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 Soviet bombing of Helsinki on November 30, 1939
The main building of Helsinki University, on Senate Square, burns during the night.

Three hours after Soviet forces had crossed the border and started the Winter War, Soviet planes bombed Helsinki. The most intensive bombing raids were during the first few days.

Helsinki was bombed a total of eight times during the Winter War. Some 350 bombs fell on the city, resulting in the deaths of 97 people and the wounding of 260. In all, 55 buildings were destroyed.

The Soviet bombings led to harsh reactions abroad. U.S. President Roosevelt asked the Soviets not to bomb Finnish cities. Molotov replied to Roosevelt: “Soviet aircraft have not been bombing cities, but airfields, you can’t see that from 8,000 kilometers away in America.” (sounds familiar)

The conflict began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939—two months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland—ending on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty. The League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the League on 14 December 1939.

(Photo source - SA - kuvagalleria)

(Colorised by Paul Kerestes from Romania)

It was not Hitler’s attacks on the Jews that brought the United States into World War II, any more than the enslavement of 4 million blacks brought Civil War in 1861. Italy’s attack on Ethiopia, Hitler’s invasion of Austria, his takeover of Czechoslovakia, his attack on Poland–none of those events caused the United States to enter the war, although Roosevelt did begin to give important aid to England. What brought the United States fully into the war was the Japanese attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. Surely, it was not the humane concern for Japan’s bombing of civilians that led to Roosevelt’s outraged call for war–Japan’s attack on China in 1937, her bombing of civilians at Nanking, had not provoked the United States to War. It was the Japanese attack on a link in the American Pacific Empire that did it.

So long as Japan remained a well-behaved member of that imperial club of Great Powers who–in keeping with the Open Door Policy–were sharing the exploitation of China, the United States did not object. It had exchanged notes with Japan in 1917 saying ‘the Government of the United States recognizes that Japan has special interests in China.’ In 1928, according to Akira Iriye (After Imperialism), American consuls in China supported the coming of Japanese troops. It was when Japan threatened potential U.S. markets by its attempted takeover of China, but especially as it moved toward the tin, rubber, and oil of Southeast Asia, that the United States became alarmed and took those measures which led to the Japanese attack: a total embargo on scrap iron, a total embargo on oil in the summer of 1941.

As Bruce Russett says (No Clear and Present Danger): ‘Throughout the 1930s the United States government had done little to resist the Japanese advance on the Asian continent.’ But, ‘The Southwest Pacific area was of undeniable economic importance to the United States–at the time most of America’s tin and rubber came from there, as did substantial quantities of other raw materials.’

Pearl Harbor was presented to the American public as a sudden, shocking, immoral act. Immoral it was, like any bombing–but not really, sudden or shocking to the American government. Russett says, ‘Japan’s strike against the American naval base climaxed a long series of mutually antagonistic acts. In initiating economic sanctions against Japan the United States undertook actions that were widely recognized in Washington as carrying grave risks of war.’

—  Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States, 1492-Present

#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.

“A color photograph of the bombed-out historic city of Nuremberg, Germany in June of 1945, after the end of World War II. Nuremberg had been the host of huge Nazi Party conventions from 1927 to 1938. The last scheduled rally in 1939 was canceled at the last minute due to a scheduling conflict: the German invasion of Poland one day prior to the rally date. The city was also the birthplace of the Nuremberg Laws, a set of draconian antisemitic laws adopted by Nazi Germany. Allied bombings from 1943 until 1945 destroyed more than 90% of the city center, and killed more than 6,000 residents. Nuremberg would soon become famous one last time as the host of the Nuremberg Trials – a series of military tribunals set up to prosecute the surviving leaders of Nazi Germany. The war crimes these men were charged with included ‘Crimes Against Humanity’, the systematic murder of more than 10 million people, including some 6 million Jews. This genocide will be the subject of part 18 in this series, coming next week.”

(National Archives)

Józef Kuraś “Ogień” (October 23, 1915 – February 22, 1947) - He served as lieutenant in the Polish Army during the invasion of Poland, and became the underground member of Armia Krajowa and Bataliony Chłopskie in the Podhale region. Soon after the end of World War II, he was one of the leaders of anticommunist resistance.  Kuraś died in Nowy Targ on February 22, 1947 from a self-inflicted wound after having been ambushed at Ostrowsko by units of the Polish secret police.


This is a must-see and must re-blog for all ww ll history buffs


An animated graphic showing the losses and gains

If you enjoy World War II history, then you’ll definitely enjoy the following video.

The video, which was uploaded a few months ago but has recently gained a lot of attention, contains a lot more than just footage and factoids: It accounts for every single day of the war in Europe, from the invasion of Poland to the surrender in Germany, accurately capturing the war’s early gains and losses — something the United States largely missed out on due to late entry.

Watching it, you can see how the front lines often moved in fits and starts,and how a sudden alliance or overthrow dramatically changed the geopolitical landscape.

It’s also interesting to see the massive encirclements on the Eastern front pop up and disappear from time-to-time.”

It’s important to note that map doesn’t account for partisan action until 1945.


You should reblog this to anyone who has an interest in World War ll

Here’s the video’s legend (from the video’s description):
  • Maroon: Axis Power members, their dependencies/colonies, and annexed lands.
  • Burgundy: Areas militarily occupied by the Axis Powers.
  • Red: Axis puppet states.
  • Pink: Axis gains during that day.
  • Blue: Allied powers and areas occupied by the allies.
  • Light blue: Allied gains for that day.
  • Purple colors (left to right): Finland, occupied by Finland, and Finnish gains that day.
  • Dark Green: The USSR before it joined the allies and annexed lands.
  • Green: Areas militarily occupied by the USSR before it joined the allies.
  • Light Green: Soviet gains for that day.

And here are some key dates to watch for:

  • September 1, 1939: Germany invades Poland (watch the Soviets move in to take their half starting September 17)
  • April 9, 1940: Germany invades Norway
  • May 10, 1940: Germany invades France
  • April 6, 1941: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece
  • June 22, 1941: Germany invades Soviet Union
  • November 25, 1941: The Battle for Moscow
  • July 3, 1942: Sevastopol falls to Germany
  • October 23, 1942: Battle of El Alamein begins
  • January 31, 1943: German surrender at Stalingrad
  • March 15, 1943: Germans retake Kharkov
  • May 12, 1943: Surrender of Axis forces in North Africa
  • July 10, 1943: Allied landings in Sicily (Operation Husky)
  • June 4, 1944: Rome captured by Allies
  • June 6, 1944: Allied invasion of Normandy (D-Day)
  • August 15, 1944: Allied landings in South of France
  • August 25, 1944: Paris liberated
  • January 17, 1945: Soviets capture Warsaw
  • April 13, 1945: Soviets capture Vienna
  • April 23, 1945: Soviets enter Berlin
  • May 8, 1945: VE Day declared

The Suomi  KP/-31 Submachine gun,

One of the lesser known weapons of World War II, the Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun was the famed weapon of the Finnish Army during the Winter War, the disastrous invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union shortly after the fall of Poland.  The Suomi was an SMG that utilized a straight blowback system while firing from an open bolt.  Chambered for 9mm Para, it could fire at a devastating rate of 700-900 rounds per minute.  The Suomi came with a 20 round, 36 round, and 40 round detachable magazine, but it was the 70 round detachable drum magazine that made history.  When the Soviet Union invaded Finland in 1939 Soviet doctrine relied little submachine guns.  However the buttkicking issued by Finnish soldiers with the Suomi convinced the Red Army to reconsider.  During the Winter War Finnish troops learned quickly how to wrought terrible death and destruction with the Suomi.  

One deadly tactic used by the Finns involved the ambush of Soviet armored columns in dense forests.  The ambush would begin with snipers picking off officers and lead infantry elements of the column.  Before the Soviet troops could react, Finnish troops would attack the flanks.  Those armed with Suomi’s and light machine guns would mow down the Soviet infantry while others soldiers would disable or destroy the tanks and vehicles using bombs and grenades.

While the Suomi was one of the best submachine gun designs of WWII, it had the downside of being very expensive to manufacture.  After the Winter War the Soviets would take the Suomi design and simplify it, making it easier, faster, and cheaper to produce while using less labor and resources. They also included the large drum magazine as well. The new Soviet submachine gun was called the PPSH 41, which would become one of the most effective and famous submachine guns of the war.

The Finns continued to use the Suomi well into the 1980’s.  It was officially retired in 1998.  The Suomi was also manufactured in Denmark and Sweden.  Altogether around 80,000 were produced.

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.



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​)


This video shows the changing front lines of the European Theater of World War II every day from the German invasion of Poland to the surrender of Germany.
Maroon: Axis Power members, their dependencies/colonies, and annexed lands.
Burgundy: Areas militarily occupied by the Axis Powers.
Red: Axis puppet states.
Pink: Axis gains during that day.
Blue: Allied powers and areas occupied by the allies.
Light blue: Allied gains for that day.
Purple colors (left to right): Finland, occupied by Finland, and Finnish gains that day.
Dark Green: The USSR before it joined the allies and annexed lands.
Green: Areas militarily occupied by the USSR before it joined the allies.
Light Green: Soviet gains for that day.



          World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a worldwide military conflict; the amalgamation of two separate conflicts, one beginning in Asia, 1937, as the Second Sino-Japanese War and the other beginning in Europe, 1939, with the invasion of Poland. It is regarded as the historical successor to World War I.

                        Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

          You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

                                                                      –Dwight D. Eisenhower