It would raise the question, however, of whether the French would really be caught supporting Communism. At the moment, it's kind of a Catch-22; support the Germans to fight the Communists but get a strong Germany on their borders, or support the Soviets and possibly end up with a stronger Communist presence on the continent. The French are going to have to decide which is the greater evil.
 
The Soviets should go for rapprochement with the French. The Red Army cannot handle the Germans alone.
Indeed that is on the cards. I was actually going to include a section on Soviet overtures to France in the last update, but I felt it was getting to be long enough as it was, so it's been shelved for later.

With the British occupied in the East I imagine the French would probably be pretty open to it, makes sense for both countries.
It would raise the question, however, of whether the French would really be caught supporting Communism. At the moment, it's kind of a Catch-22; support the Germans to fight the Communists but get a strong Germany on their borders, or support the Soviets and possibly end up with a stronger Communist presence on the continent. The French are going to have to decide which is the greater evil.
France certainly isn't going to support Germany, some degree of support to the Soviets is almost guaranteed. That said they may not want to shackle themselves to the USSR either.

The WWI experience (the "Russian steamroller" failing to materialize, Russia seeking a separate peace, the war being decided in the west by the Anglo-French forces) might lead Paris to conclude that their best bet is to stay on the sidelines (perhaps offering some material support to make sure the USSR doesn't loose too quickly) and hope the UK wraps things up in the east before Germany is able to turn around and come after them.
 
I don't suppose France has the option of just sitting to one side and seeing what happens? Whoever wins between Germany and the Soviets they'll be so weakened by the effort France will practically be top dog in Europe by default?
 
I don't suppose France has the option of just sitting to one side and seeing what happens? Whoever wins between Germany and the Soviets they'll be so weakened by the effort France will practically be top dog in Europe by default?
That's a valid question. We have the benefit of hindsight and history, and we know the Nazis aren't going to settle for anything less than a glorious Third Reich spreading from the Atlantic to the Urals. But the French don't know that, so that might be a valid position for many Frenchmen to take (let the devils fight in Eastern Europe and away from us).

France itself is pretty torn up politically at this point. We had the Left, who were suspected of being a bit too chummy with Socialism. We had the Right, who infamously declared "better Hitler than Blum" (Léon Blum being the French PM who was a Communist and a Jew), and we had a rather shaky French political scene where governments would form and topple within a year. France would have to rise above its own indecision if it is to do something about the coming war.
 
France itself is pretty torn up politically at this point.
That's putting it mildly. I've heard French politics in the first half of the 20th Century described with the phrase 'and yet remarkably, the whole thing remained standing, despite the best efforts of everyone involved'.
 
Germany plans to invade Russia in 1940? Without the plunder or combat experience from the invasion of France? Well, this seems it will go poorly.
 
Germany plans to invade Russia in 1940? Without the plunder or combat experience from the invasion of France? Well, this seems it will go poorly.
It's not like the Germans were completely bereft of technical and combat skill, mind you. The Spanish Civil War provided the Germans valuable combat experience through the Condor Legion and other assorted 'volunteers', allowing them to form the basis of their "maneuver warfare" strategy.

Admittedly, without the invasions of Poland and France to polish up these techniques, there will be quite a few rough edges in the German strategy, particularly regarding one-on-one tank and aircraft battles. That might actually weaken the campaign at first, and give the Soviets more breathing room.
 
It's not like the Germans were completely bereft of technical and combat skill, mind you. The Spanish Civil War provided the Germans valuable combat experience through the Condor Legion and other assorted 'volunteers', allowing them to form the basis of their "maneuver warfare" strategy.

Admittedly, without the invasions of Poland and France to polish up these techniques, there will be quite a few rough edges in the German strategy, particularly regarding one-on-one tank and aircraft battles. That might actually weaken the campaign at first, and give the Soviets more breathing room.
On the other hand, they will have a lot more manpower, with less losses and more volunteers, and of course the poles.
If they also make a virtue of necessity and make promises of an independent Ukraine for example (by no means am I suggesting that Hitler intended to honor any such commitments) he could improve his position immensely.
Though that depends on the full nature of his polish deal. Presumably that includes some language about the return of Polish held German land with compensation out of the Soviets - thats likely Ukrainian lands. That being said, begars can't be choosers.
 
I'm still trying to figure out how Hitler intends to build a Greater German empire in the Soviet Union without first extinguishing Poland. Even if Poland returned some of the lands that used to belong to Germany before 1918 (something which also seems very, very unlikely), it would pretty much go against Hitler's beliefs and goals to allow for an independent Poland.
 
I'm still trying to figure out how Hitler intends to build a Greater German empire in the Soviet Union without first extinguishing Poland. Even if Poland returned some of the lands that used to belong to Germany before 1918 (something which also seems very, very unlikely), it would pretty much go against Hitler's beliefs and goals to allow for an independent Poland.
My understanding of Germany's 1930s strategic aims is that they want to:
-liquidate Poland
-settle the score with France
-annihilate the USSR
But (given their OTL negotiations with Poland for a joint attack on the USSR) they don't actually really care about the order they do that in. Fighting the USSR to the last Pole and then annexing defenceless husk that remains (and that they probably have soldiers already stationed throughout) would suffice to this end.
 
they don't actually really care about the order they do that in.
That's the kicker, right there. The Austrian Shouty Man was a very big dreamer and a remarkably lucky opportunist. He was not terribly concerned with the order things came in (unless it involved the dinner menu).
I would not bat an eye at Germany allying with Poland against the Soviets and then 'peacefully incorporate' Polish territory after the war.
I am a little more skeptical about potential German conduct in Ukraine. OTL it was a colossal missed opportunity to get the Ukrainians on board once they started rolling through, but the Germans sadly had defaulted to 'everything east of here is now ours and the current population is surplus to requirements' by then. Even with Poland on board at the start of the war I don't see that attitude changing unless someone in the upper echelons can convince der Furrier on the concept.
 
My understanding of Germany's 1930s strategic aims is that they want to:
-liquidate Poland
-settle the score with France
-annihilate the USSR
But (given their OTL negotiations with Poland for a joint attack on the USSR) they don't actually really care about the order they do that in. Fighting the USSR to the last Pole and then annexing defenceless husk that remains (and that they probably have soldiers already stationed throughout) would suffice to this end.

Fair enough, but to be honest the Lwow wargames seems radically different than what should have been plausible given the POD is in late 1938. As far I can recall, you still have Beck in charge of Poland and in OTL he strove to avoid Poland becoming a satellite state of Germany throughout 1938 and 1939 and didn't even seem to want formal ties. Beck's policy of accommodation with Germany even through 1937 and 1938 over Austria and Czechoslovakia as well as Danzig and the issues of minorities encountered opposition from within and without of the Polish government itself and even Beck himself did not foresee Poland allowing German troops to cross its territory in order to seize Ukraine in the future and that Poland would rather fight than allow that. It's difficult to see how any Polish government could survive the news that German forces were participating in wargames in Poland. For more on this, German Foreign Policy and Poland, 1937-1938 by Gerhard Weinberg has a good overview of Polish-German relations at the time (and its free with JSTOR if you sign up)

I really can't see Poland allowing any German troops in Poland (even for wargames) without a POD much further back precisely because just as you write here, they could see then in the 1930s that if the Germans are allowed to access Polish territory en masse, then they can annex Poland and there would not be much Poland could do about it. The same reasoning lay behind Poland's refusal throughout the 1930s under Pilsudski and then Beck to allow Soviet troops to cross Poland in order for France and the Soviet Union to effect a collective security alliance aimed at Germany (and this extended to outright declaring in the 1938 Sudeten crisis that Poland would oppose any Soviet attempt to send forces through Poland to aid Czechoslovakia in keeping with the Franco-Soviet mutual assistance treaty of 1935 and the Czechoslovak-Soviet mutual assistance treaty of 1935). Poland's cornerstone was the 1921 formal alliance with France and Beck's attempt to keep a balance between Germany and the USSR in terms of non-aggression. Beyond that, whilst an agreement with the UK was definitely desired to increase security (hence the OTL Anglo-Polish Alliance in 1939) and Poland was unofficial allies with Japan against the USSR, neither Japan nor the UK were as central to Polish strategy as France and balancing relations with Germany and the USSR and simply ensuring no foreign (especially German or Russian/Soviet) troops on its soil.

What I could see happening though is German attempts to continue getting Poland to isolate itself by alienating (or destroying) potential allies. In the link above it is mentioned that in 1937-1938 the Germans were considering attempting to negotiate with Poland the return of Danzig and the Corridor in exchange for supporting a Polish invasion and annexation of Lithuania - minus Memel of course as well as some areas which were never originally part of Germany anyway (said annexation of Lithuania would give Poland an alternative access to the sea). That could certainly be something discussed in the renewal of the 1934 Non-Aggression Pact and if executed would lead to something like this in very late 1938 or mid 1939:

1616486234304.png


Though whether the Poles would actually agree to give up the Corridor or merely accept the annexation of Danzig and the construction of an extra-territorial German highway across the Corridor would be a matter for debate.

With a UK focused on Japan, France would likely cultivate the relations with Romania, Yugoslavia and Poland (as well as the Benelux countries) as a counterweight to Germany and Poland might do the same, especially with Romania. Which is where German feelers to Hungary and Bulgaria would come in for an Alt-Vienna Awards (and in this case bringing in the Soviet Union to get Bessarabia as part of these Alt-Awards would simultaneously help to increase Polish anxieties about the USSR whilst drastically weakening one of the key remaining Polish allies, assuming Poland itself couldn't be tempted to partake instead of the USSR with an offer for northern Bukovina, thus destroying its alliance with Romania). This would then set the stage for directing the focus on Poland, and thereafter France and the USSR (unless perhaps the opportunity arose to deal with France first).

But to get to the USSR, Germany needs to go through Poland first and Poland is very, very, very unlikely to actually allow this unless perhaps France is already defeated. So Germany, would have to deal with Poland first, just due to the geographical and Polish domestic circumstances I would think.
 
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I'm still trying to figure out how Hitler intends to build a Greater German empire in the Soviet Union without first extinguishing Poland. Even if Poland returned some of the lands that used to belong to Germany before 1918 (something which also seems very, very unlikely), it would pretty much go against Hitler's beliefs and goals to allow for an independent Poland.
Polish independence could be merely a short-term ploy. Once German troops are in Poland, there's no effective way to make them leave--as you mentioned. The most likely outcome for Poland is that the Germans eventually pull an Arrow Cross on them and sponsor a coup by some lackeys of theirs. This is the weakness of a lot of Polish-German alliance ideas (including the "Pakt Ribbentrop-Beck" that has become somewhat popular in Polish circles since a novel of that name was published some years back)--the road from Berlin to Moscow passes through Warsaw, and Romania and Hungary both show how little tolerance Germany had for clients trying to go their own way.

Is there actually a good place for a port on the Lithuanian coast after Memel is lost?
 
Fair enough, but to be honest the Lwow wargames seems radically different than what should have been plausible given the POD is in late 1938. As far I can recall, you still have Beck in charge of Poland and in OTL he strove to avoid Poland becoming a satellite state of Germany throughout 1938 and 1939 and didn't even seem to want formal ties. Beck's policy of accommodation with Germany even through 1937 and 1938 over Austria and Czechoslovakia as well as Danzig and the issues of minorities encountered opposition from within and without of the Polish government itself and even Beck himself did not foresee Poland allowing German troops to cross its territory in order to seize Ukraine in the future and that Poland would rather fight than allow that. It's difficult to see how any Polish government could survive the news that German forces were participating in wargames in Poland. For more on this, German Foreign Policy and Poland, 1937-1938 by Gerhard Weinberg has a good overview of Polish-German relations at the time (and its free with JSTOR if you sign up)

I really can't see Poland allowing any German troops in Poland (even for wargames) without a POD much further back precisely because just as you write here, they could see then in the 1930s that if the Germans are allowed to access Polish territory en masse, then they can annex Poland and there would not be much Poland could do about it. The same reasoning lay behind Poland's refusal throughout the 1930s under Pilsudski and then Beck to allow Soviet troops to cross Poland in order for France and the Soviet Union to effect a collective security alliance aimed at Germany (and this extended to outright declaring in the 1938 Sudeten crisis that Poland would oppose any Soviet attempt to send forces through Poland to aid Czechoslovakia in keeping with the Franco-Soviet mutual assistance treaty of 1935 and the Czechoslovak-Soviet mutual assistance treaty of 1935). Poland's cornerstone was the 1921 formal alliance with France and Beck's attempt to keep a balance between Germany and the USSR in terms of non-aggression. Beyond that, whilst an agreement with the UK was definitely desired to increase security (hence the OTL Anglo-Polish Alliance in 1939) and Poland was unofficial allies with Japan against the USSR, neither Japan nor the UK were as central to Polish strategy as France and balancing relations with Germany and the USSR and simply ensuring no foreign (especially German or Russian/Soviet) troops on its soil.

What I could see happening though is German attempts to continue getting Poland to isolate itself by alienating (or destroying) potential allies. In the link above it is mentioned that in 1937-1938 the Germans were considering attempting to negotiate with Poland the return of Danzig and the Corridor in exchange for supporting a Polish invasion and annexation of Lithuania - minus Memel of course as well as some areas which were never originally part of Germany anyway (said annexation of Lithuania would give Poland an alternative access to the sea). That could certainly be something discussed in the renewal of the 1934 Non-Aggression Pact and if executed would lead to something like this in very late 1938 or mid 1939:

View attachment 635586

Though whether the Poles would actually agree to give up the Corridor or merely accept the annexation of Danzig and the construction of an extra-territorial German highway across the Corridor would be a matter for debate.

With a UK focused on Japan, France would likely cultivate the relations with Romania, Yugoslavia and Poland (as well as the Benelux countries) as a counterweight to Germany and Poland might do the same, especially with Romania. Which is where German feelers to Hungary and Bulgaria would come in for an Alt-Vienna Awards (and in this case bringing in the Soviet Union to get Bessarabia as part of these Alt-Awards would simultaneously help to increase Polish anxieties about the USSR whilst drastically weakening one of the key remaining Polish allies, assuming Poland itself couldn't be tempted to partake instead of the USSR with an offer for northern Bukovina, thus destroying its alliance with Romania). This would then set the stage for directing the focus on Poland, and thereafter France and the USSR (unless perhaps the opportunity arose to deal with France first).

But to get to the USSR, Germany needs to go through Poland first and Poland is very, very, very unlikely to actually allow this unless perhaps France is already defeated. So Germany, would have to deal with Poland first, just due to the geographical and Polish domestic circumstances I would think.
The Poles are making a very risky gamble because while the UK isn't important to Poland's strategy, it's become clear to them that France isn't prepare to do much of anything without British aid. So they are:

1) Playing for time. Hopefully circumstances change for the better before they need to commit to anything drastic. Their efforts to get Japan to shift its aggression from the UK to the USSR were in service to this.

2) Positioning themselves as a leading member of the Axis through initiatives such as the Lwow Wargames. Hitler's expansions thus far have all been contingent on the support of other states, befriending Germany's nominal allies will likely restrain Hitler's demands. Already they've they've established a strong partnership with Hungary.

3) Poking around and see if there's any threads to pull on. Hopefully there are groups within Germany that may restrain German territorial ambition. Which is to say that it was no accident that the virtues of the Colonel's Regime ended up being a topic of discussion at Lwow.

4) Learning how Germany intends to fight and planning accordingly.

It's admittedly out of character for Beck, but finding a way out of this nightmare scenario requires some creative decisions.
 
Polish independence could be merely a short-term ploy. Once German troops are in Poland, there's no effective way to make them leave--as you mentioned. The most likely outcome for Poland is that the Germans eventually pull an Arrow Cross on them and sponsor a coup by some lackeys of theirs. This is the weakness of a lot of Polish-German alliance ideas (including the "Pakt Ribbentrop-Beck" that has become somewhat popular in Polish circles since a novel of that name was published some years back)--the road from Berlin to Moscow passes through Warsaw, and Romania and Hungary both show how little tolerance Germany had for clients trying to go their own way.

Is there actually a good place for a port on the Lithuanian coast after Memel is lost?

Once German troops are in Poland, there's no effective way to make them leave--as you mentioned.
Bingo. And I'm sure pretty much everyone with leadership ambitions in Poland and most persons in government circles in Poland at the time knew that/realized that too. Much as how they knew that once there were Soviet troops in Poland there would be no effective way to make them leave either.

The most likely outcome for Poland is that the Germans eventually pull an Arrow Cross on them and sponsor a coup by some lackeys of theirs.

But could any lackeys of theirs actually pull off something like an Arrow Cross coup in Poland? And retain power for more than half a day?

In many cases, Germany was able to acquire client states or temporary allies because they shared an interest in overturning the post-WWI settlement in some way (Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Soviet Union) and/or wanted to get rid of minorities and incorporate territories inhabited by their co-nationals in other countries into their states (Italy, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Hungary and (after the Vienna Awards and the Soviet seizure of Bessarbia and northern Bukovina) Romania). Interwar Poland does not really fit this mould, except for a very temporary coinciding of goals with Germany over Czechoslovakia.

In fact, Poland more resembles Yugoslavia in this regard in that its interests really lay in maintaining the Versailles settlement. And much like Yugoslavia I would expect that if Poland were pressured into an alliance with Germany or a coup of German lackeys took power in Poland we would get an anti-German/pro-Western (counter-)coup. This would likely result in a German invasion of Poland anyway.

And even then who could those lackeys be? I've been looking for the parties that existed at the time and besides the German minority party (which in fact was an anti-Hitler party), I have not seen many that would seem to qualify as most of the nationalist parties were also anti-German parties (except maybe the ONR - National Radical Camp which might have been more anti-Semitic than it was anti-German but which was banned shortly after forming in 1934 anyway).

EDIT:
This is the weakness of a lot of Polish-German alliance ideas (including the "Pakt Ribbentrop-Beck" that has become somewhat popular in Polish circles since a novel of that name was published some years back)--the road from Berlin to Moscow passes through Warsaw, and Romania and Hungary both show how little tolerance Germany had for clients trying to go their own way.

Right, and the only alternative as I noted in my response to SealTheRealDeal would be something akin to Poland trying to get Germany to direct its attention to the USSR in Ukraine only through Romania (perhaps with Poland envisioning Germany being satisfied with creating a client state in Ukraine). Beyond that, even if Germany were to invade all of the western USSR through Romania and aim for Moscow, Poland would likely feel very uneasy about now having German troops based on their western borders (Germany), southern border (Slovakia, Hungary and Romania) and eastern borders (Belorussia and Ukraine).
 
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The Poles are making a very risky gamble because while the UK isn't important to Poland's strategy, it's become clear to them that France isn't prepare to do much of anything without British aid. So they are:

1) Playing for time. Hopefully circumstances change for the better before they need to commit to anything drastic. Their efforts to get Japan to shift its aggression from the UK to the USSR were in service to this.

2) Positioning themselves as a leading member of the Axis through initiatives such as the Lwow Wargames. Hitler's expansions thus far have all been contingent on the support of other states, befriending Germany's nominal allies will likely restrain Hitler's demands. Already they've they've established a strong partnership with Hungary.

3) Poking around and see if there's any threads to pull on. Hopefully there are groups within Germany that may restrain German territorial ambition. Which is to say that it was no accident that the virtues of the Colonel's Regime ended up being a topic of discussion at Lwow.

4) Learning how Germany intends to fight and planning accordingly.

It's admittedly out of character for Beck, but finding a way out of this nightmare scenario requires some creative decisions.

Well most of that could be achieved though without having German troops participate in war games in Poland (besides which it would be quite likely that many in the Polish military would have massive misgivings about a German corp being able to drive through Poland, scope out the terrain and basically getting a test run of how things might go when they want to roll into Poland). Having war games in say Hungary or Romania would achieve most of that. Poland could still have the initiative by suggesting them in the first place and assisting in organizing them with its ally (Romania) or new friend (Hungary).

[EDIT: Also, given how soon the POD was and how things generally were in the 1930s, it would probably be likely that instead of military exercises in which Poland and Germany participate, it might be more of a case where Poland suggests military exercises to be hosted in say Romania at which German and Hungarian observers are invited and then perhaps suggest that Polish and Romanian observers could be present for any military exercises hosted by Hungary and involving Germany - this would be aimed at building up towards cultivating relationships with Germany's nominal allies, decreasing the heat in the German-Polish relationship and perhaps directing Germany towards Ukraine via Hungary/Romania]

[EDIT 2: Also given Stalin's paranoia, it is quite likely that he would (correctly) interpret any such moves as a possible coming together of Germany and the Central European states to collude in attacking the USSR even if the truth is a bit more nuanced insofar as Poland might not want to directly attack the USSR but is basically attempting to deflect German attention away from itself and onto its neighbours that it also just doesn't happen to be chummy-chummy with such as Czechoslovakia and the USSR. In Moscow, Stalin might well wonder if there is a secret annex or protocol allowing Germany to cross over Polish lands in order to attack the USSR. That said, Stalin would not be sitting still. He would likely also be trying to get a new agreement with the French and as in OTL attempt to get a deal with the Germans, however here one of the driving factors would be to undermine and outdo the Poles in their attempt to deflect German attention on their enemies and get it directed back at Poland. This would I imagine, be a success as in OTL though the timing might likely vary. The reason of course is as @Polish Eagle pointed out, that the most direct route from Berlin to Moscow lies through Warsaw (and not Bucharest), so Hitler is eventually going want to pressure Poland into allowing this much as happened with the Yugoslav-Axis negotiations and these negotiations are either going to fail or result in the overthrow of any Polish government that agrees to them and once Germany invades Poland it isn't going to establish a puppet regime within the pre-invasion borders, it is going to occupy all of Poland and annex western Poland. Agreeing to let the USSR then occupy eastern Poland will make sense in that it gives Germany a chance to fend off France, if indeed France still honours the Franco-Polish alliance and also making it impossible for the USSR to become immediately allied to France and Poland if the French (in the face of British distraction to the war in Asia) insist on the Poles agreeing to the Soviets joining as allies and yielding everything east of the Curzon line as a price to save the rest of Poland - since of course the USSR would become an accomplice in occupying Poland. Of course if things develop more fluidly, Stalin may not get to secure an agreement with Germany concerning Poland before Germany decides to pull a Yugoslavia type scenario on Poland and invade as a result of failed negotiations or an overthrown government, in which case events might move rapidly and the French might now succeed in 1939/1940 where they failed in 1935/1938 with Czechoslovakia and secure Polish agreement to Soviet involvement and intervention and they might do so precisely because the French might be reluctant to act without the British otherwise and might then wish to secure an alliance involving Poland, the USSR, Yugoslavia and Romania against Germany.

Of course, any war in Europe in this TL might well end up similarly to what happened in @pdf27 's also superb TL, A Blunted Sickle, except here the British have more combat experience with the Japanese. Now that would be an interesting cross-over of TLs...]

In fact, staging them in Romania might form part of a strategy to encourage German attention to be directed to the USSR (specifically Ukraine) by way of going through Hungary and Romania rather than Poland. In this regard I would expect any agreement that Poland ever signs (which seems rather doubtful) to be similar to what Yugoslavia tried to wrangle out of Germany in OTL 1941 where Germany publicly agrees it would not allow troops to cross Yugoslav territory and that it wouldn't use the Yugoslav rail system for that (though Yugoslavia also had included war materials in the agreement but Germany's announcement excluded that indicating that Germany was at least hoping to use the Yugoslav rail system to transport war materials to the Greek front).

Additionally befriending Hitler's allies in an attempt to restrain Hitler's demands, whilst a good idea is rather undermined by actually entering into a client relationship with Hitler. The former idea is pretty much what the French and British tried in trying pry states like Italy away from Germany and it is certainly a creative idea insofar as it would mean Poland trying to befriend Hungary and shore up its alliance with Romania and Yugoslavia. In this way it would be a way of isolating Hitlerite Germany, which in its own way buys time since a Germany that doesn't have Hungary or Romania fully onboard cannot surround and invade Poland more easily (and might likely not get any support from them either in any disputes that may arise). Similarly it might mean Poland reaching out to Italy.

I'm just not seeing Beck or the Polish leadership in general going so far as to join the Axis and Germany formally and becoming a client state because even in OTL's nightmare scenario of the post-Munich crisis elucidated by Hitler's dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, Poland maintained a solid stance of spurning any kind of security guarantee with the USSR which both the UK and France were looking to obtain to really put pressure on German (and this despite now open German threats against Poland). In that nightmare scenario, creative decisions were required but they weren't really forthcoming.

EDIT: Also in regards to France not acting without Britain, there would be three things also to consider:

1. Even if France strongly indicates a reluctance to act without the UK, this is still materially different than France repudiating its military alliance with Poland. In the former scenario, Poland still derives a modest benefit insofar as Germany is unlikely to send 100% of its forces against Poland if there is still a chance of French intervention. Obviously Germany would still feel confident enough to send large numbers of forces against Poland, but it might retain more forces to defend its western border than it otherwise would have if France openly repudiated its alliance with Poland and basically indicated Germany had free reign to do whatever they wanted to Poland.

2. France was not actually ever obligated to to send troops to Poland to aid in its defence or to declare war on Germany until the new agreements of May 1939. Prior to that the Franco-Polish alliance from the 1920s had the aim of France keeping lines of communication open and assisting Poland as it saw fit and trying to keep Germany in check prior to hostilities (and perhaps even during hostilities with the threat of intervention).

3. The UK never obligated itself to even assist Poland if it was attacked until March 1939 with the Anglo-Polish Agreement.

This would suggest that Polish foreign policy in 1938 would tend to continue in a similar vein as from 1923 until 1937 when during that time:

- the UK wasn't obliged to assist Poland (but would assist France if Germany attacked France)

- The French weren't even obligated to declare war or send troops to assist Poland if Germany attacked it.

The situation outlined thus far would also strongly seem to favour the Poles desperately trying to act as peacemakers between the Japanese and the British in order to allow the Japanese to be able to focus more on the USSR and to allow the UK to refocus on Europe. This would also likely mean the Poles might try to encourage a settlement between Hungary on the one hand and Romania and Yugoslavia on the other hand. Perhaps by sponsoring talks on border issues and minorities. Because if they can somehow get Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia to bury the hatchet then they remove a reason for Hungary to throw in its lot with Germany and can aim to build a Central European alliance network of Poland, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia (and perhaps Bulgaria if they assist in similar talks involving Bulgaria and Romania/Yugoslavia) and maybe Greece and link it with the alliance with France.

Like Benes did after the Rhineland militarization, Beck is likely to read the tea leaves just as well and realize that abandoning the alliance with France and simply coming to an accommodation with Germany would mean the end of his country's independence
 
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