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Thread: Warzaw again, more civilized please

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    Member Member Kalle's Avatar
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    Default Warzaw again, more civilized please

    If talked about without hatred and overnationalistic feelings the battle of Warzaw 1920 certanly is a valid topic I think. Krook gets some support from J.F.C. Fuller (1878-1966). He lists this battle as one of the worlds most important in his "Decisive battles of the western world". Fuller was both a soldier (one of the fathers and thinkers of armoured warfare) and a historian.

    Maybe the russian army alone could not have conquered europe had they won this battle but with the help of a victory most certanly Poland was gone and central europe (germany for instance) would be open to propaganda, influence and revolution (this was very likely to happen) that very possible would not have stopped until it hit the atlantic.

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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    i really dont think a russian victory would have been particularly signifcant. i dont think they would have been able t oadvance much further and they certainly wouldnt have made a dent on germany.

    however if it had been surely that would have been a good thing? anything that would have supressed the germans would have been helpful. if they had been under the russian yoke they would have never been able to start the second world war and the holocaust.

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Quote Originally Posted by KARTLOS
    ... anything that would have supressed the germans would have been helpful. ...
    Thank you!
    Even though some may say, that the surpression of Germany supported the raise of the Nazi.


    One issue of the formerdicussion had been the strength of the armies. German Wiki (not the most credible source, I know, but anyway) says the the Poles had about 48,000 men, the Soviets 114,000. So the ratio was between 2 and 3. English Wiki says that the Poles had 113,000 - 123,000, the Soviets 104,000 - 140,000.

    The other issue is the effect of a Polish defeat.
    I think it is obvious that Poland would have lost territory in the east. Additionally, it would have had a communist governemt.
    Harder to estimate are the effects on the rest of Europe. If you look at Germany, you see that the country was in disorder. There had been revolution, military putsch, strike, Freikorps etc.. I believe that a Soviet victory would have led to a new revolution at Germany. With the support of Russian weapons and soliders the left could have won. However, a communist Germany did not have to be completly in line with Moscov. A successful revolution at Germany would propably thrown the spark to France too.

    Another theatre would have been the Balkans, where everybody was fighting against everybody. I strong Soviet army could have changed the political map there.

    Finally, some propaganda (from a historical view):
    Soviet Propaganda:"This is how the landsowner ideas end"

    "Beat the Bolshevik":

  4. #4

    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Poland would have been conquered by Bolshevik Russia? That happened only 25 years later. I don't see what major difference it made to history. In the long term the Soviet Union proved to be too weak and dysfunctional to hold together its client states and they all abandoned it eventually, even if they remained communist (Yugoslavia, Albania). But at least in 1945 the Soviet Union was about to become a superpower. In 1920 it was a wartorn, chaotic mess at war with itself. If it had taken on the burden of conquering all of eastern Europe in 1920 it would have just collapsed even faster than it did.

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    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    only a country in chaos like russia could never have waged that war... as soon as the leaders were off fighting the country would rebel again.... certainly if the war went bad... im not very sure but didnt russia got into a violent civil war during the 20's or did it just ended.

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    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus

    One issue of the formerdicussion had been the strength of the armies. German Wiki (not the most credible source, I know, but anyway) says the the Poles had about 48,000 men, the Soviets 114,000. So the ratio was between 2 and 3. English Wiki says that the Poles had 113,000 - 123,000, the Soviets 104,000 - 140,000.
    It is hard to say, because those numbers are not reliable anyway. Lets also remember that the frontline was from Eastern Prussia to Romanian border so quite a long distance. In addition a number of Red units was delayed or came after the battle to support the reforming army in Nemel area which was defeated in September.

    The other issue is the effect of a Polish defeat.
    I think it is obvious that Poland would have lost territory in the east. Additionally, it would have had a communist governemt.
    Actually so called Polish communists didn't even see any need for independent Poland at all - they claimed that such country cannot survive because its economy is linked to Russia or Germany to much, besides this sect (these people were really isolated from the real world) claimed that for example 'german' territories should be returned to them and Poland in any shape should be a soviet republic - nothing more than Ukraine or Belorus.
    The problem this government would face is total lack of support to their case - the 'polish government' which was transported from Russia and for few weeks had its capital in Bialystok complained that noone is supporting them at all, but they had Feliks Dzierzynski father of CzK to deal with counterrevolution and sabotage after all...
    About the rest of the entire central-eastern europe it was DOOMED this way - Baltic states would be easily defeated, Finland might be or not because it wasn't the priority anywa, but Romania and the Balkans would be under serious pressure - I doubt they would hold.


    Harder to estimate are the effects on the rest of Europe. If you look at Germany, you see that the country was in disorder. There had been revolution, military putsch, strike, Freikorps etc.. I believe that a Soviet victory would have led to a new revolution at Germany. With the support of Russian weapons and soliders the left could have won. However, a communist Germany did not have to be completly in line with Moscov. A successful revolution at Germany would propably thrown the spark to France too.
    I think some sort of earlier Eastern Germany would be formed somehow, though the easternmost German territories were very conservative and might be rather difficult to take so perhaps a stalemate in re-armed Germany would be the case ?
    Probably the frontline would stay roughly on pre-1st WW border, maybe somewhere else.
    German generals were rather happy with the demise of Poland, but letting the Reds to come knocking to your door is a different thing.

    France - I think it would be in chaos of political struggle for years unless some sort of conservative, maybe even authoritarian government was formed.

    From military pont of view the struggle would continue in Germany I am quite sure and it would be Germany which would have to stop the Reds - France and the UK would have to supply them and denounce the treaty in Versailles in the end.

    Czechoslovakia actually at the time of the battle managed to take contested Zaolzie region from Poland (which in reality poisoned the relations between Poland and Czechoslovakia for a long time) and its authorities never seen any danger in Soviets. Benes even thought he can buy them off by giving them ruthenian territories biven by entente some time earlier.
    There is a question if Czechoslovakia was strong enough to hold the line - they had sizable communist movement, but I won't bet if that was large enough.

    Hungary was only recently a soviet republic so it might be a good target for an invasion.
    Romania was definetely too weak after 1st WW.
    Bulgaria lost the war so there might be enough tension to explore by the Reds.

    Yugoslavia - quite difficult - perhaps to unstable and still not really formed into a single country - its army had much respect, but was in not the best shape after all.
    Greece was still fighting Turkey - can't say anything here.

    Italy might be an interesting case - strong socialist movement so maybe Mussolinie would lead revolutionaries under Red banner there ?

    Victory at Warsaw and the later destruction of Poland ( includes defeat of its Ukrainian allies) would create many opportunities so its hard what would be its consequence, but one thing for sure - the world would become a very grim place - authoritarian or radical left governments with a string of wars to follow.



    The mportance of this war is that it gave the 'breathing time'for a dozen of nations, entire generations were brought up which was later exploited during the 1989+ revolutions in Europe and elsewhere - for numerous nations it was the time when they built their national identity in newly acquired or re-acquired independent countries.





    Another thing I would want to ask you is what would happen if Poland actually managed to win the victory it would like to achive ? Europe with independent Ukraine and autonomous Belorus + perhaps a number of independent states as Georgia, Armenia etc.
    That would seriosly undermine power of the Soviet Union, what do you think ??

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    His higness, the Sultan Member Randarkmaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    I actually think a "victory" would put way too much strain on the Soviet Union, as you said they would probably have incorporated Poland into the USSR, because of their civil war, War Communism, economic mismanagement in this period and later, bad harvests, genocides and famines because of the forced colectivization. Annexing Poland or more countries, would just be one expense too many considering the costs of running a communist country with all the bureaucracy and the fact that a number of Poles would probably continue to fight them for years after the occupation.

    I think this would have led to the (very violent and catastrophic) collapse of the Soviet Union and much, much chaos. So either with your version of Soviet Totalitarian rule over much of Europe or my version with total chaos in Eastern Europe and many of the territories of the Soviet Union. Probably many of the Soviet governors would become rulers of several small states and you would have "warlords" fighting each other and vying for control.

    Another thing I would want to ask you is what would happen if Poland actually managed to win the victory it would like to achive ? Europe with independent Ukraine and autonomous Belorus + perhaps a number of independent states as Georgia, Armenia etc.
    That would seriosly undermine power of the Soviet Union, what do you think ??
    Maybe Stalin would become King of Georgia or something instead...

    Actually I think one of the scariest alternative histories is a scenario where Hitler does not break his agreement with Stalin but they both enter an alliance instead, I'm not too sure if the UK and the US would have been able to halt that in the end.
    Last edited by Randarkmaan; 08-17-2007 at 14:52.
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    A Member Member Conradus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Quote Originally Posted by cegorach
    It
    Italy might be an interesting case - strong socialist movement so maybe Mussolinie would lead revolutionaries under Red banner there ?
    I don't think there was any chance of that happening. Mussolini was a rightwinger, no doubt about that. He loathed communism. And though there were quite a lot of communists in Italy (in entire Europ at that time), Italy was a special case. It's catholic, and was still loyal to the king. The Pope had still a sizeable amount of influence there, so I don't believe they could ever have turned into a communist nation.
    Quote Originally Posted by cegorach
    The mportance of this war is that it gave the 'breathing time'for a dozen of nations, entire generations were brought up which was later exploited during the 1989+ revolutions in Europe and elsewhere - for numerous nations it was the time when they built their national identity in newly acquired or re-acquired independent countries.
    Perhaps it was better had they never built that national identity. We certainly didn't.
    Anyhow, had the Russians won, I don't think it would've made much difference. Russia was still a wartorn country. It had lost millions of men in WWI, was torn apart between Communists and loyalists of the Tsars and had some foreign expedition corpses in their country, not that long before. They were overstrechted already. I don't think they could've gone beyond Poland.


    Quote Originally Posted by cegorach
    Another thing I would want to ask you is what would happen if Poland actually managed to win the victory it would like to achive ? Europe with independent Ukraine and autonomous Belorus + perhaps a number of independent states as Georgia, Armenia etc.
    That would seriosly undermine power of the Soviet Union, what do you think ??
    I for one, don't think they ever had a chance of winning their desired victory. Imo they're lucky enough to have survived till 1939. Even if the Ukraine and Belarus managed to get their independence, I doubt they could've sustained it. Russia would probably had time to reorganise and with less ground to control, it might have been easier.

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    His higness, the Sultan Member Randarkmaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    I don't think there was any chance of that happening. Mussolini was a rightwinger, no doubt about that. He loathed communism. And though there were quite a lot of communists in Italy (in entire Europ at that time), Italy was a special case. It's catholic, and was still loyal to the king. The Pope had still a sizeable amount of influence there, so I don't believe they could ever have turned into a communist nation.
    Mussolini could easily have been a communist, as long as it would get him into power and he could be nationalist and militaristic. He started out as a socialist you know, then he left that party. The fascists were at the beginning quite socialist (at least in their economic thinking) until Mussolini realized that he could get the support of a great part of the middle class and some of the lower class who were afraid of communism, then he got popular because the fascists seemed like the only ones strong enough to resist the communist.

    I think Mussolini was once asked "What is the political agenda of the Fascists?", his answer "We are going to rule Italy!"
    "One of the nice things about looking at a bear is that you know it spends 100 per cent of every minute of every day being a bear. It doesn't strive to become a better bear. It doesn't go to sleep thinking, "I wasn't really a very good bear today". They are just 100 per cent bear, whereas human beings feel we're not 100 per cent human, that we're always letting ourselves down. We're constantly striving towards something, to some fulfilment"
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    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Quote Originally Posted by Conradus
    I don't think there was any chance of that happening. Mussolini was a rightwinger, no doubt about that. He loathed communism. And though there were quite a lot of communists in Italy (in entire Europ at that time), Italy was a special case. It's catholic, and was still loyal to the king. The Pope had still a sizeable amount of influence there, so I don't believe they could ever have turned into a communist nation.
    Mybe northern Italy at least. Besides as written above Mussolini was a socialist - he even published in a socialist newpaper if I remember correctly.

    Perhaps it was better had they never built that national identity. We certainly didn't.
    I meant Latvians, Estonians and the likes whom did you ??


    I for one, don't think they ever had a chance of winning their desired victory. Imo they're lucky enough to have survived till 1939. Even if the Ukraine and Belarus managed to get their independence, I doubt they could've sustained it. Russia would probably had time to reorganise and with less ground to control, it might have been easier.
    I think you think in too fixed, linear way remember that such victory actually changes a number of other events:

    1. Without Ukraine the bread basket of Russia is lost, so are large iron ore and coal resorces which would affect industrialisation.

    2. Defeat would encourage other factions in Russia to fight for longer leaving more devastation in their wake.

    3. A string of independent countries arises from the former Russian empire - I mean Polish PROMETHEISM and its consequences. I suggest to check even Wikipedia about this subject this might give you some ideas and perhaps change your mind a little.

    4. Poland actually do not need the alliance with France so much neither is willing to wait for French support in some cases.
    I mean the plan for preventive war against Germany in 1933-34...

    I think it would be much harder for Germany or Soviet Union (if that survived) to act so aggresively.

    The scary consequence is that Germany could forge a very close alliance with the Soviet Union which wouldn't fall apart and the world would see this kind of gigantic Axis far more difficult to beat.


    But the question is how probable that would be - I think those two countries were too ambitious to stay together. :

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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    What if...

    What if General Patton would have been able to push through the Soviet lines and drive them out of Eastern Europe? Mass bloodshed? Easy victory? Somewhere in between? What thinks you all on't?


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    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    i think same would happen to him as to all others who tried... dont people look to history... a mass invasion in rusland will end in failure unless you take it step by step, carefully expanding supplie lines, tight cooporation, no winter fighting.

    or you have to be a steppe army... because they can survive anywhere... otherwise... no chance..

    mass bloodshed oooh yes, thats the russian way. easy victory hell no.

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    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Quote Originally Posted by King Jan III Sobieski
    What if...

    What if General Patton would have been able to push through the Soviet lines and drive them out of Eastern Europe? Mass bloodshed? Easy victory? Somewhere in between? What thinks you all on't?


    Please do not derail the thread.


    This war is one of my most favourite and I have spent considerable time and money reading about it.






    The thread reminded my one of my most favourite SF short stories of Jacek Dukaj ( Polish SF writer sometimes described as the wonder boy of Polish SF) he place action of his story titled 'Xavras Wyzryn' in the reality where the battle is lost.

    The guy is a perfectionist so his vision is at least worth thinking about.

    In such reality. The world in 1990s.

    There was no 2nd WW, only the Great Bolshevick War. There is no description when it was started only that remilitarised Germany together with the UK and France stopped the Red Army in a costly trench war and by dropping A-bombs ( so it happened later than in 1930s) on Kiev, Leningrad (still named after Lenin) and Warsaw (it is bad to be here as always ).

    There was no Hitler - Germany are a conservative, militaristic power much like Prussia.

    There was no nazi party, but there was Holocaust this time conducted by Stalin (he was highly anti-semitic) through forced labour in Siberia, especially during the space race he launched.

    The war might actually be launched by Stalin after larger than in real life industrialisation and militarization. Stalin lived to early 1970s (better drugs) and at the time of his death the Soviet Union included Poland, Finland, all the Balcan states with Greece + Turkey and Afghanistan.
    In this reality Stalin got to power even faster than in real life - no accusations for the battle at Warsaw, he was skilled enough to outsmart Trotsky in any reality I dare say.

    Communist China was created and succesfully it waged war against Japan occupying it in the end - it looks much like 'our' Tibet out there. Japanese government-in-the-exile exists in Hawaii islands.


    Apparently after some time China was at war vs, western powers and Soviet support was requested in the 1990s it is in rather shaky balance - Soviets get loans from the USA and the UK and western europe buys its oil and gas.

    In the 1990s tthi country is a large, corrupted, decaying monster supported by the western powers who need someone to act against China, but after Stalin's death a large number of various guerilla/terrorist/underground organisation exists and fights especially in its european part and muslim areas ( some sort of 'mahdi' launches another jihad in thet reality blowing up pipelines here and there).

    British Empire still exists (no 2nd WW...) and apparently bacame more conservative.

    France had some hard times in the politics - it is XIVth Republic actually - I guess they gget the idea after the Italians...

    Sweden is NOT a neutral state - more like opportunisitc power it was in the XVIIIth century.

    What happened to Poland ? A massive russyfication, Ukraine-style genocide and destruction of elites + the A-bomb dropped on Warsaw Its picture was based partly on Chechenya (the story was written at the time of first chechen war) so rather grim, especially considering that the Polish underground which appeared after Stalin's death is acting as terrorists but with skillfull PR policy ( a sort of Che-styled rebells).

    Of course in such reality it took over 70 years since the lost battle at Warsaw so history could make a large number of other turns here and there.

    One, major conclusion of mine - the victory would surely encourage the Reds to expand somewhere for sure and with Stalin in charge I see no reason why shouldn't they actually try to do that. In the real life the SU was preparing for the war of aggression too, but in such reality it would be even easier.
    Last edited by cegorach; 08-17-2007 at 17:38.

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    His higness, the Sultan Member Randarkmaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Hmm that whole scenario reminds me a little about "Freedom Fighters".
    Anyway how early does Stalin get to power in that "vision"? Because, well he was a huge bastard who made life miserable for millions, and ended it for a couple of millions as well, but he was... skilled and "inspiring" (make that frighteningly inspiring) so the USSR might just have poured troops on Poland until there was no one left to fight them and the rest would have been shipped off to camps, which they would have been during the war as well.

    Anyway, I wonder how it would have been if Stalin had instead of getting into the Bolcheviks, he had become some sort of Georgian resistance fighter, as the Russians (the Tsars) weren't very nice to their ethnic minorities either, for an example the Russification process. And he was at least somewhat... aware, in a positive way, of his heritage (I just read "Court of the Red Tsar", which is a really fitting title). Though this is totally off-topic.
    Would be fun to gather up a lot of ideas and try to "play it out" with an interactive history, actually.
    "One of the nice things about looking at a bear is that you know it spends 100 per cent of every minute of every day being a bear. It doesn't strive to become a better bear. It doesn't go to sleep thinking, "I wasn't really a very good bear today". They are just 100 per cent bear, whereas human beings feel we're not 100 per cent human, that we're always letting ourselves down. We're constantly striving towards something, to some fulfilment"
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    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Quote Originally Posted by Randarkmaan
    Anyway how early does Stalin get to power in that "vision"? Because, well he was a huge bastard who made life miserable for millions, and ended it for a couple of millions as well, but he was... skilled and "inspiring" (make that frighteningly inspiring) so the USSR might just have poured troops on Poland until there was no one left to fight them and the rest would have been shipped off to camps, which they would have been during the war as well.

    Poland was defeated in 1920 and turned itnto a part of the Soviet Union, was followed by the baltic states too - about the rest there is no information how soon countries like Czechoslovakia or Hungary were added.

    Stalin most likely got to power in later 1920s out there - the alternative story starts after the defeat at Warsaw, so no changes before that.

    In this reality there is no mass deportation - there were too many Poles, but something like in Ukraine, though on wider scale (because of greater national awareness and greater hostility).
    Frightening is the idea of modified and enhanced russyfication of the population in Poland - for example 'name legislation' which banned all Polish first and surnames - all had to be changed to Russian ones. This way children would be easier absorbed to the Soviet society gradually losing their bonds with Poland. Of course culture and language were banned too, but that was done by the tzars before as well.
    Interesting thing is that most of resistence fighters/terrorist do not even know their ancestry and take their names from Polish novels, especially historical ones of Henryk Sienkiewicz.
    That vision was really interesting and quite scary - even the very language of the short story (or mini-novel - it was over 100 pages long) is somehow changed, though the author apologised he didn't re-invent the grammar 'because it is hard to predict which way it would go'...yes a perfectionist.




    Anyway, I wonder how it would have been if Stalin had instead of getting into the Bolcheviks, he had become some sort of Georgian resistance fighter, as the Russians (the Tsars) weren't very nice to their ethnic minorities either, for an example the Russification process. And he was at least somewhat... aware, in a positive way, of his heritage (I just read "Court of the Red Tsar", which is a really fitting title). Though this is totally off-topic.
    Would be fun to gather up a lot of ideas and try to "play it out" with an interactive history, actually.
    True. I mean 1920 scenario, but that would require even more research especially about internal policy of the UK, France and finally various russian faction still in play. Very difficult and demanding.
    Last edited by cegorach; 08-17-2007 at 18:37.

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    His higness, the Sultan Member Randarkmaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    finally various russian faction still in play.
    True, did you also know that Soviet regional governors were basically like autonomous feudal vassals? There was this Georgian guy who was governor over Caucasus (can't quite remember his name, think it was Ordsjenikidze or something, and I'm not sure if it was the entire Caucasus, but never mind) and he basically lived like a king in a palace (or atleast a very luxurious summer house by the black sea) and occasionally received audiences from his liege (the Soviet Politburo and later simply Stalin, who liked going there).
    Last edited by Randarkmaan; 08-17-2007 at 19:06.
    "One of the nice things about looking at a bear is that you know it spends 100 per cent of every minute of every day being a bear. It doesn't strive to become a better bear. It doesn't go to sleep thinking, "I wasn't really a very good bear today". They are just 100 per cent bear, whereas human beings feel we're not 100 per cent human, that we're always letting ourselves down. We're constantly striving towards something, to some fulfilment"
    -Stephen Fry

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    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Quote Originally Posted by Randarkmaan
    True, did you also know that Soviet regional governors were basically like autonomous feudal vassals? There was this Georgian guy who was governor over Caucasus (can't quite remember his name, think it was Ordsjenikidze or something, and I'm not sure if it was the entire Caucasus, but never mind) and he basically lived like a king in a palace (or atleast a very luxurious summer house by the black sea) and occasionally received audiences from his liege (the Soviet Politburo and later simply Stalin, who liked going there).

    Soviet often used existing style of governing - just see central asian areas - this style survived the end of the Soviet Union actually out there...

    Howeverthis was of little conzequence as long as the central government remained at least relatively active and ruthless, only when the Soviet Union started falling apart (late 1980s) it became something important.

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    Nec Pluribus Impar Member SwordsMaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Hmm. All this Warsaw talk made me actually look it up. According to wikipedia the forces were about equal on both sides prior to the battle, the Poles had a fortified starting position, and they had also decrypted the Soviet communications. Which explains the "Miracle at the Vistula" without recurring to polish super-soldiers and military geniuses.

    Life follows Total war in that if you have the same strength as the enemy, you start in a fortified position, and you know when and where the enemy is coming, victory is the logical consequence.


    With this I do not wish to humiliate in any way the polish victory, but claims of a miracle are unfounded.
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    Member Member KrooK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Who told these positions were fortified?
    Anyway Miracle over Vistula is kind of joke (wikipedia told something about that) - Pilsudski's opponent couldn't agree that he totally won, so they called it miracle (God helped Poland).
    Anyway if I were you, I would not trust Wikipedia - too many people changes it.
    John Thomas Gross - liar who want put on Poles responsibility for impassivity of American Jews during holocaust

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    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordsMaster
    the forces were about equal on both sides prior to the battle, the Poles had a fortified starting position
    Fortified... only the suburbs of Warsaw (with 2 -3 lines of trenches...) and that really didn't matter much to the outcome of the battle - battle for Radzymin is highly symbolic, herois for sure and quite interesting since it seen important involvement of Polish tanks for the first real time during the war... but that would be all - after all Warsaw was the target, but was supposed to be OUTFLANKED not directly assaulted from the east - only one army did so to tempt polish reserves there.

    , and they had also decrypted the Soviet communications.
    Actually it happened MUCH, MUCH earlier, but sometimes the problem is to move your soldiers from one fronzone to another - just like at Warsaw, because here defence of the city was intentionally weakened and volunteers had their great part here and in the north adding much to the popularity of the battle - especially the 1st Volunteer Division - 'poets & priests' as they were called.


    Which explains the "Miracle at the Vistula" without recurring to polish super-soldiers and military geniuses.
    The counterattack was quite admired and judged highly by professionals then and later. No sane person would sell stories about supre-men here, but the decision to counterattack and the way it was implemented was extraordinary - considering the whole spectrum of the factors at that time.

    Besides for armchair generals of our times even Cannae looks easy so let's not go any further without FULL knowledge.


    Life follows Total war in that if you have the same strength as the enemy, you start in a fortified position, and you know when and where the enemy is coming, victory is the logical consequence.
    Exactly what I am talking about - too much games, too much/too little information about the battle and it will always be easy to win any battle, but judging some decisions AFTER you know the results is always easy.

    There were several pieces which are forgotten/ignored/omitted here -
    - we know there were no Soviet reserves anywhere there to counterattack,
    - we know that southern Soviet front was slowed down sufficiently during late July fighting and that for this and other reasons they were unwilling/not capable to attack in Lublin direction this way striking the weakened flank of the Polish offensive (only one wak division from Ukrainian allies of the Poles was there).
    - we know that so called Mozyr Group was so much to the west and was so weak it couldn't stop the attack.
    - finally we know that 4th Soviet army (the one most to the west) lost their whole comunication with the HQ and 3 others were too exposed to the attack to make a counterattack in time so the entire front collapsed and for another month the Reds were unable to do anything except running away, trying to break through or re-organise which spelled doom to the entire Southern Front in September 1920.



    Life as t is DOESN'T follow any simple set of instructions , any easy plan for victory and ESPECIALLY NOT Toatal War.
    Generals have to make tough calls in time, under pressure, taking risks and not knowing most of the facts we know now.


    With this I do not wish to humiliate in any way the polish victory, but claims of a miracle are unfounded.
    Miracle was the term created by right-wing nationalist opposition of J.Pilsudski nad his 'federationists' - nobody thinks it was a real miracle actually...
    Last edited by cegorach; 08-26-2007 at 16:59.

  21. #21
    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Suffice to say, 20th century history would have looked very, very different if the Battle of Warsaw had been lost by Pilsudski and co. Maybe, if Westwood had incorporated its history, Red Alert would've had a more realistic scenario

    I don't think there was any chance of that happening. Mussolini was a rightwinger, no doubt about that. He loathed communism. And though there were quite a lot of communists in Italy (in entire Europ at that time), Italy was a special case. It's catholic, and was still loyal to the king. The Pope had still a sizeable amount of influence there, so I don't believe they could ever have turned into a communist nation.
    Dunno if this has been said yet, but Italian fascism was rooted in late 19th-century social democratic/socialist/labor movements. It viewed itself as just as revolutionary as more orthodox Marxism, with a similar cause. Perhaps, with Leninism dominating all of Central and Eastern Europe, fascism might not have moved to the black, but stayed red.

    EDIT: I think you guys are underestimating old Trotsky here, my friends. With a victory over Poland, and its incorporation into the Soviet Union, and perhaps additionally with a communist Germany (independent, vassalized or incorporated depending on how strong and/or stretched the Red Army felt), his prestige would have been unbeatable. The likeliest case would've been for Stalin to remain a semi-obscure bureaucrat within the Party, with Trotsky growing into his role as natural successor of Lenin.

    And that would just have been the beginning. Lenin was ruthless, and Stalin even more so, but I daresay Trotsky was the most effed up of them all. Stalin got his industralization techniques from Trotsky, but the latter was, arguably, even more ruthless than Stalin in his designs to turbo-industrialize Russia and the rest of the USSR. Plus, he had his insane doctrine of "permanent revolution" to boot, with which he meant a state of permanent war with the (percieved) bourgeois and capitalist states of the West (as opposed to Stalin's "socialism in one country," maintaining the status quo with non-Soviet states); it also formed an excuse to keep himself in absolute power, since communism (the classless, perfect, utopian and anarchist society that was the final stage of Marx's "scientific socialism") could only be achieved once the whole world had been brought into the Soviet fold, something that could, to put it lightly, not have been achieved in a single day.

    Lenin was a murderer, a killer and a ruthless dictator, but at heart wasn't such a bad guy. The problem was that his intellectualism was all-consuming; his so-called "material" outlook that he had condensed (for himself) from Marx's writings left all human factors out of the equasion, which, combined with his total intoleration of criticism, made it so that from Lenin's pen flowed not ink, but blood. His state was a machine, designed and operated to achieve the perfect anarchy.

    Stalin, meanwhile, was simply a brute and a savage, ruthless tyrant. There was a human aspect here, definitely -- and it is precisely that which made Stalin such a gigantically murderous figure. I'm sure it's a bit of an oversimplification, but that's how it was; Stalin was simply cruel and incredibly paranoid, and wielded power guided by that.

    And then there's Trotsky. You take Lenin's cold-hearted, ruthless intellectualism, multiply it by ten, and add to it some of the cruelty and ruthlessness of Stalin, and you will probably arrive at Leon Trotsky's reign of terror over the Soviet Union. Such an Orwellian state, in all its awesome power, would have been a frightfully mighty power to behold on the international stage.
    Last edited by The Wizard; 08-27-2007 at 14:37.
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    Fascism had some connections with certain forms of socialism.
    - First, a current of revisionist Marxism interpreted history in terms of the mobilising power of myths and considered that Das Kapital was an example of this; by telling the Western proletariat that the processes of economics and history pre-destined them to eventually replace capitalism with a classless society, Marx gave them the confidence and impetus to actively work towards that goal. Of course, this was totally unorthodox and rejected by the vast majority of Marxists. However, it appealed to proto-fascists because they utterly hated materialism and Marx's materialist interpretation of history.
    - Second, former anarcho-syndicalists were attracted to fascism's emphasis on action over thought, which suited their belief that a form of stateless socialism could be brought into being spontaneously if they attacked the structures of power vigorously enough. Almost all of these persons were sidelined or purged from Italian fascism eventually.
    - Third, the original organisational nucleus of Mussolini's fascist movement was a group of centre-left nationalists who led the push for Italy to become involved in WWI as a way of increasing its power.

    However, fascism as an ideology was not socialist. It could not have become socialist. Socialism, like capitalism, was a product of the Enlightenment and was materialist, i.e. considers that basically more material wellbeing = good. Fascists hate materialism because it runs contrary to their purpose of uniting and organising their nation, race, or religious group for the social Darwinist struggle with others. First of all, this is because if everyone is after material wealth it causes internal competition, between individuals or classes. Hence why trade unions and the socialist parties to which they were affiliated were the first to be suppressed. Second of all, a society of people obsessed with wealth is considered weak and decadent; what fascists want is a society of fanatics who will give all for their country. On top of that, something which all fascists woke up to was that they were never going to take power in a working class revolution; for the most part socialist and communist parties had the proletariat well and truly locked up. So they increased the level of conservative populism and counter-revolutionary violence to appeal to a wide and disparate variety of groups across the political and socio-economic spectrum who all, in some sense, shared the view that something was wrong with early 20th century Europe and could be fixed by going backwards to a supposedly more stable and glorious age (in particular before the Bolshevik Revolution).

    When Mussolini put forward his first economic program it was in many respects a copy of the socialist party's, but that is simply because his movement was tiny and everyone could see that the PSI was headed for a landslide in the Po Valley. When he found that his party still had no appeal amongst workers he suddenly became a capitalist and started railing against pinkos. Much the same was true of Hitler and the Nazis, whose economic views (which were deliberately stated in nebulous terms, e.g. "We do not want high bread prices. We do not low bread prices. We want German bread prices") changed depending on the class composition of his audience. Possibly certain people who were fascists would have become socialists instead if something was historically different. Possibly the movement which Mussolini named "Fascism" would have turned out differently. But then it wouldn't have been what we now call define as "fascist".
    Last edited by Furious Mental; 08-30-2007 at 07:04.

  23. #23
    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    You say that fascists could not appeal to employees on the lower end of the wage scale, because "red" parties already had dibs on them. But what about employees with national sentiment? Wouldn't the idealistic, Romantic message of nationalism as seen in fascism, combined with the essentially blue collar outlook of that ideology, be a whole lot more attractive than the internationalism of socialism and the like?
    "It ain't where you're from / it's where you're at."

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  24. #24

    Default Re: Warzaw again, more civilized please

    I didn't say that fascists couldn't get any votes from workers and the "lumpenproletariat". They obviously did; one of the remarkable things about fascism is that it drew a reasonable number of votes from every part of society. I said they couldn't take power on the back of a working class revolution, and they couldn't. No fascist party has ever come to power that way- Mussolini and Hitler took control in a political compact with the remnants of pre-democratic regimes (monarchy, generals, business, etc), and every other fascist party in Europe was installed by them.

    And fascism wasn't a "blue collar" ideology; totally the opposite in fact. Fascism is utterly elitist and contemptuous of mediocrity. Indeed, the biggest objection which fascists had to liberal democracy was that once universal suffrage was introduced the working class, under the leadership of socialist parties and trade unions, was able to drag countries into class war and win because provided it voted one way it would always outvote any other group. Fascism was certainly populist, so you could say that it might have appealed to uneducated idiots who would be drawn in by stupid slogans (which is basically what fascists offered), but the electoral evidence shows that it was the supposed bedrock of liberal democracy, the middle class, who were fascism's most enthusiastic supporters, while socialist and communist parties successfully maintained their support base for the time that they remained in existence.

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