1939: The Invasion of Poland

On September 1, 1939, Germany and the USSR invaded Poland in a joint effort. In an attempt to justify their actions, Nazi propaganda claimed that Poland and it's allies; Great Britain and France, had been planning conflict with Germany. Meanwhile, they also claimed that ethnic Germans in areas of Poland were being persecuted by the Poles.

Britain and France declared war on September 3rd, 1939, as they honoured their defence guarantee over Poland.

Operation White

After Hitler declared the Anglo-German naval agreement invalid and ended the 1934 Non-Aggression Pact with Poland two days after the British guaranteed Poland aid in the event of a German invasion, he ordered Operation white.

Operation White began preparations for the attack on Poland. Hitler wanted to restrict the war in Poland and not involve Britain and France. 

On the 31st of August, Mussolini proposed a conference with the aim of resolving the crisis, but Hitler wanted war.

SS soldiers left behind bodies of convicted criminals who had been dressed in Polish uniforms and dressed in Polish uniforms themselves to stage an attack on a German wireless station near the Polish border.

Germany used this as an excuse for war and German troops invaded Poland by foot in the early hours of September 1st, 1939, while the Luftwaffe bombed the Capital, Warsaw.

Declaration of War & the collapse of Poland

On the 3rd of September, the British government ordered Germany to withdraw from Poland by 11 am or risk war. Hitler failed to do so, and Britain and France declared War.

In response, Hitler launched a Blitzkrieg war on Poland and the Poles were quickly defeated.

The Polish blew up bridges to slow down the Germans and specially trained German soldiers rebuilt roads & bridges to allow their tanks and vehicles to reach the main cities.

Poland's 34 million inhabitants are enslaved & taken over by Germany through Blitzkrieg and quick tanks. 

Polish defence was outnumbered and Poland was overrun in a few days with thousands of kilometres (48.4%) overtaken by Germany and the remainder by the Soviets.

As agreed in the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Poland was divided along the Ribbentrop-Molotov line and Hitler was able to focus on its Western borders and defence against France.