Invasion of Poland

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 391
  • Published : May 20, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
The invasion of Poland was the spark that ignited the world’s largest war in history. Even though Germany had already annexed the Sudetenland and Austria, this was the last straw because France and Britain had guaranteed Poland’s borders. If they had lost them, France and Britain’s credibility would almost be depleted and the rest would lie with their homeland ("Invasion of Poland"). Germany had invaded Poland on September 1st but Poland was very reluctant to go to war and was even willing to forget the invasion if Germany had retreated by September 3rd ("Why Germany invaded"). Naturally, the Germans were already committed to the invasion and refused to retreat. France and Britain had also alerted Germany that they would declare war against the Germans if they did not withdraw from Poland by September 3rd. This invasion played a primary role in the creation of World War Two because it forced the Allies to declare war on Germany.

It was a long process that lead up to the German invasion of Poland. There were numerous reasons as to why Hitler invaded Poland. Among them was the possibility to gain land. Poland was a great place for the “racially superior” Germans who would colonize there ("Germans Invade Poland"). The land would supply living space and they would make slaves of the natives who already lived there. In the land they would conquer was an area known as the Polish Corridor. The Polish Corridor was a strip of land that cut straight through Germany and led to the sea. This would have a major impact because it would give the Germans a connection to the sea alongside the resources that it provided ("Why Germany invaded"). The corridor would also give Germany relations with other regions on either side of the corridor which would help with trade ("Why Germany invaded"). This strip of land would have helped to rebuild Germany’s navy giving them a militaristic benefit as well. Another reason Hitler wanted to invade Poland was because of an eventual attack on the Soviet Union. The main reason behind conquering the Soviet Union was for Lebensraum, or living space. A German geographer named Friedrich Ratzel said, “in order to remain healthy, species must continually expand the amount of space they occupy” (Noakes). The massive country would provide Hitler with the space and resources he needed when it came to world domination ("The Invasion of the Soviet"). Since Hitler's ultimate goal was to conquer the Soviet Union, Poland was just west of it so it would be a necessity to overpowering the Soviets ("Eight Reasons Hitler"). There were also many pacts and treaties made leading up to the invasion. Because the French were aligned with the Polish, Hitler signed a nonaggression pact with Poland in January of 1934, so that the French would not view Germany as a threat ("Invasion of Poland,"). This gave Germany more time to rebuild their army due to the Treaty of Versailles. While Hitler began to rebuild his army, France and Britain did not want to go to war so they started the process of Appeasement. This was an attempt to satisfy Germany's needs by giving the Germans the Czech borders and giving Hitler permission to re-militarize the demilitarized zone ("Why Germany invaded"). Since Hitler had received no resistance from his decisions, he felt the time was coming to invade Poland. To invade Poland, Hitler made a pact with the Soviet Union of nonaggression even though they were enemies. This insured the Soviets would not interfere with the invasion. Hitler then made a secret pact with the Soviets guaranteeing the Soviet Union half of Poland after the invasion was successful. Hitler had originally planned the invasion to begin on August 26th but he postponed the attack on August 25th when he discovered that the British had signed a treaty with the Polish promising military support should they be attacked ("Germans Invade Poland"). Hitler was forced to turn to propaganda and misinformation to forestall the British from...
tracking img