Letters to David Irving on this Website

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[Letter edited for clarity.]

Pawel Szalamacha writes from Poland, August 31, 1998:

Dear Mr Irving,

I have read your Hitler's War. Two quick points:

  • You repeat the lie on the Polish cavalry charging German tanks in September 1939. There was not a single case. No officer would give such an order.

Actually, thanks to the new anti-tank rifle the Polish army struck off 30% of German tanks. This is a remarkable score, probably (my stress on probably) the best result of the war before campaign in Russia.

  • I have not read your book on the accident at Gibraltar which happened to Gen Sikorski. It appears that the Polish public opinion now seems to be convinced that this was no accident. The event happened close to the British military base, i.e. it was done either by the British, or with their approval. Note, that I am not blaming the British. We had the choice in 1939. Having considered the alternative ( i.e. 45-89), I am prone to think that maybe we should have yielded to Hitler, given up Gdansk [Danzig] and given him access to [East] Prussia or Silesia if necessary. Then after the fall of France, go to Moscow as the ally of Germany.   The "Buts:"
      (i) the Polish government although pretending to be autocratic was responding to democratic pressures in rejecting Hitler's demands and accepting Franco-British "alliance". I am afraid that a coup d'état would take place if Beck, Smigly, Moscicki would accept (compare Yugoslavia in 1941)
      (ii) the calculation was not that irrational, it was really in France's interest (not because of love for Poles) to stand up to her obligations and launch the offensive say around Sept 12. Documents prove that all the time Beck was aware (in 1938 and later) that he is playing a risky game while thinking the French would fight. However, after August 26, that is after the Molotov Pact, Beck should have yielded.

Pawel Szalamacha

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