Two years after Brest-Litovsk, Churchill himself was urging Britain to revise Versailles, bring Germany into the Allied fold and intervene in Russia's civil war -- against Lenin and Trotsky.
As for my thesis that the British war guarantee to Poland of March 31, 1939, was the "Fatal Blunder" that guaranteed World War II and brought down the British Empire, Hanson is mocking:
"Buchanan argues that, had the imperialist Winston Churchill not pushed poor Hitler into a corner, he would have never invaded Poland in 1939, which triggered an unnecessary Allied response."
First, Hanson should get his prime ministers straight. It was Neville Chamberlain who issued the war guarantee to Poland after the collapse of his Munich accord. Churchill was not even in the Cabinet.
Second, Hansen implies that I portray Hitler as a misunderstood victim. This is mendacious. Hitler's foul crimes are fully related.
Third, was it moral, Hanson, for Britain to promise the Poles military aid they could not and did not deliver, thus steeling Polish resolve to resist Hitler and guaranteeing Poland's annihilation?
Was it wise, Hanson, for Britain to declare a world war on the strongest nation in Europe over a town, Danzig, where the British prime minister thought Germany had the stronger claim?
What were the consequences for Poland of trusting in Britain?
Crucifixion on a Nazi-Soviet cross, the Katyn massacre of the Polish officer corps, Treblinka and Auschwitz, annihilation of the Home Army, millions of brave Polish dead, half a century of Bolshevik terror.
And how did Churchill honor Britain's commitment to Poland?
During trips to Moscow, Churchill bullied the Polish prime minister into ceding to Stalin that half of his country Stalin had gotten from his devil's pact with Hitler, and yielded to Stalin's demand for annexation of the Baltic republics and Bolshevik rule of a dozen nations of Eastern and Central Europe.
Was it worth 50 million dead, Hanson, so Stalin, whose victims, as of Sept. 1, 1939, were 1,000 times Hitler's, could occupy not only Poland, for which Britain went to war, but all of Christian Europe to the Elbe?
Churchill was right when he told FDR in December 1941 it was "The Unnecessary War" and right again in 1948, when he wrote that, in Stalin, the world now faced "even worse perils" than those of Hitler.
So, what had it all been for?
Historian Hanson should go back to tutoring undergrads about the Peloponnesian War and the Syracuse Expedition.
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