June 6 marked the 80th anniversary of D-Day in World War II when the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy.

As Western leaders were commemorating the event that led to Europe’s liberation from fascism, it would have been prudent to keep in mind that just five years prior to the landings, the French socialist and future fascist politician Marcel Deat argued that French troops should not defend Poland against Nazi Germany. “Fighting alongside our Polish friends, for the common defense of our territories, our property and our freedoms, is a prospect that we can courageously envisage, if it is to contribute to maintaining peace,” he wrote in May 1939. “But to die for Danzig, no!”

Today, many fear that if Russian President Vladimir Putin wins his war of aggression against Ukraine, countries like Poland and the Baltic states will be his next targets. Some even suggest that instead of waiting for Russian forces to reach their borders, these countries should preemptively send troops to Ukraine to force Russia to withdraw from all Ukrainian territory and keep Putin at bay.