was it worth being hungry to try to save Poland? and he said, "yes, because it wasn't such an abstract concept, the Poles were stationed in town so you could understand what the war was for"
Welcome to the forum. I think what your dad said was probably true of the sentiment of many ordinary British people at the time, as well as the rank and file of the Army - given the nod by HMG, they probably would have fought with their Polish comrades to the bitter end. I made a thread some time ago which you might like to look at in praise of some of the Pommy politicians who risked so much to voice their outrage at the treatment of Poland after the war.
Dad was too young to vote in 1945 but it would be nice to think that lots of people could have been persuaded to fight on
I don't think this would have been fair or just on the British people, because by then it was too late. You'll note that the common conception of some of the fantasists of this forum when put to task about HMG's betrayal of Poland is to say words to the effect of "what could we have done at the end of the war, Britain was broke, tired etc etc". This is clearly designed to obfuscate the real issue, namely that the betrayal lies in the fact, inter alia, that HMG knew of Stalin's designs on Poland from at least as early as the Teheran conference and refused/failed/neglected to tell the Poles, an obligation not only contractually based upon the Treaty of Mutual Assistance of 1939, but, I would argue, a moral one as well. Consequently, from that point, the Poles under the nominal command of HMG were fighting for absolutely nothing to do with their own future and interests as their fate was sealed. I have at various times in this forum elaborated on my position if you feel like looking into that.
Are you aware that Gen. Anders requested the release of Polish units from the command of HMG during the early to mid months of 1945? He was intending to have his Poles travel (or fight) their way back to Poland. He was rebuked and refused, I think by Lord Allenbrooke. If the suggestion that Churchill telegraphed someone at the closing stages of the war to prepare for the possibility of rearming the Germans to potentially fight the Russians is true, it staggers the mind as to why Anders was refused.
Are you also aware that the Independent Polish paratroop brigade that was decimated at Arnhem under the auspices of HMG had a raison d'etre to be dropped in Poland in support of its liberation, specifically in support of the Warsaw Uprising? My dad was in Warsaw at this time and witnessed the Allied supply drops by parachute. The euphoria in Warsaw at seeing these parachutes, and the abject disappointment when it was realised the Polish paras weren't coming, was incalculable..
I think it was General Gubbins who articulated quite well the dynamic between HMG and Poland in WW2 when he said words to the effect that Poland would be squeezed until no more use could be had of it then was to be cast overboard by HMG. Perhaps it was the case that Anders and the Polish paras had not been sufficiently squeezed at the time of the question of their release. Is it any wonder that descendants of these Poles are bitter at the treatment of their forebears.
I for one believe that the UK and France only declared war on Germany because they wanted to avoid a reversal of the Treaty of Versailles under all circumstances; thus keeping a potential global competitor at bay. Fighting for freedom and democracy, fighting for Poland? Don't think so...
How do these events sit with you, being half Polish and half German (an honest question)?