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Britain and Poland 1939-1945: the betrayed ally

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Poland was a problematic issue for the Big Powers throughout the Second World War. For Britain, Poland was a major stumbling block in British-Soviet relations as Polish-Soviet territorial disputes clashed with the needs of the British-Soviet-United States alliance. As the Polish government-in-exile attempted to obtain a guarantee of British support, and many thousands of Polish troops fought for the British cause, the perception grew that the Churchill government had a debt to pay. Ultimately, however, it was a debt which Britain could not discharge because of its dependence on Soviet participation in the war. In this book Anita Prazmowska looks at British policies from the point of view of wartime strategy, relating this to Polish government expectations and policies. She describes a tragic situation where Polish soldiers were trapped between the grandiose and unrealistic plans of their government and the harsh realities of a war which they fought with no prospect of a satisfactory outcome for them or their country.

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