September 5, 2010


September 5, 1939

The German 10th and 14th Armies crossed the Vistula River today breaking through the cordon of Polish troops. At Bydgoszcz located in the southern part of the corridor the Polish rear guard and armed civilians gave strong resistance to the Germans but finally yielded to the German 3rd Corps..

Upon entering Bydgoszcz German troops claim to have found hundreds of Germans killed, and accused the Poles for the massacre. The only photograph shows fewer than a dozen bodies laying on the ground. These were Poles of German origin who witnesses say were armed and were shooting at the Polish citizens.  Nevertheless the Germans used this as propaganda to justify mass slayings of ethnic Poles.

 Wermacht soldiers showing German victims to journalists. This and other photos were used to promote Nazi propaganda. 
The photo bears editors' cropping marks, indicating that it was intended for publication.  

Germans arrested and executed hundreds of Poles

German troops swept through a series of towns including the Jewish district of Piotrkow, setting fires as they advanced and massacring hundreds of Polish citizens.  Poland's Supreme Commanders ordered a general retreat behind the Vistula. The town of Sulejow near Warsaw was completely destroyed by German bombing raids.

German troops march into Piotrkow
Piotrkow bombed by German Luftwaffe

Town of Sulejow destroyed by Germans
At Westerplatte fighting continues.German forces have launched several probing attacks to assess Polish strength. Despite continued efforts by the German naval infantry, Danzig SS, and the Wehrmacht were again repelled by Polish fire.  At 0300 hours, the Germans sent a fire-train against the land bridge but failed when the terrified driver decoupled too early. It failed to reach its target and burst into flames igniting the forest around it.  The flames gave Poles the perfect opportunity to pick off their targets one by one. German casualties are very high. Polish Major Sucharski held a council to urge his men to surrender to the Germans. In the afternoon the Germans made a second attempt to use the fire-train but failed again.  Polskie Radio has been transmitting the same message every morning since September 1 - "Westerplatte still fights on!"

This afternoon, Major Sucharski called for yet a second council to discuss surrender to the Germans. Fighting continues. The German Army has reached the city perimeter of Warsaw.  The city is in desperate need of medical supplies. Gangrene had developed among the Polish wounded.

Warsaw's AA Defense is beginning to crumble. Polish Command has ordered the immediate withdrawal of 11 AA military batteries from Warsaw to Lublin, Brzesc, and Lwow.

Polish AA Defense Unit

South Africa: In a surprising change of leadership, the legislature in South Africa named General Jan Christian Smuts as the new Prime Minister replacing pro-German Prime Minister Herzog.  South Africa which is comprised of largely Dutch citizens, are sympathetic to German racial policies.

Washington: In a move that surprised everyone, the United States declared it's neutrality. No officials could be reached for comment.


No comments:

Post a Comment