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The great mistakes of Poland's history?


Borrka 37 | 594
4 Apr 2010 #1
At least it's what Polish "star historian" Pawel Jasienica used to say:

The greatest mistake of us was when our cultural, political and civilizing processes turned to the East and our ancestors gave up the idea of the Latin united Europe .

Yes, it happened after union with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and had (possibly still has) enormous impact on Polish mentality, our way of thinking and acting - it's why Poles are more like Ukrainians and not like Germans or Czechs.

Well ... personally I enjoy being "semi-Asiatic" but what were our long run-benefits of the Jagellons' Union ?

Let me call a spade a spade.

Siding with Germans (Teutonic Order) against pagan Lithuanian and Orthodox Russins would have been by far more profitable than any aliance with Lithuanians, Ukrainians or Belorussia (whatever it meant 600 years ago).

If not the Union, Poland would be today more like rich Germany or the Netherlands on the contrary to the poor European East.
ThePotatoe 2 | 38
4 Apr 2010 #2
the biggest mistake of poland is ...they made a mistake!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Apr 2010 #3
Still, why put a price on cultural development, Borrka? Trust me, when you see more and more morons driving around in swish cars, living out the rat race, then you will hope for a return to cultural niceties and the fight that symbolises the Polish spirit.

Many Poles went to Germany and came back to spread their influences around. 'Mistakes' can be cured and the EU is providing that option by allowing Poles more upward mobility.

Borrka, you are one of the smartest guys here so why jeopardise that by referring to wealth? Marek Konrad is one of those clowns that got rich and went up his own backside. Do you want to start off down that road?
king polkagamon
4 Apr 2010 #4
If you sided with Germany now you would be like Sorbs.
espana 17 | 911
4 Apr 2010 #5
the biggest mistake of poland is

drop the guns and run like chickens, its a big mistake!
Nathan 18 | 1,363
4 Apr 2010 #6
any aliance with Lithuanians, Ukrainians or Belorussia (whatever it meant 600 years ago).

Where was there any alliance you mentioned, Borrka? It was outright conquest of foreign lands. Even as you called "pagan" Lithuanians who donated their king to the Union became step by step politically dependant and lost their identity to the oligarchy of RP. There was never any alliance as such.

enormous impact on Polish mentality, our way of thinking and acting - it's why Poles are more like Ukrainians and not like Germans or Czechs.

Russia borders Japan...;)
Besides what don't you like about your mentality? And how are Ukrainians worse than Czechs or Germans? As we say: To a bad dancer balls are a hindrance.

Don't search excuses for the way you are or think on a national mentality.
Filios1 8 | 1,336
4 Apr 2010 #7
espana

Says the brave homosexual descendent of the conquistadors, who murdered and raped innocent North-South American Indians...
Mr Grunwald 19 | 1,542
5 Apr 2010 #8
If not the Union, Poland would be today more like rich Germany

With all due respect Mr but: Are you on crack?
OP Borrka 37 | 594
5 Apr 2010 #9
Some comments:

First of all it's notmy opinion - so I'm not trying to make you believe it.
However, Jasienica was a prominent Polish historian so it would be wrong to make light of his works.

so why jeopardise that by referring to wealth?

It's not about wealth etc. but more about many sad and long lasting consequences of a single political decision .
It makes me believe that history is more mysticism than science lol.

What we are missing depends on our position.
So it works like that:
The rich nations are missing spirit, the poors don't give a damn about that - all they need are just some greenbacks.
No away around it.
Poles, being just in the middle are missing both.

If you sided with Germany now you would be like Sorbs.

38 millions Sorbs sounds quite good to me LOL.

There was never any alliance as such.

It's your point of view and definitely not mine.
Both Lithuanins and Ukrainians owe Polish Commonwealth their national existence.
Without it there would be no Lithuanians at all today and the population of Ukraine[
would be a part of the happy Orthodox family under Moscow's rule.
Take it for granted.

Besides what don't you like about your mentality?

As a matter of fact I love my mentality both in personal and national aspects lol.
However ... I definitely prefer German life standards, reasonable politicians, good highways, luxury cars to our Polish life of misery and Ukrainian disaster.

With all due respect Mr but: Are you on crack?

With all due respect I'm clean.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,788
5 Apr 2010 #10
I definitely prefer German life standards,

There is no reason Poland can't achieve it too in the nearer future, you have definitely the potential.

We can't change history though...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #11
We can't change history? Revisionist historians do a good enough job there ;)

Borrka, what German politicians do you admire? Many Poles have enough to satisfy their needs. Wants tend to lead to more wants and that's not the best road to go down. Would you like to see your luxury car sit in the car park for 10 hours a day as you do your high-profile job? Oh, you can always drive it home and look at it from your window ;)

Life of misery? Many Poles are very patriotic and see the good options around them. Or are Polish food, spending time with Polish women and enjoying super nature just bluffs, made out to be desirable things?

I've never had a luxury life as the common perception would define it. Still, I've had plenty good food&drink from all over the world and have been allowed to travel extensively, thanks to having funds in place. I've also met some really good people. Isn't that enough for the Polish nouveau-riche?

Your post neatly sums up the Polish ambivalence towards the East. Yes, communism was a system which stymied the masses but it suppressed the natural instincts of being jealous of your neighbour for having material goods. Foregoing a life of affluence isn't a bad thing in itself.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,788
5 Apr 2010 #12
Yes, communism was a system which stymied the masses but it suppressed the natural instincts of being jealous of your neighbour for having material goods.

Oh Seanie, you couldn't be more wrong.
Living for decades in a socialist/communist environment didn't made people equal (regardless what they told you in your school)....there were lot's of apparatschiks, informers, gov bootleckers who profited from it and had more than the common folks...

But compared to a free western society you had barely the means to change upwards yourself without becoming such a spineless bootlecker yourself...try to feel the bitterness and envy and hate springing from that for a moment.

If people had led affluent, quiet lives there wouldn't had been a revolution!

PS: I believe Borrka means Polands history, not the current time...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #13
I think you misinterpreted me, BB. By stymied I meant that they didn't have free movement like they enjoy now, access to a wide range of goods in the shops in which to increase their options and a foreign occupier to curtail their freedoms.

Yes, BB, I have read Animal Farm by George Orwell :)

This present has direct relevance to the past. I feel that the history he may be alluding to has been extensively covered elsewhere here.
OP Borrka 37 | 594
5 Apr 2010 #14
Borrka, what German politicians do you admire?

German politicians don't need my admiration but German votes.
But sure, I can name some personalities I respect.
But remember - I'm quite "hawkish" and conservative in my sympathies both in politics and economy.
So taking in consideration the post-war period and democratic Bundesrepublik only,
what about Kurt Schumacher, Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Kohl and last but not least the GDR-Angie ?
There is some hope for Mr Westerwelle as well.

Many Poles are very patriotic and see the good options around them.

Many Poles are leaving Poland at the same time just looking for the better life.

Your post neatly sums up the Polish ambivalence towards the East

And what are you expecting from a "standard" Pole like me ?
Sure, my way of thinking presents Polish attitude toward history and today's reality.
In addition I know pretty good some European countries, both East/West and the German way of life is what I prefer.
Maybe with less socialism lol.
It's not perfect but still better than US skyrocketing Gini index, French or Italian chaos, Russian Mad Max matrix.
Believe me "luxury car" is just an eristic trick.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #15
Borrka, you have to qualify those terms as hawkish and conservative in Europe and the same in America are 2 quite different things at times.

Schumacher? Is he the father of Ralf and Michael? Maybe Harald's brother? ;) ;)

Better life washing dishes and working in factories like robots? Even those who graduated from their studies do such work.

Well, like it or not, many are happy to have historic ties with Ukraine and the Baltic States, esp Lithuania. Fans of Słowacki and Mickiewicz being but some.

The German way of life? Can you explain a day in the life of a typical German? Based on life in Berlin, I saw waaaaay too many commercial outlets and people pigging out on fleisch. Oh, you meant the Turkish element at Kreuzberg? ;0 ;) Driving around in Mercs is nothing special, 90-95% of Tiranians in Albania do it ;)
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,788
5 Apr 2010 #16
Oh Seanie...you know all about Genscher but nothing about German history???

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Schumacher
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Adenauer
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmut_Kohl
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
5 Apr 2010 #17
Siding with Germans (Teutonic Order) against pagan Lithuanian and Orthodox Russins would have been by far more profitable than any aliance with Lithuanians,

The problem was that the Teutonic Order was not interested in a long term alliance with Poland and they were bound to use Hungary to make Poland wage a two front unwinnable war sooner then later.

than any aliance with Lithuanians, Ukrainians or Belorussia (whatever it meant 600 years ago).

Ruthenians.

Actually if Poland burned Malborg to the ground no World Wars would happen since there would be no Prussia, Poland even without Germany was the richest country in Europe untill 17th century and Russia alone never posed a serious threat to the Commonwealth untill XVIII century and the serious decline of the state.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #18
And you know nothing about wink marks, BB ;)

I have heard of him but am not well up on what he did without that link you have just provided. Then again, I've never had a need to know.

One of the great mistakes of your history? Truthfully, it was not listening to Piłsudski's very real warnings before his death.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,788
5 Apr 2010 #19
Oh these wink marks...

Actually if Poland burned Malborg to the ground no World Wars would happen since there would be no Prussia,

No cool Marienburg castle, no Prussia....I would miss them! *snif*
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
5 Apr 2010 #20
One of the great mistakes of your history? Truthfully, it was not listening to Piłsudski's very real warnings before his death.

Actually they were heeded and all that could be done was done.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #21
That's absolute garbage, Sokrates. If we are to accept that he went to France (unarchived) then he perceived a danger. Why did he pursue a pre-emptive war? He broke down with his head in his hands. Why? Because his struggle was falling apart and he had little faith in his incumbents/successors. They did almost nothing to modernise Poland's army. What, did they think that horses would destroy panzers? LOL

I will interpret your response as provocation ;)
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
5 Apr 2010 #22
They did almost nothing to modernise Poland's army.

Pzl £oś, UR-AT, TP-7, CP series, Marioszka automatic rifles, Wolf project, 47mm AT gun, 150mm long range arty, 90mm towed mortar, infantry grenade launcher, modern uniforms, BAR automatic rifles, SMGs, Renault halftracks, PzInż 222 halftrucks, Wist pistol, modern tank periscope, new series of long range radios, new helmets...

All in all more then 900 pieces of new equipment between 1936 and 39, i can dig out a complete list, just because we didnt have money to shape up our army doesnt mean no efforts were made, there were gargantuan efforts just not enough $ to make good on them.

What, did they think that horses would destroy panzers? LOL

Actually they did think that cavalry generously equipped with light and medium artillery would, the Battle of Mokra proved them right.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #23
Maybe Poland was too honest in its business dealings? GB and Germany were doing well enough. My point is that Piłsudki's incumbent didn't share in his fear. He thought the General was going senile and losing his touch. Also, Hitler was already saying some vile things about the Jews. The British foreign minister was on top of collating data, why wasn't his Polish counterpart?

One battle is just that, Sok, one battle.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
5 Apr 2010 #24
Maybe Poland was too honest in its business dealings?

Jezu Chryste... No Sean Poland was destroyed post WW1 and had no industry, everything had to be built using domestic capital and there wasnt much of it either.

Polish army had modern weapons and Poland was spending 30% of its GDP on arms but our GDP was so tiny that there could not be anything resembling a western army.

My point is that Piłsudki's incumbent didn't share in his fear.

Piłusdskis words "siedzimy na dwóch stołkach, pytanie z które spadniemy najpierw" - we're sitting on two stools, question is which we will fall from first.

Poland prepared its army to a degree which its small economy permitted and this underequipped army performed better then the combined French and British forces a year later.

Poland secured the alliance of two most powerfull European states, UK and France.

Poland did everything both militarily and politically to prepare itself, nothing more could be done, i have no idea where do you come from with your silly theories atm.

Also, Hitler was already saying some vile things about the Jews. The British foreign minister was on top of collating data, why wasn't his Polish counterpart?

Collecting data on what? 2/3rds of all early intel the West had on Germany came from Polish intelligence so whats your point?

One battle is just that, Sok, one battle.

No, there was also Bzura, Krojanty and a f*ckton of other battles where cavalry performed admirably and was forced to cave in only in the face of combined arms and superior numbers.

Of course cavalry was inferior to mechanized units but when staffed by skilled and determined troops it could and did repeteadly shoulder its mechanized counterparts, the myth of the Polish uhlans bending over to the mighty panzers is just that, a myth.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 468
5 Apr 2010 #25
not destroying a Zakon Krzyzacki (despite biting them on field)- and Contr-Reformation. Those are the biggest mistakes (in my humble opinion)
Filios1 8 | 1,336
5 Apr 2010 #26
Polish uhlans bending over to the mighty panzers is just that, a myth.

The few Polish anti-tank guns (Wz 35) which were used in uhlan divisions, were then copied and manufactured under a different name in Germany. It is just one of a number of examples of Germans copying Polish technology. It performed admirably against German armoured vehicles and tanks. My grandfather, for one, served 17th Wielkopolska Uhlan Regiment, when it disbanded he joined AK. I did not get to meet the man, but I heard stories of how he and his mates would fire off from the wz 35, pierce the armour and later find German tank crews cut up by the ricochet of the bullets. A busted up 7.92 mm bullet can leave a hell of a mess.

If Poles would have had a few more years to develop some of their technologies and fully modernize, Germany would have had a true war on their hands.

the myth of the Polish uhlans bending over to the mighty panzers is just that, a myth.

Actual charging against German tanks is a myth, correct. Polish Uhlans were well versed in how to deal with heavy tanks. Never did the tactic involve outright charging. Rather, uhlans would dismount and use their anti-tank weapons available, or else partially retreat to fight another day if they were outnumbered.

The same day, German war correspondents were brought to the battlefield together with two journalists from Italy. They were shown the battlefield, the corpses of Polish cavalrymen and their horses, alongside German tanks that had arrived at the field of battle only after the engagement. One of the Italian correspondents sent home an article, in which he described the bravery and heroism of Polish soldiers, who charged German tanks with their sabres and lances. Other possible source of the myth is a quote from Heinz Guderian's memoirs, in which he asserted that the Pomeranian Brigade had charged on German tanks with swords and lances.

Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #27
Had no industry? What utter crap! You got most of the mining areas after WWI, leaving the entitlement of Germans to a minor fraction. Are you aware of how rich those people were? Come to Silesia and learn.

OK, let's talk specifics. I'm sure you know who Wacław Stachiewicz was. I don't believe that he should cop the whack for Poland's losing of the war but he still didn't clearly show how his plans were to be implemented and there was too much internal wrangling with Smigly-Rydz. NOT a theory, just fact!

That's nonsense again, Sok. That intel you are referring to came later through the use of radar, a Scottish invention ;) I was talking about the predecessor of Lord Halifax who had plenty of data on Hitler.

Ask Crow, Sok. Cavalry was fine back in the 14th century but against German panzers? Come on!
Filios1 8 | 1,336
5 Apr 2010 #28
Seanus, I don't know where you get your information from, but read up some more on the subject and you'll learn it wasn't all coasting for the German tanks through Polish territory. Cavalry was outmatched, but it still had its uses, especially against infantry divisions.

Do not buy the German propaganda of outright charges with lance against German tank.. Thats just ********.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
5 Apr 2010 #29
Had no industry?

Nope, none at all.

What utter crap!

dws.org.pl/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=14159&p=1427962]h
Educate yourself Sean.

You got most of the mining areas after WWI,

Not even close.

Are you aware of how rich those people were? Come to Silesia and learn.

There were no motor factories, no tire factories, no engine factories, no anything factories, Silesia was a poverty stricken region where miners were being paid a minimum wage.

OK, let's talk specifics. I'm sure you know who Wacław Stachiewicz was

Mobilisation plan Z, purchase of 1200 37mm AT guns, creating armored-motorised brigades, responsible for mobilising troops when UK and France did, halted by Śmigły who in turn was pressured by the West.

Specific enough for you?

I don't believe that he should cop the whack for Poland's losing of the war but he still didn't clearly show how his plans were to be implemented and there was too much internal wrangling with Smigly-Rydz. NOT a theory, just fact!

All of his plans except mobilisation were implemented and all of them were succesfull, your point is?

Ask Crow, Sok. Cavalry was fine back in the 14th century but against German panzers? Come on!

Maybe its because you're completely clueless as to how the cavalry fought?

Horses were the means of getting onto the battlefield, when they did get there soldiers dismounted, uncoupled artillery and proceeded to fight as regular infantry (with a larger amount of artillery and mgs).
Seanus 15 | 19,706
5 Apr 2010 #30
Poland had just won its independence and there were some industrial bases to build on. Heavy motor vehicles and mining, for example.

I suggest you look back at the League of Nations decision of 1921, Sok.

Poverty stricken? Hardly. Three Uprisings would suggest that the area was worth fighting for. There was abundant mineral wealth there, just not distributed well at that time.

Pressurised but not forced. I rest my case.

All of them successful? So why do so many historians point to him as being responsible for the fall of Poland in WWII? Do you know better than them? Are you a historian?

Yes, to be targetted by ready tanks that saw them coming.


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