On September 1, 1939, the world was changed forever. Despite several attempts by the French and British to appease Hitler’s Nazi regime to avoid war, most notably allowing Hitler to annex the Czech’s Sudetenland, Germany invaded Poland on that day, officially starting the deadliest conflict in human history.
For the French and British, the Nazi invasion of Poland promised war, and by September 3 both countries declared war on Germany. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union, fresh off a nonaggression pact with Hitler, invaded the Baltic. France and the United Kingdom, treating the Soviet attack on Finland as tantamount to entering the war on the side of the Germans, responded to the Soviet invasion by supporting the USSR's expulsion from the League of Nations.
Britain and France also began a naval blockade of Germany on September 3 which aimed to damage the country's economy and war effort, but the Nazis would blitzkrieg across the continent over the next year and eventually overwhelm France in mid-1940, leaving the British to fight alone. For the first two years of the war, it looked as though the Axis powers may very well win the war and usher in a new world order.
This collection of historic World War II documents includes the official speeches and proclamations of Hitler proclaiming and explaining his invasion of Poland and his address to the Reichstag and German people. It also includes the German response to Britain’s declaration of war on September 3. This edition is specially formatted with a Table of Contents and is illustrated with pictures of the war’s important leaders.