Analysis of the Inter-War Period

Invasion of Poland (1939)

The Invasion of Poland is also known as Operation White (Fall Weiss).  This invasion was started when Germany signed the Non-Aggression Pact with Russia forming an alliance with it and promising Russia half of Poland while Germany would control the other half.  On Sept. 1, 1939, the German army Wehrmacht, invaded Poland.  This invasion was not like any of the invasions before it because for the first time, the Germans used the Blitzkrieg tactics to attack Poland.  These tactics allowed Germany to fight and win against the Polish at “lightening speed.”  Some of the advantages of the Blitzkrieg include the fact that the German ground forces destroyed the Polish defense lines in 2 days, all of the military opposition that Germany was faced with was ended on Oct. 6, 1939, Danzig fell on Sept.7, the Warsaw was forced to surrender after it had been defeated (known as being capitulated) and 65 000 Polish troops died while thousands were captured or hurt.  The main reason for victory of Germany is because they had more weapons and were more industrialized.  For example, Germany had 11 tank divisions, 40 infantry divisions, 850 bombers and 400 fighters.  Poland, on the other hand, did not have as much military power as the Germans did which led to their downfall.  Von Bundstedt attacked South of Poland while Von Bock attacked North of Poland.  The only defense that Poland had to defend them was the Poznan army which was eventually defeated.  The River Vistula was also supposed to act as a protection from German troops but Germany crossed it on day 5 and wiped out most of the aircrafts and soldiers.  This then allowed Russian to invade a weakened Poland and conquer it as well.  In the end, Poland was mainly destroyed because of the lightening attack that the Blitzkrieg produced allowing Germany to annihilate Poland and conquer this country.  Appeasement was another factor to  the Invasion of Poland because Hitler believed that if he could have gotten away with remilitarizing Germany and taking the Sudetenland, then he should be able to avoid conflict with the other countries in the league of nations if he were to blitzkrieg Poland.