Britain, Poland and the Eastern Front, 1939 (Cambridge by Anita J. Prazmowska

By Anita J. Prazmowska

This booklet deals a revisionist interpretation of British international coverage in the direction of Poland and the function of the Anglo-Polish courting throughout the interval March-September 1939. It demanding situations and questions hitherto held perspectives at the British decision to guard Poland and oppose German growth eastwards. It encompasses a learn of international coverage, monetary coverage and army making plans. This booklet is a massive contribution to our wisdom of the outbreak of the battle since it features a detailed and unique learn of the function of the Poles in British proposals for an jap entrance and the Polish notion in their dating with Germany. eventually the inconclusive nature of British ways to the Soviet Union and the Rumanian govt are placed into the context of the abortive idea for an japanese entrance opposed to Germany.

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1 39 40 Britain, Poland and the Eastern Front, 1939 Chamberlain appeared to be out of touch with the mood in the House of Commons and his own Cabinet. His misjudgement of the situation was confirmed once the substance of the Tilea report became known. It is therefore his speech at Birmingham on the evening of 17 March that is seen as a first sign of a new British attitude. Indeed, in it the Prime Minister reflected a deeper concern for the nature of German actions. 2 During the Cabinet meeting of 18 March, Chamberlain and Halifax informed their colleagues of a new proposal.

43 There was nothing in the content of the exchanges to cause Beck to doubt the whole of his relations with Germany. He admitted to being pessimistic, but there is little evidence that he viewed relations between the two states as little more than going through a period of temporary misunderstanding, in which, quite clearly, both retained a determination to show each other consideration, if not goodwill. 44 On his return from Germany, Beck considered two lines of policy. On the one hand, he took into account the possibility that a compromise could be worked out whereby the League would withdraw from the Free City and instead, a Polish-German condominium could be established.

Poland hoped by this action to obtain a common border with Hungary but in particular sought the incorporation of a region inhabited by a volatile Ukrainian population into the borders of a friendly state. The Polish government had been for some time aware of German support for Ukrainian separatist movements, movements which were to a large extent anti-Polish. The Foreign Office, on the whole, assumed that Germany opposed these Polish and Hungarian plans. 9 The major fear expressed by the British was that a conflict would break out over the Ukrainian region in which not merely Germany would be involved, but more importantly, into which the Soviet Union too would be drawn.

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