germany's invasion of poland

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The Invasion of Poland (1939):

• Germany had lost land to Poland under the Treaty of Versailles.
• Many German-speaking people lived in areas that were now part of Poland.
• Germany viewed Poles as subhuman and wanted their land for lebensraum.
• The Nazi-Soviet Pact ensured Russia would not stop Germany’s invasion of Poland.
• Hitler thought Britain and France would not keep their promise to defend Poland.
• On 1 September 1939 Hitler ordered the German army to invaded Poland.
• Britain and France declared war leading to the start of the Second World War.

At 4.45 am on 1 September 1939 the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish garrison of the Westerplatte Fort, Danzig (modern-day Gdansk), in what was
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Hitler 's annexation of Czechoslovakia breached the written guarantee he had issued to Chamberlain in Munich in 1938, stating that he had no further territorial demands to make in Europe. Therefore, on 31 March 1939, Chamberlain issued a formal guarantee of Poland 's borders and said that he expected Hitler to moderate his demands.
Hitler was not deterred, and on 3 April he ordered the Wehrmacht to prepare for the invasion of Poland on 1 September. Hitler was convinced that Chamberlain would not go to war to defend Poland and that France would lack the will to act alone.
Nazi-Soviet pact
Hitler 's only real concern was that a sudden German invasion of Poland might alarm Stalin and trigger a war with the Soviet Union. Stalin feared a German invasion and had been seeking an anti-Nazi 'collective security ' alliance with the western powers for many years, but by July 1939 Britain and France had still not agreed terms.
Poland had also rejected an alliance with the Soviet Union, and refused permission for the Red Army to cross its territory to engage the Wehrmacht in a future war. Hitler saw his opportunity, and authorised his Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop to enter into secret negotiations with the Soviet Union.
The result was the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact on 23 August 1939. Both Hitler and Stalin set aside their mutual antipathy for national gain and in particular the restoration of their pre-1919 borders.
Nazi-Soviet pact
Hitler 's
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