AHC: A Post-War Polish Vilnius

During WW2, that status of the Polish-Soviet border had been brought up on several occasions, the most prominent of these discussions was the Tehran Conference where the Curzon Line was, in some form, agreed upon by the "Big Three". A special map (contemporary version) developed during the Tehran conference showed various proposals for the Polish eastern border. Five variants of the proposed eastern border were marked on it, marked from "A" to "E" (though there seem to have been more after Tehran, going up to "Y"), while the variant marked as "A" - the border from 1939 - was unanimously and immediately rejected by the entire Big Three . Option "B", the most advantageous for Poland, provided for the ethnically Polish Vilnius and Grodno regions , as well as the entire eastern Galicia , to remain within its borders. Variant "C" left Poland with the Grodno region and the entire eastern Galicia. Variant "D" was left only by Lwów, Drohobycz and Grodno near Poland. Variant "E", running along the Namier line, was the only one of all that cut Lviv, Vilnius and Grodno from Poland. The American and British diplomats initially offered Polish representatives hope for the "B" option at best, and the "D" option at worst. On this map, Stalin independently hatched in red pencil the lands west of the "E" variant, to which the USSR claimed, ie the Białystok region and the lands of Chełm and Przemyśl; however, he did not mark its version of the eastern border. While the Polish-government in exile had no influence on the matter, the government was highly opposed to any alteration of the Riga borders (pre-war borders fyi.) This stubbornness to negotiate, arguably, made things worse for the Polish position. Polish Committee of National Liberation was also quite powerless to exert any power in diplomacy.

Ultimately, the British and Americans pandered to the Soviets and effectively left Poland with the beyond-worst option. Which concludes the three-main points on Poland's abysmal eastern frontier
  1. Detachment of reality for the Polish government in exile.
  2. Stalin's stubbornness.
  3. Churchill's soft stance and the ignorance of the Americans.
Stalin was stubborn and malicious, but he could not decide everything alone. The fact that the Molotov Line was never returned after the firm opposition of Churchill and Roosevelt means something. The fact that it was so easy for Stalin to seize Lviv was due to the fact that in 1942 and 1943, when the fate of the war was being decided and the shape of the world was being decided, no one put the issue of Polish borders on the knife's edge. Lviv could be saved for sure, but I think that there were much better chances for that with a coordinated information and conciliation policy. If there was a clear declaration made to depart from the Riga borders, while keeping a reasonable minimum in the east, Stalin could be compelled to have agreed to such a deal. In fact, the original Curzon Line included Lviv; but I digress, this challenge isn't about Lviv in particular.

The biggest problem with Poland ending up with Vilnius is a multitude of problems, and it wasn't simply ""Stalin could"".
  1. Sovietization of Lithuania; ""liberating"" Vilnius and granting it to Lithuania would improve relations
  2. Unnaturally of the border; a Polish corridor sticking straight through Soviet territory would not be exactly tenable
  3. Kaliningrad; after Stalin's desire for annexation of this territory, Vilnius became an important route to effectively maintain said territory
Your challenge, if you choose to accept, is to have Poland end up with Vilnius after WW2.

Some general rules:
  • POD should not be any further than the Tehran Conference (Nov 1943), though I am willing to make adjustments if needed. Anything before the fall of Poland is completely forbidden
  • The war should generally end akin to otl (ie Soviets occupy Berlin, etc.), so no Nazi victory and future liberation of the sorts.
  • No Operation Unthinkable
  • Preferable to have Vilnius end up Polish at the end of WW2, but later (either during Cold War or collapse of Soviets) is acceptable
 
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