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  •  True, and yet (5+ / 0-)
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    Calamity Jean, IM, Jay C, PrahaPartizan, devtob

    My impression has always been that the French and British in the west weren't militarily ready for the war at all, and that an Allied offensive at any point in 1939 was unthinkable. As far as saving Poland, the Poles surrendered just two weeks after Britain and France declared war. British troops will have still been embarking on ships in Dover and Southampton at the time. There's no way they could have invaded Germany that fast; the logistics would have been impossible.

    Much time was wasted between Munich and Hitler's attack on Poland. Chamberlain thought he'd obtained peace, but he was naive. He'd only postponed the inevitable, and he and the French didn't prepare for the inevitable. That part of the west's folly is what led to the Sitzkrieg.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:44:13 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  That timeline is a little misleading (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C, mightymouse, PrahaPartizan, devtob

      The French and Poles had war-gamed out the scenario of a German invasion.  Poland was supposed to hang on while the French army could mobilize - the French were supposed decisively strike 15 days after starting mobilization.  Shortly before the invasion, the British had also announced they would come to the military aid of Poland.  

      The French and British, however, without telling Poland, had already decided that they were not going to immediately attack, but would instead plan for a multi-year war to defeat Germany.  Poland could be helped after the war was over.

      Poland was then pressured to stop mobilization by France (in the hopes of a negotiated peace), even as the Germany army was massing on Poland's border.  Thus, Poland did not start full-scale mobilization until almost the day of invasion, September 1.  France started pre-mobilization on August 26, and full mobilization on September 1, the day of the German invasion of Poland.  

      The Polish army was beaten back much quicker than Poland had planned for, but was still an organized, effective fighting force on the 15th of September - the day the French were supposed to start the invasion of Germany (the French had overwhelming superiority along their border, in manpower and especially in equipment, as all of Germany's mechanized equipment was in Poland).  However, by then, the French had already decided they weren't going to invade after all.  

      2 days later, The Soviet Union invaded Poland, and that was that.  Warsaw fell at the end of September (almost 30 days after Germany invaded).  You can bet old Stalin would have thought twice about joining der Fuhrer if he knew it would mean war with the west.  Instead, he got to gobble up most of Poland and be on the side of the Allies later on.

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