Invasion of Poland - Wikipedia

World War II: The Invasion of Poland and the Winter War.



the invasion of poland

At 4:45 a.m., some 1.5 million German troops invade Poland all along its 1,750-mile border with German-controlled territory. Simultaneously, the German Luftwaffe bombed Polish airfields, and German warships and U-boats attacked Polish naval forces in the Baltic Sea. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler claimed the massive invasion was a defensive action, but Britain and France were not convinced. On September 3, they declared war on Germany, initiating World War II.

To Hitler, the conquest of Poland would bring Lebensraum, or “living space,” for the German people. According to his plan, the “racially superior” Germans would colonize the territory and the native Slavs would be enslaved. German expansion had begun in 1938 with the annexation of Austria and then continued with the occupation of the Sudetenland and then all of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Both had been accomplished without igniting hostilities with the major powers, and Hitler hoped that his invasion of Poland would likewise be tolerated.

Shortly after noon on August 31, Hitler ordered hostilities against Poland to begin at 4:45 a.m. the next morning. At 8 p.m. on August 31, Nazi S.S. troops wearing Polish uniforms staged a phony invasion of Germany, damaging several minor installations on the German side of the border. They also left behind a handful of dead concentration camp prisoners in Polish uniforms to serve as further evidence of the supposed Polish invasion, which Nazi propagandists publicized as an unforgivable act of aggression.

At 4:45 a.m. on September 1, the invasion began. Nazi diplomats and propagandists scrambled to head off hostilities with the Western powers, but on September 2 Britain and France demanded that Germany withdraw by September 3 or face war. At 11 p.m. on September 3, the British ultimatum expired, and 15 minutes later British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went on national radio to solemnly announce that Britain was at war with Germany. Australia, New Zealand, and India followed suit shortly thereafter. At 5:00 p.m., France declared war on Germany.

In Poland, German forces advanced at a dizzying rate. Employing a military strategy known as the blitzkrieg, or “lightning war,” armored divisions smashed through enemy lines and isolated segments of the enemy, which were encircled and captured by motorized German infantry while the panzer tanks rushed forward to repeat the pattern. Meanwhile, the sophisticated German air force–the Luftwaffe –destroyed Polish air capability, provided air support for the blitzkrieg, and indiscriminately bombed Polish cities in an effort to further terrorize the enemy.

The Polish army was able to mobilize one million men but was hopelessly outmatched in every respect. Rather than take a strong defensive position, troops were rushed to the front to confront the Germans and were systematically captured or annihilated. In a famously ill-fated strategy, Polish commanders even sent horsed cavalry into battle against the heavy German armor. By September 8, German forces had reached the outskirts of Warsaw, having advanced 140 miles in the first week of the invasion.

The Soviet invasion of Poland was a Soviet military operation that started without a formal declaration of war on 17 September 1939. On that morning, 16 days after Germany invaded Poland from the west, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east. The invasion and the battle lasted for the following 20 days and ended on 6 October 1939 with the two-way division and annexation of the entire territory of the Second Polish Republic by both Germany and the Soviet Union. [7] The joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland was secretly agreed to following the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on 23 August 1939. [8]

After the end of World War II in Europe , the USSR signed a brand new border agreement with the Polish communists on 16 August 1945. This agreement recognized the status quo as the new official border between the two countries with the exception of the region around Białystok and a minor part of Galicia east of the San river around Przemyśl , which were returned to Poland later on. [17]

The day after the Germans and Soviets signed the pact, the French and British military delegations urgently requested a meeting with Soviet military negotiator Kliment Voroshilov . [58] On 25 August, Voroshilov told them " [ i ] n view of the changed political situation, no useful purpose can be served in continuing the conversation." [58] The same day, Britain and Poland signed the British-Polish Pact of Mutual Assistance . [59] In this accord, Britain committed itself to the defence of Poland, guaranteeing to preserve Polish independence. [59]

On 14 September, with Poland's collapse near, the Soviet press began making ominous statements about Poland. [69] The undeclared war between the Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan at the Battles of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan) in the Far East ended with the Molotov – Tojo agreement between the USSR and Japan which was signed on 15 September, with a ceasefire taking effect on 16 September. [70] [69] On 17 September, Molotov delivered a declaration of war to Wacław Grzybowski , the Polish Ambassador in Moscow:

Molotov declared on the radio that all treaties between the Soviet Union and Poland were now void; the Polish government had abandoned its people and effectively ceased to exist. [27] [72] On the same day, the Red Army crossed the border into Poland. [1] [67]

The Red Army entered the eastern regions of Poland with seven field armies , containing between 450,000 and 1,000,000 troops, split between two fronts. [1] Comandarm 2nd rank Mikhail Kovalyov led the Red Army in the invasion on the Belarusian Front, while Comandarm 1st rank Semyon Timoshenko commanded the invasion on the Ukrainian Front . [1]

At 4:45 a.m., some 1.5 million German troops invade Poland all along its 1,750-mile border with German-controlled territory. Simultaneously, the German Luftwaffe bombed Polish airfields, and German warships and U-boats attacked Polish naval forces in the Baltic Sea. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler claimed the massive invasion was a defensive action, but Britain and France were not convinced. On September 3, they declared war on Germany, initiating World War II.

To Hitler, the conquest of Poland would bring Lebensraum, or “living space,” for the German people. According to his plan, the “racially superior” Germans would colonize the territory and the native Slavs would be enslaved. German expansion had begun in 1938 with the annexation of Austria and then continued with the occupation of the Sudetenland and then all of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Both had been accomplished without igniting hostilities with the major powers, and Hitler hoped that his invasion of Poland would likewise be tolerated.

Shortly after noon on August 31, Hitler ordered hostilities against Poland to begin at 4:45 a.m. the next morning. At 8 p.m. on August 31, Nazi S.S. troops wearing Polish uniforms staged a phony invasion of Germany, damaging several minor installations on the German side of the border. They also left behind a handful of dead concentration camp prisoners in Polish uniforms to serve as further evidence of the supposed Polish invasion, which Nazi propagandists publicized as an unforgivable act of aggression.

At 4:45 a.m. on September 1, the invasion began. Nazi diplomats and propagandists scrambled to head off hostilities with the Western powers, but on September 2 Britain and France demanded that Germany withdraw by September 3 or face war. At 11 p.m. on September 3, the British ultimatum expired, and 15 minutes later British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went on national radio to solemnly announce that Britain was at war with Germany. Australia, New Zealand, and India followed suit shortly thereafter. At 5:00 p.m., France declared war on Germany.

In Poland, German forces advanced at a dizzying rate. Employing a military strategy known as the blitzkrieg, or “lightning war,” armored divisions smashed through enemy lines and isolated segments of the enemy, which were encircled and captured by motorized German infantry while the panzer tanks rushed forward to repeat the pattern. Meanwhile, the sophisticated German air force–the Luftwaffe –destroyed Polish air capability, provided air support for the blitzkrieg, and indiscriminately bombed Polish cities in an effort to further terrorize the enemy.

The Polish army was able to mobilize one million men but was hopelessly outmatched in every respect. Rather than take a strong defensive position, troops were rushed to the front to confront the Germans and were systematically captured or annihilated. In a famously ill-fated strategy, Polish commanders even sent horsed cavalry into battle against the heavy German armor. By September 8, German forces had reached the outskirts of Warsaw, having advanced 140 miles in the first week of the invasion.

The Soviet invasion of Poland was a Soviet military operation that started without a formal declaration of war on 17 September 1939. On that morning, 16 days after Germany invaded Poland from the west, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east. The invasion and the battle lasted for the following 20 days and ended on 6 October 1939 with the two-way division and annexation of the entire territory of the Second Polish Republic by both Germany and the Soviet Union. [7] The joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland was secretly agreed to following the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on 23 August 1939. [8]

After the end of World War II in Europe , the USSR signed a brand new border agreement with the Polish communists on 16 August 1945. This agreement recognized the status quo as the new official border between the two countries with the exception of the region around Białystok and a minor part of Galicia east of the San river around Przemyśl , which were returned to Poland later on. [17]

The day after the Germans and Soviets signed the pact, the French and British military delegations urgently requested a meeting with Soviet military negotiator Kliment Voroshilov . [58] On 25 August, Voroshilov told them " [ i ] n view of the changed political situation, no useful purpose can be served in continuing the conversation." [58] The same day, Britain and Poland signed the British-Polish Pact of Mutual Assistance . [59] In this accord, Britain committed itself to the defence of Poland, guaranteeing to preserve Polish independence. [59]

On 14 September, with Poland's collapse near, the Soviet press began making ominous statements about Poland. [69] The undeclared war between the Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan at the Battles of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan) in the Far East ended with the Molotov – Tojo agreement between the USSR and Japan which was signed on 15 September, with a ceasefire taking effect on 16 September. [70] [69] On 17 September, Molotov delivered a declaration of war to Wacław Grzybowski , the Polish Ambassador in Moscow:

Molotov declared on the radio that all treaties between the Soviet Union and Poland were now void; the Polish government had abandoned its people and effectively ceased to exist. [27] [72] On the same day, the Red Army crossed the border into Poland. [1] [67]

The Red Army entered the eastern regions of Poland with seven field armies , containing between 450,000 and 1,000,000 troops, split between two fronts. [1] Comandarm 2nd rank Mikhail Kovalyov led the Red Army in the invasion on the Belarusian Front, while Comandarm 1st rank Semyon Timoshenko commanded the invasion on the Ukrainian Front . [1]

PHOTO Left: Soviet and German Tank Crews, PHOTO Middle: Soviet troops on the move towards Grodno, PHOTO right: The Chicago Tribune, September 17, 1939: "Reds Invide Poland: Russians cross border to 'Protect Minorities'"

Presented by Viktor Suvorov, former Soviet military (GRU) intelligence officer at the United States Naval Academy, October 7, 2009

JavaScript Image Carousel

At 4:45 a.m., some 1.5 million German troops invade Poland all along its 1,750-mile border with German-controlled territory. Simultaneously, the German Luftwaffe bombed Polish airfields, and German warships and U-boats attacked Polish naval forces in the Baltic Sea. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler claimed the massive invasion was a defensive action, but Britain and France were not convinced. On September 3, they declared war on Germany, initiating World War II.

To Hitler, the conquest of Poland would bring Lebensraum, or “living space,” for the German people. According to his plan, the “racially superior” Germans would colonize the territory and the native Slavs would be enslaved. German expansion had begun in 1938 with the annexation of Austria and then continued with the occupation of the Sudetenland and then all of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Both had been accomplished without igniting hostilities with the major powers, and Hitler hoped that his invasion of Poland would likewise be tolerated.

Shortly after noon on August 31, Hitler ordered hostilities against Poland to begin at 4:45 a.m. the next morning. At 8 p.m. on August 31, Nazi S.S. troops wearing Polish uniforms staged a phony invasion of Germany, damaging several minor installations on the German side of the border. They also left behind a handful of dead concentration camp prisoners in Polish uniforms to serve as further evidence of the supposed Polish invasion, which Nazi propagandists publicized as an unforgivable act of aggression.

At 4:45 a.m. on September 1, the invasion began. Nazi diplomats and propagandists scrambled to head off hostilities with the Western powers, but on September 2 Britain and France demanded that Germany withdraw by September 3 or face war. At 11 p.m. on September 3, the British ultimatum expired, and 15 minutes later British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went on national radio to solemnly announce that Britain was at war with Germany. Australia, New Zealand, and India followed suit shortly thereafter. At 5:00 p.m., France declared war on Germany.

In Poland, German forces advanced at a dizzying rate. Employing a military strategy known as the blitzkrieg, or “lightning war,” armored divisions smashed through enemy lines and isolated segments of the enemy, which were encircled and captured by motorized German infantry while the panzer tanks rushed forward to repeat the pattern. Meanwhile, the sophisticated German air force–the Luftwaffe –destroyed Polish air capability, provided air support for the blitzkrieg, and indiscriminately bombed Polish cities in an effort to further terrorize the enemy.

The Polish army was able to mobilize one million men but was hopelessly outmatched in every respect. Rather than take a strong defensive position, troops were rushed to the front to confront the Germans and were systematically captured or annihilated. In a famously ill-fated strategy, Polish commanders even sent horsed cavalry into battle against the heavy German armor. By September 8, German forces had reached the outskirts of Warsaw, having advanced 140 miles in the first week of the invasion.



410IiB+qFvL