Talk:Western betrayal/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

What is this article

Please note that this article is an explanation of certain societies' point of view, not of actual facts. It is clearly stated in the header and the purpose of this article is nothing more than an explanation of this view shared by many in Central Europe. It should not be deleted simply because it explains someone's point of view since this is a situation where no compromise version is possible. See Regained Territories and Oder-Neisse line, Holocaust and Final Solution or any similar pair of articles for reference. If someone is really willing to explain the opposite views - feel free to create an article about Allies generous help to the Central European countries in WWII and place the link at the top of this article

Also, this article is similar to many articles about psychology. Note that the Agoraphobia article explains why people are afraid of public spaces, not are public places dangerous or should public spaces be feared. Similarly, this article explains what people believe in, not whether their beliefs are right or wrong. The dispute about whether France, USA and UK could or should help their allies more in WWII started shortly after the Polish September Campaign and is far from finished. I'm not the person to judge and I believe that Wikipedia is not the place to do it. This article is about the phenomenon -- and nothing more. Halibutt

Why did I create this article and what is it for

User:Naryathegreat asked me on my talk page why waste time on such an article. He (or she, I'm not sure) also argued that such topic would simply be read only by Poles who know it anyway. Here's what I replied:

From the number of replies at the Talk:Poland's betrayal by the Western Allies page I assume that the topic is much more popular than one may think. Also, wikipedia is not about popular topics. Check the Wikipedia:What is Wikipedia for more details.
As you already noticed, the article under construction is mostly focused on Poland. There are two reasons behind that:
  • Since the article describes a sociological and historical phenomenon rather than a deed or a single historical fact, the article is mostly focused on the country I know the most.
  • Also, in Poland the sense of betrayal by the Western Allies is the strongest (AFAIK). The purpose of this article is to explain why people feel/felt betrayed, not were the countries actually betrayed or could the Allies not betray Poland. I hope you get the difference. Also, you can ask any Pole here in English wikipedia if he heard of such phenomenon. I bet he (or she) would answer "yes", despite of his (or hers) personal views or beliefs. If so, I believe that the topic is worth explaining.
It is somehow similar to the articles about psychology: the article on Agoraphobia explains why are people afraid of public spaces, not are public places dangerous or should public spaces be feared. That's not that clear in the present version of the article and that's why I decided to prepare a new one. So far the info about nations other than Poland is but a sketch. Hopefully some time later someone will drop in and explain the feelings of other societies better than I did.
Also, whether the Allies could do more or not is a matter of personal opinion. And it's a fact that many Poles feel that they could. Also, it has nothing to do with Polish nationalism. It's about feelings of a large part of Polish nationals. Get the difference? [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]]

Discussion about the title, moved here from "Poland's betrayal by the Western allies"

A suggestion about the title and some additional contents - Yalta

I'd say in its present form the article is about as neutral as possible from what is after all a distinctly Polish point of view. The introductory sentence makes clear that the article deals with a specific resentment felt by Polish society, and not actual facts themselves. The one thing that remains irritating, though, is the title "Poland's betrayal by the Western Allies". This implies that there actually was such a betrayal, although this is a statement of moral judgment, not a statement of fact. This is a bit like titling an article about paranoia with "being chased by dark forces", isn't it?

Of course, it is difficult to find an "objective" name for an intrinsically subjective phenomenon. As a tentative suggestion, I would call it "The Yalta complex" or something similar. The Polish notion of having been betrayed by the West did not receive its decisive and finishing touches before the Yalta conference which finally consigned Poland, the West's loyal wartime ally, to Stalin's sphere of influence. Without the Yalta aspect, the whole concept of "Poland's betrayal" seems strangely incomplete; for it was not until Yalta that the earlier events described in the article finally fell into place to form the image of a huge betrayal. A useful spin-off effect of Yalta's inclusion is that it conveniently lends itself as a catchy, neutral, plausible, and unemotional title.

Before anyone rushes to the comfortable conclusion that I am "anti-Polish" or anything: I'm not. I can well understand the perfectly legitimate desire of Polish contributors to explain this issue and the Polish point of view to an international audience. That is precisely why I suggest to make this article as neutral, fact-based, and trustworthy as possible, avoiding weepy accusations from the moral high ground. If disinterested readers get the impression that this is a place where some nerdy Poles ride their own national hobbyhorses, they'll turn away very quickly, and nothing is gained at all - neither for the "Polish cause" nor for Wikipedia at large. I'm looking forward to any comments.

--Thorsten1 18:21, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Please take a look at the Western betrayal article. It it an expanded version of this article, with Yalta part, many others sections, expanded sources and hopefully an even better NPOV. If not for the recent vandal and protection, this article would be a redirect already. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 19:05, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I admit that I overlooked the link to the new article. I agree that the new article is much better regarding the NPOV, but the problem with the word "betrayal" in the title persists. With the new article being much wider in scope, it is even more difficult to find an appropriate, neutral title, but still think it will be worth the effort. Any ideas? --Thorsten1 17:10, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
There were some suggestions along the line Allies attitude to Central Europe and such, but I am not sure they are more appopriate. Sure, less controversial, but there is the line between painful truth and political correctness that I personally tend to avoid. Wiki being Wiki, if this causes much stirr, I suggest a vote for the most appopriate title to settle this once and for all. ATM I care less about the title then about the article content though... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 18:15, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
[quote]There were some suggestions along the line Allies attitude to Central Europe and such, but I am not sure they are more appopriate.[/quote] - If anything, then the inversion "Central European attitude towards the Western allies" would be appropriate (to be more precise - "Central European attitude towards the Western allies' supposed attitudes to Central Europe"...). Admittedly, this is not as concise a catchphrase as "Western betrayal", and renders the whole issue somewhat nondescript and borish.
Well, this article is not only about attidude - it is not a psychological explanation. It contains among other things historical facts that diplomatic agreements were broken, some allies lied to and obligations unfullfilled <snip> --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 09:54, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I fully acknowledge your view, and I'm far from wanting to whitewash the Allied tactics. But re-reading the factual content of the article, I find it somewhat selective after all. I'll go into this in more detail later on. For the time being, let's accept that there is another side to this story, and someone with a "pro-Allied" stance and a sound knowledge of diplomatic history would not find it too hard to refute most if not all of the facts in question.
[quote]...between painful truth and political correctness...[/quote]. Rest assured that I abhor political correctness as much as the next guy (probably more so). The question is, though, what do we consider the "painful truth"? That the West betrayed Central Europe, or that Central Europe believed it did? That is a crucial differe, after all, and one that gets blurred in the present title.
I'd say 'both'. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 09:54, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yes, but that you'd say 'both' is exactly what I'm on about. Please rest assured that I fully understand how the notion of "Western betrayal" was conceived, and in many contexts I would even subscribe to this point of view. However, the present title is a conflation of a statement of fact and one of moral judgment, and there seems to be a minimum consensus that this is counterproductive and out of place here.
[quote]I care less about the title then about the article content though[/quote]. Fair enough, but let's not underestimate the impact a title can have. For readers with a more casual interest and superficial knowledge of the issue, the title is the first impression that sets the tone for how they perceive of the whole article, even if they read it in its entirety. The ultimate goal should be to give a reader with a neutral attitude or even negative preconceptions about Central Europe a good idea of how and why the notion of "Western betrayal" came into being, and thus make them understand certain Central European concerns that they otherwise would have a tough time understanding. We should therefore not allow an awkward or ideological title to stand in the way of a good article.--Thorsten1 19:50, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. So we need a short yet meaningfull NPOV title. Ummmm. I am out of suggestions ATM... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 09:54, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
So am I. But I'm all for keeping the title discussion going until a more acceptable solution has been found. --Thorsten1 15:33, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think everybody here agrees that the usage of term 'betrayal' is not pefect. But as nobody seems to be able to present a sound alternative, I think that for the moment, we are stuck with it. To paraphrase Winston Churchill: Many titles have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that this title is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that 'Western betrayal' is the worst title except all those other titles that have been suggest here from time to time --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 16:13, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Don't ask me, I had a similar discussion with Adam Carr some time ago and the only result was that he decided that the article should be deleted before it is posted and should be reverted as soon as I posted, no matter what's inside... [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 11:22, Oct 12, 2004 (UTC)
I used the name this phenomenon is known in at least two countries, too bad there was no decent book on it in English - we'd have a title ready. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 11:22, Oct 12, 2004 (UTC)
Well, not quite. First off, I think we all agree that the name the phenomenon is known by, is zdrada, not betrayal. Even so, I'm afraid I can't subscribe to the argument about the allegedly different connotations of zdrada and betrayal. The article claims that "in Polish the term zdrada can be used for all situations where a pact was broken while in English, although the meaning is practically the same, it has different connotations." This may sound plausible to an outside reader with no knowledge of Polish; but I have a good enough command of Polish not to let you (or whoever wrote the above sentence) off the hook so easily. ;-) You're making it appear as if "betrayal" and "breach" were actually the same word in Polish, namely zdrada. There may be a certain difference in connotation, but if so, then it is much too subtle to make any difference here. Zdrada is not a neutral term such as breach (naruszenie); rather, it has a very distinct moral connotation indeed, very similar to betrayal, treachery, treason, unfaithfulness, perfidy - all of which are possible translations. Similarly, Stanislawski's authoritative dictionary defines a zdrajca as a "traitor" (ten, kto przechodzi na strone nieprzyjaciela, ie. "someone who defects to the enemy"); as a "denouncer", "informer", "deserter", "turncoat", "renegade" or "deceiver". There can be no denying that every single of these words carries a heavy moral and emotional message, can there? But even if I'm wrong and you're right about the innocence of the Polish word zdrada - in English, "betrayal" does imply a moral condemnation of the action it denotes, and in this version of Wikipedia, we will have to adhere to the English usage, like it or not. To cut a long story short, the broad-brush moral condemnation of Western wartime policies toward Central Europe as conveyed by the present title "Western betrayal" is definitely out of place.
As for there being no books about the subject in English - there are plenty, most prominently Arthur Bliss Lane's I saw Poland betrayed. But the mere fact that Western authors support the "betrayal" theory does not make the term any more legitimate as a title. --Thorsten1 15:33, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
You are of course right that there is a certain moral judgement in both betrayal, zdrada and zrada. Moreover, technically speaking the phenomenon described here could be interpreted by means of international law terms. As such the title should be more of a "The breaking of alliances and not fulfilling the pacts signed with various Central European nations" rather than betrayal or treachery (those terms do not exist in international law). However, this is not a solution either since if we accept it we are left with the good old Allied policies towards Central European governments and pacts and alliances signed with them problem.
The basic meaning of betrayal in Polish is indeed similar to the English words you cited. The only difference is that sometimes the Polish zdrada (and Czech zrada as well) can be used to describe a situation where pacts were not fulfilled, while English has not a synonym to that. The "Zdrada zachodu" or "zdrada aliantów" terms mean something more than they should in wikipedia, but their advantage as a name of an article is that they are actually used to denote the phenomenon described in this article, while all of the proposals so far are either too long or both inaccurate and unknown as such. Although I agree that the translation of the Polish and Czech terms is not the best solution, I'm afraid we'd have to live with that, at least unless someone finds a better solution. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 20:15, Oct 12, 2004 (UTC)
Halibutt, I've read your discussion with Adam Carr. You may not be too pleased to hear that I fully agree with his point that we should not be building a "case" for a certain moral conclusion here. We should try and enumerate the facts that spawned the notion of "Western betrayal" as accurately and exhaustively as possible - but we should steer clear of moralizing. Let us allow casual readers to draw their own conclusions based on the material. People come here looking for information, and if they discover that somebody's trying to persuade them of something instead, then this will cast a very poor light both on the case in point and on Wikipedia. --Thorsten1 15:33, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Apparently you did not read it close enough which would probably make you surprised that I fully agree with that too. Fully, entirely and in 100%.
I have to admit that I drew the line when the discussion moved on to a different page. After all, there is only so much one can read, and the argument had already been going round in circles well before that. That's why I may have missed how you buried the hatchet. However, re-reading the new article, I do have some serious doubts about whether Adam's critical input (which, as we seem to agree, was fully justified) had much impact on it. I'm going to explain why below. --Thorsten1 23:30, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
That's why I decided to replace the original version of Poland's betrayal by the Western Allies (check the historical versions...) with simple facts, without any comment or moral judgement. If the reader concludes them in the same way I do - it's good. If not- it's great as well. I tried to avoid putting my own point of view in the article that was supposed to be a Wikipedia article and not some essay or magazine article. As far as I can tell (correct me if I'm wrong) I succeeded.
Since you asked to be corrected - I wouldn't say you're all wrong, but you're not right, either. In a way, this new version is even more dubious than the old one, I'm afraid. Overtly it may strictly be a representation of facts; however, the way these facts are selected and edited remains truncated and tendentious. They are conveniently stringed together to build a case for the accusation of "betrayal", which has now slipped between the lines, thus becoming even less assailable. And even if anyone were to miss the direction they are being ushered to, the article's titles makes it unmistakably clear what the facts are about.
The facts listed in "Diplomacy" beg to be amended with the other side that this story has to it just like any other. The alliances signed with Poland after WW I are duly mentioned; but there is no mention at all of Poland's domestic development since then. Let us not forget that interwar Poland was hardly a model democracy. Hitler himself made no secret of his admiration for the way Pilsudski took over government. After signing the non-aggression treaty with Germany, Poland had been drifting steadily further away from her Western allies; together with Nazi Germany it set about undermining the Leage of Nation's authority and - few people in Poland care to remember this - made common cause with Germany during the Sudeten crisis, forcing Czechoslovakia to surrender the Cieszyn region and Lithuania to recognize the annexation of Wilno, thus causing disillusionment and even profound alienation from Poland in Western publics. The French pacifist slogan mourir pour Dantzig, often and not without justification bemoaned as prime evidence of the West's lack of loyalty towards Poland, is to be seen in that context.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not mentioning this to put the blame for the West's behaviour on Poland. But the question whether or not the West committed an act of "betrayal" by not attacking Germany earlier cannot be seriously addressed if detached from this very background.
To make things worse, the article makes some assertions which are incorrect or at least highly misleading. E.g., the Anglo-Polish agreement on mutual assistance of 25 August 1939 is being presented as an "an annex to [the] Polish-French alliance". In reality, the Franco- and Anglo-Polish agreements were in no way whatsoever dependend on each other. Further, it is claimed that "in case of war [the] United Kingdom was to start hostilities as soon as possible; initially helping Poland with air raids against the German war industry" etc. Quite apart from the fact that "as soon as possible" is too vague a statement to base the claim of betrayal upon, none of this is actually included in the aforementioned agreement, nor in its secret additional protocol, both of which I have in front of me as I write. The most tangible statement is made in Article I, according to which one party "will at once give the [...] party engagend in hostilities all the support and assistance in its power". Quite obviously, it was up to each party to decide what it considered to be "in its power". There was no mention of air strikes against certain targets, and no date for the disembarkment of an expeditionary corps. Such details might be included in lesser agreements (although I personally think this is improbable); in this case, they should be backed up by an exact source citation. Otherwise, the claim of a breach of pact will remain unsubstantiated.
(To put it more sharply, one reference to a document would be certainly more useful than three links to dictionary definitions of "betrayal" which contribute nothing whatsoever to clarify the issue at stake.)
Now, quite irrespective of whether or not the Allies' tactics in the first phase of the war involved a formal breach of contract in terms of international law - as is implied here - they may indeed have frustrated morally grounded expectations of the Polish public; and this frustration may with some justification be termed as a kind of "betrayal". In the end, however, this is a moral and subjective issue which should be addressed as such and is not to be confused with legal aspects - which, unfortunately, is precisely what the article and its title do. The title "Western betrayal" is an amalgamation of a statement of fact (a "fact" which is extremely controversial to say the least) and a statement of moral judgment (which as a title is improper by definition). --Thorsten1 23:30, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I can see no more frases in the article that would suggest more than they should. See my Agoraphobia example above to see what I mean.
Well, I can see plenty such phrases here, but in the end the question is what they should and what they should not suggest - I suppose this is where we differ. The Agoraphobia example is a good one, but it rather supports my point of view: After all, the article is entitled "agoraphobia" and not "The Dangers of Open Spaces". Likewise, this article could be properly entitled Polska zachodniofobia; this may sound harsh, but formally speaking it would still be more acceptable than "Western betrayal". I'd suggest something like Polish embitterment about Western wartime policies. It's a bit longish, but that is certainly the lesser of two evils. --Thorsten1 23:30, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Hmmm. Remember it is not only Polish sentiments we are talking about. Perhaps [Central Europe embitterment about Western wartime policies]]? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 14:42, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Agreed, although it means bloating the alternative title by yet another word. I was concentrating on the Polish attitude here, as it clearly provides the starting point for the article at hand. Obviously, if the article is to be written from a supra-national perspective, at least the Czech experience needs to be included. Czechoslovakia, being the only functioning democracy in the region by the 1930s, had closer ties with the West than Poland did, and was "betrayed" in a much more obvious and tangible way than Poland was: The West politically accepted the country's territorial mutilation, which was not the case with Poland. The Phony War may have been phony, but in the end it was a war, not another naive proclamation of some phony "peace in our time" that the Czechs were made to swallow.
That said, I am not sure if the inclusion of countries such as Finland, the Baltics, Yugoslavia, or even Ukraine (which had never been independent in the first place) is a good idea. While the West could have arguably done more to assist any of these societies before and after the war, I think that the article's focus should be on Poland and Czechoslovakia in order not do dilute the whole issue. After all, there were dissidents in Germany and the Soviet Union, too, who were harbouring grudges towards Western politicians because of their appeasement policy. --Thorsten1 19:29, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)


However, I believe the title of this article could never be perfectly NPOV. If it's left the way it is some could assume that Wikipedia supports one of the sides. It would be hard to think that after one reads all the disclaimers I put in the header, but the title would be POVish anyway. However, perhaps you can think of some other disclaimer that would make the matter even more plain and simple?
I'm afraid that no disclaimer, however cleverly worded, will repair the skewed first impression the present title evokes. As has been said earlier on, it will make unbiased readers instinctively distrust the article; and for readers who already come to it with an anti-Polish bias it will only reinforce the unfortunate notion that rehashing old historical arguments and smugly pointing fingers at others is a favourite Polish pastime. We should not allow that to happen. --Thorsten1 23:30, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
On the other hand this article has two lungs. One is the statement of pure facts while the other is the statement that certain people see them as a proof of betrayal while others see them in a different light. A descriptive yet short title would neither name the psychological phenomenon of certain nations feeling betrayed nor the political and historical facts properly. The other lung is purely about feelings and as such IMO cannot be expressed in a pure NPOV way. There will always be someone who thinks of them differently. There are plenty of POV titles and articles here on wikipedia but the difference is that none of them is controversial. The whole Emotions series, morality, ethics, Love, hate... they are all written from a personal perspective and as such are purely POV. There are also other similar historical articles.
I get your drift, but let us not use the fact that other topics have similar POV problems as an excuse to throw all POV discipline completely overboard. That perfect neutrality can arguably never be achieved does not absolve us from the consensually grounded obligation to strive for it nonetheless. Also, the comparison with articles which are inevitably largely based on introspection (morality, ethics, Love, hate) does not hold water; we are discussing a historical, legal, and sociological topic here that needs to be measured with a somewhat different standard than love or hate. --Thorsten1 23:30, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Note that what is known as Drang Nach Osten to Germans, in Poland could be described as a trail of tears, rape, murder and robbery. The German term "push eastward" seems perfectly neat and NPOV, but indeed it can be treated as a POV way to conceal the sad truth.
Funny that you should mention Drang nach Osten as I came across this article the other day. This is clearly one of the worst contributions to Wikipedia I have seen so far. For the time being suffice it to say that the slogan Drang nach Osten, in spite of being in German, is a product of Eastern Europe, where it happens to be largely synonymous with "tears, rape, murder and robbery"; whereas in Germany itself it is all but completely unknown. --Thorsten1 23:30, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
All in all, I believe that the title, although far from being perfect, should stay. Perhaps we could split this article onto two separate entries: one describing the socio-political and psychological phenomenon known as Western betrayal in at least two countries and the other one listing facts in for and against such a feeling. However, this wouldn't change much and we'd still have the same problem with naming the other article. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 20:15, Oct 12, 2004 (UTC)
As a final note: there indeed is a difference in connotations of the terms "zdrada" and "betrayal". Both you and Naryathegreat have suggested that "betrayal" automatically causes the reader to subconciously distrust the page. I don't think this is the case in Polish. Although the very word treated separately has negative connotations, the terms "zdrada aliantów" or "zdrada zachodu" seem as neutral as Phony War or Iron Curtain. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 20:21, Oct 12, 2004 (UTC)
In the meantime I had the opportunity to talk to a person who is bilingual in English and Polish, and who agreed with me that the difference in connotation, if it exists at all, is infinitesimal. In Polish, the moral connotation of zdrada zachodu or zdrada aliantów might have worn off a bit through frequent use - but as Google lists 30 results for one and 22 for the other I do have some doubt about that. But even if you are right, your argument fails to convince me: We can't possibly wave through "Western betrayal" on grounds that the connotation of zdrada zachodu is supposedly different! After all this is the English-language edition of Wikipedia, and like it or not we will have to accept the connotations that the words we use have in English. Anything else will only create misunderstandings and confusion.
By the way I found a very interesting discussion on the topic here: http://www.historycy.org/index.php?s=87cae5d19dce6a19a488e704f3a83cd8&showtopic=783&pid=15807&st=0&#entry15807
In case the link doesn't work - http:// tinyurl.com/7ywnj. It mentions an article by Artur Hajnicz in Gazeta Wyborcza, entitled "Zdrada Zachodu – fakt czy obsesja?". As soons as I have some time I shall try and track down that essay, I have a feeling that it could be quite useful to inform an improved version of this article. --Thorsten1 23:30, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Thorsten, I'll reply down here since I don't like it when separate paragraphs start their own life and become separate discussions. I hope you don't mind. Also, for now let's discuss only the facto graphical part, we'll get to the socio-psychological phenomenon a bit later. Also, sorry that you had to wait so long for my reply, I had to dig up a booklet I received some 4 years ago (see below) and it took me quite some time.

You're right that perfect objectivity is something rarely (if ever) seen in the world we live in. Even the mere selection of facts might be not objective. However, one has to chose the facts he puts in an article. Otherwise Wikipedia would evolve into a series of separate books rather than articles. I was trying to prepare an article on the phenomenon so I chose the facts related to it somehow. If you find some facts lacking - please be so kind as to add them. The current version of the article still lacks the other views and they are only marked instead of explained. The reason for that is not my bias or anything, it's that I simply do not know the facts that support those who state that "Poland was not betrayed". During my endless discussions on various fora only those who supported the idea were able to provide sources and references, while those who opposed them were mostly focused on, for instance, "Why the Allies couldn't help Poland in 1939", not "Why the Allies didn't help Poland in 1939" or "Did the Allies help Poland in 1939".

I don't know if a description of the internal situation of Poland in the interbellum would add much to the article. After all what I was trying to describe was a history of various pacts, that is documents subject to international law. They are valid regardless of form of government, names of the contracting parties or their background. Poland indeed was not a model democracy, but does it make alliances signed with her null and void? Hardly so.

Also, the description of the powers (or rather lack of such) of the League of Nations would not add much to the article either. After all France made alliances with other states and not with the League of Nations. The same goes for the Cieszyn Silesia crisis (<shameless ad>be sure to check my History of Cieszyn and Tesin series</shameless ad>) which can be used as a proof of many things, like for instance a proof for Poland being in closer relations with France and UK than ever. The western press indeed called Poland a "Munich jackal" and "Polish hyena", because it was seen as having a common cause with Germany, but as a matter of fact it was a completely independent move (no matter right or wrong) and it had little to do with the pacts signed later. I don't get how the Lithuanian ultimatum of 1938 would add to the matter since it was primarily about resolving diplomatic relations and respecting the rights of Polish minority in Lithuania. Polish government saw it as a de facto acceptance of the borderline, but this interpretation was not shared by Lithuania (<shameless ad>check also my Central Lithuania article :)</shameless ad>). All of the above might've had some influence on how an average Pierre or Bob viewed Poland, but I doubt it had influence on how Gamelin or Ironside saw their signs under the documents.

The agreement on mutual assistance of August 25 was seen by the Polish side as an annex to both the treaty with France and to the earlier British unilateral declaration of March and British-Polish agreement of April ([1]). Perhaps it should be stated more clearly and possibly the word annex is not the best choice here (amendment? addition?). The document itself (I guess you found it in the British War Blue Book, didn't you) does not mention the earlier minutes of the talks with General Ironside and his mission to Poland that have arrived to Warsaw in July. This article (in a rather credible weekly) mentions that Ironside even declared that in a case of war a carrier could be transferred to the Baltic. I did not find that info in the minutes of the talks he had in Warsaw (such a declaration would sound bizarre, to say the least), but I did found a declaration that the RAF will start reprisal actions against German cities should Germany start bombing civilian targets and open cities. This did not happen. On the other hand Ironside made it clear that no Expeditionary Force could be sent to Poland soon enough and later the idea of transferring the RAF squadrons to operate from Polish airfields was also dropped.

Anyway, the air raid remark was based on Edward Raczyński, The British-Polish Alliance; its origin and meaning. A very interesting lecture, really. I'll quote the whole caption not to leave any doubts. If someone wants I could scan the whole booklet, it's only 22 pages long.

(pages 20 and 21) General Waclaw Stachiewicz, at the time GHQ. C.O. has written in the weekly Wiadomosci (XI-46, 23rd Nov.) an article which throws important and interesting light on this matter (Raczyński refers to the earlier remarks on Gen. Ironside's mission to Poland - [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]]). According to Gen. Stachiewicz, mutual agreement was already well advanced by May, 1939, chiefly through Staff talks led on the British side by Gen. Clayton. Further talks were conducted in July with Gen. Ironside. They were mainly concerned with support from the air for Poland. In case of a German attack on Poland "British Bomber Command stationed on bases on British and French soil were to constitute an attacking force ready for immediate action", writes Gen. Stachiewicz. The R.A.F. were to raid German military targets. In case of German raids upon civilian targets in Poland, the R.A.F. was to answer in kind in Germany. This latter step, however, was conditional upon consultations with "Britain's allies, i.e. France. In addition it was planned that an aircraft base should be established in Poland from which "bombers which were part of the Home R.A.F. might temporarily undertake operations in case of war". Regarding this plan, a British military mission was to come to Poland, but the war broke out before it ever started. So much for Gen. Stachiewicz. I myself heard after the event, that the French Government had refused to agree to the reprisal bombing of Germany, fearing that the all-powerful Luftwaffe might retaliate by bombing French cities. The matter requires further clarification.

Whether the Phony War was a war or not is a matter of personal opinions rather than encyclopaedia. Politically it was, but technically it wasn't. I guess we could discuss the matter 'till the end of time, it's complicated enough. Perhaps the Baltics and the Ukraine adhere more to the socio-psychological part rather than the political. However, Yugoslavia did have an alliance with the UK and the alliance was broken. Also, the pacts with Draza Mihajlovic were broken in a very similar way to the pacts with Poland broken (or rather ignored, if you prefer such a term) in Yalta. Anyway, I only wanted to underline that Yugoslavia should remain in the article, let's concentrate on Poland now.

As I said, I don't see why the title will make unbiased readers instinctively distrust the article, but perhaps you're right that it's simply more neutral if used in Poland among those who know the topic than when used among those who know nothing of it. Perhaps it is simply a "mental shortcut", but please try to find some better title than the Polish westophobia you mentioned. BTW, that title would be not only POV, but also misleading since this article is not about the Polish fear of the West.

I don't find the Drang nach Osten article as one of the worst, in my opinion the matter is simply too complex to be described in such a simplistic manner. It simply needs significant expansion. As to that discussion - I also read it. It is one of many such discussions on various fora, if you want some links - just leave me a note on my talk page. For now: how about concentrating on the possible inaccuracies of the text itself and improving it (if it's needed) and leaving the title discussion for a while? Perhaps with time we'd find some acceptable title. Regards, [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 19:26, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)