Nazi Germany invades Poland, Sept. 1, 1939
Germany’s Sept. 1, 1939, invasion of Poland, which led to declarations of war from France and England, marked the beginning of World War II. The significance of the invasion was not lost on contemporaries. “NAZIS SMASH INTO POLAND IN FACE OF 2 ULTIMATUMS,” screamed the banner headline in that day’s Mason City Globe-Gazette of Mason City, Iowa.
“Adolf Hitler’s Nazi war machine smashed into Poland Friday night in the face of a warning by Great Britain and France that failure to withdraw immediately means a European war,” the lead United Press article said.
“Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain charged in the House of Commons that the Nazi Fuehrer had given the order to march after Poland offered to negotiate.”