The Invasion of Poland, 1939
This was the beginning of the Second World War. Adolf Hitler wanted
to get back the German territories lost to Poland following the
First World War. He secured the friendship of Joseph Stalin's Soviet
Union, Poland's eastern neighbour, with an agreement that neither of
them would attack the other: the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of
August 1939. Then Hitler pounced. He sent his troops into Poland on
September 1, 1939. Two days later, France and Britain, having
guaranteed Poland's borders, declared war on Germany. On
September 10, Canada went to war against Germany.
largely destroyed the Polish air
force on the first day of the attack, and Germany's armies captured
much of the Polish . Warsaw, the Polish capital, was encircled
by September 17 and surrendered ten days later after heavy bombing
raids. Meanwhile, the Soviet Red Army advanced into eastern Poland.
Nearly a million Poles were captured by the Germans and Russians and
many died before they could see freedom again.
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