September 19, 2010


Adolf Hitler - GdaƄsk [1939] WFDiF (00:00:09 sec)

September 19, 1939

Early this morning the first Soviet armoured tanks arrived in the eastern outskirts of the city of Lwow and the suburb of Lyczakow.  After a brief battle the Soviets were pushed back by Polish gunfire. Since then Soviet forces have joined units of the German army and encircled the city during the night.  Polish defence in the area consists of field fortifications and barricades constructed by local residents under the supervision of military engineers. General Sikorski has ordered a defense of the outer city rim as well as inner defences. Early this morning, Soviet envoys arrived and started negotiations with Polish officers.  Colonel Ivanov, commander of the Soviet tank brigade assured the Polish envoy, Colonel Bronislaw Rakowski that the Red Army entered Poland to help it fight the Germans and that his top priority was for Soviet units to enter Lwow.  Following this ruse, the German commander then sent his envoy and demanded that the city be surrendered to Germany.  When the General Sikorski refused he was informed that a general assault would begin on September 21st and the city taken by force.

Soviet tanks enter Lwow

The Soviets captured the town of Wilno today.  Yesterday Polish troops received reports that Soviet forces were approaching rapidly from Oszmiana. Most were armoured scouts who clashed intermittently with Polish units.  Polish Col. Okulicz-Kozaryn ordered his men to fall back towards the Lithuanian border and sent out the more experienced unit, the Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza.  Although the first Soviet attack was repulsed by Polish infantry, Soviets easily advanced into the city and quickly surrounded it. They secured the airport, city, and Rasos Cemetery.  This morning Polish units were defending the bridges in an attempt to delay the Soviet advance but their defence quickly collapsed. Soviet armored units are in control of the city and have been reinforced with infantry and cavalry.  Reports indicate that Polish infantry units have dispersed, or have surrendered, their whereabouts unknown.

Soviet Cavalry in Wilno

Soviet troops have linked up with German Infantry at Brest-Litovsk at which point the Germans promptly handed it's control over to the Soviets in accordance with the provisions of a secret agreement of August 23, 1939. Initially it was called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact but the title was changed to Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union.

Soviet and German Officers at Brest Litovsk

The Battle of Bzura that has raged since September 9 ended today with the surrender of 100,000 officers and men of the Polish Pomorze and Poznan Armies. Meanwhile, over 30,000 Polish troops reach Warsaw after fighting their way out of Kutno.  German planes continue to bomb Warsaw striking communication, power, and transportation lines.  In Eastern Poland, Lvov is now surrounded by German armies.

Hitler made a triumphant entry today in Danzig to the wild cheers of people lining the streets. Until Germany's annexation Danzig was a Free City under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 and was under the protection of the League of Nations, with reserved special rights to Poland.  In his speech Hitler mocked France and Britain by making an offer of conciliation suggesting that the war could end on the basis of German territorial gains already won. He vowed that Danzig would belong to Germany forever, and would fight to the bitter end if it were necessary.


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