A Soviet-British-French-Polish alliance before WW2

Mar 2019
9
Madeira, Portugal
#1
Stalin 'planned to send a million troops to stop Hitler if Britain and France agreed pact'.
Stalin was 'prepared to move more than a million Soviet troops to the German border to
deter Hitler's aggression just before the Second World War' .


But Poland didn't want the Soviet Red Army on Polish territory, even as Hitler threatened Poland over Danzig. So the alliance talks failed.
The article claims there are documents to support this "fact". Is it true, and has it been verified by more historians?
 
Mar 2014
1,894
Lithuania
#2
Soviets were actually allied with Germans, they divided Europe for themselves. How that works with some other countries? Stalin and Hitler divided Poland between themselves, if Poles invited million Soviet soldiers into the country Stalin might have died from laughter.
 
Oct 2015
766
Virginia
#3
The Anglo-Soviet talks in Moskow in spring 1939 are well attested in British and Soviet diplomatic sources. They failed due to mutual distrust and Polish unwillingness to allow Soviet troops into their territory (!). The Nazi-Soviet pact followed the failure of these negotiations.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,831
Dispargum
#4
The Soviets only "allied" with the Germans in August 1939. The OP describes a viable scenario in Sept 1938, at the time of the Munich Conference except that the threatened country at the time was Czechoslovakia, not Poland. Yes, this theoretical alliance between the Soviets and the democracies is widely discussed among historians. The reasons why it didn't happen are because the democracies did not trust Stalin (or any other communist), and as the OP says Poland did not want Soviet troops on its territory. The surrender at Munich convinced Stalin that Britain and France would not fight so Stalin went looking for another solution to the Hitler problem. He found it in August 1939 in the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. With hindsight we know that Hitler could not be trusted, but to Stalin, the Pact seemed like a good idea at the time, given that Britain and France appeared unwilling to fight Hitler.

Dentatus mentions mutual distrust between Britain/France and the Soviets. The post war Cold War was not something new. The democracies had feared communism (and vice verse) ever since 1918. Democracy, fascism, and communism all inherently distrust and fear each other. Three-way rivalries rarely last. Almost always, two factions unite against the other. In WW2 it happened twice: communists and fascists allied against the democracies and when that failed the communists and democracies allied against fascism.
 
Mar 2019
9
Madeira, Portugal
#5
Meanwhile, Molotov had participated in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1919, and therefore was ideologically committed to what the Communist
International called "World Revolution". In no uncertain terms may we assume that he considered his role, as facilitator of a war of attrition
between imperialists and fascists in the West (as if the Soviets distinguished fascists from imperialists at all), as midwife to the birth of new
Bolshevik regimes throughout the rest of Europe, even if the Red Army had to also strain in the birthing process. Is there any evidence that Molotov
and Stalin were NOT interested in exporting "dictatorship of the proletariat" to the rest of Europe, and that there was NOTHING MORE to Molotov's diplomatic
ambitions than merely defeating Hitler? Certainly the Soviet Union was eager to inhale the Baltic States, Finland, and half of Poland as assisted by
the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact... that had less to do with defeating Hitler than with spreading the Soviet ideology, IMHO. And the Red Army stayed in Eastern Europe
thru 1989... perhaps would still be there if the Soviet Union's regime hadn't crumbled. Were they still fighting Hitler in 1989?
 
Last edited:
Mar 2014
1,894
Lithuania
#6
The Anglo-Soviet talks in Moskow in spring 1939 are well attested in British and Soviet diplomatic sources. They failed due to mutual distrust and Polish unwillingness to allow Soviet troops into their territory (!). The Nazi-Soviet pact followed the failure of these negotiations.
History showed that Poles were right to refuse entrance for Soviet soldiers, because in all cases that I know they tended to outstay their welcome. German - Soviet military partnership started as early as 1922, with Germans developing weapons in Soviet Union far away from inspectors eyes. First mention of both countries attacking Poland was in 1920. Basically both Germany and Russia felt humiliated after WWI and wanted revenge. I guess if Poland would give up half of it's territory Soviets might agree on something.
 

Vaeltaja

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,687
#7
Soviets also demanded what essentially amounted to a carte blanche to invade and occupy any country in their region of interest (i.e. Baltics + Finland + Bessarabia) in case of 'indirect aggression' towards the USSR. Given how loosely it was defined it essentially meant that in case any of the aforementioned countries refused a single demand coming from the USSR then the Soviets would have French and British blessing for their invasion and annexation of the said country.
 
Oct 2015
766
Virginia
#8
True enough. But why would any state be willing to make its security contingent on the interests of small, weak, essentially hostile neighbors? The Soviets, at this period, wanted security, and believed this was only possible through a firm show of united opposition...a solid alliance with the western democracies. But as A J P Taylor said:

"The British wanted Soviet assistance that could be turned on and off like a tap; and they, or maybe the Poles, should alone be enabled to turn it."

"The British wanted a pact that would defend others and so would deter Hitler without war. The Russians wanted an alliance that would defend themselves."

Given the different objectives and mutual suspicions and distrust among the various parties no agreement was realistically possible.
 
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Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#9
Soviets also demanded what essentially amounted to a carte blanche to invade and occupy any country in their region of interest (i.e. Baltics + Finland + Bessarabia) in case of 'indirect aggression' towards the USSR. Given how loosely it was defined it essentially meant that in case any of the aforementioned countries refused a single demand coming from the USSR then the Soviets would have French and British blessing for their invasion and annexation of the said country.
Can one really blame Stalin for making such a demand after Britain and France did nothing while Prague was captured in March 1939, though?
 
Oct 2015
766
Virginia
#10
Considering its performance in eastern Poland in 1939 and in Finnland in 1940, it is problematic whether the Red Army could have sent the 136 divisions to oppose Hitler in Poland (as the "Telegraph" article says) even if they wanted to.