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Man War 2 Account: 1939 Struggle of Westerplatte— Poland’s Alamo

Updated on Revered 18, 2017

David Hunting


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Battlewagon Assaultive Westerplatte

German Battlewagon Schleswig-Holstein dismissal free-spoken at the Cultivation fort on Westerplatte. September 1, 1939. | Rootage

Finish Stands

In 1836, more 200 Texans fought approximately 1,800 Mexican soldiery ahead beingness exterminated at the Alamo good San Antonio, Texas. In 1879, almost 150 British soldiers successfully thwarted an assaultive power of more 3,000 Zulu warriors at Rorke’s Movement in southerly Africa. In 1939, 209 Cultivation defenders on the diminutive peninsula of Westerplatte held off around 3,400 Germans who attacked them from state, sea and air. The Poles repelled recurrent priming assaults and were subjected to attacks by a battlewagon, Stuka nosedive bombers, large gun, numbfish boats and level electrocution trains. The Germans initially mentation it would be o’er in less than an hr. The Poles were below orders to endure for xii hours until they were projecting, but embossment ne’er came.

Danzig and the Finish Corridor

Map exhibit the Finish Corridor and the Unblock Metropolis of Danzig impacted betwixt German district anterior to Mankind War Two. | Reference

Poles Prepare for Nonstarter

In the wake of Humankind War 1, the country of Poland was resurrected by the Pact of Versailles with farming carven from the washed-up empires of Germany and Russia. In a decisiveness that seemed smartly intentional to delight cypher, the Baltic interface metropolis of Danzig (introduce day Gdansk, Poland) and its environment were interpreted from Germany, denied Poland and designated the Absolve Metropolis of Danzig nether the aegis of the Conference of Nations. To refine matters, Poland was allowed to send 82 soldiers at an ammo entrepot on the Westerplatte peninsula at the lip of Danzig’s strategical shield duct. Its 180 land stretched 1,600 meters (1 mi) e to w and 200 meters northward to s where it bordered the mainland in the eastward.

Preparing for the Assemblage Tempest

By Revered 1939, the berth had go selfsame gruesome so. The Nazis had interpreted de facto command of the “Free City” and war ‘tween Germany and Poland seemed impending. The German battlewagon Schleswig-Holstein , on a “courtesy” chit-chat, sailed preceding Westerplatte into the entertain canal to its southward and dropped backbone. The Poles had through what they could to better their unsufferable place, secretly increasing their numbers to 209 soldiers and reservists and smuggling in a razed 76 mm gun and quatern mortars. They besides bastioned their barracks and the circumferent guardhouses, dug trenches, set mines and prepare barbwire entanglements. They were encircled by weewee on trey sides: the Baltic Sea to their n and the haven canal to their w and s. A brick surround and a railway rod on their eastward isolated them from the mainland and the German soldiery wait on the former slope. The fort’s orders were to go for xii hours until they could be sticking by habitue Refinement Army units.

Map of the Engagement of Westerplatte

Struggle of Westerplatte (September 1-7, 1939) | Origin

Struggle of Westerplatte Launches Humanity War 2

At 4:45am on September 1, the Schleswig-Holstein open blast at blunt orbit on Westerplatte with its four-spot 280 mm (11 in) principal guns besides as its 150 mm and 88 mm lower-ranking guns. This was the gap fusillade of Man War 2; it would be hours ahead German armies really began their intrusion of Poland. Lag, cracking German marines waited for the brick rampart and the dragoon gat n of the bulwark to be breached earlier unveiling their own blast from the e. Nigh intellection the Poles on Westerplatte would fall as shortly as the battlewagon’s onslaught stopped-up and the dope vindicated.

Day 1: Germans Dazed

As the German marines poured done leash breaches in the surround, they plant themselves caught in a crossfire from hidden Glossiness car guns and hemmed in by fields of well-placed barbwire and mines. Howitzer shells likewise rained kill on them. Concurrently, the Poles’ 76 mm study gun took out all of the German motorcar gun emplacements that had been rig in warehouses crossways the haven line south earlier beingness ruined itself. To the westward, Danzig patrol units launched their blast crossways the channelise, but they were rapidly thwarted.

Afterward withdrawing backrest bum the surround, the marines resumed their onrush at 9:00, but again took gravid casualties earlier retreating at midday. They attacked two more multiplication that day, but failed to crack to the Poles’ roach of strengthened guardhouses. The defenders had fulfilled their orders to clench for dozen hours, but, contempt their unimaginable billet, calm refused to deliver.

Stukas Concluded Poland

Organisation of Junkers JU-87 (Stuka) dive-bombers o’er Poland. 1939 | Origin

Day 2: Poles Bombed

On the sec day, the Germans continued to casing Westerplatte and too attacked from the air. In two waves, 60 Stuka dive-bombers dropped more 26 dozens of bombs on the defenders, whole ruining one of the guardhouses, collapsing the top coldcock of the barracks and destroying all the mortars. Lots of the Punt’s supplies of nutrient and music were besides missed. Parts of Westerplatte resembled a moonscape, redolent of a battleground in the old war. Withal, when German snipe soldiery attempted to “mop up”, they were greeted with a devastating firestorm of bullets and retreated.

Day 3: Gloss Hopes Brocaded as Britain and France Announce War

The tertiary day, September 3, was comparatively serenity, although this was more due to the fact that incursive forces from Germany right had penetrated crossways the Cultivation Corridor and entered Danzig. German military leadership did not deficiency the plotted celebrations sick by sounds of combat on the northerly adjoin of the metropolis. The Poles on Westerplatte were buoyed by the tidings that Britain and France had stated war on Germany and hoped that British warships would shortly look off the sea-coast. It was, course, a forlorn promise. Afterward that eventide, the Germans made approximately halfhearted attacks to no service.

Years 4 and 5: Besieging

On September 4, astern betimes probes by German foot, two numbfish boats approached from the sea and discharged 80 shells, doing piddling more roiling up the debris. The Germans seemed contented to lay besieging to the Westerplatte fort, bombarding and harassing them alternatively of introduction head-on attacks.

The one-fifth day saw more of the like with great barrage from earth gun and the Schleswig-Holstein . Afterwards that eve the Poles repulsed German searching attacks.

Day 6: Burn Trains

At 3:00am on September 6, the Germans sent a gear push an oil-filled cisterna done the ruined gat which was to be kindled and compulsive into the Glossiness positions, but the Poles hit it with anti-tank shells and it set the wood aflame rather. The ignitor from the flames open the ensuant German soldiery who again took lowering casualties. An effort to mail in another geartrain subsequently in the day too failed.


German Cosmopolitan Eberhardt saluting Burnish commandant Major Sucharski astern Westerplatte’s defenders surrendered. Sucharski was disposed the courtesy of guardianship his sabre. September 7, 1939. | Root

Day 7: Capitulation

Former in the dawn of September 7, the Germans again resumed their big battery. Having fought for sevener years against tremendous odds, far prodigious the ordering to baulk for 12 hours, the Poles reconsidered their post. By now, German armies tenanted one-half the area and were forthcoming Warsaw, Poland’s majuscule. Evidently the fort wasn’t sledding to be projecting nor was the British Navy expiration to dead seem off the Baltic slide. They were linear out of nutrient, checkup supplies and drinkable urine. The defenders were low on ammo, their left back was crumbling some them and around of the maimed were start to get from slough intoxication.

At 9:45am the Poles hoisted the flannel pin. Westerplatte had fallen. Culture Wireless, which had circulate the substance “Westerplatte fights on!” ceaselessly every daybreak, inspiring the unhurt nation, cruel unsounded. Surprised at how few defenders thither were, the German soldiers saluted them as they marched out into imprisonment at 11:30am and German World-wide Eberhardt allowed Finish commandant Major Sucharski to living his sabre, an sinful prove of obedience when metrical against the rigourousness apportioned to near Poles.

Germans Invade Westerplatte

German soldiery in the sunk afforest of Westerplatte the day astern it vanish. In the outdistance (sou’-west) is the line where the battlewagon Schleswig-Holstein bombarded Westerplatte. September 8, 1939. | Reference


Of the 209 Culture defenders, 15 to 20 were killed and 53 maimed. The Germans befuddled 200 to 300 killed or maimed. For a workweek the Poles had laced up 3,400 German soldiers, sailors, marines and law needful elsewhere. They had prevented admittance to the Danzig porthole and the battlewagon Schleswig-Holstein was ineffective to furnish firing accompaniment for former assaults on the seashore. In the darkness, youth of the war and the inferno that Poland would shortly suit below the Nazis, the defenders of Westerplatte provided urgently requisite brainchild for their beau countrymen. Eld ulterior, a memorial was erected to the defenders and the ruins of the barracks and guardhouses bear been unexpended standing. One of the guardhouses has been reborn into a museum; its incoming flanked by two 280 mm shells from the Schleswig-Holstein .

Westerplatte Tod

Look northward crosswise the harbour toward the Westerplatte Repository. It was consecrated to the defenders of Westerplatte and unveiled in 1966. | Origin

Westerplatte Below Ardour September 1939 and Now

Questions & Answers

Questions moldiness be on-topic, scripted with right grammar utilisation, and apprehensible to a all-embracing consultation.

Enquiry: Why would the law of Danzig (presumptively Cultivation or leastways benevolent) onset their own comrades on Westerplatte during day one of the battles?

Result: The Dislodge Metropolis of Danzig had…

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