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Old May 27th, 2018, 02:48 AM   #1
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Soviet Invasion of Poland 1939


I will respond here to some arguments commonly used by Russians to diminish their responsibility for the invasion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Every Russian
Germans were already all over the territory of modern Poland by the time of Soviet invasion.
Everything was going more or less according to the new Polish High Command's Plan. The new plan (developed until 11.09.) was to withdraw to the so called Romanian Bridgehead (Przedmoście Rumuńskie) and continue the defence there.

Marshal Rydz-Śmigły was optimistic on 16.09. and thought Poland could keep fighting until the Winter of 1940. See the map below (defensive plan "West", phase II - gradual withdrawal to the South-East and fighting there until the Winter):

I linia oporu - first line of defence
II linia oporu - 2nd line of defence
III linia oporu (Romanian Bridgehead)

Front Północny - Northern Front
Front Środkowy - Central Front
Front Południowy - Southern Front

Map: https://i.imgur.com/ouPDZHL.jpg

Click the image to open in full size.

In addition to that, Warsaw, Fortress Modlin and the Baltic Sea Coast* were supposed to fight as long as possible. General Kutrzeba's forces (battle of Bzura) were supposed to withdraw to Warsaw and to Modlin, to strengthen their defences.

*Gdynia, Kępa Oksywska and Hel Peninsula:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kępa_Oksywska

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hel

First ships with supplies from France & Britain were already enroute to Constanța. Romania was our ally.

And guess who overran the Romanian Bridgehead? Germans? No, Soviets:

Map: https://i.imgur.com/KVdHS5K.jpg

Click the image to open in full size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Every Russian
So, Soviets didn't help Germans much.
They did. They made the entire Polish defence against Germany obsolete.

The Polish plan was to defend the Romanian Bridgehead until the Spring of 1940 (about 6 months) and then to evacuate Polish forces to Romania and Hungary. The Soviets accelerated Polish defeat and captured hundreds of thousands of Polish soldiers who could otherwise be evacuated abroad during the following months and fight in the defence of France later on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Every Russian
territory
Poland was attacked on 01.09. from three sides, even from the area of Axis Slovakia.

Defending all of territory was never the goal, to keep fighting was the goal. Poland even considered abandoning all of Western Poland since the first day of the war, and defending along the Line of Big Rivers (Narew, Vistula, San - later Bug) since day one. But in the end Poland decided to deploy its forces along the border, and to gradually withdraw (under enemy pressure) towards the east - which was extremely risky considering the German tactics of "Blitzkrieg". Also trying to defend the Polish Corridor was risky, because it could be attacked both from the west and from East Prussia, and defenders could be cut off and trapped in a pocket (which happened, but part of Polish forces managed to break through the line of encirclement).

This was the best defensive line (Narew-Vistula-San) in case of German invasion:

Click the image to open in full size.

^^^ But how could we let them take all of Western Poland without a single shot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Every Russian
Polish units had an order not to attack invading Soviet units unless provoked.
Yes, that was true, because after the Soviet Invasion - which made further Polish defence obsolete - Polish troops in Eastern Poland were ordered to try to cross the Polish border and withdraw to neutral countries (Romania, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania) as fast as possible.

Here is the prelude to that and backstage of the Polish decision to avoid Soviet forces:

11.09.1939:

Soviet ambassador - Sharonov - leaves Poland and goes back to the USSR after ensuring the Polish foreign minister Joseph Beck, that "the attitute of the USSR towards Poland is friendly and the USSR is going to remain neutral". Of course, as we know today, Sharonov lied.

17.09.1939:

The official note of Vyacheslav Molotov to Polish ambassador Waclav Grzybowski:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyacheslav Molotov
"The Polish-German war has revealed the internal bankruptcy of the Polish state. In ten days of warfare Poland had lost all of its industrial and cultural centers. Warsaw, as a Polish capital city, does not exist any more. The Polish government has disintegrated and does not show signs of life. This means that the Polish state and its government have in fact ceased to exist. That is why all agreements signed between Poland and the USSR have lost their power. Poland, left to fend for herself, became an easy field for all kinds of dangerous and sudden actions, which may become a threat for the USSR. That's why the Soviet government, which until now was keeping neutrality, cannot in the face of these facts continue to display a neutral position.

The Soviet government cannot also stay indifferent towards the fact, that the cognate population of Ukrainian and Belarusian origin inhabiting the Polish territory is defenceless and has been left to fend for themselves.

Thus the Soviet government had ordered the High Command of the Red Army, to order its forces to cross the border and take care of the lives and the property of the population of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus.

The Soviet government also intends to take all measures aimed at liberating the Polish nation from the destructive war, into which its unreasonable leaders have pushed it, and enabling it to live in peace."
The official response of Polish ambassador Waclaw Grzybowski to Molotov's note:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waclaw Grzybowski
"Any of the arguments used in the note to justify the turning of Polish-Soviet agreements into just pieces of paper, does not withstand reasonable criticism. According to my knowledge the Head of the Polish state and the Government of Poland are present on the Polish territory. The sovereignity of any state exists as long as soldiers of the Regular Army of this particular state are fighting. This, what the note claims about the situation of national minorities in Poland, is a nonsense. In our previous discussions, you, Mr. Molotov, was repeatedly talking about the Slavonic Solidarity. Where is your Slavonic Solidarity now?

During the World War territories of Serbia and Bulgaria were occupied, yet nobody entertained a thought that due to this fact commitments towards these states should be considered as invalid. Napoleon Bonaparte captured Moscow, but as long as Kutuzov's Army was existing, it was considered that Russia still exists. Warsaw is still defending. The Polish State still exists."
The "General Directive" of marshal Rydz-Smigly from 17.09. to units in Eastern Poland:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Rydz-Smigly
"The Soviets had entered. I command to withdraw to Romania and Hungary along the shortest possible routes. Do not fight against the Bolsheviks, unless they attack first or try to disarm our units. The task of Warsaw and cities, which were to defend against the Germans - without changes. Cities to which the Bolsheviks will approach, should negotiate with them concerning the departure of garrisons to Romania or Hungary.

Marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly, General HQ of the Polish Army, 10:00 p.m., 17.09.1939."
That's why only some units chose (or were forced to - by attitude of Soviet soldiers) to fight against the Soviets - the other ones were defeated by surprise or negotiated trying to induce the Soviets to let them pass to Romania (and usually negotiations were without success and Soviet forces were capturing those units).

The first decision of Marshal Rydz-Smigly was to fight firmly against the Soviet Invasion.

Polish Chief of Staff in September of 1939 - Waclaw Stachiewicz - writes about this:

Quote:
"It was just very hard to accept the idea, that the new aggressor was going to capture our territory without resistance. That his unprecedented, treacherous deed was going to remain without an armed response from our side."
But while hours were passing, further and further reports from the new frontline about the tremendous strength and numbers of Soviet invasion forces were arriving at the Polish General Headquarters, especially from the direction of Lwow and Stanislawow. The new idea appeared in the Polish General HQ, that the Soviet invasion completely scratches through all Polish defensive abilities until the start of the French offensive in the West.

One of Polish staff officers stated:

Quote:
"We have to die here."
Marshal Rydz-Smigly responded:

Quote:
"But what will be Poland's profit from our death? We have to form a new army in France. We have to keep fighting. These officers, who are present here - this is a precious cadre, essential for these goals."
Then, after two conferences with members of the Polish government (the first in Kolomyja with participation of Polish Prime Minister Felicjan Sławoj Składkowski and the Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck, the second in Kuty with participation of all these persons as well as the Polish president prof. Ignacy Mościcki), the decision was taken to withdraw to Romania and marshal Rydz-Smigly issued the whole bunch of detailed orders to all units with which he had got direct contact, as well as announced by the Radio Station of the General HQ of the Polish Army and by intermediary radio stations, his "General Directive" which was already quoted above.

And here is the list of detailed orders issued by Rydz-Smigly and the General HQ after the Soviet Invasion:

17.09.1939:

6:30 a.m.:

An order for units of the Border Defense Corps (Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza = KOP) Regiment "Czortkow" ordering them to hold their defensive positions along the border and withdraw only if under sharp enemy pressure.

7:35 a.m.:

An order for the commander of Border Defense Corps (KOP) Regiment "Czortkow" ordering him to send parliamentarians to Soviet forces with inquiry about the character and purpose of their intervention.

8:15 a.m.:

An order for the commander of Army "Karpaty" informing him about the new situation and ordering him to transmit further orders to General Narbut-Luczynski (commander of Garrison of the city of Tarnopol) and General Jacyna-Jatelnicki (commander of Garrison of Mikulince) to put into combat readiness mode all Polish units on their defensive positions along the Seret river and put resistance against the "Bolsheviks" along this line, while all other units under command of these generals should be ordered to retreat towards the Transdniestr area.

The exact reading of this order was:

Quote:
"At dawn of this day Soviet forces have crossed the state border along the line from Dniestr to Wolczyska inclusive. The Soviet forces have captured: Skala, by a Soviet cavalry regiment which advances towards Borszczow; Husiatyn - by a Soviet infantry battalion with artillery and tanks; Podwolczyska - until now exact Soviet forces not recognized.

The KOP Regiment "Czortkow" is involved in combats against enemy units and withdraws along the following line:

- battalion "Skalat" towards Trembowla
- battalion "Kopyczynce" across Czortkow and Buczacz towards Nizniow
- battalion "Borszczow" across Tluste Miasto towards Uscieszko

Mr. Marshal ordered to put into combat readiness all units which are along the Seret with task to put up resistance against the Bolsheviks along this line. Other units are ordered to withdraw towards the southern bank of the Dniestr."
Chef of Staff of General Fabrycy's Army "Karpaty" - Colonel Pstrokonski - about the Soviet invasion:

Quote:
"The message about the Bolshevik attack immediately ruined all our efforts. I was depressed".
Between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.:

Captain Waclaw Chocianowicz was sent towards the bridges on the Dniestr river in order to establish contact with the Soviets and ask them about the character of their intervention.

9:35 a.m.:

An order for the commander of the defense of the Dniestr river bridge in Uscieszko ordering him to barricade the bridge and to prepare it for detonation, which should take place only in case of a massive attack of Soviet armoured units - otherwise the bridge must be defended but not destroyed.

Around 9:50 a.m.:

An order for General Jacyna-Jatelnicki, changing the previous order from 8:15 a.m. and ordering him to use all forces which hadn't yet started their withdrawal towards the Transdniestr area to put resistance against Soviet forces in their own areas.

Around Midday:

An order (phone call) from Colonel Jaklicz to Captain Chocianowicz ordering him to ensure that the bridge in Uscieszko was going to be detonated if it was going to be necessary.

0:20 p.m.:

An order for the Headquarters of Army "Karpaty" confirming previous orders from General Fabrycy received in the evening on 16.09.1939 and an order - or rather confirmation of the previous order - to hold the police, administrative authorities, railway services and postal services where they were (on the spot).

Between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.:

General Narbut-Luczynski and Colonel Stanislaw Pelc were sent to the Headquarters of Army "Karpaty" with verbal order to withdraw the entire army behind the Romanian and Hungarian borders.

2:00 p.m.:

Same order was delivered by General Waclaw Stachiewicz to General Paszkiewicz and General Dembinski (commander of Group "Stryj") by phone.

3:30 p.m.:

An order for the High Command of Army "Karpaty" ordering them to withdraw the soldiers and the equipment to Romania, perchance to Hungary, however the Group of General Dembinski (Group "Stryj") was ordered to stay on its defensive positions and wait for the arrival of forces under command of General Kazimierz Sosnkowski, establish contact with these forces "for any price", and only then withdraw together to Hungary.

From the Diary of General Dembinski:

Quote:
Day: 17.09.1939... time: 15:30... an order from the High Command to discontinue combats and to withdraw all units into the Hungarian territory. Sending reconnaissance units towards Lwow in order to establish contact with units of General K. Sosnkowski in the region of Mszana...
4:00 p.m.:

An order for all of Polish Air Force to withdraw to Romania ("fundamentally to Czerniowce airport").

4:00 p.m.:

An order for General Skuratowicz (commander of Garrison of the city of Lutsk), General Dab-Biernacki (commander of the Northern Front, consisting of Army "Modlin", Operational Group "Kruszewski" and Cavalry Operational Group "Anders") and General Kleeberg (commander of Independent Operational Group "Polesie") ordering them to withdraw to Romania.

Order was delivered via air (liaison plane).

5:00 p.m.:

Lt.Col. Dudek (commander of Group "Drohobycz") - was informed by General Dembinski (commander of Group "Stryj") about the Soviet Invasion:

Quote:
(...) the eastern neighbour has crossed the border and is now in the distance of about 30 kilometres from your forces - any combats against his forces should be avoided - fight only when his forces attack first.
This order had to be repeated by Gen. Dembinski TWO MORE TIMES - because Lt. Col. Dudek COULD NOT BELIEVE in this fact at first.

6:30 p.m.:

An order to the Communication Center in Bobrka ordering them to establish communications with General Kazimierz Sosnkowski and to deliver him the order of withdrawing to Hungary as quickly as possible (together with forces of Dembinski).

7:00 p.m.:

General Milan-Kamski returned back to Kolomyja from his inspection of defensive lines along the Dniestr river. In the face of new situation (Soviet Invasion) General Waclaw Stachiewicz (the Chief of Staff of the Polish High Command) released him from his previous task (organizing defensive lines along the Dniestr river) and ordered him to withdraw behind the Romanian border.

General Milan-Kamski wrote about the order of "not fighting against the Soviets" received from Stachiewicz in Kolomyja:

Quote:
"(...) In a longer argument the Chef of Staff of the High Command explained to me the reasons of this order, declaring that the Commander In Chief, not seeing any possibility of efficiently resisting against the Soviet armies, wants to extract as many military forces as he can to continue combats on another front in the future and that the decision has been taken to cross the border. Therefore he concluded - if the Russians are not attacking and are not disturbing our movement towards the border, we should not fight against them, unless in case of a necessary self-defence if they attack first - and such orders concerning this decision were issued to units."
8:00 p.m.:

An order for the HQ of Group "Stryj" (delivered by phone) to withdraw all units behind the Hungarian border without waiting for forces of General Kazimierz Sosnkowski. It was a consequence of a personal decision taken by marshal Rydz-Smigly.

9:30 p.m.:

An order for Colonel Rudka in Stanislawow to deliver to General Dembinski the order of Marshal Rydz-Smigly, ordering him to carry out destructions in the Petroleum Basin before withdrawing to Hungary as well as to deliver an order of withdrawing to Hungary also to the commander of Polish 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade, Colonel Stanislaw Maczek.

10:00 p.m.:

Confirmation of previous orders from 9:30 p.m. for Colonel Rudka in Stanislawow.

11:00 p.m.:

Ordering a liason pilot to deliver an order informing about the Soviet invasion and ordering him to withdraw to Hungary to General Kazimierz Sosnkowski (pilot took off on 18.09.1939 in the morning).

9:30 p.m.:

The "General Directive" of marshal Rydz-Smigly was enciphered and on 9:40 p.m. it was received by Lt.Col. Mieczyslaw Zaleski, who then transmitted it by radio stations.

At 10:00 p.m. the "General Directive" (which was already quoted above) was transmitted via radio:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly
"The Soviets had entered. I command to withdraw to Romania and Hungary along the shortest possible routes. Do not fight against the Bolsheviks, unless they attack first or try to disarm our units. The task of Warsaw and cities, which were to defend against the Germans - without changes. Cities to which the Bolsheviks will approach, should negotiate with them concerning the departure of garrisons to Romania or Hungary.

Marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly, General HQ of the Polish Army, 10:00 p.m., 17.09.1939."
---------------------------------------------------

18.09.1939:

In the night from 17.09.1939 to 18.09.1939 and in the morning on 18.09.1939 the Polish Government and the Polish High Command (with Marshal Rydz-Smigly) crossed the Romanian Border.

This was one day after the Soviet Invasion and only DUE TO and BECAUSE OF the Soviet Invasion.

Why England and France didn't declare war on the USSR after 17 September?

The best reasons were presented by the Soviet ambassadors themselves:

Soviet ambassador in London, Ivan Mayski, wrote in his diary on 17.09.1939:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Mayski
"(...) What will be the response of England to our actions? Can England declare war on us? (...) Will England break diplomatic relations with us? I don't think so. Such a policy would overtax England's strength. Inversely, England will avoid everything, which could strengthen the connections between the USSR and Germany. Thus I expect a harsh protest note, a harsh speech of the Prime Minister in the Parliament, an anti-Soviet campaign launched by British press, but nothing more."
Also Soviet ambassador in Paris, Jakov Suric, sent such a message to Moscow on 19.09.1939:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakov Suric
"(...) Yet now with some dose of certainty it can be said, that the French government is not drawing any 'conclusions' and will keep an anticipative position, trying to do everything to avoid provoking the USSR and to prevent the even greater Soviet-German rapprochement."
Other claims were just excuses, to justify the factual reasons of lack of declaration of war.

But in fact, behind that courtain of propaganda, soon after the Soviet Invasion, Britain started - together with France - to plan a war against the USSR - but it was to be a surprise attack, and only then declaration of war would follow. You can read about those British plans of invading the USSR in this book:

"Operation Pike: Britain Versus the Soviet Union 1939-1941" by Patrick R. Osborn:

http://books.google.pl/books?id=39Q6...page&q&f=false

http://www.questia.com/library/book/...k-r-osborn.jsp

Another reason why France and Britain was "quite happy" about the Soviet Invasion, was their concern about Romania.France and Britain were afraid that immediately after defeating Poland, Germans would invade and conquer Romania. And Romania had a lot of crude oil, as we know - which Britain and France didn't want to fall into German hands. That's why after the Soviet invasion, Britain and France hoped that maybe Soviet forces would "isolate" and "cut off" Romania from Germany, from German military forces. But those were stupid dreams - Romania joined Axis anyway and Germany quickly gained access to Romanian resources. Not mentioning that Germany and the USSR were allies and Germany was receiving large amounts of resources (including also food) from the USSR - as is commonly known, by the way -, practically until 22.06.1941.

Another thing is that Britain and France should have helped Poland to defend the "Romanian Bridgehead" by sending them supplies via Romania, and then maybe German advance would have been halted by Polish forces, before entering Romania. Britain and France simply abandoned and "crossed out" their ally too early - they "crossed out" their Polish ally before he was defeated, when he was still resisting the German invasion.

This was their mistake. And France paid for that mistake in 1940, Britain also.

It is also true, that Britain and France were not obliged to help Poland in case of Soviet invasion. But as I wrote, this fact was rather one of "diplomatic excuses" than real reasons of not helping Poland against the Soviets. Real reasons were mentioned above:

1) Fear about the even greater strengthening of the Soviet-German alliance and co-operation.
2) Lack of real strength to fight against the USSR and Germany combined - they were more powerful than France and Britain.
3) Concerns about the fate of Romania (what was Germany going to do with Romania after defeating Poland).
4) Poland was "crossed out" - it had already fulfilled its task - being a "cannon fodder" for Germany, to win some time for Western Allies.

Last edited by Lech Wielkopolski; May 27th, 2018 at 02:56 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2018, 02:55 AM   #2
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Thank you. What is here written deserves to be included in the blog.
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Old May 27th, 2018, 03:03 AM   #3
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Wow, that's a comprehensive and well-sourced OP, my thanks I will go through it when I have the time to read it properly
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Old May 30th, 2018, 11:39 AM   #4
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Hi Lech...
From my distance I tell you... grat post!!
Is it true that invading soviet forces, in a certain point delayed their march so that germans had some more days to kill more poles??
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Old May 30th, 2018, 05:30 PM   #5

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Lech, I'm curious--would it have been logistically possible for the Soviet Union to only occupy the northeastern part of Poland while allowing the Polish Army to play defense in the southeast?

Indeed, if the situation would have ever gotten too desperate, Poland could have simply allowed Soviet troops to occupy southeastern Poland as well in order to prevent the Germans from occupying it.

Also, as a side note, Poland really should have been willing to allow the Red Army to enter its territory in the pre-war negotiations. That way, it is possible that Stalin would not have turned to Hitler.
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Old May 30th, 2018, 08:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Indeed, if the situation would have ever gotten too desperate, Poland could have simply allowed Soviet troops to occupy southeastern Poland as well in order to prevent the Germans from occupying it.
Why on earth would they voluntarily want to allow any foreign country to occupy their own? I mean why exactly would any one expect that Soviet occupation would be more lenient than Nazi occupation? Keep in mind that Soviet repressions and purges were not exactly a real secret in the bordering countries.
Quote:
Also, as a side note, Poland really should have been willing to allow the Red Army to enter its territory in the pre-war negotiations. That way, it is possible that Stalin would not have turned to Hitler.
Letting the Red Army in could have had rather serious consequences as what cases with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia show. In general the problem was never with inviting the Red Army - it was making it to go away afterwards.
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Old May 30th, 2018, 09:51 PM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaeltaja View Post
Why on earth would they voluntarily want to allow any foreign country to occupy their own? I mean why exactly would any one expect that Soviet occupation would be more lenient than Nazi occupation? Keep in mind that Soviet repressions and purges were not exactly a real secret in the bordering countries.
I am thinking about the well-being of Poland's Jewish population here. That said, though, unfortunately Poland couldn't predict the Holocaust back in 1939.

Quote:
Letting the Red Army in could have had rather serious consequences as what cases with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia show. In general the problem was never with inviting the Red Army - it was making it to go away afterwards.
True, there was certainly a very real risk in regards to this. That said, though, unfortunately Poland didn't have any good options in regards to this. After all, Britain and France were located far away from Poland.

Also, as a side note, the Soviet Union did end up withdrawing from northern Iran after occupying it. Thus, there was at least a glimmer of hope.
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Old June 6th, 2018, 12:45 AM   #8
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In fact Russia's invasion of Poland in 1939 had the format of a full-fledged war.

A week before the Second World War the Russians offered the Germans a counter plan in response to the German proposal for Russia's neutrality during the German campaign against Poland. This counter plan was called - the Secret Protocol to the non-aggression treaty. The secret protocol implied a joint or coordinated by Russia and Germany capture of the territories of countries of Eastern Europe, including Poland.

A week after the signing of the Treaty and the protocol to it the Germans began an invasion of Poland. This was the beginning of the WWII. Two weeks later - September 17, 1939 - the Russian army hit Poland in the rear. Before that since September 7, 1939 the Russians had carried out a covert mobilization (2.6 million people). By September 17, 98 new Russian infantry, 14 cavalry divisions, 27 tank brigades and 24 artillery regiments were formed. For the invasion of Poland they created the Belarusian and Ukrainian fronts. On September 9 the troops were ordered to prepare for the invasion.

The invasion of Poland began in the early morning of September 17, 1939. The Polish government which was located not far from the Soviet border by the date was forced to emigrate on the night of September 18 to avoid being captured by the Russians.
Following the war the Head of Government and People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs Molotov spoke at a session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In his speech on October 31, 1939 he marked the radical rapprochement of the Soviet Union with Germany and said:

Quote:
... it was sufficient to strike a short blow to Poland from the German army first and then the Red Army, so that nothing remains of this ugly child of the Versailles Treaty

Click the image to open in full size.

... With the military advancement of the Red Army in these areas our military units had serious clashes with Polish units in places and consequently there were also victims.

What these sacrifices were is evident from the following. On the Belorussian front in the Red Army counting the commander and rank-and-file squad we had 246 killed and 503 wounded... On the Ukrainian front we had the killed from the commanding officer and rank-and-file staff- 491 and the wounded-1.359...

Consequently, the total number of casualties suffered by the Red Army in the territory of Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine is: killed-737, wounded-1.862, that is 2.599 in total. As for our combat trophies in Poland, they make up more than 900 guns, more than 10,000 machine guns, more than 300,000 rifles, more than 150 million rifle cartridges, about 1 million artillery shells, up to 300 aircraft, etc.

The territory passed to the USSR in size is equal to the territory of a large European state. So the territory of Western Belarus reaches 108 thousand square kilometers with a population of 4 million 800 thousand people. The territory of Western Ukraine is 88 thousand square kilometers with a population of 8 million people. Thus the territory of Western Ukraine transferred to us together with the territory of Western Belorussia is 196 thousand square kilometers, and its population is about 13 million people
?????? ???????????? ?????? ???????? ?????????? ???? ? ????????? ????????? ??????????? ??? ???. ?. ?. ???????? ? ??????? ???????? ?????????????. 31 ??????? 1939 ???? | ????????? XX ????

There is no need to add that Russia recognized the occupation of Poland by Germany. The word "Poland" disappeared on the Soviet maps of that time. I have an Atlas of the USSR issued in 1940. In the place of Poland occupied by Germany is the name "Region of State Interests of Germany."

Click the image to open in full size.

In the first military campaign of the Second World War Russia acted as a combat associate of the Third Reich, as an aggressor and invader of foreign countries. An aggressor and invader - it was its role within the first year of the WWII.

Last edited by Dir; June 6th, 2018 at 12:49 AM.
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Old June 6th, 2018, 12:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
I am thinking about the well-being of Poland's Jewish population here. That said, though, unfortunately Poland couldn't predict the Holocaust back in 1939.
It must be said that the Jewish pogrom in Russia happened some years earlier.
It was during the Great Purge of 1937-1938 when tens of thousands of Jews were shot or sent to Gulag on false charges. Great Purge among other things, was a powerful blow to Soviet Jews from among administrators and intellectuals
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Old June 6th, 2018, 11:45 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dir View Post
It must be said that the Jewish pogrom in Russia happened some years earlier.
It was during the Great Purge of 1937-1938 when tens of thousands of Jews were shot or sent to Gulag on false charges. Great Purge among other things, was a powerful blow to Soviet Jews from among administrators and intellectuals
Yes, absolutely--though it still utterly pales in comparison to the Holocaust.

Also, what is interesting is that had France avoided falling in 1940 (or later), the overwhelming majority of the Jews in the Kresy would have survived the Holocaust due to the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way in real life due to the Fall of France.
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