Seventyfive years ago today, on September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland and started World War II with Operation Fall Weiss. The last Polish forces, overwhelmed by a German invasion from the west followed shortly by a Soviet invasion from the east, surrendered on October 6, 1939. It was the beginning of a long, shitty period in Polish history, with the Nazi occupation followed by the Soviet occupation from 1945 through 1989 or so.
Today, Polish and German leaders gathered to mark the 75th anniversary:
German President Joachim Gauck is to join his Polish counterpart, Bronislaw Komorowski , on the Westerplatte peninsula in Gdansk on Monday, for the main ceremony to mark the beginning of World War II.Get ready for a lot of these anniversaries. Just because the U.S. didn't enter the war for more than two years doesn't mean it wasn't going on. It was. And with what Vladimir Putin is doing in Ukraine, anybody who thinks it could never happen again is whistling in the wind.
The two heads of state are to place candles at the graves of soldiers who lost their lives in the battle that marked the outbreak of the war, before laying a wreath at the memorial to the defenders of the Polish coast at Westerplatte.
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The fighting began in the early hours of September 1, 1939, when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein fired on the Polish fort of Westerplatte. The first battle of the Second World War quickly ensued.
The attack on Poland by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime led Britain and France to declare war on Germany two days later.