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
 
No takers? Or is the said challenge too ASB?
POD is way too late. It should be 1939-40 or even pre-1939 (with Lithuania as Axis ally, although even then Stalin is more likely to add Vilnius to Belarusian SSR than Poland, it is simply too far from Polish coreland). Also Lithuania after ww2 have to be Soviet puppet instead of SSR, like Bulgaria, Poland or Czechoslovakia, and obviously Königsberg must be Polish rather than Soviet. Maybe it is not completly impossible (not ASB in "does not require magic" sense) but very, very unlikely.
 
interesting

You need Lithuania to join the Axis (the first proposal of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact has not been amended, so Lithuania is in the German sphere)

Therefore, Stalin decided to severely punish Lithuania after the war

The problem is that it may not lead to Polish Vilnius, but to Vilnius as part of Belarus

Therefore, you need an additional step, namely, the accession of Poland to the USSR, and therefore not only Vilnius, but Kaliningrad.

I hope I was able to help you
 
although even then Stalin is more likely to add Vilnius to Belarusian SSR than Poland
The problem is that it may not lead to Polish Vilnius, but to Vilnius as part of Belarus
Post-Soviet collapse is also on the table. Afaik, the Poles in Belarus didn't experience as much deportations as those in Ukraine and said Poles are in higher numbers the closer they are to the Lithuanian border. Maybe some post-Soviet crisis as Lukashenko goes hard on the Poles -- the Union of Poles in Belarus becomes more radical and you may end up with a War in Donbas esq situation?
 
Post-Soviet collapse is also on the table. Afaik, the Poles in Belarus didn't experience as much deportations as those in Ukraine and said Poles are in higher numbers the closer they are to the Lithuanian border. Maybe some post-Soviet crisis as Lukashenko goes hard on the Poles -- the Union of Poles in Belarus becomes more radical and you may end up with a War in Donbas esq situation?

Lukashenko is everything but he is not stupid (he is the most efficient post-Soviet leader)

I don't see him doing anything like this

So you need to make Poland a Soviet republic
 
Post-Soviet collapse is also on the table. Afaik, the Poles in Belarus didn't experience as much deportations as those in Ukraine and said Poles are in higher numbers the closer they are to the Lithuanian border.

Belarusian nationalism wasn't as strong as Ukrainian nationalism and there was no such strong interethnic conflict between Belarusians and Poles as between Ukrainians and Poles. And Belarus was severely depopulated after ww2 (lost 25% of population in 3 years) thus leaders of BSSR wanted to keep Poles in to avoid further depopulation.

. Maybe some post-Soviet crisis as Lukashenko goes hard on the Poles -- the Union of Poles in Belarus becomes more radical and you may end up with a War in Donbas esq situation?

I think for it to be possible Stalin should keep 1941 border with Białystok inside borders of BSSR.
 
Lukashenko is everything but he is not stupid (he is the most efficient post-Soviet leader)

I don't see him doing anything like this

So you need to make Poland a Soviet republic
Well if there are more Poles Lukashenko might, after all the Sejm was getting involved iotl. Furthermore, Lukashenko had pounced on the Poles when the Union split.

I think for it to be possible Stalin should keep 1941 border with Białystok inside borders of BSSR.
The biggest problem is that I don't see the Wallies confirming total Molotov. Curzon was bare minimum.
 
I think Poland's just fortune they got to be a satellite state, I could easily see a timeline where Stalin goes you know what it was part of the Russian Empire, it is the will of the Polish people to become an SSR, see 100% of the population voted for it.
 
I think Poland's just fortune they got to be a satellite state, I could easily see a timeline where Stalin goes you know what it was part of the Russian Empire, it is the will of the Polish people to become an SSR, see 100% of the population voted for it.

But Stalin even back in 1920 saw Poland as too troublesome to be directly annexed. It wasn't just act of mercy that Stalin kept Poland as separate vassal state,.
 
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