UK & France policy in WWII

There are 12 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Glamdring.

  • The United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany , September 3, 1939, to defend Poland from the invasion began by Germany.

    But the USSR also invaded Poland. Why UK and France did not declared war to the USSR? Were they fearing having another big foe?

    Some double standard?

    Discussion is open. Be free to say what you think about this inconsistency.

  • I don't have my history books open, but I think USSR invaded Poland several weeks after Germany did, and a couple of weeks after Britain and France declared war on Germany. Also, this meant the Allied nations were then preparing for a war on the Western front. This is evidenced by the fact neither Britain or France sent any support to Poland (despite having a pact to do so, at least in Britain's case).


    Was Poland just an excuse for Britain and France to declare war on Germany? Maybe, but either way it is likely those two nations understood creating another front on the East would not be tactically possible. Scared of USSR? Unlikely, but maybe scared of fighting Germany and USSR at the same time. It is known Britain did not want a war with the USSR, most likely because it would have been a terrible war. When the UK agreed to aid Poland if a European nation invaded, it was specifically stated this only referred to Germany, and not the USSR.


    I think there is also something floating around that Britain expected the USSR and Germany partnership to go belly up and USSR would be a major help in the war effort against the Nazis. I think fear is the wrong word to describe Britain and France's actions. It is worth remembering at the time, Britain was the major superpower, albeit on the wane. Hitler is officially known to be actively cautious of the UK and tried at all costs to avoid conflict with Britain. Again, scared is probably the wrong word for being astute.

  • Was Poland just an excuse for Britain and France to declare war on Germany? Maybe,

    Framing it like this gives the impression that Britain was looking for an excuse to go to war with the Nazis in the first place, which is far from the truth. Once Hitler's ambitions for European domination became clear, especially after his move on Sudetenland, the die had been cast. The invasion of Poland in 1939 was not an excuse for Britain to declare war on Germany at all, since Britain had promised to defend Poland, yet Prime Minister Chamberlain had signed a pact with Hitler never to go to war with Germany. Hitler had mugged Chamberlain.

  • Was Poland just an excuse for Britain and France to declare war on Germany?

    There was a treaty the forbid Germany from entering any country with force, I think I read somewhere that a German battleship was visiting one of their docks


    But yeah, the OP was right, though it wasn't straight away that the Soviet Union invaded Poland, they started on the 17th September 1939. Funnily enough, it was them also that the allies would eventually help in WW2. Now I can see why there was animosity between the allies with the Soviets after the war in Europe had ended, that in turn created the Cold War and the "Iron curtain" which Churchill had mentioned after the hostilities had ended


    Anyway, I found a link

    Start of WW2 explained

  • The USSR always complained about the fact the main war effort was done by them, while the Western powers were doing only minor operations. Especially the US, that even helping the UK in war materials, dedicated a strong effort in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor in Dec 1941, perhaps neglecting Europe´s theatre of war.

    Coming back to the first question, if the USSR invaded Poland only 16 days later than the Germans, it is (to be fair), an uncanning question why France and UK did not make any objection. They were still in good conditions, not yet attacked by the Germans.

  • The USSR always complained about the fact the main war effort was done by them, while the Western powers were doing only minor operations. Especially the US, that even helping the UK in war materials, dedicated a strong effort in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor in Dec 1941, perhaps neglecting Europe´s theatre of war.

    Coming back to the first question, if the USSR invaded Poland only 16 days later than the Germans, it is (to be fair), an uncanning question why France and UK did not make any objection. They were still in good conditions, not yet attacked by the Germans.

    I think there’s a sadly simple answer to that: no one cared what happened to Poland. For France and the UK, Hitler crossed the line and we’re now at war. More symbolic than evincing concern for the Poles.

  • This is fascinating to me. Having sacrificed history courses for science courses, I find my ignorance on this topic rather embarrassing. Please continue with educational topics like this one?

  • The USSR always complained about the fact the main war effort was done by them, while the Western powers were doing only minor operations. Especially the US, that even helping the UK in war materials, dedicated a strong effort in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor in Dec 1941, perhaps neglecting Europe´s theatre of war.

    Coming back to the first question, if the USSR invaded Poland only 16 days later than the Germans, it is (to be fair), an uncanning question why France and UK did not make any objection. They were still in good conditions, not yet attacked by the Germans.

    Ironic that we gave them huge amounts of munitions and tanks to help them. Spitfires too.