What Happened When Germany Invaded Poland?

When Germany invaded Poland, World War II began. Germany crossed into Poland at 4:45 a.m. on September 1, 1939. Poland declared war on Germany two days later.

Adolf Hitler, the chancellor of Germany at the time, felt that by invading and conquering Poland, Germany would acquire "living space" for the German people. He wanted to rid Poland of those people he felt were racially inadequate and wanted to enslave the Polish people. During the invasion, he had no idea the taking of Poland would cause other countries to become hostile with Germany.

Hitler had been planning the invasion of Poland for months. On August 31, thousands of Nazi soldiers dressed as Polish troops staged a fake invasion of Germany, destroying minor German installations and killing concentration camp prisoners who were dressed as Nazi soldiers. Hitler felt as though this deception would make it look like Poland initiated the hostilities.

After the invasion of Poland, France and Britain demanded Germany withdraw from the country, but Hitler refused. Poland was very outmatched despite sending out one million troops to fight the Germans. Britain and France declared war on Germany but did little to stop the country from taking over Poland. By 1941, Germany had completely taken control of Poland.