world war ii: invasion of poland


1453  Constantinople is sacked by Muslim forces

1488  Bartolomeu Diaz rounds the Cape of Good Hope

1492  Columbus encounters the Americas (God, Glory and Gold.)

1517  Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses

1520  Diet of Worms declares Martin Luther an outlaw

1524-1525  The Peasants’ Revolt takes place in Germany

1534  Act of Supremacy passed in England → Henry VIII becomes head of the Anglican Church

1545  Council of Trent begins The Counter Reformation

1555  Peace of Augsburg (cuius regio, eius religio →whose region, his religion)

1585-1589  War of the Three Henries in France

1588  Spanish Armada destroyed by the English and “The Protestant Wind”

1603  Elizabeth I Dies → Tudor Dynasty Ends and the Stuart Dynasty Begins

1618-1648  The Thirty Years War (Treaty of Westphalia ends the war in 1648)

1642-1646  English Civil War (Roundheads vs. the Cavaliers)

1649  Charles I is executed → Oliver Cromwell begins his rule

1660  Stuart Restoration in England through Charles II

1688-1689  Glorious Revolution in England→ William and Mary of Orange replace James II and sign the English Bill of Rights

1643-1715  Era of Louis XIV  The Sun King (l’etat c’est moi)

1689-1725  Reign of Peter the Great in Russia

1756-1763  The Seven Years War

1789-1799  Era of the French Revolution (Radical Stage → late 1792-1795)

1799  Napoleon comes to power

1805-1815  Napoleonic Wars are waged

1814-1815  The Congress of Vienna meets (Main principles: Legitimacy, Conservatism, Compensation & Balance of Power)

1819  Peterloo Massacre in England

1830  Belgian Independence

1832  Reform Bill in England Passed

1848  Revolutions break out across Western Europe (France, Austria, Italy and Germany)

1861  Serfs emancipated in Russia under Alexander II

1870-1871  Germany and Italy Unification

1884-1885  Berlin Conference is held (“Scramble for Africa”)

1894  Tsar Nicholas II comes to power in Russia (the last of the Romanovs)

1905  Sunday Bloody Revolution in Russia → “The Dress Rehearsal”

1914  Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated → WWI starts

1917  March and November (Bolshevik) Revolutions in Russia

1918  Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is signed →Russia withdraws from war

1918  WWI ends

1919  Treaty of Versailles is signed

1918-1921  Russian Civil War (Reds vs. Whites)

1922  Mussolini comes to power in Italy and establishes the 1st Fascist government

1922  Russia officially becomes known as the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) → The Soviet Union

1923  Adolf Hitler leads the Beer Hall Putsch in Germany

1924  Lenin dies

1928  Stalin is firmly entrenched as the leader of the Soviet Union → begins the first of several 5 year plans

1929  Stock Market Crash in the US → The Great Depression begins

1933  Hitler comes to power in Germany

1938  Munich Conference (Peace in our time→Neville Chamberlain)

1939  World War II starts with Germany’s invasion of Poland

1945  World War II ends (V-E Day → May 8, 1945 and V-J Day → August 15, 1945)

1945  First session of the United Nations is held

1945-1989  Cold War (U.S. vs. S.U. begins and begins to end in Poland)

POST WW II  Decolonization → European colonies become independent

1946  Winston Churchill gives the “Iron Curtain” speech

1948-1949 Operation Vittles→the Berlin Airlift

1949  USSR successfully tests first atomic bomb

1951  European Coal and Steel Community formed (sounds like the Zollverein)

1953  Stalin dies and is succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev → destalinization begins

1954  French forces defeated in French-Indochina at Dien Bien Phu

1956  Hungarian revolt against the Soviet Union → it is crushed by the Soviets

1957  Rome Treaty is signed → The European Economic Community (EEC) is created = Common Market

1957  Sputnik is launched by the Soviet Union → the first space satellite

1958  The fifth Republic is born in France and Charles de Gaulle becomes President

1961  Berlin Wall built → dividing East and West Berlin

1961  Soviet Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space

1962  Cuban Missile Crisis → 90 miles off the coast of Florida

1963  Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is published

1964  Leonid Brezhnev becomes leader of the Soviet Union

1966  Under President Charles de Gaulle, France withdraws from the common NATO military command

1968  “Prague Spring” occurs in Czechoslovakia → it is crushed by the Soviets

1968  Student revolt in France (Paris)

1978  Pole Karol Wojtyla elected Pope → Pope John Paul II → 1st non-Italian in 455 years

1979  Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of England (“The Iron Lady”) (Mags loathes no one more than this heinous twat)

1979  The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (eventually becomes their own “little Vietnam”)

1980  1st independent labor union in the Soviet Bloc formed  “Solidarity” led by Lech Walesa of Poland

1980  Ronald Reagan elected President of the US (calls the Soviet Union an “evil empire”)

1985  Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader (implements policies of perestroika and glasnost)

1986  Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident in the Soviet Union (specifically the Ukraine)

1989  Berlin Wall comes down

1989  The “Velvet Revolution” occurs in Czechoslovakia → Vaclav Havel becomes President

1989  The Soviet Union withdraws its forces from Afghanistan

1989  Romanian leader Nicolai Ceausescu is overthrown and killed

1990  Lech Walesa becomes President of Poland

1990  East Germany and West Germany reunify into one Germany

1990  The first McDonalds opens in Russia

1991  Attempted coup attempt in the Soviet Union → The Soviet Union begins to disintegrate

1991  Boris Yeltsin becomes President of Russia → former 15 republics of the Soviet Union form the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.)

1991  Yugoslavia begins to break apart

1992  Maastricht Treaty signed

1997  Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of England → 1st Labor Party leader in 18 years

1999  Eurodollar becomes the single currency of the European Union (EU)

The Ideal German Soldier … or was he?

That was the name Werner Goldberg was given by a German newspaper in 1939, shortly after WW2 began. Participated in invasion of Poland alongside his childhood friends. Irony is … he was half Jew. He was blond and blue-eyed. His image was even used for recruitment posters. In 1940 he was expelled from Wehrmacht for being a Jew. He went to work for a clothing company that was originally owned by a Jew and a German and supplied clothes to Army and Navy. In 1942, his father who was 100% Jew, was admitted into hospital, where Gestapo found about his heritage and sent him to a Jewish hospital/prison that was sending people away to Auschwitz. On Christmas eve, the guards at the prison were drunk and Werner managed to take his father away. Soon after his father got caught again and was scheduled for deportation. Werner told him not to show up at the deportation time (as we now know, many Jews willingly went away, thinking they only going to prison camps and not death camps). Werner’s father, alongside Werner himself, was the only surviving member of Goldberg’s side of the family. 

Werner died in 2004 in Berlin. He was a part of documentary called Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers produced by Larry price. 

On this day in history …..

On September 1, 1939, at 0448 local time, Germany began its invasion of Poland, starting World War II; the German Battleship SMS Schleswig-Holstein, positioned in the port of Danzig, moored close to the Polish ammunition depot at Westerplatte under the guise of a ceremonial visit in August, suddenly opened broadside salvo fire on the Polish garrison held by 182 soldiers and 27 civilian reservists.

These shots were the signal for ground troops to begin their assault on the installation though the first German ground attack in the Battle of Westerplatte was repelled shortly thereafter. A second assault began later that morning, again supported by SMS Schleswig-Holstein, though it too had failed to break into the installation by around noon.

(Colorised by Mikołaj Kaczmarek from Poland)


HISTORY MEME → [1/10] Moments: Battle of Westerplatte

On 1 September 1939, at 04:48 local time, the battleship Schleswig-Holstein, then on a “courtesy visit” to the Free City of Danzig, without warning opened fire on the Polish garrison. However, soon after crossing the artillery-breached brick wall, the attackers were ambushed by the Polish defenders, with small arms, mortar and machine gun fire from concealed and well-positioned firing points that caught them in a crossfire. Another two assaults that day were repelled as well, with the Germans suffering unexpectedly high losses.

Over the coming days, the Germans repeatedly bombarded Westerplatte with naval artillery and heavy field artillery along with dive-bombing raids by Junkers Ju 87 Stukas. Repeated attacks by the German soldiers were repelled by Polish soldiers for seven days. Major Henryk Sucharski had been informed that no help from the Polish Army would come. Cut off, with no reinforcements or chance of resupply, he continued his defense, keeping the main German force stalled at Westerplatte and so preventing further attacks along the Polish coast.

According to plans, Westerplatte was supposed to defend itself for six hours, and in reality fought for 7 days. During the fights, the Polish Radio continuously broadcast the message “Westerplatte still fights on” each morning of the battle.

Already during the war the defense of Westerplatte served as an inspiration for the Polish Army and people as the successful German advances continued elsewhere and even today is still regarded as a symbol of resistance to the invasion; a Polish Thermopylae.

July 28, 1917 - Austrian Forces Reach the Russian Border, Brusilov Sacked as Russian C-in-C, Replaced by Lavr Kornilov

Pictured - A bridge blown by the retreating Russians, August 3 1917.

During Napoleon’s invasion, and again during World War II, the Russian army gave ground to the enemy while it retreated and prepared safe in their nation’s massive interior. Perhaps that would have been the wise thing to do in World War I as well, but Russia had fought it out on the borders with Germany and Austria-Hungary, and it had lost. Most of Russian Poland had been conquered by 1915.

When the Kerensky Offensive failed in July 1917, the Russian army again reeled back. The Kaiser personally came to watch the Austrians advance towards the border. Tarnopol fell on July 25. Three days later the Austrian reached the border of Russia at Husiatyn, opposed less by any defenders than by 4″0,000 Russian deserters fleeing eastward.” General Brusilov was sacked as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian armies and replaced by the strict, reactionary General Lavr Kornilov, whose first Order of the Day was to condemn the treachery of deserters.

Colloquial Polish (71/?)

Photo: I didn’t have any plans for September anyway

Colloquial word for sesja poprawkowa f

  • kampania wrześniowa f

In Poland we’ve got two exam sessions a year - first one in February-March, second one in June-July. Unfortunatelly, not all students pass their exams, especially during the second exam session - then we’re trying not to fail them once again in September. We call it (officially) sesja poprawkowa f - in September we retake the exams that we haven’t passed in June/July. Unofficial phrase for it is kampania wrześniowa f. It is connected with September Campaign (a joint invasion of Poland started on on 1 September 1939 by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, that marked the beginning of World War II). That’s why Polish students say “prawdziwi Polacy walczą we wrześniu“ - “true Polish people fight in September“. It is also said that you are not a true student, if don’t have your own kampania wrześniowa.

Jan Mosdorf (1904-1943) was a Polish far-right nationalist politician. He was a director of the All Polish Youth (Młodzież Wszechpolska) and member of the illegal National Radical Camp (Obóz Narodowo Radykalny).

After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Mosdorf took part in anti-German activities, leading to his arrest by the Gestapo. In 1941, he was sent from the Pawiak prison to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he learned about the extermination of Jews.

Formerly viewing Jews as enemies of the Polish nation, Mosdorf changed his attitude and began to help his Jewish inmates, organizing a group that provided them with food and clothing. He was eventually denounced to the Germans and executed on October 11, 1943.

#7 World War II
Photo: Wojtek, the soldier bear playing with his brothers-in-arms, circa 1942

On the eve of World War II, Poland was far from ready to confront Nazi Germany, which had been preparing for war for years. Hitler’s invasion in September 1939, backed by Stalin’s army from the east, erased Poland from the map in 27 days. The government fled to Great Britain but continued working as a government-in-exile. Polish armies and units still fought alongside the troops of the Western allied forces, such as contributing considerably to victory in the Battle of Britain and breaking the Enigma code. Poles organised the biggest underground army in Europe’s history – the Home Army.

Even though Poland ended the war on the winning side and was re-established as a state, it fell under the influence of the Soviet Union and was forced to adopt communism as its political system and a satellite government, strongly dependant on its sponsors in Moscow.



World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, though related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries.

The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937,but the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.

(…) on 1 September 1939, at 04:40, when the Luftwaffe attacked the Polish town of Wieluń, destroying 75% of the city and killing close to 1,200 people, most of them civilians. This invasion subsequently began World War II. Five minutes later, the old German pre-dreadnought battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish military transit depot at Westerplatte in the Free City of Danzig on the Baltic Sea (Battle of Westerplatte). At 08:00, German troops—still without a formal declaration of war issued—attacked near the Polish town of Mokra. The Battle of the Border had begun. 

Photos: Westerplatte, peninsula in Gdańsk, Poland.
Model: Bambosh ( rhabbyv​)

A German motorized column, part of the invasion force, somewhere in Poland during September 1939, stops to ask direction from a group of Polish civilians. They do not look like refugees, just people along the road. The soldier in the dark uniform looks to be a Panzer commander as is the soldier on the extreme right, but this may be a supply column. 

76 years ago, the Invasion of Poland begun, also known as the September Campaign Germany (German: Polenfeldzug), that marked the beginning of World War II in Europe.


The French Invasion of Germany, World War II — The Saar Offensive

A footnote in World War II history, the Saar Offensive was a little known attack by the French Army into Germany while the Wehrmacht was busy invading Poland.  The offensive began on September 7th, 1939, 7 days after the German invasion of Poland.  The purpose of the offensive was to force the German Wehrmacht to divert troops away from Poland in order to defend Germany, and force Germany into a two front war it could not win.  Originally the offensive was planned involving 40 French divisions.  However the French Army was slow to mobilize, was not yet equipped and prepared for war, and because France had invested so much into the Maginot Line, was ill prepared to conduct an offensive operation.  As a result only 11 French Divisions were involved.

The bulk of the invasion occurred in the Saarland of Southwestern Germany. For the most part the German Army fell back behind the Siegfried line, Germany’s version of the Maginot Line, and offered little resistance.  However, there were some skirmishes and half hearted German counterattacks.  In these small battles, the French Army performed badly and suffered heavy casualties.  French soldiers had been trained and equipped to man static defenses, not conduct assaults in towns and open fields.  The offensive drove 5 miles into German territory, resulting in the capture of 12 German villages and towns.  However, by the 12th of September the offensive had mostly halted when the French encountered heavily mined areas and stiff resistance.

France had hoped that Poland would hold out for months.  Unexpectedly, the German Wehrmacht quickly made mincemeat of the Polish military, laying siege to Warsaw on September 8th.  Rather than being forced to draw away badly needed soldiers from Poland, Germany was able to redirect large amounts of soldiers who were no longer needed in the east.  By the time the Saar Offensive had stalled, tens of thousands of German soldiers were reinforcing defensive positions along the German border. Unprepared to fight a full blown war against Germany, France decided to withdraw its troops back to the Maginot Line in order to arm, train, and prepare for a much larger and longer war. German forces suffered 196 dead, 114 missing, and 356 wounded.  The French suffered around 2,000 dead and wounded.