3

In March of 1939, "With Germany's permission" (WW2 for dummies), Poland invaded Czechoslovakia while Germany was annexing the Sudetenland per the Munich agreement. Only 6 months later in September, Germany invaded Poland. Was there a loose alliance before the initial invasion that triggered WW2? I would find that hard to believe since Poland was a result of Germany's defeat in the great war.

  • 5
    Poland exploited the situation and helped itself to some land - it was not an alliance. There are several articles on Wikipedia regarding this, including the Polish-Czechoslovak border conflicts, the First Vienna Award and Zaolzie. Please review these first and, if you still have questions, edit your post to explain what you question or find unclear about Wiki – Semaphore Dec 28 '17 at 21:09
  • 1
    Poland wasn't a democracy when this happened (or when Germany invaded it later that year) en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Polish_Republic It was called a "republic", but it wasn't one. – jjack Dec 29 '17 at 4:45
  • Poland gave Czechoslovakia a 24 hour ultimatum about Zaolzie on 30th September 1938, not March 1939. The Czechoslovak government accepted and Polish troops entered the next day: 1 October 1938. That territory, populated by a Polish majority at that time, was taken by force by Czechoslovakia in a 7 day war which started on 23rd January 1919 (Czechoslovakia attacked while Poland was fighting another war in the east). See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaolzie and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Czechoslovak_War – Tom Andraszek Jan 3 at 22:06
5

You are conflating a bunch of different things.

The creation of Poland and Czechoslovakia

Poland was not a result of Germany's defeat in the Great War. When Russia signed the humiliating Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, one of Germany's demands was the creation of a sovereign Polish state out of a portion of the ceded lands.

The Treaty of Versailles attributed a bunch of new land to what became the Second Polish Republic, carved out of the defeated Central Powers on the basis that this land was inhabited by Poles. The same treaty recognized several new states, primarily those that sprung up out of Austria-Hungary's collapse. Czechoslovakia was one of those states.

The trouble with this situation was that not everyone agreed exactly where one nationality's lands ended, and another's began. A series of wars between Eastern European countries continued until the early 1920s, including battles between the Czechoslovaks and Poles.

Fate of Czechoslovakia

Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland severely weakened Czechoslovakia; much of its military installations and industry was now gone, and it became clear to the world that the Czechs were at the mercy of Germany. Poland took the opportunity to annex a small region with a strategically important railway center in a contested province; the choice for Prague was between giving it up to the Germans, or to the Poles.

At the same time, 10,000km of Czechoslovakia were ceded by Hitler to Hungary. The visual comparison between who got what is striking.

Poland did not get any more land from Czechoslovakia. When Hitler invaded in March of 1939, the land of the former Czechoslovak state was split between Germany, its puppet Slovakia, and a briefly-independent Carpatho-Ukrainian state that was immediately absorbed into Hungary.

  • You can't get "10,000km" of a country. And maybe the Czech didn't have a choice when giving up the stretch of land to Poland. – jjack Dec 29 '17 at 4:56
  • o’ Slovaks of course – jjack Dec 29 '17 at 9:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.