GERMANY INVADES POLAND (code name, Weiss = ‘White’): 48 divisions (6 Panzer) and 1,600 aircraft invade without formal declaration of war on 3 fronts from Eastern Germany, East Prussia and Slovakia. Luftwaffe tactical raids on Polish airfields, communications and troop concentrations; Polish Air Force destroyed after three days.
Poland: Government appeals for British and French intervention under terms of Mutual Assistance Treaties. Britain and France demand the withdrawal of German forces from Poland.
USA: President Roosevelt calls for ban on indiscriminate bombing of civilians and undefended towns.
Italy: The government dissociates herself from the conflict.
Britain: General mobilization proclaimed (the Fleet mobilized on August 31). Evacuation of 3 million women, children and invalids from cities begins (completed September 3). ARP (Air Raid Precautions) introduced and the ‘blackout’ enforced from sunset. British Railways taken under Government control.
France: General mobilization and ‘state of siege’ (martial law) proclaimed.
Germany: Hitler speaks in the Reichstag, Berlin: justifies Russo-German Pact (August 23), invasion of Poland, and the seizure of Danzig and the Polish Corridor; threatens the use of ‘secret weapons’; names Goring and Hess as his successors.
Czechoslovakia: Gestapo arrest thousands of prominent Czechs and deport them to concentration camps.
USA: General Marshall appointed US Army Chief of Staff.