Military Review

Was there a stab in the back: about the liberation of Western Belarus and Western Ukraine in September 1939

Polish historians, politicians, and Russian liberal authors like to talk about "stab in the back" on 17 September 1939 fighting Poland against the Third Reich Poland. They say that the USSR attacked Poland in alliance with Germany and became the initiator of the Second World War, together with Germany and Japan. The political consequences of this myth are very bad for the current Russian Federation, its peoples. Russia is recorded in the camp of the instigators of war, and soon the demands for compensation can go international. Already, in the Baltic countries, in Poland, Romania, voices are being heard demanding compensation, apologies, etc.

But for a “stab in the back”, two things are necessary: ​​a “back” —that is, a defensive front line, a country that holds back the onslaught of the enemy; and the “strike” itself — the offensive operation of the Red Army.

Was there a stab in the back: about the liberation of Western Belarus and Western Ukraine in September 1939

F. Adamik "Soviet knife in the back"

The question of the presence of "back"

On September 10, the commander-in-chief of the Polish armed forces issued an order for the remaining forces to the Romanian border, after which, shifting more and more quickly to the border with Romania, he soon found himself there. The Polish government already 9-11 September led negotiations with France on the granting of asylum, 16-th negotiations began with Romania on the transit through its territory of the Polish leadership, 17-th Polish leaders fled to Romania. That is, on the 17 number, the Polish statehood ceased to exist - its political and military leadership escaped from the bleeding country, although the remnants of the army still desperately resisted, the capital, Warsaw, fought.

Militarily, September also suffered a complete defeat for 17: its armies were defeated, dismembered, surrounded, there was the destruction of individual centers of resistance, there was no longer any organized and coordinated resistance across the country. By September 16, the Wehrmacht entered the line: Osovets - Bialystok - Belsk - Kamenets-Litovsk - Brest-Litovsk - Wlodawa - Vladimir-Volynsky - Zamosc - Lviv - Sambir - Lublin. They also fought in Warsaw being wiped off the ground (probably, the remaining airborne unit and air defense units, which Marshal Rydz-Smigly, 5-th, transferred to Brest, would strengthen its defense); under Bzura a desperate group of General Tadeusz Kushteba fought; in the forests and marshes of the Vistula tributary of the Vepsh River, the remnants of the Polesye group tried to break through to Warsaw; on the Hel Spit the fighters of Rear Admiral Unrug and so on fought the Germans

But there was no holistic resistance, the battles in individual foci of the outcome of the war could not change - it was a complete defeat. That is, there was no “back”; Poland was defeated, as the state ceased to exist.

Therefore, the words read to the Polish ambassador to the USSR V. Grzybowski in 3: 00 17 September 1939 were absolutely accurate: “The Polish-German war revealed the internal failure of the Polish state. Within ten days of military operations, Poland lost all its industrial areas and cultural centers. Warsaw, as the capital of Poland, does not exist anymore. The Polish government fell apart and shows no signs of life. This means that the Polish state and its government virtually ceased to exist. Thus, the agreements concluded between the USSR and Poland ceased to exist. ... "

Was there a blow?

On the Polish border, Moscow concentrated significant forces, apparently to warn itself against "surprises" from the Wehrmacht. By September 17, on the border were ready: 21 rifle division, 13 cavalry divisions, 16 tank and 2 motorized brigades. They were supported by: Dnieper military flotilla and almost 3300 aircraft in three aviation armies of border districts. There was something to hit on Poland.

But by September 17, in the east, Poland had about 340-370 thousand people in various units: remnants of army units that had retreated to the east of the country, training, rear units of the 25-t battalions and seven squadrons of the Border Guard Corps (CPC), approximately 160 aircraft, Pinsk military flotilla. The greatest resistance was put by frontier guards, gendarmerie, members of paramilitary organizations.

When the Red Army crossed the border, it was joyfully greeted by Belarusians and Ukrainians, they were in Poland in the position of “non-citizens”. The Poles practically did not resist, and the Red Army men themselves did not seek to fight, they tried not to shoot, but to persuade the Poles to fold weapon, treated them with sympathy, pitied, as affected by the aggression of Germany.

The Polish leadership gave the order not to fight, but to go to the Romanian border, however, who received it is unknown. The Poles, in fact, had nothing to repel the troops of the Red Army that entered the territory of Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine.

Therefore, to talk about the "hit" is not necessary. The Red Army marched through the territory, almost meeting no resistance from the Poles. Her losses also speak of this: Molotov voiced the figure - 737 killed and 1862 injured, currently talking about 1475 people irretrievable loss and 3858 people injured. Moreover, a significant part of them are the losses due to the guilt and mistakes of the commanders and the Red Army themselves due to lack of discipline and lack of organization. So, nine aircraft were lost, largely due to accidents, armored vehicles - 42 units, some simply broke down. 457, thousands of Polish servicemen, surrendered to the Red Army, less Wehrmacht, 420, thousands, the Poles preferred to surrender to our army.

The Warsaw garrison even hoped that the Red Army would act with the consent of the government and go to their aid. Here are some examples of “battles”: gymnasium students put up resistance in Vilna — our losses: 13 people killed and 24 wounded, 10 thousands of Poles surrendered to captivity; September 20-21 took Grodno (6 Cavalry Corps), our losses: 57 killed and 159 wounded, Poles killed 644, captivated by 1543 man; after the collision near the city of Chelm - our losses: 31 killed and 101 injured, etc. These are not fighting battles, but armed skirmishes. The forces of the Red Army were powerful, but this time it was not necessary to make war.

Sources of:
Bezymensky L. A. Hitler and Stalin before the fight. M., 2000.
Meltyukhov MI Soviet-Polish wars. Military-political confrontation 1918 — 1939 M., 2001.
Russia and the USSR in the wars of the XX century. Loss of the armed forces Statistical research. M., 2001.
Shearer W. The rise and fall of the Third Reich. In 2 books. M., 2010.

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  1. Dmitriy
    Dmitriy 3 May 2011 12: 39
    The Poles slipped on their stupidity, and fell on their pride.
  2. Escander
    Escander 3 May 2011 15: 29
    They have an interesting elite. At first, it rolls over the hill, then yells about repression. They would have been silent so that they would not stir up old linen and not discredit themselves.
  3. datur
    datur 3 May 2011 23: 21
    Psheks got what they deserve.
  4. andrew321
    andrew321 4 May 2011 13: 50
    why did the authors of the article forget the Ribentrop-Molotava pact? it’s clear that this is a real preparation for a stab in the back ... the Red Army launched an offensive only on the 17th due to its complete unpreparedness on September 1 ... also the Soviet leadership unexpectedly surprised such Wehrmacht striking successes in the war with the Poles ... because the Polish the army was considered one of the strongest in Europe ...
    1. Alex
      Alex 22 June 2014 16: 05
      Quote: andrew321
      because the Polish army was considered one of the strongest in Europe
      Good joke. Can I laugh?

      why did the authors of the article forget about the Ribentrop-Molotava pact
      What side is he here? Here it is more appropriate to talk about the Moscow four-party talks. Remind me and those around you who said that under no circumstances would they let the Red Army into Poland? And at the same time, who was more likely to agree to throw freedom under the feet of Germany so as not to lose his soul with the USSR?
    2. BM-13
      BM-13 15 November 2014 22: 29
      Quote: andrew321
      the red army launched an offensive only on the 17th due to its complete unavailability on September 1
      Where else is this nonsense?

      also the Soviet leadership unexpectedly such astounding successes of the Wehrmacht in the war with the Poles.
      Yeah, it was waiting for the victorious campaign of the Polish "winged hussars" to Berlin and the complete defeat of Germany in one week.
    3. BM-13
      BM-13 15 November 2014 22: 29
      Quote: andrew321
      the red army launched an offensive only on the 17th due to its complete unavailability on September 1
      Where else is this nonsense?

      also the Soviet leadership unexpectedly such astounding successes of the Wehrmacht in the war with the Poles.
      Yeah, it was waiting for the victorious campaign of the Polish "winged hussars" to Berlin and the complete defeat of Germany in one week.
  5. Vladimir
    Vladimir 4 May 2011 15: 16
    Poland is not the sun so that everything revolves around it, especially the conclusion of a pact with Germany. It was concluded by the USSR for completely different purposes and for other reasons. 17 September, Red Army units entered not because they were "not ready", but because was agreed and reflected in the plans.President of Poland Mosnitsky escaped from horror already on September 1, on the 5th, from no less horror for his unhappy life, the government ran away, on the 6th the Polish front collapsed, and on the 7th the Chief Commander Rydz, who had turned gray from animal fear, Smigly. The USSR was faced with the question of how to protect the western territories of Ukraine and Belarus, where the Poles constantly mocked the local population, and with the beginning of the war they began to simply kill, rape, and rob them. In general, it will take a long time to tell you this. It is evident that you have mastered the material at the level of the school curriculum on the History of Nenki-Ukraine Nesalezhnoy. Even if you want to understand everything, you will not understand. We need to throw off the branchy cranberries that they hung there over the years of "independence." genocide. Oh well, history always repeats itself.
    You should also know that in 1934 the Poles signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler, and then an agreement on mutual assistance and alliance, especially against the USSR. And the Second World War was unleashed by the Germans and Poles. Read what happened in Munich in 1938, and the Teszyn region of the Czech Republic .
    I have heard a lot of all sorts of tales, but this tale of yours about the Polish army as "one of the strongest in Europe" deserves a special place among these tales. In a special section "Rare nonsense".
  6. Enemigo
    Enemigo 4 May 2011 16: 30

    it can also be added that the USSR was delaying the introduction of troops into Poland and the final decision was made after Schulenburg's diplomatic request for further actions by the USSR Government. Schulenburg transparently hinted that if the USSR does not enter troops on the territory of the ZU and ZB, then the Wehrmacht will gladly take them. well, and in addition, it must be said that units of the Red Army and the Wehrmacht had clashes, for example, in the Lvov region, which kakbe hints that not everything was so smooth during the "stab in the back".
  7. Vladimir
    Vladimir 4 May 2011 17: 00
    In the so-called. secret protocol was determined by the border of contact between the Red Army and the Wehrmacht - along the rivers Narva, Vistula and San. The USSR waited 17 days. If the blow had been struck simultaneously by ours and the Germans, then the dead Poles, their mothers and children would have been an order of magnitude higher. Moreover, Stalin was simply sure that Poland's allies were the British and French, having declared war on the Germans on the 3rd day, nevertheless, they will enter the war, but they lived too well to exchange their lives for death in the name of some obscure Poles and their plumbers. Nevertheless, the Red Army lost about 1000 people, despite the fact that the already fled Rydz-Smigly gave the order not to engage in battle with the Red Army, and some of their herenal Juliusz Rummel issued an order for the Red Army to be considered an ally. Here is the occupation. The Poles, these great brave warriors from the "strongest army in Europe" surrendered to their families. Over 450 thousand (!!!) brave noble warriors were taken prisoner, of which about 17 thousand officers, who were then shot Germans near Katyn and in 4 more camps.
    1. Timoha
      Timoha 1 March 2012 13: 27
      Sorry, I clicked a minus by mistake, I wanted to answer a "wide Ukrainian". I read about it. "Crusade to the East" by Y. Mukhin.
  8. Vladimir
    Vladimir 4 May 2011 17: 09
    By the way, little is known why for some reason they don’t write about that, for these 17 days on various deep. the channels, intelligence, the Comintern, etc., were informed by the leadership of England and France that if they decide to enter the war, the USSR would strike the Wehrmacht immediately, breaking the pact unilaterally. It was a very convenient time to end Germany by winter 39- But the pampered Frenchmen and stiff Englishmen didn’t need this, although Churchill repeatedly spoke in the House of Lords and shouted with a good foul language that an alliance with Russia should be urgently concluded before it was too late.
    I personally regret one thing - after crossing the state border of the USSR and before the Victory, we lost about 2 million people just dead. As it turned out after 45 years - in vain. In Poland alone, we lost about 600 thousand dead. We had to stop on the border of the 1918 Empire and leave Hitler for England. There would be a completely different modern history.
  9. Stretch
    Stretch 17 July 2011 02: 57
    This has made my day. I wish all ponstigs were this good.
  10. dmitri077
    dmitri077 27 January 2012 00: 38
    pitiful attempts to justify themselves before a sovereign state! "for your own good, I will live at your house" ... why heap everything together? The Wehrmacht attacked, and we just arrived in time? funny if it weren't so sad ...
  11. Snoop
    Snoop 12 October 2012 11: 33
    The Poles themselves played out in the Commonwealth. The result of the occupation by the Germans. Hitler himself did not expect such a fabulous success. The minimum program is to tear off your ill-fated corridor, and there it will take out like a curve. None of the Germans expected the Polish state to fall apart within a few days.
  12. Alex
    Alex 22 June 2014 16: 16
    To be honest, I don't understand why we are still making excuses. Poland was not an ally of the USSR, territorial claims (despite the world after the Civil War) had and did not hesitate to present them, constantly arranged provocations, pursued a policy of true cultural genocide against Ukrainians and Belarusians (OUN is the result of a Polish policy, by no means Soviet). .. Yes, modern "democrats" such as the United States with allies and a tenth of this was enough to introduce "peacekeepers" and "democratic values" to bring on the wings of bombers. And we just returned ours, and even with minimal losses. It is necessary to erect a monument to Stalin for this, and not to suffer from a guilt complex before the Poles.
  13. BM-13
    BM-13 15 November 2014 22: 32
    Quote: andrew321
    the Polish army was considered one of the strongest in Europe

    Who was considered? Poles themselves? Then it is clear.
  14. Dinrich
    Dinrich 19 November 2015 15: 44
    Quote: andrew321
    because the Polish army was considered one of the strongest in Europe ...

    stronger than German, stronger than French and probably even stronger than English?