September 1, 1939: The Invasion of Poland begins.

One week after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a treaty of non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, German forces launched an attack against Poland. Preceding events like the occupation of the Rhineland, the Anschluss, the Munich Agreement, and overall the gradual revitalization of all parts of the German military (despite restrictions placed by the Treaty of Versailles) bode ill for Europe, but World War II is considered to have officially begun with the invasion of Poland, and with the declarations of war on Germany by France and Great Britain two days later. Though outmatched, Polish forces held off German (and Russian, after the Soviet invasion began on September 17) forces until the final Army unit surrendered on October 6. Though often viewed as weak, backwards, and obsolete, the Polish military inflicted heavy damage upon German forces within the first days of fighting. Around 200,000 Polish civilians were killed during the action.

The conquered territories were subsequently divided up; some portions were directly annexed by Germany, while one area, which contained Warsaw and Krakow, became the separate General Government. Each of the six major Nazi extermination camps (Auschwitz II, Chełmno, Belzec, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka) - used in the systematic extermination of nearly 3.5 million people - was established in either the annexed territories or in the General Government of Poland. 

  1. theheirofthestag reblogged this from goldandivory
  2. montparnhessen reblogged this from unhistorical
  3. buckysickunicorn reblogged this from samezukababies
  4. mary-radioactive reblogged this from samezukababies
  5. samezukababies reblogged this from unhistorical
  6. spiritodelravanello reblogged this from unhistorical
  7. applepiewithmilk reblogged this from renaissancemadonna
  8. the-saint-iker reblogged this from mirror-mccoy
  9. mirror-mccoy reblogged this from angeldimagia
  10. angeldimagia reblogged this from unhistorical
  11. leassian reblogged this from unhistorical
  12. whyofcourseoldsport reblogged this from roflmfaoysst
  13. w-itchinghour reblogged this from sebastiianstann
  14. sebastiianstann reblogged this from irinaprozorov
  15. irinaprozorov reblogged this from rougemanteau
  16. ofdarkwater reblogged this from rougemanteau
  17. alesandortorrent reblogged this from rougemanteau
  18. rougemanteau reblogged this from g-a-tsby
  19. g-a-tsby reblogged this from renaissancemadonna
  20. machtzumsieg reblogged this from unhistorical
  21. lord-of-nowhere reblogged this from archangelina
  22. superwholock-potter reblogged this from orngeisthenewblck
  23. orngeisthenewblck reblogged this from redododiculous
  24. redododiculous reblogged this from archangelina