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Would Poland be better off if it had lost in the Polish-Soviet War?


Bobko 9 | 149
12 Dec 2018  #1
Big historical counterfactual I found myself thinking about while reading about the Nazi-led Siege of Warszawa (1939, not 1944).

Here's what I think:

Pros:
Germany may not have attacked in 1939, or at all, as the USSR would have be much closer to the German heartland, and stronger demographically and industrially.

Poland would have preserved an enormous part of its population (Jews and Poles), and might have had a population of 45-50 million people today.

Poland would probably still control the Western Ukraine, in addition to any territories it would have gained in the West. Logic here is that if Poland is already part of the USSR, there is no need to transfer territories internally to Belarus and Ukraine.

Though it would have still had to live under decades of Communist rule, Poland would likely still be an independent country right now, because even small constituent republics of the USSR like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have gained independence since the failed social experiment collapsed.

Cons:

Poland would have likely still lost a great proportion of its population to famine, labor camps, elimination of political undesirables etc., just like Ukraine did. But still probably far fewer people would have died than under the German occupation.

Without the 20 year period of independence between the wars, Polish national consciousness might have been stamped out completely and would not survive to the present.

If the USSR had won the Polish-Soviet War, it likely would have continued rolling West until it reached the English Channel. We'd all be speaking Russian right now!

Finally, the Wehrmacht advanced over thousands of kilometers in the first year of Operation Barbarossa, before the Russians managed to finally stop them right at the doorstep of Moscow - so whether or not Poland was part of the USSR, it's very likely it would have been rolled over just the same, if Hitler had still decided to attack the USSR.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
12 Dec 2018  #2
Hmmm, a titillating proposition. However, as with most all "What if..." scenarios, the background to the war, seen within the broader context of WWII itself, cannot alter the fact that it was principally the German invasion of Poland in '39 which turned the course of things, from merely a Polish-Soviet matter, into a continental issue which ended up embroiling nearly every nation of Europe, in one way or other:-)

At the time, Poland was neither well off nor badly off, having been under Russian control up till 1918 when she was finally liberated by Pilsudski, later dominated by the Nazis, after that, by the Soviets as one of many other satelites until '89.

The Germans saw the so-called "Polish Corridor" as a means by which Hitler could eventually claim military victory over Poland. Stalin though remained Hitler's chief nemesis, whom the Fuehrer saw as his life's mission to finally defeat, thereby laying claim to historical dreams of "deutscher Lebensraum", in the end, over the entire territory of Russia!
OP Bobko 9 | 149
12 Dec 2018  #3
Lyzko,

I meant the Polish-Soviet war of the 1920s, not the war in 1939.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
12 Dec 2018  #4
Not exactly transparent from your thread post which war you meant, bobko old man!
OP Bobko 9 | 149
12 Dec 2018  #5
So... what do you think now? ;))

Apologies for the confusion. I thought the headline would be sufficient. In English language historiography the name of the war is "Polish-Soviet War".
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
12 Dec 2018  #6
True, although my initial surmise would be that Russia might well have "gobbled up", so to speak, as much Polish territory as she could, therein reducing Poland's

geographic size, not to mention any possible geopolitical influence she might either have had or towards which she could have hoped to aspire.

Hitler would have attacked Poland, not matter what!
Vlad1234 14 | 573
12 Dec 2018  #7
Polish-Soviet War took place 100 years ago. Why to think about such a distant past.

Poland would probably still control the Western Ukraine, in addition to any territories it would have gained in the West.

Unlikely. Prior to Polish-Soviet war Western Ukraine proclaimed independence in 1918 and even city of Belostok was proclaimed part of USSR. So, USSR wouldn't see these territories as Polish and would withdraw them. Entire Poland wouldn't likely to be proclaimed as a part of USSR as the later would face a serious assimilation problem.
OP Bobko 9 | 149
12 Dec 2018  #8
Poland had been independent from Russia for all of three years at that point. I think assimilation would be no problem. Many prominent Poles in Soviet government at the time. Foremost among them, Dzerzhinsky.
jon357 63 | 14,122
12 Dec 2018  #9
it likely would have continued rolling West until it reached the English Channel.

And hopefully further.
Vlad1234 14 | 573
12 Dec 2018  #10
Poles dreamt about independence from Russian Empire and neither they would want to be a part of USSR. Also not too many Poles spoke good Russian I guess, many were devoted Catholic. For an atheist USSR it would create a big problems.
OP Bobko 9 | 149
12 Dec 2018  #11
Not sure if you're trolling Jon, or are just an avowed socialist ;)

There's an argument out there, that Poland's victory in that war is what saved the West from Bolshevism (see: "Miracle on the Vistula"). Weimar Germany was in a very weak state, and was the true target of the Polish campaign. If Germany fell, France with its enormous communist electorate would have been the next target to flip.

The other argument is that the Bolsheviks didn't give up on the idea of exporting revolution all around the world up until Roosevelt and Churchill asked Stalin to stop, because... you know... it's not cool to try to overthrow the government of your allies. At that point, Stalin decided on the idea of first building "socialism in one country".
wowkw
12 Dec 2018  #12
"If the USSR had won the Polish-Soviet War, it likely would have continued rolling West until it reached the English Channel. We'd all be speaking Russian right now!"

no it wouldnt have, quit patrionizing the polish propaganda. theyre now west or euorope and esp in the 19th and eaely 20th century. just because they would have been absorbed like lithuania and ukraine it has nothing to do with finland or germany. poland never was or will be west just get thst into your polak head already.

those coward dresses or sweat pant russian looking bums in all of europe are not west nor ever will be.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
12 Dec 2018  #13
Don't underestimate the power either of the US army or the British navy at that time. Likely the Russians wouldn't have had a prayer:-)
polakssuck
13 Dec 2018  #14
bottom line is russia would absorb them into the empire and make them orthodox. there would be no need to go farther because theyre no Germany or france or west just polaks. and russia already would be overextended and have too much territory for any need to go farther. thats like saying finland is savior of europe in ww2 lol what a joke. stalin only choose not to make polaks Ukrainians not because he couldnt he just didnt care about them and their small no-name country. americans even laugh at them daily and call them stupid. no west trust me.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
13 Dec 2018  #15
Russia nearly did absorb most of her neighbors, much as "Czar Vladimir" is trying to do same these days.
OP Bobko 9 | 149
13 Dec 2018  #16
no it wouldnt have, quit patrionizing the polish propaganda. theyre now west or euorope and esp in the 19th and eaely 20th century.

I'm not saying Poland is the West, but that it protected the West from further communist encroachment by erecting a sort of cordon sanitaire on the USSR's western border. In the first years of the Soviet state worldwide revolution was the number one driving force. It was considered an accident that Communists had first triumphed in an agrarian and semi-feudal Russia, rather than the much more industrial Germany or GB (workers > peasants for Communists). From this, came the thinking that if a major industrial nation could not be flipped to join the communist international in the very nearest future, then the project of the Soviets in Russia was doomed. It was considered that the two systems (capitalism and communism) can not coexist, and one would have to defeat the other. This is present in Marx and Engels' writing, all the way through to Lenin and Trotsky, and then even young Stalin.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
13 Dec 2018  #17
Agreed. Poland certainly "Westernized" far more readily than Russia, her adaptation of the Latin over the Cyrillic alphabet, Roman Catholicism as opposed to Russian Orthodoxy, to name several examples.
Vlad1234 14 | 573
14 Dec 2018  #18
Germany may not have attacked in 1939, or at all, as the USSR would have be much closer to the German heartland, and stronger demographically and industrially.

Possibly attacking USSR was Hitler's largest mistake. I wonder what would happen to US if Hitler would attack it together with Japan from both sides.
Szczelecki
14 Dec 2018  #19
Lyzko, Poland isn't nor was every westernised. In fact it didn't even exist for the last few hundred years. The only reason geographically it is so far west is because Stalin let it because stalin took its best parts and absorbed them into ussr while taking German lands and calling them Poland. Secondly, being two faced catholics hypocrrytes doesnt make their religion more west or superior in any way to other christian fates like orthodox, in fact looking at its history I would be ashamed to be catholic and I was born a Polak mind you. Thirdly, the cyrcyllic alphabet it can be argued is much more efficient and much easier to use for slavic languages and isn't any more or less west or your polar inferiority complex. In fact, Greece a country that started western civilisation is Cyrillic and I believe Orthodox unlike your two faced hypocrite lying wannabe west polakistan.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
14 Dec 2018  #20
Perhaps you don't grasp the meaning of the the word "Westernized", Szczelecki! The West or "Zachod" is the place from which Poland adopted much of what is currently considered Polish and the Poles always have seen themselves, almost as much as the Czech people, as a bridge between East and West.
mafketis 20 | 7,182
14 Dec 2018  #21
Greece a country that started western civilisation is Cyrillic

No, it uses the Greek alphabet, cyrillic was derived from stretching the greek alphabet as far as it could go with the more complex phonologies of slavic languages and then borrowing some letters from other alpahbets (the letter pronounced 'sh' is from hebrew) and I believe some made up letters (maybe the letter for 'ch').

And in this context it has much more to do with the concept of the enlightenment that shaped western civilization not geographic west. Poles are (probably after Czechs) the most westernized Slavs in terms of being in tune with enlightenment thinking. Russia has never had an enlightenment (one reason they simply transform from one kind of dictatorship to another (tsars, soviets, putin) with brief periods of anarchy (yeltsin era) in between.

The enlightenment ended, but the west is still shaped by the values it propogated: logic, rationality, secularism, education as a path of progress, human equality... of course peoples and countries often fall short of enlightenment ideals but they are still seen as worthy goals.
Szczelecki
14 Dec 2018  #22
They aren't enlightened and they certainly aren't west or most west slavs like you call it. Its only on a Polak forum you type this stuff, you would never get away with it on a slavic or east euro board. Its bullshet even the Lithuanians and even the Checs you keep comparing Polaks to know the truth and hate them. They pervert their history and lie and like all catholics since the span of history they're two faced and liars and hypocrites and persecutors. Ever heard of the Witch burnings? Thats who you support a nation of that?

And your colours show true your whole reason for being and pretending Polaks are west: Russia and your fear of Russia thats why in your last replied you mentioned Russia. You Polaks wished you could have a Peter the Great or Elizabeth whoa actually had marriages with kinds in the west and more land than anything little nonothing Poland could dream of. Just like how you try to take all credit for what Lithuania did and Lithuanian kings like Veytutas who actually reached the Black Sea.

And its funny how you say being west is enlightenment, you must never heard of the dark ages. And enlightenment had nothing to do with Poland nor did France, Italy want anything to do with you or your bums littering their streets (nor Russian but polaks are the bums in Berlin and every other country I can mention). They never were west and they can only convince themselves or expat female loser hunters from America like you they're west. They only come to polakistan for cheap sex and beer.

Look at their history. Peter the great turned Russia west while Poland didn't even exist. The only thing west about Poland is what other monarchs and impremiums allowed Poland.

Just ask the Ukrainians what they think of their catholicism or how they act or how they have to say god dear god Jesus every three words if someone bumps into them like two faced cowards who know Jesus or no one will come to their aid or help them. Thats why their women are always looking for foreign guys and why they hate Poland once they leave cause it never was or will be west.

"logic, rationality, secularism, education as a path of progress, human equality..."

Nice way to change the subject and run away form the truth to some mindless rant about history you don't fully grasp. Fact is judging just by this forum alone how they talk about others: Russians, Muslims, africans, etc. how hateful they are and judging how they act here in public transportation alone says they are one of the most primitive and least civilised nations I myself have ever come across.
mafketis 20 | 7,182
14 Dec 2018  #23
Thats who you support

My answer to you was polite and in return you are rule. Apologize!
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
14 Dec 2018  #24
Szczelecki,

Learn English properly before you decide to post:-)
Ironside 48 | 9,721
14 Dec 2018  #25
bottom line is

is that you suck big time, geez why there is always an idiot and a looser in the room? Get your sh..t together and grow up.

Poland isn't nor was every westernised.

Poland's culture is a branch of the western civilization. Talking about westernization of Poland is a pure malarkey or/and ignorance.

two faced catholics

Being a Polish person is not limited to Catholicism, Poles can come in all shapes and forms. In fact plenty of them used to be Orthodox before Russia started playing its barbarian Mongolian games with a religion.

enlightenment ended, but the west is still shaped by the values it propogated:

nah, the west is not shapes solely by the enlightenment but also by the values that has brought enlightenment forward. All those values and motions which are deeply rooted in the European Christianity. Sadly people especially in USA know very little about it.

Look at their history. Peter the great turned Russia west while Poland didn't even exist.

look, yo know nothing, so stop talking about history you know next to nought about and go to back your books if you can read that is. Poland didn't exist during the reign of the Russian Peter? lol! Are you taking a mick or you are just a lazy troll?

By the way Poland's democratic system with freedoms and civic rights lost against centralized, totalitarian like states cased Poland to lose. Poland lost against tyrannical empires like Russian and Prussia. They used a moment of weakness to jump in as a pathetic vultures they were.

As a result there were two world's war that ravaged the glob.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
15 Dec 2018  #26
The European Enlightenment as promulgated by Lessing, Voltaire, Moses Mendelssohn, also Goethe, was the attempt to instill the values of democracy wedded to a respect for scientific research as a means to complement, not necessarily replace, traditional Christian teachings:-)

In Germany however, as well all know too well, owing to the peculiar nature of her early deviation from Occidental Christianity, back to pre-Christian paganism in many cases (later seized upon for all it was worth by Hitler and the Nazis), the Enlightenment essentially withered on the vine, never quite taking root as was hoped by her proponents, thus rejecting Judeo-Christian values of love/respect one's neighbor, "the meek shall inherit the earth", opting instead for perverted Darwinism and to put it bluntly, caveman tactics and rampant anti-intellectualism!
Ironside 48 | 9,721
15 Dec 2018  #27
The European Enlightenment as promulgated by

Dude can't you be a more Capitan obvious? Just slow down. Do you really think all of them just spring out of nowhere or jumped out of the spilt skull of Zeus Athena like style?
mafketis 20 | 7,182
15 Dec 2018  #28
the west is not shapes solely by the enlightenment but also by the values that has brought enlightenment forward.

I was abbreviating and simplifying...

All those values and motions which are deeply rooted in the European Christianity

there's some relation, but "deeply rooted" is an exaggeration (and there's no single "european christianity")

people especially in USA know very little about it

what can I say? we are a simple people, we sit in the ditches and put beans in our ears....
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
15 Dec 2018  #29
Ironside,

YOU just slow down! I was merely responding to Maf's post:-)
Ironside 48 | 9,721
15 Dec 2018  #30
but "deeply rooted" is an exaggeration (and there's no single "european christianity")

'stems from' and it that sense is rooted in Christianity, whether it is deeply rooted or not is a question of perspective.

"European Christianity'- I was simplifying.

we are a simple people, we sit in the ditches and put beans in our ears....

oh shut up, it is as good generalization as there gonna be, a better one would be - self-centered. What one can learn in 300 years? Taking many issues and things for granted.


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