Invasion of Poland

World War II: Blitzkrieg

Europe 1939.0916

Invasion of Poland

World War II in Europe from the fall of Poland to Stalingrad (16 September 1939)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

The signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop_Pact in August 1939 removed the threat from Russia, allowing Hitler to invade Poland on 1 September. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun.

Main Events

Germany invasion of Poland

Using several German-staged incidents as casus belli, Nazi Germany struck Wieluń, Poland, with the Luftwaffe at 04:40 on 1 September 1939 - the first blow of World War II. Five minutes later, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on a Polish military transit depot in the Free City of Danzig, with Germany launching an all out attack on Poland's northern, western, and southern borders later that day.

Declaration of War on Germany

Responding to the German invasion of Poland, France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. The official Declaration of war by France and the United Kingdom was read out by the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, in Westminster, London, on behalf of both countries. Although the declaration fulfilled the two powers' guarantees to Poland, moves of practical support were limited.

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