General Sikorski and the Polish government in exile 1939-43 : a study of Polish internal emigre politics in wartime.
The thesis, "General Sikorski and the Polish Government in Exile 1939-43: A
Study of Polish Internal Émigré Politics in Wartime", seeks to examine the impact of
Polish 'domestic' politics on wartime diplomacy in exile. Foreign policy naturally
dominated the exile agenda, but this thesis considers the extent to which internal politics
affected the Polish government's ability to pursue its wartime and post-war aims.
The thesis considers whether internal divisions in exile and in the Polish resistance
undermined national unity and diverted attention away from the war effort to the
anticipated power-struggle after liberation. It assesses the degree to which domestic
opposition hampered Sikorski's ability to achieve rapprochement with the USSR, the
contribution his critics in the Polish army and wartime administration made to the collapse
of his Soviet strategy and the extent to which Sikorski's policies failed because they
constituted too blatant a contradiction of what the majority of Poles perceived as national
traditions or national interests. It also considers whether his inability to impose his vision
of post-war Poland on his compatriots destroyed the prospects of a new era of Polish-
Soviet relations after liberation.
Within this context, the thesis argues the impact of national history and tradition on
exile foreign and 'domestic' policy. It assesses the consequences of key features of Polish
interwar politics and society on politics in exile. It also examines the general nature of
'politics in exile', the interplay of Polish exile 'domestic' and foreign policy, and the nature
and consequences of Sikorski's leadership.
Sikorski came to power with a unique opportunity to unite the Poles in the fight for
liberation. This thesis examines the impact on Polish history and the history of the Second
World War of his failure to achieve this aim.