May 8, 2005

How it all started...

While we are celebrating the end of the Second World War, it is good to remember how it all started...

German troops destroying a Polish border checkpoint, 1 September 1939. World War II begins.

Following the German-staged attack on September 1, 1939, at 04:40 hours, German forces invaded Poland's western, southern and northern borders. Polish armies, defending the long borders, were soon forced to withdraw east. After the mid-September Polish defeat in the Battle of Bzura, Germans gained undisputed initiative. Polish forces then begun a withdrawal south-east, following a plan that called for long defence in the Romanian bridgehead area, where the Polish forces were to await expected Western Allies counterattack and relief. On 17 September, 1939, the Soviet Red Army invaded the eastern regions of Poland. The Soviets were acting in co-operation with Nazi Germany, carrying out their part of the secret appendix of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the division of Europe into Nazi and Soviet spheres of influences). In view of the unexpected Soviet agression, Polish government and high command decided that the defence of the Romanian bridgehead was no longer feasible and ordered the evacuation of all troops to neutral Romania.

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