This Day in History - September 1, 1939
#1

Big DAY in history!

 

The Campaign in Poland

September 1 - October 1, 1939

The world in August 1939 was a world that held its breath. Fighting had ended in Spain, and the war in China had stagnated. But few people believed war would be avoided.

 

What was not certain was where and when. Adolf Hitler enjoyed tremendous popularity at home, and pro-Nazi factions were active in the United States, France, and Great Britain. His recent occupation of Czechoslovakia had raised alarms in capitals across Europe, even though many people ignorant of the violence and terror of the German political machine still looked to Hitler as a role model for their own governments.

 

Then the unthinkable happened. Joaquim von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s Foreign Minister, went to Moscow the last week of August to secure a Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. Stalin, perhaps trying to buy time with Hitler himself, ordered his Foreign Minister, Molotov, to sign on August 21, 1939. When this agreement was announced to the world, it left out some key terms: the dismemberment of Poland.

 

Anyone reading Mein Kampf could see what Hitler thought of Poland. A former province of Czarist Russia, Poland had been guaranteed access to the sea — the “Free Corridor†of Danzig — by the League of Nations. This agreement separated Prussia for Greater Germany by cutting a path through to the seaport of Danzig. This angered Hitler and many Germans, who saw the land as the birthright of Germans everywhere.

 

Moreover, Poland was not an Aryan land. Poles were untermensch, “inferior people,†only good as slaves or corpses. After the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, Hitler ordered his general staff to draw up plans for the invasion of Poland. The Germans would invade from the West, the Soviets from the Eat, and divide the country along previously agreed upon lines.

 

The SS took twelve prisoners out of Buchenwald and forced them to take poison, shot them after they had put on Polish uniforms. An SS Officer yelled in Polish into a radio that they had come to invade Germany, and then the SS fled.

 

On September 1, 1939, Hitler told the Nazi Reichstag that Poland had tried to invade Germany, and the Wehrmacht was returning fire since 5:45 AM. Actually, in a carefully planned and highly mobile attack codenamed Fall Weiss (Case White) planned by Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch, German land, sea, and air forces were moving rapidly into Poland.

 

Poland’s army in 1939 was totally unprepared for the new warfare it found itself in. Poland, like many armies, had large cavalry forces. What modern aircraft the Polish Air Force had were caught on the ground.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#2

Such a ludicrous farce, that tiny Poland would "come to invade Germany". It reminds me of the movie "The Mouse thar Roared", except that in this case the "Mouse" was really just an SS man pretending to be Polish!!

 

 

Jim :woof:

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#3

Wow, the Mouse That Roared. Seen that movie a few times. :pdt34:

 

Yes, what a farce. But many believed it. Well, many of the German folk.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#4

Just wanted to say how much I enjoy this category...This Day in History. When you think of the 6 years of terror and sufferring that all began on that day it is truly mind-boggling. At that time, the German people were so elated about the improved German economy that they were willing to believe anything to keep the ball rolling Unfortunately for Mr. Dumbkopf, that ball turned into the 'Redball Express' truckin' straight through the heart of the Reich! ;)

 

 

:woof: Jim

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#5

Unfortunately for Mr. Dumbkopf, that ball turned into the 'Redball Express' truckin' straight through the heart of the Reich! 

 

Nicely put! You have a real way with words this evening. :pdt34::pdt34:

 

Glad you are enjoying this feature. I too find it interesting and it's a great way to get people involved on the forum, for there is never a lack of topics to discuss regarding WWII.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#6

Link sent to me by James Hennessey

 

http://fcit.coedu.usf.edu/holocaust/resour...lery/NR1939.htm

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply


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