Western betrayal
Overview
 
Western betrayal, also called Yalta betrayal, refers to a range of critical views concerning the foreign policies
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 of several Western countries between approximately 1919 and 1968 regarding Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

. Historically it was intertwined with some of the most significant geopolitical events during the 20th century, including the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 at the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the rise and empowerment of the Third Reich (Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

), the rise of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (USSR) as a dominant superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

 with control of large parts of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, and various treaties, alliances, and positions taken during and after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and so on into the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.
The perception of betrayal on the part of the peoples in the territories caught between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union comes about because the Western Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 promoted democracy and self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, signing pacts and forming military alliances prior and during World War II, but subsequently failed to meet the expectations raised by those pacts.
Encyclopedia
Western betrayal, also called Yalta betrayal, refers to a range of critical views concerning the foreign policies
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 of several Western countries between approximately 1919 and 1968 regarding Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

. Historically it was intertwined with some of the most significant geopolitical events during the 20th century, including the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 at the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the rise and empowerment of the Third Reich (Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

), the rise of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (USSR) as a dominant superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

 with control of large parts of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, and various treaties, alliances, and positions taken during and after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and so on into the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

The perception of betrayal

The perception of betrayal on the part of the peoples in the territories caught between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union comes about because the Western Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 promoted democracy and self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, signing pacts and forming military alliances prior and during World War II, but subsequently failed to meet the expectations raised by those pacts. Examples include policies or acts of appeasement
Appeasement
The term appeasement is commonly understood to refer to a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power. Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and...

 before World War II in which the Allies of the West, such as Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, were annexed or conquered by Nazi Germany without regard for earlier treaties that ostensibly provided support or protection, the ceding of countries and territories to the Soviet regime after World War II, and the refusal to take firm action against Soviet acts of repression or in support of uprisings while simultaneously claiming the role of supporting freedom and democracy.

In a few cases deliberate duplicity is alleged, whereby secret agreements or intentions are claimed to have existed in conflict with understandings given publicly. For example, there was Churchill's taking the position with the USSR (in secret) that the Atlantic Charter
Atlantic Charter
The Atlantic Charter was a pivotal policy statement first issued in August 1941 that early in World War II defined the Allied goals for the post-war world. It was drafted by Britain and the United States, and later agreed to by all the Allies...

 did not apply to the Baltic States
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

.

In the case of the Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

 and its aftermath, some historians argue that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 had little or no option but to accept the demands of their erstwhile ally, the Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 in the Tehran Conference
Tehran Conference
The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three in which Stalin was present...

, and later in the Yalta Conference and the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

 (attended by President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 after the death of Roosevelt).

Alternative suggestions include some of the causes to misjudgments by the Soviet Union, such as concerning Nazi Germany a decade earlier (with the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact). Other historians suggest that Churchill urged President Roosevelt to continue armed conflict in Europe in 1945 - but carried out against the Soviet Union, to prevent the USSR from extending its control west of its own borders. However, Roosevelt apparently trusted Stalin's assurances, and he was unwilling to support Churchill in ensuring the liberation of all of Eastern Europe west of the USSR. Without American backing, the United Kingdom, with its strength exhausted by six years of war, was unable to take any military actions in Eastern Europe, and even with American military and economic backing, the outcome of actions against the USSR would have been very uncertain (see Operation Unthinkable
Operation Unthinkable
Operation Unthinkable was a British plan to attack the Soviet Union. The creation of the plan was ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces' Joint Planning Staff at the end of World War II in Europe.-Offensive operations:The initial...

) - even given the American sole possession of the atomic bomb.

Specific instances sometimes considered to exemplify the concept by historical and contemporary writers include the annexation of most of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany under the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 of 1938, the abandonment of Poland during the Invasion of Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 of September 1939, and during the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

 against Nazi Germany in 1944, and the acceptance of the Soviet abrogation of the Yalta agreement of 1944. In the latter, the Major Allies against Nazi Germany agreed to secure democratic processes for the eastern countries that would be liberated from Nazi rule, such as Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

, and Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

.

Also, there was the seeming lack of military or political support for the anticommunist rebels during the uprising in East Germany in 1953, during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and during the Czech uprising against the USSR in 1968 (the so-called "Prague Spring
Prague Spring
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II...

"). Although the West did undertake covert operations such as "Operation Splinter Factor"; an ambitious CIA plan for the destabilisation of Eastern Europe that it hoped would lead to the collapse of communism. Splinter Factor began in the last days of World War II with British agent "Michael Sullivan", the head of a British relief agency, who set up a spy network in Poland with the purpose of creating widespread civil unrest by spreading rumours of food shortages and collectivisation. The CIA’s domino theory was that the non-Soviet communist states would topple as civil unrest spread. However, thousands died or were imprisoned in communist East Europe as a result of disinformation and false accusations spread during Operation Splinter Factor, but communism was to survive for several decades more.

Diplomacy and Central Europe between the wars

Starting in 1919, France maintained a policy of constructing a cordon sanitaire
Cordon sanitaire
Cordon sanitaire — or quarantine line — is a French phrase that, literally translated, means "sanitary cordon". Though in French it originally denoted a barrier implemented to stop the spread of disease, it has often been used in English in a metaphorical sense to refer to attempts to prevent the...

(quarantine line) in Eastern Europe that was designed to contain both the Germans and Soviets and their ideologies, which were metaphorically compared to diseases. The crushing of Béla Kun
Béla Kun
Béla Kun , born Béla Kohn, was a Hungarian Communist politician and a Bolshevik Revolutionary who led the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919.- Early life :...

's Hungarian Soviet Republic
Hungarian Soviet Republic
The Hungarian Soviet Republic or Soviet Republic of Hungary was a short-lived Communist state established in Hungary in the aftermath of World War I....

 in 1919 by the combined forces of Romania, Czechoslovakia, and France was an early example of an enforcement of the cordon sanitaire. In 1921, France signed a defensive alliance with Poland committing both states to come to each other's aid in the event of one of the powers being attacked by another European power. In 1924, the French signed a similar defensive alliance with Czechoslovakia, in 1926 with Romania and in 1927 with Yugoslavia.

In 1925, the French signed new treaties with Poland and Czechoslovakia, which tightened the levels of military co-operation between the signatory states. In addition, the French tried to turn the Little Entente
Little Entente
The Little Entente was an alliance formed in 1920 and 1921 by Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia with the purpose of common defense against Hungarian revision and the prevention of a Habsburg restoration...

 of Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia which had been set up as an anti-Hungarian alliance in 1921 into an anti-German alliance. In 1921, Poland and Romania signed a defensive alliance
Polish-Romanian Alliance
The Polish–Romanian Alliance was a series of treaties signed in the interwar period by the Second Polish Republic and the Kingdom of Romania. The first of them was signed in 1921 and, together, the treaties formed a basis for good foreign relations between the two countries that lasted until World...

. This was as close as Poland came to joining the Little Entente. The French would have preferred to also see Poland a member, but antagonism between Czechoslovakia and Poland doomed the idea.

Beyond the Covenant of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, Britain had no defence commitments in Eastern Europe in the 1920s and made clear that they wanted to keep it that way. In 1925, the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Austen Chamberlain
Austen Chamberlain
Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain, KG was a British statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and half-brother of Neville Chamberlain.- Early life and career :...

 had stated in public that the Polish Corridor
Polish Corridor
The Polish Corridor , also known as Danzig Corridor, Corridor to the Sea or Gdańsk Corridor, was a territory located in the region of Pomerelia , which provided the Second Republic of Poland with access to the Baltic Sea, thus dividing the bulk of Germany from the province of East...

 was "not worth the bones of a single British grenadier".

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, a complicated set of alliances was established amongst the nations of Europe, in the hope of preventing future wars (either with Germany or Soviet Russia). In 1932 and again in 1934, Poland signed a 10 year non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. Also in 1932, the Soviets signed ten-year non-aggression pacts with Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Estonia and Latvia. In January 1934, Germany and Poland signed a ten-year non-aggression pact. In 1935, the Soviets signed treaties of alliance with France and Czechoslovakia. The Soviet-Czechoslovak treaty committed the Soviets to come to the aid of Czechoslovakia if attacked by a neighbor provided France did first.

In November 1933, there were rumours in Paris that a "preventive war" option against Germany was being considered by the French, Belgian and Polish governments. The British historian Lewis Bernstein Namier
Lewis Bernstein Namier
Sir Lewis Bernstein Namier was an English historian. He was born Ludwik Niemirowski in Wola Okrzejska in what was then part of the Russian Empire and is today in Poland.-Life:...

 claimed later that the Poles had proposed a preventive war to the French at this time, but the French declined the offer. However, there is no evidence in the French, Belgian or Polish archives that a "preventive war" was considered in 1933.

Czechoslovakia

The term Western betrayal was coined after the Munich Conference (1938) when Czechoslovakia was forced to cede part of its area (the mostly German-populated Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Sudetenland is the German name used in English in the first half of the 20th century for the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia being within Czechoslovakia.The...

) to Germany, losing the system of border fortifications
Czechoslovak border fortifications
The Czechoslovak government built a system of border fortifications from 1935 to 1938 as a defensive countermeasure against the rising threat of Nazi Germany that later materialized in the German offensive plan called Fall Grün...

 and means of viable defence against the German invasion (see Fall Grün
Fall Grün
Fall Grün was a pre-World War II German plan for an aggressive war against Czechoslovakia. The plan was first drafted late in 1937, then revised as the military situation and requirements changed...

 - the country was eventually invaded and occupied in March 1939
German occupation of Czechoslovakia
German occupation of Czechoslovakia began with the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia's northern and western border regions, known collectively as the Sudetenland, under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's pretext for this effort was the alleged privations suffered by...

). This exposed Czechoslovak citizens to the Nazi regime
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 and its atrocities. Czech politicians joined the newspapers in regularly using the term and it, along with the associated feelings, became a stereotype among Czechs. The Czech terms Mnichov (Munich), Mnichovská zrada (Munich betrayal), Mnichovský diktát (Munich Dictate) and zrada spojenců (betrayal of the allies) were coined at the same time and have the same meaning. Poet František Halas
František Halas
František Halas was one of the most significant Czech lyric poets of the 20th century, an essayist, and a translator.- Life :...

 published a poem with verse about "ringing bell of betrayal". Winston Churchill himself said: "Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war".

After the Communist Party assumed all power in Czechoslovakia in 1948, the betrayal was frequently referenced in propaganda. This interpretation of history was official and the only one allowed.

First World War aftermath

After the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Poland regained independence after 123 years of partitions
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

. While the victorious Western allies proclaimed their support for an independent Poland, their actual support was limited. One instance was the affair of Silesia
Silesia
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

. Many French and British politicians desired the industrial region of Silesia to remain part of Germany, so that Germany would have an easier time paying the Great War reparations to France and its allies. Britain provided no aid to Poland during the 1921 Silesian Uprisings
Silesian Uprisings
The Silesian Uprisings were a series of three armed uprisings of the Poles and Polish Silesians of Upper Silesia, from 1919–1921, against German rule; the resistance hoped to break away from Germany in order to join the Second Polish Republic, which had been established in the wake of World War I...

. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, a plebiscite was to be held to determine which areas of ethnically mixed Silesia were to be ceded to Poland and which were to remain with Germany. In some districts of Upper Silesia, the majority of the people were Polish and opted for Poland; the majority in the rest of Upper Silesia opted for Germany. After the plebiscite, the Germans balked at handing over any part of Upper Silesia, claiming that the Versailles treaty did not call for partitioning Silesia by districts. The German interpretation was that the majority of people in Silesia had chosen Germany and so all of Silesia should remain with Germany. The German view was supported by Britain. In fact, Versailles did clearly state that Upper Silesia was to be partitioned by districts after the plebiscite.

However, France and the French military in Silesia generally took a pro-Polish stance during the 1921 Polish uprising. In the years immediately after World War I, it was French policy to weaken Germany as much as possible, and though the French did not champion the border that the Poles wanted in Silesia, the French attitude to the Polish cause in regard to the Silesian dispute was markedly pro-Polish and anti-German. Indeed, it was an ultimatum from Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 that compelled the Germans to withdraw their forces from Silesia in June 1921.

Ostensibly, the British view that all of Silesia ought to remain with Germany was based on the belief that it would allow Germany to more easily pay reparations to France; by 1921, London had largely abandoned any claims against Germany and was strongly pressuring both France and Belgium to lower their reparations claims against the Germans as much as possible. The British argument about reparations was mostly a bid to influence French public opinion; the real reason for London's pro-German stance was the belief that if Germany were to lose too much territory, this could undermine the fragile Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 and lead to extremists taking power in Germany . Thus, British policy towards Silesia in 1921 was largely motivated by the desire to consolidate German democracy. Though the British were prepared to support an interpretation of Versailles that violated both its letter and its spirit, and though the Poles were understandably angry with London's pro-German view in this matter, it is very hard to justify referring to the British refusal to support the Polish rebels in Silesia as a "betrayal" as Britain had never made any commitments to do so.

During the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
The Polish–Soviet War was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine and the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic—four states in post–World War I Europe...

 (1918–1921), there was a debate among western politicians which side they should support: the White Russians
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

 (representing the former Imperial Russia loyalists), the new Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 revolutionaries, or newly independent countries trying to regain their territory at the expense of the powers that lost the First World War. Eventually, France and Britain decided to support the White Russians and Poland; however, their support to Poland was limited to the few hundred soldiers of the French military mission
French Military Mission to Poland
The French Military Mission to Poland was an effort by France to aid the nascent Second Polish Republic after it achieved its independence in November, 1918, at the end of the First World War. The aim was to provide aid during the Polish-Soviet War , and to create a strong Polish military to serve...

. Further, when it seemed likely in early 1920 that Poland would lose the war (which did not happen), Western diplomats encouraged Poland to surrender and settle for large territorial losses (the Curzon line
Curzon Line
The Curzon Line was put forward by the Allied Supreme Council after World War I as a demarcation line between the Second Polish Republic and Bolshevik Russia and was supposed to serve as the basis for a future border. In the wake of World War I, which catalysed the Russian Revolution of 1917, the...

).

There was also a great deal of mistrust within the British and French governments about Poland and the "Polish White Guards" and their leader Józef Piłsudski's intentions as revealed in the minutes of a meeting of the British Cabinet held at the House of Commons on 9 August 1920 where prevailing French attitudes to the Russo-Polish war (as it was referred to at the time) were discussed; "… a letter addressed to M. Millerand by the French Ambassador at Warsaw, containing a very grave indictment of the Polish Government, which habitually acted in defiance of the advice given by the Allies, both in political and military matters, with the result that the Allies were faced with the-present deplorable situation. Marshal Piłsudski was suspected of being ready to make peace at any price, even if this meant the setting up of a Soviet Government in Poland, provided only that his own position was assured. Notwithstanding the fact that the Soviet army was badly disciplined and had few supplies, it had encountered no serious resistance and was rapidly advancing, simply owing to the refusal of the Polish troops to fight; and, in the view of the French, treachery on the part of the Poles might be expected." Also reported at the Cabinet meeting was the British public's opposition to intervention; "… great stress was laid on the very strong public opinion against intervention in the Russo-Polish War."

The British Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

 in a statement to the House of Commons on 10 August 1920 stated "… we made it quite clear that we could not support Poland in any act of aggression upon Russia, or upon any other border States. We made it quite clear that it was an essential condition of any Allied support, whether moral or material, that the Polish armies should retire to the ethnographical frontier of Poland."

However the British and French Governments did agree to supply the Polish armies with military matériel for 22 Divisions; the British Government would be called upon for boots, clothes and saddlery and the French Government would be responsible for arms, munitions, etc.

In July 1920, Britain announced it would send huge quantities of World War I surplus military supplies to Poland, but this was never going to be accepted by the Trade Union movement because previously on 11 May 1920 at the East India Dock in London stevedores employed onboard the S.S. "Jolly George" refused to work unless a quantity of guns and ammunition marked "OHMS Munitions for Poland" were removed from the ship as they thought the consignment to Poland was to be used against the Bolsheviks in a war against the USSR. That same day the export branch of the Dock, Wharf and Riverside and General Workers Union unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Transport Workers' federation and the Parliamentary Labour Party to take such action as may be necessary to prevent the ship being loaded in any British port with munitions for Poland. At the Triennial Conference of the Dockers' Union on 18 May 1920 the workers were called upon to withhold their labour if ordered, to resist any form of intervention in Russia. Ernest Bevin
Ernest Bevin
Ernest Bevin was a British trade union leader and Labour politician. He served as general secretary of the powerful Transport and General Workers' Union from 1922 to 1945, as Minister of Labour in the war-time coalition government, and as Foreign Secretary in the post-war Labour Government.-Early...

 spoke out in support of the dockers action and went on to argue hindering support for Poland was justified because 'the present Government [do not have] the authority or the democracy of this country either to lend a single penny or to supply a single gun to carry on further war against Russia'. Bevin's view was that the 'great financial houses' had created the war to 'regain the grain belt' of Southern Russia'

On 13 August 1920 the Trades Union Congress
Trades Union Congress
The Trades Union Congress is a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in the United Kingdom, representing the majority of trade unions...

 and Labour Party threatened to “call for any and every form of withdrawal of labour” in defence of soviet Russia if Britain supported a war against the USSR — in other words a damaging General Strike that the British government could ill afford.

The British Prime Minister David Lloyd George had never been enthusiastic about supporting Poland, and had been pressured by his more right-wing Cabinet members such as Lord Curzon and Winston Churchill into offering the supplies. The threatened general strike was for Lloyd George a convenient excuse for backing out of any intervensionist commitments. The French were hampered in their efforts to supply Poland by the refusal of Danzig (modern Gdańsk
Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

, Poland) dockworkers to unload supplies for Poland. Likewise, French efforts to supply Poland via land were hindered by the refusal of Czechoslovakia and Germany (both which had border disputes with Poland) to allow arms for Poland to cross their frontiers. However on July 29 Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

 reported that British troops in Danzig had begun unloading the steamer Triton, carrying munitions for Poland which German dockers refused to touch. and in the British House of Commons Lieut. Commander Kenworthy asked the Prime Minister "whether the s.s. "Poznan," of London, was discharging Handley-Page aeroplanes at Danzig on or about 29th July last; whether the Dutch s.s. "Triton" was discharging British rifles at Danzig on or about the same date; and whether British soldiers were used to discharge munitions at Danzig from the latter ship.".
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, a complicated set of alliances was established amongst the nations of Europe, in the hope of preventing future wars (either with Germany or Soviet Russia). With the rise of Nazism in Germany, this system of alliances was strengthened by the signing of a series of "mutual assistance" alliances between France, Britain, and Poland (Franco-Polish Alliance and Anglo-Polish Alliance). This agreement stated that in the event of war the other allies were to fully mobilize and carry out a "ground intervention within two weeks" in support of the ally being attacked

Diplomacy

In the years following the end of World War I and the Polish-Soviet War, Poland had signed alliances with many European powers. The most important were the military alliance with France signed on February 19, 1921 and the defensive alliance with Romania of March 3, 1921. The alliance with France was a major factor in Polish inter-war foreign relations, and was seen as the main warrant of peace in Central Europe; Poland's military doctrine was heavily influenced by this alliance as well.

The Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression Pact
Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression Pact
The Soviet–Polish Non-Aggression Pact ) was an international treaty of non-aggression signed in 1932 by representatives of Poland and the USSR. The pact was unilaterally broken by the Soviet Union on September 17, 1939, during the Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland.-Background:After the...

 was signed on July 25, 1932 by representatives of the Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 and the USSR. On January 26, 1934 another important treaty, the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact, was signed between Nazi Germany and the Second Polish Republic in which both parties pledged to resolve any differences through bilateral negotiations and to forgo armed conflict for a period of ten years thus effectively normalising relations between Poland and Germany.

As World War II was nearing, both the French and Polish governments started to look for a renewal of the bilateral promises. This was accomplished in May 1939, when general Tadeusz Kasprzycki
Tadeusz Kasprzycki
Tadeusz Kasprzycki was a member of the Polish Legions in First World War, general of the Polish Army from 1929 and Minister of Military Affairs of Poland from 1935 to 1939....

 signed a secret protocol (later ratified by both governments) to the Franco-Polish Military Alliance
Franco-Polish Military Alliance
The Franco-Polish alliance was the military alliance between Poland and France that was active between 1921 and 1940.-Background:Already during the France-Habsburg rivalry that started in the 16th century, France had tried to find allies to the east of Austria, namely hoping to ally with Poland...

 with general Maurice Gamelin
Maurice Gamelin
Maurice Gustave Gamelin was a French general. Gamelin is best remembered for his unsuccessful command of the French military in 1940 during the Battle of France and his steadfast defense of republican values....

. It was agreed that France would grant her eastern ally a military credit "as soon as possible". In case of war with Germany, France promised to start minor land and air military operations at once, and to start a major offensive "(with the majority of its forces)" not later than 15 days after the declaration of war
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

.

On March 30, 1939, the government of the United Kingdom pledged to defend Poland, in the event of a German attack, and Romania in case of "other threats". The reason for the British-issued "guarantee" of Romania and Poland was a panic-stricken ad hoc reaction to rumours (later proven to be false) of an imminent German descent on Romania in late March 1939. A German seizure of oil-rich Romania
Petrochemical industry in Romania
Romania was one of the largest producers of oil in World War II. The oil extracted from Romania was essential for the German war campaigns. The petrochemical industry near Ploieşti was bombed heavily by American bombers. After the war, a heavy reconstruction and expansion was done under the...

 would ensure that in any future Anglo-German war, a British naval blockade
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

 would not starve Germany of oil. From London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's point of view, it was imperative to keep the oil wells of Romania out of German hands.

The British "guarantee" of Poland was only of Polish independence, and pointedly excluded Polish territorial integrity. "The reasons for the guarantee policy are nowhere more clearly stated than in a memorandum by the Foreign Office, composed in the summer of 1939, which submitted that it was essential to prevent Hitler from "expanding easterwards, and obtaining control of the resources of Central and Eastern Europe," which would enable him "to turn upon the Western countries with overwhelming force." The basic goal of British foreign policy between 1919-1939 was to prevent another world war by a mixture of "carrot and stick". The "stick" in this case was the "guarantee" of March 1939, which was intended to prevent Germany from attacking either Poland or Romania.

This declaration was further amended in April, when Poland's minister of foreign affairs Colonel Józef Beck
Józef Beck
' was a Polish statesman, diplomat, military officer, and close associate of Józef Piłsudski...

 met with Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax. In the aftermath of the talks, a mutual assistance treaty was signed. On August 25 the Polish-British Common Defence Pact
Polish-British Common Defence Pact
The Anglo-Polish military alliance refers to agreements reached between the United Kingdom and the Polish Second Republic for mutual assistance in case of military invasion by "a European Power". According to the secret protocol added to the treaty the phrase "a European Power" used in the...

 was signed as an annex to Polish-French alliance. Like the "guarantee" of March 30, the Anglo-Polish Agreement committed Britain only to the defence of Polish independence against a "a European power" but it was clearly aimed against German aggression. However the text of the treaty had been supplemented by a secret protocol which defined "a European power" as Germany, so the government of the United Kingdom did not have a treaty obligation to help Poland fight the Soviet Union. In case of war, United Kingdom was to start hostilities as soon as possible, and joining the struggle on land as soon as the British Expeditionary Corps
British Expeditionary Force (World War II)
The British Expeditionary Force was the British force in Europe from 1939–1940 during the Second World War. Commanded by General Lord Gort, the BEF constituted one-tenth of the defending Allied force....

 arrived in France. In addition, a military credit was granted and armament was to reach Polish or Romanian ports in "early autumn".

On May 4, 1939, a meeting was held in Paris, at which it was decided that "the fate of Poland depends on the final outcome of the war, which will depend on our ability to defeat Germany rather than to aid Poland at the beginning." Poland's government was not notified of this decision, and the Polish–British talks in London were continued. A full military alliance treaty was ready to be signed on August 22, but His Majesty's Government postponed the signing until August 25, 1939.

At the same time secret German-Soviet talks were held in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 which resulted in signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 in the early hours of August 24. The full text of the treaty, including the secret protocol assuming a partition of Poland and Soviet military help to Germany in case of war, was known to the British government thanks to Hans von Herwarth
Hans von Herwarth
Hans Heinrich Herwarth von Bittenfeld , also known as Johnnie or Johann von Herwarth, was a German diplomat who provided the Allies with information prior to and during the Second World War....

, an American informer in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yet Poland's government was not informed of this fact either.

Phoney War

Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Britain and France declared war on Germany after ultimatums to withdraw expired on September 3. The pledge would not have obliged France and the United Kingdom to declare war on the Soviet Union due to the actual wording of the pact that specifically named Germany as the potential aggressor. This was kept secret for diplomatic reasons. Additionally, the Polish government ordered its troops not to engage the Soviets in hostilities, to yield territory and to withdraw; it did not declare war on the Soviet Union, nor did it publicly acknowledge the existence of a state of war with the Soviet Union. The United Kingdom and France enforced a naval blockade on Germany and seized German ships starting with the declaration of war.

According to the Franco-Polish military convention, the French Army was to start preparations for the major offensive three days after the mobilisation started. The French forces were to effectively gain control over the area between the French border and the German Siegfried Line
Siegfried Line
The original Siegfried line was a line of defensive forts and tank defences built by Germany as a section of the Hindenburg Line 1916–1917 in northern France during World War I...

 and to probe the German defences. On the 15th day of the mobilisation (that is on September 16), the French Army was to start a full scale assault on Germany. The pre-emptive mobilisation was started in France on August 26, and on September 1, the full mobilisation was declared. A French offensive in the Rhine river valley area (Saar Offensive
Saar Offensive
The Saar Offensive was a French operation into Saarland on the German 1st Army defence sector in the early stages of World War II. The purpose of the attack was to assist Poland, which was then under attack...

) started on September 7. Eleven French divisions (out of 102 being mobilized) advanced along a 32 km line near Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken is the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany. The city is situated at the heart of a metropolitan area that borders on the west on Dillingen and to the north-east on Neunkirchen, where most of the people of the Saarland live....

 with negligible German opposition. However, the half-hearted offensive was halted after France seized the Warndt Forest, three square miles of heavily-mined
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

 German territory. At the same time the U.K., conducted a number of air raids against the German Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

 on September 4, 1939, losing two Wellington
Vickers Wellington
The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engine, long range medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs' Chief Designer, R. K. Pierson. It was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, before being displaced as a...

 and five Blenheim
Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the early days of the Second World War. It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter...

 bombers in the action. On September 11, the leaflet raids were halted.

Both the pre-war reports of the Polish intelligence and the post-war testimonies of German generals (most notably of Wilhelm Keitel
Wilhelm Keitel
Wilhelm Bodewin Gustav Keitel was a German field marshal . As head of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and de facto war minister, he was one of Germany's most senior military leaders during World War II...

 and Alfred Jodl
Alfred Jodl
Alfred Josef Ferdinand Jodl was a German military commander, attaining the position of Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command during World War II, acting as deputy to Wilhelm Keitel...

) reported that there was an equivalent of less than 20 divisions facing France in 1939, as compared to roughly 90 French divisions. On the other hand, German orders of battle show 33 infantry divisions, plus eleven newly raised infantry divisions, plus the equivalent of six border guard divisions, all under command of Army Group C. Similarly, most of the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 and all armoured units were then in Poland while the Siegfried Line was severely under-manned and far from completed, while most of the Bf 109 fighter units were still in the West, thus granting German air superiority. Knowing all of the above, the Polish commanders hoped that the French offensive would quickly break the German lines and force the OKW
Oberkommando der Wehrmacht
The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht was part of the command structure of the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.- Genesis :...

 to withdraw a large part of its forces fighting on Polish soil back to German western frontier. This would force Germany to fight a costly two-front war.

The French assault was to be carried out by roughly 40 divisions, including one armoured division, three mechanized divisions, 78 artillery regiments and 40 tank battalions. All the necessary forces were mobilised in the first week of September. On September 12, the Anglo French Supreme War Council
Anglo French Supreme War Council
The Anglo-French Supreme War Council, sometimes known as the Supreme War Council , was established to oversee joint military strategy at the start of the Second World War. Most of its deliberations took place during the period of the Phoney War, with its first meeting at Abbeville on 12 September...

 gathered for the first time at Abbeville
Abbeville
Abbeville is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Location:Abbeville is located on the Somme River, from its modern mouth in the English Channel, and northwest of Amiens...

 in France. It was decided that all offensive actions were to be halted immediately. By then, the French divisions had advanced approximately eight kilometres into Germany on a 24 kilometres long strip of the frontier in the Saarland area. Maurice Gamelin
Maurice Gamelin
Maurice Gustave Gamelin was a French general. Gamelin is best remembered for his unsuccessful command of the French military in 1940 during the Battle of France and his steadfast defense of republican values....

 ordered his troops to stop not closer than 1 kilometre from the German positions along the Siegfried Line. Poland was not notified of this decision. Instead, Gamelin informed marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły that half of his divisions are in contact with the enemy, and that French advances have forced the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 to withdraw at least six divisions from Poland. The following day, the commander of the French Military Mission to Poland
French Military Mission to Poland
The French Military Mission to Poland was an effort by France to aid the nascent Second Polish Republic after it achieved its independence in November, 1918, at the end of the First World War. The aim was to provide aid during the Polish-Soviet War , and to create a strong Polish military to serve...

, General Louis Faury
Louis Faury
Louis Faury was a French military commander. In the 1920s he acted as a chief of General Staff Academy in Poland. Well known to his Polish students under nickname Papa Faury. He was made General Officer commanding the 3rd Division in 1936...

, informed the Polish Chief of Staff, General Wacław Stachiewicz, that the planned major offensive on the western front had to be postponed from September 17 to September 20. At the same time, French divisions were ordered to retreat to their barracks along the Maginot Line
Maginot Line
The Maginot Line , named after the French Minister of War André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, artillery casemates, machine gun posts, and other defences, which France constructed along its borders with Germany and Italy, in light of its experience in World War I,...

. The Phoney War started. The French remained in control of a pocket in the Saarland. As a symbolic gesture, the 1st Polish Grenadier Division later raised in the French Army was stationed to occupy this German territory.

The Allied attitude towards Poland in 1939 has been a subject of an ongoing dispute among historians ever since. Some historians argue that if only France had pursued the offensive agreed on in the treaties, it would have definitely been able to break through the unfinished Siegfried Line and force Germany to fight a costly two-front war that it was in no position to win. At the same time, others argue that France and Britain had promised more than they would deliver — especially when confronted with the option to declare war on the Soviet Union for violating Poland's territory on September 17, 1939 the way they had on Germany on September 3, 1939 (though in fact the pledge would not have obliged France and the United Kingdom to declare war on the Soviet Union due to the actual wording of the pact that specifically named Germany as the potential aggressor) — and that the French army was superior to the Wehrmacht in numbers only. It lacked the offensive doctrines, mobilization schemes, and offensive spirit necessary to attack Germany.

Though the Germans asked the Russians to invade Poland on September 3 no such action took place until September 17, 1939.

After the war, General Alfred Jodl commented that the Germans survived 1939 "only because approximately 110 French and English divisions in the West, which during the campaign on Poland were facing 25 German divisions, remained completely inactive."

In the end, many Poles believe that although Poland held out for five weeks, three weeks longer than was planned, it received no military aid from its allies, the United Kingdom and France. Additionally Poland never surrendered to either the Germans or Russians. The agreed upon "two week ground response" never materialized, and it is contended that Poland fell to the Nazis and the Soviets as a result. It is uncertain whether the British or French had any real capacity to launch a successful offensive on the German-French border before mid-October 1939. Nevertheless, an offensive within a two-week timeframe was what they had promised the Polish government.

Atlantic Charter

Soon after the Third Reich had invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, the Polish government-in-exile signed a pact with Joseph Stalin. Although the Poles wanted a declaration that all pacts the USSR had signed with the Nazis were null and void, Stalin refused to consider any suggestion that he surrender the territory he seized consequent to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

. Britain pressured the Poles to withdraw this demand, since, in Churchill's words, "We could not force our new and sorely threatened [Soviet] ally to abandon, even on paper, regions on her frontier which she regarded for generations as vital to her security." The Polish government-in-exile, based in London, conceded but only after Britain agreed to state in writing that all agreements which adjusted Poland's pre-war borders were null and void. The Soviet-Polish agreement was signed on July 30, 1941, and Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957...

 formally notified the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 of the arrangements that same day. In response to a parliamentary question about Britain's commitment, however, Eden stated that "The exchange of notes which I have just read to the House does not involve any guarantee of frontiers by His Majesty's Government."

The Poles were more successful in obtaining Soviet agreement to the creation of the Polish Army in the East, and obtaining the release of Polish citizens from the Soviet labor camps
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

. Despite the difficulties the Soviet government made, many were freed from confinement and permitted to join the Polish Army formed formally on August 12, 1941. However, after the troops were withdrawn to the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 in March 1942, Stalin revoked the amnesty and in June and July arrested all Polish diplomats in the USSR.

Meanwhile, on September 24, 1941, Poland's government-in-exile and the Soviet Union signed the Atlantic Charter
Atlantic Charter
The Atlantic Charter was a pivotal policy statement first issued in August 1941 that early in World War II defined the Allied goals for the post-war world. It was drafted by Britain and the United States, and later agreed to by all the Allies...

. It underlined that no territorial changes should be made that would "not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned". It was viewed by the Polish government as a warrant of Poland's borders, although it became apparent that some concessions would have to be made.

In December 1941, a Conference was held in Moscow between the USSR and the United Kingdom. Stalin proposed to base post-war Polish western borders on the Oder-Neisse Line
Oder-Neisse line
The Oder–Neisse line is the border between Germany and Poland which was drawn in the aftermath of World War II. The line is formed primarily by the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers, and meets the Baltic Sea west of the seaport cities of Szczecin and Świnoujście...

 and demanded that the United Kingdom accept the pre-war western borders of the Soviet Union. However, Stalin apparently meant the 1941 border with Germany. This was soon discovered, but the British government decided not to change the document. On March 11, 1942 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 notified the Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile, Władysław Sikorski, that the borders of the Baltic States
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 and Romania were guaranteed, and that no decision was made regarding the borders of Poland.

Katyn and the Soviet pressure

From the very beginning of Polish-Soviet talks in 1941, the government of Poland was searching for approximately 20,000 Polish officers missing in Russia. In April 1943 German news agencies reported finding mass graves of Polish soldiers as a result of Katyn massacre
Katyn massacre
The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre , was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs , the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. The massacre was prompted by Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of...

. The Polish government requested the Soviet Union examine the case and at the same time asked the International Red Cross for help in verifying the German reports.

On April 24, 1943, Sikorski met with Eden and demanded Allied help in releasing Polish prisoners in the gulags and Soviet prisons. Sikorski also declined the Soviet demand that Poland withdraw their plea to have the Red Cross investigate Katyn. Anthony Eden refused to help and the Soviet Union broke diplomatic relations with Poland on the following day, arguing that the Polish government was collaborating with Nazi Germany. Despite Polish pleas for help, the United States and the United Kingdom decided not to put pressure on the USSR.

Tehran

In November 1943, the Big Three
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 (USSR, USA, and the UK) met at the Tehran Conference
Tehran Conference
The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three in which Stalin was present...

. President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill officially agreed that the eastern borders of Poland would roughly follow the Curzon Line. The Polish government was not notified of this decision and the only information given was the press release claiming that We await the day, when all nations of the world will live peacefully, free of tyranny, according to their national needs and conscience. The resulting loss of the "eastern territories", approximately 48% of Poland's pre-war territory, to the Soviet Union is seen by some Poles as another "betrayal" by their Western "Allies".

However it was no secret to the Allies that before his death in July 1943 General Wladyslaw Sikorski
Wladyslaw Sikorski
Władysław Eugeniusz Sikorski was a Polish military and political leader.Prior to World War I, he established and participated in several underground organizations that promoted the cause of Polish independence. He fought with distinction in the Polish Legions during World War I, and later in the...

, Prime Minister of Poland's London-based government in exile had been the originator, and not Stalin, of the concept of a westward shift of Poland's boundaries along an Oder-Neisse Line
Oder-Neisse line
The Oder–Neisse line is the border between Germany and Poland which was drawn in the aftermath of World War II. The line is formed primarily by the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers, and meets the Baltic Sea west of the seaport cities of Szczecin and Świnoujście...

 as compensation for relinquishing Poland's eastern territories as part of a Polish rapprochement with the USSR. Dr. Józef Retinger who was Sikorski's special political advisor at the time was also in agreement with Sikorksi's concept of Poland's realigned post-war borders, later in his memoirs Retinger wrote; " At the Tehran Conference, in November 1943, the Big Three agreed that Poland should receive territorial compensation in the West, at Germany's expense, for the land it was to lose to Russia in the East. This seemed like a fair bargain."

According to many historians, Churchill and Roosevelt promised Stalin to settle the issue with the Poles, however they never sincerely informed the Polish side. When the Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile Stanisław Mikołajczyk attended the Moscow Conference (1944)
Moscow Conference (1944)
The Fourth Moscow Conference, also Tolstoy Conference for its code name Tolstoy, between the major Allies of World War II took place from October 9 to October 19 1944....

, he was convinced he was coming to discuss borders that were still disputed, while Stalin believed everything had already been settled. This was the principal reason for the failure of the Polish Prime Minister's mission to Moscow. The Polish premier allegedly begged for inclusion of Lwów and Wilno in the new Polish borders, but got the following reply from Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

: "There is no use discussing that; it was all settled in Teheran."

Warsaw Uprising

See: Lack of outside support in the Warsaw Uprising
Lack of outside support in the Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising, in 1944 ended in the capitulation of the city and its near total destruction by the German forces. According to many historians, a major cause of this was the almost complete lack of outside support and the late arrival of the support which did arrive...

 for more info on the Allied policy towards Poland during the Uprising.

Since the establishment of the Polish government-in-exile in Paris and then in London, the military commanders of the Polish army were focusing most of their efforts on preparation of a future all-national uprising against Germany. Finally, the plans for Operation Tempest
Operation Tempest
Operation Tempest was a series of uprisings conducted during World War II by the Polish Home Army , the dominant force in the Polish resistance....

 were prepared and on August 1, 1944 the Warsaw Uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

 started. The Uprising was an armed struggle by the Polish Home Army
Armia Krajowa
The Armia Krajowa , or Home Army, was the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II German-occupied Poland. It was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej . Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces...

 to liberate Warsaw from German occupation and Nazi rule.

Despite the fact that Polish and later Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) planes flew missions over Warsaw dropping supplies from 4 August on, the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 (USAF) planes did not join the operation. The Allies specifically requested the use of Red Army airfields near Warsaw on 20 August but were refused by Stalin on 22 August (he referred to the insurgents as 'a handful of criminals'). After Stalin's objections to support for the uprising, Churchill telegrammed Roosevelt on 25 August and proposed sending planes in defiance of Stalin and to "see what happens". Roosevelt replied on 26 August that "I do not consider it advantageous to the long-range general war prospect for me to join you in the proposed message to Uncle Joe." The commander of the British air drop, Air Marshal Sir John Slessor
John Slessor
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir John Cotesworth Slessor GCB, DSO, MC was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force . A pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, he held operational commands in World War II and served in the RAF's most senior post, Chief of the Air Staff, from 1950 to...

, later stated, "How, after the fall of Warsaw, any responsible statesman could trust the Russian Communist further than he could kick him, passes the comprehension of ordinary men."

Various scholars (including Norman Davies
Norman Davies
Professor Ivor Norman Richard Davies FBA, FRHistS is a leading English historian of Welsh descent, noted for his publications on the history of Europe, Poland, and the United Kingdom.- Academic career :...

 in his 2004 book Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw) argue that during the Warsaw Uprising both the governments of United Kingdom and the United States did little to help Polish insurgents and that the Allies put little pressure on Stalin to help the Polish struggle.

Yalta

See also: Yalta conference
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

.


In 1945, Poland's borders were redrawn following the decision made at the Tehran Conference
Tehran Conference
The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three in which Stalin was present...

 of 1943 at the insistence of the Soviet Union. The Polish government was not invited to the talks and was to be notified of their outcome. Polish representatives did present arguments concerning borders at the Potsdam conference, however, and Polish demands for German territory were agreed to. The eastern territories which the Soviet Union had occupied in 1939 (with the exception of the Białystok area) were permanently annexed, and most of their Polish inhabitants expelled: today these territories are part of Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

. The factual basis of this decision was the result of a forged referendum from November 1939 in which the "huge majority" of voters accepted the incorporation of these lands into Western Belarus and Western Ukraine. In compensation, Poland was given former German territory (the so-called Regained Territories): the southern half of East Prussia
East Prussia
East Prussia is the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast from the 13th century to the end of World War II in May 1945. From 1772–1829 and 1878–1945, the Province of East Prussia was part of the German state of Prussia. The capital city was Königsberg.East Prussia...

 and all of Pomerania
Pomerania
Pomerania is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East...

 and Silesia
Silesia
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

, up to the Oder-Neisse Line
Oder-Neisse line
The Oder–Neisse line is the border between Germany and Poland which was drawn in the aftermath of World War II. The line is formed primarily by the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers, and meets the Baltic Sea west of the seaport cities of Szczecin and Świnoujście...

. The German population of these territories was expelled
Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

 and these territories were subsequently repopulated with Poles expelled from the eastern regions. This combined with other similar migrations in Central and Eastern Europe to form one of the largest human migrations in modern times
World War II evacuation and expulsion
Forced deportation, mass evacuation and displacement of peoples took place in many of the countries involved in World War II. These were caused both by the direct hostilities between Axis and Allied powers, and the border changes enacted in the pre-war settlement...

. Stalin ordered Polish resistance fighters to be either incarcerated or deported to gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

s in Siberia.

Many Poles believe that Western leaders tried to force Polish leaders to accept the conditions of Stalin. Some view it as a 'betrayal' of Poland by Churchill (which can be seen as part of a larger 'betrayal' to 'allow' it to fall entirely into the Soviet sphere of influence).

At the time of Yalta over 200,000 troops of the Polish Armed Forces in the West
Polish Armed Forces in the West
Polish Armed Forces in the West refers to the Polish military formations formed to fight alongside the Western Allies against Nazi Germany and its allies...

 were serving under the high command of the British Army. Many of these men and women were originally from the Kresy
Kresy
The Polish term Kresy refers to a land considered by Poles as historical eastern provinces of their country. Today, it makes western Ukraine, western Belarus, as well as eastern Lithuania, with such major cities, as Lviv, Vilnius, and Hrodna. This territory belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian...

 region of eastern Poland including cities such as Lwow and Wilno. They had been deported from Kresy to the Soviet gulags when Hitler and Stalin occupied Poland in 1939 in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet Pact. When two years later Churchill and Stalin formed an alliance against Hitler, the Kresy Poles were released from the Gulags in Siberia, formed the Anders Army
Anders Army
The Anders Army was the informal yet common name of the Polish Armed Forces in the East in the period 1941-1942, in recognition of its commander Władysław Anders...

 and marched to Persia to create the II Corps (Poland) under British high command.

These Polish troops were instrumental to the Allied defeat of the Germans in North Africa and Italy, and hoped to return to Kresy in an independent and democratic Poland at the end of the War. But at Yalta, Churchill agreed that Stalin should keep the Soviet gains Hitler agreed to in the Nazi-Soviet Pact, including Kresy, and carry out Polish population transfers. Consequently, Churchill had agreed that tens of thousands of veteran Polish troops under British command should lose their Kresy homes to the Soviet Union. In reaction, thirty officers and men from the II Corps committed suicide.

Churchill defended his actions in a three-day Parliamentary debate starting 27 February 1945, which ended in a vote of confidence. During the debate, many MPs openly criticised Churchill and passionately voiced loyalty to Britain's Polish allies and expressed deep reservations about Yalta. Moreover, 25 of these MPs risked their careers to draft an amendment protesting against Britain's tacit acceptance of Poland's domination by the Soviet Union. These members included: Arthur Greenwood
Arthur Greenwood
Arthur Greenwood CH was a prominent member of the Labour Party from the 1920s until the late 1940s. He rose to prominence within the party as secretary of its research department from 1920 and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health in the short-lived Labour government of 1924...

; Sir Alec Douglas-Home; Commander Archibald Southby
Sir Archibald Southby, 1st Baronet
Commander Sir Archibald Richard James Southby, 1st Baronet was an English Conservative Party politician.He served in the Royal Navy and, in the period following the First World War, took part in the demilitarization of Heligoland...

; the Earl of Ancaster and Victor Raikes
Victor Raikes
Sir Henry Victor Alpin MacKinnon Raikes KBE was a British Conservative politician.Raikes was the son of Henry St. John Digby Raikes, eldest son of Henry Cecil Raikes. His mother was Annie Lucinda...

. After the failure of the amendment, Henry Strauss, the Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Norwich
Norwich
Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

, resigned his seat in protest at the British treatment of Poland.

When the Second World War ended, a Communist government was installed in Poland. Most Poles felt betrayed by their wartime allies. Many Polish soldiers refused to return to Poland, because of the Soviet repressions of Polish citizens, the Trial of the Sixteen
Trial of the Sixteen
The Trial of the Sixteen was a staged trial of 16 leaders of the Polish Underground State held by the Soviet Union in Moscow in 1945.-History:Some accounts say approaches were made in February with others saying March 1945...

 and other executions of pro-democracy Poles, particularly the so-called, cursed soldiers
Cursed soldiers
The cursed soldiers is a name applied to a variety of Polish resistance movements formed in the later stages of World War II and afterwards. Created by some members of the Polish Secret State, these clandestine organizations continued their armed struggle against the Stalinist government of Poland...

, former members of the Armia Krajowa). The result was the Polish Resettlement Act 1947
Polish Resettlement Act 1947
The Polish Resettlement Act 1947 was the first ever mass immigration legislation of the British parliament. It offered British citizenship to over 200,000 displaced Polish troops on British soil who had fought against Nazi Germany and opposed the Soviet takeover of their homeland...

, Britain's first mass immigration law.

Yalta was used by ruling communists to underline anti-Western sentiment
Anti-Western sentiment
Anti-Western sentiment refers to broad opposition or hostility to the people, policies, or governments in the western world. In many cases the United States, Israël and the United Kingdom are the subject of discussion or hostility...

s. It was easy to argue that Poland was not very important to the West, since Allied leaders sacrificed Polish borders, legal government and free elections.

With this background, even Stalin looked like a better friend of Poland, since he did have strong interests in Poland. The Federal Republic of Germany, formed in 1949, was portrayed by Communist propaganda as the breeder of Hitler's posthumous offspring who desired retaliation and wanted to take back from Poland the "Recovered Territories
Recovered Territories
Recovered or Regained Territories was an official term used by the People's Republic of Poland to describe those parts of pre-war Germany that became part of Poland after World War II...

". Giving this picture a grain of credibility was the fact that Federal Republic of Germany until 1970 refused to recognize the Oder-Neisse Line and the fact that some West German officials had a tainted Nazi past. Thus, for a segment of Polish public opinion, Communist rule was seen as the lesser of the two evils.

Defenders of the actions taken by the Western allies maintain that Realpolitik
Realpolitik
Realpolitik refers to politics or diplomacy based primarily on power and on practical and material factors and considerations, rather than ideological notions or moralistic or ethical premises...

made it impossible to do anything else, and that they were in no shape to start an utterly un-winnable war with the Soviet Union over the subjugation of Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries immediately after the end of World War II. It could be contended that the presence of a double standard with respect to Nazi and Soviet aggression existed in 1939 and 1940, when the Soviets invaded eastern Poland, and then the Baltic States, and then Finland, and yet the Western Allies failed to declare war.

What the Western allies sacrificed is also disputed. Some argue that Poland's borders had been re-drawn many times in history, the country had not had free elections since 1926 and throughout the 1930s it had endured increasing political repression under an authoritarian Sanacja
Sanacja
Sanation was a Polish political movement that came to power after Józef Piłsudski's May 1926 Coup d'État. Sanation took its name from his watchword—the moral "sanation" of the Polish body politic...

 government. On the other hand, the Polish government in exile was composed entirely of the pre-war democratic opposition and all political parties of the Polish Secret State
Polish Secret State
The Polish Underground State is a collective term for the World War II underground resistance organizations in Poland, both military and civilian, that remained loyal to the Polish Government in Exile in London. The first elements of the Underground State were put in place in the final days of the...

 underlined the need to follow the democratic traditions of March 1921 constitution, rather than the autocratic April constitution of Poland
Polish Constitution of 1935
The April Constitution of Poland was the general law passed by the act of the Polish Sejm on 23 April 1935. It introduced in Poland a presidential system with certain elements of authoritarianism....

 of 1935.

The chief American negotiator at Yalta was Alger Hiss
Alger Hiss
Alger Hiss was an American lawyer, government official, author, and lecturer. He was involved in the establishment of the United Nations both as a U.S. State Department and U.N. official...

, later accused of being a Soviet spy and convicted of perjuring
Perjury
Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the willful act of swearing a false oath or affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to a judicial proceeding. That is, the witness falsely promises to tell the truth about matters which affect the outcome of the...

 himself in his testimony to the House Committee on Unamerican Activities. His espionage was later confirmed by the Venona tapes.

Aftermath

Władysław Sikorski, Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile
Polish government in Exile
The Polish government-in-exile, formally known as the Government of the Republic of Poland in Exile , was the government in exile of Poland formed in the aftermath of the Invasion of Poland of September 1939, and the subsequent occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which...

, was killed in an air crash over Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 in July 1943. As he was the most prestigious leader of the Polish exiles, his death was a serious setback to the Polish cause, and was certainly highly convenient for Stalin. It was in some ways also convenient for the western Allies, who were finding the Polish issue a stumbling-block in their efforts to preserve good relations with Stalin .

This has given rise to persistent suggestions that Sikorski's death was not accidental. Many historians speculate that his death might have been effect of Soviet, British or even Polish conspiracy. This has never been proved, and the fact that the principal exponents of this theory in the west have been the negationists
Historical revisionism (negationism)
Historical revisionism is either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about a historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light. For the former, i.e. the academic pursuit, see...

 David Irving
David Irving
David John Cawdell Irving is an English writer,best known for his denial of the Holocaust, who specialises in the military and political history of World War II, with a focus on Nazi Germany...

 and Rolf Hochhuth
Rolf Hochhuth
Rolf Hochhuth is a German author and playwright. He is best known for his 1963 drama The Deputy and remains a controversial figure for his plays and other public comments, such as his insinuation of Pope Pius XII's sympathies for Hitler's extermination of the Jews in the 1963 play The Deputy and...

 has not encouraged many western historians to take it seriously.

In November 1944, despite his mistrust of the Soviets, Sikorski's successor, Prime Minister Stanisław Mikołajczyk resigned to return to Poland and take office in the new government
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

 established under the auspices of the Soviet occupation authorities. Many of the Polish exiles opposed this action, believing that this government was a facade for the establishment of Communist rule in Poland, a view that was later proved correct; after losing an election which was later shown to have been fraudulent, Mikołajczyk left Poland again in 1947.

Meanwhile the government in exile had maintained its existence, but the United States and the United Kingdom withdrew their recognition on July 6, 1945. The Polish armed forces in exile (officially the "Polish Armed Forces under British Command") were disbanded in 1947.

Out of approximately 265,000 Polish armied forces in the West in 1945, only 105,000 returned to Poland, but close to 160,000 stayed in Western (mostly British) territory.

The London Poles had to leave the embassy on Portland Place and were left only with the president's private residence at 43 Eaton Place. The government in exile then became largely symbolic, serving mainly to symbolise the continued resistance to foreign occupation of Poland, and retaining control of some important archives from pre-war Poland. Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 were the last countries to recognize the government-in-exile.

Originally the British Government invited representatives of the newly recognised regime in Warsaw to march in the 1946 victory parade in London but the delegation from Poland never arrived – the reason was never adequately explained, pressure from Moscow being the most likely. Bowing to press and public pressure, the British eventually invited representatives of the Polish Air Force under British Command to attend in their place. They in turn refused to attend in protest at similar invitations not being extended to the Polish Army and Navy. In the resulting humiliation the only representative of the fourth largest allied military at the parade was Colonel Jozef Kuropieska – the military attaché of the Communist regime in Warsaw.

At the war's end many of these feelings of resentment were capitalized on by the occupying Soviets, who used them to reinforce anti-Western sentiments within Poland. Propaganda was produced by Communists to show Russia as the Great Liberator, and the West as the Great Traitor. Moscow's Pravda reported in February 1944 that all Poles who valued Poland's honour and independence were marching with the "Union of Polish Patriots" in the USSR. Capitalism was shown as being inherently bad, because capitalists only cared for "their own skin", while communism was portrayed as the great "uniter and protector".

Ryszard Kaczorowski
Ryszard Kaczorowski
Ryszard Kaczorowski was a Polish statesman. Between 1989 and 1990 he served as the last President of Poland in exile. He succeeded Kazimierz Sabbat and resigned his post following Poland's regaining independence from the Soviet sphere of influence and election of Lech Wałęsa as the first ...

, the last president of the government-in-exile, passed the presidential insignia to Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa is a Polish politician, trade-union organizer, and human-rights activist. A charismatic leader, he co-founded Solidarity , the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland between 1990 and 95.Wałęsa was an electrician...

 in 1990 after Poland regained independence from the Soviet sphere of influence.

Cossacks and White Russians

In the final days of the war, masses of refugees from Nazi-abandoned Eastern Europe and Croatia were fleeing from the Red Army and Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

's Yugoslav Partisans.

In Operation Keelhaul
Operation Keelhaul
Operation Keelhaul was carried out in Northern Italy by British and American forces to repatriate Soviet Armed Forces POWs of the Nazis to the Soviet Union between August 14, 1946 and May 9, 1947...

, British troops gathered these thousands of refugees in Austria including Cossacks, Ustaše
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

, Croatian
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 and White Russian troops, and civilians. The Soviet and Russian citizens were turned to Soviet-occupied Germany, where in many cases they were summarily shot.

In the Betrayal of the Cossacks at Lienz, Cossacks of the XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps
XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps
The XV SS Cossack Cavalry Corps was a German cavalry corps during World War II. With order of February 1, 1945 the Corps was transferred to the Waffen-SS.-History:The summer of 1942 marked the high tide of German success in the East...

 of the Waffen-SS
Waffen-SS
The Waffen-SS was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich. It constituted the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel or SS, an organ of the Nazi Party. The Waffen-SS saw action throughout World War II and grew from three regiments to over 38 divisions, and served alongside...

 were forcibly delivered to areas of Germany controlled, at the end of World War II, by the Soviet Union. Cossacks had been fighting the Russian government since the Third Russian Revolution
Left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks
Left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks were a series of rebellions and uprisings against the Bolsheviks led or supported by left wing groups including Socialist Revolutionaries, Left Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and anarchists. Some were in support of the White Movement while some...

. No Western country had entered any alliance with the Cossacks.

Baltic states

Although many Poles feel betrayed by a lack of aggressiveness with which the western allies pursued the war against their invaders, the western allies did maintain their commitments to declare war on Germany. For the Baltic States, however, who also had their fate sealed by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, the western allies failed to take up the defence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania when the Soviet Union invaded in 1940 as they had for Poland in 1939. On the other hand, France and Britain had no formal, legal commitments with regard to the Baltic States.

Memel Territory

The Memel territory was separated from German East Prussia in 1920, and put under French administration. The area had been conquered by the Teutonic Order in the Middle Ages, and had belonged to Prussia for 500 years. It was inhabited by Germans as the largest part of the population, while a quarter declared itself Lithuanian, and another quarter, as local Memelländer and/or Klaipedians depending on language.

In 1923, Lithuanian forces occupied the area during what is called the Klaipeda revolt
Klaipeda Revolt
The Klaipėda Revolt took place in January 1923 in the Klaipėda Region . The region, located north of the Neman River, was detached from the East Prussia of the German Empire by the Treaty of Versailles and became a mandate of the League of Nations. It was placed under provisional French...

. The French forces put up a token resistance and left, and later the annexation of the area now called the Klaipeda region
Klaipeda Region
The Klaipėda Region or Memel Territory was defined by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920 when it was put under the administration of the Council of Ambassadors...

 by Lithuania was confirmed by the international community.

During the war

At the Tehran Conference
Tehran Conference
The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three in which Stalin was present...

 in November 1943, a decision was made by the Allies to cease their support of the royalist Chetniks
Chetniks
Chetniks, or the Chetnik movement , were Serbian nationalist and royalist paramilitary organizations from the first half of the 20th century. The Chetniks were formed as a Serbian resistance against the Ottoman Empire in 1904, and participated in the Balkan Wars, World War I, and World War II...

, and switch allegiances to Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

's communist Yugoslav National Liberation Army.

As the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

 under its Prince Regent Paul Karađorđević began to approach the German sphere of influence in the late 1930s, relations with the west deteriorated. However, two days after Yugoslavia's signing of the tripartite pact on March 25, 1941, a western-sponsored coup brought the underage King Peter II
Peter II of Yugoslavia
Peter II, also known as Peter II Karađorđević , was the third and last King of Yugoslavia...

 to power along with General Dušan T. Simović who became the new Prime Minister. Days after the pro-western government was installed, German forces invaded Yugoslavia
Invasion of Yugoslavia
The Invasion of Yugoslavia , also known as the April War , was the Axis Powers' attack on the Kingdom of Yugoslavia which began on 6 April 1941 during World War II...

 on April 6, 1941, and had completely occupied the country by April 17, 1941. The King and his government managed to escape into exile in the United Kingdom, and were granted the full support of the West.

In Yugoslavia, two resistance movements emerged. The People's Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia (NOV i POJ), known simply as the Partisans, was a left-wing, socialist, and republican movement led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ) and Tito. The movement supported a post-war Yugoslav federal republic, with full rights for its five non-Serbian nations (as opposed to the unitarianist pre-war monarchy). While the predominantly Serbian
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 Royalist Chetnik movement led by Draža Mihailović
Draža Mihailovic
Dragoljub "Draža" Mihailović was a Yugoslav Serbian general during World War II...

 supported the exiled King, and a unitary post-war Yugoslav monarchy with a strong predominance of its Serbian population ("Greater Serbia
Greater Serbia
The term Greater Serbia or Great Serbia applies to the Serbian nationalist and irredentist ideology directed towards the creation of a Serbian land which would incorporate all regions of traditional significance to the Serbian nation...

").

The West (primarily the United Kingdom) had initially supported the Chetniks, providing assistance via RAF and the Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

 (SOE) prior to 1943. However, from very early on the Chetniks found common ground with the Germans against the Partisans, and as the war drove on they became increasingly dependent on their relationship with the occupation forces. By 1943 the vast majority of the movement served as an Axis auxiliary militia, holding captured ground against the Partisans and aiding the large German offensives against the resistance. With the failure of several of these Axis offensives the Partisans, despite the union of their adversaries, destroyed large Chetnik forces and became vastly more numerous and popular in Yugoslavia, in addition to being the only resistance movement seriously combating the occupation.

The people of Yugoslavia had by and large already abandoned the monarchy, given how the kingdom deteriorated after the death of King Alexander
Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Alexander I , also known as Alexander the Unifier was the first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well as the last king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes .-Childhood:...

 and especially how it crumbled in March and April 1941 when it was invaded. Therefore it would be difficult to speak of a "Western betrayal of Yugoslavia" in the context of the 1940s and later decades.

Supporters of the Chetniks contend that if the Allies had maintained their assistance support for their cause, the Karađorđević family would have been restored to the Yugoslav throne. This argument has been the subject of considerable controversy. Opponents of this viewpoint have argued that the Allies had no other choice than to sever their support for the Chetniks as the Chetniks were collaborating with the Axis while the Partisans were resisting the Axis. They also add that the Partisans were superior both in numbers, popularity, and tactics to the Chetniks, who were losing support because of their collaboration and militia organization (as opposed to the mobile operational groups of the Partisans). Therefore, it is argued that the Chetniks would have been defeated regardless of any weapons shipments they received, and that they were already being generously supplied with arms by the Axis.

After the war

The Western Allies had never entered any obligation whatsoever with the Independent State of Croatia, indeed it was a fascist puppet-state of Nazi Germany that was never part of the Allies, so it is difficult to talk of a betrayal in the generally understood sense (betrayal of an ally).

During the final days of the war, large numbers of refugees were fleeing from the Red Army and Yugoslav Partisans. These refugees consisted of three main groups:
  • supporters of the fascist Independent State of Croatia
    Independent State of Croatia
    The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

    , numbering in the tens of thousands, including remnants of the Croatian Home Guard
    Croatian Home Guard
    Croatian Home Guard or also, known as the "Homeland Defenders," was the name used for the armed forces of the Independent State of Croatia which existed during World War II.- Formation :...

     and the Ustaše
    Ustaše
    The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

  • remnants of the Chetnik movement from Serbia, including the Serbian State Guard and the Serbian Volunteer Corps
  • remnants of Cossacks from Nazi-abandoned Russia, including the XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps
    XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps
    The XV SS Cossack Cavalry Corps was a German cavalry corps during World War II. With order of February 1, 1945 the Corps was transferred to the Waffen-SS.-History:The summer of 1942 marked the high tide of German success in the East...



On May 5, in the town of Palmanova
Palmanova
Palmanova is a town and comune in northeastern Italy, close to the border with Slovenia. It is located 20 km from Udine, 28 km from Gorizia and 55 km from Trieste near the junction of the Autostrada Alpe-Adria and the Autostrada Venezia-Trieste .Palmanova is famous for its fortress...

 (50 km northwest of Trieste), between 2,400 and 2,800 members of the Serbian Volunteer Corps surrendered to the British. On May 12, about 2,500 additional Serbian Volunteer Corps members surrendered to the British at Unterbergen on the Drava
Drava
Drava or Drave is a river in southern Central Europe, a tributary of the Danube. It sources in Toblach/Dobbiaco, Italy, and flows east through East Tirol and Carinthia in Austria, into Slovenia , and then southeast, passing through Croatia and forming most of the border between Croatia and...

 River.

On May 11 and 12, British troops in Klagenfurt
Klagenfurt
-Name:Carinthia's eminent linguists Primus Lessiak and Eberhard Kranzmayer assumed that the city's name, which literally translates as "ford of lament" or "ford of complaints", had something to do with the superstitious thought that fateful fairies or demons tend to live around treacherous waters...

, Austria, were harassed by arriving forces of the Partisans. In Belgrade, the British ambassador to the Yugoslav coalition government handed Tito a note demanding that the Yugoslav troops withdraw from Austria.

On May 14, Marshal Tito, the Partisan supreme commander and Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
The Prime Minister or the President of the Federal Executive Council of Yugoslavia was the head of government of the Yugoslav state, from the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918 until the end of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.-Kingdom of...

, dispatches a telegram to the headquarters of the Slovene Partisan Army prohibiting "in the sternest language" the execution of prisoners of war and commanding the transfer of the possible suspects to a military court.

On May 15, Yugoslav Partisan forces in Austria under Allied control. A few days later he agreed to withdraw them. By May 20, Yugoslav troops in Austria had begun to withdraw.

On May 15, 1945 the refugees from the Independent State of Croatia attempted to surrender to British forces in southern Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 (Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

) near the village of Bleiburg
Bleiburg
Bleiburg is a small town in the south Austrian state of Carinthia , south-east of Klagenfurt , in the district of Völkermarkt, some four kilometres from the border with Slovenia....

. They were rejected by the British authorities as Yugoslav civilians and were passed on to the custody of the Yugoslav army for repatriation.

Around June 1, the Croatian Home Guard, the Ustaše, and the XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps who surrendered to the British were turned over to the Yugoslav forces as part of what is sometimes referred to as Operation Keelhaul
Operation Keelhaul
Operation Keelhaul was carried out in Northern Italy by British and American forces to repatriate Soviet Armed Forces POWs of the Nazis to the Soviet Union between August 14, 1946 and May 9, 1947...

. The Partisans proceeded to execute the prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 (POWs) in what became known as the Bleiburg massacre
Bleiburg massacre
The Bleiburg massacre, which also encompasses Operation Keelhaul is a term encompassing events that took place during mid-May 1945 near the Carinthian town of Bleiburg, itself some four kilometres from the Austrian-Slovenian border....

s.

The Ustaša POWs were executed while the survivors were marched back to Yugoslavia.

See also

  • Operation Unthinkable
    Operation Unthinkable
    Operation Unthinkable was a British plan to attack the Soviet Union. The creation of the plan was ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces' Joint Planning Staff at the end of World War II in Europe.-Offensive operations:The initial...

  • Polish resistance movement in World War II
    Polish resistance movement in World War II
    The Polish resistance movement in World War II, with the Home Army at its forefront, was the largest underground resistance in all of Nazi-occupied Europe, covering both German and Soviet zones of occupation. The Polish defence against the Nazi occupation was an important part of the European...

  • Polish Resettlement Corps
    Polish Resettlement Corps
    The Polish Resettlement Corps was an organisation formed by the British Government in 1946 as a holding unit for members of the Polish Armed Forces who had been serving with the British Armed Forces and did not wish to return to a Communist Poland after the end of the Second World War...

  • World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West
    World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West
    WWII Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West is a BBC / PBS documentary film on the role of Joseph Stalin during World War II. The 2008 film combines narrative-led documentary segments, interwoven by dramatic re-enactments, with actors representing main political figures of the period....

  • Revolutions of 1989
    Revolutions of 1989
    The Revolutions of 1989 were the revolutions which overthrew the communist regimes in various Central and Eastern European countries.The events began in Poland in 1989, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and...

  • Vin americanii. The slogan "The Americans are coming" expressed the Romanian expectation for an American intervention against the Soviet occupation.

Notations

  • Nicholas Bethell
    Nicholas Bethell
    Nicholas William Bethell, 4th Baron Bethell was a British politician. He was an historian of Central and Eastern Europe. He was also a translator and human rights activist. He sat in the House of Lords as a Conservative from 1967 to 1999...

    , The War Hitler Won: The Fall of Poland, September 1939, New York, 1972.
  • Mieczyslaw B. Biskupski The history of Poland Westport, CT; London: Greenwood Press, 2000.
  • Russell D. Buhite Decisions at Yalta: an appraisal of summit diplomacy, Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc, 1986.
  • Anna M. Cienciala "Poland in British and French policy in 1939: determination to fight — or avoid war?" pages 413–433 from The Origins of The Second World War edited by Patrick Finney, Arnold, London, 1997.
  • Anna M. Cienciala and Titus Komarnicki From Versailles to Locarno: keys to Polish foreign policy, 1919–25, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1984.
  • Richard Crampton Eastern Europe in the twentieth century — and after London; New York: Routledge, 1997.
  • Norman Davies
    Norman Davies
    Professor Ivor Norman Richard Davies FBA, FRHistS is a leading English historian of Welsh descent, noted for his publications on the history of Europe, Poland, and the United Kingdom.- Academic career :...

    , Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw. Viking Books, 2004. ISBN 0-670-03284-0.
  • Norman Davies, God's Playground
    God's Playground
    God's Playground is a book written in 1979 by Norman Davies, covering the history of Poland.Davies was inspired to the title by Jan Kochanowski's 1580s Boże igrzysko ....

    ISBN 0-231-05353-3 and ISBN 0-231-05351-7 (two volumes).
  • David Dutton Neville Chamberlain, London: Arnold; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Sean Greenwood "The Phantom Crisis: Danzig, 1939" pages 247–272 from The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered: A.J.P. Taylor and the Historians edited by Gordon Martel Routledge Inc, London, United Kingdom, 1999.
  • Robert Kee
    Robert Kee
    Robert Kee CBE is a British broadcaster, journalist and writer, known for his historical works on World War II and Ireland....

    , Munich: the eleventh hour, London: Hamilton, 1988.
  • Arthur Bliss Lane
    Arthur Bliss Lane
    Arthur Bliss Lane was the United States Ambassador to Poland .- Biography :Lane was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. He was appointed U.S. Minister to Nicaragua ; Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania ; Kingdom of Yugoslavia, ; and Costa Rica . He was then appointed U.S...

    , I Saw Poland Betrayed
    I Saw Poland Betrayed
    I saw Poland betrayed: An American ambassador reports to the American people is a book written by Arthur Bliss Lane, former U.S. ambassador to Poland, who observed what he considered to be the betrayal of Poland by the Western Allies at the end of World War II...

    : An American Ambassador Reports to the American People
    . The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis
    Indianapolis
    Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

    , 1948. ISBN 1-125-47550-1.
  • Igor Lukes & Erik Goldstein (editors) The Munich crisis, 1938: prelude to World War II, London; Portland, OR: Frank Cass Inc, 1999.
  • Margaret Olwen Macmillan Paris 1919: six months that changed the world New York: Random House, 2003, 2002, 2001.
  • David Martin
    David Martin
    -Politicians:*David Martin , Republican party U.S. Representative from Nebraska *David Martin , Australian admiral and Governor of New South Wales...

    , Ally Betrayed. Prentice-Hall, New York, 1946.
  • David Martin, Patriot or Traitor: The Case of General Mihailovich. Hoover Institution
    Hoover Institution
    The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

    , Stanford
    Stanford, California
    Stanford is a census-designated place in Santa Clara County, California, United States and is the home of Stanford University. The population was 13,809 at the 2010 census....

    , 1978. ISBN 0-8179-6911-X.
  • David Martin, The Web of Disinformation: Churchill's Yugoslav Blunder. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, San Diego & New York, 1990. ISBN 0-15-180704-3
  • Lynne Olson, Stanley Cloud, A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II. Knopf, 2003. ISBN 0-375-41197-6.
  • Anita Prażmowska, Poland: the Betrayed Ally. Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

    , Cambridge
    Cambridge
    The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

    , 1995. ISBN 0-521-48385-9.
  • Edward Rozek, Allied Wartime Diplomacy: A Pattern in Poland, New York, 1958, reprint Boulder, CO, 1989.
  • Henry L. Roberts "The Diplomacy of Colonel Beck" pages 579–614 from The Diplomats 1919–1939 edited by Gordon A. Craig
    Gordon A. Craig
    Gordon Alexander Craig was a Scottish-American historian of German history and of diplomatic history.-Early life:...

     & Felix Gilbert
    Felix Gilbert
    Felix Gilbert was a German-born American historian of early modern and modern Europe. Gilbert was born in Baden-Baden, Germany to a middle-class Jewish family, and part of the Mendelssohn Bartholdy clan. In the latter half of the 1920s, Gilbert studied under Friedrich Meinecke at the University of...

    , Princeton University Press: Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 1953.
  • Robert Young France and the origins of the Second World War, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996.
  • Piotr Stefan Wandycz The twilight of French eastern alliances, 1926–1936: French-Czechoslovak-Polish relations from Locarno to the remilitarization of the Rhineland, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988.
  • Piotr Wandycz France and her eastern allies, 1919–1925: French-Czechoslovak-Polish relations from the Paris Peace Conference to Locarno, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1962.
  • Gerhard Weinberg A world at arms: a global history of World War II, Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • John Wheeler-Bennett
    John Wheeler-Bennett
    Sir John Wheeler Wheeler-Bennett , GCVO, CMG, OBE, FBA, FRSL was a conservative English historian of German and diplomatic history, and the official biographer of King George VI.-Early career:...

     Munich: Prologue to Tragedy, New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1948.
  • Paul E. Zinner "Czechoslovakia: The Diplomacy of Eduard Benes" pages 100–122 from The Diplomats 1919–1939 edited by Gordon A. Craig
    Gordon A. Craig
    Gordon Alexander Craig was a Scottish-American historian of German history and of diplomatic history.-Early life:...

     & Felix Gilbert, Princeton University Press: Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 1953.
  • Republic of Poland, The Polish White Book: Official Documents concerning Polish-German and Polish-Soviet Relations 1933–1939; Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    , 1940.
  • Daniel Johnson
    Daniel Johnson (journalist)
    Daniel Benedict Johnson is a British journalist who is the founding editor of Standpoint.- Biography :After graduating with a First in Modern History from Magdalen College, Oxford, Johnson was awarded a Shakespeare Scholarship to Berlin...

    , Betrayed by the Big Three. Daily Telegraph, London, November 8, 2003
  • Diana Kuprel, How the Allies Betrayed Warsaw. Globe and Mail, Toronto
    Toronto
    Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

    , February 7, 2004
  • Ari Shaltiel, The Great Betrayal. Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , Tel Aviv
    Tel Aviv
    Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

    , February 23, 2004

External links

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