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The Soviet Union in the European policy of fall of 1938 of summer of 1939

M.I. Meltyukhov

The Soviet Union in the European policy of fall of 1938 — summer of 1939

In the conditions of crash of the Versailles and Washington system of the international relations the fight of great powers for the interests escalated. The Munich agreement, having changed balance of forces in Europe in favor of Germany, extremely complicated an international situation and aggravated the existing contradictions. The Anglo-German, and then and French-German declarations on non-aggression confirmed strengthening of a trend of creation of a temporary united front of the European imperialistic powers. It is clear, that before soviet leadership there was a ghost of revival of "The pact of four" again and the main task of foreign policy of Moscow there was a prevention of consolidation of the great powers of Europe without the participation. For the solution of this task the Soviet Union had to, first, try to improve the relations with the direct western neighbors, and secondly, carefully to monitor relationship of England, France, Germany and Italy to exploit the contradictions which are available between them. In the fall

1938 the activity of foreign policy of Moscow decreased. The soviet leadership was forced to wait for further succession of events in Europe.

So far the Soviet Union sought to split the German-Polish tandem which developed during Czechoslovak crisis. On October 8, 1938 to the Polish ambassador in Moscow it was stated that the Soviet part does not refuse "peaceful cooperation with any state" 1. Having received this hint, Poland continuing the traditional policy of balancing between Berlin and Moscow began on October 20 — 22 a sounding of the USSR for the purpose of normalization of the relations which aggravated during Czechoslovak crisis. On October 24 Germany suggested Poland to discuss boundary problems. Warsaw was offered to agree with inclusion of Danzig in the list of the Third

a Reich to allow construction exterritorial to highway and iron it is expensive through "the Polish corridor" and to enter the Anti-Comintern pact. In return Germany was ready to prolong the agreement of 1934 for 25 years and to guarantee existing German-Polish granitsy2.

On November 4 Moscow suggested Warsaw to sign the communique about normalization of the relations which as a result was signed on November 27. Preparation of this document generated in Moscow hopes that "in case of need Poland will give a hand for the help and to the Soviet Union". Of course, in this case the Soviet part under the influence of the moment indulged in wishful thinking as Poland under no circumstances was not going to ask for the help the USSR. It became obvious at once after signing of the Soviet-Polish communique. If Moscow tried to make an impression about the anti-German orientation of this document, then Warsaw notified already on November 28 Berlin that this declaration extends only to the bilateral Soviet-Polish relations and is not directed to attraction of the USSR to the solution of the European problems.

At the same time, the Polish leaders were afraid of too close rapprochement with Germany, though did not refuse discussion of the German offer. In principle Poland did not exclude a possibility of creation of the German-Polish-Japanese military alliance with anti-Soviet orientation and on January 2, 1939 established the consular relations with Manchukuo that with caution was apprehended in Moscow. However Warsaw did not wish to become the satellite of Berlin and agreed on certain concessions in a question of Danzig only in exchange for response of Germany. Visits of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Yu. Beck on January 5 — 6 to Berlin and the German Minister of Foreign Affairs I. von Ribbentrop on January 26 to Warsaw showed that Poland is still not ready to the agreement with Germany. As a result the German leaders began to incline to a thought of need of a military solution to the Polish problem in defined usloviyakh4.

In return Warsaw decided to resort to maneuvring tactics on the international scene again. The soundings of Moscow which began in December, 1938 about the trade agreement, developed in January, 1939 into the negotiations which came to the end on February 19 with signing of the first in the history of Soviet-Polish trade dogovora5. Probably, at this moment both parties decided to show a certain level of contacts and though not all economic problems were agreed, the document nevertheless was signed. However in process of increase of difficulties in the German-Polish relations both Moscow, and Warsaw began to incline to refusal of cooperation demonstration.

Meanwhile England and France hoped to fix and continue process of the political changes controlled by them in the spirit of Munich that on this basis to consolidate the European great powers. The confidential economic Anglo-German negotiations which began in October, 1938 led to signing in Düsseldorf on March 15, 1939 of the cartel agreement by representatives of the industry of both countries. Since October, 1938 France also intensified process of rapprochement with Germany. London and Paris in principle did not exclude a possibility of recognition of Eastern Europe a zone of the German influence on condition of elimination for themselves the German threat and the termination of unilateral expansionist actions of Berlin. According to the English leaders, it offered prospect for the comprehensive agreement of England, France, Germany and Italii6.

Expecting to become the leading force on the continent, Germany tried to obtain recognition for itself the status of the world power from England and France that was impossible without demonstration of force. Berlin believed that though influence of Germany considerably increased in Eastern Europe, it still did not become decisive. For this purpose it was necessary to eliminate finally from the political map Chekho-Slovakia that allowed to intimidate east neighbors, having made them more compliant. Memel's (Klaipeda) return would strengthen German influences in Lithuania and the Baltics. Thereby the back for war in the West which would become the first stage in business would be provided

achievements of the German hegemony in Europe. Only after the solution of this task Germany was able to afford anti-Soviet pokhod7.

Therefore, continuing policy of balancing between the West and the East, the German leaders since the end of 1938 began to try to obtain normalization of the relations with the USSR gradually. On December 19 without any delays the Soviet-German trade agreement was prolonged for 1939. On December 22 Berlin suggested Moscow to resume negotiations on the 200-million credit, having hinted at need of the general normalization of the relations. Being afraid of the German-Polish rapprochement as a result of Beck's visit to Germany, the Soviet part agreed to begin on January 11, 1939 economic negotiations. In return, seeking to push Warsaw to the agreement, Hitler on January 12 several minutes has a talk on a diplomatic reception with the Soviet Plenipotentiary Representative that became a sensation in diplomatic circles. Thereby Germany tried hints on a possibility of further development of contacts with the Soviet Union to compel England, France and Poland to concessions. Again without having achieved the clear answer from Poland to the offers, Germany authorized transfer of Transcarpathia of Hungary that caused discontent of Poland, but calmed the USSR which was afraid that this territory will become a germ of "Great Ukraine".

Having signed an agreement with England on coal supply, Germany notified on January 20 the Soviet Union that in Moscow on January 30 there will arrive the German representative for conducting economic negotiations. Seeking to raise value of the USSR in Europe, the Soviet part initiated on January 27 penetration of data on it into the English press. Being afraid of deterioration in the relations with England and Poland, Germany announced on January 28 transfer of term of negotiations. Naturally, Moscow remained is dissatisfied that Germany looks back at England and France as it confirmed a possibility of revival of "The pact of four". However, negotiations were not finally interrupted and sluggishly continued in the next months.

The specification of tactics of the Soviet diplomacy which began with fall of 1938 found the expression on pages of the Bolshevik magazine where V. Galyanov's article "An international situation of the second imperialistic war" was published. Under this pseudonym the Deputy Foreign Commissar of the USSR V.P. Potemkin disappeared. Article gives a general idea about the Soviet foreign policy doctrine which recognized that World War II already began as in the second half of the 1930th a number of the military actions which changed a situation in the world was undertaken. These events divided the main capitalist powers into aggressors (Germany, Italy, Japan) and those who tolerate aggression (England, France, the USA). Though this connivance causes damage to the interests of the western powers, it is the policy directed to collision of aggressors and the Soviet Union which represents a stronghold of revolution and social progress. England and France make concessions to Germany and Italy as they are afraid of crash of the fascist modes to replace which the Bolshevism can come.

Analyzing the international situation, the author showed weakness and German-Italo's conflictness - the Japanese block which expansion follows the line of least resistance. Therefore first of all aggressors threaten the interests of England, France and the USA, but do not hurry to spoil the relations with the USSR, though conduct anti-Soviet promotion. Germany will and pursue further policy of blackmail and threats which object this time, most likely, will be France which made everything to weaken the Soviet-French contract of 1935. Degree of fidelity of the capitalist countries was shown to the obligations in the summer of 1938 when only the Soviet Union was ready to assist Czechoslovakia. In process of increase of crisis of capitalism there is strengthening of the USSR on which party there are sympathies of all progressive mankind. As the author noted, "the front of the second imperialistic war everything extends. In it are involved one people behind another. The mankind goes to great fights,

which will start world revolution". "End of this second war

will be marked by final defeat of the old, capitalist world" when "between two millstones — the Soviet Union which terribly rose in all the giant growth and an indestructible wall of the revolutionary democracy which rose to it to the aid — the remains of a capitalist system are turned into dust and ashes".

The similar ideas sounded in a speech of the candidate for members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) and the first secretary of the Leningrad regional committee A.A. Zhdanov at the Leningrad party conference on March 3, 1939 in which he, having reminded that the USSR is "the power of the strongest, the most independent", said that owing to this fact fascism — "this expression of world reaction, the imperialistic bourgeoisie, the aggressive bourgeoisie" — threatens mainly England and France. In these conditions of England it would be very desirable that "Hitler launched war with the Soviet Union" therefore it tries to push off Germany and the USSR to stand aside, counting "make a cat's-paw, to wait for situation when enemies weaken and to take away". According to Zhdanov, this simple maneuver is solved by Moscow which "will save our forces for those times when we deal shortly with Hitler and Mussolini, and also, certainly, and with Chamberlain" 10. These materials are important the fact that they supplement the characteristic of the international situation given by the secretary general of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) of the Central Committee I.V. Stalin in the Report of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) of the Central Committee to the XVIII congress on March 10 in which problems of the Soviet foreign policy in the conditions of the beginning of new imperialistic war and aspiration of England, France were formulated and the USA to direct the German-Japanese aggression against the USSR. The Soviet Union had to "pursue and from now on peace policy and strengthenings of business connections with all countries; to be careful and not to allow to involve in the conflicts our country to the provokers of war who got used to get heat others hands; in every possible way to strengthen fighting power" the armed forces and "to fix international relations of friendship with the workers of all countries interested in the world and friendship between

people". From a context of the speech it becomes clear that "instigators" of war are the countries pursuing non-interference policy: England, France and SShA11. In these conditions a strategic objective of soviet leadership continued to remain use of contradictions between great powers for further strengthening of the influence in the world with the prospect of the final decision of a question of existence of capitalist society.

In the middle of March, 1939 the USA, the USSR, England and France had data on preparation of Germany for occupation of Chekho-Slovakia, but the power -

participants of the Munich agreement did not provide any measures


counteractions. On March 14 Slovakia under pressure of Germany declared independence, and on March 15 the German troops entered the Czech Republic in the territory of which Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia was created. Originally reaction of England and France was quite reserved, but in process of arousing public opinion they toughened the position and on March 18, as well as the USSR, expressed a protest actions of Germany, from Berlin the English and French ambassadors were recalled "for consultations". The USA also did not recognize annexation and froze Czechoslovak assets in the banks. The same is formal


also England made, but Czechoslovak gold was secretly returned to Prague.

Rumors about threat of the German attack on Romania gave England a reason on March 18 to request the Soviet Union, Poland, Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey about their actions in case of the German strike against Romania. In turn these countries requested London about its intentions, and Moscow suggested to convene for discussion of a situation a conference with participation of the USSR, England, France, Poland, Romania and Turkey. On March 21 England put forward a counterproposal about signing of the Anglo-French-Soviet-Polish declaration on consultations in case of aggression. Discussion of this offer of London revealed that Poland and Romania do not want to sign the document if under it there is a signature of the Soviet representative. In turn Moscow, being afraid to push

Warsaw in embraces of Berlin, was not going to sign this document without participation of Poland. As a result by the end of March, 1939 a question of the declaration otpal14.

Meanwhile on March 21 Germany suggested Poland to resolve an issue of transfer of Danzig and of "the Polish corridor" in exchange for accession to the Anti-Comintern pact with the prospect of anti-Soviet actions again. For negotiations to Berlin Beck was invited. During the German-Polish contacts from Berlin, offers to exchange "the Polish corridor" for Lithuania and Latviyu15 were distributed. Expecting the answer from Warsaw, the German leaders still hoped for achievement of the purpose to be limited to diplomatic pressure. On March 22 the German-Lithuanian contract on the Memelya broadcast (Klaipeda) of Germany and about nenapadenii16 was signed. On March 23 the German-Slovak contract on a guarantee and protection and the German-Romanian economic agreement which considerably strengthened influence of Germany in were signed


Central and Southeast Europe.

Meanwhile since the end of February, 1939 the Polish command started development of the concrete plan of war with Germany. On March 23 Poland offered England the agreement on consultations in case of aggression threat. On the same day in the Polish army the mobilization 4 was carried out

infantry divisions and 1 cavalry crew, connections in a row are strengthened


districts managements of 4 armies and 1 task force are also created. At the same time Polish press began noisy anti-German kampaniyu19. In

10 o'clock in the morning on March 24 the chief of the 2nd department of the Polish General Staff transferred to the Soviet military attache the official statement: "Due to the events in Europe the Polish command took the appropriate measures to strengthening of military readiness of army and the country. This strengthening of army follows

to consider as actions to providing the borders. All these


actions are not directed against the USSR at all". At the same time

To Berlin it was reported that Warsaw remains the opponent of attraction


Moscow to the solution of the European problems.

25 March Hitler said to the commander-in-chief of ground forces colonel general W. fon Brauchitschu that though it is not going in the nearest future "to resolve the Polish issue", it should be developed. Without wishing to be the younger partner of the Third Reich, Poland finally refused to accept on March 26 the German offer on territorial settlement, and on March 28 stated that change of the status quo in Danzig will be considered as attack on Poland. In these conditions the German leaders began to incline to a military solution to the Polish question. On March 28 the USSR declared the interests in Estonia and Latvii22. Meanwhile during the military negotiations which began on March 27 England and France agreed that in case of war they will conduct defensive warfares and economic blockade of Germany, actions of the Air Force will be limited only to military facilities, and options

the help to Poland were not even considered. Trying not to allow transition of Poland to the camp of Germany, to achieve its consent to a guarantee of borders of Romania and to constrain the German expansion, England went on March 31 to unilateral guarantees of independence of Poland. At the same time London did not refuse assistance German-Polish to settlement. However Poland nevertheless refused to give guarantees of borders of Romania, believing that the western support will allow to maneuvre further between Berlin and Moscow.

1 April Berlin threatened to terminate the Anglo-German naval agreement of 1935 if London does not stop policy of "encirclement of Germany". On the same day the USSR notified England that as the question of the declaration disappeared, "we consider ourselves free from any obligations". On a question whether Moscow intends to help the victims of aggression from now on, the answer was given, "that, maybe, we will help with any given cases, but that we consider

ourselves not connected we will also arrive in compliance with the interests". 1

— On April 2 during contacts with the Polish ambassador in Moscow the Soviet part made sure again that Poland is not ready to anti-German


to cooperation. On April 4 the Message of TASS in which it was specified that contrary to statements of the French newspapers the Soviet Union not was published

undertook obligations "in case of war to supply Poland with military materials and to close the commodity market for Germany" 26. On the same day, focusing the Soviet Plenipotentiary Representative in Germany about the general principles of the Soviet policy, the Foreign Commissar of the USSR M.M. Litvinov noted that "it is impossible to detain and suspend aggression in Europe without us, and than


later will ask us for our help, more expensively to us will pay those". During the conversation with Litvinov on April 4 the Polish ambassador in Moscow V. Gzhibovsky introduced the idea that "when it will be necessary, Poland to ask for the help to the USSR". In reply Litvinov quite sensibly noticed that "she can address when she already is late", and is hardly acceptable for the Soviet part "the provision of the general automatic reserve" 28. Thereby to the Polish ambassador let know that it is necessary to agree on an issue of the Soviet help in advance.

On April 4 — 6 during the Anglo-Polish negotiations of the party gave each other mutual guarantees of independence and also "consent was reached that the above-mentioned arrangement will not prevent any of the governments to conclude the agreement with other countries in common interests of strengthening


world". The Polish leaders were sure that normalization of the Soviet-German relations is not possible, and hoped that the Anglo-Polish rapprochement will strengthen the French-Polish union and will force Germany to normalize the relations with England and Poland. However, according to Berlin, rapprochement of Warsaw with London demonstrated increase of obstinacy of Poland and required military solution to this problem. A double game of England and France concerning Germany also convinced the German leaders of insignificant risk in case of war with Polshey30. On April 5 Germany strengthened the diplomatic pressure upon Poland. At the same time according to the "Directive on uniform training of armed forces for war for 1939 — 1940" approved by Hitler on April 11 the concrete military planning began. Now Germany was anxious with localization of future conflict and on April 11 probed the Soviet Union regarding improvement of the relations, but the Soviet part preferred to take a waiting attitude.

On the same day England requested the USSR, than it can help, in case of need, Romania. On April 11 in the letter to the Soviet Plenipotentiary Representative in France Litvinov noted that London and Paris seek to receive the unilateral obligation to protect Poland and Romania from Moscow, believing that support of these countries is equitable to the Soviet interests. "But we are the interests always we will understand and we will do what they dictate to us. Why to us to undertake in advance, without taking from these obligations resolutely any benefit for itself?" The people's commissar expressed concern in the English guarantees to Poland which could in certain conditions accept anti-Soviet


orientation. On April 13 France confirmed the French-Polish allied contract of 1921, and on April 14 suggested the USSR to exchange letters on mutual support in case of attack of Germany on Poland and Romania on the basis of the Soviet-French contract on mutual aid of 1935. At the same time Paris invited Moscow to make own proposal on cooperation. On the same day England suggested the Soviet Union to express support of the western neighbors in case of attack on them. On April 17 Moscow suggested London and Paris to sign the contract on mutual aid and expressed a diplomatic protest to Berlin which after occupation of the Czech Republic began to interfere with implementation of the Soviet military orders Czech


enterprises. At the same time the parties probed intentions of each other. On the same day Poland and Romania confirmed that their allied contract


directed only against the USSR.

On April 18 the Polish side informed Germany that she "can be sure that Poland will never allow to enter on the territory to any soldier of the Soviet Russia". Thereby, Poland proved again that "it is the European barrier against the Bolshevism" and will influence England that that did not go to the agreement with the Soviet Union without the interests of Varshavy34. On April 22 Gzhibovsky told Litvinov that Poland rejected the German offers, "will not allow influence of Germany at all" on the foreign policy and, as well as the USSR, is interested

in independence of the countries of the Baltics. On April 25 Paris suggested Moscow to undertake the obligation to help England and France in case of their introduction in war and to provide thereby to itself the Anglo-French support. On April 29 Paris specified the offer in the sense that in case of the entry of England, France or the Soviet Union in war with Germany they undertake to help the friend drugu36. Meanwhile on April 26 London informally notified Berlin that the Soviet offer is accepted not budet37. On April 28 Germany terminated Anglo-German the sea agreement of 1935 and the nonaggression pact with Poland 1934, having declared at the same time determination for negotiations on the new agreement. On April 30 German side informally

informed France, something London and Paris will convince Poland to go on


a compromise, or Berlin will be forced to improve the relations with Moscow.

Naturally, the soviet leadership carefully monitored succession of events on the international scene and, in particular, a position of Warsaw. As well as England, the USSR tried to avoid everything that could push Poland on concessions of Germany. At the same time, Moscow negatively estimated unwillingness of Warsaw to interact with the Soviet Union in collective actions


against aggression. On April 29 Litvinov warned the Polish side against concessions to Berlin and pointed to anti-Soviet orientation Polish-Romanian allied dogovora40. However Poland confirmed to Romania again that its basic attitude towards the Soviet Union not izmenilos41. It is clear, that the USSR seeking to return to Europe as the great power paid much more attention to the negotiations with England and France on the contract on mutual aid and contacts with Germaniyey42 which began in the middle of April, 1939, playing on contradictions of which it was possible to promote, according to soviet leadership, the interests.

3 May when it became clear that England and France did not accept the Soviet offer, instead of Litvinov V.M. Molotov who in combination remained the head of CHK CCCP43 was appointed the national commissioner of foreign affairs. Litvinov's resignation was positively apprehended not only in Berlin, but also

in Warsaw. Already on May 5 Germany announced meeting requirements of the Soviet Union concerning resumption of deliveries from the Czech Republic. On the same day, acting in Diet, Beck declared determination for equal negotiations with Germany. Actually this answer to Hitler's performance meant new refusal of Warsaw of the German offers as they contained "insufficient compensations" 44. This performance was negatively apprehended in Berlin where the conclusion was drawn that Poland will not manage to be spread out from within as Czechoslovakia. At the same time to the attention of Germany it was brought that Beck's performance — "is only a diplomatic game" since Poland cannot agree to transfer of Danzig of Germany, otherwise the government will lose the power over the country. Moreover, the Anglo-French guarantees do not change the Polish policy for Germany at all. "If Poland... entered the agreement with the Soviet Union then and only then there would be bases for a statement about change of foreign policy. But Poland refused to participate in such combination in the past and continues to do it now". Just at present Beck, trying to keep in power, could not continue policy of cooperation with Germaniyey45 openly.

8 May Molotov called Gzhibovsky and, having informed of the Soviet offers of England and France, asked it a question, whether "that in them bad for Poland and the truth that Poland is one of the main opponents of these offers". During the conversation it became clear that the Polish side opposes that, "that the Anglo-Polish agreement was interpreted as

directed only against Germany". On it Molotov said that for the Soviet part unacceptably "such situation when, on the one hand, business goes about participation of the USSR in guarantees for Poland, and on the other hand, is concluded the Anglo-Polish agreement on mutual aid which can be interpreted as directed, by the way, and against the USSR". The offer "about giving Polish Romanian to the contract of 1926 of the general character directed against any aggression or on cancellation

this contract" caused Gzhibovsky's reproaches concerning "imposing of others will" 46. On May 8 the English reply to the Soviet offer of the tripartite pact with which the Soviet Union was offered to help England and France came to Moscow if they come into war into force of the undertaken obligations to Poland and Romania. According to the English leaders, the union with the USSR would block a way to the Anglo-German arrangement that could lead to a war, and London sought to avoid it therefore the English offer did not contain mentions of the help of Moskve47.

10 May the German leaders decided to make active soundings of the USSR, but during contacts on May 9, 15 and 17 the Soviet part noted that improvement of the bilateral relations depends on Berlin. Meanwhile new Soviet-Polish contacts showed that Warsaw is not going to change the policy for Moscow. Already on May 11 the Polish side stated to the Soviet Union that it did not charge to France to conduct with someone negotiations on guarantees of Poland and "does not find possible the conclusion of the mutual-assistance pact with the USSR in view of practical impossibility of assistance to the Soviet Union from Poland". At the same time, Warsaw was not against the conclusion of the English-French-Soviet contract on mutual aid, but did not wish to obtain any guarantees from the USSR. However the Polish ambassador in Moscow tried to make an impression that in the future the policy of Poland can

and to change.

11 May in the editorial of the Izvestia newspaper changes of the international situation in recent weeks were analyzed. According to the newspaper, only the union of England, France and the USSR can stop aggression, but this position of soviet leadership does not find support in London and Paris which does not want the equal treaty with Moscow. In article it was claimed that the Soviet Union has no mutual-assistance pacts neither with England, nor with France (?!), with Polshey49. On May 14 the Soviet part suggested the western partners to sign the contract on mutual aid with military again

the convention and to give guarantees to the small countries of Central and Eastern Europe. On the same day England informally suggested Germany to deepen


economic negotiations.

On May 17 on prospecting canals Moscow obtained information on intentions of Germany to crush Poland if that does not accept the German offers, and "to achieve a neutrality" CCCP51. The soviet leadership was interested in its check and in tracking the German-Polish relations in which in the 20th of May there was a visibility of readiness of Warsaw for the agreement. Therefore the Soviet ambassador in Warsaw N.I. Sharonov held on May 25 and on June 2 conversations with Beck during which he made sure that Poland to agree only to honourable offers from Germany, but it will not go to the concessions affecting its independence. In return Sharonov, warning Poland against concessions of Germany, again reminded of readiness to agree about the sizes Soviet pomoshchi52. On May 30 Beck said that "it would be necessary to make once again attempt of a reasonable compromise" with


Germany. The Soviet part perfectly understood that Poland looks for agreements with Germany which would not look "as capitulation" 54, as well as the fact that in process of crisis deepening the chances of the Soviet Union to receive more acceptable offers from interested parties will only increase.

Meanwhile in May, 1939 Poland suggested France to sign the declaration that "Danzig is of vital interest to Poland", but Paris evaded from it. On May 14 — 19 during the French-Polish negotiations on the military convention France promised to support Warsaw in case of threat to Danzig and during attack of Germany on Poland "to begin approach against Germany with the main forces of the army for the 15th day of mobilization". However, signing of the agreement was postponed until the conclusion of the political contract. The Anglo-Polish negotiations led on May 23 — 30 to the fact that London promised to undertake in case of war air bombings of Germany by forces not less than 1,300 warplanes. It was

notorious deception as the Anglo-French command did not provide any offensive actions in the west of Germany voobshche55. Still

4 May England and France agreed that "the fate of Poland will be defined by the general results of war, and the last will depend in turn on ability of the western powers to gain a victory over Germany eventually, but not from whether they will be able to weaken pressure of Germany upon Poland right at the beginning" 56. Moreover, already on May 20 — 25 London offered

to Paris plan of transfer of Danzig of Germany. On May 27 England appealed to Poland in case of aggravation of a situation around Danzig not to take any actions without consultation with London and Paris. On May 30 Warsaw agreed, but specified that the situation when is possible


fast actions will be necessary.

On May 20 the German side suggested the USSR to resume economic negotiations, and the Soviet part hinted at need of leading under the Soviet-German relations of "political base", that is suggested Germany to make specific proposals. On the same day Berlin received from London data on difficulties at the English-French-Soviet negotiations, and France probed Germany regarding improvement of the relations. Therefore on May 21 the German leaders decided not to force events in Moscow. On May 24 England decided some time to support negotiations with the Soviet Union, and on May 27 Moscow received the new English French offers providing signing of the contract on mutual aid for 5 years, consultations in case of need, but mentioning the League of Nations. This step of England, in turn, pushed Germany on May 30 again to try to specify in Moscow what is meant by a phrase about "political base", but the Soviet part preferred to take a position



Meanwhile on May 7 it was paraphed, and "The steel pact" between Germany and Italy is signed on May 22. On May 23, addressing military, Hitler accurately designated the main problem of the German foreign policy —

the aspiration to return to number of "the powerful states" for what it was required to expand "living space" and to create food base in the east of Europe in case of further fight against the West. The question of a position of Poland which approached the West, could not serve as a serious barrier against the Bolshevism and was a traditional enemy of Germany was closely connected with this problem. Therefore it was necessary "to attack at the first suitable case Poland", having provided a neutrality of England and Frantsii60.

On May 31 in Molotov's performance at the III session of the Supreme Council of the USSR the criticism of a position of England and France which at negotiations with Moscow only showed concessions and did not want to give guarantees to the countries of the Baltics sounded. Therefore "it is impossible even to tell so far whether these countries have a serious desire to refuse non-interference policy, nonresistance policy to further expansion of aggression. Whether it happens so that the available aspiration of these countries to restriction of aggression in some areas will not serve as cover to unleashing of aggression in other areas?" The Soviet Union should have been careful and not to allow to involve itself in war. In these conditions, Molotov noted, "we do not consider it necessary to refuse business contacts at all" with Germany and Italy, it is possible that the German-Soviet economic negotiations can vozobnovitsya61. Thereby Moscow sought to put pressure both upon England and France, and upon Germany.

2 June the Soviet-German economic contacts were resumed, and Moscow handed to London and Paris the new draft agreement. Estonia and Latvia spoke against guarantees of their independence from England, France and the USSR and on June 7 signed nonaggression pacts with Germany. On June 6 — 7 England and France expressed in favor of the agreement with the Soviet Union, and Paris reported to Moscow that Poland not against the English-French-Soviet contract, but "does not want to be the fourth, without wishing to give arguments of Germany", and "hopes for expansion of trade from the USSR" 62. On June 8 Moscow agreed on

the offer of Berlin to resume economic negotiations. The Soviet part hinted at need of creation of "political base" again, expecting that Germany will make specific proposal, but Berlin did not hurry.

9 June Warsaw notified London that "cannot agree to a mention of Poland in the English-French-Soviet contract on mutual aid. Even without the consent of this last we consider the principle of rendering the help by the Soviet Union to the state which was attacked concerning Poland inadmissible, concerning the other states — dangerous violation of stabilization and safety in Eastern Europe. Establishment of volume of the help of Councils, in our opinion, perhaps only by negotiations between the state which was attacked and the USSR" 63. It is clear, that similar statements did not improve the Soviet-Polish relations. If during the Soviet-Polish trade negotiations at the beginning of 1939 Poland did not go for settlement about transit, and it was postponed for the future, then now

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