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Poland's General Anders and one of the biggest "What Ifs?" of WW2


Ozi Dan 26 | 569
21 Jan 2010  #1
Hi all,

During the latter stages of WW2, and particularly in the period between May to July 1945, Anders requested release of the Polish Army in exile from HMG so they could fight on back to Poland. The requests were made with increasing freneticism and conviction as time progressed, and were effectively ignored.

What if General Anders' Army in Exile was released from service to HMG and fought its way back to Poland? Would the several tens of thousands of hardened Polish veterans have been a match for the Muscovite hordes? Would the shattered though still formidable remnants of the AK have joined up and added to its strength? Would the Poles fighting under the Russians turn against their erstwhile 'comrades' as a 'fifth column'?

The speculative possibilities here are endless. Would Anders have met with success, securing a free and independent Poland and changing the European geo-political arena for the next 50 years? It's tempting to say yes, if he was only given a chance.....

I look forward to your thoughts!
Marek11111 9 | 816
21 Jan 2010  #2
Anders and other would die in gulag or got shoot on the way to Siberia and notting would change just more poles would die.
OP Ozi Dan 26 | 569
21 Jan 2010  #3
Why Marek? We're not dealing in this hypothetical with a rag tag group of partisans but a disciplined and cohesive army with modern weaponry, tactical prowess and most importantly, morale and purpose.

Imagine the scenario - Anders at the Polish/German border, the AK and splinter units coalescing in Polish territory, displaced Poles in Europe flocking to the colours, unrest in the Berling Army, Bear Cub and the far flung heroes of the Rising reviving AK morale and fighting efficacy... how many more tens of thousands of hardened veterans could have been counted on to rise up again with just a whiff of having a fighting chance under a determined leadership...

Always remember what the boy-soldiers of the AK achieved in Warsaw with their bare hands and a wing and a prayer, and against some of the most vicious and hardened German soldiers that could be mustered. Ask your father or grandfather, if they were there and if they are still with us, what was achieved against seemingly insuperable odds. Ask them what they would have done had word of Anders' coming with a vengeance reached Poland. The spirit and will was still there my friend.
Mr Grunwald 19 | 1,542
21 Jan 2010  #4
As a half Pole it's all nice to read but as a strategist as hobby I would just /sigh

Unless somebody in the west would support such things as even giving them weaponry or positive speech out in the public then they maybe would have a chance.

But you DO know the ATTITUDE of the "Allies" after WW2 about SU? :)
Marek11111 9 | 816
21 Jan 2010  #5
too many Russians too few Poles and too much ground to cover to Polish west border it would be suicide.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
21 Jan 2010  #6
Why Marek? We're not dealing in this hypothetical with a rag tag group of partisans but a disciplined and cohesive army with modern weaponry, tactical prowess and most importantly, morale and purpose.

Against nearly 2.3 milion Soviet soldiers, while i agree that Anders and his men were head and shoulders above even the most crack Soviet units they were outnumbered dozenz to one on every field.

I'm sorry Ozi but at the time Russia had the kind of army that could squash both the Wehrmacht and what the allies had in Europe, at the same time, a partizan force and a single army unit could do nothing against that kind of power.
Babinich 1 | 455
21 Jan 2010  #7
Sokrates "I'm sorry Ozi but at the time Russia had the kind of army that could squash both the Wehrmacht and what the allies had in Europe, at the same time"

No way...
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
21 Jan 2010  #8
No way...

Yes way, just their offensive in Hungary was enough to eat whole of Wehrmacht alive and they had several fronts, some of them much stronger, Russian numbers in men and equipment as well as general quality of frontline troops was just insane, for example when fighting in Szekler Ground in Hungary they fielded a corps that had more tanks than an entire German army in the West.

Besides by that period most of Soviet equipment was better then both German and Western ones.
Harry
21 Jan 2010  #9
Would the several tens of thousands of hardened Polish veterans have been a match for the Muscovite hordes?

No, not even a chance. Tens of thousands versus millions is only ever going to end one way.

a disciplined and cohesive army with modern weaponry, tactical prowess and most importantly, morale and purpose.

And absolutely no supply chain at all. Not that that really mattered: even if they'd had a supply chain, they had nowhere to get supplies from.
Ironside 48 | 9,708
21 Jan 2010  #10
all,

No chance, if there were no support from USA!
enkidu 7 | 623
21 Jan 2010  #11
And the USA would do as they always do: Wait until the winner emerge and then support him.
They call it realpolitik.
Lir
21 Jan 2010  #12
Anders and his men

And women!

Polish women also served in the Anders army.

:)
pirate - | 22
21 Jan 2010  #13
Besides by that period most of Soviet equipment was better then both German and Western ones.

The German tanks outclass their Soviet counterparts, the Soviets just had massive numbers.

Churchill was for the idea, and commented along the lines of we'll nuke their cities until they fall into line. (They = Russians)

The initial primary goal of the operation was declared as follows: "to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though `the will' of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland, that does not necessarily limit the military commitment."

He wanted to arm German POW's too - quite surreal - occupiers becoming liberators within a matter of months.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
21 Jan 2010  #14
The German tanks outclass their Soviet counterparts, the Soviets just had massive numbers.

Sorry mate thats just the Western version of history for idiots like you, go read on T-34/85 as compared to Pz IV, IS-2, IS-3, KV series and more, Soviet tanks were better on every possible field, the only issue was crew training, because Soviets had so many tanks they did not train their crews much.

Churchill was for the idea, and commented along the lines of we'll nuke their cities until they fall into line. (They = Russians)

Which proves he was as much into sci-fi as you are, go check when the third nuke was constructed.

The initial primary goal of the operation was declared as follows: "to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire.

And even by then everyone knew it was bs.

that does not necessarily limit the military

Their military commitment was about 1/5th of the Soviet military commitment, your point is?

Russians were tired of war but if Stalin did order it they'd roll all over Germany, American and British forces, occupy France and then skullfvck UK with carpet bombings untill Brits themselves gave Moscow Churchill gift wrapped with capitulation terms shoved in his arse.
pirate - | 22
21 Jan 2010  #15
Sorry mate thats just the Western version of history for idiots like you, go read on T-34/85 as compared to Pz IV, IS-2, IS-3, KV series and more, Soviet tanks were better on every possible field, the only issue was crew training, because Soviets had so many tanks they did not train their crews much.

King Tiger was still cutting edge until the 1970's

Which proves he was as much into sci-fi as you are, go check when the third nuke was constructed.

when did they drop the first 2??? After Berlin fell!

Their military commitment was about 1/5th of the Soviet military commitment, your point is?

That was a quote from churchill - just an indication of his mind set

Russians were tired of war but if Stalin did order it they'd roll all over Germany, American and British forces, occupy France and then skullfvck UK with carpet bombings untill Brits themselves gave Moscow Churchill gift wrapped with capitulation terms shoved in his arse.

did they have nukes?? case closed!
Babinich 1 | 455
22 Jan 2010  #16
Sokrates"Yes way, just their offensive in Hungary was enough to eat whole of Wehrmacht alive and they had several fronts, some of them much stronger, Russian numbers in men and equipment as well as general quality of frontline troops was just insane, for example when fighting in Szekler Ground in Hungary they fielded a corps that had more tanks than an entire German army in the West.

Besides by that period most of Soviet equipment was better then both German and Western ones."

No...

Soviet manpower was at the end of the line both in quality and numbers, Soviet logistics was not the best, the Soviets lacked the necessary air power to sustain a sustained offensive.

And you underestimate the considerable punch of the western allies and the Wehrmacht as a combined force.
Mr Grunwald 19 | 1,542
22 Jan 2010  #17
And you underestimate the considerable punch of the western allies and the Wehrmacht as a combined force.

The army would be enough maybe... but the political will was never there.
(Except for Churchill but the americanos didn't want it)
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
22 Jan 2010  #18
Soviet manpower was at the end of the line both in quality and numbers,

Yes which still does not change the fact they had over 5 milion frontline troops which means they could easily outnumber the allies and draw reserves from active troops rather then the population.

And you underestimate the considerable punch of the western allies and the Wehrmacht as a combined force.

What considerable punch? Allies had problems with Gustavs line for months, Soviets broke through Hunyadys line in 48 hours, Allies had problems with Caen, Russians overrun its equivalent - Torda in days.

Sorry to break the bubble of Western education where USA and UK saved the world, the fact is by late 44 and all of 45 Russians by themselves had more military, technological and strategic capability in Europe then Germans and all of Western Allies combined and they proven it by skullf*cking any and every German defensive line with ease as compared to Allies who struggled at every turn.

King Tiger was still cutting edge until the 1970's

Like i said, idiots should not post, Tiger II was inferior to both Panther and Tiger I because of suspension, engineering problems, being underpowered and oversophisticated.

It was considered a failiure in WW2 and it had overall characteristics massively inferior to IS-3, by 1970s there existed tanks like T-54 or 55s (not to say about T-64 which could probably single handedly butcher an entire WW2 era tank company) which could destroy a Tiger II frontally at 2000 meters and take its shell to the side so start reading books and stop posting utter rubbish like that, k?

did they have nukes?? case closed!

Are you American or just stupid? Allies did not have nukes, comprende? They did not have capability to build them en masse, they did not have capability to deliver them, Russians on the other hand had the capacity to skullf*ck the Allies and take over Western Europe.

They didnt do it because they were reaching a reserve crisis and such a war would drain USSR even further which doesnt change the fact that they had a larger stick then the rest of the world combined.
Babinich 1 | 455
23 Jan 2010  #19
Sokrates - "Sorry to break the bubble of Western education where USA and UK saved the world, the fact is by late 44 and all of 45 Russians by themselves had more military, technological and strategic capability in Europe then Germans and all of Western Allies combined and they proven it by skullf*cking any and every German defensive line with ease as compared to Allies who struggled at every turn."

Yeah, mastery like Seelower Höhen?

As for the west how about we shift the 100K lost at Falaise, the 400K lost by December 1944 and the 120K lost at the Bulge out to the eastern front? That manpower shift would make it less of a holiday for the SU. The western allies also dealt the Luftwaffe's fighter force devastating defeat. So great was the defeat imposed on the Luftwaffe that by mid 1944 the Luftwaffe was not longer a factor out east.

Soviet manpower was not inexhaustible as the war carried on the Soviet commanders attempted to avoid frontal assaults whenever possible. - When Titans Clashed (Glantz)

Oh, and there was this little program called Lend-Lease that aided the SU greatly from late 1942 on with the material the program provided: rolling stock, food, clothing, raw materials especially metals), etc...

I am not arguing that the US/UK saved the world. I fully acknowledge that the SU broke the back of the Wehrmacht. But to say that the Soviets could roll over the western allies w/ the help of the Wehrmacht is not realistic.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,724
23 Jan 2010  #20
Sokrates? Where comes your hailing of the Russians from?

Do you have an idea of the kill ratio in WWII? How many Russians had to die to for every German soldier? 3.5-4.5 to 1 !
Does that speak of superior tactics? Of superior equipment? Of superior "anything"?
They had more men than anything else...whenever the numbers were equal the Germans won.

(Even in the West the kill ratio was mostly in favour of the Germans - 1.5 to 1).

The historian John Keegan put the average loss inflicted by the Germans during the whole war at 50% more than the allies. Even totally outnumbered and mostly without air or any other material superiority during the latter years.

Tell's you all about "who was better", really...

And after the war many inventions and tactics (even camouflage) of the german forces became standards in the military academies throughout the world - not the russian human wave!

(The Amis still wear our helmets today...whereas we get only the funny berets! *grrrr*)
Exiled 2 | 425
23 Jan 2010  #21
No way the West could match the Russian beast.In ground battles the allies would have had no chance.Just compare soviet and allied tanks in 1945.There is a huge mismatch.

Trucks were very important since soviet army had very few and even Germans relied on horses.(which in fact saved them because they did not need oil which Germans had in limited quantities.

But the Americans did not give many jeeps and they gave no bombers to soviets purposedely.
Babinich 1 | 455
23 Jan 2010  #22
"Germans shat themselves brown when having to fight Russians, being highly motivated did not include Russians who ground German army to dust everywhere with skill"

Yeah, like the recapture of Kharkov (von Manstein's 'Backhand Blow') in the spring of '43?

"Can i ask for sources? I know figures for lend lease, they're readily available if you use google and it reeks of rubbish"

en.allexperts.com/e/l/le/lend-lease.htm

oilru.com/or/22/360/

"We agree on trucks there's a problem though, all major logistics were done by rail not by road, short range logistics could and were done by horse power as well as trucks so they were not critical."

The amount of rolling stock, especially locomotives, provided by Lend Lease was critical.

Source: When Titans Clashed - Glantz & House

sources to counter???
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
23 Jan 2010  #23
The amount of rolling stock, especially locomotives, provided by Lend Lease was critical.

So your argument is that providing 4% of the total of locomotives Russians had was critical?:)

Source: When Titans Clashed - Glantz & House

Sorry what am i supposed to say? If the guy claims that 4% of the rail park makes a difference his book is obviously garbage.

Its like claiming that you gave Bill Gates 10 dollars and made him rich ignoring he already has a billion:)
Babinich 1 | 455
24 Jan 2010  #24
Sokrates: "So your argument is that providing 4% of the total of locomotives Russians had was critical?:)"

Where do you get four percent? If the SU had 25K pre-war locomotives, then the 2K Lend Lease provided breaks out to a little over seven percent.

How many of that pre-war rolling stock was destroyed early on in the war? How many locomotives did the SU build during the war? There is no doubt that the availability of rolling stock Lend Lease provided the SU kept the Red Army moving forward.

All that Red Army artillery has to be transported from front to front. That mobility was provided by Lend Lease provided Studebaker/Dodge trucks.

The further west the SU pushed, the longer the supply line. The longer the supply line the greater strain on logistics, security concerns begin to surface, and engineering issues begin to take a hold (rail gauge difference between in western Europe & the SU).
skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
26 Jan 2010  #25
Bratwurst Boy:
You know how Hitler preferred them: Kinder, Kirche, Küche (children, church, kitchen).
No Kombat? ;)

...or Kommando! :)

Since we talk about German women - last night I saw "A Woman in Berlin" - "Anonyma - Eine Frau in Berlin" on Netflix - a female survivor's diary/recollection of the Soviet occupation of Germany turned into a movie , wow! Scary but a great movie, strongly recommended...

Sokrates - how come you are so intensely pro-Russian?

I think you might be overestimating the Russian power and underestimating the allies and the German side. The lend-lease program was a vital support for the Soviets and more important than you try to make it out to be.

At the time the Europeans criticized the US for their neutral, laissez-faire approach to Europe (somewhat ironic, isn't it? :) and the conflicts going on there so the Congress came up with the Lend-Lease proposal to at least supply Europe with tools, vehicles, gas, weapons, etc. for self defense.

"...The USSR was highly dependent on rail transportation, but during the war practically shut down rail equipment production: only about 92 locomotives were produced. 2,000 locomotives and 11,000 railcars were supplied under Lend-Lease.... Likewise, the Soviet air force received 18,700 aircraft, which amounted to about 14% of Soviet aircraft production (19% for military aircraft).[7] ... Although most Red Army tank units were equipped with Soviet-built tanks, their logistical support was provided by hundreds of thousands of U.S.-made trucks. Indeed by 1945 nearly two-thirds of the truck strength of the Red Army was U.S.-built. ..."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lend-Lease

However the most important part of Lend-Lease when it comes the Soviets was the reverse engineering they used to build many vehicles and weapons and improve their own. Either way, the program was of a huge value to the Russians.

Something else - had the allies de-nazified Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe and used their help in the fight against the Soviets I think the central and eastern Europe would've never found themselves behind the iron curtain. Russians had the numbers. Germans and the allies had the rest.

Not much different today, when we train for combat against the Soviet/Russian fighter planes for example we focus on the tactics and not so much equipment.

So why so pro-Russian Сократес? I'm not really picking on you, just curious.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
26 Jan 2010  #26
Sokrates - how come you are so intensely pro-Russian?

I'm not pro-Russian, i dont like Russia i think it was, is and will be a barbaric craphole but i'm all for historical truth, the truth is Russia won the war single handedly and the West stole that victory by creating a false image that lend lease was critical.

Germans obliged by it so they wouldnt have to admit how easily Russia put them down once it got into gear.

I think you might be overestimating the Russian power and underestimating the allies and the German side.

There's nothing to over or underestimate, we've got numbers and they dont lie.

came up with the Lend-Lease proposal to at least supply Europe with tools, vehicles, gas, weapons, etc. for self defense.

only about 92 locomotives were produced. 2,000 locomotives and 11,000 railcars were supplied under Lend-Lease.... Likewise, the Soviet air force received 18,700 aircraft, which amounted to about 14% of Soviet aircraft production (19% for military aircraft).[7

And thats exactly the Western lie we're talking about, notice how tendentional this article is.

First it gives a number produced as 92 and thats accurate, what it fails to mention is that existing Soviet stocks of railcars and locomotives made Russia completely safe, they had tens of thousands of locs and hundreds of thousands of railcars, sending 2000 locos and 11.000 railcars is a joke.

As for aircraft not even 1/5th of Red Airforce, as for trucks the article itself admits most of logistics was done by rail.

I'm not pro-Russian if anything i'm anti-Russian and definitely anti-Soviet but propagating a historical lie that West won the war or that Russia would not win without the West is just wrong.

Something else - had the allies de-nazified Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe and used their help in the fight against the Soviets I think the central and eastern Europe would've never found themselves behind the iron curtain. Russians had the numbers. Germans and the allies had the rest.

Go read about "Deep Encirclement" and "Elastic Defense" Russian doctrines that were the most advanced in all theatres, tanks like KV-85 or IS-3, Katyushas ... Russians had everything the Allies had and more.

Superior equipment, tactics, numbers ,determination, command, and you're telling me a few millions dispirited underequipped Germans who were already being steamrolled for more then a year would do a difference? Dream on and learn history while at it.

I'm not really picking on you, just curious.

Because i dont like the West "hogging" the victory when they were just a sideshow, having been abroad i've got a good idea as to how a typical Western European views history and its almost as focked up as hardcore Soviet versions.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
26 Jan 2010  #27
Don't be silly, Sokrates just makes his mind up about something and any sources which disagree with his opinion are simply discounted.

that has been my experience as well, although my encounter with him was very limited;)
skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
26 Jan 2010  #28
Ok, sorry I misunderstood. Still don't quite agree with you but that's ok.

I'm not pro-Russian if anything i'm anti-Russian and definitely anti-Soviet but propagating a historical lie that West won the war or that Russia would not win without the West is just wrong.

Ok, that's fine. However, I totally disagree with you on Soviet being able to win the war on their own.

You're forgetting the brutality of the Soviet system where indoctrination, internal spies, etc always kept an eye on the soldiers. Millions of the soldiers were not Russians but minorities forced into the service. Many were fighting out of fear of either them or their relatives being punished and even executed by the communists. Don't forget that Bolshevik revolution happened when the Russian population was exhausted and starving under the Tsar regime while fighting a "far away" war. The tsarist soldiers were exhausted, discontent, starving and many joined the rebellion.

My contention is that had the war gone on for a longer period and had the Soviet gotten NO help from the West whatsoever, it's quite possible that a similar rebellion would've come about in Soviet Union all over again, this time not against the Tsar but against Stalin. Although the Russians "understood" and supported this war much more, millions of minorities did not, or simply didn't care as much. They just wanted food on their tables and to get away from the Stalin's terror regime. Today the Russians wouldn't be able to control their troops in a similar way. ...but that's a totally different subjetct...

Go read about "Deep Encirclement" and "Elastic Defense" Russian doctrines that were the most advanced in all theatres, tanks like KV-85 or IS-3, Katyushas ... Russians had everything the Allies had and more..

I might look into some of those books as I enjoy history.

Having said that, no reason for you to tell me "Dream on and learn history while at" - maybe you don't mean it but it sounds quite belittling. I majored in electrical engineering and history (quite a mix ;) in Sweden and felt they're pretty to the point and unbiased. Always tried to show both sides of the story; it's hard to do sometimes but I never felt the Russian (or other) side's accomplishments in any of he wars were being diminished.

After moving to the States I went back to school and got an aviation degree, again signed up for many history classes because I enjoy it. ..and I felt the history taught here was very unbiased as well. If anything the US universities are controlled by very leftists, usually "it's all America's fault" professors so trust me, they would be the last ones to claim America won the war singlehandedly.

However, once again I felt they always showed both sides of the story whether discussing the late help in liberations of the concentration camps, the Dresden bombings, the Russian war efforts, the atomic bombs, etc, etc. In fact often I was amazed at how hard the Professors and many students came down on America. Either way, I didn't feel brainwashed in any way.

Then I joined the military here and I won't get too deep as I'm actually still a "part timer" in the National Guard but I separated a few years ago from active duty - it's all in the aviation field and it's pretty normal to separate after 10+ years to pursue civilian jobs while maintaining a part time Guard status (unless you want a Pentagon job, then you become a 'lifer' - don't think so).

Well again, different classes, tactics and obviously many of us talked about present and past conflicts and I didn't see any "victory-hogging" - I think people just want to do the best they can and move on. I always saw respect for the enemy whether we talked about Russians, Iraqis or Afghanis. Of course you'll find nut cases every now and then but they truly are a very tiny minority. ..and they're usually despised because they make lives miserable for other Americans out there who're still in harms way.

Because i dont like the West "hogging" the victory when they were just a sideshow, having been abroad i've got a good idea as to how a typical Western European views history and its almost as focked up as hardcore Soviet versions.

Fair enough although I think some of that "hogging of the victory" you mentioned is simply somewhat nationalistic BS'ing we all see and sometimes gladly participate in after a few drinks in our home countries. Whether drinking some beer, vodka, wine, sake, or jui - deep inside we all like to exaggerate our achievements and diminish the enemies' accomplishments.

I've seen it in Sweden (history-wise - the weapons are pretty rusty there lol) and Norway, the UK, Germany, the US, Japan and China. To say there's some "victory hogging" conspiracy in the West is probably a little far-fetched.

So let's just agree to disagree on this one.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,724
26 Jan 2010  #29
There's nothing to over or underestimate, we've got numbers and they dont lie.

Oh and when during a war one side loses 10 million soldiers (even with allies and lend lease etc) and the other 3 million during the same time (even having to divert forces to another front ...who would you say got a "spanking" by a superior army?

Yes, numbers say it all!
polyfilaman
4 Aug 2012  #30
Merged: Polish General Wladyslaw Anders wife was born and raised as a Ukrainian Nationalist

Polish general Wladyslaw Anders was the icon of Polish resistance during WW2 and for the whole era following up until independence in 1989 from the Soviet Union. His wife was equal icon during this time but new research indicates that she was in fact an ethnic Ukrainian who was raised by very Ukrainian nationalistic parents. She was born Irena Jarosevych and adopted her stage name Renata Bogdanska during WW2 and eventually took her husbands surname to become Irena Anders. Her whole image while living in London was a mask of who she really was according to new research in the Ukrainian state archives. For more information about his woman watch these two clips (just Google these words):

Renata Bogdanska - Ukrainian Dimension

Renata Bogdanska - Polish Dimension

Does anyone have more information about her ?

Thank you, Mark


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