Seventy three years ago today, World War II began. Over 65 million people (2.5% of the world population) died in the next six years. It began in year 10 of the last Fourth Turning. We are in the 4th year of the current Fourth Turning. If you think it has been bad so far, imagine what awaits.

Sep 1, 1939:

Germans invade Poland

At 4:45 a.m., some 1.5 million German troops invade Poland all along its 1,750-mile border with German-controlled territory. Simultaneously, the German Luftwaffe bombed Polish airfields, and German warships and U-boats attacked Polish naval forces in the Baltic Sea. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler claimed the massive invasion was a defensive action, but Britain and France were not convinced. On September 3, they declared war on Germany, initiating World War II.

To Hitler, the conquest of Poland would bring Lebensraum, or “living space,” for the German people. According to his plan, the “racially superior” Germans would colonize the territory and the native Slavs would be enslaved. German expansion had begun in 1938 with the annexation of Austria and then continued with the occupation of the Sudetenland and then all of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Both had been accomplished without igniting hostilities with the major powers, and Hitler hoped that his invasion of Poland would likewise be tolerated.

To neutralize the possibility that the USSR would come to Poland’s aid, Germany signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union on August 23, 1939. In a secret clause of the agreement, the ideological enemies agreed to divide Poland between them. Hitler gave orders for the Poland invasion to begin on August 26, but on August 25 he delayed the attack when he learned that Britain had signed a new treaty with Poland, promising military support should it be attacked. To forestall a British intervention, Hitler turned to propaganda and misinformation, alleging persecution of German-speakers in eastern Poland. Fearing imminent attack, Poland began to call up its troops, but Britain and France persuaded Poland to postpone general mobilization until August 31 in a last ditch effort to dissuade Germany from war.

Shortly after noon on August 31, Hitler ordered hostilities against Poland to begin at 4:45 a.m. the next morning. At 8 p.m. on August 31, Nazi S.S. troops wearing Polish uniforms staged a phony invasion of Germany, damaging several minor installations on the German side of the border. They also left behind a handful of dead concentration camp prisoners in Polish uniforms to serve as further evidence of the supposed Polish invasion, which Nazi propagandists publicized as an unforgivable act of aggression.

At 4:45 a.m. on September 1, the invasion began. Nazi diplomats and propagandists scrambled to head off hostilities with the Western powers, but on September 2 Britain and France demanded that Germany withdraw by September 3 or face war. At 11 p.m. on September 3, the British ultimatum expired, and 15 minutes later British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went on national radio to solemnly announce that Britain was at war with Germany. Australia, New Zealand, and India followed suit shortly thereafter. At 5:00 p.m., France declared war on Germany.

In Poland, German forces advanced at a dizzying rate. Employing a military strategy known as the blitzkrieg, or “lightning war,” armored divisions smashed through enemy lines and isolated segments of the enemy, which were encircled and captured by motorized German infantry while the panzer tanks rushed forward to repeat the pattern. Meanwhile, the sophisticated German air force–the Luftwaffe–destroyed Polish air capability, provided air support for the blitzkrieg, and indiscriminately bombed Polish cities in an effort to further terrorize the enemy.

The Polish army was able to mobilize one million men but was hopelessly outmatched in every respect. Rather than take a strong defensive position, troops were rushed to the front to confront the Germans and were systematically captured or annihilated. In a famously ill-fated strategy, Polish commanders even sent horsed cavalry into battle against the heavy German armor. By September 8, German forces had reached the outskirts of Warsaw, having advanced 140 miles in the first week of the invasion.

The Polish armed forces hoped to hold out long enough so that an offensive could be mounted against Germany in the west, but on September 17 Soviet forces invaded from the east and all hope was lost. The next day, Poland’s government and military leaders fled the country. On September 28, the Warsaw garrison finally surrendered to a relentless German siege. That day, Germany and the USSR concluded an agreement outlining their zones of occupation. For the fourth time in its history, Poland was partitioned by its more powerful neighbors.

Despite their declaration of war against Germany, Britain and France did little militarily to aid Poland. Britain bombed German warships on September 4, but Chamberlain resisted bombing Germany itself. Though Germans kept only 23 divisions in the west during their campaign in Poland, France did not launch a full-scale attack even though it had mobilized over four times that number. There were modest assaults by France on its border with Germany but these actions ceased with the defeat of Poland. During the subsequent seven months, some observers accused Britain and France of waging a “phony war,” because, with the exception of a few dramatic British-German clashes at sea, no major military action was taken. However, hostilities escalated exponentially in 1940 with Germany’s April invasion of Norway and May invasion of the Low Countries and France.

In June 1941, Hitler attacked the USSR, breaking his nonaggression with the Soviet Union, and Germany seized all of Poland. During the German occupation, nearly three million Polish Jews were killed in the Nazi death camps. The Nazis also severely persecuted the Slavic majority, deporting and executing Poles in an attempt to destroy the intelligentsia and Polish culture. A large Polish resistance movement effectively fought against the occupation with the assistance of the Polish government-in-exile. Many exiled Poles also fought for the Allied cause. The Soviets completed the liberation of Poland in 1945 and established a communist government in the nation.


  1. The aftertaste of the unravelling is like stale liquor, and the intensity of the Prophets is magnifying even now.

    Look at Hope’s comments on Iran for a small sample…. these are more common than the handfull of flashes and zaras who polarize in the other dimensions of unabashed convictions…

    The stasis of these attitudes…. that share only an unyielding belligerence… are set to crack the shells and utterly destroy humankind forever.

    The scope of all-out war and suffering, the layers of capability that could be unleashed is nothing short of Armageddon in scope.

  2. ” … German troops invade Poland all along its 1,750-mile border …”

    This map will probably be large. Hopefully, it shows the German-Polish border. No way in hell is 1,750 miles. It’s about half that.


    source: http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/map10eu.htm

    And you can’t count the long border with Czech immediately south of Poland. Yes, Germany invaded and controlled parts of Czech … but not that part.


  3. @ colma.
    My convictions while unabashed do include the initiation of force to achieve any political, social or personal goal.

    Can you say the same?

  4. This is what classic Admin brings to the site: four solid sentences in bold summarizing the old and relating it to modernity, allowing me to skim an article and get right to the comments section. Beautiful.

  5. 4TES

    Those X/Mers glued to their smart phones are not anywhere near divorcing themselves from it and engaging in political dialogue. Its like they want blinders.

    Shit, Stucky wants to put me in a FEMA camp.

    As if the following generations wont want the same for him.

  6. “…do include the initiation of force to achieve any political, social or personal goal.” -flash

    Isnt that a neo-con view?

  7. This one will begin just a touch differently:

    US attacks Syria, irritating Russia and other countries.
    Israel uses the opportunity to attack Iran.

    The world ignites in a third world war as East once again clashes against West, perpetuating a cycle of violence that has gone on for the past millennia.

    There will never be a war to end all wars. Humans will continue to kill humans, until we find something extraterrestrial to wage war upon. Then we’ll kill them until we either become extinct or they do.

  8. My X-wife named me “Chief Dark Cloud” some years ago, around 2007, I think. It was at that time I discovered ‘Peak Oil’ (thank you Matt Simons) and other global problems too large to be overcome with the current system and our way of thinking as it exists today. I can ‘feel it in my bones’ that there are everywhere SERIOUS tensions mounting just under the surface and waiting to EXPLODE. These unknown events yet to unfold will be a series of ‘seismic shift events’ that the vast majority of the human race is not prepared to face. All of my friends believe (hope) that things will soon return to ‘normal’. The economy, the housing market, the financial crisis, ect., ect. Many have a belief that Romney will be our saviour. When I express my opinions about how fucked up everything is and that ‘the system’ is broken and cannot be fixed and life will not return to ‘normal’ I am ostracised. No one knows what the future will bring. But just as some of the jewish people knew or felt early on that all was not right in Germany and they got out while they could, I have that same feeling – “all is not right” and my antenna are in a fully raised position. The shit could, can and will hit without notice and I am on High Alert every single day. I am so sure that something MAJOR is soon to happen that I have trouble sleeping soundly and I have taken precations that would have seemed to me preposterous only a few years ago.


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