Mark Jones archive
e.c.apling at btinternet.com
Thu Jul 17 11:11:21 MDT 2003
The article "Stalin, appeasement, and the Second World War" by the late Mark
Jones is repeated as an excellent and timely contribution to discussion of
the role of imperialist warmongers. It also greatly improves my
understanding of the motives (idiocy?) behind the decision of Neville
Chamberlain to issue "guarantees" to Poland, Rumania, Greece and Turkey in
the summer of 1939 on which I have written on numerous previous occasions.
Before continuing, I should point out a typographical error on page 6, line
2, where Chamberlain is said to have "called for the ceeding to German of
Czech territories containing a majority of Czech-speaking citizens".
Obviously here "German-speaking citizens" was intended.
Chamberlain's "guarantee" policy is discussed on pp.9-10 where Mark wrote
"British policy had only one aim: to cajole, wheedle, guide and direct
Germany against Soviet Russia" - a statement which, explained in the
following paragraphs, initially seems at complete odds with a guarantee of
the integrity of Poland (standing in the way?).
But this is forget the existence of East Prussia, completely to the north of
Poland, beyond the "Polish corridor" and bordering on Lithuania, Estonia and
Latvia - and indeed, the fact that the nazis occupied Memel, former capital
of Lithuania, on 22 March 1939 - something which |I - who lived through all
this time - seem to have forgotten in previous discussions, and the
significance of which I should have realised from the speech of Molotov to
the Supreme Soviet on 31 May 1939 which I had available from that marvellous
"History of Anglo-Soviet Relations" by W.P. And Zelda K. Coates, London
1943, Lawrence & Wishart/The Pilot Press (with foreword by the Right.Hon.
David Lloyd George, O.M., M.P., Liberal Prime Minister, 1916-22) as follows
(explaining the British proposals for joint Soviet guarantees):
"Apart from a number of points in the British draft which are not
sufficiently straightforward and definite we would draw particular attention
to the fact that while the proposals provide for immediate help to Poland,
Rumania, Turkey and Greece, they give no guarantee of help for other states
on the borders of the U.S.S.R.-- Latvia, Estonia, Finland -- unless these
countries ask for such help. This is surely, to say the least, extremely
dangerous. It is almost a direct invitation to Germany to leave Poland and
other countries alone for the time being and to attack instead the other
States on the Soviet borders by the time-honoured Nazi methods of the
instigation and financing of internal disturbances and revolts and then
marching in on the 'invitation' of a puppet Government.
Weak countries such as Latvia and Estonia, of course, would not dare to
offend Germany by asking for help of the Democracies, for whilst the latter
were still conferring and deciding as to whether the given aggression is
'aggression within the meaning of the act' their independence would be
trampled under foot by the German armies and their women and children killed
by Nazi aerial bombs.
So far as the Soviet Government is concerned it is not a question of
bargaining about the concession of this or that point of interest but of the
conclusion of an agreement which should be a real bar to future aggression."
During the "phoney-war", British government and newspaper propaganda
continued to be as viciously anti-Soviet as during the earlier 1920/30s, and
more page-inches were devoted to the Soviet-Finnish dispute than to the war
To quote again from O.K. And Zed Coatis:
"The chorus of protests and cries of indignation in Britain which followed
the outbreak of Soviet-Finnish hostilies was deafening. All but the
Communists and a handful of leaders and adherents of the Labour and other
parties joined in the sport. Mannerheim, the former Tsarist courtier who
used to be known as "butcher Mannerheim" because of his atrocities against
the Finnish workers, suddeny became the perfect gentleman and the hero and
leader of "democrtic" Finland."
Chamberlain not only sent vast quantities of military aid to Finland
(including 101 war-planes and 10,000 anti-tank mines) but prepared an
expeditionary force of 100,000 "heavily armed and equipped" men, to sail for
Finland at the end of March, 1940 [Hansard, 19 Mar, 1940, cols. 1840-41].
"Fortunately" for us, the phoney-war ended on 9th April, 1940 when Germany
invaded Norway and Denmark, and after disasters in Norway, Chamberlain was
forced to resign on May 10th, the day on which the Germans invaded Holland,
Belgium and Luxembourg leading to the evacuation of the remains of the
British Expeditionary Forces in France from Dunkirk by May 30th and the
German occupation of France and the Low Countries.
The way the Soviet Union eventually "tore the guts out of the Nazi
war-machine" [Winston Churchill] and was the main factor in liberating the
peoples of occupied Europe is anoher story - but, in a time when,
apparently, the Governments of Britain and the United States have taken it
upon themselves to "Anglicize (Americanize)" the whole world - it is highly
important to recall the fabrications, prevarications, lies and
undercover-arrangements these governments performed in the 20th century.
The Soviet Union may be no more - but the imperialist governments still fear
the "spectre of Communism" and the power of their own common people - and
still conduct their operations in exactly the same covert way, with the same
tissues of lies to maintain their policies..... (but with even more powerful
weapons of propaganda than Chamberlain and the Nazis ever dreamed of)...
NFHS Member #5594
Mailto:E.C.Apling at btinternet.com
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