Pinned World War II - A Timeline

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  • World War II - A Timeline

    Introduction:

    After months of diplomatic arguing and a policy of appeasement by the Allies towards Germany on September 1st 1939 war broke out in Europe after Germany's' invasion of Poland and threw Europe into darkness and chaos and introduced a new dramatic form of military warfare.
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  • September 1st 1939
    On this day Germany invaded Poland to signal the start of the Second world war (WW II). With a force made up of 53 divisions and 1,600 aircraft, German forces crossed the borders into Poland in a Pincer movement led by General Walther von Brauchitsch.

    The objective of this large scale attack was to defeat the Polish forces as fast as possible and cut off supply and communication lines.

    The invasion was known as as the "September campaign (Kampania wrześniowa)" or the "1939 defensive war (Wojna obronna 1939 roku)", and in Germany as the "Poland campaign (Polenfeldzug)

    It was a German victory as despite Polish attempts to defend their nation from attack they could not match the sheer numbers and strength of the German forces
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  • September 3rd 1939:
    After the expiration of the Allied ultimatum to Nazi Germany to end their attack on Poland and withdraw both Britain and France declared war on Germany (Australia and New Zealand also declared war on Germany)

    In a radio broadcast to the British people Chamberlain stated;

    Neville Chamberlain wrote:

    The long struggle to win peace had failed.... I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful.

    The declaration of war was received with great enthusiasm in the Polish capital, Warsaw, where crowds gathered on to the streets outside the British and French embassies cheering and singing.
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  • September 5th 1939:

    After forming his new Cabinet South African Prime Minister Jan Christiaan Smut Declares War on Germany.


    On the same day in the United States of America, the U.S authorities proclaim their neutrality when President Roosevelt addresses the country;



    Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote:

    As long as it remains within my power to prevent, there will be no blackout of peace in the United States
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  • December 18th 1940
    On this day German leader Adolf Hitler shared his plans of a new target. Operation Barbarossa also known as "Führer Directive No. 21" was the unveiling of the Nazi invasion of Soviet Union.

    The General Purpose section of the plan detailed the exact nature of the directive;

    The Führer and Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces wrote:

    The German Wehrmacht must be prepared to crush Soviet Russia in a quick campaign (Operation Barbarossa) even before the conclusion of the war against England.
    The invasion plan set out the aims and the possible retaliation by allied forces. At its core the basic concept was one that had already been successful in earlier campaigns. It planned "deep penetrations by pincer movements of armoured and motorised infantry divisions would encircle enemy forces between them and the bulk of the army," - Mitch Williamson

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  • December 29th 1940

    On this day in 1940 the President of the United States of America Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered one of his "Fireside chats", where he calls America has to become the "arsenal of democracy";

    Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote:

    We must be the great arsenal of democracy. For us this is an emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice, as we would show were we at war.

    In this speech to the nation President Roosevelt stated how America would give "maximum assistance" to the British in their fight against the Axis powers

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