Largest Post World War One Polish Battle

German Freikorps, Reichsheer and Reichsmarine 1919-1934.

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Largest Post World War One Polish Battle

Postby Das_Reich » Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:34 pm

I am aware that the Poles attacked Germany several times for a land grab after the first war. If this is true, what was the largest battle and what weapons were used?
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Postby Dackelstaffel » Sat Jan 03, 2004 5:26 pm

Hi,

Not only the poles, the germans tried by example to attack the Poznan area , or Posen in german, the 2nd february 1919 but the poles asked the allies to make it stop. Done the 16th february 1919. Big struggles in High-Silesia between may and july 1921. ( I hope it is the good translation) after the referenfum of the 21st march 1921.
But don't forget the russians, I mean the red ones. The poles stopped them near Warsaw 13/16 august 1920.
How many people will die for a treaty signed with bloody hands and the madness of one man.
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Postby sid guttridge » Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:35 am

Hi Dackelstaffel,

Who was the "one man" you referred to and what was the treaty?

Cheers,

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Postby Dackel Staffel » Mon Jan 19, 2004 1:38 pm

Hi Sid,

Hitler of course was the mad man. and for the treaty I mean the treaty of Versailles and especially all of its consequences. The WWI "winners" have made a Pandora box and Hitler opened it. The way that the allies treated Germany after WWI was unfair. how many people suffered of starvation because of the blockade made by the allies as leverage for the signature of the treaty of Versailles. For me the WWI was an european suicide and the WWII was the consequence. Not only in politic but also in the mind. Before the WWI "slaughters" ( Verdun, the Somme, Flanders...), the idea of mass extermination was not acceptable even for the most evil man in the world. But after, there was a change of mentality. Since this moment, all was possible.

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Postby sid guttridge » Tue Jan 20, 2004 11:05 am

Hi Dackelstaffel,

I am not sure that the territorial results of WWI were especially unfair to Germany. In demographic terms and in terms of the will of the bulk of the affected populations, Alsace-Lorraine, the area lost to Denmark and the areas given to Poland after WWI were overwhelmingly not German, either ethnically, linguistically or in sentiment. Germany's own censuses show this to be the case.

I would suggest that the Austrians had far more reason to complain because of the loss of clearly Austrian majority areas in Bohemia-Moravia to Czechoslovakia.

However, I would agree that the seeds of WWII were sown in WWI. Hitler conducted a successful campaign to manipulate German perceptions of the war, including such fictions as the German Army not having been defeated in the field, the Jewish "stab-in-the-back" and the lost territories being inalienably German.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. Which clause of the Armistice included provision for lifting the blockade?
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Postby Das_Reich » Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:07 pm

sid guttridge wrote:
P.S. Which clause of the Armistice included provision for lifting the blockade?


Under international law, it would be implied that the blockade would be lifted.
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Postby Dackel Staffel » Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:17 pm

Hi Sid,

First I want to say that it was normal and fair that the poles had their own independent state after the world war I.
Agree for the Poznan area (Prussian then german since 1772, in 1910 1 973 000 unhabitants with only 679 000 germans so 1/3 german 2/3 pole)
but the way that the allies used the scissors to cut the map of the High-Silesia ( austrian then since 1742 prussian) to german and pole cantons was very "strange"( 893 000 unhabitants in 1910 1/3 poles 2/3 germans). What about the case of Dantzig ( do you know that the concept of free city was an idea of Napoleon). For Dantzig and its corridor : 470 000 poles, 106 000 cachoubes and 885 000 germans. And what the allies did : the city won't be german.
How many germans had to leave their "heimat", for Warsaw only 30 000 but the number of 500 000 was more realistic. Not only by the force but also by will to stay in a german country, I mean in the cultural way.
You've talked about the Alsace Lorraine, you were right but the case of the Saar was "special". Surely the frenchs dreamt of Louis XIV but fortunaly they didn't use the Turenne's method.
I would talk too about 1923 in Germany. For a pretext of 100 000 pylons, the belgians and the frenchs invaded the Ruhr. Without that Hitler would have been totally politicaly dead. That was a big mistake.
But I'am agree with you for the theory of the "stab in the back made by the jews". All extremists use the scapegoat theory. It's a bullshit but it's more popular and easier for reaching the power.

Sid, don't forget that english was not my birth language so I have a lot of difficulties to translate what I want to mean. but, it's great to talk with you. I do appreciate it and I take care about your posts. I'am learning as I go. I don't forget your P.S.
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Postby sid guttridge » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:11 am

Hi Das Reich,

"Implied" is a weak word and hardly makes it compulsory that the Allies to lift the blockade.

In your opinion, which bit of international law do you believe "implied" that the blockade should be lifted when the armistice came into force and not when peace was actually signed?

Cheers,

Sid.
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Postby sid guttridge » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:46 am

Hi Dackelstaffel,

I generally agree with your post. There were areas taken into Poland between the wars where the Germans had a plausible case that they were unfairly treated on grounds of the language, culture and wishes of the local population and the two cases you mention in Silesia and Danzig are the most prominent.

However, I would emphasise that these are only a small proportion of the total area. By and large the territorial provisions at the end of WWI were justified. From memory, I think about 9,000,000 people passed from German to Polish rule or into the Danzig Free City, of whom well under a quarter were German. The most extreme German claim I have seen is that about 1,000,000 Germans lost or left their homes in Poland after WWII. There were still about 750,000 Germans in Poland and 400,000 in Danzig at the outbreak of WWII. This implies a maximum of Germans in the affected area of about 2,150,000 before WWI. Poles outnumbered them by about 3:1.

As regards Danzig and the Corridor:

If one uses the figures you provide of 470,000 Poles, 106,000 Kashubes and 885,000 in the Corridor and Danzig combined and then subtract the ±400,000 Germans in the Free City of Danzig one is left with ±485,000 Germans in the Corridor. It should then be borne in mind that the Kashubes are unquestionably Slavs and therefore related to the Poles not the Germans. (Indeed, the Kashubes fought well for Poland during the hopeless 19-day defence of Gdynia in September 1939). Thus, even on your figures, which I presume are pre-WWI German, there were more Slavs (±576,000) than Germans (±485,000) in the Corridor.

This situation is reflected in a German Atlas I possess of 1900. At that stage, when a resurrected Poland was inconceivable and the Germans had no reason to falsify data, the atlas shows a clear non-German majority corridor to the Baltic. And this was after about 150 years of Germanising Prussian rule in the area.

I would repeat that the post WWI territorial settlement between Germany and Poland was largely justified. However, the Germans probably did have reason to contest some of its details - but only its details.

Cheers,

Sid.
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Postby sid guttridge » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:52 am

P.S.

A correction. I mistakenly referred to Germans leaving or losing their homes in Poland after WWII. It should have read WWI.

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Postby Dackel Staffel » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:45 pm

Hi Sid.

Well Poland had been divided four time before in the past and populations had been mixed so many times that every border change created problems. The concept of the "state nation", as the frenchs understand it, wasn't the good solution in this case. But in 1900 who was pole, who was german, who was germano-pole, who was polono-german ( a weird translation I'am agree). Dantzig ( just an example) was pole before but had chosen Prussia in the same time with the Lutherianism in the 18th century.
Sid, our parents were lucky to live in countries ignoring this kind of situations. If the men were wiser and peaceful...

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Postby sid guttridge » Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:03 am

Hi Dackelstaffel,

I have just had cause to post the following information on another thread. It is from Page 6 of "Documents on the Expulsion of the Germans from Eastern-Central Europe" Volume 1, Bonn, 1954.

It consists of a list of the "Original German Population" of areas annexed to Germany in 1939. The source is given as 1944 editions of "Kleinen Umsiedlungsspiegel", which was the newspaper of the official German resettlement agency.

Polish Territories of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia: 210,000.
Polish Territories of Reichsgau Wartheland: 230,000.
Polish Territories attached to the Provinz of East Prussia: 31,000.
Eastern Upper Silesia: 238,000.
Generalgouvernment: 80,000.
TOTAL: 789,000

It should also be noted that the Polish census of 1931 gives 741,000 Germans as living in Poland at the time, so there is a high degree of agreement between official German and Polish sources on this issue.

The above book also has the following in Note 18 on Page 349: "Between 1919 and 1923 several hundreds of thousands of Germans were compelled, chiefly through economic boycotting, to leave the Provinzes of West Prussia and Posen, which had been ceded to Poland, in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles."

I agree. I am very lucky to live in a country where geography has delineated most of the borders of the state and limited ethnic conflict. Yet, in the one place where we have a land border - Ireland - we suffer from exactly the same inter-ethnic communal problems as anywhere else.

Cheers,

Sid.
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Postby Dackel Staffel » Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:15 pm

Hi Sid,

Just to nitpick. How were counted by the poles the geman jews expelled to Poland, I mean before the war, as poles, as germans or as stateless persons ?
I just wonder.
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Postby sid guttridge » Fri Jan 23, 2004 5:23 am

Hi Dackelstaffel,

I am afraid I have no information on the status of Jews expelled to Poland by the Germans. However, I would guess that they were not normally given Polish citizenship as many Poles were already resentful of their existing Jewish population.

Cheers,

Sid.
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Postby Benoit Douville » Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:41 pm

Dackel Staffel,

You mentionned that the Poles stopped the Soviets in august 1920. It was an amazing victory called "The Miracle of the Vistula" If the the Poles had not stopped them under Pilsudski, the Western Europe would have been in great danger to fall under communism regime from advancing Soviet troops.

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