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The Invasion Of Poland Puzzle Logo
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With most of the German territories that were annexed by the Treaty of Versailles, at the end of World War 1, regained by Hitler, one remained. Danzig. Danzig had become a free city with a mixture of German and polish people. With Danzig Hitler would have totally reversed the Treaty of Versailles, and with that German honour would be restored.

"The Corridor" was created by the Treaty of Versailles to give Poland access to the Baltic sea. By creating the "The Corridor" it annexed east Prussia from Germany and now Hitler wanted access to Danzig and east Prussia via "The Corridor". Poland refused Hitler access across "The Corridor" and so the stage was set for a confrontation.

Nazi propaganda created stories of German minorities being abused in Danzig, and faking covert attacks by Polish troops on the German-Polish border. So creating excuses and a justification for military intervention. Britain and France pledged support for Poland and threatened war if Poland was attacked.

Hitler's Foreign minister, von Ribbentrop, flew to Moscow to meet Stalin's representative, Molotov. On the 23rd of August 1939, von Ribbentrop and Molotov signed a Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact, which in fact decided the fate of Poland between Germany and Russia. Within the Nazi-Soviet Pact were clauses about the partition of Poland, division of the country to be shared between Germany and Russia. The pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union "surprised the world", and allowed Hitler to deal with Poland without fear of Soviet reprisals.

Although the two ideologies were natural enemies, for the time being they were Allies. Hitler's war machine was not yet ready for a confrontation with the Soviet Union. But Hitler had desires on the vast lands of the Soviet Union and its people, who would become second class citizens, slaves to the Nazi empire. A confrontation was inevitable but for the moment the pact served both countries.

Both the Soviets and the Nazis believed the pact would deter any intervention from the west coming to the aide of Poland, leaving Poland to be carved up between the aggressors. But the British signed a Mutual-Assistance pact with Poland on the 25th of August, the very same day that Hitler had planned to invade Poland. Hitler delayed his plans for invasion and reverted back to negotiating with Poland, with regard to access, in the hope of avoiding an all out confrontation with the powers in the west, again because of his armed forces not being battle ready to face Britain and France in a full scale conflict.

But Poland still refused to accommodate Hitler and a week later, with the agreement with the Stalin signed, Hitler made his move in the east. On the 1st of September, 1939, Germany invaded Poland ignoring Britain and France's posturing. On the 2nd September Britain and France sent a final notice to Hitler warning him of the consequences if did not cease hostilities against Poland, and remove his invading troops.

But when Hitler ignored the ultimatum and the deadline passed on the 3rd of September, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Australia and New Zealand also declared war on Germany the same day. President Roosevelt spoke to the American people in a radio broadcast from the White House, his disappointment was evident at the very real prospect that Europe was about to erupt into war, "Until four-thirty this morning I had hoped against hope that some miracle would prevent a devastating war in Europe and bring to an end the invasion of Poland by Germany." He assured the nation that he hoped America would remain neutral, "I hope the United States will keep out of this war. I believe that it will. And I give you assurance(s) and reassurance that every effort of your Government will be directed toward that end."

South Africa and Ireland wanted to remain neutral, while Ireland stayed neutral the South African government was defeated in parliament, and on the 6th of September South Africa joined the Allies in the conflict and declared war on Nazi Germany. On the 10th September Canada also declared war on Nazi Germany.

Chamberlain (The British Prime Minister):
"This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German government the final notice. Stating unless we heard from them by 11.00 O'clock saying they were prepared to take their troops out of Poland. A state of war would exist between us. I must tell you now that no such invitation has been received, and consequently this country is now at war with Germany."

Although declaring war on Nazi Germany the conflict would remain in the east of Europe for a while, and the Allies entered into a period called 'The Phoney War'. Hitler's war machine was not ready to confront the Allies in the west, the time would come but at Hitler's time of choosing.

With the capture of Danzig it symbolized to the German people the end of the Treaty of Versailles that had embittered the German nation. With the Polish army using WW1 tactics, cavalry attacks on advancing tanks, it was swept away within two weeks by a well organized modern German army, and Poland fell first victim to 'Blitzkrieg' (Lighting War).

On the 17th of September the Soviet Union invaded Poland, and the two invading armies met at Brest-Litovsk, the site of the Russian surrender to Germany in 1918. The Soviet Union's justification for the invasion of Poland were that these areas of Poland they had just invaded and occupied, were rightfully territories of the Soviet Union.

For three weeks Warsaw radio had defiantly played the Polish national anthem continuously over the air, and on the 21st of September Warsaw was attacked. On the 27th of September Poland surrendered, after which Warsaw was reduced to rubble.

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For those visitors that have entered to this site, directly to this page, we would like to inform you that this page is part of a series of pages, within a section that acts as a backdrop to 'The Puzzle' project. 'The Puzzle' is a musical project that looks at different events from the 20th-21st Century.

This section is part of the 'World War II' zone. 'A Promise Of Peace' tells the story, in chronological order, of World War II.

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