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The Katyn Forest Massacre

Article about: Or.......maybe the guy who originally made the poster just liked the way the couple of slanted letter tops looked...never knowing that someday in the future someone would "patent"

  1. #131

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    It is utterly impossible to calculate or figure if the murdered officers would or would not have made any difference to the war and it's course and to the subsequent World itself. Can anyone say absolutely that there was no "Polish Rommel" or even a "Polish Napoleon" amongst their ranks? It's beyond science fiction to say "what might have been Would have been" and call it sound reasoning. The bottom line being that No one can say what the future Will be of Anyone. That anyone can say that none of the officers or men killed would have made any difference to anything is hubris. What would have been the course of the World politics if, after WWI ended, such people as Runstedt, Manstein, Goering, Doenitz, or Hitler himself had no longer existed-if they had been taken prisoner during the hostility and executed rather than released?
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  2. #132

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    It is utterly impossible to calculate or figure if the murdered officers would or would not have made any difference to the war and it's course and to the subsequent World itself. Can anyone say absolutely that there was no "Polish Rommel" or even a "Polish Napoleon" amongst their ranks? It's beyond science fiction to say "what might have been Would have been" and call it sound reasoning. The bottom line being that No one can say what the future Will be of Anyone. That anyone can say that none of the officers or men killed would have made any difference to anything is hubris. What would have been the course of the World politics if, after WWI ended, such people as Runstedt, Manstein, Goering, Doenitz, or Hitler himself had no longer existed-if they had been taken prisoner during the hostility and executed rather than released?


    ...or indeed if God had not created mankind in the first place



    But back to the point of issue you raised which I think is the futility of discussing the "what if" rather than the "what did" of history?

    I would humbly disagree.

    For example, I think it is perfectly sound and not in the realms of science-fiction to argue that had the Germans not invaded the USSR and the Japanese had not bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 thus dragging both the into war proper and the Allied camp, Britain and her Commonwealth forces along with the Polish forces in the West at that point in history of 1941 was not and would never have been in a position to defeat the Germans who by then were occupying most of western and Eastern Europe.

    I think it also sound and reasonable to argue that even if all the Polish officers held in German and Soviet PoW camps had been "teleported" out of captivity, the small force that was the Polish Army of the West was not and would never have been in a position to fight its way back through Germany (or Italy) and push the Red Army and Polish communist 1st and 2nd Armies of several millions of men across Poland and back in the USSR—by itself.

    As Anders told the commanders of the 5th Infantry who did want to fight their way from Italy back to Poland, their transport would have run out of (British) fuel before they reached the Alps!

    Polish historian Jozef Garlinksi recounted in one of his papers a common slogan among the troops of 2PolCorps was ‘One atom bomb and we could again return to Lwow'... now that would have changed the course of Polish history!

    I also don't believe the Polish gold reserves were sufficient to fund such a single-handed campaign, after all Great Britain one of the wealthiest nations in the world at that time was itself almost bankrupt through its own war effort—even with lend-lease there was no free-lunch or arms and war materiel.

    As to a "Polish Rommel" or even a "Polish Napoleon" ... I think there was one and that man was Lieutenant-General Władysław Anders
    Last edited by StefanM; 11-20-2012 at 10:50 AM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  3. #133

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    One has only to look at Greece and their micro army with little or no multitudinous reserves of money funds available to see what Could be done with a disadvantageously small and underpowered army under a skillful and resourceful military leadership. Poland may or may not have been able to duplicate or even imitate the Greek example, but with the near total extermination of the Polish military elite and experienced leaders, we'll never know today what might have been.
    And, yes-Greece did, indeed, ultimately lose, of course, as we all know, but it took a Focused and Determined concentration of major military allotment to Do it. If small disadvantaged countries like this could cause This much trouble for the "big boys", then the cumulative effect of such efforts being duplicated in more than one country at a time could most Certainly have seriously affected the war and it's courses. All academic today, though, and will, I imagine, be a topic of debate in the halls of the historians for many years to come....
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  4. #134

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    Poland may or may not have been able to duplicate or even imitate the Greek example, but with the near total extermination of the Polish military elite and experienced leaders, we'll never know today what might have been.
    Though that may be true of those for those that were captured by the Soviets, it is an exaggeration to say there was a near total extermination of the Polish military elite as many were either still alive in German captivity or had escaped to serve in the Polish Army of the West and the Polish government-in-exile.

    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    And, yes-Greece did, indeed, ultimately lose, of course, as we all know, but it took a Focused and Determined concentration of major military allotment to Do it. If small disadvantaged countries like this could cause This much trouble for the "big boys", then the cumulative effect of such efforts being duplicated in more than one country at a time could most Certainly have seriously affected the war and it's courses. All academic today, though, and will, I imagine, be a topic of debate in the halls of the historians for many years to come....
    Greece was not Poland. Poland was liberated (for want of a better word) by the Red Army who with the aid of the Polish communist 1st and 2nd armies went on to smash their way into Berlin. In Greece, there was no standing army of millions of Red Army and Polish communist troops and equally if not more importantly Britain and the US did not want to go to war with the USSR over Poland or any of the other countries it agreed with Stalin the Russians could have in their "sphere of influence".

    Poland had maybe the largest and most highly organised underground army during WWII. This well commanded army was generally considered to number at least 400,000 but was not able to liberate its homeland from the Nazis let alone after the entry of the Soviet army into Poland and the mass arrests of 50-100,000 AK men who were either deported to the gulag or conscripted into the Polish communist army under Soviet command.

    Sikorski had firmly believed that the best possible chance that Poland had of influencing the end-game for Poland was to have those released by the so-called amnesty fight in a Polish Army alongside the Soviets but Anders disagreed strongly and pushed for the transfer of the Polish army out of "the inhuman land" to the British zone of operations. To me this is another of those interesting "what ifs"... what if Sikorski's preferred plan was the one actioned would Poland's fate have been any different? Maybe maybe not
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #135

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    As you said, this can not be anything but yet another "what if" situation, as there is no way possible to retro-predict what may or may not have happened if the Polish officer cadre and the intelligentsia had not been wholesale massacred by the Russian Soviets. My Personal belief is that it may very well have made an Enormous difference to the war and it's courses. Whether the murdered military and other leaders had led an actual Military fight, or if they had lived to organize and lead what could have been a crippling Guerilla campaign of armed resistance as seen in such countries as Serbia , Greece, Finland, Russia and many more, it's impossible to say what the outcome could have or would have been. At the Very least, such resistance could have-and Did in other countries-tied up a Lot of the German military resources and thus diverted these troops and manpower and monies from active battlefields in other areas and countries where they were much needed. You mention yourself the huge resistance organization in Poland-numbering 400,000 or more. What might it have been able to achieve or make happen if all of their trained professional leaders had been a part of it? No, the occupation forces were not able to be expelled, but if All of the proper leaders had been available and actively guiding them? It is unreasonable to assert that such things make little or no difference, as they certainly do. Every single personnel-whether it's military, logistics, medical or intelligence and strategists that is tied up and diverted dealing with situations like these is one less such present and available on other crucial fronts. History is full of David and Goliath conflicts. The bottom line here is, I guess, the fact that Poland was robbed of a vitally needed strength and resource at a time when it absolutely needed it most. The fraction of leaders that were left to them made a great difference -imagine then, if they had been up to full strength. To say that the cruel and unnecessary deaths of the murdered made no difference to the larger picture of the war makes their lives lost meaningless. It may or may Not be true, but the end of the story is that we Can and Will Never Know.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #136

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    Surely these officers could only have contributed if they hadn't been captured by the Soviets in the first place? That could also be said for those that were captured by the Germans.

    Do we know what percentage of total officer cadre was captured by the Soviets compared to those captured by the Germans and those that escaped to France, were interned in neutral countries or remained to fight in the underground? That IMHO would be an interesting statistic to look at
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  7. #137

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    Quote by 4thskorpion View Post
    Do we know what percentage of total officer cadre was captured by the Soviets compared to those captured by the Germans and those that escaped to France, were interned in neutral countries or remained to fight in the underground? That IMHO would be an interesting statistic to look at
    Interesting thought... My own family has quite a mix. My grandad, grandmother, dad and uncle escaped to France and hence to the UK. One of my great uncles was shot at Katyn, another, a civilian, was shipped off to Dachau for persistently fomenting dissent, another escaped via Romania and spent much of the war in Cyprus and another great uncle was a German POW. Go figure...

  8. #138

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    It's that "JUDE-NKVD..." poster again

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Without going into my arguments about its dubious headline and propaganda relevance again, I think I can now demonstrate that is probably not a period poster.

    Since last posting on the subject I thought I would try to find out if the font used to typeset the heading "JUDE-NKVD..." was one available in 1943 or at the very least was in period.

    I already knew roughly the font style and that it could be "Kabel" which was designed by Rudolf Koch and released in 1927 by the Klingspor foundry in Germany. So definitely period. But the letter "K" and the "V" used in the poster doesn't quite match the 1927 "Kabel" font, as can be seen in the attached font samples, "Kabel" is the top row. Although the other letters have similar characteristics of the "Kabel" font.

    So after a little more in-depth research I learned that the Walter Brendel (1930-1992) a German typographic designer cut his own version of the "Kabel" font in the 1970's which was named the "Koblenz" family of fonts and was available from the TypeShop Collection of Hamburg, Germany. Brendel owned of over 28 type shops across Europe employing about six hundred people and there were 65 font families in the TypeShop Collection. Brendel along Dr. Peter Karow came up with IKARUS - powerful software for making font outlines, and the first serious project to build a font library based on curved outlines - over a decade before the Bézier curves system of font outlines used in the PostScript language!

    Looking at the shapes of the "N" and the "K" characters in particular, the 1970s font "Koblenz" is the one used to typeset the headline "JUDE-NKVD..." Katyn poster and therefor it is not a period propaganda poster. "Koblenz TS-Heavy" is the font line directly underneath the original "JUDE-NKVD..." heading which I re-spaced to try and match the dreadful kerning of the original typeset heading.

    The fourth iteration of the typeset "JUDE-NKVD..." samples is a 2010 cut of Brendel's "Koblenz " font by SoftMaker and is named "Koblenz Serial" but I believe it is a web-font not a typesetting font.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also the ellipsis in "Kabel" are square whereas in the 1970s "Koblenz" they are diamond shape as they are in the original poster heading.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If I am correct and the headline font used on the printed poster is a post 1970 production then the German language of "JUDE" combined with "NKVD" was not a relevant propaganda message of the period ... as I originally suggested
    Last edited by StefanM; 12-08-2012 at 02:35 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #139

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    Good work Sherlock! That should effectively settle matters.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  10. #140

    Default Re: The Katyn Forest Massacre

    4thskorpion... you're giving me a headache with this poster. Maybe you should carbon date it....

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