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  1. #21
    Morgellons Morgellons is offline

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    The Germans wanted to turn Warsaw into a big lake. The old city was totally destroyed. After the war they rebuilt the old city but you can feel the difference, it's a bit like a movie set. The chief Nazi in Krakow didn't follow orders and destroy the city, like the fella in charge of Paris and Krakow is a gem of a place historically speaking. Very sad chapter in Europe's history.
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  2. #22
    IvoShandor IvoShandor is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa View Post
    Well not quite - the Courland pocket was also tying down Soviet forces too

    The only reason they were able to hold out to the end of the War was because the German Navy still ruled the Baltic
    Yes, but the cut-off forces, would have been more useful to the Germans-the Russians has men to spare. At the end the Germans were relying on second-rate troops, young lads and oul' fellas. The Russians didn't even need to fight, just watch them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ergo2 View Post
    The Poles were terribly wronged by both Russia and Germany. It is great to see them survive as an independent nation.

    Have the Russians ever apologised for or even admitted to the Katyn murders? If they did I must have missed it.
    Yes, under Gorbachev the Soviets finally admitted it. They have mumbled an apology....so to speak. Far from the full and comprehensive one required.
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  3. #23
    brughahaha brughahaha is offline

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    The question of Russias reason for halting in the suburbs is not quite as black and white as portrayed here ....yes relations between the Polish home army and Stalin were complicated , fighting together in some cities and against each other in some others

    The Russians had pretty much burst through the German lines and were having supply problems due to the ( unexpectedly) fast penetration of Poland , also as they entered Warsaws suburbs the Germans launched a large counter offensive ( so the river provided a natural stopping point to regroup)

    The story of the RAF pilots - out of loyalty for Polish bravery in the Battle of Britain and general sympathy ( remember a free Poland was what caused the Uk to declare war on Germany) who in some cases disobeyed orders To supply the Polish home army during the uprising is one of those small stories of bravery rarely told

    Historians have argued long and hard over whether it was a convinient coincidence for Stalin or a planned strategy ........failure to mention the German counter attack skews this thread and most people are simply repeating our cold war western slanted hitorical narrative of WW 2 .... Much of which is being challenged now Russian archives are available
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  4. #24
    Seanie Lemass Seanie Lemass is online now
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    It was another example of the Stalinists and Nazis conspiring together to wipe out Poles.
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  5. #25
    owedtojoy owedtojoy is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanie Lemass View Post
    It was another example of the Stalinists and Nazis conspiring together to wipe out Poles.
    I think that is a misreading that lets the Nazis off the hook as if they were only half-responsible.

    The dismemberment of Poland in 1939 was a shared atrocity between Hitler and Stalin, though as the aggressor, I would apportion Hitler over 50% of the accountability.

    The Warsaw Uprising was over 90% a German atrocity, and bringing Stalin into it lets the Nazis off the hook. It was not the Soviets who depopulated Warsaw, levelled it to the ground and sent its inhabitants to death camps.

    Stalin was certainly capable of that, but in this case he just averted his eyes when it suited him. As the American courts call it, "depraved indifference". Not quite the same as mass slaughter.
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  6. #26
    Stasia Stasia is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by ergo2 View Post
    The Poles were terribly wronged by ...
    Britain. Both Russia and Prussia/Germany were the traditional enemies and oppressors of Poland, and occupied it throughout the 19th century. Historically they would not be considered to be Friends of Poland.

    But Britain purported to be the friend of Poland and in March (?) 1939 made an astonishing treaty with Poland, undertaking to go to war on Poland's side against any power that Poland happened to find itself at war with. (Just think - if Ireland gave such a guarantee to, say, Kazakhstan.) Evidently the Poles believed this nonsense, and refused to negotiate a road for Germany through the Polish Corridor (Pomerania, which had been German territory) to the German city of Danzig. A measure which was widely considered to be a reasonable correction of one of the Versailles Treaty injustices.

    So Hitler could work up a case (to Germans and internationally) that the Poles could not be dealt with, giving him whatever shred of excuse he needed for the war he wanted.

    And Britain's commitment (with France) to come to Poland's assistance? With munitions, planes, war-ships, troop landings? Even a Second Front which might at least inhibit Hitler? No, the Poles got RAF air-drops of leaflets, or something.

    Yes, Britain declared war on Germany (not vice versa) in order to save Polish self-government, but did nothing to help Poland, then or later.

    Britain was not invaded by Germany, and knew (through the Polish gift to it of the Enigma code) that it was not going to be invaded. A conquest of Britain was not officially a German war-aim. Or even conquest (by Germany) of bits of the British Empire. Officially, at least, Hitler wanted to preserve the British Empire (and, a priori, Britain itself), and did not even want the return of the bits of Empire which Britain had acquired from Germany in 1918.

    Britain went to war, officially, for Polish freedom.

    So when peace returned, was Poland set free? On this reckoning, Britain failed in its war-aim, and therefore lost the war.

    That's if you happen to believe the official fairytales that are relentlessly peddled about WW2.

    Quote Originally Posted by ergo2 View Post
    Have the Russians ever apologised for or even admitted to the Katyn murders?
    Yes, as it happens I think actually they did both, during the Kaczynski period.
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  7. #27
    Seanie Lemass Seanie Lemass is online now
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    The Stalinists allowed the Nazis to raze Warsaw. Anyway, it was much of a muchness as those there would have been murdered by the Stalinists or sent to their death in the camps. As for 1939, the Stalinists and the Nazis were part of an alliance that came closest ever to submerging the world in tyranny.
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  8. #28
    owedtojoy owedtojoy is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stasia View Post
    Britain. Both Russia and Prussia/Germany were the traditional enemies and oppressors of Poland, and occupied it throughout the 19th century. Historically they would not be considered to be Friends of Poland.

    But Britain purported to be the friend of Poland and in March (?) 1939 made an astonishing treaty with Poland, undertaking to go to war on Poland's side against any power that Poland happened to find itself at war with. (Just think - if Ireland gave such a guarantee to, say, Kazakhstan.) Evidently the Poles believed this nonsense, and refused to negotiate a road for Germany through the Polish Corridor (Pomerania, which had been German territory) to the German city of Danzig. A measure which was widely considered to be a reasonable correction of one of the Versailles Treaty injustices.

    So Hitler could work up a case (to Germans and internationally) that the Poles could not be dealt with, giving him whatever shred of excuse he needed for the war he wanted.

    And Britain's commitment (with France) to come to Poland's assistance? With munitions, planes, war-ships, troop landings? Even a Second Front which might at least inhibit Hitler? No, the Poles got RAF air-drops of leaflets, or something.

    Yes, Britain declared war on Germany (not vice versa) in order to save Polish self-government, but did nothing to help Poland, then or later.

    Britain was not invaded by Germany, and knew (through the Polish gift to it of the Enigma code) that it was not going to be invaded. A conquest of Britain was not officially a German war-aim. Or even conquest (by Germany) of bits of the British Empire. Officially, at least, Hitler wanted to preserve the British Empire (and, a priori, Britain itself), and did not even want the return of the bits of Empire which Britain had acquired from Germany in 1918.

    Britain went to war, officially, for Polish freedom.

    So when peace returned, was Poland set free? On this reckoning, Britain failed in its war-aim, and therefore lost the war..
    I think Britain had more than one war aim. "Therefore [Britain] lost the war" stinks of smug goal-post shifting.

    Britain went to war to preserve a liberal-democratic international system dominated by powers (imperial powers) like herself, France and the USA, and prevent dominance of Europe by a single power (Germany). That system was exemplified by the League of Nations. Any balanced view would agree that this offered better freedoms to small countries than Fascism or Soviet Communism, despite the failures of the League. That was certainly De Valera's view.

    Of course, this goal was doomed even before the war broke out. The USA after 1919 never played the role the British wanted for it, the French became defeatist and the British themselves were over-stretched and in poor economic straits.

    What Britain "won" was the emergence of a new polity that preserved in many ways what the League of Nations stood for. On the downside, Britain became bankrupt, lost an Empire and "never found a role", but continued on in peace and freedom (non-Fascist, non-Communist) in America's long shadow, as did most European countries (including West Germany). You can call that defeat, you can also call it enough of a victory to be celebrated by all of us.

    To Britain goes the pride of being the only belligerent European country to keep the Nazis at bay for the whole war, and emerge on the winning side.

    The Warsaw Uprising shows how limited was the amount Britain could do for the Poles. At Yalta, Roosevelt called the shots, not Churchill, and any indictment of the Allies should include him also.
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  9. #29
    owedtojoy owedtojoy is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanie Lemass View Post
    The Stalinists allowed the Nazis to raze Warsaw. Anyway, it was much of a muchness as those there would have been murdered by the Stalinists or sent to their death in the camps. As for 1939, the Stalinists and the Nazis were part of an alliance that came closest ever to submerging the world in tyranny.
    There were no "Stalinists" as belligerents. Stalin was Dictator of the Soviet Union, whose army was known as the Red Army.

    As least, get your basic facts straight.

    The Nazi-Soviet Pact ended in July 1941 with the German attack on the Soviet Union.

    The Soviets did not raze Sofia or Bucharest whose governments changed sides and became their allies. Poland under its government in exile was officially an ally. It was after this point the Russians set up their own Communist government in Lublin. The Soviets would hardly have got themselves into a fight with the Poles - though I am sure they would have tried to disarm the Home Army.

    I am not saying the Soviets were Good Guys when it came to Poland - in the thread, the intent was to focus on the enormity of German cruelty and inhumanity to both Poles and Jews. The Soviets committed a sin of omission, the Nazi sin of commission was far worse.
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  10. #30
    Seanie Lemass Seanie Lemass is online now
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    Stalinists, Communists, Hitlerites, Nazis.


    Your point? Anyway, your attempt to paint some sort of moral gap between the two is silly. Thought that went out of fashion on the left a long long time ago.
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