On the night of August 30-31, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop read a 16-point German proposal to the British ambassador. When the ambassador requested a copy of the proposals for transmission to the Polish Government in Exile, Ribbentrop refused, on the grounds that the requested Polish representative had failed to arrive by midnight. Later on August 31, Polish Ambassador Lipski went to see Ribbentrop to confirm that Poland was willing to enter negotiations, but that he did not have the full power to sign, Ribbentrop summarily dismissed him. Germany then broadcast that Poland had rejected Germany's "offer" for negotiations, and talks came to an abrupt end. Hitler issued orders for the invasion of Poland the next day.
Hitler issued Directive No. 1, ordering an attack on Poland to begin September 1: He declared "Since the situation on Germany's Eastern frontier has become intolerable and all political possibilities of peaceful settlement have been exhausted, I have decided upon a solution by force. The attack on Poland will be undertaken in accordance with the preparations made for 'Case White', with such variations as may be necessitated by the build-up of the Army which is now virtually complete. The allocation of tanks and the purpose of the operation remain unchanged. Date of attack 1st September 1939. This time also applies to operations at Gdynia, in the Bay of Danzig, and at the Dirschau bridge..... "
Nazi Propaganda at Gleiwitz: Sturmbanfuehrer Alfred Naujocks of the SD led a party of German convicts dressed in Polish uniforms, staging a fake attack on the German radio station at Gleiwitz. The so-called "raiders" burst into the studios, broadcast a patriotic announcement in Polish, fired a few shots and left. Once outside the convicts were executed by the SS and their bodies left there for the local police to find. Within hours, other German radio stations broadcast the news of the "unprovoked attack on the Reich and falsely accused the Polish Army of the attack. The incident was staged by the Nazis as a pretext for invading Poland. In his testimony at the Nuremberg Trials, Naujocks stated that he organized the incident under orders from Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Muller, chief of the Gestapo.
Polish fought in the Battle of Britain: The No. 303 ("Kościuszko") Polish Fighter Squadron was formed on August 1, 1940 and became operational on August 31, 1940. The 303 was one of 16 Polish squadrons in the British Royal Air Force (RAF). The PAF in Britain consisted of about 8,000 Polish airmen. The Polish pilots were among the aces in the Battle of Britain, and gained enormous prestige in their valor and skill in aerial combat. Their experience and skill was superior to that of the British pilots, as the Poles were constantly "scanning the skies" for enemy aircraft, and relied on their own quick instincts in battle. Not only did they hold the highest scores of the Hurricane squadrons during the Battle of Britain, but they achieved the highest ratio of enemy aircraft destroyed and damaged. The Kosciszko squadron was named after General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, the Polish and United States hero, (who fought in the American War of Independence) and the Polish 7th Air Escadrille founded by Merian C. Cooper, that served Poland in the 1919–1921 Polish-Soviet War. Sir Archibald Sinclair, British Air Minister sent a letter to the Polish airmen after WWII, in which he said, "... Our shortage of trained pilots would have made it impossible to defeat the German air force and so win the Battle of Britain if the...airmen of Poland had not leapt into the breach.......[We] do not forget that you were the first to resist the aggressor....neither do...[we] forget that you came after manifold trials to our aid when we most needed your help. Your valiant squadrons fighting alongside our own were in the forefront in the Battle of Britain and so helped to restore the fortunes of the Allies throughout the years of struggle. In good times and bad you have stood by us and shared with the RAF their losses and their victories......"
Polish Insurgents Escaped Through Sewers: Since the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising, Polish insurgents relied heavily on Warsaw's extensive network of sewers as a vital link of communication, and transport between Polish units throughout the city center. By the end of August, the sewers were used by Polish Home Army soldiers and Polish citizens in an emergency evacuation to flee the increasing German onslaught. The most successful evacuation was of over 5,000 Polish soldiers and citizens from the Old Town district to the City Center and Zoliborz areas. It was only by the end of August that Germans discovered the sewer network and attempted to destroy the operation by pouring gasoline into the sewers and igniting it, or laying mines and building obstacles. Despite the horrific dangers, the Poles continued the evacuation until the end of September.
Gdansk Agreement: The agreement was the direct result of the 21 demands of the Interfactory Strike Committee (MKS), resulting from the Gdansk strikes. With wide support of other striking groups, and the citizens, the communist-controlled Polish government finally gave in to their demands. This ushered in democratic changes within a communist political system. Among their demands were the formation of independent trade unions, the right to strike, economic decentralisation, freedom of speech and of the press, fair workers compensation and working conditions, among others. These developments led to the creation and rise of Solidarność (Solidarity), the independent trade union that emerged from the Lenin Shipyard strike, led by Lech Walesa. It achieved unparalleled power and success of over 10 million Poles across the country. Solidarosc negotiated for Poland's interests, and led the way to a free, and independent Poland again. (see August 17, 1980)
Solidarity National Wide Demonstrations: Solidarnosc, organized anti-government street demonstrations to commemorate the second anniversary of the Gdańsk Agreement. The bloodiest protest occurred in southwestern Poland, in the town of Lubin in which three protesters were killed by Communists and an unspecified number of wounded. On the same day, rallies and demonstrations took place in 66 cities across the country. Street fights were a common sight not only in major urban centers, such as Warsaw, Kraków, Szczecin, Wrocław, Łódź, and Gdańsk, but also in provincial cities (Rzeszów, Koszalin, Kielce, Przemyśl, Częstochowa, Bielsko-Biała, Gorzów Wielkopolski), and towns (Starachowice, Lubin, Konin). In Wrocław, which was one of main centers of underground Solidarity, several thousand people fought against riot police and soldiers for many hours. One demonstrator, 27-year-old Kazimierz Michałczyk, was killed by a bullet. Other victims of police brutality were: 32-year-old Piotr Sadowski from Gdańsk, Mieczysław Joniec from Nowa Huta, and Jacek Osmański from Toruń. Stanisław Raczek was severely beaten during a protest in Kielce, and died on September 7. He was 35.