World War II Begins
Germany invaded Poland in 1939 on this day marking the start of the Second World War.
Many believe that this war was in many ways precipitated by the predictable rise of nationalism and extremism in parts of Europe and especially in Germany as a reaction to the very harsh punishment laid on the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires after their loss in World War I. This is not a new historical lesson.
Poland was overrun by the German forces quickly in those early autumn days, and again by the Russians five years later in 1944/45. Poland lost about 18% of its population, civilian and military combined, during World War II.
This map by Elwe of Poland and parts of its eastern neighbors is from 1792.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.