A Fatal Guarantee: Poland, 1939

How did Britain come to make the promises to Poland that resulted in a declaration of war against Germany in September 1939? Sir Nicholas Henderson unravels a curious story.

Józef Beck, Polish foreign minister in the 1930s
Józef Beck, Polish foreign minister in the 1930s

"It was in virtue of this that we went to war." Thus, William Strang, a Foreign Office official and later Permanent Under-Secretary, described the guarantee of Poland’s independence that the British and French Government gave that country on March 30th, 1939.

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