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The Danzig Crisis

24 Oct 1938 - 29 Aug 1939


ww2dbaseAfter WW1, the Versailles Treaty made former Prussian city of Danzig a quasi-independent city-state. It was governed by a local parliament while was overseen by a League of Nations appointed high commissioner. Being surrounded by Polish territory, the port facilities were also open for Polish use, but the Polish did not take comfort in mere usage. The Polish wanted Danzig within its boundaries, but the predominantly ethnic German city wished for the status quo. When the Nazi Party rose to power in Germany, recruitment efforts by the party were active in Danzig. By 1933, 38% of the Danzig parliament was consisted of Nazi Party members, and a similarly significant percentage of the population expressed their wish to become a part of Germany. With pride, some of the parliamentarians wore the Nazi swastika on their arms.

ww2dbaseUnlike annexations of Austria and Memelland, Germany treated Danzig somewhat differently. During the annexation of Czechoslovakia, Adolf Hitler was ready to use force, but diplomatic victories averted military action. Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop went as far as quoting the Czechoslovakia crisis a failure because he was not able to provide the German military an opportunity to make war. With Danzig, Hitler intended to use it as a catalyst to provoke war with Poland. Karl Burckhardt, the League of Nations high commissioner of Danzig, noted to British Lord Halifax that Hitler told him

If the slightest incident happens now, I shall crush the Poles without warning in such a way that no trace of Poland can be found afterwards. I shall strike with the full force of a mechanized army, of which the Poles have no conception.

ww2dbaseBurckhardt thought Hitler was boasting his military might instead of threatening war, perhaps setting up a façade in the face of the currently ongoing British-French-Russian talks of an alliance to contain Germany. Halifax agreed and made nothing of it.

ww2dbaseAlthough the goal was different, the German propaganda machine deployed a similar strategy that had been effective in the previous annexations. One of them was the spread of propaganda using newspapers. While Jewish-owned businesses were vandalized with yellow stars and swastikas or simply attacked, German newspapers told exaggerated stories of prejudice against the German people in Danzig. William Manchester gathered a collection of headlines from the period:


ww2dbaseOf course, no German newspaper mentioned the German military mobilization on the Polish border.

ww2dbaseWithin Danzig, Germany built support both politically and militarily. The Nazi Party appointed Albert Forster as the city's Gauleiter, who proclaimed Danzig German; "In these happy times", he said, "we will stand together and give thanks to the FĂĽhrer that he has brought us back into Greater Germany." Forster's proclamation was not without forceful support. Starting in Jun 1939, a force 4,000-strong and loyal to the Nazi party was organized in Danzig. On 25 Jun 1939, 1,000 men of the SS traveled to Danzig for a sports competition. After the event was over, they all remained. By the next month, people knew they had no intentions of leaving as they observed the words Heimwehr Danzig, "Home Guard Danzig", on the sleeves of their SS uniforms. By Aug, men were working around the clock to build barracks large enough to house 10,000 soldiers.

ww2dbaseThrough his diplomats, Hitler demanded several items that he knew would worsen relations with Poland, which included the admittance of Danzig into the German sphere of influence, the building a German highway a German railway through the "Polish Corridor", and the Polish participation in the Anti-Comintern Pact. Hitler knew he must constantly keep demands a bit above Polish tolerance, but yet reasonable enough to stretch out the negotiations, so that he could keep the issue open while Germany prepared for war. The last set of demands was given by Ribbentrop to British Ambassador to Berlin Neville Henderson on 29 Aug 1939, demanding a plebiscite in the "Polish Corridor" with voting rules tilted to favor a pro-German outcome. Two days later, the German military crossed the Polish border on a conquest that had been in the plans for months. The world finally realized the negotiations for Danzig was nothing but a catalyst, or perhaps, only a distraction.

Isabel Denny, The Fall of Hitler's Fortress City
William Manchester, The Last Lion

Last Major Update: May 2007

The Danzig Crisis Timeline

24 Oct 1938 Joachim von Ribbentrop met with Polish ambassador JĂłzef Lipski at Berchtesgaden in southern Germany. During the meeting, he noted that Danzig was German and Germany wanted to see it back within German borders. He also noted that Germany wanted to build a highway and a railway through western Poland to connect East Prussia with the main German territory, and that Germany would like to have Poland join the Anti-Comintern Pact.
31 Oct 1938 Poland noted to the Germans that Danzig was to remain independent, and that Poland was not interested in signing the Anti-Comintern Pact.
24 Nov 1938 Adolf Hitler ordered his top military leaders to prepare plans for the invasion of the Free City of Danzig, but careful to include that it was not to include war with Poland.
5 Jan 1939 Adolf Hitler met Polish Foreign Minister JĂłzef Beck at Berchtesgaden in southern Germany and, in a friendly manner, mentioned that Danzig was German, and it was in his interest to one day see it return within German borders.
25 Jan 1939 Adolf Hitler resolved to wipe the entire Polish state off the map should Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop's final approach to persuade the Poles of German territorial proposals become rejected.
26 Jan 1939 Joachim von Ribbentrop arrived in Warsaw, Poland and spoke to Polish leaders regarding the German wish to annex Danzig and to have Poland sign the Anti-Comintern Pact.
21 Mar 1939 French President Albert Lebrun visited London, England, United Kingdom. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain attempted to persuade Lebrun to enter into a British-French-Polish alliance to contain Germany; a similar proposal was also sent to the Polish leadership via the British ambassador in Warsaw, Poland, but the Polish responded coolly. On the same day, in Berlin, Germany, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop expressed that if Poland continued to not agree with German demands for Danzig and if Poland continued to resist signing the Anti-Comintern Pact, then the present German-Polish friendship would deteriorate.
22 Mar 1939 Poland requested consultations with United Kingdom and France regarding German demands for Danzig. United Kingdom and France expressed willingness to go further than mere consultation and suggested a formal treaty.
25 Mar 1939 German intelligence chief Wilhelm Canaris reported to Adolf Hitler that his agents had detected Polish troop movements on the Polish border with Danzig. Hitler met with Army chief Walther von Brauchitsch regarding this latest development in his attempt to acquire Danzig.
28 Mar 1939 Polish Foreign Minister JĂłzef Beck met with the German Ambassador in Poland that any further demand on Danzig by Germany might result in war between Poland and Germany.
30 Mar 1939 British Ambassador in Poland Howard Kennard offered Poland a British-French-Polish agreement in which the three countries would mutually guarantee each others' borders; this agreement arose from the build-up of tension between Germany and Poland over Danzig. The Soviet Union was purposely excluded from the negotiations per Polish demands.
31 Mar 1939 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain noted that the United Kingdom and France would guarantee Polish borders, with military force if necessary.
6 Apr 1939 The 30 Mar 1939 British-French-Polish agreement to mutually guarantee each others' borders was signed into a formal treaty in London, England, United Kingdom.
20 Apr 1939 Italian Ambassador in Berlin, Germany, Attalico, sent a message to Rome, Italy, noting that war between Germany and Poland seemed imminent.
28 Apr 1939 In a two-hour speech to the German Reichstag which was widely broadcast around the world, Adolf Hitler repudiated the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and expressed the wish to annex Danzig. In regards to the recent British-Polish treaty, Hitler claimed that it broke the terms of the 1934 German-Polish non-aggression treaty, thus the 1934 agreement was now void; he was, however, willing to negotiate a new one with Poland. Finally, addressing US President Franklin Roosevelt's letter of 14 Apr 1939, in which Roosevelt requested Germany to guarantee the borders of 31 nations, Hitler noted the result of the subsequent survey that revealed most of the nations (Poland excluded) responded they were not at all threatened by Germany.
5 May 1939 Polish Foreign Minister JĂłzef Beck spoke to the Polish Parliament, noting that the German-Polish relationship was rapidly deteriorating due to Germany's bullying tactics.
6 May 1939 Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano met with his German counterpart Joachim von Ribbentrop in Milan, Italy, where Ciano informed Ribbentrop that Italy would not be ready for war for another three years. Ribbentrop noted the comment, and informed Ciano that Adolf Hitler did not yet have any plans for war.
7 May 1939 The French ambassador in Berlin, Germany dispatched a warning to French leadership of deteriorating German-Polish relations.
9 May 1939 The French ambassador in Berlin, Germany dispatched another warning to French leadership, noting that he had reasons to believe that Adolf Hitler was presenting or was about to present a plan to Joseph Stalin for the partition of Poland.
23 May 1939 Adolf Hitler held a long speech before his top military commanders, starting by noting Danzig as a means to engage Poland in a war to gain Lebensraum ("living space") for the German people, and then digressing to note the possibility of war with Britain and France, the need to occupy the Low Countries for their airfields, and strategies for a war in western Europe and the Atlantic.
19 Jun 1939 The German Army reported that thus far 168 officers had been infiltrated into Danzig in prepration of action.
21 Jul 1939 British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax wrote to British Ambassador to Poland Clifford Norton, asking him to expressed to the Polish government the British desire for Poland to refrain from acting defiantly to recent German threats.
24 Jul 1939 Hungarian Prime Minister Pál Teleki informed Germany and Italy that should a war broke out between Germany and Poland, Hungary would not participate in a joint invasion; German leader Adolf Hitler would soon intimidate Teleki to retract the statement. On the same day, Italian leader Benito Mussolini warned Hitler that should war break out due to the Polish-German tension, Italy would come to Germany's help, but Mussolini believed it would not be a simple Polish-German War, but rather, other nations such as the United Kingdom and France would be dragged in, leading to another great war.
4 Aug 1939 Polish customs officials on the Danzig border began carrying arms, which alerted the Germans.
7 Aug 1939 A group of British businessmen met with Hermann Göring in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, warning him that British public sentiment would not allow another act of appeasement, and that the public would push the British government to declare war on Germany.
9 Aug 1939 Germany sent a message to Poland noting that its uncooperativeness to work with Germany, ie. its refusal of German demands to annex Danzig, might lead to war, and Germany would not hold the responsibility for starting an armed conflict.
10 Aug 1939 Poland responded to Germany's message from the previous day, noting that should a war between the two nations start, it would be German aggression that started it, and Poland could not be blamed.
23 Aug 1939 Albert Forster was appointed by the German government as the State President of the Free City of Danzig.
26 Aug 1939 French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier sent a message to German leader Adolf Hitler, noting that while France desired peace, it would fight for Poland should it be invaded.
27 Aug 1939 German leader Adolf Hitler responded to the message from French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier from the previous day, noting that Germany had no intention of fighting France, so if France was to attack Germany due to the German-Poland situation, it would be a war initiated by France, and Germany could not be faulted for such a conflict; additionally, Hitler stressed that Germany had no territorial demands on the German-French border. Meanwhile, Hermann Göring's friend Birger Dahlerus, a Swedish national, attempted a parallel route to negotiate for peace.
29 Aug 1939 Through the Swedish businessman Birger Dahlerus, Germany expressed that Germany only desired Danzig and a small section of the Polish Corridor, while a plebiscite should be held in the near future to determine the fate of the remainder of the Polish Corridor.
30 Aug 1939 Poland refused to dispatch a delegation to Germany to negotiate over the topics of Danzig and the Polish Corridor. Polish Commander-in-Chief, Marshal of Poland, Edward Rydz-Smigly ordered the mobilization of the army.
31 Aug 1939 Adolf Hitler offered the United Kingdom that Germany would not risk war if Poland was willing to turn over Danzig and a small section of the Polish Corridor, and that Poland was to allow a plebiscite for the remainder of the Polish Corridor in the near future; British Ambassador in Germany Nevile Henderson expressed that the United Kingdom, while desiring peace, could not sacrifice Poland to achieve that goal. Meanwhile, Henderson continued to press Poland to send a delegation to Germany in a last attempt to negotiate peace over Danzig and the Polish Corridor. When Polish Ambassador in Germany JĂłzef Lipski attempted to send Henderson's message to Poland later in the evening, he found that Germany had cut telephone and telegraph communications to Poland.
2 Sep 1939 Germany annexed the Free City of Danzig. Adolf Hitler advised the United Kingdom and France that he would withdraw from Poland if allowed to keep Danzig and the Polish corridor.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
29 Aug 2012 08:04:25 AM

What country would accept a portion of it's land be saparated?Imagine New England being separated from the rest of the US if New York State were given over to Canada. The Poles had no right to Danzig nor the Corridor.
2. Anonymous says:
6 Aug 2013 06:22:51 PM

Re: the post of 29 Aug 2012: "Imagine Alaska being separated from the rest of the US by British Columbia, Canada..." oh yeah, I guess it would be okay for the US to invade Canada over that too... DOH!
3. Anonymous says:
11 Feb 2014 02:55:22 PM

#2 Comment has no basis
Alaska was never separated from the US mainland. The US purchased Russian-America from the Russians in 1867!
4. Anonymous says:
4 Mar 2014 08:23:59 AM

Poland wouldn't be severing it's own land, just withdrawing it's customs officials and conceding control of a territory that had, (19 years previously), been part of Germany and that was occupied by 95% German ex-pats that had spent 20 years organizing mass labour actions in protest to Polish administration...so kinda not the same.
5. Anonymous says:
18 Mar 2014 08:42:12 PM

Poles behaved unreasonably and they were very unfriendly to Germans: they should give up Danzig and agree on exterritorial corridor from Germany.
6. Anonymous says:
20 Apr 2014 01:01:52 PM

ok 1897 the first Zionist Congress in Switzerland 200 powerful Jewish people from all over the world to vote on how to steal Palestine from the British and force all jews
7. Anonymous says:
7 Jun 2014 08:59:17 AM

Maybe Putin took a page from history with his Crimea demands. Scary.
8. Anonymous says:
28 Feb 2015 10:17:28 PM

Comment #3 has no basis.Alaska has always been separated from mainland US territory by British Columbia in exactly the same way the so-called "Polish Corridor" separated Germany proper from the (former) East Prussia.Still is.Don't believe me?Look at any atlas of North America.Seriously why are you writing nonsense.
9. Anonymous says:
15 Mar 2015 09:02:45 PM

Peter needs an update on European history.
Austria and Germany for many centuries were part of the same Empire. Most of the Emperors were Austrians (Habsburg) After the Empire was desolved, Austria became part of the Deutsche Bund. Guess, it's President was an Austrian. After the II. Reich was formed Germany and Austria became strong allies. Austria was not annexed
10. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
16 Mar 2015 12:07:28 PM

To Anonymous #9:

Austria was absolutely annexed – or it was reunified with Germany or whatever you want to call it. No one is denying the common history and heritage of the two regions but on March 11, 1938 they were two separate nations, on a governmental basis at the very least. The following day, that distinction was dissolved. That transition is what is important about this event, whether it is called “annexation” or anything else. To be so incensed over such a minor semantic distinction 77 years after the fact seems non-productive to me.
11. Tancred says:
18 Aug 2015 01:42:07 AM

What this rather badly written article doesn't mention is that the British did not make any serious attempt to settle the crisis. Instead they exacerbated it - British ambassador Kennard actively encouraged the Poles to resist the German demands and provoke war. Henderson was not aware of this policy that was initiated by Lord Halifax, British foreign secretary. The British still believed theyt were a great power in 1939 and could play the 'great game' in Europe as they did since the 1700s and manipulate one power against another. The war could have been avoided if Poland could have been persuaded to relent over Danzig in exchange for other concessions or a financial package.
12. Anonymous says:
8 Jan 2016 02:13:52 PM

i would like to call out the writers of this on a few points
1. they say hitler used the dazig problem as a spring board for war ,i do not believe that . hitler said time after time"what am i to do thousand and thousands of fellow germans are being massacred but he kept away, the numbers continued to mount finally 58,000 was the total of woman children and old men heads bashed in mutilated kids nailed to the sides of barns pictures to horrible to look at obvious torture and hitler said enough. a few at the signing of versailles predicted it was destined to hand because of the requirements in the treaty,IT WAS A SETUP of course to the victor goes the spoil and the first casualty of war is the truth. those who sensor the narrative are the same the wrote the treaty and sent thugs into danzig to foment detention and killing of german poles. also general smiley (polish general)said he could crush germany in 2 days,he wanted to invade germany read the truth !!!
13. Anonymous says:
11 Jan 2016 10:07:52 AM

I'm seriously wondering if this article is slanted, why was the massacres not addressed. did they happen ?
its alleged 58000 old men women and children were horrifically slaughter over a long period, with many pictures.
also what about general smugglers comment that he wanted war with germany? also what about the proof the germany was not ready for war, and countless enemy captured tanks used by germans. pictures don't lie. i just want the truth which unfortunately is the first casualty of war. the truth
14. Anonymous says:
23 May 2016 11:17:17 PM

Great Article Peter! I've been trying to find a sensible timeline of these events. I know about the Soviet/Nazi non-aggression pact of August 23, 1939 (?date). Just wondering if you could write a little about that? How does that relate to Danzig specifically? Also, would be really helpful if you could include 2 maps of Danzig "pre-WW1 / pre-WW2" so we could get some idea of the changes.

Maybe this goes without saying but never could quite figure out why Poland was deprived of a coastline for so long. Certainly there are land-locked countries in the world but Poland seemed Jury-rigged (no pun intended).
15. Anonymous says:
9 Aug 2016 11:30:30 PM

Comments 12&13 are blatant lies.The massacres occurred only in the diseased mind of Adolf Hitler,And Hitler wanted more than Danzig.He wanted Poland reduced to the staus of a German satellite.That was the meaning of his demand that Poland adhere to the anti-comintern pact.
16. Anonymous says:
22 Sep 2016 07:45:34 PM

good articulation
17. Anonymous says:
17 Apr 2017 02:34:53 AM

Great article. If only this time line had been taught in my school 20 years ago. I am not surprised to hear of Hitler attempting to peacefully negotiate. The economy was strong, they wanted peace as much as the rest of the UK.
I have German in my blood, yet, have been taught to hide my heritage. I only read this article because of the present conflict with North Korea and the USA. Now I feel that I can share your article with others.
Thank you.
18. Douglas R Arbo Jr says:
16 May 2017 06:10:12 PM

Comments 12 & 13 are not lies. Yet an inconvenient truth contradicting the all perceptions that the Germans were completely evil they feed us in school, etc.
19. Anonymous says:
29 Jul 2017 05:27:20 AM

I have a question about the various series of conflicts which culminated in the Danzig massacres (according to: http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/massacres_east.html#Poland, "At a later investigation, the testimonies of 593 witnesses established the fact that at least 3,841 named ethnic Germans were murdered by the Poles prior to the full German occupation. These revenge murders were carried out as early as April, 1939 in the Polish Corridor.").
I am curious: were there a series of conflicts and ethnic divisions (leading to assaults, or physical violence outbreaks) prior to the outbreak of WW2 on September 1? It seems that the subsequent killings of the Germans during the invasion and the following German killings of Poles after, in retaliation, weren't really a product of a sudden event, but some gradual ethnic rifts that had been stewing for quite some time.
20. Leslie Phelps says:
30 Aug 2017 07:05:36 AM

Several of you are the victims of revisionist history. I won't say which ones, but you are way off.
21. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
30 Aug 2017 10:36:53 AM

In re-reading some of the comments here, I am struck with how the Hitler-apologists have (intentionally?) overlooked one important point: Since later history clearly exposed it had been Hitler’s intent to invade Russia all along, what do you suppose Hitler’s intent with respect to Poland and Danzig was? That he ever intended to have any manner of peaceful resolution with Poland over Danzig or anything else seems painfully unlikely.
22. Janneta Stoddern says:
9 Oct 2017 01:16:07 AM

My Mother was an actual free citizen in Danzig at the time of the first invasion of the Polish Army. This occurred on her 5th Birthday 03/09/1939. She witnessed the Polish army walking into Danzig and shooting several of their neighbours in cold blood. She and her sisters had to sleep under the floorboards under their brother’s beds to keep them safe. This though did not help her as she was raped at the age of 5 by a Polish Soldier.
Why is none of this history listed? Their house was occupied by the Nazis and then the Poles, closely followed by the Russians. My Grandmother ran a resistance group to aid the escape of their Jewish neighbours as well as many others.
They ended having to walk from Danzig to an East Berlin refugee camp to get to safety. Leaving my Paternal Great Grandmother behind who was too old to walk. The Manor house and farm lands they owned were taken from them as well as many family heirlooms.
I am trying to source my maternal family history and am constantly hitting brick walls. Why? Also why is Danzig being listed as Polish back then when it was a free city?
23. Steve Holz says:
22 Mar 2018 02:39:47 PM

Danzig was populated by Germans and had been so since 1793. After WW1 peace treaty in Versailles, Danzig was declared as the "Free City of Danzig" but with Polish access to the harbour. Poland was also given a landtounge to the Baltic sea next to Danzig. This cut Germany in two halves with no direct access to Germany East Prussia.
This was one of many mistakes made by the Versailles peace treaty. Poland now found themselves in a very dangerous position.
Hitler and Germany wasn't pleased at all and claimed back a corridor through Poland by the Baltic coast to east Prussia, including Danzig.
France & GB felt obligated to support Poland because of the Versailles borders but Germany invaded anyway. France and GB declared war on Germany for the 2nd time in 35 years. But the where no sign of direct help from them, in the end it was the Soviet communists who "liberated the Polish people" in this by very an unfriendly manner. First Poland was crushed by nazis and 5-6 years later by the communist.
Poland suffered heavily during the war with millions of deads and then for 45 years as a communist state. Poland, was it worth it? Just to hold on to some land you lost some 130 years earlier?
We don't know what had happened if the Polish given Hitler the corridor to east prussia, it's all speculation from here.
Germany would probably invaded Poland anyway to be able to invade Soviet later. But a world war could have been avoided if France and GB didn't declared war on Germany.
But as it happened, europe was drawn into WW2 with horrible consequences. The result, big parts of Europe destroyed, Nazi-Germany crushed and Hitler dead but 45 years of cold war and also a communist east europe.
24. Mark says:
6 May 2018 12:13:46 AM

The UK and France committed suicide by backing the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.

They should have allowed a referendum on Danzig.
25. The Truth says:
31 May 2018 03:00:00 AM

Germany offered negotiation many times over Danzig and the corridor, but Poland refused every single time. There wasn't even one tiny amount of compromise, nothing. Britain and France committed themselves to war with Germany by guaranteeing Polish borders and they knew it - Lord Halifax repeatedly obstructed attempts by ambassador Neville Henderson to broker an agreement between Germany and Poland. Much is made of German intentions towards Poland but Polish expansionism has been ignored by historians; even in 1939 Poland wanted to expand west and annex all Germany territory east of the Oder-Niesse line. Poland actively desired war as a means to this end.
26. Anonymous says:
15 Jun 2018 05:06:11 AM

The British & French mistakes were many. The first was indeed the Versailles Treaty - if the Allies had conquered Germany instead of accepting their surrender at the end of WW1 there would have been no 'grievances' because Germany woukld have ceased to exist. After that mistake, WW2 was more or less inevitable. The inly questions was 'when'. The longer Hitler was allowed to prepare the worse it would have been. Hitler there is no doubt that Hotler's gial was to attack Russia - and that he knew he had to put France out of first. So, if not Poland, would Britain have gone to war over France ? If not, then it's unlikely we would have gone to war over Russia and it's an even bet that Hitler would have beaten Stalin ...
I would suggest the best opportunity to have stopped Hitler wouild have been when he occupied the Ruhr = which almost everyone agreed he had the right but which gave him the resources to make the next step ..
27. Anonymous says:
18 Jun 2018 10:31:06 AM

Please proof-read the articles before publishing. Many mistakes.
28. Jayme W says:
6 Nov 2018 05:56:14 AM

The real travesty is the treaty of Versailles, the french/british/italians wanted Germany punished for the war ignoring Wilson's 14 point plan, that started for reasons of treaties. Everyone bandied their threats and began mobilizations that just escalated their opponents to do the same. At the end of WW1, the Germans laid down their weapons and were at the mercy of Britain and France. Wilson tried to broker a more compassionate treaty but european interests wanted a scapegoat. These attitudes setup the enviroment IMO which lead to Hitler's rise and WWII
29. Myles golden says:
25 Nov 2018 04:40:07 PM

The author took enormous liberty with his opinion.
I see this entire situation as a huge failure in diplomacy by the Allied politicians. You cant tell a sovereign country it cant handle its own boarder disputes. Hitler promised not to invade a country without talking it out with Chamberlin first. He tried but Chamberlin had allowed Churchill to box him in politically. Germans gave Hitler power because he promised to defend the Volk first. He stood true to his word to Chamberlin and the German people. Poland had plenty of reasonable solutions handed to their leader. Of whom was know to be inebt and in meed of solid guidence from Britain and France. Instead, he was given a guarentee of retaliation if he was attacked. The goof thought he was safe and the allies would come with guns blazing to stop Germany. How did that work out for Poland? At the end of the war, the Allies set back on the river bank watching the free Polish up rising be demolished. After Poland was leveled then they let uncle joe march in and have the Poland he wanted from the beginning. Communist got everything they wanted in Poland without any opposition. Nice job, millions died for what?
Roosevelt and Churchill were the ones that gave no effort to avert war.
In my OPINION, they believe a war could benefit themselves politically as well as help the flat economies of their countries.
But no doubt Hiitler wanted the world to see the power of the German armed forces that the germans created without switching to a war economy.
This is a much deeper and complicated grave moment in time.
A writting about it should not be claimed as encyclopedic. This is an opinion column. Facts only please do not insert your assumptions as if fact
30. Anonymous says:
31 Mar 2020 01:03:10 PM

Chesty Puller quote, "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

Was at Chosin Korea different war.
31. Anonymous says:
20 Apr 2020 12:47:47 AM

Oh dear god, the revisionism and the ludicrousness is off the charts in this comments section.

1. Germany's initial demands (barring the stipulation that Poland join the Comintern Pact) were totally reasonable. Danzig was ethnically German and Hitler had every right to demand that Germans (especially the ones in Danzig who revered him) should be integrated into the Reich.

2. Unless you can provide factual, thoroughly-checked sources (AKA not anecdotal sources), it is widely agreed that Poland did not engage in massacres against the ethnic German population of Danzig.

3. While Hitler's claims that Danzig was German and should therefore become part of the Reich had basis, he did unfortunately use this crisis as an excuse to wipe the Polish state off the map, otherwise he would not have agreed to partition Poland with Stalin, and Poland would not have been crushed in a month's time. Germany was ready for war, and Hitler was more than willing to supply that war.

4.The Allies' guarantee of Polish borders was sort of a violation of the Locarno Treaties, which made the Eastern European borders open for revision (of which Hitler did plenty) but also made the peaceful conclusion of German-Polish talks nigh impossible. The British goal during the Locarno Treaties was expressly so that Eastern Europe would accede to German demands to bring Germans back into Germany, so why the British themselves would defeat their own goal is beyond comprehension. Furthermore, Polish borders, by virtue of the Treaty of Versailles, did not include the Free City of Danzig, which Hitler planned to annex. If a move on Danzig constituted a "violation of Polish borders", then that would, de facto, mean that Poland had annexed Danzig, the one thing that would give Hitler vindication about Polish plans. While the extraterritorial railroad is something else entirely, I find it hard to believe that the free movement of Germans from East Prussia to Germany proper via rail could not have been negotiated.

5. The idea that in order to survive, Poland needed the Polish Corridor was ludicrous. Hungary was not given a corridor to the Adriatic after the Treaty of Trianon, in fact, such a corridor was removed from Hungary and given to a newly formed Yugoslavia.

re: comments #1, 2, 3, 4, 8
The main difference between Alaska and East Prussia is that Alaska was disconnected via land gained, while East Prussia was disconnected via land lost. The US would not have a basis to attack Canada for British Columbia because they never actually had British Columbia to begin with, while Germany had a basis to attack Poland over the corridor because they had lost it in a war only 21 years prior.

re: comments #12, 13, 17 to an extent, 18
Why are we suddenly believing Hitler? Last I checked, wasn't he the guy that said Germany had no more claims to make in Europe, then went ahead and annexed Czechoslovakia? And, while the German people may have wanted peace, Hitler himself definitely wanted war. One does not crush a nation in a month without thorough preparation. There was no setup, unless you're talking about the setup of the Wehrmacht as they were arrayed against the Polish troops.

re: comment #25
Again, no sources say that Poland wanted to annex German land. Especially land that was 100% NOT Polish, and ESPECIALLY not only ~17 years after winning their big war against the Soviets.

re: comment #26
The Allies should have just fully conquered Germany? What? Do you know just how poorly that would have gone? Imagine having a country that had only been unified for 47 years suddenly lose its independence completely, while another state is granted independence on ethnic grounds from territory that partially belonged to that country, all for not even STARTING the war that caused millions of deaths on both sides. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Germans would have risen up in droves and eventually forced their occupiers to withdraw. The Versailles Treaty wasn't a mistake because it wasn't harsh enough, it was a mistake because it was too harsh. Germany got sliced and diced despite not even starting the war, so you can bet they felt utterly humiliated. Hell, even Belgium wanted land that didn't even rightfully belong to them on ethnic grounds when they took Eupen-Malmedy in the west and rigged the plebiscites, despite that it was mostly German.
32. tony says:
2 Mar 2022 07:21:47 AM

These are some good info
33. Anonymous says:
1 Apr 2023 01:16:34 PM

How strange when I thought Germany, the word Russia fell out of my mouth, and thinking Poland, Ukraine tumbled out letter by letter.
The US planned the Middle East war designating a religious sect as terrorists, and 20 years later the outcome of the new population knowing nothing else except US military control, is not a happy place. If one considers the Middle East wars were 'distractions' from the NATO bombing Yugoslavia with depleted Uranium, then this Ukraine/Russia confrontation is the bounce-back to Europe being the focus---again!

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More on The Danzig Crisis
» Forster, Albert
» Greiser, Arthur

» Danzig
» Germany
» Poland

» No. 108-1: Albert Forster's Proclamation to the People of Danzig
» No. 108-2: Messages between Forster and Hitler on Danzig
» No. 13: Extract from Herr Hitler's speech to the Reichstag
» No. 26: Message from Greiser to the Polish Commissioner-General
» No. 27-28, 30, 41-42, 45-47, 50-51: Messages between Kennard and Halifax on Danzig
» No. 29, 31, & 33 : Messages from Gerald Shepherd to Halifax on Danzig
» No. 32, 34, 38, 39, 43: Messages between Norton and Halifax on Danzig
» No. 35: Chamberlain's Speech at the House of Commons
» No. 36 & 48: Messages from Henderson to Halifax on Danzig
» No. 37, 40, & 44 : Messages from F. M. Shepherd to Halifax on Danzig
» No. 56, 60, 68, 74, 78, & 89: Messages Between Chamberlain/UK Government and Hitler
» No. 62: Message from F. M. Shepherd to Halifax
» No. 64: Speech by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons
» No. 65. Speech by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the House of Lords
» No. 98: Message from Weizsäcker to Henderson

Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

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