Skip to comments.Poland's Strategy
Posted on 08/28/2012 9:15:54 AM PDT by Wuli
Polish national strategy pivots around a single, existential issue: how to preserve its national identity and independence
-snip- for Poland, geopolitics is an existential issue; losing begets national catastrophe. ...Poland's national strategy... is designed with an underlying sense of fear and desperation. Nothing in Polish history would indicate that disaster is impossible.
-snip- we must consider that in the 17th century, Poland, aligned with Lithuania, was one of the major European powers. It stretched from the Baltic Sea almost to the Black Sea, from western Ukraine into the Germanic regions. By 1795, it had ceased to exist....divided among three emerging powers: Prussia, Russia and Austria.
Since 1991, Poland has sought a ...solution that was not available previously: membership in multilateral organizations such as the European Union and NATO. -snip- Most important, these memberships bring Germany and Poland into the same political entity. Ostensibly, they guarantee Polish security and remove the potential threat of Germany.
The solution -snip-...is problematic in that it assumes NATO and the European Union are reliable institutions. Should Russia become aggressive, NATO's ability to field a force to resist Russia would depend less on the Europeans than on the Americans. -snip- Whether the Americans are prepared to do this again is not something Poland can count on, at least in the context of NATO.
As the Poles know, Germany and Russia can change regimes and strategies with startling speed. A conservative strategy requires a bilateral relationship with the United States, founded on the understanding that the United States is relying on the balance of power and not the direct intervention of its own forces except as a last resort. That means -snip-Poland must -snip- maintain a balance of power and resist aggression, buying -snip-time for the United States to make decisions and deploy.
(Excerpt) Read more at stratfor.com ...
“... into the Germanic regions.”
(whatever that means)
This strategy is going to have to mark-time until Obam gets out of the Whitehouse. Heck, Obama caved on ballistic missile defense for Poland because the Russians squawked. If we can’t do that much, there’s not much chance of the US riding to Poland’s rescue.
... into the Germanic regions.....”Aha!”....”AAAAAAA-HA!”
.......”(whatever that means)”
Look at the context where the term is used; which is the late 1700s and that was a time when there was not yet a unified German state.
Would you have been happier if he had said “into Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Wurtenburg, Hesse-Kassel, Hanover and Baden, ect - the independent German states”, which were each idependent states at the date (1795) he was referrring to; as there was not yet a singular unified Germany?
Don’t be so thin skinned.
Interesting omission for the writer to describe the attack in 1939 as solely German. The Soviet half was in some ways even more devastating since they were the ones who liquidated the country’s military and intellectual leadership in the Katyn Forest. Strange also because it should have been the prime example of one of the article’s theses, that Poland has no chance if it’s attacked by more than one of its neighbors. The writer is either ignorant (unlikely) or has an agenda that includes overlooking Communist barbarism.
“also because it should have been the prime example of one of the articles theses, that Poland has no chance if its attacked by more than one of its neighbors.”
More than once he makes that sort of point. I suggest you reread it.
As for his leaving the Soviet Union out with respect to 1939, and the German invasion (which did kick off Poland’s loss off independence and did come before the Russian invasion) he preceded that point by mentioning that Poland had to fight for it’s existence against the Soviets beginning in 1919 (it was also not as one-sided as many Polish supporters would like to suggest), and followed by mentioning in the comments after 1939, that Poland was then occupied by the Soviets from 1945 until 1989.
So, I don’t think he was “favoring” the Soviet’s. It’s more likely that editing, to reach a word/paragraph/page limit, requires brevity that sometimes appears like “missing facts” but often is just trying to select what the writer feels is important to get to the point they are trying to make; which in his case was:
- geopgraphy and history makes answering Poland’s security questions complicated, and likely requires a bi-lateral alliance with a powerful ally that does not share borders with it. (the summation of what he said)
That’s what he could have said - and that’s all that many writers might have written, and then you could have complained about all kinds of facts he left out in reaching that point. Instead, he provided, as briefly as possible, the relevant parts of Polish geography and history from which that point can be understood.
I challenge you to write it better than he did.
Odd as it may sound,Poland might have been better off as a reluctant ally of the Germans,ala Italy,than being savaged by two socialist dictators; armies.Some writers of speculative fiction have made money with this idea.
Hitler was apparently certain that Russia must be attacked and much aggravated by Poland being an obstacle. What if Poland had granted unrestricted access to the eastern border via a defined corridor ? The Communist regime and Red Army were certainly no friends of Poland.
The question is would Hitler and the Nazis have tried the mass murder of the Jews in Poland if the German Army was committed in the Russian Front AND the Polish Army still existed?
Also would the West have declared war if the conflict was Germany versus Russia ? I ‘d doubt the British or French administrations would have,based on their reluctance to confront Hitler up to then.Was there any treaty obligating support of Russia by the West?
The US is more concerned that Poland accepts sodomites.
A better example would have been their Slavic neighbors, Slovakia. Hitler made Slovakia a puppet state, when Czechoslovakia was broken up, and appointed a Catholic, Josef Tiso as the leader. As a result, for the most part, Slovaks were treated much better than the Poles by the Germans, although they were considered untermenschen Slavs.
One of the interesting things, was that Hitler ordered an honor guard around Pilsudski's grave when the Nazis invaded in 1939....which leads to the question, what if Pilsudski was still leading Poland in 1939?
Another theory was that the Nazis, according to their racial theories, feared Poles, because they thought that while they were Slavs, many of them also possessed German blood, which would make them tough fighters, and would continuously be a threat to the Reich, if they weren't eliminated. This would explain why Poles were especially singled out amongst the Slavic peoples. Which would also explain why the Nazis would never have considered using Poles as guards in the death camps, as opposed to Ukrainians, knowing that if they gave a Pole a rifle, they would immediately use it on the Germans.
I thought the article was a good albeit not especially original analysis, and it was well written. But his omission of the words “and Soviet” in describing the attack in September 1939 stood out to me since it was, as you helpfully quoted from my comment, a “prime example of one of the articles theses”, Poland’s hopeless position if and when their dangerous neighbors collude.
Not completely. To the south it does have a natural boundary. To the west there is the new boundary of the Oder-Neisse. The east is open, however and the best boundary would be the Niemem-Dnieper border but that would mean getting Białorus and Western Ukraine into a Polish commonwealth.
I would love to see that. The loss of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was indeed a tragedy for all of Europe.
That was impossible. to the Germans poland HAD to be wiped out. There was no other place for Liebensraum. And the memory of Grunwald 1410 was to be wiped out.
The Poles were the Slavs who resisted the Germanic influence. The Czechs tried, but were defeated. The Poles stayed out of the Empire
There was no way out, Poland's Calvary was set, there was no alternative.
the Nazis would have mass-murdered the Jews no matter what -- Himmler actually took SS units out of the front-lines to commit these murders.
I think it was less due to blood and more due to history.
Actually the answer is, “Business before pleasure.”
If it had persisted, Turkey would be nonexistent now and the Balkans would be independent earlier.
I guess the Nazis were even MORE insane than I realized.
At the start of the Middle Ages (the 400s), the Germanics like Goths, Vandals etc. were moving out of southern Sweden and Denmark and moving into what is now central Europe and then western Europe. They pushed the Celts and the Romans (Italics). They called the Celts and Romans as Wlachs (foreigners, note -- the Greeks called non-Greeks as barbarians), hence the common terms Welsh, Walloon and Wallachia
They stayed in what is now poland for cneturies until moving out in the 600s
Then the Western Slavs came in (Polanians, Vistuans, Kashubians, Czechs, Moravians etc.) and the Southern slavs moved to the south, pushing the Thracians and Greeks.
Then, in the 9th century the Magyar hordes came and permanently separated the southern slavs from the western slavs by the Hungarian-Romanian band
The Germans were busy setting up the Germanic kingdoms of France, Visigoth Spain, Lombard Italy etc. and the Slavs basically walked in.
Then, in the 11th century the Germans turned eastwards and wanted a piece of the action
To the Slavs the Germanics were also bringers of high culture -- but it was difficult -- how to retain their language and culture while taking the aspects of high civilisation.
The Southern and Eastern Slavs fell under the influence of the Greeks and only St. Cyril and Methodius' created of Galgothic andthen Cyrillic stopped that, but the Eastern and Southern slavs were under heavy Greek influence until well into the 1800s
Among the WEstern Slavs, the Czechs fell into the German orbit and became a part of the holy Roman Empire.
the Poles wisely stayed out (well, not wisely, they were slower in progressing than the Czechs so they saw what was happening to the Czechs)
this started the millenia of German-Slav "relationship". This was exacerbated in the 1200s when Konrad the prince of Mazowia in Poland called in the Teutonic knights to fight the Prussians (a Baltic people) for him. The knights came and stayed and set up their own kingdom after commiting genocide on the Prussians. This was Prussia
The knights were a threat to Lithuania and to Poland and they were defeated by a joint Polish-lithuanian-ruthenian (future Belarussian and Ukraianin) and Tartar army at Grunwald in 1410.
as an aside, 500 years later when the Germans defeated the Russians some 100 km from this site at the start of WWI, they called it the battle of Tannenburg (German for Grunwald) part II -- revenge :)
BUT let's not simplify this as a simple German-pole fight. There was common blood shared and for a long time people were happy being of German origin in Poland.
Then came the partitions of poland 1789-1795.
In the Prussian part there was not a strong emphasis on German-ness until the formation of the German Empire. Then, since 'Germany' was a new state, a focus to make it a purely German state was started -- especially under Bismarck. Bismarck also in his Kulturkampf tried to destroy the Catholic Church in Germany -- he only succeeded in making German families in Poland get disgusted and become heavily Polonized (see the Wedel family)
from the late 1800s we see this new idea of a perpetual German-Polish struggle arising
Bismarck inflated this when he blamed the Poles for their partitions comparing this to their defeating the Prussians
hitle took this up and expanded it -- between Germany and Poland there could be only one, no way out.
The Kulturkampf is the reason my ancestors came to America.