By this time, the Supreme Commander of the Polish Army was Marshal of Poland 53-year-old Edward Rydz-Smigly. In the past, a student of the Philosophical Department of the Jagiellonian University and the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Rydz-Smigly, in his youth, joined the underground military organization Związek Walki Czynnej created by Józef Piłsudski. He received military education in Austria-Hungary, having served for a year in the 4 Infantry Regiment of the Austro-Hungarian Army. Then he actively participated in the activities of the Polish Nationalist Strelets Union and headed its Lviv organization, and made an officer’s career during the First World War. Called to the Austro-Hungarian army, Rydz-Smigly within two years reached the colonel, serving in the 1 th brigade of the Polish legions. In 1914, he received the rank of major, in 1915 - lieutenant colonel, and in 1916 - colonel. Note that he was not a personnel officer, and for a reserve officer called up "as a citizen," the rank of colonel in 30 years is a great achievement. After the declaration of independence of Poland, Rydz-Smigly was promoted to brigadier-general, participated in the Polish-Ukrainian and Soviet-Polish wars, where he commanded a division, and then an army. Since 1929, he was the deputy of Jozef Pilsudski and his closest associate, so it is not surprising that it was Rydz-Smigly after the death of Marshal Pilsudski in 1935 that year he headed the Polish armed forces.
When 21 March 1939, Hitler again put forward demands for Danzig, the Polish side began military preparations. 22 March 1939 of the year Marshal Rydz-Smigly approved the war plan with Germany, and 23 of March 1939 of the year the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army Brigadier General Vatslav Stakhevich ordered to mobilize four divisions and transfer them to East Pomerania, where the state border of Poland and Germany was deployed. Thus, the Polish military command perfectly understood that the war would begin in the foreseeable future. Warsaw hoped to fight off the attack of Hitler Germany with the help of Great Britain and France.
The two most powerful states of Europe at that time repeatedly assured Poland of their intercession. Already 31 March 1939, Chamberlain assured Poland of political, economic and military assistance to Great Britain in the event of a military attack by any state. On April 6, a bilateral agreement on mutual assistance between Poland and Great Britain was signed, and on May 15 a protocol was signed with France. Paris promised exactly three days after the announcement of mobilization in Poland to begin preparations for an offensive against Germany. Another agreement between the UK and Poland, representatives of the two countries signed 25 August 1939. Before the start of World War II, there was a week left. In Poland, great tension was felt, but, apparently, no one, including the most senior players of Polish politics, could assume that the war with Germany would have disastrous consequences for the Polish state — it would simply cease to exist. There was too much hope for strong support from Britain and France - the Poles believed that Western patrons would not leave them in trouble and help them cope with German aggression.
1 September 1939 of the year, in 4: 30 am Luftwaffe planes struck airfields that housed Polish air forces. In 4: 45, the Polish naval base Westerplatte in the vicinity of Danzig was shelled by a German battleship. At the same time, 4: 45 was followed by the invasion of the land forces of Nazi Germany along the entire length of the Polish border. German troops broke into Danzig, where fierce fighting began. We must pay tribute to the Polish soldiers who defended the "free city", they fought bravely. So, only fourteen hours after the assault the Nazis were able to seize the building of the "Polish Post". However, the forces were too unequal, and Danzig was soon occupied by Nazi troops, followed by a statement of its accession to Germany.
The allies of Poland at first glance were going to carry out the previous agreement. So, on the same day of September 1 of the year 1939 in France, a general mobilization was announced. September 3 in the morning 5: 00 Britain officially declared war on Germany, and in 11: 00 France joined the UK. The war of Germany against Poland, thus, formally acquired the character of a world war. However, on the declaration of war against Germany, the Allies stopped. Then began a very slow preparation for hostilities. While the German troops were moving rapidly into the depths of Poland, suppressing the resistance of the Polish Army, France was pulling with mobilization. The delay was due, among other things, to the very outdated system of mobilization and preparation of the mobilization reserve. The French command simply could not mobilize as soon as possible and launch an offensive against the German positions.
Meanwhile, according to the text of the treaty between France and Poland, France pledged to begin preparations for a major offensive on the western borders of Germany three days after the start of the general mobilization. But, although the preliminary mobilization was carried out in France on August 26, and the general mobilization was announced on September 1, a large-scale attack on the German positions did not happen. True, 7 September 1939, the French troops, who, by the way, had an overwhelming numerical superiority over the German troops on the western borders of Germany, launched an offensive in the Rhine valley. For a week, French troops occupied 12 settlements, but then German troops launched a counterattack. Already 12 September 1939, the top military leaders of France and Great Britain, having met in Abbeville, decided to immediately stop all offensive operations against Germany. The war acquired an increasingly stranger character, and it is not surprising that later historians would call the “intercession” of Great Britain and France for Poland only as a “Strange war.”
It was the French army that was to become the main striking force on the western front. By September 12, 1939, thanks to the mobilization carried out, the French troops included 78 divisions, including 4 motorized divisions, and 18 separate tank battalions. They had absolute superiority over that part of the German army that was stationed on the western borders of the country, especially in armored vehicles, since all German tank and motorized formations at that time were thrown to the east - to Poland. As for Great Britain, it was in no hurry to send its troops into the war zone. Four British divisions were to arrive at the French-Belgian border in October 1939. A large-scale offensive against Germany by the Western Allies was postponed. At the same time, both France and Great Britain, who swore eternal intercession to Warsaw, were not particularly worried about the fate of Poland. By the time the British and French generals decided to postpone their advance on German positions on September 12, the Nazis already controlled a colossal part of Polish territory.
September already has a very serious operational situation in 5. German troops moved inland - Army Group North went to Brest-Litovsk, Army Group South was bypassing Krakow. The Polish army Prusy was attacked by the 10 Army of Army Group South and defeated, moving to the right bank of the Vistula. The German troops, who had seized the Piotrkuvskoe Highway, were able to move freely towards the Polish capital. 6 September 1939 Polish President Ignacy Mostsitsky, the Government of Poland and the General Headquarters of the Polish Army left Warsaw. Marshal Rydz-Smigly ordered the large-scale retreat of the Polish troops. The armies of the Polish Army were cut off from each other and were completely surrounded by enemy forces. September 12 German troops reached Lviv, and September 14 surrounded Warsaw, and then began shelling the city. Brest, where the headquarters of the General Staff of the Polish Army was stationed, was also under siege by the German troops. Polish ambassadors to Britain and France sounded the alarm, literally begging the allies to launch an offensive, but the British and French governments remained adamant. By the way, the whole defense plan of Poland against the German invasion was based on the fact that France and Great Britain were to launch a massive offensive in the west and divert a significant part of the German troops that Hitler would have to transfer from Poland to the western border. But since this did not happen, Germany was able to direct all its main forces against Poland, including the full power of tank and motorized divisions. Perhaps the situation was different, and World War II would have ended much earlier.
Meanwhile, 17 of September, 1939, of the Red Army of the USSR entered the territory of Poland from the east on the territory of Poland. The Soviet leadership explained the invasion of Soviet troops into Poland by considerations of a military-political nature, first of all, by the collapse of the Polish state as a result of the defeat in the war with Germany and the need to protect the Ukrainian, Belarusian and Jewish population living in eastern Poland. Western Belarus and Western Ukraine were occupied by Soviet troops. At the same time, the Polish command, which by this time had been evacuated to Romania, ordered the Polish troops not to offer armed resistance to the Soviet troops. By the 20 of September, the position of Poland became disastrous. 27 September 1939, the Nazi troops entered Warsaw. October 6 Hitler's troops defeated the last defensive stronghold of the Polish state - the defenders of Kocki. Over 17 thousands of Polish soldiers and officers who defended in Kock, surrendered.
But, although Hitler's troops occupied the entire territory of Poland, with the exception of the eastern regions, which were under the control of the Soviet Union after 17 September, Poland officially did not recognize its defeat. The leadership of Poland left the country, a significant part of the Polish military also evacuated. The allies, who were not in a hurry to begin hostilities against Germany on the western front, safely deployed the evacuated Polish military on their territory. Subsequently, part of the defeated Polish army will fight as part of the Allied forces against Nazi Germany.
Thus, in fact, the defeat of Poland and the destruction of the Polish state by the Hitler forces was the result of the behavior of the allies - Britain and France. Today, almost eighty years after the start of the Second World War, this behavior cannot be called anything other than traitorous. Both Great Britain and France had a huge military and economic potential, which made it possible, especially in the 1939 year, to defeat Hitler Germany. Recall that by September 1939, Germany still had far from the human, technical and economic resources that it was able to concentrate by the 1941 year, by the time of the attack on the Soviet Union. If necessary, the allies of Poland could successfully defeat the Wehrmacht. However, this did not happen. Why? This question still does not leave the historians of the whole world. After all, the exact answer to it will shed light on who really stood at the beginning of World War II - not only in the role of pawns - cannon fodder, but also in the role of puppeteers interested in destabilizing the situation in Eastern Europe. Great Britain and France allowed Hitler to "eat" Poland as well as he "ate" Austria and Czechoslovakia before, and then, after Poland, the Scandinavian countries.
Today, anti-Russian forces are trying to impose responsibility for the start of World War II not only on Hitler Germany, but also on the Soviet Union, accusing Moscow of alliance with Hitler and complicity in the division of Poland. In fact, it is much more guilty that the Polish state ceased to exist, Poland’s direct allies are the United Kingdom and France. They are the ones who bear full responsibility for the fact that they did not fulfill their allied obligations and allowed Hitler Germany to seize Poland.
For a whole month, Poland tried to resist the aggression of Hitler Germany, but France and the United Kingdom could not organize a full-scale offensive against Germany from the west. The result was the cessation of the existence of Poland. As for the entry of Soviet troops into Polish territory, it was caused precisely by considerations of protecting the Soviet Union from the aggressive policy of Nazi Germany. If Soviet troops had not occupied Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, they would have been in the hands of the Nazis after the defeat of Poland and Hitlerite Germany would have come close to the most important Soviet regions much earlier than 1941.