Caution: Some images are graphic and shocking. Viewer discretion is highly recommended. NOT APPROPRIATE VIEWING FOR CHILDREN!
Germans targeted both Jewish and Christian Poles for destruction.
October 7, 1939
Hitler announced his appointment of Heinrich Himmler as Commissioner for Consolidation of the German Race. His policy openly condemns any peoples he considers "inferior" to the German Reich and calls for their extermination or enslavement. In addition, Hitler has issued a decree, ordering all Poles to be evicted from Western Poland or be killed. The SS has arrested hundreds of thousands of Polish leaders and intelligentsia for execution - politicians, engineers, scientists, professors, and the cream of Polish society. Polish soldiers have been deported to concentration camps. All Polish schools and universities have been shut down, with the exception of the lowest grades. Poles are now forbidden to attend cinema, restaurants, and churches, and Polish media has been taken over by the Nazis.. Radio sets and gramophones are forbidden at risk of death. A 36-page memorandum submitted by Dr. Erich Wetzel and Dr. G. Hecht on the orders of the NSDAP Office for Questions of Racial Policy, include numerous other recommendations. Its main objective - to eradicate every trace of Polish cultural and economic life.
|Explusion of Poles|
|Polish Prisoners of War|
|Execution of Poles by Nazi Einsatzkomando October 1939|
Meanwhile, the Allies continue to deal with logistics. The transfer of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) has successfully been completed today without any loss of troops or materiel. Under the protection of British and French naval forces, the BEF totalling 161,000 troops, 24,000 vehicles and tanks, and 140,000 tons of supplies landed safely on French soil. Originally established by British Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane following the Boer War, the main purpose of the BEF was to provide Britain with a military force ready to be deployed quickly in the event of an overseas war. After the invasion of Poland on September 1st, the BEF was sent to the Franco-Belgian border. It consists of roughly 10 infantry divisions in three Corps, a tank brigade, and about 500 RAF aircraft. The BEF earned an appropriate nickname, the "contemptible little army", coined by a senior German Commander after World War I. It has since been adopted by the BEF which now proudly refer to themselves as the "Old Contemptibles".
|BEF leaving UK for France|
|BEF arrive in France|
BEF forces have been patrolling a 200-mile length of the French border, an objective some consider a suicide mission due to limited troops in the area. After the invasion of Poland on September 1st, the BEF has heightened defenses around the Maginot Line and has put their troops through its paces in preparation of an imminent German attack. The Maginot Line is considered impenetrable by the French who appear convinced of its effectiveness in deterring the enemy. A marvel of ingenuity, it consists of a complex underground rail network protected by 142 ouvrages (fortresses), 352 casemates (bunkers), 78 shelters, 17 observatories, and 5,000 blockhouses. Irregardless, sources indicate that a number of small German forces have already begun attacking on the French lines between Moselle and Saar Rivers.
|Fort Saint-Gobain Underground Corridor|
The world is watching in shock after the tragic collapse of Poland. Despite the failure of Britain and France to intervene, the Polish Armed Forces are firmly committed to joining their Allies in the war against Germany. After the invasion of Poland, thousands of military had escaped to Hungary and Romania, after which they made their way to France. There are currently 85,000 Polish troops stationed at bases at Coetquidan and Parthenay. Despite their readiness only a fraction of Polish troops are being utilized, due to inefficient French logistics and policies. French Command has been continually plagued by insufficient or missing equipment and chronic delays in delivery of war materiel. At this time there are only 2 Polish infantry divisions that are fully operational, as well as 2 independent brigades, and one air squadron.
Surprisingly, only a few Polish pilots have been assigned by French Command, but to smaller units. There is only one large Polish squadron, the Groupe de Chasse Polonaise l/145, stationed at Mion airfield. However, they are not combat ready due to lack of airplanes, the earliest delivery expected by May 1940.
Good advice is often ignored and no less true among Allies. Polish Commanders have recently submitted a document to French Command containing vital information helpful to their defense policies. It contains information of Polish experiences during the September Campaign, and describes Blitzkrieg strategies in great detail, as well as proposing effective counter-measures. Surprisingly, none of the recommendations were taken into consideration by French Command.
The Polish Navy miraculously escaped German capture during the invasion. Currently stationed in Britain are three Polish destroyers, the Blyskawica, the Grom and the Burza as well as two submarines. They are taking part in Allied maneuvers under British Command. Reports indicate that additional ships have been lent to the Polish navy in light of their superb seamanship. British shipyards are rapidly constructing more ships to add to the Polish fleet.