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Timeline Event: Germany Invades Poland

Sep 01, 1939

Germany Invades Poland

Germany invaded Poland and touched off WWII. The Germans had arranged a series of elaborate pretexts for launching the attack. Berlin claimed Polish army regulars started firing on Germans along the frontier and that the fire was returned beginning at 4:45am. Hitler addressed the Reichstag, declaring "I am determined to eliminate from the German frontiers the element of insecurity, the atmosphere which permanently resembles that of civil war." German forces slammed into Poland from Silesia, East Prussia, and Slovakia, 1,500,000 men (52 divisions) against a Polish army a third that size. Germany unveiled the blitzkrieg--highly mobile armor and tactical aircraft leading the ground forces through and around the Polish defenses. Large scale pincers movements were executed to perfection. Britain and France notified Germany that unless military action ceased, they would have to come to Poland's aid. Britain and France ordered total mobilization. Danzig was proclaimed to be a part of Germany by Gauleiter Forster. Italy proclaimed its nonbelligerent status. Norway, Switzerland, and Finland declares their neutrality. Russia mobilized and lowered its draft age from 21 to 19.

Theater:  European Theater

ItemType:  Event

Source:  World War II History

Date Added: 2010-09-01

Tags: Poland, Germany, Invasion, Blitzkrieg, War

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