bad economy, bad everything. Germany had the element of suprise, larger army, summer, tactic, good tanks (not very good), Luftwaff, allies in the north, but still... they lost. In reality it would be a bad man's plan... but all though... good idea :)


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Hmmm. History is always interesting. :rolleyes:
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Dominus et Deuculus
Dec 6, 2005
articfare said:
After what I have heared, the allies would propably invade Germany if they attacked Soviet.
Most probable outcome of Axis Poland is Hitler attack on the West before invading Russia. He could leave eastern border unprotected (becouse of Polish troops), and wouldn't have to waste his troops on occupation forces.
articfare said:
Also how would Germany be able to defeat Soviet with no expirience of the Blitzkrieg, no exp. troops,
They went through Poland and France without experience. Stalin also Benefited from Blitzkrieg experience, as he watched German victories closely..
articfare said:
articfare said:
bad tanks, bad economy, bad everything. Germany had the element of suprise, larger army, summer, tactic, good tanks (not very good), Luftwaff, allies in the north,

Bad tanks - ok. But he could have started invasion later, with better tanks. And USSR's best tank's production started in 1941..

Bad economy - no. It fared quite well, regardless of allied strat bombing campaign and blocade. It reached it's top in 1944. What Germany lacked was manpower and few key strat resources (like oil), not industry.

Bad everything - no again ;)

Germans had some strong points:
-better commanders (esp. junior officers)
-suprise element, hence air sup of Luftwaffe you mention later
-combined arms tactics (which took some time for SOV to develop)
-probably few more I forgot about :p

Larger army - could you provide your sources? Many writers simply cite Russian sources that spread this propaganda. I've seen books that say that Russian Tanks were "obsolete". But they "forger" to add that Russians had over 1.800 T-34s and few hundreds KVs, and over 20.000 tanks in total, while Germans had mere 3.500 thousand (including 1.000 Pz-Is and Pz-IIs).

articfare said:
but still... they lost. In reality it would be a bad man's plan... but all though... good idea :)

As Winston Churchill once said "The only thing worse than fighting a war with allies is trying to fight a war without them." I doubt that polish aid could affect the outcome of fight against the allies (as US were far more powerful and I doubt Axis Poland would fight Allies), but fight against USSR could have ended diffrently, IMO. Germany could gain much with such an alliance:
-equipment & men (not) lost in Poland;
-better equipped (by Germans) ferocious :)D) Polish troops
-lower "belligerence" (later/no DoW by Allies? Less aid for USSR?)
-non-soviet Baltic States, Karelia, Bessarabia

All in all, IMO Hitler was doomed from the beginning, but Stalin won only becouse he forced industrialization, gained enormous aid from Allies, had enought space for retreat and many more. Not forgetting russian soldiers's bravery.

War that include Axis Poland could be well portrayed within HoI2.
I'm even thinking about doing such MP game in few months (which will, of course, include some new events ;) ).