Talk:Soviet invasion of Poland

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Section for Gbook urls[edit]

Since FA and GA referencing disparages Gbook urls in references, no doubt for good reasons, but I like being able to see the text and others might too, am posting these here. Novickas (talk) 15:56, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Sanford pp. 20-24 - [1]
  • Hiden, Lane pp. 143-144 [2]
  • Hiden, Lane p. 148 [3] Novickas (talk) 15:59, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Hehn pp. 69-70 [4] Novickas (talk) 15:46, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Treaty negotiations[edit]

My fundamental problem with that section is its basic message that it was Poland's fault that the negotiations between Britain, France and USSR did not succeed. It argues that if only Poland had allowed Soviet troops to enter, the alliance would have been concluded and Germany would have been deterred from starting the war in 1939. This is a very simplistic viewpoint, not reflecting the much more complicated situation at the time. In particular it completely ignores the possibility that the Soviet Union was set on cooperating with Germany, regardless of what Poland, Britain and France did.

To be more specific, the key, direct military negotiations, which occurred over the few days of August in Moscow, started on or just before Monday August 14 and adjourned Thursday August 17 for the weekend to give the British time to convince Poland to soften its stance, were almost certainly a sham anyway. The Soviets signed a commercial agreement with Germany on Saturday August 19, suspended the talks on Monday August 21, and signed the main Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact on Wednesday August 23. Given the certainty that the pact must have been the results of months of secret negotiations, it is basically impossible that the August negotiations between Britain/France and the USSR where anything but a deception by the Soviets, and they have long before chosen aligning with Germany over alliance with Britain and France. The supposed intransigence of Poland being the reason for the collapse of these negotiations was only a convenient pretext for the Soviets.

As Neilson writes on pp. 314:

The British response was predictably bitter. Seeds accused Molotov of bad faith in his negotiations, and the Soviet commissar returned a charge of a ‘lack of sincerity’. At the Foreign Office, Roberts argued that the ‘Soviet military negotiators’ had been ‘instructed “to lead our people down the garden path” so far as possible and to find some suitable pretext for a break or at least an interruption in the negotiations’ in order to let the German talks come to fruition. Sargent had ‘no doubt at all that this is so’, while Chamberlain wrote of "Russian treachery".

This section should reflect the issue clearly, instead of the "Poland's fault" tripe it currently presents, referencing Shirer of all people (a journalist who wrote his popular history book in 1960). Sourcelat0r (talk) 17:18, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

There is no intention to present the negotiation issues as being Poland's fault, because it certainly was not. Nor do I believe that the section currently presents the information in such a fashion. As I viewed it, the Soviet Union wanted a territorial buffer zone and was willing to deal with whichever party was willing to assist them in achieving their ends. My primary end at this point is to avoid seeing this article delisted as FA and there is still a lot of work, and little time, in achieving this end. As a result, I work with the sources that were already here. --Labattblueboy (talk) 19:08, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry if my comment has come across as too harsh. I appreciate lots of good work being done on this article right now. As for the buffer zone idea, I respectfully disagree. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact eliminated all countries between Germany and the Soviet Union, and brought their borders into contact. In effect the Soviets eliminated the buffer zone that they had until 1939. This was exactly what made the surprise German attack in June 1941 possible.
The idea that the Soviets wanted more defensive space is at least logically coherent, but not very plausible. After all, why would the largest country in the world believe that adding an extra fraction of a percent to their territory improve their security in any significant way? After all, it would mean giving up the defensive infrastructure built up in the interwar years (Stalin Line etc.) and expending large amounts of resources to replicate in on a new border (see Molotov Line). The more plausible reason was that the Soviet Communists, to some extent the heirs of Imperial Russia, desired to recover the territories lost at Brest-Litovsk in 1918. Clearly France and Britain were not going to sanction such a move in 1939, so the Soviet Union picked cooperation with Germany.Sourcelat0r (talk) 19:27, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Soviet casualties according to Soviet sources[edit]

"Now, this may be the nitpick of the century, but the page describes the figures as "fewer than 3,000 casualties (737 deaths)", whereas our sentence says "737 fatalities and a total of 1,862 casualties", the latter being Molotov verbatim. I think I ought to make this into a range by adding a higher figure and an extra ref, because Sandford says "Polish specialists claim up to 3000 killed and 8,000-10,000 wounded" (no doubt, in the nature of these things, the truth lies somewhere down the middle; and I'm uncomfortable uncritically quoting Molotov's figure in this sentence as if he, of all people, were a reliable source)."

"The problem is generally the same with all WWII casualties - in most cases there was no American-style body-count and instead modern historians tend to cite numbers given by various politicians instead. This is also true to German losses in Poland in 1939 - barely anyone knows that the commonly-accepted numbers come from a speech by herr Hitler himself. The Polish losses are a mystery as well - the numbers cited in the article on Defensive War come from the war-time reports of a London-based commission to assess the Polish Campaign. AFAIK nobody ever revised those numbers, even though in most probability they are far from being accurate."

"The article must be amended to reflect the latest research."

Soviet casualties given in the article (737 KIA or MIA, 1125 WIA) are estimates of Molotov in his speech - these figures were known to be incomplete / falsified yet 15 years ago. More correct figures are given by Krivosheev in his book as well as by the (top-secret) "Diary of Combat Operations of Kievian Special Military District for the period 3 September - 12 October 1939" written by Major Kucev. Below I will present figures given by Krivosheev in the old edition of his book (published in 1993) as well as modified figures in the latest edition of his book (published in 2001):

Old edition (Krivosheev claims these casualty figures being for the period 17 IX - 25 IX 1939):

Ukrainian Front + Belarusian Front:

Older commanders (officers) / younger commanders (NCOs) / privates:

KIA + DoW – 127 / 150 / 575 = 852
MIA without a trace (never found) – 20 / 18 / 106 = 144

Total – 147 / 168 / 681 = 996

WIA – 186 / 298 / 1518 = 2002
Sick – 26 / 11 / 344 = 381

Belarusian Front:

KIA + DoW – 32 / 63 / 221 = 316
MIA without a trace (never found) – 1 / - / 2 = 3

Total – 33 / 63 / 223 = 319

WIA – 48 / 95 / 499 = 642
Sick - - / - / - = -

Ukrainian Front (the same figures are given by the "Diary of Combat Operations of Kievian Special Military District"):

KIA + DoW – 50 / 87 / 354 = 491
MIA without a trace (never found) – 19 / 18 / 104 = 141

Total – 69 / 105 / 458 = 632

WIA – 138 / 203 / 1119 = 1360
Sick – 26 / 11 / 344 = 381

While in the new edition of his book (2001) Krivosheev gives the following figures (claiming them being for the period 17 IX - 30 IX 1939):

Ukrainian Front + Belarusian Front:

KIA – 109 / 141 / 723 = 973
DoW – 15 / 18 / 69 = 102
MIA without a trace (never found) – 6 / 16 / 280 = 302
DiA – 18 / 14 / 44 = 76
DoS - - / 2 / 20 = 22

Total – 148 / 191 / 1136 = 1475

WIA – 186 / 298 / 1518 = 2002
Sick – 26 / 11 / 344 = 381

Ukrainian Front:

KIA – 43 / 82 / 445 = 570
DoW – 6 / 10 / 42 = 58
MIA without a trace (never found) – 5 / 14 / 270 = 289
DiA – 7 / 8 / 27 = 42
DoS – - / 1 / 12 = 13

Total – 61 / 115 / 796 = 972

WIA – 138 / 203 / 1119 = 1360
Sick - 26 / 11 / 344 = 381

Belarusian Front:

KIA – 66 / 59 / 278 = 403
DoW – 9 / 8 / 27 = 44
MIA without a trace (never found) – 1 / 2 / 10 = 13
DiA – 11 / 6 / 17 = 34
DoS – - / 1 / 8 = 9

Total – 87 / 76 / 340 = 503

WIA – 48 / 95 / 499 = 642
Sick - - / - / - = -

If it comes to MIA, he clearly states that his figures refer only to MIA without a trace, thus they should be considered as de facto KIA.

Anyway - we can notice several discrepancies in Krivosheev's figures:

1. Number of KIA / MIA / DoW is 1,5 times bigger in the new edition than in the old one, but author claims it being for the longer period (17 IX - 30 IX instead of 17 IX - 25 IX) 2. Despite the fact that losses in the new edition are - according to the author himself - for a longer period and despite the fact that number of KIA / MIA / DoW is 1,5 times bigger, number of WIA and sick is still the same as in the old edition. 3. Number of MIA older and younger commanders of the Ukrainian Front is in some "mysterious" way lower in period 17 IX - 30 IX than in period 17 - 25, despite the fact that number of MIA privates is much higher 4. Belarusian Front didn't have sick soldiers but had got soldiers died of sickness.

As I wrote above, one of discrepancies is the discrepancy with the number of WIA (number of WIA in period 17 - 25 IX is the same as in period 17 - 30 IX; moreover - all other types of casualties are much higher in what Krivosheev claims to be the figures for 17 IX - 30 IX period than in what he claims to be the figures for 17 IX - 25 IX period).

Number of WIA of Ukrainian Front was certainly much higher than according to Krivosheev. Another Russian source - Protocol from the meeting of War Council of Kievian Special Military District from 26.11.1939 - says that 1610 wounded soldiers of the Red Army were in the Kievian Military Hospital alone (and I suppose that only seriously wounded soldiers were transported to this main hospital of the Ukrainian Front). Considering that the ratio of dead / wounded in the first edition (1993) was around 1:2, we should assume that the ratio of dead / wounded in the 2nd ediion (2001) should be similar (1:2), but Krivosheev didn't have proper statistics available and thus his WIA figure is incomplete.

However, we must remember that even casualties from the 2nd edition are certainly incomplete. Why? Because they only cover the period 17 IX - 30 IX and Polish-Soviet battles also took place in October of 1939. For example during the battle of Wytyczno on 01.10.1939 Soviet forces lost - according to Soviet sources - 31 KIA and 101 WIA. Combats near Wytyczno also continued on 02.10.1939. On the same day 26th Tank Brigade fought against Polish unit near Stopnica, 10 km to the north-west from Drohobycz. 16th rifle regiment (87th Rifle Division) reported combats near the locality Kozak. Combats were also reported on that day near Lipniak and Miotelka. 44th Rifle Division and 140th Rifle Division reported fightings against Polish units on 03.10.1939. 99th Rifle Division reported combats both on 03.10.1939 and on 04.10.1939. 5th Army also reported combats on 04.10.1939 (especially 81st, 44th, 96th, 97th and 99th Rifle Divisions). Et cetera, et cetera.

Another problem is that Krivosheev analyzed only casualties of both fronts - Ukrainian and Belarusian. He didn't research casualties of Reserve units, which didn't belong to any of these fronts and which crossed the Polish-Soviet border in the 2nd wave - usually few days after 17.09.1939. There were a lot of such units (including few Tank Brigades) and some of them were involved in some combats.

Krivosheev also gives losses of Soviet Air Force over Poland as only 4 KIA, while Polish author Mirosław Wawrzyński in his book "Czerwone gwiazdy sojusznik czarnych krzyży nad Polską. Lotnictwo sowieckie nad Kresami wrzesień - październik 1939", basing of Russian documents managed to prepare the name list of Soviet airmen KIA over Poland in the 1939 campaign and this lists consists of 11 surnames (so almost 3 times more than Krivosheev's figure). This list of 11 Soviet airmen (rank + name and surname + date + reason of death) can be found on page 169 of his book.

Peter558 (talk) 17:38, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

The Soviet invasion of Poland and Turkey[edit]

I was just wondering about a contribution[[5]] that you made some time ago.

The reaction of France and Britain to the Soviet invasion and annexation of Eastern Poland was muted, since neither country wanted to start a confrontation with the Soviet Union at that time.<ref name="Prazmowska 44-45"/> Both countries were strongly interested in maintaining relationships with Turkey, which voiced some approval of the invasion's creation of a buffer zone between itself and Germany.[1] Under the terms of the Polish-British Common Defence Pact of 25 August 1939, the British had promised assistance if a European power attacked Poland.

Why would Turkey care about the way in which Poland was partitioned? And why would either the Germans or the Soviets care what they thought? Unfortunately, Google Books does not allow me to preview the cited page. If anyone has the book, would they mind quoting the cited passage? BillMasen (talk) 07:01, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Hello Bill - when trying to describe the geopolitical situation at this time - the word complex is inadequate. Hard to summarize and fit in here. Now, there was a great flurry of activity at this article last November, and I can't easily find the support for the second clause in the Turkey sentence, which I inserted to try and give some background, so I'll take the entire sentence out. The first part of the sentence, about Turkish interests as a factor, is supported here - Gbook link for ref Hiden148 (page 144) [6] - quote - 'British policy towards the Soviet Union and Poland was in fact shaped by a mixture of interacting forces. The government had to keep an eye on the shifting currents of public opinion at home while remaining sensitive to the attitudes of France and Turkey.' But without the background it just leads to questions like the one you raised. So probably better off without for now. Novickas (talk) 16:00, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Maybe one day someone will turn up a passage which explains all this. And I've just noticed it was not Russia & Germany but Britain and France who allegedly were bothered by Turkey, which if anything makes the situation more puzzling. BillMasen (talk) 19:43, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
  1. ^ Hiden & Lane p.148

Soviet invasion and annexation of Eastern Poland?[edit]

Citation from article - "The reaction of France and Britain to the Soviet invasion and annexation of Eastern Poland was muted, since neither country wanted to start a confrontation with the Soviet Union at that time."

This is very interesting idea. France and Britain declared war on Germany for INVASION, but did not react for Soviet "INVASION", because, "neither country wanted to start a confrontation with the Soviet Union". They were OK to confront Germany, but not Russia.

They did not react because France and Britain knew about Curzon Line . It was not invasion, just retaking former russian teritories after Poland state failure which voided all of previous agreements between Russia and Poland. Otherwise France and Britan would declare war on USSR. When you people stop making monster out of russia? You mentioned Molotov-Ribbentrop act, but forgot mention about American Neutrality Act of 1936. Why you focus on Stalin agreement of neutrality to Hitler and make no suggestions that American neutrality act is the same evil which made possible for Hitler to start a war in Europe?

You got me? You americans, who wrote this article for wikipedia should know that Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the same evil as American Neutrality Act of 1936! There were two big neutral countries towards to Hitler - USSR and USA. They both responsible for start of WW2. Don't they teach this in Harvard yet? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Indented line

Hello, from Moscow, homeboy! Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had contained secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence, which made it effectively not a neutrality pact, but a secret aggressive military alliance. Whatever Lines there were in whoever minds, Poland was a recognised independent country at war with Germany, when USSR launched its groundless aggression. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:16, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

More about casualties[edit]

Above I provided and discussed casualties according to Krivosheev. Igor Bunich in his book "Operatsiia Groza, Ili, Oshibka V Tretem Znake: Istoricheskaia Khronika", Sankt-Petersburg 1994, page 88 - writes that Soviet losses were 5,327 killed or wounded. It was published by VITA-OBLIK. ISBN 5859760035 (5-85976-003-5).

Peter558 (talk) 12:29, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Germany as co-belligirent?[edit]

User:Vecrumba repeatedly adds Nazi Germany to the list of belligerents and calls MRP as military alliance. There was hot discussion in Template_talk:WW2InfoBox about Soviet Union in 1939 - some people tried to add Soviet Union to the Axis side in the period of 1939-1941 or to write it as Axis co-belligerent. However, it was proved that Soviet and German actions don't satisfy to the definitions of neither belligerence, nor co-belligerence. I'll repeat the definition:
Co-belligerence is the waging of a war 'in cooperation against a common enemy without a formal treaty of military alliance.
As we can see, MRP is not military alliance. Broadly speaking, it is truce between two sworn enemies which waged their cold war in Spain and Czechoslovakia. Truce has never been military alliance. Then, there was no strategic cooperation between Wehrmacht and Red Army. Therefore there was no co-belligerence.
It's not uncommon for Anti-Soviets to use alternate definitions of co-belligerence and military alliance. It's funny that according to their definitions ("the pact of %username1% and %username2% gave %username1% the green light to aggression against %username3% - therefore this pact is military alliance") Latvia and Lithuania were Germany's allies in its aggression against Poland: Latvia had non-aggression pact (it gave green light (c)) and Lithuania participated in the partition of Poland. But this is Wikipedia, not circus. We use strict definitions, not nationalist-made.
At the end, it is very strange that Vecrumba deletes replace "decisive victory" with simply "victory". Soviet victory was overwhelming or decisive. -- (talk) 06:05, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

The Baltic states were not Nazi "allies." You are applying dictionary definitions (and I can't speak to the "hot discussion" at the moment) where scholarship should apply with regard to the description of the respective roles of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union at the start of World War II. Recall that the USSR sent radio signals to support the Luftwaffe during Nazi Germany's initial invasion. Provided you do not truck out further offensive disparaging crap such as "We use strict definitions, not nationalist-made" which I take to be a personal attack upon myself, I'll deal with the co-belligerence issue in more depth after catching up on the afore-mentioned discussion. I take contentions of "proof" in matters such as these with a grain of salt. Since you have chosen to include personal attacks after inviting me to settle things here, you will do me the courtesy of not reverting to your preferred content until I've responded to you here in more detail. Lastly, you mischaracterize the situation, making me out to be the guilty edit-warring party. I restored content you deleted. That is different from me coming along lah dee dah dee dah edit-warring to insert some unsubstantiated "nationalist" claptrap as you very clearly make my revert out to be.
The "nationalist" insults, blaming me for your edit warring, "circus" reference, et al. certainly presume an unexpected familiarity as we've ostensibly never crossed paths, that is, of course, unless we have crossed paths. Who are you (past Wikipedian), really? PЄTЄRS J V TALK 01:01, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
You are applying dictionary definitions (and I can't speak to the "hot discussion" at the moment) where scholarship should apply with regard to the description of the respective roles of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union at the start of World War II. And what? Shouldn't scholarship use dictionary definitions in this case?
The Baltic states were not Nazi "allies.". Yes. It's just continuation of popular Anti-Soviet logic: "Nazi Germany and USSR made non-aggression pact, therefore they were allies". It's just continuation of Anti-Soviet logic: "USSR and Germany participated in the partition of Poland, therefore they were allies".
Recall that the USSR sent radio signals to support the Luftwaffe during Nazi Germany's initial invasion. Recall that USSR refused to sent radio signals the way Germany asked, USSR agreed only to mention "Minsk" a little more. However, sending a signals or leaking the info never imply allies. Otherwise, we should add Sweden to Axis: it was only country to leak to Germany the information about Soviet counter-offensive of Moscow.
Good luck in search of Soviet-German strategic cooperation. I'll be waiting for sources of joint operation, MRP quotation "Germany and USSR obligate to invade Poland" or Fall Weiss quotation "We can rely on Red Army in our attack on Poland". -- (talk) 05:26, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Assuming you're the same IP slightly changed, a quick review @ Template_talk:WW2InfoBox confirms my nagging suspicion that "proof" = "what you contend." I'll be responding more there when I have some time. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 01:43, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Kaliningrad oblast has 938 thousand inhabitants, by the way. And about 87% people of Russia are against de-Sovietization and de-Stalinization. Give this article to 100 Russians (who knows English at basic level at least) - 87 will protest. And cause Anti-Soviet propaganda has been repeating for 20 years and we really tired of it, most of Russians knows countermeasures against Anti-Soviet thesises or at least the sources of countermeasures.
Look not slightly but carefully. There was no objections in the end, and USSR was excluded from the side of Axis. -- (talk) 05:26, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

The Polish campaign[edit]

I had to rename this article because former name was biased and didn't reflect the real situation. The invasion presupposes a state of war between countries. Allied relations presuppose a duty to give military support by one power to another. But in reality nothing of this had no place.Alligas (talk) 18:20, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

The article is named after how the event is referred to in reliable secondary sources. It's actually not the case that "invasion presupposes a state of war between countries" (so... Nazis didn't invade Poland either?), but that is irrelevant - we go with the sources. Controversial moves like that and edits to the article itself should not be done without a proper Request to Move or talk page discussion. Volunteer Marek  19:31, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Nazis invaded and they were in a state of war with Poland and Allies. USSR was not. The name "Soviet invasion of Poland" is biased. All "reliable secondary sources" were created during the Cold War. This name is just a part of propagandist conception of "Nazi-Soviet alliance", "joint invasion of Poland", conception of "equal amenability" of USSR and Nazis and so on.Alligas (talk) 23:18, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia content reflects what reliable sources say, and articles are named according to WP:COMMONNAME. The common name, overwhelmingly, for this event, is "The Soviet invasion of Poland". (Google books result: "Soviet invasion of Poland" 42,000 "The Polish campaign of RKKA" zero.) Additionally, an invasion doesn't presuppose or imply a formal state of war - you appear to be reading-in things which aren't there. (Hohum @) 00:32, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I have to repeat once again - these "sources" are not sources. These are studies made in propagandist limits of the Cold War rhetoric. First time when Polish campaign was called "intervention", "aggression" was the work of major Robert M. Kennedy "The German Campaign In Poland", 1956. Sources do not give us this title, only biased works of the Cold war period.Alligas (talk) 10:27, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
The sources used in the article, span a pretty long period of time, but most of them are post-Cold War (2000's and 1990's). The ones which predate the 1990's are also reliable. If you have a problem with a particular source bring it up on Reliable Sources Noticeboard (WP:RSN). Likewise, if you limit the google books search mentioned by Hohum to just post 1990 works, you still get thousands of hits for "Soviet invasion of Poland". And there's basically no way you can turn the 0 hits for "Polish campaign of RKKA" into anything positive, no matter how you choose your dates. Volunteer Marek  14:01, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Your objections (and another Polish members ones) very good conform to one definition: "Формально правильно, а по существу издевательство". Try to find an author and translation by yourself. You offer to compare numbers Western biased publications (which was printed during several dozens years) in English, and hypothetic non-biased publications (which didn't ever have any chance to be published in English in conditions of ideological struggle of the Cold war). This is nonsense. In Russian historiography and sources this operation was called "Польский поход РККА" (Polish campaign of RKKA) or "Освободительный поход Красной Армии" (Liberation campaign of Red Army).Alligas (talk) 14:41, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that you have not presented any evidence or reason for an article change, except your own personal dislike of certain sources. I actually don't think your characterization of Russian sources is correct either, at least not as far as non-Soviet, mainstream sources go, but that's really irrelevant at this point. Start an RM or bring stuff up on RSN. Volunteer Marek  14:43, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Btw, there's no gbook hits for "Польский поход РККА" either (still 0, even in Russian), and while there are sources which use the term "Освободительный поход Красной Армии", this almost exclusively refers to 1944/45, not 1939. Volunteer Marek  14:48, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Also, if you want to move an established article, it is usually courteous to ask on talk for comments first, and then go through WP:RM procedure. Not that I think the renaming of this article is likely to succeed, for reasons stated above. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 05:18, 16 October 2011 (UTC)


Confirmed for WP:POLAND per milhist and other assessment. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 04:24, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Convoluted lead paragraph[edit]

The first paragraph talks more about the Soviet-Japanese conflict, than the subject of the article. Why? --illythr (talk) 19:00, 27 April 2013 (UTC)