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Old April 13th, 2010, 09:28 PM
Magnificate Magnificate is offline
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Optimal Post-WWI Polish Borders Map Survey

I’ve prepared a survey I plan to post on Polish and international forums to see what are peoples opinion about the borders Poland should have after WWI. Color the regions with one of five colors and post your answers. Regions are numbered and described here: Survey Map.

Violet – Priority 1
Blue – Priority 2
Green – Priority 3
Yellow – Keep if offered.
Red – Keep Out!

This is a test run – Borders of regions are liable to change in later versions. If you feel they are inadequate, mark your correction on the map. If you have any comments concerning the survey map itself don’t hesitate to post them.
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Last edited by Magnificate; April 14th, 2010 at 12:39 PM..
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Old April 13th, 2010, 09:32 PM
wormyguy wormyguy is offline
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Is the question what are the best geostrategic borders for Poland, or which are the fairest/best ethnic borders?
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Old April 13th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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1. So, can we draw in own borders, or are we to keep strictly to those on the map? Because I would for example go for a slightly different Polish-German border than that of OTL post-WW1, but without having Germany retain all of Posen and West Prussia
2. Define optimal. Optimal for whom? Or how do you mean it?
3. What do you mean with Yellow "Keep it offered?" Offered by whom?
4. Also, a thousand or so borders on the map, but not the OTL Upper Silesian partition?
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Old April 13th, 2010, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wormyguy View Post
Is the question what are the best geostrategic borders for Poland, or which are the fairest/best ethnic borders?
Fairest/Best. However afterwards you choose your own criteria. Be they ethnic or economical or strategic.
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1. So, can we draw in own borders, or are we to keep strictly to those on the map? Because I would for example go for a slightly different Polish-German border than that of OTL post-WW1, but without having Germany retain all of Posen and West Prussia
If you could first fill in the colors and then add your own borders that would be best.
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2. Define optimal. Optimal for whom?
The scale was prepared in optimal for Poland in mind, but if you feel that for example optimal for peace in Europe is more important then go for it.
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3. What do you mean with Yellow "Keep it offered?" Offered by whom?
Basically I meant that these are to represent 'meh' lands that are not really worth fighting for. Like a product you would keep if given for free.
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Also, a thousand or so borders on the map, but not the OTL Upper Silesian partition?
I just knew I'd forget something important.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 11:27 PM
wormyguy wormyguy is offline
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I also think that the Memelland should be a separate region on the map . . .

I'm not going to even attempt fair ethnic borders, because I'm not really interested in discussion who is or isn't a Pole, which regions may or may not have been Polish-speaking at the time, Germanized Poles, etc. etc. etc.

Instead, I'll do what I think are the best strategic borders.

Poland has two main problems. It's first problem is that it is situated directly between two great powers (and potential superpowers): Germany and Russia. The second is that it is nearly entirely situated on the North European Plain, with no real natural defensive barriers at all.

A very bad scenario for Poland is to be invaded by either of these two great powers. The nightmare scenario is to be invaded by both at the same time. Therefore, Poland cannot (as OTL) maintain a policy of antagonizing both Russia and Germany.

Poland and Germany cannot be friendly if Poland annexes any part of German territory. Eventually, there will come a point when some German leader feels he can demand it back. Therefore, if Poland annexes any German territory, it cannot be secure unless Germany is destroyed as a power, either partitioned or Morgenthau-ed. If Poland does not contain any former German territory, then Germany will not see it as a natural enemy, although it will still see it as part of the German sphere of influence. Poland must still therefore allow a great deal of German influence, if not control, into the country. This also means that a Polish port will have to be in Lithuania.

Poland and Russia have a slightly different relationship. No matter what the case, Poland exists on former Russian territory. Luckily, Russia not being as ethnically-based a state as Germany, they will only see Poland as a natural enemy if it occupies parts of Russia proper or large swathes of Ukraine, which are also incidentally borders that would overextend Poland and make Poles a minority. Unlike Germany, there is not practical way of destroying Russia as a power. Therefore, borders must be selected that give Poland the greatest benefit in the event of a Russian invasion. To do this, Poland must have control of the Pripet marshes, essentially the only natural barrier (besides the unattainable Dnieper) between Poland and Russia. Poland can then funnel a Russian invasion into western Ukraine, where it can hopefully either be contained or destroyed. Being friendly with Russia is essentially not an option, because Russia will only be friends with a puppet Poland, where more decisions are made in Moscow than Warsaw.

Poland has few enemies to its south, although the Carpathian mountains provide a strong natural "anchor." Nevertheless, control of that area will make enemies out of the Czechs and Hungary. Therefore, Poland should only vie for this territory if it could gain the whole of Slovakia, and even then it's a very low priority.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 12:26 AM
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Wormy: Ethnic definitions are a problem on Polands eastern borders. They are nearly no problem on the south, and definitly no problem to the north (Lithuania, Latvia) and west (Germany)
And Bukovina a priority 2? You know this wasnt even Polish IOTL?

Anyways, my map needs some explanation:
1. The maps border for the Brest region (really, that is the name the town is known as in English, if only for the treaty - I can understand he rest being in Polish, but that? I had to wiki first what city thats supposed to be at all ) is problematic, because I do think the city and its environs should belong to Poland, as a Belorussian Brest would make for awful borders and bad economical areas. OTOH, the border may immidatly run east to it. Hence my rough division of it
2. The Chelm area can be considered Polish coreland, and should be among Polands order 1 priorities - but OTOH the Ukranian claim is understandable due to demographics. So if Poland is forced to make compromises its at least possible to do it on that region. It should really be avoided, though. Hence the striping...
3. Poznan/Posen is priority 1. Even most Weimar politicans considered it a yellow territory for Germany at best according to the colour chart and were more focused on the socalled Corridor. And it is a historically very important site for Poland, after all - historically definitely a coreland.
4. The "Vilnius Corridor" and Lemberg...err, Lviv/Lwow city (if not surroundings) have Polish majorities, so that should be order 2 priorities... oh and I just see I miscoloured Suwalki, thats supposed to be priority 1 purple
5. If at the east is an USSR then Poland might want to have a bufferzone between it and its core territories. Thats considerably easier in the Belorussian than in the Ukrainian territories, though, as there has been very much less of a Belorussian national awakening. Hence my seperation of green and yellow like that, in which Green means "Go for it if theres an USSR" and Yellow "could also serve in the same fashion, but could also be problems). Trying to get near Kiev in any case is just asking for troubles, and to the east of Belorus Russia proper already starts, which would be even more trouble!
6. Theres no point in trying to gain East Prussia or Lithuania in its interbellum borders. That would just make for large, uncontent minorities. That would just be trouble, too. Also no need to start even a potential conflict with Latvia, so also no Dünaburg... err, Dyneburg/Daugavpils
7. Rutheno-Carpathia and the Bukovina would mean an unity of Russinian people, which could come to support Poland hence, but theres no need to actively pursue that.
8. Come on, taking Spisz and Orawa was really just dickish! They were historically Hungarian and ethnically Slovakian, I think...
9. The Polish parts of Teschen should be tried to be gained, but its not worth a major conflict with Czechoslovakia, at least certainly not immidatly after WW1.
10. Upper Silesia... ah, thats a mess. The IOTL borders gave Poland only the outer parts of the industrial area. One can make an economical argument that the industrial area should be kept together, in which case Germany would be the owner more likely and more wanted by the local population. OTOH, the border could have well be some cities more west, to the favour of Poland. All in all I do certainly think Poland should make an attempt to get at least as much as IOTL, but more of it (and the Upper Silesian industrial area as a whole) only when it really practically falls into its lap.
11. The OTL remaining German lands and Danzig/Gdansk... same, really. They wouldnt be "trouble" for Poland, no more then it already had, and Danzig/GDansk would havea real use of course - but they were ethnically German, hence it really wouldnt be "ideal"
12. The Corridor should be tried to be gained, if the corelands are secure, simply due to the sea access. HOWEVER:

13. As you can see I copied the segment with most parts of the German border for smaller subdivisions:
a) The Putzig/Puck area should be gained for sea access, top priority, even if it ends up as an exclave.
b) Northern/Central Pomerelia has a Polish majority, even if we count the Kashubians as seperate, and most of the rest is indeed Kashubian. Hence definitly priority 2 - to be tried to be gained if the corelands are secure.
c) Bromberg/Bydgoszcz was before the war in majority ethnically German, including its surroundings. That, ah, changed IOTL after the war, but that was only due to a German mass exodus. Which I think is not ideal, and really, if only Bromberg remained German, then this wouldnt cut off Poland from the sea, so why not? Sure, its an useful extension of the Corridor, so if its a gift Poland has no reason to say no, but they shouldnt actively try to get it.
d)Torun/Thorn... now, thats a "corridor" both side want now Poland should definitly try to gain it, but if it has to compromise Northern and Central Pomerelia is more important, hence why I included green stripes.
e) There was a German compromise proposal for borders in Posen Province, but to be honest, it was pretty ridicolous as it included mostly Polish ethnic territories. Getting Posen/Poznan itself should be the main priority for Poland, but really, if thats possible then it also should reject that proposal!
f)However, I do think there is room for small border adjustments in favour of Germany. This becomes muddled as in that region the cities and towns were in majority German, but the countryside in majority Polish, however I think it would have been possible to include some of those tows into Germany without it getting too much of the countryside, in particular Lissa/Leszno...

Oh and
14) Polish colonies and restoration of PLC borders is a pipedream. Trying to get those will only and in a world of hurt for Poland, and even if it is achieved it would hardly be ideal for the peope involved.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susano View Post
Wormy: Ethnic definitions are a problem on Polands eastern borders. They are nearly no problem on the south, and definitly no problem to the north (Lithuania, Latvia) and west (Germany)
Unfortunately for Poland, a Germany that remains strong, and also has territory taken from it by Poland will feel resentful, which means war. Perhaps if the territories are taken by neutral plebiscite, but even then it's doubtful.
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And Bukovina a priority 2? You know this wasnt even Polish IOTL?
A mistake. Recolor it recolored yellow.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 10:44 AM
Magnificate Magnificate is offline
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I also think that the Memelland should be a separate region on the map . . .
Done. I also separated Upper Silesia into 3 regions. OTL borders, more favourable borders without Opole/Oppeln and whole Upper Silesia.

In the evening I'll post my own map and a map by certain former AH.com member.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Mr. BoJangles Mr. BoJangles is offline
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Originally Posted by Magnificate View Post
Done. I also separated Upper Silesia into 3 regions. OTL borders, more favourable borders without Opole/Oppeln and whole Upper Silesia.

In the evening I'll post my own map and a map by certain former AH.com member.
I do not think i quite understand this... What doe the colors signify.

Is purple "under any circumstances, this territory should belong to Poland"
while red is "under no circumstances can this territory belong to Poland" ??
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Old April 14th, 2010, 05:20 PM
Susano Susano is offline
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Originally Posted by 010camaro View Post
I do not think i quite understand this... What doe the colors signify.

Is purple "under any circumstances, this territory should belong to Poland"
while red is "under no circumstances can this territory belong to Poland" ??
Well as I understood it, the first three colours are how Poland is to prioritise its attempts to gain those lands. That is, purple could be "should be tried under any circumstance", blue is "should be tried if the corelands are secure", and green is "can be tried, but its no great pity if it isnt achieved". Yellow then would be territories Poland should not go actively for, but it can accept them if they fall into their lap. Red are territories Poland shouldnt take even as a gift. Thats how I saw things, anyways.

And a former AH.com member, eh? Well, I can guess which... that could be, err, interesting. Less predictable than how... the other one wouldve coloured the map, anyways
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Old April 14th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Mr. BoJangles Mr. BoJangles is offline
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Made and posted a map in the Map thread... description is there... but i wanted to share the map here...

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Old April 14th, 2010, 07:13 PM
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Well as I understood it, the first three colours are how Poland is to prioritise its attempts to gain those lands. That is, purple could be "should be tried under any circumstance", blue is "should be tried if the corelands are secure", and green is "can be tried, but its no great pity if it isnt achieved". Yellow then would be territories Poland should not go actively for, but it can accept them if they fall into their lap. Red are territories Poland shouldnt take even as a gift. Thats how I saw things, anyways.
Exactly so.
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Originally Posted by Molobo
The primary regions of Poland that need to be in its control are:

1-Those inhabited by largest amount of ethnic Poles, avoiding national tensions and conflict

2-areas guaranteeing strategic security of Poland

3-areas that will allow for modernization of Polish industry and infrastructure



Thus the natural expansion of Polish territories is in the west. Regardless of political stance-German influence would be destructive to Poland; Germany desires to control core Polish areas, areas with most value to Polish state and those that are vital to polish reconstruction after WW1. While Poland must face confrontation between German and Russia, the areas contested with Russia are of little value, stricken by poverty, and largely inhabited by non-Polish ethnic groups. They also contain very little resources(besides some oil deposits beyond Lviv). Thus expansion in the East is to be avoided-too much effort and conflict over too little. If you have to fight over something-fight over territories that are valuable.

Furthermore-while Russia would try to influence politically Poland, Poland's culture and ethnic group is of no danger of Russification, while Germanisation(either forced or cultural) would be a real threat. Even Poland as a German puppet(which means losing most Polish core areas) would be at risk of losing its cultural identity to gradual Germanization of society. Such event is not a danger to Poland influenced by Russia, either Tsarist or Soviet one-as neither system is attractive to core Polish group. Cutting off Ukrainian and Belarusian population will ensure that communist or ideology or tsarist orthodoxy will find relatively little support among the Polish population.

With most of Soviet/Russian claims satisfied, the Soviet/Russian side is going to be spent on keeping those regions in control and building them up from poverty. It will also lose spies, and information networks it had in OTL Poland among Eastern population unhappy with Polish rule. However, it will both lose most of its territorial claims, and be busy for a considerable length of time allowing Poland to modernize.

The desire to avoid national minorities is of course not universal-seeking control of both Gdansk and East Prussia is essential for Polish survival-both accesses to the sea is needed, and elimination of German enclave that can engage with clear military attack thrust to Warsaw-the capital of Poland.

While it would increase German population-this population would be cut off from rest of Germans by ethnic Polish wall in Corridor, and would be of smaller numbers then Ukrainians in OTL Poland-who were directly connected to Soviet Ukraine. Hence again-more benefits with less risks. It is also quite possible that German population would willingly emigrate to Germany as it would be opposed to polish rule, and due to worse living conditions. A treaty similar to Turkey-Greek population exchange would be welcomed. If possible bring Polish minority from Russia/Soviet territory to those regions to further undermine German presence.



Economically Poland is better off throwing away the underdeveloped eastern regions, filled with insurgency and analphabets. The efforts and money used to modernize those areas in OTL can be used better elsewhere. With whole of Silesia, clear access to the sea, and sustainable agriculture, Polish economy would be in far better shape than OTL, as less money would be drained in the East on attempts to bring it up to modern standards, fights against Ukrainians and so on. With Gdansk and East Prussia already in Poland's possession, the building up of Gdynia with is avoided and thus all those efforts and money can be directed elsewhere-perhaps earlier building of Central Industrial Region would happen instead? More military modernization? Poles from Russia/Soviet state enticed with monetary benefits to settle in East Prussia?

Poland needs to focus on Baltic and Southern political expansion-not territorial one. Partitioning East Prussia with Lithuania would be welcomed, as both countries would become partners. Leaving Vilnius and Central Lithuania to Lithuania will give it a dominant Polish minority that will heavily influence the country. Hence puppeting Lithuania is possible, and more beneficial then taking away a part of it, and creating a hostile state. Thus Lithuania will way secure Polish northern flank.

The Southern political expansion is also vital-Czechoslovakia is a major industrialized region, and needed for Polish economy revival, it is also the essential partner for stopping German resurgence. Thus all territorial claims need to be solved peaceful and with Czechs as allies in mind. Cieszyn can be subject to referendum but is not essential, though having it is nice due to its industrial importance. However Czechs as allies are far more vital.


A two way defense system is to be pursued by Poland.

With Czechoslovakia-Romania-Yugoslavia against German/Habsburg threat in Little Entente,

With Lithuania-Romania against Soviet threat.

If there is a Non-Soviet Russia such scenario is even better-Poland can get rid of its Eastern claims, and pursue friendly relation with Russian state, greatly benefiting from its industralised state and access to large Russian market. Such Poland would reach levels of western development very quickly
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Old April 14th, 2010, 07:34 PM
B_Munro B_Munro is online now
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Here's my effort, based on the principles "keep relations with the Czechs good", "don't make youself look like the bad guy in dealing with Germany and Lithuania" and "Ukranians are more trouble than they are worth"

Bruce
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Old April 14th, 2010, 07:36 PM
Magnificate Magnificate is offline
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My map is mainly based on economic and ease-of-internal-government criteria. In general since post-German lands are more valuable Poland should focus on these instead of Eastward expansion.

1. Lwów is Violet 1 since I consider them part of Polish core and it’s the most important city in southern Kresy.
2. Białystok and Suwałki are Blue despite the fact they more firmly Polish than Lwów. If there is a choice between these Lwów should be in. However Białystok and Suwałki are the easiest Blue territories to secure so they’d most likely end up Polish anyway.
3. Industrial region in Silesian is the very first thing that should be attempted after the core territories and sea access is secured. Mines and factories are just too valuable not to try to get them. The rest of Silesia has enough ethnic Poles to make it priorities 2. Priority 3 represents that fact that Poland would most likely have to compromise with something.
4. Cieszyn also represents and industrial potential. If Poland is not distracted by wars in the east it should be easy enough to keep. Spisz and Orawa are not that important.
5. Poznań and Corridor should be taken up to OTL borders. Beyond that it might prove to be too much hassle. Diplomatic efforts should be focused on Gdańsk since it’s less likely that military solution would work here. Nevertheless Poland could really use a major port.
6. East Prussia is low priority.
7. The city if Vilnius is Blue, the territories North of Vilnius are comparatively less important.
8. If there is an opportunity to federate with or puppetize Lithuania, go for it. It is small and with enough Polish minority to be less troublesome than Belarus or Ukraine. Dyneburg should only be taken if Latvia states fall to the Soviets.
9. Kresy, save for two main cities of Lwów, Vilnius and some favorable adjustments, for example in case of Brest, don’t go there. It’s rural, sparsely populated, poor and full of Ukrainians and Belarusians. Don’t even think of warmongering in Russia. For that to pay off Poland would have to take and hold Ukraine and that would divert resources from more important territories in Germany.
10. Colonies, full PLC borders or further expansion is just way too troublesome and expensive.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 07:39 PM
Susano Susano is offline
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Ah, so its the same as I wouldve expected of Hurgan. Ah well. Lovely disregard for the actual people in the territories, but well, he wasnt banned for nothing, so no surprise. I love the purple arrows west and south, though. Such unrealistic expections are an apt demonstration why Poland was in conflict with all its neighbours interbellum IOTL

/E: Thats Molobos map, of course

Munros map would have a strangely meek Poland. I do think it should try to go for most coherent majority Polish areas, at least.
As for Magnificates map, that seems like a more moderate version of the "Drang nach Westen" idea. Seems more reaosnable... well, that is with "The rest of Silesia" I do hope you mean rest of Upper Silesia, because Lower Silesia surely was 99% German. And bah, "Nevertheless Poland could really use a major port" - it can build one (as it did IOTL). Also I think youre overestimating the Polish minority in Lithuania outside the Vilnius region...

Last edited by Susano; April 14th, 2010 at 07:45 PM..
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Old April 14th, 2010, 07:44 PM
Grimm Reaper Grimm Reaper is offline
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Susano, don't be absurd.


Hurgan would never have accepted any proposal offering Poland such poor and limited territories and roundly denounced the obvious Nazi-Soviet sympathizer who would ask Poland to accept such humiliating terms.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:00 PM
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1. Industry is important
2. Economic independence via the Baltic is vital
3. Defensible borders
4. Don't piss any neighbors off other than Germany.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:03 PM
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Alternatively, "zany borders".
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:21 PM
wormyguy wormyguy is offline
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[poletroll]In this map I aim to show historical borders of POLAND during POLISH-LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH and also western borders of King Wencelaus V Podolska. POLISH territories belonging to NAZI Germans are in rightful Territory of Poland, and so are stolen territories of Russia in partition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_poland). With these borders and also German colonies Poland is strong enough to defend against German-RUSSIAN aggression and cowardly betrayal by western powers of France, Britain, UNITED STATES. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_betrayal)[/poletroll]
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:36 PM
Magnificate Magnificate is offline
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well, that is with "The rest of Silesia" I do hope you mean rest of Upper Silesia, because Lower Silesia surely was 99% German.
Yes.
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And bah, "Nevertheless Poland could really use a major port" - it can build one (as it did IOTL).
Certainly, still, it would save time and resources needed to develop Gdynia. Alternatively having two major ports is not bad either.
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Also I think youre overestimating the Polish minority in Lithuania outside the Vilnius region...
There certainly wasn't enough to warrant an annexation. However Lithuania as part of Federation or a puppet state doesn't require that many ethnic Poles.
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