In World War II books and articles the role of Poland in this war is often overlooked. It is generally told that Germany crushed Poland in short time by blietzkrieg strategy and there is nothing interesting to speak about. The problem concerns all the central - eastern Europe history, the area where some events happened which changed the whole world history. Who defended all the Europe against Genghis Khan ? What happened that Otoman Empire did not manage to conquer Austria and the reminder of Europe ? Why was archduke Ferdinand killed and why did it cause World War I ? Why the Red Army could not enter revolting Germany in 1919 ? Why invasion of Poland caused World War II ? How were Polish, Czechoslovakian, Rumanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian armies organised and how numerous ?
The answers for these questions are not known generally. If you are interested in military history you can learn more about Polish campaign and why World War II has begun.
Many myths are alive and I am going to argue with some of them:
- Wehrmacht used Blietzkrieg strategy against Poland
It is true but Blietzkrieg strategy in its final form was created after Polish campaign experience. For example Germans used in Poland both armored and light divisions as the result of two different ideas of using tanks: in big units and in small units. The campaign showed tanks are more effective when massed.
- Poland had almost no role in World War II, let's interest more important countries
True that Poland had not such a role like USA, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom...
But let's consider some facts: invasion of Poland caused World War II - Poland was the ally of western countries; Germans took significant casaulties in Poland: 45 000 troops, which is not big number (120 000 in France) but in both Yugoslavia and Greece Germany lost about 5000 troops + about 7000 on Crete. Additionaly about 675 tanks and 350 armoured cars (30% of all tanks), which is not much less than in France, about 600 planes (25%) and as much ammunition as in French campaign considering France had much bigger and better equipped army. Campaign in Poland lasted just a few days shorter time than campaign in powerful France and big losses caused Germans not to attack France the same year but to wait to 1940. This gave time Great Britain to produce modern fighters and win Battle of England.
Poles took part of many important battles after fall of Poland. For example Polish pilots shot down 1/8 of all German planes downed in battle of England (about 200) and polish 303 squadron was best in RAF in this battle. Polish army was the 4th Allied force at the end of war (600 000 troops: about 5 divisions, aviation, navy on the west and 2 armies on the east) after USA, Russia and UK and before France.