DMPQ-“Conquest of Poland was the test for Germany’s Blitzkrieg tactic.” Comment.

. The Germans tested for the first time the tactics of Blitzkrieg “lightning war” against Poland. From Northern Germany to the forests on the Russian border there was scarcely a natural obstacle to stop an invading army. On 1 September 1939, an attack by Germany on Poland began the warfare that lasted six years and spread around the globe. Twelve hours after Hitler had attacked Poland, he replied to Roosevelt that he had, “left nothing untried for the purpose of settling the dispute in a friendly manner.”4 Poland fought alone as Czechoslovakia was dismembered and Russia had a non-aggression pact with Germany.

The German invasion of Poland brought French and British declarations of war on the Nazi state within two days. Italy did not enter the war at this time. Within less than two weeks, war tactics subdued most of Poland. Alarmed by this formidable military display, the Soviets rushed into their assault on eastern Poland in mid-September. On 17 September, Stalin ordered the invasion of Poland by the Red Army. After a week, Polish resistance ended with the capture of the capital city of Warsaw. The Polish government surrendered. The Soviet Union and Germany each took about half of the conquered territory. Hitler annexed the former Free City of Danzig, the Corridor, and a number of other districts in the West. Stalin annexed Eastern Poland up to the frontier that Lord Curzon had originally proposed in 1919. Soon after the Soviets secured their holdings in Poland, they forcibly annexed the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) to provide an expanded security zone in the northwest.

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