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Poland's foreign policy: September 1938 - September 1939

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On 31 March 1939, Britain, breaking with hitherto steadfastly pursued policy, declared her commitment to the defence of Poland in the event of a German attack. This gesture was a dramatic change in Britain's foreign policy, not merely in relation to one East European state, but more notably in relation to Europe as a whole. Not surprisingly, the declaration has been the focal point of historical attention, although the events following have received less attention. The crisis days of March 1939 saw a chain of events, not necessarily of the same origin or character but which in sum total caused disquiet in European capitals, most clearly in London. Because of this it is easy to over-look the long-term nature of some of the events which culminated in March 1939 and thus, in consequence, to overestimate the effect of the British guarantee upon Polish foreign policy.

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