Thursday, May 22, 2014

Polish coast in war plans

Poland, brought to the independent being after 123 years of absence on the political maps of Europe, on 10 February 1920 received access to the Baltic Sea. However, it was not a reason for excessive joy, as the coast awarded to Poland by the decisions of the Treaty of Versailles constituted merely a 142km-long stretch of sandy beaches from Hel Peninsula to the outskirts of Zoppot. Danzig with adjacent area was declared a free city under the international control; although it maintained certain formal links with Poland, majority of its population was German. Poland was too weak politically to get a better deal. The narrow "corridor" of the Polish Pomerania, wedged between the German Pomerania and East Prussia in a space no bigger than 40 kilometres, was impossible to defend in case of a conflict with Germany. The whole area had barely few fishermen villages, with only one small port in Puck. The Germans made sure that no objects of economic importance was left to the Poles; the land was stripped of anything that Poland might use to build a real sea economy and a navy. In the beginning of 1920s Poland's access to the sea was an illusion rather than a reality. More >>>

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Two years of peace

After the outbreak of the war in 1939, the Soviet Union undertook unprecedented measures to speed up its economical and industrial development, especially in the branches of strategic importance. Issuing from the obvious notion that the future war would affect western areas of the USSR, there was made the decision to make bigger investments into the industry of eastern regions to ensure that they would provide at least 20% of the whole industrial output. More >>>

The W-Hour

The day 1 August 1944 in Warsaw was hot and muggy like before a storm. Every now and then the sun was hiding behind the clouds, and one might expect a rain any moment. Yet, the streets were unusually crowded. Trams were running seldom and with irregular intervals; passengers crowded them to the utmost. About the noon to the streets took groups of young men walking quickly in apparent hurry. Reinforced patrols of the German police and gendarmerie were cruising throughout the whole city, but without bothering by-passers. The crowd grew by hour. More >>>

Friday, May 09, 2014

Defence of Sevastopol

In the hitlerite plan of war with the Soviet Union the Army Group Centre was assigned to make the main thrust towards Moscow, whereas the Army Group South was assigned to auxiliary tasks. From the area south to the Pripet Marshes it had to advance to Kiev, Occupy the Ukraine and Crimea, and proceed to the Caucasus. More >>>