The War Illustrated No 3 Vol 1 September 30th 1939

66 The IJ’ a r Illustrated tirp/eiubcr 30th, 1939 Poland’s Stand for Freedom: Here we tell the story o f the brutal invasion o f Western and Southern Poland during the second week o f the war. It was supported without ru thor scruple by at least 80 percent o f the world’s strongest single air force and three-quarters o f the Nazi land forces. The Russian invasion on September 17 brought the campaign to an effective close. ent days after the opening of the War, practically the whole of Poland lying to the west of Warsaw was in the hands of the Nazi' invaders. The Polish Corridor, the western plains, and the “industrial triangle ”of Polish Silesia and Cracow had all been overrun, and in the south the German divisions were pressing on towards Lwow with a view to seizing the oilfield on the Carpathian slopes and cutting Poland’s communications with Rumania. To the west of Warsaw. however, there still existed a considerable salient held by the Polish army entrusted with the defence of the capital. According to all reports, the German general staff had expected that the advance to the gates of Warsaw would take four weeks. That their progress was far more rapid is indue the first place to the fine weather, and secondly to the German army’s mechanized forces. Along the roads and lanes and even across the open country the armoured cars and tanks were able to make c j uitc good going. The retreating defenders were given no rest. Harried out of one line of defence, they were pursued and often outflanked before they had time to consolidate themselves in fresh positions. Furthermore, the German High Com­mand Hung against the Poles practically the whole weight of their air force. At first they made a pretence of not bombing open towns but only places of military importance, such as entrenchments, muni­tion dumps, railway stations, and the like. As the struggle increased in intensity, however, and the Poles, while retreating, refused to surrender, the German airmen did not hesitate to drop their bombs on places which were not militarily de­fended. In a communique issued by the Polish Embassy in London, it was announced that even at the very com­mencement of the war, Warsaw, Bialy-stok, Bydgoszcz, Czestochowa, Gdynia. Grudziadz, Poznan, Tomaszow, Torun, Wilno, and many other open towns had all been bombed by the German air force, and that on September 11 the Germans began the methodical bombing of open towns far removed from the battle zone, employing this barbarous Top left, Polish troops are seen in a trench w a tc hing a tank that has been in con tact with thee men y.In the c e n tre photo graph German troops a rec r o sings a riv erin a collapsible leather raft .In the photo graph immediately above German troops a ro lab o rio u sly ferrying their tran sport across the V is tu la,the Pole shaving destroyed all the bridges b foo retaking u p new positions .Photos, WorldWide and Planet X err a
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