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The Euro world War II History Collections
1st September 1939(continued)
By Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA
Private Limited E-book In CD-Rom edition
Special for Senior Collectors
issue a joint ultimatum to Germany,
requiring German troops
to evacuate Polish territory;
declares the neutrality of his nation;
the Swiss government orders a general mobilization of its forces.
is annexed by Germany.
Fourth Army Operations, 2 September
Fourth Army crossed the Brda
during the second day of hostilities,
advancing within a few miles of the Vistula.
The apprehensions about a strong Polish defense line along the Brda did not materialize. The success of the German advance was threatened for a few hours, however,
when Panzer elements of XIX Corps outran their gasoline and ammunition supply.
The Poles failed to gain any but a temporary advantage from this situation, and German supply columns fought their way through
withdrawing Polish units to the stalled tanks.
The Fourth Army gains of 2 September sealed off the Pomorze Army’s 9th Infantry Division and Pomorska Cavalry Brigade, and the 27th Infantry Division, which had been identified farther east in the Corridor. The two Polish infantry divisions were destroyed in a number of attempts to escape through the line formed by the German forces that had crossed the base of the Corridor. The cavalry brigade was shattered in a series of charges against XIX Corps’ armor, pitting mounted lancers against tanks.
The 10th Panzer Division of the army group reserve was shifted to the northeast across Fourth Army’s rear on 2 September. Bock planned to effect a crossing in the northern area of the Corridor with a strong Panzer force as soon as possible.
The Junction of Third and Fourth Armies
Third Army’s XXI Corps identified the Pomorze Army’s 16th Infantry Division in the Grudziadz area on 3 September, and its 4th Infantry Division to the east of the city. Heavy air attacks on the 4th lnfantry Division broke up the Polish threat to the left flank of XXI Corps, and the corps continued to advance southwestward to drive out the Polish 16th Infantry Division and enter Grudziadz. Despite heavy losses, the two Polish divisions succeeded in withdrawing in good order to the south and east, while rear guards fought a strong delaying action within the city itself.
On the Mlawa front the Mazowiecka Cavalry Brigade was identified before Third Army’s Corps Wodrig. The I Corps, supported by the attack of Corps Wodrig from the east, broke into the Mlawa defenses and forced the stubborn defenders to withdraw.
Fourth Army sent the 10th Panzer Division across the Corridor just below Danzig and into East Prussia immediately upon the division’s attachment from army group reserve on 3 September. The 207th Infantry Division turned to the north after the Panzer units had passed, and forced the Polish forces still in the upper area of the Corridor to withdraw toward Gdynia. Other Fourth Army units cleared the area of the lower Corridor, established contact with Third Army units at Nowe Swiecie (Neuenburg), and launched a series of heavy attacks against the Pomorze Army’s 15th Infantry Division in position north of Bydgoszcz.
The first phase of the campaign in the north was completed on 3 September with the linking of the Third, and Fourth Armies. The Pomorze Army force assigned to the defense of the Corridor proper had been destroyed, with a loss of 15,000 men in prisoners alone, 90 field pieces, and large stocks of materiel. The Modlin Army, from which the Germans claimed to have captured 10,000 prisoners, had been forced to withdraw southward from the Mlawa area. The Corridor was cut at base and center. The northern end of the Corridor and the fortress of Westerplatte in Danzig Harbor remained in Polish hands, but under constant attack by German ground, air, and sea forces. The Podlaska Cavalry Brigade of the Narew Group made several local penetrations into East Prussia in the area held by Corps Brand during this period of operations. These actions received much publicity in the foreign press but affected the campaign very little.
: At 11:15 a.m. British Standard Time (BST),
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announces on BBC Radio that the deadline of the final British ultimatum for the withdrawal of German troops from Poland expired at 11:00am and that “consequently this nation is at war with Germany”.
3rd : Within hours of the British declaration of War, SS Athenia, a British cruise ship en-route from Glasgow, Scotland to Montreal, Canada is torpedoed by the German submarine U-30 250 miles Northwest of Ireland. 112 passengers and crew members are killed. The “Battle of the Atlantic” begins.
Several aircraft are lost in the attack and, although the German vessel is hit three times, all of the bombs fail to explode.
: Japan announces its neutrality in the European situation. The British Admiralty announced the beginning of a naval blockade on Germany, one of a range of measures by which they waged economic warfare on the Axis Powers
4th : The USA launches the Neutrality Patrol.
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To Be Continued later