Thursday, August 27, 2009

On September 1, 1939, at 04:45 local time 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II at Westerplatte Poland with no American Delegation. Where i

On September 1, 1939, at 04:45 local time 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II at Westerplatte Poland with no American Delegation.

On September 1, 1939, at 04:45 local time 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II at Westerplatte Poland with no American Delegation. Where is president Obama, Vice President Biden or Secretary of state Hillary Clinton?

Polish American Community and people of Poland one of the US strongest allied are outrage that US is not sending high ranking delegation to this event.

70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II at Westerplatte will be attended by German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin and other 69 Heads of States and Governments will Participante.Among those expected to be present at the Westerplatte monument on 1 September are also the prime ministers of Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, the Baltic states, Finland, as well as European Parliament president Jerzy Buzek. France and the UK, which were Poland's allies in 1939, will be represented by foreign ministers Bernard Kouchner and David Miliband.

But not from United States of America

To the entire world Westerplatte ( the Polish Thermopile ) in Poland is like Pearl Harbor to American people.

Westerplatte (1967) part03 [English Subtitles] Polish war movie

Clips from CBC mini documentary about Poland's contribution to the war effort. Polish pilots of the RAF. Betrayal of Poland by Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.

Over the course of the violent engagement some 2,600 German soldiers fought against the 205-strong garrison of stalwart Poles. The exact number of German casualties has never been disclosed, but is assumed to be quite high in comparison to the Polish figures - of the 205 Polish soldiers defending the outpost, only 14 perished (including the Polish radio operator, later executed for refusing to divulge radio codes to the German side) while 53 were wounded.

On September 1, 1939, at 04:45 local time, as Germany began its invasion of Poland, Schleswig-Holstein started to shell the Polish garrison. This was followed by a repelled attack by German naval infantry. Another two assaults that day were repelled as well. Over the coming days, the Germans repeatedly bombarded Westerplatte with naval and heavy field artillery along with dive-bombing raids by Junkers Ju 87 Stukas. Repeated attacks of 3500 German soldiers were repelled by the 180 Polish soldiers for seven days. Major Henryk Sucharski had been informed that no help from the Polish Army would come but still he decided to defend to relieve attacks on Polish coast - most of the German forces were engaged in the attacks on Westerplatte. On September 7th Major Henryk Sucharski decided to surrender due to lack of ammunition and supplies. As a sign of honor for the soldiers of Westerplatte, German commander, Gen. Eberhardt, allowed Mjr. Sucharski to keep his officer's sword while being taken prisoner.

Westerplatte Defenders Repulse Attacks From Sea, Air and Land; 70 to 200 Polish 'Suicide Troops' Shatter Two German Attempts to Storm Fortress After Plane and Ship Bombardments.

A band of Polish soldiers who for six days fought a "battle of the Alamo" under constant German siege today surrendered Westerplatte Fortress in Danzig Harbor, where the first shot of the European war was fired, according to announcement in Berlin
Westerplatte - il cimitero dei soldati caduti durante i combattimenti nel settembre 1939. Al centro la lapide del comandante, il maggiore Henryk Sucharski. L'avamposto militare di Westerplatte, secondo i piani strategici di difesa, doveva resistere al nemico soltanto 12 ore in attesa dell'arrivo dei soccorsi. Aveva invece resistito sette giorni agli attacchi furiosi della nave corazzata "Schlezwig-Holstein", della fanteria e delle forze aeree tedesche.

Sep 1, 1939 - Am 1. September 1939, einen Tag nachdem der Senat die Verdienstmedaille Danziger Kreuz beschlossen hatte, beschoss die Wehrmacht die Westerplatte, und im Gefecht um das Polnische Postamt in Danzig‎ wurde dieses Gebäude erstürmt. Zudem trafen Truppen der.

Sep 1, 1939 - Pouco faltava para as cinco da manhã de 1 de Setembro de 1939, quando o couraçado alemão Schleswig-Holstein, ancorado na foz do Vístula no interior da Cidade Livre de Gdańsk começou a bombardear a guarnição militar polaca em Westerplatte.

Sep 2, 1939 - "The commander in chief greets the gallant garrison at Westerplatte and expects every man to stick to his sanguinary post." BY ANDREAS BACKER. I ... The call for sacrifice was directed at the "suicide battalion" which mans the Polish munitions dump of Westerplatte off Danzig harbor.

Sep 4, 1939 - After three days of bombardment from sea and air, a little Polish garrison still held the Westerplatte munitions base in Danzig Harbor tonight. ... Thirty airplanes dropped between fifty and sixty bombs on the Westerplatte yesterday, but the Poles still retaliated with machine-gun fire.

Sep 7, 1939 - When this writer left the Nazi-held city of Danzig yesterday morning a small force of Polish soldiers--between 70 and 200 of them--still resisted valiantly in Westerplatte fortress after four days of a fierce siege. Machine-gun fire from the Polish garrison shattered completely two ...

Sep 8, 1939 - A band of Polish soldiers who for six days fought a "battle of the Alamo" under constant German siege today surrendered Westerplatte Fortress in ... The Schleswig-Holstein steamed into position early is the day; trained her gone on the Westerplatte and blasted away: All that , day the ...

Sep 10, 1939 - They were aimed at the Westerplatte, a small Polish fortress, on a Danzig peninsula.. For nearly a week after Danzig had been proclaimed by Adolf Hitler a part of the Reich and German troops had occupied the city, the Polish garrison of the Westerplatte held out. ...

Today the ruins of the barracks and two blockhouses - the only structures on the island - still remain. One of the blockhouses has been converted into a museum commemorating the battle and those who fought there, with two shells from the Schleswig-Holstein ironically propping the entrance. A placid 25m tall stone monument now marks the site of this infamous exchange that preceded the levelling of Gdansk's Old Town and sparked a worldwide conflict that would result in immeasurable suffering (particularly in Poland). Though it is outside the city, Westerplatte is a worthwhile venture for anyone visiting Gdansk; like so many sights in Poland, it is haunted by it's troubling history in the face of a beautiful natural environment.

Gdansk's picturesque Westerplatte peninsula has the unhappy distinction of being the site of the official start of the Second World War. A small forested island separated from Gdansk by the harbour channel, Westerplatte was established as a Polish military outpost during the interwar period, equipped with one 75mm field gun, two 37mm antitank guns (slightly mystifying for a coastal defense), four mortars and several medium machine guns, but lacking any true fortifications. By the autumn of 1939, the Polish garrison occupying Westerplatte comprised of 182 soldiers expected to withstand a potential attack for twelve hours.

In late August, 1939, under the suspect pretense of an amiable courtesy visit, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein dropped anchor in the channel off Westerplatte and on September 1, at exactly 04:45 local time, began it's barrage of the Polish outpost with its superior 280 and 150mm guns. Thus began Germany's invasion of Poland, igniting the powderkeg that would explode into World War II.

Expecting an easy victory, the German offensive was sternly repelled by Polish small arms and machine gun fire, and suffered unexpected losses during two more assaults upon Westerplatte the same day. The only Polish 75mm gun was destroyed after discharging 28 shells into the German position across the channel. Despite a German naval infantry invasion, sustained bombardment by heavy artillery and diving airraids from German warplanes, the Polish garrison repulsed the Germans for seven days, before the depleted unit, suffering from exhaustion, severe injury and a shortage of food, water, ammunition and medical supplies, was forced to surrender on September 7th.

A Song of the Soldiers of Westerplatte
Boleslaw Prus

When their days had been filled
and it was time to die in the summer,
They went straight to heaven in a coach-and-four,
the soldiers of Westerplatte.

(Summer was beautiful that year.)

They sang: "Ah, ‘tis nothing
that our wounds were so painful,
for now it is sweet to walk
the heavenly fields."

(On earth that year there was plenty of heather for bouquets.)

In Gdansk we stood like a wall
in defiance of the German offensive,
now we soar among the clouds,
we soldiers of Westerplatte.
Those with keen sense of sight
and sound are said to have heard
in the clouds the measured step
of the Maratime Batallion.

This was the song they heard: "We'll
take advantage of the sunshine
and bask in the warm days
in the heather fields of paradise.

But when the cold wind blows
and sorrow courses the earth,
We'll float down to the center of Warsaw,
The soldiers of Westerplatte."

-translated by Walter Whipple

1st September 1939
At 04.30 Stuka dive-bombers prematurely bombed the bridge at Tczew in the Pomeranian Corridor. SS troops dressed in Polish uniforms attacked the radio station at Gleiwitz and broadcast inflammatory statements urging Polish minorities to take up arms against Hitler. For a touch of realism, several bodies of concentration inmates dressed in Polish uniforms, were left behind as 'evidence' for journalists (Zaloga and Madej, 1991) to report on.

The Free City of Danzig was heavily shelled and bombed, inflicting heavy casualties upon the civilian population and military coastal defences or navy flotillas. In Danzig, the defenders, particularly civilian volunteers were shot. The Army Pomorze faced the 4th Army whose tactic was to isolate them in the north from the rest of the Polish Forces and then link up with the Third Army and attack Warsaw.

Daylong fighting produced at times, scenes of sheer heroism. The Pomorska Cavalry Brigade had been in contacts with the German 20th Motorized Infantry Division. Colonel Masterlarz had half the unit mount up and attempted a surprise attack from the rear. Catching an infantry battalion by surprise in a woodland clearing, the sabre attack wiped them out. Legends and myths were borne of cavalry units taking on armoured vehicles. However, what is forgotten, is that the cavalry units carried anti-tank weapons for rapid deployment (Zaloga and Madej, 1991).

On the Prussian Front the German Third Army broke through defences to the north of Warsaw. Ground attacks started at 05.00 and aimed to knock out the heavy fortifications at Mlawa. It was on this front that the Polish Mazowiecka Cavalry Brigade had a number of sabre clashes with the German First Cavalry Brigade (Zaloga and Madej,1991) thus marking an end to mounted warfare. The Polish Special Operational Group Narew had virtually no contacts with German forces due to the restraining action of the Polish Third Army and therefore effectively denied rapid gains on this front.

The heaviest fighting took place in the Southwest, a front covered by Army Lodz and further south, Army Krakow. Army Poznan in the centre saw little action or contact on the first day of fighting. The German Eighth and Tenth Armies pushed through the massive densely forested areas with major infantry clashes en route. The Wolynska Cavalry Brigade successfully countered attacks by the German 4th Panzer Division whose poor co-ordination in attack delayed advance and lost equipment. This front was geographicaly the most diverse and faced the largest concentration of mechanized troops. The heaviest fighting was around the industrial zone of Katowice. In the south, the 44th and 45th Infantry Divisions attacked throught the Jablonkow Pass near Karwina and Cieszyn which were lightly defended. In the southern mountainous area, the XXII Panzer Corps attacked just below Nowy Targ at the Dunajec river which was defended by the 1st KOP Regiment and National Guard Zakopane Battalion. Army Krakow was forced to commit support to stem the attack which was temporarily held.

Outflanked and harassed by German guerrilla units, Army Krakow had to deal with a large number of armed German units set up by the Abwehr to carry out sabotage.

Once the Germans broke through the various fronts, poor communications impeded any chance of reforming on a grand scale. From the 10th until 18th September Polish units were able to reform quickly and still were able to harass and inflict serious damage. For field commanders like Anders, confusion and contradictory orders added to the pain and humiliation of the inevitable defeat. Units attempted to move south-east despite heavy co-ordinated artillery bombardments. Soldiers and civilians who were able to bear arms bravely defended and resisted for as long as possible as they moved behind the Vistula. Encirclement began and 60,000 troops were destroyed at Radom. Partisan units were organized and regular army units kept moving southeast in order to gain supplies of food and munitions and regroup to avoid annihilation once the Russians entered the war on 17th September.

Field commanders moved as many of the remnants of the army to an escape route which led to Romania and Hungary . Units breached German lines on 22nd September before Soviet troops blocked all routes. Poland finally fell on the 6th October as the last organized resistance was crushed at Hel and Kock. Zaloga and Madej (1991) estimated the Germans took 587,000 prisoners and the Soviets 200,000. Anders (1949) estimated between 200 - 300,000 escaped into Romania and Hungary through the Dukla Pass. Those who were caught by the Soviets may have been far higher (Anders, 1949). Fiedotov, an NKVD general estimated it to be nearer 475,000. However, if all those arrested including White Russians, Jews and political prisoners, the number was between 1.5 and 1.6m people. Transported to the Gulags, few survived.

One of Poland's greatest gifts towards the war effort was to have captured an Ultra machine (Stafford, 1997) early in the conflict. The true value of this encryption machine was instantly recognised by Polish and French code-breakers. Unfortunately, true recognition of its significance came later and the thanks given to the Poles hardly covers couple of sentences in either archives or in historical text..

Please write letters and call office of the President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton why US is not sending high ranking delegation to Poland 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II?

You can also call or write to the President:
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Vice President Joe Biden
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Rahm Emanuel

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

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