The Outbreak of War


German soldiers crossing Polish border by force on September 01, 1939.

In March 1939, after the conquest of Czechoslovakia, Hitler increased his demands for the incorporation of Danzig and the Polnischer Korridor - a strip of land dividing the East Prussia from the rest of Germany, transferred to Poland as part of the Versailles Treaty - into the Reich. The Polish Government refused to accede to Hitler's demand, well knowing that if Poland had ceded Danzig, it would have gradually fallen under German power and eventually been invaded like Czechoslovakia. The British Empire and the French Republic changed their appeasement attitude towards German policy of expansionism and guaranteed that they would lend military support to Poland if her territorial integrity were threatened. They tried to involve Russia in that political and militar alliance, but were not trusted to honor their duties by Stalin, since they had not protect Czechoslovakia and Spain against Fascist aggressions. The Second World War began on September 01, 1939, when German troops attacked Poland; two days later the British Empire and the French Republic declared war on Germany, but failed to provide any meaningful support. The Polish Army fought bravely against the better-equipped and numerically superior Wehrmacht, but soon succumbed: by September 17 - when Poland was attacked by the Red Army - its resistance was almost broken. Poland surrendered on October 06, 1939, with her main cities and infrastructures ground to dust by Luftwaffe bombings, and was annexed by Germany and the Soviet Union.

- transcript of all speeches

1939/09/01 - On the Invasion of Poland (Alvard Liddell on BBC)
1939/09/01 - Germany declares War on Poland (Adolf Hitler)
1939/09/02 - On the War looming before Poland (Ignacy Paderewski)
1939/09/02 - On the Evacuation of British Children (Alvard Liddell on BBC)
1939/09/03 - Great Britain declares War on Germany (Neville Chamberlain)
1939/09/03 - The King to His People (King George VI)
1939/09/03 - Proclamation of US Neutrality (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
1939/09/04 - Closing of Places of Entertainment (Unknown Speaker on BBC)
1939/09/21 - Message to France ($Eacutedouard Daladier)
1939/10/01 - Broadcast on the First Month of War (Winston Churchill)
1939/10/06 - Speech after the Surrender of Poland (Adolf Hitler)
1939/10/13 - Address to Evacuated Children (Princess Elizabeth)
1939/11/11 - Message to the Women of the Empire (Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon)
1939/11/12 - Broadcast on the First Ten Weeks of War (Winston Churchill)
1939/12/18 - On the Sinking of the Graf Spee (Winston Churchill)
1940/01/20 - Broadcast on the War situation (Winston Churchill)

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