Hitler's Germany invades Poland... September 1, 1939

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by v2, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    September 1, 1939 -- A DAY THAT SHOOK THE WORLD. As this vintage newsreel from British Pathe notes, the German invasion of Poland gave the world a new word, "blitzkrieg." Question: Who came to Poland's aid when she was so viciously attacked?

    Germany invades Poland - British Pathé
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Thanks for posting. An event that started a world tragedy.
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    To the brave Poles that fought hard against overwhelming odds, :salute:. It's a crying shame that Poland was abandoned in her time of need.
     
  4. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    France did. Unfortunately for Poland the newly constructed German West Wall fortress system worked as advertised, stopping the invasion so quickly that France could not create a breach for their army to pour through.
     
  6. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Britain, her Commonwealth and empire and france and her empre declared war on Germany as a result of the german agression. The war was not resolved until 5 1/2 years later. It caused the French a humiliating defeat, abd broke the back of the British economy, for which she gained very little.

    In 1944 when faced with the submersion of the Polish free state, Churchill did all that he could to try and save the democratic movement. By then Britains power was just about done, and it was beyond Britains abaility to save Poland from nearly 50 years of oppression.

    I always get a lump in the throat when reading about the destruction of Poland, and our inability to do anything about it. What happened in warsaw later in the war was an heroic tragedy
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    French Plan.
    West Wall defenses were strongest between Saarlouis and Saarbrucken.
    French 4th Army would advance to Saarbrucken. This was probably a diversion to pin German defenders in place.
    French 3rd and 5th Armies were to breach West Wall defenses North of Saarlouis and East of Saarbrucken and drive into Germany.
    .....Follow on French infantry would probably encircle German defenses between Saarlouis and Saarbrucken. Starve them out.
    1939 Saar Offensive Objectives.jpg


    The Results.
    French 3rd Army appears to have advanced no futher then the border.
    French 4th Army advanced to the West Wall as planned.
    French 5th Army attempt to breach German defenses east of Saarbrucken was a failure.
    .....Sustained about 2,000 casualties.
    .....It appears the French Army did not comprehend how the German defensive system worked. Otherwise the attack would have begun with French combat engineers creating lanes in West Wall minefields for armored units to drive through.
    .....Britain did not participate in the offensive and encouraged France to end the operation. That certainly factored into the French decision to quit rather then keep attacking.
    West Wall map and French invasion..jpg
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    :salute:

    A day of infamy that will never be forgotten.
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I always wondered why the Allies went to war with Germany over this, but not Russia who also invaded them.
     
  10. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Let us not forget that the Poles also faced a second invasion. Soviet forces had been holding fast along their designated invasion points waiting for the conclusion of the 5 month long undeclared war with Japan. On 15 September 1939 the Ambassadors Molotov and Shigenori Togo completed their agreement ending the conflict. Now cleared of any "second front" threat from the Japanese, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin ordered his forces into Poland on 17 September. By this date, the Polish defense was already broken and the only hope was to retreat and reorganize along the Romanian Bridgehead. However, these plans were rendered obsolete nearly overnight, when the over 800,000 strong Soviet Red Army entered and created the Belarussian and Ukrainian fronts after invading the eastern regions of Poland in violation of the Riga Peace Treaty, the Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression Pact, and other international treaties, both bilateral and multilateral. Soviet diplomacy claimed that they were "protecting the Ukrainian and Belarusian minorities of eastern Poland since the Polish government had abandoned the country and the Polish state ceased to exist".
    Polish border defense forces in the east consisted of about 25 battalions. Edward Rydz-Śmigły ordered them to fall back and not engage the Soviets. Some clashes and small battles still occurred, such as the Battle of Grodno, as soldiers and local population attempted to defend the city. The Soviets murdered numerous Polish officers, including prisoners of war. The Soviet invasion was one of the decisive factors that convinced the Polish government that the war in Poland was lost. Prior to the Soviet attack from the east, the Polish military's fall-back plan had called for long-term defense against Germany in the south-eastern part of Poland, while awaiting relief from a Western Allies attack on Germany's western border.
    Meanwhile, Polish forces tried to move towards the Romanian Bridgehead area, still actively resisting the German invasion. From 17–20 September, Polish armies Kraków and Lublin were crippled at the Battle of Tomaszów Lubelski, the second largest battle of the campaign. The city of Lwów capitulated on 22 September because of Soviet intervention; the city had been attacked by the Germans over a week earlier, and in the middle of the siege, the German troops handed operations over to their Soviet allies.
    Despite a Polish victory at the Battle of Szack, after which the Soviets executed all the officers and NCOs they had captured, the Red Army reached the line of rivers Narew, Bug River, Vistula and San by 28 September, in many cases meeting German units advancing from the other direction. Polish defenders on the Hel peninsula on the shore of the Baltic Sea held out until 2 October. The last operational unit of the Polish Army, surrendered after the four-day Battle of Kock near Lublin on 6 October marking the end of the September Campaign
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it obvious?

    Britain and France didn't declare war on Germany to save Poland. That was only a convenient a casus belli.
     
  12. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Not really. Enlighten us, Dave.

    Do you actually have evidence to support your claim of a convenient casus belli?
     
  13. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Let's not forget that Czechoslovakia was even more a crying shame. At least the UK and France declared war after Poland was invaded. The Czech's were left to their faith while the British celebrated "Peace for our Time".
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Its the latent claim that the real aggressors of WWII were the allies, particularly Britain. Germany was only acting defensively with Poles gettng in the way of her defensive bullets. if you beleive the first lie, than you should also believe that the Poles were guilty of starting WWII
     
  15. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #15 nuuumannn, Sep 2, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
    Yes, Parsifal, I know; I was just wondering exactly what on Earth Dave was going to enlighten us all with :badairday:
     
  16. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Casus belli is just a fancy latin expression for pretext or excuse for making war.
    The League of Nations recconized three reasons as being legitimate for entering into a war. Defense of one's own territory, Fullfillment of a mutual defense treaty with another country who is attacked, or when approved by the League.
    Britain and France had the treaty with Poland, so there was no casus belli, or excuse for war.

    Now Germany had a casus belli, or excuse with the faked attack or the radio station at Gleiwitz.
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Several people on this forum are easily offended when discussing national politics and international diplomacy relating to WWII. So why don't we avoid that discussion and remain friends?
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    You are the one who lead the discussion into this direction, as you often do. Thinking, I suppose, no one would challange your remarks.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I didn't lead the discussion anywhere. I simply answered a question posted by another forum member.
     
  20. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The accuracy of that answer has lead this discussion into this direction. And when asked to the defend that answer you come up with a excuse .
     
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