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Old 19th May 2020, 12:18 PM   #21
SpitfireIX
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
This is not exactly what I am arguing, but, yes, I believe the 55 millions deaths of WWII could have easily been avoided if the UK and France had not declared war to Germany in 1939 (illegally because not approved by parliament in France's case; Nazi Germany did not want a new war with France and the UK at that time, partly because of ideological and racial reasons, and partly because of some bad memories from the previous war).

New York Times, March 19, 1939 p.1:
Deputies Accord Decree Powers To Daladier to Defend France

PARIS, March 18.--Dictatorial powers for the remainder of this year were conferred on Premier Edouard Daladier today by the Chamber of Deputies by a vote of 321 to 264.

Tomorrow it will be the turn of the Senate, and, if it does as expected, parliamentary rule will be in effect suspended in France until M. Daladier sees fit to permit its resumption.
And the next day:

DALADIER IS UPHELD STRONGLY IN SENATE

Further, from 1939: Countdown to War, by Richard Overy:
The Chamber and Senate unanimously voted 90 billion francs [more than three times the entire defense budget for 1938] in war credits, the equivalent, in Daladier's view, to a declaration of war.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
The invaded Polish people could have defended their rights and their sovereignty too, but I think they should have done this in a mostly peaceful way, though dialogue, demonstrations/protests and so on.

Yes, because the Nazis would never have ordered their troops to open fire on peaceful demonstrators.


Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Perhaps it would also have been a good thing that the Poles accept the construction of a highway between East Prussia and the rest of Germany (with appropriate bridges), see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlinka, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Corridor.

First, Hitler didn't just demand a highway, he demanded the entire city of Danzig (Gdansk). But that was just a pretext for war. He wanted all of Poland for lebensraum. From Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918-1947, by Tadeusz Piotrowski, p. 115:
On August 22, 1939, just before the German army crossed the Polish border, Hitler personally instructed the top Wehrmacht officers in what was to be done with the Poles:
Our strength lies in our speed and our ruthlessness. Genghis Khan caused the death of millions of women and children deliberately and without any qualms. But history sees him only as a great founder of a state. I do not care what the helpless civilisation of Western Europe thinks about me. I have issued orders to shoot anyone who dares utter even one word of criticism of the principle that the object of war is, not to reach some given line, but physically to destroy the enemy. That is why I have prepared, for the moment only in the East, my "Death's Head" formations with orders to kill without pity or mercy all men, women and children of Polish descent or language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space we need." [italics original; note omitted]

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