Category: Early Campaigns

Approach to Conflict : War in Poland

On March 25, 1939, 10 days after he had completely dismembered Czechoslovakia, Adolf Hitler told the chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW ), Col. Gen. (later Field Marshal) Wilhelm Keitel, and the commander in chief of the army, Col. Gen. (later Field Marshal) Walther von Brauchitsch, that […]

German War Plan

The fundamental concept of the German plan was to fight a short war that would be over before the British or French armies could get into action-over, in fact, before the Western powers could even make up their minds to fight. The plan was given its final form in an operation order issued by the […]

Polish Defense Plan

The one chance that Poland might have had to counter the German invasion successfully was to fight a delaying action back to the Narew-Vistula-San line and to hold there until the Western powers could bring their forces to bear. This strategy would, however, have sacrificed the country’s industrial base and so carried with it the […]

Polish Campaign

On the morning of September 1, the Luftwaffe struck at the Polish airfields, destroying nearly all of the planes before they could get off the ground. It then set about systematically disrupting the railroads and lines of communications. Before the clay ended, the Polish leadership was helpless. Mobilization could not be completed, and large-scale troop […]

Soviet Intervention & Partition of Poland

Soviet Intervention Hastening to end the war before the Western powers could act, the Germans on September 3 requested the Soviet Union to move against Poland, but the Russians were not ready. The German speed had taken them by surprise. After the German ambassador in Moscow submitted a second request on September 10, the Soviet […]