What do you think was the ideal course of action for Poland's leadership in 1939?

Futurist

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May 2014
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Wikipedia says this:


Source: Romanian Bridgehead - Wikipedia

EDIT: This may have been the plan, it's unclear to me how realistic that plan was. Certainly just the shipping of goods to Romania by sea would have taken a long time already.
Yeah, that makes sense.

In hindsight give up Danzig and hope for best. Giving up Danzig might not have worked but it's really the only alternative I can see given the situation they are in 1939. Sadly at this point, Poland's fate was pretty much inevitable barring dues ex machina.
What about allying with either Nazi Germany or the USSR (in the latter case, while also allying with Britain and France)?
 
Jun 2017
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Yeah, that makes sense.


What about allying with either Nazi Germany or the USSR (in the latter case, while also allying with Britain and France)?
Yeah I think earlier that's a plausible option(only the Germans think the Soviet alliance was dead after the early 20s). Remember reading an alliance with the Germans was proposed in 1934 when Pidulski had been in charge. After all this would have enabled German troops to be closer to the USSR for Barbarossa(cause one way or another that wouldn't be negotiable for the Nazis given that was their main goal). But by 1939 any such options like that are mostly gone and it's hard to see the Nazis sparing Poland's non German populace while slaughtering/colonizing the USSR further east as planned. Just doesn't seem like something that the Nazis would accept given their goals.

They were allied with UK and France. Issue was nothing that UK or France could materally do. France's interwar anti German strategy was built around defense and turning the "Little Entente" into a replacement for Russia. At this point the Little Entente's most powerful component Czechoslovakia was already gone. Besides invading Germany over Poland and forcing a resolution by force there was no way out via their allies.
 
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Lee-Sensei

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Aug 2012
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Doesn't Hitler speak more negatively about Czechs than about Poles in Mein Kampf, though?

TBH, I don't think that many Germans actually cared that much about Poland's existence or even about the loss of Posen Province. What the anger was probably about was about Danzig, the Polish Corridor, and Upper Silesia. A smaller Poland would be A-OK by Germany just as long as it wasn't hostile to Germany. In fact, Imperial Germany did recreate a Polish state in 1916 in an attempt to get more Polish support for the CP cause.

Germany also lost territories to the French, Belgians, Danes, and Lithuanians. So, it's not like the Poles were unique in stripping Germany of territory. That said, though, the Poles did take more German territory than these other countries did--though it's worth noting that the eastern settlement after WWI was not particularly unfair to Germany if one uses 1772 as a benchmark.
Hitler wanted lebensraum. Poland was in the way. I doubt that he’d be okay with an independent Poland. Not unless it was a rump state moved to the other side of the Alps.
 

sparky

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Jan 2017
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looking at the situation with cold eyes the least bad policy for Poland would have been to concede a corridor and the return of the independent city of Danzig to Germany
they had no military option , and that was that
the concessions were not going to cost them much , beside bruised pride , and could have gained them time to work out their options
 
Apr 2017
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I have a question for @Solidaire, @Visigoth Panzer, @Kotromanic, and everyone else here: In his 1928 Second Book, Hitler writes this:


"The only war aim that would have been worthy of these enormous casualties would have been to promise the German troops that so many hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of land would be allotted to the frontline soldiers as property or made available for colonization by Germans.171 In that way, the war would also immediately have lost the character of an imperial undertaking and would instead have become a matter of concern to the German people. Because ultimately, the German soldiers did not really shed their blood so that the Poles could obtain a state or so that a German prince could be installed on a plush throne. In 1918 we thus stood at the conclusion of a completely pointless and aimless waste of the most valuable German blood.172"

Where exactly did Hitler envision all of this land to come from? Did he already believe back in 1928 that Imperial Germany should have engaged in a program of mass expulsions in the event that it would have won WWI (and also obviously embraced such a program in order to motivate the German people to fight their hardest during WWI)? Or did Hitler argue that, during WWI, Imperial Germany should have aimed for something more limited--as in, creating nominally independent puppet states in Eastern Europe such as Ukraine but also giving away a lot of the land of these puppet states to German settlers and WWI veterans?
I believe hitler drew inspiration from the Wendish crusade, the Teutonic knight conquest/colonization of the Baltic and the general german expansion east. He was jealous of the other western countries vast colonial empires but preferred a contiguous land empire that would be built over the slav and other states to the east. As he saw it the land was rightfully german. I'd imagine Hitler came to the conclusion that ethnic cleansing was the solution the same time he realized genocide was the answer for the jews.
 
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Apr 2017
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looking at the situation with cold eyes the least bad policy for Poland would have been to concede a corridor and the return of the independent city of Danzig to Germany
they had no military option , and that was that
the concessions were not going to cost them much , beside bruised pride , and could have gained them time to work out their options
It would have gained them months at best, and the situation wouldn't have improved much by then.
 

Futurist

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I believe hitler drew inspiration from the Wendish crusade, the Teutonic knight conquest/colonization of the Baltic and the general german expansion east. He was jealous of the other western countries vast colonial empires but preferred a contiguous land empire that would be built over the slav and other states to the east. As he saw it the land was rightfully german. I'd imagine Hitler came to the conclusion that ethnic cleansing was the solution the same time he realized genocide was the answer for the jews.
Hitler only came around to the genocide idea in 1941 or at the very latest 1942, though. Before that he simply wanted to expel the Jews from Europe; it was only when this became perceived as impossible that Hitler resorted to mass extermination of Jews.
 
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Hitler only came around to the genocide idea in 1941 or at the very latest 1942, though. Before that he simply wanted to expel the Jews from Europe; it was only when this became perceived as impossible that Hitler resorted to mass extermination of Jews.
Do we know that for certain? Or is that when he started publicly saying it?
Poland could have tried insisting on a population exchange as a part of the package for Danzig's return to Germany.
What would that have accomplished? Hitler wanted war, he was just looking for an excuse. Having entire nations given to him by demand was just a bonus. Even if Poland gave him everything he wanted, they would just end up like Czechoslovakia. As long as hitler is in charge of Germany, Poland was on the chopping block.
 
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sparky

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Jan 2017
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the date of a formal decision to proceed with the genocide of the European Jews is not in doubt

Hitler's Speech to the Reichstag, 30 January, 1939:
"Europe cannot find peace until the Jewish question has been solved. …One thing I should like to say on this day [the sixth anniversary of his being appointed Chancellor of the Reich] which may be memorable for others as well as for us Germans. In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet and have usually been ridiculed for it. … Today I will once more be a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevisation of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

In late December , having declared war on the USA , Hitler had a private discussion with Himmler for two days ,
nobody was there , no aids , no secretary , nobody else which was highly unusual
after the end of the years recess , and after a few days delay for the various organisation to get their stuff ready
on the 20th of January 1942 there was this co-ordination conference of various administration
such as the Railways ,the Department of Justice, the Foreign Ministry, the Gestapo, the SS, the Race and Resettlement Office,
and the office in charge of distributing Jewish property.
Also at the meeting was a representative of the General Government, the Polish occupation administration, whose territory included more than 2 million Jews.
The head of Heydrich’s office for Jewish affairs, Adolf Eichmann, prepared the conference notes.

It's pretty clear that the word had been given ,