Agreement of Mutual Assistance between the United Kingdom and Poland

«The talks with Mr. Beck covered a wide range and showed that the two governments are in complete agreement on some general principles. It was agreed that the two countries are ready to conclude an agreement of a permanent and reciprocal nature to replace the current temporary and unilateral insurance given by His Majesty`s Government to the Polish Government. Until the conclusion of the Permanent Agreement, Mr. Beck assured His Majesty`s Government that the Polish Government would feel obliged to provide assistance to His Majesty`s Government under the same conditions as contained in the term insurance already given by His Majesty`s Government to Poland. [2] In English in two originals took place on August 15, 1939 in London. Subsequently, a Polish text was agreed between the contracting parties, which was then binding. After the German occupation of Prague in March 1939, in violation of the Munich Accords, the Chamberlain government in Britain sought Soviet and French support for a peace front. The aim was to deter further German aggression by guaranteeing the independence of Poland and Romania. Stalin, however, refused to promise Soviet support for the guarantees unless Britain and France first formed a military alliance with the Soviet Union. Although the British cabinet decided to seek such an alliance, Western negotiators in Moscow were in urgent need by August 1939.

The talks were conducted poorly and slowly by unauthorizing diplomats, such as William Strang, Deputy Under Secretary of State. Stalin also insisted on British and French guarantees for Finland, the Baltic States, Poland and Romania against indirect German aggression. However, these countries were afraid that Moscow would want to control them. Although Hitler intensified threats against Poland, which refused to allow Soviet troops to cross its borders for fear that they would never leave. Historian Michael Jabara Carley argues that the British were too committed to anti-communism to trust Stalin. Without prejudice to the above-mentioned obligations of the Parties to provide each other with mutual assistance and assistance without delay in the event of the outbreak of hostilities, they shall exchange complete and rapid information on any developments which may jeopardise their independence, in particular on any developments which threaten to put such undertakings into operation. On the 25th. In August, two days after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Administrative Assistance Agreement between the UK and Poland was signed. The agreement contained promises of mutual military support between nations in case either was attacked by a «European country.» The United Kingdom, sensing a tendency towards German expansionism, tried to discourage German aggression with this expression of solidarity. In a secret protocol of the pact, the United Kingdom offered its assistance in the event of an attack on Poland specifically by Germany[3], but in the event of an attack by other countries, the parties were only required to «consult together on the measures to be taken jointly». [12] Both the United Kingdom and Poland were obliged not to conclude agreements with other third countries that posed a threat to the other. [13] Due to the signing of the Pact, Hitler postponed his plan to invade Poland from August 26 to September 1.

[14] Detailed rules for the application of the mutual assistance obligations under this Agreement shall be established between the competent naval, military and air authorities of the Parties. If, as a result of aggression by that Party against that Party, one of the Contracting Parties engages in hostilities with a European Power, the other Contracting Party shall immediately provide the Contracting Party involved in the hostilities with all the assistance and assistance within its power. If the Contracting Parties are involved in hostilities as a result of the application of this Agreement, they shall conclude a ceasefire or peace treaty only by mutual agreement. «The French government. Derives great satisfaction from the conclusion of the mutual commitments between Great Britain and Poland, which have decided to support each other in defending their independence if they are threatened directly or indirectly. The Franco-Polish alliance is also confirmed in the same spirit by the French and Polish governments. France and Poland guarantee each other immediate and direct assistance against any direct or indirect threat that could harm their vital interests. Source: The French Yellow Book: Diplomatic Papers, 1938-1939. [3] The Anglo-Polish Agreement was also signed on 6 April 1939. See Anita Prazmowska, Britain, Poland and the Eastern Front, 1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 193. Soon after, a formal agreement was signed between Poland and Britain, which clearly stated: «If Germany attacks Poland, Her Majesty`s Government in the United Kingdom will immediately come to Poland`s aid.

[3] [7] Tensions arose between Germany and Poland over the status of the German city of Danzig, which was an independent protectorate of the League of Nations in northern Poland. Hitler demanded access to Danzig, which had a predominantly German population, via an extraterritorial highway and a railway line from Germany through the Polish corridor and to East Prussia. Hitler also unleashed himself against Poland on reports that Poles were committing atrocities against the country`s large German minority. It was a tactical maneuver by Hitler. Similar claims against the Czechs over the German minority in the Sudetenland had earned Hitler a significant diplomatic victory in Munich the previous year. Although Hitler claimed that he only wanted to settle Danzig`s status satisfactorily and ensure the proper treatment of Germans in Poland, his motives were indeed deeper. As Hitler made clear on August 11, 1939, during a conversation with Carl Burckhardt in Berchtesgaden (see Carl J. Burckhardt`s meeting with Hitler), his actions were ultimately directed against Soviet Russia and not Poland. .

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