Nearly 6 years of madness that broke forever Europe’s grip on the rudder of global affairs began today 70 years ago with the Nazi invasion of Poland.
World War Two generated many new words, many of them horrific, and right from day one one of the most famous, “Blitzkreig”, or lightning war, stunned Europe’s military planners. The highly mechanised German army raced towards all its objectives. To repel waves of tanks, the Poles sent in cavalry. Polish air power was dwarfed by the Luftwaffe, and the aerial bombing of urban centres that all of Europe had had nightmares about in the interwar period, and glimpsed in the Spanish civil war, became a reality. It was the final proof, if any was needed, that the Nazi regime in Berlin would not be placated with diplomacy, and was bent on redrawing the map of Europe. 27 days later it was all over, with the fall of Warsaw and Poland’s capitulation. By then Britain and France had declared war on Germany, and the Soviet Union had grabbed the eastern half of the country.