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Warsaw Alliance (EEC)

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Bundesarchiv Bild 183-30483-002, Warschau, Konferenz Europäischer Länder...

Founding Conference of the Warsaw Pact in 1919


History

The Warsaw Alliance is an collective defense organization of states in Central Europe. It was established on August 1, 1919 in Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland. The treaty was signed in Warsaw on July 23, 1919 and official copies were made in German, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, and Magyar, and Ukrainian.

The newly formed states in the Baltics and Poland from Germany's perspective formed a "buffer" and moved the frontier between Germany and Russia eastward. To strengthen that "buffer" Germany also sought military agreements with the new states. To some extent, there was mutual benefit, as the new states also valued their political independence from Russia, although arguably at the expense of economic and military dependence on Germany. Additionally, Germany sought a unified command structure with allied states, the lack of which had hampered German and Austro-Hungarian cooperation in the  Great War.

The selection of Warsaw was symbolic to give the overall appearance of a voluntary alliance of sovereign states, rather than forced by the occupying Germans.

The organization began as a German sponsored and directed military organization. It originated out of secret negotiations to bring Polish and Czech soldiers into the fight on the Western Front during the Great War. The Czech Legion initially supported the Entente, and regardless arrived too late to provide support, but as a sizable force posed a threat to German and Austrian security. Given Karl I's reluctance to use armed force to stabilize Austria-Hungary, Germany opted for control of what was to become the genesis of the Czechoslovak national army.

Poland nominally supported the Central Powers as against Russia, and ultimately sent a sizable force after Germany provided very specific guarantees for establishment of an independent Polish state. After the Entente Powers requested an Armistice, the organizational structure became more formalized, which some historians characterize as in reality coerced by the occupying German armies.

Ironically, the alliance did provide considerable security to the Baltic State, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine, during the Russian Civil War, and in the aftermath ensuring the independence of these states, allowing regular German troops to evacuate.

It focused on containing and preferably defeating, the Bolshevik Red Army, and providing logistical assistance to the "White" Armies fighting in the Russian Civil War. It had an additional purpose containing and controlling the various irregular forces collectively known as "Freikorps" and ensuring stability in the newly independent states created from the Russian Empire. Germany also sought to maintain existing Baltic German control in the Baltics, in part by ensuring, especially in the Baltic State, the irregular German lead forces formed the national armies.  Similarly, Germany wanted some measure of control over the fiercely independent Polish Army. The Alliance was expanded in 1919-23 with the addition of  Yugoslavia and Ukraine. Ukraine while not considered a founding member, was invited to join shortly thereafter. This was in conjunction with German military support to the German sympathetic government. While Germany phrased Ukraine's membership as by invitation, it is unlikely that Ukraine was in a position to reject the "invitation" no more so than the other founding members. Most members of the European Economic Community also joined the Warsaw Alliance upon joining the EEC.

Members

Founding members:


Member states of the Warsaw Alliance agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. An attack against any member is considered an attack against all the parties. The Alliance became somewhat less relevant with the series of treaties between France and Germany in the 1940s and between the EEC members and Russia, and the establishment of the European Confederation in the 1960s.

Structure

The Warsaw Alliance has a unified command structure for alliance armed forces, which has authority over the troops assigned to it by member states. It is lead by the Commander in Chief, Central European Defense Organization. Leadership is rotated  among the larger states with Generaloberst, or equivalent ranking general officers, who have been previously posted to the German General Staff. In practice this has almost exclusively been a German or a Polish general. The Alliance still functions, although many of its roles are duplicated by other European Confederation cooperative military structures. The Alliance has participated in military intervention, however, in the Balkans and North Africa.

Current member states

Austria (1919/1922)
Baltic State (1919)
Banat Republic (1922)
Belarus (~1919)
Bulgaria (1922)
Czechoslovakia (1919/1923)
Denmark (1929)
Finland (1919)
Germany (1919)
Hungary (1919/1922)
Yugoslavia (1922)
Lithuania (EEC) (1919)
Netherlands (1929)
Poland (1919)
Romania (1929)
Serbia (1932)
Turkey (1922)
Ukraine (1919)

Austria/Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Hungary joined as independent countries after the Second Congress of Berlin.

Former member states


Logo This alternate history related article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.Commander in Chief Central European Defense Organization

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