ww2 facts, invasion of Poland

1. Does the rapid failure of the Polish campaign attribute to the Polish military commanders’ incompetence?

There were problems in the Polish army’ command, but this was not the main reason for the rapid defeat. Although the Germans had the advantages concerning troop size and equipment, the Polish army still resisted as planned. Russia’s invasion on September 17 caused the two-front situation of Poland, which could not restructure its forces in the eastern region and persist in resistance. Thus, the reasons for the rapid defeat of Poland are: first of all, Germany and the Soviet Union launched surprise attacks. Whether it is September 1 or September 17, Germany and the Soviet Union launched attacks without declaring the war. Secondly, Germany and the Soviet Union had the advantages of huge manpower and strength. The two countries had a population of 260 million in total while Poland had only 35 million. Thirdly, the two countries had an overwhelming advantage in the number of the equipment. Fourthly, the opponent side had a strategic advantage in terrain. At the beginning of the war, it was a three-sided terrain. After the Soviet Union entered the war, it was a four-sided terrain. In addition, most of the territory of Poland are plains and is difficult to defend. The fifth is slow reaction of the Allies. During the war, Britain and France failed to launch any large-scale ground operations in the West Line. Therefore, unless a miracle occurred, otherwise defeat in a short time is normal.

2. Did Poland use cavalry troops to attack German armored troops?

Many stories handed down or even serious history books have mentioned the use of cavalry and guns to attack Poland German tanks, which is regarded as typical foolhardy operation and thus highlights the strong German and weak Polish troops. The reality is that 7TP tanks equipped by the Polish Army are more powerful than most of the German tanks in the war. But because of the overall industrial scale gap, mass production was impossible. Anti-tank guns equipped by Polish military force had equivalent quality compared with those of Germany and were completely capable to puncture armored targets. The source of this rumor is that Polish military force once used cavalry force to charge forward against German infantry and was repulsed by the German armored forces. The reason that rumors were finally spread widely is: first of all, Nazi propagandized aggressively to show their power and strength and ignorance and weakness of their enemy. The Soviet Union did the same for the purpose of enabling the new regime supported by itself in Poland to have a basis to exist and to show the former Polish government’s incompetence. The Allies also agreed this publicity because this could reduce the negative political impact brought by the their failure in fulfilling the treaty obligations.

3. Did the Polish air force was eliminated on the ground at the beginning of the war?

Early in the war the Nazis claimed that most of the Polish Air Force would be eliminated on the ground. In fact, before the war most of the Polish Air Force aircrafts were dispersed and hidden. Despite the huge number of the German Air Force, Polish Air Force during the war still basically achieved the loss ratio of one to one. The two sides each lost about 300 aircrafts. Afterwards, Polish pilots fled to Britain to join the Royal Air Force. In the Air Battle of Britain, the best-recording 303 Squadron was composed by the Polish pilots.

4. During the war, Germany, Slovakia and the Soviet Union put into more than 2 million troops. Correspondingly, Poland mobilized one million troops to war.

5. Germany and the Soviet Union invested a total of more than 4,000 combat aircrafts while the Polish Air Force’s combat aircrafts were no more than 400.

6. Germany and the Soviet Union invested a total of 14,000 artillery pieces while the Polish army had about 4,300 artilleries.

7. German and the Soviet Union put into more than 7000 tanks while the Polish army had 880 tanks.

8. Before the war, Germany and the Soviet Union had agreed to carve up Poland, but the Western Allies knew nothing about it.

9. Because of the powerful military force of the Soviet Union, the Western Allies did not dare to declare war against it. But it privately drawn up plans to attack it and was ready to launch massive air strikes to reduce its material aids to Germany.

10. When Germany’s annexation of the Czech Republic, Poland also took the opportunity to occupy a piece of disputed territory. The move resulted in contempt from the Western Allies.

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