History 08/02/20 As Poland planned to defeat Hitler’s army in 1939
the First shots of world war II sounded the 1st of September 1939, when Nazi Germany attacked Poland. The army of the Third Reich in 16 days defeated the poles and stopped just under the Brest and Lviv. Meanwhile, just a few months before the war Polish generals in all seriousness talked of the seizure of German cities.
Stage one: defense
Poles have long believed that the Germans might declare war on them. Until 1938, the relationship between Hitler and the Polish leaders remained very warm. The development of the operational plan in the event of a conflict with the Berlin the General staff of the second Polish Republic began only in March 1939. This plan is called “Sahod” (“West”), and its authors were generals Tadeusz Kutrzeba, Leon Barbacci, Juliusz Rummel and Vladislav Bortnowski.
the Poles were expecting the German attack to withstand the forces of a standing army in 260 thousand people, having in this period the mobilization and bringing the armed forces to 1 million people. Warsaw strategists believed that Hitler would not be able to send to Poland a large force, because it will be associated with the threat of full-scale war with Britain and France.
the Poles had 12 operational groups. 3 of them had to reflect the impact of East Prussia in Modlin, 3 – from Pomerania to toruń, and the other covered the way to Krakow and Warsaw from the Upper and Lower Silesia. The most important task of the generals thought the defense of the Polish corridor and Danzig, in the area which they expect will be major battles.
the second Stage: the onset of the
In Warsaw had pinned hopes on the Western allies, with which the Polish forces were to stop the German advance. In the next stage, the poles counted themselves to take the offensive and capture the actual German territories.
“The basis of the Polish strategic deployment in September 1939 was put an offensive plan, aims the seizure of Danzig and East Prussia.<...> Poznań is a strong group of troops were, how would the strategic reserve and, in the dreams of some of the strategic visionaries, apparently, was a victorious sign in Berlin, from which it was separated by a distance of only 150 km,” — wrote in 1940, a military theorist of the red Army Georgy Isserson (the main part of his book, “New forms of struggle” dedicated to the Polish campaign the Wehrmacht).
Not to the extent of “cheerful” mood prevailed not only in the top generals, but also among ordinary Polish, sang these couplets:
“Dressed in steel and armor
Led by rydz-rydz,
We will March go to the Rhine”.
Note that the “reverent” Poland in the interwar decades, not for the first time showed foreign policy “appetite”, clearly not meeting real power of the state. She, together with Germany participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia. And in 1936 the Polish “Maritime and colonial League” tried through the League of Nations to make the transfer Warsaw two former German colonies in Africa.
the Main blunder of the Polish strategists was the fact that they did not foresee the German blitzkrieg. Expect a few “army of invasion”, Poland was not ready to impact 1.5 million of the Wehrmacht which struck the neighbouring country with all its might. In fact, the whole plan of the “West” was a strategic mistake that cost the lives of millions of poles.
“the Coal fields of Silesia and the Polish industrial region were in vulnerable Western part of the country. Warsaw tried to hold them, and the unprotected Corridor instead of concentrated to organize the defense of the rivers Vistula and San,” wrote military historian Hanson Baldwin.
the Deputy chief of Polish General staff Josef Jaklitsch was recognized that after the defeat in the first cross-border fighting afterDowa developed the doctrine of defence was impossible. Meanwhile, many contemporary Polish authors tend to lay the blame for the catastrophe of 1939 is not on the inept command of Marshal rydz-rydz, and the “betrayal” of Britain and France and a “stab in the back” by the Soviet Union.
© Russian Seven
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