Haw genuine was the offer of Soviet Union to help Czechoslovakia in 1938?

Nov 2009
3,760
Queensland, Australia
During the Czechoslovakian crisis in 1938, Soviet Union offered help to Czechoslovakia providing that Soviet Army will be able to cross Polish and Romanian territory.
Both countries refused to allow Soviet Army to use their territories for “transit” of troops.
Were they right in their decision or should they sacrifice their independence to try to save Czechoslovakia.
Was the Soviet offer genuine or was it an attempt to subdue Poland and Romania and export communist system to central Europe?
 
Nov 2009
3,760
Queensland, Australia
Firstly, we have to look at Soviet tactic used to subdue targeted country.
At first, there was a propaganda campaign to show that targeted country is involved in anti-Soviet activity. The second stage involved deployment of Soviet Forces into country destined for annexation. This action was usually carried out as an act of “mutual friendship” and protection of local population against unspecified thread (internal or external). In meantime puppet government was prepared in Moscow and in the right time this puppet government with the help of Soviet tank was installed as a “legitimate” government .After some time required for power consolidation the puppet government ask Soviet Union to incorporate their country to Soviet Union as a new Soviet Republic.
Annexation of Baltic states is a classic example of Soviet methods.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_and_annexation_of_the_Baltic_states_by_the_Soviet_Union_(1940)

In the case of “help for Czechoslovakia”, in June 1938 the Soviet Army finished preparation of invasion of Poland. 26 of June 1938 the Red Army converted two Military Regions into Kiev Front and Belarusian Front. The “Front” terminology was used for Military Region after full mobilisation of men and equipment and placing all units in full war footings. The full preparation for attack should be finished before 1 September 1939.
Kiev Front under command of Siemion Timoshenko comprised four Army Groups (Zhitomir, Vinnitsa, Odessa and Cavalry Army Group)
Zhitomir Army Group comprised two Infantry corps (four infantry divisions each) two Tank Corps (two Tank Brigades and 2 Motorised infantry brigades each) and two independent tank Brigades.This Army group was facing central Poland and its strategic objective was Central Poland and city of Lublin.
Vinnitsa Army Groupcomprised two infantry corps (six infantry divisions in each of these corps) and Cavalry Army (two cavalry corps with 6 cavalry division each). This Group was destined to attack towards southern Poland with city of Lvov and Czechoslovakia border as a strategic objective.
Odessa Army Groupcomprisedfour infantry divisions and was responsible for screening of Romanian border and attacking along Polish-Romanian border with city of Chernovcy major objective.

The Kiev Front was supported by Kharkov Military Region which was designated as a second echelon after full mobilisation of its units was concluded.


Belarus Front under command of Mihail Kovalov included two Army Groups.

Vitebsk Army Group included 3 divisions of Infantry, one division of Cavalry and two tanks Brigades. Its objective was the Polish-Lithuanian border and isolation of Polish forces north of their line of attack.
Bobruisk Army Group included three divisions of infantry, three divisions of cavalry and one brigade of Tanks.
Belarus Front was supported by full strength of Moscow and Kalinin Military Region. This will increase strength of Belarus Frontfourfold after full mobilisation of those regions.
The operational task of reinforced Bobruisk Army group was attack along Polish-East Prussia border with cities of Bialystok and Warsaw as the strategic objectives.

If the mobilisation of the southern group of armies could be justifies by Czechoslovakian crisis and Soviet intention to send Soviet Army there, the northern group was clearly destined to gain control over entire Poland
Such a disposition of the Red Army along Polish border is clearly indicating that Stalin was planning to conquer Poland using Czechoslovakia as a propaganda excuse.

Why he did not proceed with this plan?
The answer is very simple. Despite the big effort, the Red Army was not ready for such an action. Stalin purge of Armed Forces decapitated the Armed Forces and created the paralysing syndrome for command structure.
(This weakness was highlighted by very poor performance of Red Army in 1938 at the Khasan Like in Mongolia against Japanese forces and Winter War against Finland in 1939)
At this stage, the Red Army would be almost certainly stopped and defied by Polish Army and Stalin could not take the risk to repeat the great defeat of Red Army during 1919-1921 Soviet-Polish war.
It will take another 3 years of hard training and disastrous Barbarossa campaign before the Red Army was forged into a formidable world class fighting forces capable of performance necessary for a modern, mobile war requirements.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Poland1939_physical.jpg
 
Last edited:
Jun 2011
1,662
It is simple. Poland was not interested in defending Czechoslovakia. It invaded Czechoslovakia and annexed its territories.

Winston Churchill:
"Poland which with hyena appetite had only six months before joined in the pillage and destruction of the Czechoslovak state"

So even if there was no risk for Polish sovereignty, Poland wouldn't let the Red Army go through its territories.
All other "reasons" mentioned above are just lame excuses.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2009
3,760
Queensland, Australia
It is simple. Poland was not interested in defending Czechoslovakia. It invaded Czechoslovakia and annexed its territories.

Winston Churchill:
"Poland which with hyena appetite had only six months before joined in the pillage and destruction of the Czechoslovak state"

So even if there was no risk for Polish sovereignty, Poland wouldn't let the Red Army go through its territories.
All other "reasons" mentioned above are just lame excuses.
apart of your word could you provide any sources? Romania was also a hyena and did not allow the Soviet army to cross their territory?
For this the real hyena annexed part of Romania, Finland, Baltic states and half of Poland.
 
Last edited:

Lors

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,704
Ones you've let them in it's getting hard to pull them out.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2011
1,662
apart of your word could you provide any sources? Romania was also a hyena and did not allow the Soviet army to cross their territory?
For this the real hyena annexed part of Romania, Finland, Baltic states and half of Poland.
Did I say anything against Romania?

How does the innocence of Romania exonerate Poland?

What source are you talking about? Source of Churchill's words is Churchill :)
 

Lors

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,704
So Benes did inquire about Soviet military intervention without France in the evening on 19.09.1938 and received on 20.09.1938 that Moscow would act in concern with other members of the League of Nation what was nothing to do with the first question...
The answer concerning genuine or not is quite clear for me at least.
 
Dec 2011
259
Romania
During the Czechoslovakian crisis in 1938, Soviet Union offered help to Czechoslovakia providing that Soviet Army will be able to cross Polish and Romanian territory.
Both countries refused to allow Soviet Army to use their territories for “transit” of troops.
Were they right in their decision or should they sacrifice their independence to try to save Czechoslovakia.
Was the Soviet offer genuine or was it an attempt to subdue Poland and Romania and export communist system to central Europe?
Edward, I do not have many details about the Romanian politics in that time. However, how was Romania supposed to allow transit of its own territory by the troops of a state that openly presented territorial claims against it?

The truth is that both Czechoslovakia and Romania looked to the French an British for guidance. Wrongly but at that moment it was the only option.
 
Nov 2009
3,760
Queensland, Australia
Edward, I do not have many details about the Romanian politics in that time. However, how was Romania supposed to allow transit of its own territory by the troops of a state that openly presented territorial claims against it?

The truth is that both Czechoslovakia and Romania looked to the French an British for guidance. Wrongly but at that moment it was the only option.
Exactly. Nether Romania or Poland could allow transfer of Soviet troops as Soviet Union openly demanded territorial concession from both country.
Additionally, the Soviet offer to help Czechoslovakia was finally closed in 1945 when Soviet Union annexed easternmost part of pre-1938 Czechoslovakia. This was a final “help” which Czechoslovakia received from Soviet Union.
 
Nov 2009
3,760
Queensland, Australia
Did I say anything against Romania?
How does the innocence of Romania exonerate Poland?
Exactly, you did not. Both countries has been asked by soviet to allow transit of Soviet troops through their territories. Both countries refused for the same reason. But you blame only Poland for this refusal. Isn’t it a double standard?

quote=azato2000;899355
What source are you talking about? Source of Churchill's words is Churchill :)
So you quote him if you can. date of speach and so on. But you obviously can not do it.

You see, Azoto, the internet is a great tool for people who could use the reputable, well proven sites.
The rest is like public rest room door; everyone can write whatever he wants to.
Then some visitors of this public restroom reed the posting and use it as their sources.
They have a value of public restroom door graffiti but you happily use them.
 
Last edited: