Timeline To War

This update includes relevant dates from the book “Roosevelt and Stalin: The Failed Courtship,” by Robert Nisbet, as well as other minor additions.  The new items are in red. Items in parenthesis refer to (book:page).

1)      1795

a.      Three partitions of Poland, the division of land between Russia, Prussia, and Austria. (1:424)

i.     1772: Pomerelia and Ermland to Prussia; Galicia to Austria (1:427)

ii.     1793, 1795: heart of Poland is fully divided (1:427)

2)      1815

a.      German-French Peace Treaty negotiated. (1:565)

3)      1866

a.      German-Austrian Peace Treaty negotiated. (1:565)

4)      1872

a.      German-French Peace Treaty negotiated. (1:565)

5)      1916

a.      Austria and Germany, out of their parts of the previously partitioned Poland, found a new Poland. (1:424)

6)      1917

a.      2 April

  i.     Wilson: “The world must be made safe for democracy.” (5:92)

7)      1918

a.      January

i.     Point 13 of Wilson’s Fourteen Point Peace proposal is toward the establishment of a new state of Poland. (1:421)

b.      March

i.     Russian Communists sign Brest-Litovsk Treaty with Germany, ceding about 1 MM square kilometers to the Germans. (2:3)

c.      27 August

i.     War reparations agreement between Russia and Germany, with Russia obligated to pay 6 billion marks. (2:3)

d.      11 November

i.     Armistice

e.      13 November

i.     Lenin and Trotsky issue order for the Red Army to begin offensive operations against Europe, in an attempt to continue the war toward world revolution. (2:4)

f.       29 November

i.     Communist government of Estonia formed. (2:4)

g.      4 December

i.     Communist government of Latvia formed. (2:4)

h.      8 December

i.     Communist government of Lithuania formed. (2:4)

i.       17 December

i.     Manifesto published in Riga, naming Germany as imminent objective of Communist revolution. (2:4)

j.       Unknown

i.     Poland claims a greater Poland – “Great Lithuania” – claimed based on marriage in 1569. (1:426)

ii.     Polish army established from remnants of former German, Austrian, Hungarian, and Russian soldiers (now Polish nationals).  Poland use army to attack in three directions at the expense of its neighbors. (1:424)

iii.     Poland and Czechoslovakia each claim the Teschen region, with the Allies awarding a portion of it to Czechoslovakia. (1:433)

iv.     Finnish army, immediately upon winning independence from the Russian Bolsheviks, begins building extensive defenses on the Karelian Isthmus. (2:136)

8)      1919

a.      January

i.     German Reichstag calls for elections.  In Silesia, combined with a Polish boycott of elections, 75% vote for German political parties. (1:451)

ii.     Soviet republic declared in Bremen, Germany. (2:5)

b.      March

i.     Hungarian Soviet Republic is formed. (2:5)

c.      April

i.     Bavarian Soviet Republic declared. (2:5)

d.      Spring

i.     Poland attacks Russia, weakened by the revolution, and independent Lithuania. (1:427)

e.      May

i.     Despite January election outcome, Allies demand surrender of Upper Silesia to Poland.  It is the third industrial zone (after the Saar and German Lorraine) to be taken from Germany. (1:451)

ii.     Churchill, before the Aldwych Club in London: “of all tyrannies in history the Bolshevik tyranny is the worst, the most destructive, the most degrading.  It is sheer humbug to pretend that it is not far worse than German militarism.” (1:543)

f.       June

i.     Against French objections, Allies grant elections in Upper Silesia. (1:451)

ii.     After German soldiers withdraw, but before the arrival of Allied soldiers, an uprising of Poles breaks out in order to prevent the referendum. (1:451)

g.      June 28

i.     Signing of Versailles Treaty (2:7)

h.      July

i.     Poles blow up three railway and road bridges, sealing off the disputed territory from Germany. (1:452)

i.       December

i.     Allies set the borders between Poland and the White Russians / Ukraine – the Curzon Line – from Grodno south, then along the Bug River. (1:429)

ii.     Poland refuses to leave conquered territory east of this line; Soviets deploy troops to the region; Poland attacks Russia without a war declaration. (1:430)

9)      1920

a.      February

i.     French soldiers, under Allied authority, take over political power in Upper Silesia.  French General, Le Rond, makes no secret of his sympathy for Poland. (1:452)

b.      May

i.     Poland overruns Ukraine as far as Kiev. (1:430)

c.      July

i.     Soviets push Polish troops back to Warsaw. (1:430)

ii.     Polish troops then turn the tables and drive Russians back to Minsk, essentially wiping out Russian army. (1:430)

d.      22 September

i.     Lenin sets as objective Warsaw (desiring a common border with Germany from which to advance), seeing the Versailles Treaty as sowing the seeds for the necessary revolution in Germany. (2:9)

e.      October

i.     Poland occupies Vilnius, Lithuania and the surrounding area. (1432)

f.       November

i.     Germany must give up West Prussia, Posen, and East Upper Silesia to Poland as a consequence of Versailles. (1:436) No referendum is allowed. (1:441)

ii.     “Free State of Danzig” placed under protection of the League of Nations.  Neither Germany nor Poland is satisfied. (1:445)

iii.     Every German government since 1920 is dissatisfied with the decisions of the Allies at Versailles (1:468)

g.      6 December

i.     Lenin, in a keynote speech before the Moscow organization of the Communist Party of Russia regarding England and France on the one side and Germany on the other (both sides capitalist, and therefore the enemy), declares: “Until the final victory of socialism over the whole world,” the fundamental rule remains valid that “one must exploit the contradictions and conflicts between two groups of imperialist powers, between two groups of capitalist states, and one must set them on each other.”  [It is] impossible to defeat both of them, “so one must understand how to group his forces so that the two come into conflict with each other….” (1:528)

1.      Is this what Stalin is playing in 1939?

10)   1921

a.      19 February

i.     France and Poland conclude an alliance treaty.  The core of the treaty is a promise to stand by each other in the case of unprovoked attack by a third country.  This treaty is supplemented on the same day by a secret military convention, stipulating the details of French support in the event of a German or Soviet attack against Poland. (1:479)

b.      18 March

i.     Peace of Riga, Russia renounces its claim to “East Poland” on the east side of the Curzon line; losing 5 million Ukrainians, 1.2 million white Russians, and about 1 million Jews – along with 1.5 million Poles. (1:431) Only about 1.5 million are Poles. (1: 458)

ii.     This event is described by the French Slavic professor Martel: “There were shootings, hanging, torturing…. Many Ukrainian priests were executed.” (1:462)

c.      21 March

i.     Referendum for Upper Silesia takes place, amidst bloody clashes; reportedly 1520 Germans meet there deaths while going to the polls.  The results are 61% for annexation to Germany, 39% for Poland – with no clear ethnic boundaries. (1:453)

ii.     As opposed to applying the election results to the region, the French prevail amongst the Allies, with a border drawn that includes 400,000 German in Poland. (1:453)

d.      22 March

i.     General strike declared in industrial central Germany (2:11)

e.      24 March

i.     Communists take control of government buildings in Hamburg. (2:11)

f.       1 May

i.     The Poles disagree with the split proposed by France. (1:453)

g.      3 May

i.     In a fourth uprising, Poles use weapons sent by France for the battle with Russia against the Germans.  (1:453) General Le Rond allows the weapons and Polish infantry to come in unchecked. At the same time, Italian troops attempt to oppose the uprising. (1:454)

h.      5 May

i.     Polish troops and insurgents capture East Upper Silesia as far as the upper reaches of the Oder. The Reich government protests these actions to the Allied governments. (1:455)

i.       13 May

i.     British Prime Minister Lloyd George offered the following in the Lower House: “This step was a complete rupture of the Peace Treaty of Versailles…Poland is the last country that should go against the Treaty of Versailles…If Poland should get permission to overrun these German provinces, that would come to a bad end.” (1:455)

j.       21 May

i.     Volunteers gather from Germany and Austria, and begin to recapture the lost and destroyed land: the critical battle is the battle in Annaberg. (1:455)

k.      24 May

i.     Paris decrees that every German volunteer in the battle for Upper Silesia is subject to a fine of up to 100,000 marks. (1:455)

l.       5 July

i.     German volunteer units have liberated most of Upper Silesia. (1:456)

11)   1922

a.      17 June

i.     East Upper Silesia is forced from the Germans in favor of Poland. (1:456)

b.      26 November

i.     Soviets sign agreement with German aviation firm Junkers Flugzeugwerke toward the production of metal airplanes. (2:17)

c.      30 December

i.     The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is born. (2:11)

d.      Unknown

i.     Poland becomes party to the “Geneva Convention for the Protection of Minorities.” (1:458)

ii.     Poland expels minorities who entered after 1908 if they do not “opt” for Poland. Initially, those deported are not compensated for property.  Officials with Russian or German as their mother tongue are dismissed from their posts.  Half of Russian, German, and Jewish schools are closed.  Bilingual teaching is prohibited by Law. Many business and professional licenses held by minorities are revoked. (1:459)

iii.     Soviet Russia and Germany conclude the Treaty of Rapallo, as a means to break the isolation each country is experiencing. (1:527)

12)   1923

a.      July

i.     Soviet agreement with Germany regarding production of munitions and military agreement, and a second regarding construction of a chemical plant. (1:17)

b.      9 November

i.     Date fixed by Stalin for a communist coup in Germany. (2:12)

c.      Unknown

i.     The expanded Poland consists of 30 million people: 19 million speak Polish as their mother tongue, 5 million are Ukrainian, 2.5 million Jews, 2 million Germans, 1.2 million White Russians, and lessor amounts of Lithuanian, Czech, Hungarian, Kashubian, and Slozaken. (1:458)

ii.     Polish were Roman Catholic; most of the minorities were Orthodox, Protestant, or Jewish. This created another dividing line and litmus test. (1:461)

13)   1924

a.      Unknown

i.     In Mein Kampf, Hitler mentions Poland only twice, vaguely and in one case critical of the Germans and Austrians for attempting to Germanize their Polish minorities. (1:507)

14)   1925

a.      15 April

i.     Agreement signed between Soviets and Germans toward creation of a secret air force center near Russian city of Lipetsk for training German military pilots. (2:17)

b.      September

i.     In a letter, German Foreign Minister Stresemann (a Nobel Peace Prize winner and father of the Franco-German reconciliation) expresses that “no German administration, from the German Nationalists to the Communists, would ever recognize the boundary of the Versailles Treaty.” (1:468)

c.      October

i.     The Gazeta Gdansk writes: “Poland must insist that without Königsberg, without the whole of East Prussia, it cannot exist. We must now demand in Locarno that the whole of East Prussia be liquidated…. Should this not happen in a peaceful way, then there will be a second Tannenberg…” (1:472)

1.      Referring to the battle of 1410 in which the Polish-Lithuanian army defeated the army of the Teutonic Order, precipitating its political decline. (1:472)

ii.     Germany recognizes France’s territorial gains from the Great War. Due to this, France weakens its treaty with Poland – no longer offering a guarantee against a Russian attack, and second, tying any assistance to a prior decision by the League of Nations. (1:480)

d.      December

i.     In a keynote speech at the Locarno negotiations (in which France’s borders and its possession of Alsace-Lorraine were confirmed), Stresemann added: “The League of Nations leaves open the right to make war if an agreement cannot be attained on Political issues… I seek indeed no military conflicts, but also do not exclude changes of borders in the East, if the impossible boundary drawing in the East should bring about conditions to make that necessary.” (1:468)

ii.     Great Britain, in the same Locarno negotiations, explicitly refuses to make a guarantee in favor of Poland concerning the former German territories. (1:468, 482)

15)   1926

a.      Unknown

i.     Soviet Russia and Berlin conclude the Berlin Treaty, a neutrality Treaty for a period of five years.

ii.     Near the Soviet city of Kazan, a tank school is created for training of Germans. (1:18)

iii.     Soviet Union begins construction of the “Stalin Line,” thirteen fortified regions along the western borders of the USSR; this effort continues through 1937. The line is built deep in Soviet territory, in order to provide a security pale – a region designed to bog down an aggressor, ensuring no chance at surprise attack. (2:171)

16)   1927

a.      September

i.     During a meeting of the League of Nations, Poland again asks Britain to guarantee its borders.  Britain again refuses. (1:482)

b.      Unknown

i.     Stalin consolidates power in Soviet Union. (1:28)

17)   1928

a.      Unknown

i.     Poland is party to the “Kellogg Pact,” renouncing war as a means to settle international disputes. (1:436) Additional parties include the United States, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Germany. (1:506)

b.      1929

i.     29 February A Peace to End All Pea... Fromkin, David Best Price: $4.51 Buy New $14.19 (as of 11:15 EST - Details)

1.      The Soviets, Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states sign the “Litvinov Protocol,” according to which wars between these countries is to be excluded in the future as solutions to international disputes. (1:483)

ii.     Unknown

1.      The buildup of Finnish defenses in the Karelian Isthmus (known as the Mannerheim Line), increases significantly.  The bulk of Finland’s military expenditures over the next ten years is spent in this buildup. The line is considered impenetrable by various military experts. (2:136)

18)   1930

a.      September

i.     Three years before Hitler’s rise to power, the Polish Foreign Minister Zaleski tells the President of the Danzig Senate that only a Polish army corps can solve the Danzig question. (1:473)

b.      24 December

i.     Two disassembled tanks, products of American George Walter Christie, were shipped to the Soviet Union, falsely labeled as tractors.  Purpose was for Soviets to study design. (1:50)

c.      Unknown

i.     Archbishop Szeptyćkyj, Metropolitan of the Greek Catholic Church of Lemberg writes to a friend: “We are living through terrible times. The punitive expeditions ruin our villages, our schools, our economic institutions.  Thousands of villagers have been beaten….  There is a critical aggravation of a system of persecution that has not stopped since 1920.” (1:463)

ii.     The newspaper linked to Pilsudski, Mocarstwowiec (The League of Great Power), writes: “We are aware that war between Poland and Germany cannot be avoided…we will see…a new victory at Tennenberg…. But we shall fight this Tannenberg in the suburbs of Berlin.  Our ideal is to round Poland off with frontiers on the Oder in the West and the Neisse in Lausatia, and to incorporate Prussia, from the Pragel up to the Spree.  In this war no prisoners will be taken, there will be no place for humanitarian feelings.  We will surprise the whole world with our war against Germany.” (1:472)

19)   1931

a.      October

i.     Head of Warsaw government, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, to US President Hoover: “Poland must counter an imminent attack by irregular German troops and invade Germany in order to settle things once and for all.” (1:473)

b.      December

i.     The Manchester Guardian describes the Polish policy towards minorities as “hell.”  “The minorities in Poland are supposed to disappear…. This policy is recklessly pursued, without the slightest attention to public opinion in the world…” (1:461)

20)   1932

a.      23 March

i.     Soviet Union becomes first country in the world to create a heavy bomber corps. (1:35)

b.      June

i.     Before the House of Lords, Lord Noel-Buxton reports on many of the issues and atrocities in Poland regarding the minorities. (1:459)

c.      25 July

i.     Warsaw and Moscow conclude the Polish-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact: “…in the event of a Polish-German conflict, [the Soviet Union] will provide help and assistance to the German Reich neither directly nor indirectly.” (1:474)

d.      31 July

i.     Hitler’s Nazi Party amasses 13.7 million votes, its highest total ever; represents only 37.3% of total votes. (1:39)

e.      August

i.     Polish fleet stationed in the port of Danzig, against protest of the senate of the Free State of Danzig (1:448)

f.       6 November

i.     Hitler’s Nazi party receives fewer votes, now 11.7 million. Goebbels writes in his diary: “All hope has disappeared….We are on our last breath.” (1:29)

ii.     The communists come in third, but under orders from Stalin (and instead of forming a coalition with the Social Democrats and bringing an end to the Nazis) form a coalition government with the Nazis, propelling Hitler into power. (1:30)

g.      24 November

i.     Churchill, at the time a conservative MP, in a speech to the Lower House: “If the British government really wishes to promote peace, then it should take the initiative and re-open the issues of Danzig and the Corridor while the victorious powers are as yet superior. If these matters are not resolved, there can be no hope for a lasting peace. (1:482)

21)   1933

a.      February or March

i.     The first of “Piłsudski’s Pre-emptive Plans” – in total, three attempts to enlist France in a pre-emptive war against Germany – is attempted. (1:475) These three attempts were considered relatively safe given the Russian-Polish Treaty, as Poland felt safe to attack Germany without threat from Russia. (1:476)

b.      March

i.     Roosevelt scuttles the World Economic Conference in London, shortly after he takes office. (5:93)

c.      6 March

i.     Marshal Piłsudski reinforces Polish troops in the Free State of Danzig. This is beyond the authority granted by the League of Nations; Poland withdraws the additional troops. (1:475)

d.      April

i.      The second of “Piłsudski’s Pre-emptive Plans” is attempted.  This one comes to the attention of Hitler. (1:476)

e.      15 November

i.     At the request of Polish Ambassador Lipski, German Ambassador von Moltke presents a draft “friendship and non-aggression” treaty.  This is followed by silence, and Piłsudski’s third attempt to enlist France in a pre-emptive war against Germany. (1:476)

f.       Unknown

i.     From 1933 – 1938, 557,000 Jews leave Poland for Germany (or through Germany to other countries) due to the harsh anti-Semitic movement.

22)   1934

a.      9 January

i.     The German-Polish Friendship and Non-Aggression Pact is concluded, and with it comes peace for four years (although terms in the treaty called for ten years). (1:476, 487)

b.      5 May

i.     The Polish-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact from 1932 is renewed, with a scheduled term of ten years. (1:475)

c.      September

i.     Poland unilaterally renounces the Minority Protection Treaty which it had concluded in 1919 at the demand of the Allied powers. (1:466) This treaty is sometimes referred to as the “Little Versailles Treaty.” (1:479)

d.      Unknown

i.     Hitler approaches Poland with the objective of better relations between the two countries and better treatment of German minorities in Poland.  The first result is the Friendship and Non-Aggression Treaty of 1934. (1:466)

ii.     The Polish Academy of Sciences prints picture postcards show the Polish King Boleslaw Chrobry in front of a map of Poland – including East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania, the Margraviate of Brandenberg and Lübeck are represented as the western part of Poland. (1:473)

23)   1935

a.      21 November

i.     Soviet pilot Vladimir Kokkinaki sets world altitude record of 14.575 meters with the I-15 fighter. (2:61)

b.      Unknown

i.     The German armed forces surpass in strength those of Poland, with the Soviet army several times the size. (1:478)

24)   1936

a.      January

i.     As a reaction to various breaches by both Germany and Poland regarding access to East Prussia, Poland imposes the Corridor Blockade, significantly reducing rail transit traffic between East Prussia and Germany. (1:443)

b.      18 July

i.     Signal given by radio to begin the uprising against the Spanish Republic. (2:98)

c.      August

i.     Gamelin weakens the details of the exact nature of the French commitment to Poland in case of German attack. (1:480)

d.      Unknown

i.     German troops march into the Rhineland; this action is not prevented by France. (1:480)

ii.     Stalin convinces Spanish Republic’s government to hide gold reserves in the Soviet Union for safekeeping and for payment for supply of weapons.  Reserves were not seen again. (1:99)

25)   1937

a.      February

i.     President of the Reichstag Hermann Göring to State Secretary of Poland’s Foreign Ministry Count Szembek: “The only thing that we are interested in is a corridor through the Corridor.” (1:445)

b.      5 November

i.     Germany and Poland consummate the Minority Protection Agreement, toward the improvement of the treatment of Germans in Poland. (1:466, 511)

ii.     Hitler speaks for the first time in front of his generals and Foreign Minister von Neurath about war and his plans to incorporate Austria into Germany and annex Czechia.  Poland is only peripherally mentioned – hoping that in any wars with third countries, Poland will remain neutral. (1:511)

c.      19 November

i.     British MP (and later Foreign Minister) Lord Halifax visits Hitler to explore possibilities of cooperation between Germany and England.  Halifax speaks about a “change in the European order, which will probably occur sooner or later.  Among things at issue are Danzig and Austria and Czechoslovakia.  England is only interested in ensuring that these changes are brought about by way of peaceful developments.” (1:511)

d.      Unknown

i.     Rydz-Śmigły instructs the Inspector of the Polish Army, General Kutzreba, to design a war plan against Germany (this, while the German-Polish Treaty still has seven years to run).  (1:478)

26)   1938

a.      Unknown

i.     Polish Foreign Minister Beck lets French Ambassador Noel in Warsaw know that “Czechoslovakia must disappear in the near future” and that in Poland one is preparing “to take part of the legacy for oneself.” (1:485)

ii.     Warsaw rescinds passports of Jews who have left due to anti-Semitic actions in the previous five years, rendering them stateless.

iii.     US government sells to Stalin the production license and the necessary equipment for the production of the Douglas DC-3 (PS-84) transport plane. (1:77)

b.      26 January

i.     General Kutzreba submits to Rydz-Śmigły the requested war plan. According to this plan, Poland will fight in 1939. The plan assumes that Poland can withstand Germany for eight weeks, by which time France will join and then Germany will be beaten. (1:478)

c.      September

i.     Poland uses Sudeten crisis to annex West Teschen against the wishes of Britain, France, and the Soviet Union.  The British, French, and Soviets all reject this claim.  The Soviets threaten to terminate the Polish-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of July 1932. (1:434) London is very upset with Poland’s action. (1:483)

ii.     Hitler does not object to Poland’s claim over West Teschen. (1:435, 488)

iii.     Poland deploys an army corps near Teschen and threatens the Czech government with war.  The Czech government yields. (1:435)

d.      October

i.     Poland occupies Teschen. (1:435)

ii.     Soviets renounce the Non-Aggression Pact with Poland. (1:435, 484)

e.      24 October Great Wars and Great L... Raico, Ralph Best Price: null Buy New $2.99 (as of 02:25 EST - Details)

i.     Hitler, in a first for a Reich government, recognizes Polish gains in former German territories of Upper Silesia, West Prussia, and Posen in exchange for annexation of Danzig to the Reich and extra-territorial access (a corridor) to Danzig.  (1:488) The proposal would allow Poland a free port in Danzig, along with transit rights; an extension of the German-Polish Treaty from 10 years to 25 years.  This is the first of six attempts by Hitler (with ever-improving terms) over the next ten months to resolve this issue by negotiation. (1:489)

f.       11 November

i.     Secret cooperation agreement between Soviet NKVD and German Gestapo was signed. (2:xxi)

g.      19 November

i.     Polish Ambassador Lipski lets von Ribbentrop know that, due to domestic political reasons, Poland cannot comply with German wishes about Danzig. (1:490)

h.      December

i.     Agreement on a German-French Non-Aggression Pact (1:491) NEED MORE DETAILS ON THIS!!!!!!

i.       2 December

i.     From Professor Burckhardt, the High Commissioner of the League of Nations for Danzig, regarding his impression of a conversation with Anthony Biddle, Roosevelt’s Ambassador in Paris: “He declared to me with a curious satisfaction: The Poles are ready to wage war over Danzig…. In April the new war will break out. Never since the torpedoing of the Lusitania has such a religious hatred of Germany existed in America like today.  Chamberlain and Daladier will be blown away by the public opinion.  It is about a holy war.” (1:524)

27)   1939

a.      January

i.     French Ambassador in Berlin, André François-Poncet: “Hitler suggests that they install an extraterritorial throughway with an auto highway and railway line through the Corridor, so that East Prussia has a direct connection with the Reich.  Beck had stated that such a solution appeared acceptable to him.” (1:513)

b.      4 January

i.     Roosevelt has the US fleet from the Pacific pass through the Panama Canal to the Atlantic side for maneuvers in the Caribbean.  On the same day, he requests $1.3 billion for arms production and asks Congress to repeal or relax the US neutrality laws (this latter being refused). (1:524)

c.      5 January

i.     Poland’s Foreign Minister Beck visits Hitler in the Alpine residence near Salzburg.  Hitler, still hoping that his agreement regarding Teschen would result in some gratitude, offers again to concede all lost territories to Poland in exchange for Danzig and extra-territorial transit rights, with some further clarification: “Danzig comes politically to the German community and remains economically with Poland.”  Beck doesn’t budge, but offers to consider further solutions.  The peace is not lost. (1:490)

d.      11 January

i.     The People’s Commissariat of Defense Industry is disbanded; it is replaced with four new commissions: shipbuilding, weapons, aviation, and ammunition. (2:127)

e.      25 January

i.     German Foreign Minister visits Warsaw – a third attempt on the German side to resolve Danzig.  Once again, there is no progress, but also the door is not closed: “…agreement that both the present and the future issues that concern jointly both states should be examined and resolved, with protection of the legitimate interests of both nations.” (1:490)

f.       26 January

i.     French Foreign Minister Bonnet gives a speech on the broad outlines of his foreign policy before the National Assembly in Paris: “In the event of war, …if England and France should be drawn into it, all the forces of Great Britain are available to France as all the forces of France are to Great Britain….  Regarding the relations with Poland, it suffices to recall that the Polish Foreign Minister Beck has declared that the Polish-French friendship invariably represents one of the foundations of Polish politics.” At the same session, Prime Minister Daladier says “That it is fitting to oppose a categorical no to the demands of some neighbors.”  This is before Hitler occupies the remainder of Czechia. (1:491)

g.      February

i.     The Polish General Staff work out guidelines for the operations of their armed forces in a war against Germany. (1:492)

ii.     Roosevelt undermines the ongoing German-British negotiations on a trade agreement through his own offer of a trade treaty [with Britain] which excludes a German-British Treaty. (1:525)

h.      March

i.     Hitler reincorporates Memel into the Reich. The poor treatment of German minorities in Poland intensifies. (1:466)

ii.     After German advance into Czechoslovakia, Polish Foreign Minister Beck makes use of British anger at the Germans and asks the British for a protection agreement.  Britain agrees. (1:493-494)

iii.     Poland makes a partial mobilization of troops in Danzig, contrary to the German-Polish Treaty. (1:494)

iv.     Polish newspapers in West Prussia-Pomeralia call for a boycott of Germans: shops, market stalls, restaurants, hiring, etc. (1:555)

i.       4 March

i.     Polish military begins work on “Plan Operacyny Zachud” (Operation Plan West), one month before Hitler orders the Wehrmacht to work on “Case White.” (1:492)

j.       10 March

i.     At the Eighteenth Congress of the Communist Party, it is declared that Great Britain wants to trigger a war between the Germans and the Soviet Union – while Britain remained on the sideline. (2:233)

k.      16 March

i.     Hitler marches troops into the rest of disintegrating Czechoslovakia. (1:492)

ii.     This action perhaps spoiled his chances of bringing Danzing through diplomatic means, as Hitler went beyond his previous agreement with Britain. (1:523)

iii.     France’s Foreign Minister Bonnet proposes French-Soviet deliberations to the Soviet Ambassador in Paris regarding possible joint action against Germany in case the Germans take new action toward another East European country. (1:539)

l.       18 March

i.     Soviet Foreign Minister Litinov offers a proposal similar to that offered by Bonnet on March 16 – this to include the governments of Paris, London, Warsaw, Bucharest and Ankara.  Poland pushes back on any agreement with the Soviets. (1:540)

m.    19 March

i.     The English Foreign Office asks the American one to a) continue the cooperation between the two navies and b) to transfer the US Navy to Hawaii in the Pacific – freeing up the British fleet for the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.  On the 23rd, Roosevelt agrees to both. (1:525)

n.      20 March

i.     Roosevelt introduces a bill in Congress to revise the neutrality laws. (1:525)

ii.     Britain makes its initial offer to Poland to take on a guarantee for its security. (1:526)

iii.     Britain wants to include the Soviets in a guarantee arrangement for Poland, but Poland refuses. (1:532)

o.     21 March

i.     Von Ribbentrop petitions to Ambassador Lipski for passage to Warsaw, to request new negotiations.  This is the fourth attempt. (1:494)

p.      25 March

i.     A “Directive of the Führer,” filed in the German Foreign Office: “Führer wants however to solve the Danzig question non-violently.  Would not like to push Poland thereby into the arms of England.  A possible military occupation of Danzig would only come into consideration if Lipski intimates that the Polish Government cannot publicly support a voluntary surrender of Danzig….” (1:515)

q.      26 March

i.     Lipski returns to Berlin with a memorandum in response to German proposals; fundamentally a clear “no.”  Von Ribbentrop replies that the only clear solution is reintegration of Danzig to the Reich.  Lipski answer is that “he has the unpleasant duty to point out that any further pursuit of these German plans, particularly so far as they concern the return of Danzig to the Reich, means war with Poland.”  This is the first overt threat of war between the two countries. (1:495)

ii.     Von Ribbentrop replies: “That, for example, a violation of the Danzig sovereign territory by Polish troops would be considered by Germany in the same manner as a violation of the Reich’s borders.” (1:496)

iii.     Hitler, when informed by von Ribbentrop of the conversation, replies: “Of war, of course, there may be no talk here.” (1:497)

iv.     With negotiations between Britain and Poland regarding a guarantee at an “impasse,” [perhaps due to Britain’s desire to include the Soviets in the guarantee and Poland’s refusal of same?] Roosevelt exerts influence over Chamberlain.  He sends Ambassador Kennedy to Chamberlain, indicating the danger of an insufficient guarantee for the Poles and for peace. (1:526)

r.       27 March

i.     German Chargé d’Affaires in Washington, Hans Thomsen to Minister von Ribbentrop in Berlin: “The announcements and measures of the American government in the last few weeks show ever more clearly that President Roosevelt’s claim to leadership in world political affairs is directed at the objective of destroying National Socialist Germany with all available resources….” (1:526)

s.      28 March

i.     Back in Warsaw, Beck summons German Ambassador von Moltke to give him his views.  Beck: “That any intervention by the German government for a change of the existing status quo in Danzig will be regarded as an attack against Poland.” (1:497)

ii.     Von Moltke replies: “You want to negotiate on the points of bayonets.” (1:497)

iii.     All that is left for Germany is abandonment or war regarding Danzig. (1:497)

iv.     Von Moltke reports to Berlin regarding the Polish illusion of its armed-forces to those of the Wehrmacht, and a statement from Vice-Minister of War Gluchowski: “…therein he states that the German Wehrmacht is a big bluff, for Germany lacks the trained reserves to fill out its units.  When asked whether he believes that Poland is seriously superior to Germany, Gluchowski answered: ‘But that is self-evident.’” (1:567)

v.     Madrid falls to Franco and the nationalists, ending the Spanish Civil War. (2:100)

t.       31 March

i.     After arguments in favor by Lord Halifax before the Lower House, the British government announces the guarantee of Poland against Germany. (1:498, 533)

ii.     Paris also declares a guarantee for Poland. (1:529)

u.      3 April

i.     Hitler gives the order for “Case White,” for the Wehrmacht to prepare for an attack on Poland anytime from 1 September and on. (1:498) It is a conditional directive.  From the directive: “German relations with Poland remain determined by the principle: avoid disturbances.  If Poland changes its policy towards Germany, which up to now has been based on the same principle, and adopts a threatening attitude toward the Reich, a final reckoning may be required.” (1:516)

ii.     The Polish Foreign Minister travels to London to obtain in writing the British guarantee.  Both parties now assure each other that they will assist each other in case of an indirect or direct threat by other states. (1:534)

v.      7 April Theodore and Woodrow: ... Napolitano, Andrew P. Best Price: null Buy New $6.99 (as of 08:25 EST - Details)

i.     Italy attacks Albania. (1:534)

w.    13 April

i.     France and England offer a joint guarantee for Greece and Romania (1:534)

x.      14 April

i.     Roosevelt sends a letter to Hitler and Mussolini, demanding guarantees not to attack 31 named states. (1:526)

ii.     French, British, and Soviet mediators begin discussing a possible alliance against Germany. (1:540)

y.      15 April

i.     The American naval attaché informs the French Navy High Command in Paris that Roosevelt, without asking Congress, could order the American navy into the Irish Sea or to the Philippines, if there should be any indications about the military plans of the Axis powers. (1:526)

z.      17 April

i.     Soviets propose a triple alliance to include France and Britain, against Germany. (1:540)

ii.     Soviet Ambassador Merekalov in Berlin calls State Secretary Weizsacker, declaring: “that ideological differences of opinion need not upset the German-Russian relationship, as they do in fact the Russian-Italian relations…. The Soviet Union has not used against Germany the current frictions between Germany and the Western democracies, and also does not wish to do that.” (1:540)

aa.   19 April

i.     Roosevelt lets the British know it is indispensable that Britain adopt universal conscription.  Such a law is passed in the Lower House on 28 April. (1:526)

bb.   24 April

i.     General staffs of Britain and France meet in London (through May 4) to discuss Poland; mostly discuss the British-French cooperation in case of war. (1:534)

ii.     Britain promises 32 divisions to support France, Gamelin reports the number as 40 to the French cabinet. (1:535)

cc.   27 April

i.     Hitler announces the cancellation of the German-Polish Friendship and Non-Aggression Treaty of 1934, via memorandum to the Polish government and the next day in a Reichstag speech. In the speech, he offers once again to negotiate on the status of Danzig, while renouncing all claims to territories lost to Poland. This is Germany’s fifth offer. (1:498)

dd.   28 April

i.     Hitler one more time makes an offer to the Polish Government: Danzig returns as a Free State to the German Reich; Germany receives a road and railway corridor to Danzig.  In exchange, Germany recognizes Poland’s complete economic rights in Danzig, with a free port and totally free access; remaining boarders between Poland and Germany remain as present; a twenty-five year non-aggression pact between Germany and Poland. (1:517)

ee.   May

i.     On the border between Mongolia and China near the river Khalkhin-Gol, armed conflict occurred between the Soviets and Japanese; the Soviets in Mongolia and the Japanese in China. (2:105)

ff.     4 May

i.     British Ambassador writes from Berlin to Minister Lord Halifax in London: “Once again the German case on the immediate issue is very far from being either unjustifiable or immoral…. My thesis has always been that Germany cannot revert to normalcy…until her legitimate (in German eyes) aspirations have been satisfied…. According to my Belgian colleague, practically all the diplomatic representatives here regard the German offer in itself a surprisingly favourable one.  The Dutch Minister, the United States Chargé d’Affaires and my South African colleague have themselves spoken to me in that sense.” (1:500)

gg.   5 May

i.     Foreign Minister Beck, regarding the demands of Germany, in the Sejm (the parliament in Warsaw) says that the status of the Free City of Danzig is not based on Versailles, but on traditionally belonging for centuries to Poland. (1:499)

ii.     The Polish government, by note, replies to the German cancellation of the Non-Aggression Pact: Poland wants to negotiate, Germany has always pledged to respect Polish rights in Danzig, and Poland has already met the Germans halfway via the 26 March response brought by Lipski. (1:499) The rights Poland claims for Danzig are those same rights offered by Germany in the previous German proposals. (1:500) Poland demands Germany continues to respect the Non-Aggression Treaty (ignoring the Polish army deployments to the outskirts of Danzig on 24 March. (1:500)

hh.   15 May

i.     General Gamelin of France promises to Poland’s Minister of War Kasprzycki to attack Germany with the mass of the French Army in the event of war over Danzig. (1:478, 529)

ii.     When asked by members of the French military delegation regarding Poland’s border defenses, and if these will withstand a German attack, Polish Minister of War General Kasprzycki replies: “We have no fortifications, for we intend to wage a mobile war and right at the beginning of operations to penetrate into Germany.” (1:567)

ii.      19 May

i.     An outcome of the meeting between the war ministers of France and Poland is a written agreement obliging the French army to start an offensive against Germany by the 15th day of conflict.  The document does not differentiate if Poland is attacked or first attacks. (1:529)

ii.     Churchill, in a speech before the Lower House, justifying the desire to form alliance with the Soviets: “without an Eastern front there can be no satisfactory defense in the West.  And without Russia, there can be no effective Eastern front.” (1:543)

iii.     In the same speech, Churchill offers justification for the necessary sacrifice of the Baltic states in any alliance with the Soviets: :What about the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia for whose sake Peter the Great went to war?  Russia has the greatest interest that these countries not fall into the hands of Nazi Germany.” (1:545)

jj.      23 May

i.     Poland until May has been in Hitler’s “wishful thinking” a potential partner.  Now Poland becomes a victim.  For the first time, Poland enters more concretely into Hitler’s vague notions of “Lebensraum.” In a speech on this date to his top generals, Hitler says as much.

kk.   31 May

i.     Gamelin writes the guidelines in support of the agreement to come to the aid of Poland.  It is not clear that any offensive will begin within the 15 days, as stipulated in the agreement. (1:530)

1.      Was Poland merely baited, with Gamelin having no intention to follow through?

ll.      May

i.     In a fact-finding mission for the London foreign office, two officials report on the confidence of the Polish military in any battle with Germany: “…one is thinking to attack East Prussia at the start of the war because it would be difficult for the Germans to reinforce the province promptly and adequately…” “Anyway the general view seemed to be that East Prussia must be annexed by Poland.” (1:472)

mm.                   June

i.     Harassment of minorities in Poland increases in such a way that tension-free negotiation is no longer possible. The situation also deteriorates “psychologically.”  Hitler wants success, price is beside the point. (1:501)

ii.     Roosevelt fails in Congress; Congress refuses to lift the arms embargo against warring nations and to soften the neutrality laws. (1:527)

nn.   1 June

i.     Soviets declare “We will defend the borders of the Mongolian People’s Republic as we defend our own.” (2:105)

oo.  8 July

i.     Paris and London present a draft treaty to Moscow. (1:541)

pp.   17 July

i.     Paris and London present a second draft treaty to Moscow. (1:541)

qq.   20 July

i.     From the weekly newspaper “Narod W Walce” (People in the War): “Danzig must remain Polish, and Germany must be forced to relinquish the East Prussian area without population to Poland.” (1:473)

rr.     24 July

i.     A treaty is initialed (but not signed) between France-Britain-Soviets. (1:541)

ss.    3 August

i.     Berlin offers to Moscow talks regarding an agreement. (1:545)

tt.     4 August

i.     Stalin approves a document entitled “Agenda for the Negotiations with England and France,” with five different plans of attack with up to 120 army divisions against Germany. (1:541)

uu.   5 August

i.     Chargé d’Affaires of the Soviet Embassy in Berlin, Astakhov, pays a visit to the Senior Counselor in the Foreign Affairs Office, Schnurre.  From Foreign Minister Molotov, he conveys that the Soviet Union is interested in normalization and improvement of its relations with Germany. (1:541)

ii.     Customs dispute erupts in Danzig.  The tensions escalate significantly.  From the Polish Commissioner-General, if directives issued by the Danzig Senate are not reversed: “The Polish government without delay will take retaliatory measures against the Free City.”  Hitler advises the head of the Danzig Senate to find a way to ease tensions. (1:557)

vv.   8 August

i.     British Ambassador Henderson comments on the Danzig customs incident, in a note to Foreign Secretary Halifax in London.  He suggests that these actions tend to humiliate Hitler; if the actions are not of His Majesty’s government, then all efforts should be taken to not drive Hitler to react promptly, because of pride.(1:558)

ii.     Swedish mediator Dahlerus suggests a secret German-British-French-Italian talk about peaceful settlement of the disputes. The German Reich agrees immediately; England lets it be known that it cannot answer at this time. (1:570)

ww.                    11 August

i.     British and French delegations arrive in Moscow to discuss joint actions against Germany. (2:106)

xx.   12 August

i.     Hitler notifies Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano that he will attack Poland after the next provocation.  To Ciano’s further query, Hitler replies “End of August.”  In the meantime, Hitler is hindered by British and French attempts to bring the Soviet Union to their side – an event which by Hitler’s own account would have stopped him from any invasion plans. (1:520)

ii.     Astakhov contacts Schnurre a second time, informing him on behalf of Molotov that “on the Soviet side one is interested in a discussion of the individual groups of questions which have so far come up,” including the “Polish problem.” (1:546)

yy.   13 August

i.     Talks begin in Moscow, including the military missions from Paris and London.  From Marshal Voroshilov: “Soviet troops operating against East Prussia and in Galicia, and England and France operating in the West, it would be the end of Germany.” (1:542)

ii.     Poland continues its refusal to consent to such an alliance, (rightly) fearing that the Soviets, in order to attack Germany, would have to march through Poland…and might then never leave. (1:542)

zz.    15 August

i.     Soviet-German talks begin in Moscow.  Moscow wants from Germany: a moderating influence on Japan, as the two are still at war; a non-aggression pact with Germany; a trade treaty with Germany; a joint guarantee of the Baltic States (meaning a Soviet domination). (1: 546)

aaa.                    16 August

i.     From British Ambassador Henderson in Berlin, to Lord Halifax, by telegram: “I would recommend myself that the Polish Government should be persuaded – and persuaded at once – to instruct the Polish Ambassador here to make some form ofdémarche which he should easily be able to do through Göring …. Lipski after all is a ‘persona grata’ here…. The Poles could deplore deterioration of the situation and suggest the maintenance of the status quo ante March…to allow diplomatic negotiations to start again.” (1:561)

bbb.                    17 August

i.     Two telegrams from Halifax to Kennard, the British Ambassador in Warsaw, show no reaction to Henderson’s telegram of yesterday. (1:562)

ii.     In a written response delivered to the German Ambassador, Molotov reiterates points made on 15 August.  Additionally, he writes that, because of Germany’s anti-Soviet stance, the Soviet Union has been forced “to take the first measures to prepare a defensive front against a possible aggression against the Soviet Union from Germany’s side.”  He continues: “that the Soviet government has never had any aggressive intentions against Germany.” (1:547)

iii.     Molotov proposes a “special protocol,” but does not at this time reveal the contents.  It will later be shown that the protocol includes: the German government will recognize that east Poland, Bessarabia, Finland, and the Baltic sphere belong to the Soviet sphere of interest. (1:547)

ccc. 19 August

i.     Attempt by Britain-France to bring Soviets into alliance against Germany fails. (1:536) They explain this is due to objections by the Polish government. (1:548) Russians believe that a) France only wants to protect its borders, and b) as the British delegation does not have full authority to negotiate, that the objective for the Western democracies is for Russia to bleed alone against Germany. (1:542)

ii.     Stalin explains to the Politburo his decision for alliance with Germany, and not England-France: a trio of England-France-Soviet Union against the Germans would end the war too quickly.  Germany fighting only against France and England would drag out longer, wearing out the forces of the participants further. (1:543)

iii.     Stalin decides to stop talks with Britain and France.  (2:108)

iv.     Stalin begins mobilization of Red Army in Mongolia.  Zhukov defeats the Japanese with lightning speed. (2:108) at 0545, 153 Soviet bombers, covered by fighter aircraft, carried out a surprise raid on Japanese air bases and command posts. (2:114)

v.     Stalin holds a secret meeting of the Politburo.  He gives a speech, suggesting that Germany will certainly invade Poland once the treaty between Soviets and Germans is signed; England and France will then enter the war.  The capitalists will then wear each other out, and the Soviets must do all they can to prolong this – in order to exhaust the two sides.  For this reason, the Soviets side with Germany. (2:109) Stalin: “If we make a pact of mutual aid with Great Britain and France, Germany will give up Poland and…the War will be averted.” (2:122)

vi.     By 1600 hours, the German Ambassador is summoned to Molotov at the Foreign Office, handing him a treaty with a provision that it is valid only with the signing of the previously mentioned “special protocol,” not yet available. (1:548)

ddd.                    19 August Lies the Government To... Andrew P. Napolitano Check Amazon for Pricing.

i.     Politburo decision authorizes the formation of troops in inner districts to later move these to the western front. (2:224)

eee.                    20 August

i.     Hitler sends a telegram to Stalin, informing him that he accepts the draft of the Non-Aggression Pact, and he wants to send von Ribbentrop with “comprehensive Proxy Power” for the signing of the treaty and the drawing up and signing of the protocol. (1:548)

fff.   21 August

i.     Stalin invites von Ribbentrop to Moscow, arrival date of 23 August. (1:548)

ggg.                    22 August

i.     In a speech to his generals, Hitler says: “It was clear to me that sooner or later it had to come to a conflict with Poland.”  This statement would not have been surprising to the generals, given Poland’s actions against Germany over the previous two decades. (1:477)

ii.     From the same speech: “The relationship with Poland has become intolerable.  My suggestions to Poland about Danzig and the Corridor were foiled through the intervention of England.  Poland changed its tone towards us.  This stressful situation is intolerable in the long run…. Now the time is more favorable than in two or three years.” (1:521)

iii.     Hitler also mentions that he took the decision of the attack as early as the Spring of 1939.  If true, this was the time of Poland’s movement toward the British and French. (1:521)

iv.     Hitler at this time does not yet know that the “special protocols” will include, not a joint guarantee for the Baltic States, but the inclusion of the Baltic States and other parts of East Europe, including Eastern Poland, in the Soviet “sphere of influence.” (1:548)

hhh.                    22 August

i.     Roosevelt, at Daladier’s suggestion, calls for a World Peace Conference in Washington. (1:570)

iii.     23 August

i.     Morning newspapers are filled with reports of the flight of von Ribbentrop from Berlin to Moscow. (1:572)

ii.     Chamberlain sends Henderson with a letter to see Hitler.  Hitler assures Henderson of his personal appreciation, then complains of England’s attitude regarding Danzig: “Germany has made Poland a decent and fair offer,” to which Henderson replies “that the German offer was indeed made, but it had the character of a diktat.” “He (Hitler) sees no possibility by way of negotiations because he is convinced that the British government is not interested in such a settlement.”  Hitler regrets that England “makes him her enemy, he who himself wanted to be England’s greatest friend.”  Hitler stresses “that Germany has never undertaken anything to the detriment of England, nevertheless England places itself against Germany. “…at the slightest Polish attempt to take actions against Germans, or against Danzig, he will intervene immediately….” (1:572)

iii.     Chamberlain’s letter contains two new offers: the first is a play for time – that negotiations between Poland and Germany be put on hold until the situation has cooled down; the second is more substantial – Chamberlain holds out the prospect for later negotiations parallel to those on the Danzig question “in which it might be possible to discuss wider problems affecting the future of international relations, including matters of interest to us and you.” (1:573)

iv.     Hitler replies to Chamberlain’s letter on the same day.  Germany has tried in vain to win England’s friendship; Germany has never sought conflict with England; Germany was prepared to settle the Danzig question on terms of “unparalleled magnanimity”; England has sabotaged this effort through cheap propaganda and the guarantee to the Poles; Germany will no longer tolerate pressure and ultimatums to the minority Germans in Poland and against Danzig.  The letter ends: “The question of the treatment of European problems on a peaceful basis cannot be decided by Germany but primarily by those who, since the crime committed by the Versailles dictate, have stubbornly and consistently opposed any peaceful revision…. I have all my life fought for German-English friendship; the attitude adopted by British diplomacy – at any rate up to the present – has, however, convinced me of the futility of such an attempt.  Should there be any change in this respect in the future no one could be happier than I.” (1:575)

v.     Hitler has the High Command of the Wehrmacht prepare for attack on Poland on 26 August at 430 hours. (1:575)

vi.     Hitler sends a telegram to Daladier: “I harbor no enmity against France.  I have personally renounced Alsace-Lorraine, and I have recognized the German-French border…. Now, the Polish challenges have produced a situation for the Reich which cannot last…. I will not attack France.  But if it participates in the conflict, I will go to the end.” (1:575)  Daladier’s reply is four days later. (1:576)

vii.     Hitler and von Ribbentrop conclude a Non-Aggression Pact with Stalin and Molotov. (1:520) The pact is to be valid for ten years. (1:549)

1.      Immediately after the signing of this pact, Stalin forms the 9th Army on the borders of Romania. (2:197)

                                               viii.     Neither side is to come to the aid of Poland to protect it from the other. (1:550)

ix.     As to the “special protocol,” von Ribbentrop is now surprised to learn of the Soviet sphere of influence requirement.  Additionally, Stalin wants two ports in Lithuania and Latvia – without this concession, there will be no treaty.  Von Ribbentrop, despite having full authority, is not sure how far he may proceed. (1:549)

x.     At 2000 hours, von Ribbentrop phones Hitler.  Hitler agrees, without much hesitation.  Everything is thereafter signed. (1:549)

xi.     The suddenness by which the German-Soviet treaty is signed, so shortly after the efforts of England and France have failed, is a shock throughout Europe.  Yet, Poland still makes no concessions on Danzig. (1:550)

xii.     The French cabinet takes stock to determine if – even without Russia’s help – it can meet its treaty obligations to Poland. Through this, the following thoughts of Gamelin are revealed: a) he sees at the earliest an aid to the Polish army only in the Spring of 1940, and not 15 days after the conflict, b) he viewed the point of the May agreement as one where Poland would help France against Germany – as there was no German threat against Poland when the agreement was made in May, he did not believe the promise would be called, and c) there are not any plans to come to the rescue of Poland in case of attack by Germany. (1:531)

1.      Bonet, the French Foreign Minister, does nothing to warn his Polish counterpart of these facts. (1:531)

                                               xiii.     In Mongolia, Zhukov completes his encircling operation against the Japanese. (2:114) Zhukov is given the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. (2:115) Stalin does not publicize this victory; implication is in order to hide capability of Soviet military in order to surprise Germany in the near future. (2:116)

jjj.     24 August

i.     Moscow immediately notifies Roosevelt of the treaty with Germany. Including the “secret protocol” which divides Poland in two. Roosevelt does not immediately notify either Warsaw, London, or Paris. Instead, that evening he sends a message to Warsaw and Berlin that one might find solutions via peaceful negotiations. (1:551, 579)

1.      But when did it become public? Was it not already public?  Or is the secret in the “secret protocol”?

                                                   ii.     Hitler confides to State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker that he believes England will drop Poland (with the Soviet switch to the German side), and Warsaw will concede to Hitler’s demands. (1:521)

iii.     Roosevelt sends a peace message to Hitler and Polish President Moscicki.  His message: “refrain for a certain time from any aggression,” and agree to direct negotiations.  Hitler, who has been asking for direct negotiations for some time, ignores the message from Roosevelt. (1:570)

iv.     Prime Minister Chamberlain, addressing the Lower House, reaffirms the allegiance of Britain to Poland, and notes the uncompromising attitude of Germany regarding Danzig: “[The Poles] have always been ready, as I am sure they would be ready now, to discuss differences with the German Government.” (1:577)

v.     Ambassador Henderson reports to London: “With the Russian pact in his hands the initiative is now Hitler’s….I anticipate an ultimatum to Poland.” “It was heartbreaking since, as you know, I have held from the beginning that the Poles were utterly foolish and unwise.” (1:577)

vi.     Hitler receives a message that today could see the signing of an English-Polish Assistance Treaty.  Hitler decides he must gain time for further negotiations.  Hitler orders the attack on Poland, previously scheduled for 26 August to an unknown date. (1:578)

vii.     Poland closes the borders of Danzig.  Supply shortages soon follow. (1:580)

viii.     A commercial Lufthansa aircraft is shot by Polish guns. (1:593)

kkk. 25 August

i.     Hitler offers London an alliance if the British government will be helpful in the recovery and resolution of Danzig.  Germany will then guarantee Poland’s new frontiers, and will provide German assistance in the defense of the British Empire wherever in the world it is needed.  After Czechia, London puts little faith in German guarantees. (1:536)

ii.     Swedish mediator Dahlerus departs Berlin for London. (1:580) After his visit, he conveys to Göring that there is hope for resolution. (1:587)

iii.     London and Warsaw conclude the assistance agreement previously pledged.  The agreement includes support for military resistance deemed necessary to counter a threat (whether direct or indirect) against the independence of a treaty partner.  With this, it is left to Poland to decide when the indirect threat becomes an act of war.  (536)

1.      There is a secret additional protocol to the agreement: it is only valid against Germany, and not, for example, against the Soviet Union. (1:538)

iv.     Hitler receives several reports of clashes and strikes overnight on both sides of the Polish-German border. (1:580)

v.     Hitler sends a message to Mussolini, attempting indirectly to gain Italy’s support for the dispute with Poland. (1:581)

vi.     Hitler receives confirmation of the London-Warsaw agreement. (1:581)

vii.     Hitler meets with Henderson, reporting on the border clashes, and again holding hope for a German-British agreement. “If the British Government would consider these ideas, it could produce a blessing for Germany and also for the British Empire.  If they reject these ideas, there will be war.”  Henderson re-affirms the Polish-British alliance, and that the German offer of alliance cannot be considered until Danzig is solved via negotiation. Hitler retorts that he has tried negotiation for six months. (1:582)

viii.     Hitler follows this conversation with a note to Henderson. (1:583)

ix.     Hitler confirms the new date for attack on Poland at 31 August, if there is no other solution by then.  His generals have previously told him that they cannot begin after 2 September due to the risks of weather. (1:583)

x.     Hitler meets with French Ambassador Coulondre, and asks him to send a message to Daladier: “I bear no enmity whatever towards France….I find indeed the idea that I might have to fight France on account of Poland a very painful one…. I will not attack France, but if she joins in the conflict, I will go to the end.” Coulondre replied that France would most certainly come to the aid of Poland.  He conveys that the reason for giving blanket support to Poland goes back to Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia, beyond the Sudeten region. (1:584)

xi.     Mussolini replies to Hitler that Italy is not prepared to join a war with Germany at this time. (1:585)

xii.     Halifax tells Kennard in Warsaw to tell the Poles that they should do nothing to be seen as the aggressor. France has delivered a similar message the day before. (1:586)

xiii.     A second Lufthansa aircraft is shot at by Polish guns; also a seaplane was shot. (1:593)

lll.     26 August

i.     Henderson returns to London with Hitler’s latest proposal. (1:588)

ii.     Dahlerus returns to Berlin, with a seemingly positive report. (1:588)

iii.     Hitler, after midnight, summons Dahlerus and suggests that Henderson has perhaps not understood Hitler.  (1:588)

1.      Hitler asks dahlerus to travel again to London to convey his views: Hitler wants an immediate alliance with England, not contingent on a solution for Danzig; England to provide assistance to Germany to obtain Danzig and the Corridor; Germany will guarantee Poland’s borders; etc. (1:589)

iv.     Halifax receives Count Raczynski, the Polish Ambassador; he sees the German solution as no solution.

v.     Ambassador Coulondre reports to Paris from Berlin with a new proposal – an exchange of population in the areas of the Polish-German border, relieving the minority problem through deportations.  Warsaw is notified and agrees to this proposal. (1:590)

vi.     Daladier responds to Hitler’s message; no reference to the possibility of a population exchange is mentioned. Beyond this, the letter confirms France’s support of Poland. (1:590)

vii.     A Polish cavalry unit in the East Prussian district of Neidenburg is confronted by soldiers of a Königsberg artillery battery.  Forty-seven Poles fall in machine gun fire.  (1:591)

mmm.               27 August

i.     Dahlerus returns to Berlin after receiving London’s reply.  He arrives late in the evening. (1:591) Göring views the response negatively. (1:592)

nnn.                    28 August

i.     Beck, responding now to open threats by Hitler and via third-party mediation, declares he is agreeable to new German-Polish negotiations on the future of Danzig. At the same time, he is evasive regarding specific talks. (1:501) Against the State: An ... Rockwell Jr., Llewelly... Best Price: $5.02 Buy New $5.52 (as of 11:35 EST - Details)

ii.     Hitler views the London reply (brought by Dahlerus) favorably. Most valuable is London’s apparently agreeable reply to an alliance not conditioned on settlement of the Danzig issue.  He looks forward to England’s assistance in bringing about a fair settlement. Finally, he agrees to the borders of Poland being guaranteed not just by Germany, but also England, France, Italy and the Soviet Union.  Presumably this request by London was in reaction to Hitler’s actions in Czechoslovakia. (1:594)

iii.     Meanwhile, London is preparing an official reply, which contains not a single word about Danzig and the Corridor.  This leaves open the question- just what is Poland to negotiate? (1:596)

iv.     Hitler receives the official reply from Henderson, with the promise to study it carefully. (1:597)

ooo.                   29 August

i.     It appears in Berlin that morning that peace is coming. (1:597)

ii.     The Soviet High Command announces reinforcements on its western border. Mobilization preparation begins in the several countries. The border between Italy and France is closed. Switzerland convenes 100,000 border troops. (1:598)

iii.     From German Chargé d’Affaires in Washington: “Roosevelt holds neutrality to be reprehensible….” Roosevelt wants to intervene militarily if England and France fall into danger of defeat, or if it looks like there is certain prospect of the English-French victory. (1:598)

iv.     Upon careful study of the response brought by Henderson the night before, certain passages seem confusing – to indicate England will not commit to aid in the negotiations with Poland. (1:599)

v.     Hitler replies that negotiations must commence in 29 hours: a Polish dignitary with full authority to arrive in Berlin for this purpose. (1:601) Hitler justifies this urgency with a statement that a serious disturbance can, at any time, start the war. “Remember that my people are bleeding day after day.” (1:602)

vi.     Henderson attempts to secure such a Polish negotiator, even through the French and Italian Ambassadors in Berlin.  He then notifies London of Hitler’s reply. “Hitler is not bluffing and at any moment a clash may occur…” (1:602)

vii.     In Poland, they decide they must not concede on Danzig, and the only solution is military, despite being advised by Britain to negotiate.  Poland will announce the general mobilization the next day. (1:603)

viii.     Göring, quite upset that peace is once again slipping away, sends for Dahlerus: “Hitler intends to send to Poland in the course of the next day a note which will contain such light conditions that they certainly could be accepted by Poland and supported by the English Government.” (1:604)

ppp.                    30 August

i.     At 1000, Kennard from Warsaw reports the situation in Poland to London.  He believes Beck will not go to Berlin and does not accept the short deadline.  As Poland did not accept similar proposals from Germany in March (prior to England’s backing), Kennard see no reason why today – with England’s backing – things would change. (1:610)

ii.     Dahlerus arrives in London. He believes Chamberlain has lost his patience and lost faith in the usefulness of further negotiations. (1:605)

1.      Chamberlain considers Hitler’s offer of a new proposal a “ruse to gain time.” Or perhaps a concern that it will be Poland that then starts the war. (1:606)

iii.     Against England’s advice, Poland has mobilized. (1:606) At 1730 hours a report arrives from the German Embassy in Warsaw that since this morning all over Poland the general mobilization has been effectively proclaimed. (1:609)

iv.     Hitler forwards a new offer (the sixth) – or a new demand, as the Poles see it: a referendum for the people in the Corridor. (1:501)

1.      The people of West Prussia-Pomeralia would determine the belonging to Germany or Poland; the vote is to be under an international commission made up of Italy, the Soviet Union, France, and England; the region of Gdingen is excluded from this referendum, this region is strictly Polish sovereign territory; for the benefit of the loser of the referendum, an extra-territorial traffic zone will be established, consisting of a highway and four-track rail line.  (1:502, 522)  Hitler is quite confident that this very moderate proposal will bring Chamberlain to the German side. (1:612)

v.     Poland has until midnight to send a fully authorized negotiator to Berlin. Beck accepts neither the time pressure nor Berlin as the negotiating venue. (1:502)

vi.     Regarding this proposal, French historian Rassiner writes (after the war): “It seems correct that, if the French and British peoples had known of these propositions on 30 August, Paris and London could not have declared war on Germany, without unleashing a wave of protestations that would have imposed peace.” (1:504)

vii.     From the wife of the just resigned First Lord of the British Admiralty Cooper: when hearing of the proposal, she finds it quite “reasonable.”  Her husband, fearing the British public would view it the same, calls the editors of the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, asking them to present the proposal in the most unfavorable light. (1:504)

viii.     At 1900 hours, Halifax sends a telegram to Kennard in Warsaw: the Germans have accepted the English proposal to direct German-Polish negotiations and the five-powers guarantee.  He mentions nothing of the new information from Dahlerus, instead stating that a new German proposal is forthcoming. (1:610)

ix.     Hitler postpones again the start of the attack, from 31 August to 1 September. (1:609)

x.     Washington, Paris, and Warsaw implore each other to remain steadfast – no effort to reduce the risk of the outbreak of war is discussed. (1:609)

xi.     France’s Chief of the Foreign Office Leger commits Daladier to the policy of not compelling Poland to negotiate with the Germans; he does this in the presence of the American Ambassador Bullitt. (1:609)

xii.     In Warsaw, American Ambassador Biddle is notified of what the Poles think about Hitler’s proposal.  Biddle notifies Secretary Hull in Washington: Beck has said “no 40 times” to Hitler’s offer to negotiate. (1:610)

xiii.     By 2300 hours, von Ribbentrop no longer expects an emissary from Poland. (1:611)

xiv.     French Ambassador Coulondre in Berlin, writing to Prime Minister Daladier: “The trial of strength is turning out in our favor. …reports speak of a growing dissatisfaction among the population…. Now, as before, we must stand firm, stand firm and again stand firm.” (1:622)

qqq.                    31 August

i.     Henderson and von Ribbentrop meet just after midnight.  Henderson indicates the complaints of the Poles regarding German atrocities at the border.  To this, von Ribbentrop loses control – just last night there are reports of more than 200 murders of ethnic Germans in Poland.  The conversation becomes icy. Henderson indicates that the British government is not in a position to demand a fully-empowered Polish negotiator to Berlin on such short notice.  Von Ribbentrop comes to believe the British have no desire to compel the Poles to yield. (1:613)

ii.     Von Ribbentrop pulls out of his pocket a paper with a new, 16-point proposal from Hitler.  He reads this to Henderson, but refuses to give a copy, saying “It is outdated anyway, since the Polish negotiator has not appeared.”  Henderson later presses Lipski to call von Ribbentrop directly and demand the proposal.  After Lipski stonewalls, Henderson gets personal: Lipski has done nothing for four months; this will be held against him if war comes. (1:614)

iii.     Meanwhile, Dahlerus returns from London, optimistic.  Göring informs him of the new, 16-point proposal: “Hitler in his wish to reach an agreement with England has worked out an offer to Poland, which is a great concession from the German side and which, soince it is obviously democratic, just and implementable, must cause a great sensation and can be accepted by Poland as well as England.”  Both men believe they are near success in their struggle for peace. (1:615)

iv.     By 900 hours, Henderson has the written proposal; also Dahlerus sees Henderson.  Dahlerus and Ogilvie-Forbes go to see Lipski at 100 hours.  They find Lipski, and moving boxes, but otherwise an almost empty Embassy. (1:615)

v.     Dahlerus reads the proposal.  Lipski, despite being fluent in German, claims he does not understand it.  Lipski states privately to Ogilvie-Forbes that he has no interest in the proposal.  Once war begins, there will be riots in Germany and Polish forces will soon be in Berlin. Thereafter, Dahlerus returns to the room and hands Lipski the proposal. (1:616)

vi.     Dahlerus is complaining to London that the Poles are deliberately destroying any possibility of negotiation.  He holds the German 16-point proposal to be “extremely liberal.”  This phone call is extremely disturbing in London, with Halifax finally slamming the phone; Halifax notifies Henderson that he will accept no further such calls. (1:616)

vii.     Henderson receives the order by phone at 1300 hours to inform the Reich Government that the Polish Government will now send its Ambassador to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (1:617)

viii.     Kennard receives a telegraph at 1345 to advise the Polish Government to send its Ambassador in Berlin to receive the proposal and forward this to Warsaw.  There is no mention of sending an authorized negotiator. (1:617)

ix.     In the meantime, Poland via radio has sent a message to Lipski to visit von Ribbentrop, telling him that Poland has been notified by London of a desire to enter direct negotiations, and that Warsaw will formally reply to London in a few hours.  Additionally, Lipski is not to take the proposal, and has no authority to discuss any proposal. (1:618)  Hitler, via intercepting the radio message, is aware of these instructions, and views the last hope for peace as lost (It is now 1300 hours, just 16 hours from the planned time of the invasion). (1:619)

x.     Hitler, despite by now being skeptical, approves a direct talk between Göring and the British, only with Dahlerus present. (1:619)

xi.     At 1630, Henderson, Ogilvie-Forbes, Göring, and Dahlerus meet. Göring suggests negotiations with Britain negotiating on behalf of the Poles.  Henderson does not believe this will lead to any solution.  Henderson asks Göring not to announce the details of the 16-points over the radio.  The conversation ends at 1900, with nothing accomplished. (1:620)

xii.     At 1830, Lipski meets von Ribbentrop.  He notifies him that Poland will shortly inform England regarding the request to negotiate. Von Ribbentrop, despite already knowing the answer, asks Lipski if he is empowered now to receive the proposal or negotiate.  Lipski replies he is not. (1:621)

xiii.     As an exclamation point on the significant deterioration of the situation on both sides of the Polish-German border, Poles in Krakow murder the still acting German Consul. (1:562)

xiv.     German radio intelligence hears the instruction from Foreign Minister Beck to Lipski in Berlin that he should not accept delivery of any new German proposal for negotiations. (1:571)

xv.     Swedish mediator Dahlerus along with a British diplomat attempts to bring to the Polish Ambassador Lipski in Berlin another offer from Hitler for negotiations.  Lipski is not interested in receiving the offer.  According to Dahlerus: “…he in no wise has any cause to be interested in notes or offers from the German side.  He well knows the situation in Germany after five and a half years of activity as Ambassador…. He is convinced that, in the event of war, riots will break out in this land, and the Polish troops will march successfully against Berlin.” (1:568)

xvi.     Mussolini invites the government heads from Germany, Poland, France and England to a Peace conference 5 September.  The chief theme of the conference is to examine certain provisions of the Treaty of Versailles – the root of the specific issue at hand. As Hitler is aware of the order from Beck to Lipski, the offer from Mussolini is of no meaning. (1:570) French Foreign Minister Bonnet is of the opinion that the proposal should first be approved by Paris and London before Hitler is invited.  A process is established by which no outcome is possible until late in the evening. The English government sees the proposal as a trap, and advises not to brusquely reject it, but to first demand a demobilization of all armies. (1:622)

xvii.     French Ambassador in Berlin, Coulondre, to Foreign Minister Bonnet: “The German government, according to sure information, is very angry that it has received no reply from Poland….  It would be entirely in the interest of the Polish government to communicate without delay to Berlin that it endorses the plan and will send Lipski with all the necessary instructions as a fully empowered agent to negotiate.”  The message and tone is opposite from Coulondre’s communication with Daladier just one day before. (1:622)

xviii.     Roosevelt, who has known of the secret protocol between the Soviets and Germans (with the agreement that East Poland will be lost), on this day wraps himself in silence. (1:623)

xix.     US Ambassador in Paris, Bullitt, assures his Polish colleague, Count Łukasiewicz, that there is a secret protocol, but it only involves the three Baltic States – not Poland. (1:624)

xx.     At 2100 hours, German radio broadcasts the 16 Point Proposal. Between 2100 and 2200 hours, State Secretary von Weizsacker presents written copies of Hitler’s proposal to the Ambassadors of Great Britain, France, Japan, and the Chargés d’Affaires of the USA and the Soviet Union. (1:624)

xxi.     The Daily Telegraph in London, in the evening edition, reports that after receipt of the negotiation offer from Germany, Poland mobilizes its armed forces instead of acknowledging the offer. The edition is pulled, replaced with an edition that does not mention the mobilization. (1:624)

rrr.   September

i.     Roosevelt begins secret correspondence with Churchill, before Churchill is Prime Minister. (5:93)

sss.  1 September

i.     Germany invades Poland at 445 hours, without a formal declaration (perhaps because, after Russia, France and England mobilized in 1914, Germany was the first to declare war; Germany later was deemed the party responsible). (1:625)

ii.     During the fourth emergency session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, a universal draft was ratified.  This had not occurred previously in Russian history.  It occurs not when tensions with Germany are high, but only after the mutual non-aggression pact is signed. (2:123)

ttt.    3 September

i.     Paris and London declare war on Berlin. (1:625) Colonies join as well: Australia, Burma, Ceylon, India, Jordan, Cambodia, Laos, Morocco, New Zealand, Tunisia, and Vietnam. (1:626)

ii.     The war for Danzig is now a world war. (1:626)

uuu.                    4 September

i.     English bombers attack German ships which lie at anchor. (1:626)

vvv. 5 September

i.     German submarines and the Royal Navy begin their war in the Atlantic. (1:626)

ii.     Polish High Command orders the Rudnicki Army in northwest Poland to give way before the German army after destroying the food in the yielded area, leaving behind a “desolate, devastated land.” (1:628)

www.                6 September

i.     The Reich issues instructions neither to shoot no control French merchant ships, attempting to keep France out of the battle. (1:627)

ii.     The Polish newspaper Express Poranny reports that the French army is marching into the Rhineland and that the Polish air force is bombing Berlin.  Neither is true. (1:628)

xxx. 9 September

i.     The Wehrmacht has already taken all of West Poland up to the line formed by the Narew River, the city of Warsaw, and the Bug River. (1:628)

yyy. 10 September

i.     In violation of Belgian neutrality, British bomber overfly that country. (1:627)

zzz.  12 September

i.     British troops land on the continent, reinforcing the French. (1:628)

ii.     France deploys 80 divisions, against only eleven German division initially deployed. (1:628)

aaaa.                 13 September

i.     The Polish newspaper Express Poranny has the headline “German Offensive Smashed in Poland.” (1:628)

bbbb.                  15 September

i.     The activity of the German air force substantially drops; the German army was almost out of fuel. (2:118)

cccc.                  16September

i.     The London Daily Express reports that the French have surrounded Saarlouis, somewhat meaningless as the city lies on the border. And the announcement is wrong in any case. (1:628)

dddd.                 17 September

i.     Soviets attack Poland without a war declaration; recapture area east of the Curzon line, just as awarded in 1919. (1:431, 435, 628)

1.      The Soviets justify this: “The Polish government has ceased to exist, and the Soviet Union therefore has had to take under its protection the Ukrainians and White Russians living on Polish territory.” (1:628)

2.      There is no repercussion to this by Britain. (1:538)

ii.     The Polish government, including President Moscicki and Commander in Chief Rydz-Ŝmigly withdraw to Romania.

eeee.                 18 September

i.     The armed forces of all of Poland west of the Curzon line up to Warsaw are captured. (1:629)

ffff. 19 September

i.     Britain and France urge the Soviet government to withdraw its troops from Poland, else a declaration of war will follow.  (1:629)

gggg.                 29 September

i.     Warsaw falls.  England and France have neither taken serious action against Germany, nor declared war on the Soviet Union. (1:629)

hhhh.                 September

i.     Stalin begins dismantling the “Stalin line,” a line of defenses along the western border; this after consolidating regions further to the west, ensuring a common border with the Germans. (2:174)

iiii.   October

i.     England and France begin secret contacts with the Russians inviting them to join forces against Germany. (1:629)

ii.     Stalin demands concession from Finland of the Karelian Isthmus, in exchange for other lands.  The Isthmus is strategic to the defense of Finland. (2:136)

jjjj.   13 November


1.      I had today an appropriate occasion to talk during a breakfast with Churchill in spirit of your telegram from November 11. Churchill did not hide his satisfaction because in Moscow there is a desire to improve Anglo-Soviet relations, and for this he noticed: “The main thing is that there was a desire. If the desire exists, there will be ways and means for its realization”.

2.      To my question, how in this case it is explained that the policy hostile to the USSR, which the British authorities now conduct in the various ends of the world (I gave a number of examples), and to my indication that without change of this policy, it is difficult to speak about improvement in the Anglo-Soviet relations, Churchill answered:” You should consider that a sudden turn of the Soviet policy at the end of August was big shock for England.” …It is no big work for me on a number of examples to show that it not so. Then Churchill began to recede and eventually declared that he will take a closer interest in the matter and, that if the British diplomacy really conducts now the anti-Soviet line, he will try to change a present state of affairs, because he, Churchill, is a stau[n]ch advocate of the kind relations between both countries.

3.      At the initiative of Churchill and in connection with our general conversation on the Anglo-Soviet relations we spoke about Finland much. Churchill’s views are on this matter reduced to the following: The USSR has all bases to be the dominating power in the Baltic Sea, and it corresponds to the British interests. Our requirements (border change on the Karelian Isthmus, islands in the Gulf of Finland, sea base at an entrance to the Gulf of Finland) are in essence quite natural and lawful.

4.      The situation where a center similar to Leningrad, is under fire of long-range guns from the Finnish border is ridiculous. England cannot object to implementation of the Soviet requirements, especially in view of that from the Soviet side Finland is offered a certain compensation….England should not only keep from objecting to the implementation of Soviet requirements, but she even has a moral obligation to facilitate the USSR in their implementation as Russia lost the positions, including Baltic, as a result of participation in last war on Entante’s side…

kkkk.                  23 November

i.     Speaking at a meeting with the High Command of the German Army, Hitler said a war with the Soviet Union can only begin after the war with the west had ended. (2:234)

llll.   25 November

i.     The People’s Commissar of Defense of the USSR signed a directive to the Leningrad military district; the directive regards conditions of war only against Finland. (2:149)

mmmm.          26 November

i.     Seven artillery shells allegedly flew into Soviet territory from Finland. (2:137)

ii.     Soviet Union invades Finland. (1:554) Check Amazon for Pricing.

nnnn.                 30 November

i.     The Red Army crosses the Finnish border, with the objective to take Helsinki by 21 December. (2:138)

ii.     Units of the Red Army take the small village of Terioki; a Finland communist government is declared, with Kuusinen at the head. (2:138)

oooo.               1 December

i.     The Finnish communist government establishes diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union. (2:138)

pppp.                 2 December

i.     The Finnish Communist government signs an agreement on mutual help and friendship between the Soviet Union and the Finnish Democratic Republic. (2:138)

qqqq.                 Unknown

i.     Confidence is so high that Polish newspapers print maps in anticipation of a certain victory over Germany with borders extending to the Elbe. The dreams of the Poles do not remain hidden from the Germans throughout these two decades due to the many official and unofficial statements regarding the acquisition of these territories. (1:472)

ii.     Soon after the war’s start, British Ambassador in Berlin comments: “[Germany’s] post-war experiences had unfortunately taught Nazi Germany that nothing could be achieved except by force or display of force.” (1:566)

28)   1940

a.      13 March

i.     The war between the Soviet Union and Finland was ended, after 105 days of winter fighting; daylight was short, night was long.  The Soviets took the Karelian Isthmus; Finland retained her independence. Having broken through the defensive lines, the Soviets did not continue the advance. (2:140)

1.      The effort by the Soviets was undertaken in the harshest conditions – average temperatures of 21 to 24 Celsius below zero – and against one of the most impregnable defensive lines. (2:140)

2.      Instead of viewing the Soviet effort as weak, considering the situation the lesson to be learned is that nothing is impossible for the Red Army. (2:144) The Red Army was capable of carrying out impossible orders, and it would not be stopped by any number of casualties. (2:144)

b.      8 May

i.     German radio announced that the talk of two German armies being transferred to the border with Holland was a “ridiculous rumor,” being circulated by “British inciters of war.” (2:218)

c.      10 May

i.     Germany invades the Netherlands.

d.      28 May

i.     Belgium capitulates. (2:234)

e.      31 May

i.     The unfinished German cruiser Lutsow, renamed the Petropavlovsk, arrived in Leningrad during the time of war with Britain!  This was preceded (date TBD) by the sale to Stalin of an Italian warship, the Tashkent. (2:128)

f.       May / June

i.     Germans drive British forces off of the continent. (2:234)

 ii.     Germans allow evacuation

1.      Flotilla of commercial vassals – tugs, fishing sloops, lifeboats, etc. – used to rescue soldiers: 220,000 Tommies and over 100,000 French support troops. (4:3)

2.      Hitler says to Göring “The war is finished.  I’ll come to an understanding with England.” (4:5)

g.      22 June

i.     France falls. (2:234)

h.      25 June

i.     Churchill writes to Stalin, warning of German invasion. (2:234) Stalin receives message 1 July. (2:234)

i.       30 June

i.     German forces capture Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands. (2:234)

j.       June

i.     Stalin orders river warships to the Danube delta at a time when allied with Germany. (2:192)

k.      16 July

i.     Hitler signs directive concerning preparations for landing troops in Great Britain, to be completed by 15 August. Hitler changes plans upon Soviet annexation of Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; Hitler sees risk to oil from Romania and other resources from the north.  (2:157)

l.       21 July

i.     Hitler, for the first time and in a tight circle, raises the idea of the “Russian problem.”  General Field Marshall W. Brauchitsch receives an order from Hitler to begin developing a specific plan of war in the east. (2:156)

m.    29 July

i.     Major General Erich Marcks began planning a military campaign against Russia. (2:156)

n.      21 August

i.     Leon Trotsky murdered in Mexico by Spanish communist and NKVD agent Ramon Mercador. Mercador returned to the Soviet Union and received the title “Hero of the Soviet Union.” (2:178)

o.     November

i.     Molotov tells Hitler that a new division of Europe is required.  This proposed new division places at risk Germany’s access to oil and other strategic resources. (2:182)

p.      13 November

i.     Hitler relays to Molotov the need to retain a large number of German troops in Romania, hinting that he felt the Soviet military posed a threat to Romanian oil. (2:192)

q.      14 November

i.     Molotov leaves for Moscow. (2:183)

ii.     After Molotov’s departure, Hitler conveys that Germany must plan to invade Russia. (2:183)

r.       25 November

i.     German ambassador to Moscow was told that German troops must withdraw its troops from Finnish territory immediately. Further previous demands were reiterated: the establishment of Soviet bases on the Bosporus and Dardanelles. (2:183)

ii.     People’s Commissar of Defense wrote a directive to prepare a plan for a new war of aggression against Finland. (2:183)

s.      29 November

i.     German generals played strategic map battles, invading Russian territory, ending 13 December. (2:187)

t.       18December

i.     Hitler signs Open Directive No. 21 ordering Operation Barbarossa – the attack on the Soviet Union. (2:242)

u.      23 December

i.     Secret conference of the High Command of the Red Army held for eight days, ending 31 December.  274 Marshals, generals, admirals attended.  Most lectures focused on the tactics of sudden attack – by mechanized forces, air forces, etc.  There was no meaningful lecture on defensive tactics. (2:184)

v.      31 December

i.     Forty-nine of the highest ranking generals remained after the Red Army conference of 23 December and staying until 11 January, 1941.  Their purpose was to participate in a strategic game on maps, depicting a battle between “Easterners” and “Westerners.”  All strategies were aimed at offensive operations by the Soviets – “Offensive Operations of the Front with Breaks through the Fortified Regions.”  (2:186)

w.    December

i.     Stalin and highest members of Politburo and commanders of Red Army discuss “special operations at the initial stage of the war,” coded language for invasion of Germany. (1:77)

29)   1941

a.      11 March

i.     Marshall Timoshenko and Generals Zhukov and Vasilevsky, heads of USSR People’s Defense Commissariat, forwarded to Stalin the plans to invade Germany. (2:xxii)

b.      March

i.     Japanese minister of foreign affairs, Iosuke Matsuoka, arrives in Berlin for talks with Hitler.  He does not commit to a deadline for action against the Soviets, leading to a clash with Hitler. (2:266)

c.      3 April

i.     Churchill writes to Stalin.  It reaches Stalin on 19 April. (2:235)

1.      Churchill writes that the Germans, having secured Yugoslavia, are transferring significant forces to Poland. (2:235)

a.      Significant to Churchill was deemed not very significant to Stalin (2:236)

d.      12 April

i.     Rommel’s forces reach borders of Egypt. (2:235)

e.      13 April

i.     Soviets and Japanese sign a pact. (2:202) Iosuke Matsuoka, on his return from Berlin to Tokyo, stops in Moscow to sign a pact of neutrality between the Japanese and Soviets. (2:266)

ii.     German army seizes Belgrade. (2:235)

f.       16 April

i.     St. Paul’s Cathedral in London damaged in German air raid. (2:235)

g.      17 April

i.     Yugoslavia surrenders to the Germans (2:235)

h.      18 April

i.     Greek Prime Minister, Korisis, commits suicide. (2:235)

i.       23 April

i.     Greek armed forces surrender to Germans. (2:235)

j.       4 May

i.     Stalin becomes chairman of the Soviet government, consolidating for the first time the head of both party and government. (2:202)

k.      5 May

i.     Stalin speaks to graduates of the military academies; he spoke of the situation in Europe and Germany. (2:204) Stalin made clear that there would be war with Germany. (2:205)

l.       6 May

i.     The tone of Pravda propaganda suddenly changes, toward a stance of war. (2:206)

m.    20 May

i.     German forces commence airborne operations to capture Crete. 32,000 British and 14,000 Greek troops were defeated. (2:235)

n.      24 May

i.     Britain’s largest ship in the Atlantic, the Hood, clashes with Germany’s largest battle ship, the Bismarck. The battle lasted eight minutes, with one direct hit sinking the Hood.  Of 1421 crew members, three survive. (2:235)

o.     25 May

i.     Command of the 31st Rifle Corps from the Far East arrives in the Kiev district. (2:210)

p.      May

i.     Soviets decide to create five air assault corps. (1:75)

q.      11 June

i.     A letter found on the captured son of Stalin, dated this day; from a junior lieutenant: “I would like to be home by fall, but the planned walk to Berlin might hinder this.” (2:258)

r.       12 June

i.     Kiev military district commander receives secret orders, announcing the arrival between 15 June and 10 July of the 16th Army (2:209); the relocation from beyond the Baikal to the Ukraine began on 26 May. (2:210)

s.      13 June

i.     TASS announces that “Germany was following the conditions of the Soviet-German pact as flawlessly as the Soviet Union, “that the rumors of an impending German attack on the USSR “were clumsily fabricated propaganda…” The words were recognized as Stalin’s. (2:207)

1.      No directives followed, leading generals to conclude the message could be ignored. (2:208)

2.      The TASS announcement was written to allay the fears of Germany. (2:217) Economica Mogambo: The... Doug, Nojmr Best Price: $6.01 Buy New $14.95 (as of 11:35 EST - Details)

ii.     Orders given for final preparation for war to tens of thousands of Soviet paratroopers – indicating a planned offensive action. (2:75)

iii.     Orders for the Kiev military district are given, to move all deep-rear divisions closer to the state borders. (2:208)

iv.     114 divisions in western military districts are moved toward the border. (2:213) Preparations were not defensive, but offensive. (2:216)

t.       14 June

i.     Military council of the Baltic district approved a plan for the relocation of a row of divisions to the border zone. (2:211)

u.      14 – 19 June

i.     Military councils of all western border districts directed to send to the frontline their army field commands by 22/23 June. (2:211)

v.      15 June

i.     The commands of several rifle divisions concentrated in the forests just east of the city of Beltsy. (2:212)

w.    18 / 19 June

i.     Soviet forces of the Black Sea fleet conduct training exercises, landing on “enemy” shores. (2:194)

x.      21 June

i.     Soviets practicing airborne assault operations. (1:75)

ii.     Hitler writes to Mussolini: “Russia is trying to destroy the Romanian oil fields…The task for our armies is eliminating this threat as soon as possible.” (2:159)

y.      22 June

i.     Germany invades Soviet Union

ii.     On the Southwestern front, three of the most powerful Soviet Armies (the 12th mountain, 6th, and 26th) were in the Lvov bulge, surrounded on three sides by the Germans. (2:228)

1.      The 1st German Tank Group hit Lutsk, Rovno, and Berdichev, cutting off the three Soviet armies in the bulge.  The Germans quickly went through the Soviet rear, capturing weapons, ammunitions, etc. (2:228)

iii.     On the Western front, in Byelorussia, the Red Army had four armies (3rd, 10th, parts of the 4th and 13th   – altogether almost 30 divisions), concentrated in the Byelostok bulge. (2:229)

1.      Two German tank groups struck the flanks and linked east of Minsk. (2:229) From here, the path was direct to Smolensk and Moscow. (2:230)

2.      Zhukov’s formations were not here (which would have been appropriate for defensive operations), but further to the south. (2:231)

iv.     Included in Hitler’s “blitzkrieg” army was a force of 750,000 horses; a convoy of 220 horses with carts followed each tank. (2:241)

v.     Only 17 out of 253 German divisions were tank divisions. (2:241)

z.      23 June

i.     Soviet marines receive their “battle baptism” during the defense of the naval base at Liepja. (2:194)

aa.   25 June

i.     Stalin’s “Danube flotilla” landed reconnaissance and sabotage units of the NKVD on the Romanian shores (indicating offensive actions). (2:192)

bb.   26 June

i.     A red flag goes up in the Romanian city of Kilia. (2:192)

cc.   June

i.     German U-boats sink 61 British merchant ships during the month. (2:235)

dd.   1 July

i.     Churchill, in a letter to Stalin, reiterates an outstretched hand of friendship. (2:203)

ee.   7 July

i.     Stalin, still considering offensive operations, telegrams General Tulenev, demanding that the Soviet Union retains Bessarabia at any cost as a springboard for organizing invasion. (2:193)

ff.     10 July

i.     Stalin’s planned date for the full concentration of Soviet forces on the borders. (2:216)

gg.   14 July

  i.     Roosevelt urges Churchill to make a statement, “making it clear that no postwar peace commitments as to territories, populations or economies have been given.” (5:98)

hh.   25 July

i.     Harry Hopkins asks FDR for permission to travel to the Soviet Union to meet with Stalin regarding his exact war needs.  “Roosevelt assented immediately.” (5:21)

ii.      1 August

i.     Upon receipt of Hopkins’ cable summarizing talks with Stalin, “Roosevelt called a cabinet meeting in which, according to Harold Ickes’s notes, the President ‘started in by giving the State Department and War Department one of the most complete dressing-downs that I have witnessed.’”  Per Morgenthau: “He said he didn’t want to hear what was on order; he said he only wanted to hear what was son the water.” (5:23)

jj.      August

i.     In response to FDR’s orders to ship hardware to Russia, General Marshall writes to Secretary of War Stimson: “…our entire Air Corps is suffering from a severe shortage of spare parts of allkinds.  We have planes on the ground because we cannot repair them….” (5:26)

ii.     Roosevelt meets Churchill at Argentia Bay, Newfoundland, to discuss and conclude the Atlantic Charter. (5:94)

kk.   5 September

i.     German units surrender to the Soviets at the bend of the frontline, near Elnya – the most strategically significant region of the theater of operations. (2:265)

ll.      November

    i.     FDR, in a press conference, emphasized the freedom of religion and conscience afforded in the Russian constitution. (5:25)

30)   1942

a.      19 February

i.     Secret contacts between Stalin and Hitler, during time when Stalin was allied with Roosevelt and Churchill (2:xxi)

b.      10 March

 i.     Roosevelt to Churchill, suggesting that India is today what the American colonies were during the American Revolution. (5:100)

c.      18 March

  i.     Roosevelt writes to Churchill: “I know you will not mind my being brutally frank when I tell you that I think I can personally handle Stalin better than either your Foreign Office or my State Department.  Stalin hates the guts of all your top people.  He thinks he likes me better, and I hope he will continue to. (5:15)

d.      1 April

 i.     FDR writes Churchill; Hopkins and Marshall will travel to London to present the plan for an allied invasion across the channel, to be undertaken as early as the fall of 1942. (5:32)

e.      11 April

i.     FDR writes to Stalin, proposing a meeting next summer near the common border of Alaska: “I have in mind a very important military proposal involving the utilization of our armed forces in a manner to relieve your critical Western Front.  This objective caries great weight with me….”  (5:39)

1.      Stalin offers no satisfactory reply. (5:40)

f.       24 April

 i.     Churchill writes to Hopkins of his desire to reduce shipments to Russia until the shipments can be better protected. (5:28)

g.      26 April

 i.     Roosevelt responds to Churchill (from 24 April above): “I have seen your cable to Harry this morning relative to shipments to Russia. I am greatly disturbed by this…any word reaching Stalin at this time that our supplies were stopping for any reason would have a most unfortunate effect. (5:28)

h.      1 May

     i.     Churchill replies “With very great respect what you suggest is beyond our powers to fulfill.” (5:29)

i.       Late May

i.     Molotov travels first to London, then Washington, in quest for a second, western front no later than the coming fall. (5:35)

j.       30 May

 i.     Molotov meets with Roosevelt: all land secured in the agreement with Hitler will remain with the Soviets; a “straight answer” regarding the immediate opening of a second front must be given.  Marshall replied “Yes.” (5:35)

k.      9 June

i.     On the way back to Moscow, Molotov stops in London with a draft communiqué regarding the urgent task of opening a second front in Europe in 1942.  Churchill dismissed the communiqué “out of hand.” (5:35)

l.       14 July

i.     Churchill writes FDR: “Only four ships have reached Archangel…out of thirty-three…” (5:29)

m.    29 July

  i.     FDR writes Churchill: “We have got always to bear in mind the personality of our ally…” (5: 29)

                                                   ii.     FDR to Churchill, pushing for an immediate grant of independence for India. (5:101)

n.      7 October

    i.     FDR writes Churchill: “I think there is nothing more important than that Stalin feel that we mean to support him without qualification and at great sacrifice.” (5:31)

o.     December

 i.     FDR writes Stalin again, asking for a meeting – this time in Africa. Stalin remains uninterested. (5:40)

p.      30 December

i.     Roosevelt asks Stalin about establishing US air bases in the eastern Soviet Union for purposes of attacking Japan.  Stalin refuses. (2:268)

31)   1943

a.      8 January

i.     Again, Roosevelt asks Stalin about establishing US air bases in the eastern Soviet Union for purposes of attacking Japan.  Again Stalin refuses. (2:268)

b.      13 January

  i.     Stalin writes to FDR: “…what we need is not air force units, but planes without pilots, because we have more than enough pilots of our own…” Stalin goes on to question why FDR proposes a visit by General Bradley to inspect Russian military objectives; also Stalin does not understand why General Marshall should visit the USSR.  Finally, Stalin expresses displeasure that operations in North Africa have come to a standstill. (5:41)

c.      January

 i.     Roosevelt first speaks to the notion of unconditional surrender – “Uncle Joe might have made it up himself.” (5:43)

d.      13 March

i.     German generals begin planning in secret for the Battle of Kursk. (2:245)

e.      27 March

i.     Stalin informs Anastas Mikoyan of the German intent for battle in the summer – the Battle of Kursk. (2:245)

f.       7 April

 i.     After previously promising (then backing out of) a cross-channel landing for the prior fall, now the Americans were not able to land in Sicily.  Eisenhower writes to Churchill that the invasion of the island would have to be postponed until the Allies had greater military strength. (5:37)

g.      5 May

  i.     Roosevelt again asks Stalin for a meeting, via Joseph Davies (and not, Admiral Standley, Ambassador in Moscow) (5:41)

h.      25 June

 i.     Churchill writes FDR, expressing concern that FDR wants a private meeting with Stalin – excluding Britain. (5:42)

i.       5 July

i.     Battle of Kursk begins. (2:245)

j.       9 November

i.     Roosevelt proposes a single European command – for both Normandy and the Mediterranean; Churchill turns him down immediately. (5:62)

k.      November

  i.     At Teheran, Stalin informs FDR that he does not like unconditional surrender.  Churchill agrees. (5:44)

l.       29 November

  i.     Churchill is a target of Stalin’s verbal jabs; FDR and Stalin joke about selecting 50,000 German officers for execution after the war. (5:50)

m.    1 December

i.     FDR agrees to support the shift of Poland to the east, but conveyed to Stalin that he could not publicly support any such move, as six or seven million Poles lived in the US, and an election was upcoming. (5:45)

n.      21 December

     i.     Roosevelt writes to Churchill, conveying his desire to offer one-third of the Italian naval fleet to Stalin.  (5:53)

32)   1944

a.      16 January

 i.     Churchill writes to FDR, noting that offering one-third of the Italian fleet to the Soviets was never discussed at Teheran. (5:53)

b.      29 February

        i.     Roosevelt sends to Churchill the Hurley report on Iran, suggesting that Britain’s imperialism must cease; the report further emphasizes the Soviet place in the world, include their positive relations with Iran. (5:99)

c.      2 March

 i.     Roosevelt announces in a news conference that he had “given” one-third of the Italian fleet to Stalin. (5:53)

d.      7 March

                                        i.     Churchill drafts and sends a strong letter of displeasure to FDR regarding the gift of Italian ships to Stalin.  Britain has borne the brunt of the naval losses since the beginning of the war. (5:54)

e.      21 May

i.     Churchill replies to Hurley report, defending British Imperialism as a force for spreading democracy. (5:100)

f.       Summer

                    i.     Stalin informs Marshal A.M. Vasilevsky that he would be chief commander in a war against Japan. (2:268)

                                                   ii.     For the most part, those entrusted with preparing the plan for invasion of Germany in 1941 were also entrusted to develop this war plan. (2:276)

g.      August

i.     Beginning of the three-month Warsaw Uprising.  Despite the capability to do otherwise, Stalin did not offer assistance to the Poles against the Germans. (5:57)

h.      25 August

i.     Churchill writes draft letter to Stalin and sends to FDR.  The purpose is to encourage Stalin to support the Poles.  FDR strongly objects to sending the letter. (5:58)

i.       9 September

i.     Churchill letter to his chiefs of staff: “Once again I draw attention to the extreme importance on grounds of high policy of our having a stake in central and southern Europe and not allowing everything to pass into Soviet hands with the incalculable consequences that may result therefrom.” (5:61)

j.       6 November

    i.     Stalin calls Japan an aggressor for the first time. (2:268)

33)   1945

a.      February

i.     Yalta conference legitimizes for the Soviets various territories taken by force. (5:69)

b.      6 March

 i.     Churchill is apprised about mass arrests by the Soviets of Polish intellectuals, priest, professors, etc., taking place in Cracow. Six-thousand former Home Army officers were put in a camp. The fruits of Yalta were beginning to become plain to the world. (5:78)

c.      8 March

i.     Churchill writes to Roosevelt, apprizing him of the picture taking place in Eastern Europe – particularly the “cruel joke” perpetrated on the Poles regarding free elections.  He asked Roosevelt to join him in a letter of protest to Stalin.  Roosevelt did not. (5:78)

d.      21 March

i.     Ambassador to Moscow, Averell Harriman to Roosevelt: “I feel the time has come to reorient our whole attitude, and our method of dealing with the Soviet government.  Unless we wish to accept the 20th century barbarian invasion, with repercussions extending further and further, and in the East as well, we must find ways of arresting the Soviet domineering policy.” (5:81)

e.      24 March

               i.     Harriman to Roosevelt, regarding the brutal and callous treatment by the Soviets of Americans being freed from German prison camps. (5:81)

f.       26 March

i.     Roosevelt replies to Harriman: “It does not appear appropriate for me to send another message now to Stalin…” (5:81)

g.      28 March

 i.     Eisenhower telegram directly to Stalin, outlining Eisenhower’s strategy for the remainder of the European war.  The telegram did not identify Berlin as an Allied objective. Churchill saw the telegram only after it was sent to Stalin; shocked regarding the gift of Berlin to the Soviets. (5:84)

h.      2 April

 i.     Harriman to Roosevelt: “I feel certain that unless we do take action in cases of this kind, the Soviet government will become convinced that they can force us to accept any of their decisions on all matters and it will be increasingly difficult to stop their aggressive policy.” (5:81)

i.       5 April

i.     Soviet Union cancels the Soviet-Japanese neutrality pact. (2:268)

j.       11 April

i.     US Army reaches the Elbe River, 60 miles from Berlin. (5:85)

k.      6 August

i.     US drops nuclear bomb on Hiroshima

l.       8 August

i.     At shortly before midnight, Japanese Ambassador in Moscow is notified: “Starting the next day, August 9, the Soviet Union will consider itself in a state of war with Japan.” As the day in Vladivostok starts seven hours before it does in Moscow, in fact the attack referenced in 9 August below had already begun! (2:272)

ii.     In eleven days, Soviet troops covered more than 800 kilometers. (2:274)

m.    9 August

i.     US drops nuclear bomb on Nagasaki

ii.     Soviets carry out sudden and crushing attack on Japanese in Manchuria and China. (2:272)

n.      Unknown

i.     Soviets remove 2 million Poles still living east of the Curzon line, sending them west as part of the forced migrations. (1:431)


1)      1939 – The War That Had Many Fathers, Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof; 2011 Olzog Verlag GmbH, Munchen Germany

2)      The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II, Viktor Suvorov; 2008 Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD.


4)      The Last Lion, William Manchester

5)      Roosevelt and Stalin: The Failed Courtship, Robert Nisbet; 1988 Regnery Gateway, Washington, D.C.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts