RE: The Rogak Report: The Most Useful Publication In The Insurance Claims Industry Digest Number 1273
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No problem! Anything you want to know about WWII, I'm the source! -- Larry Rogak----- Original Message -----From: TheRogakReport@yahoogroups.comTo: TheRogakReport@yahoogroups.comSent: 9/02/2009 7:51AMSubject: The Rogak Report: The Most Useful Publication In The Insurance Claims Industry Digest Number 1273
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- World War II: 70 Years Ago Today From: insurancelawyer
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Posted by: "insurancelawyer" insurancelawyer@... insurancelawyer
Tue Sep 1, 2009 2:27 pm (PDT)
At 4:00 AM on 01 September 1939, Nazi Germany sent 1.5 million troops,
including six armored and four motorized divisions with the most modern
equipment available, into Poland. Poland had more men mobilized -- 1.8
million -- but it was still fighting with mostly World War I equipment
It was tanks and armored vehicles against mostly cavalrymen on horses.
And the most modern airplanes against half the number of Polish antique
To justify the attack, Hitler arranges a bit of deception: the SS takes
a group of concentration camp prisoners and dresses them in Polish army
uniforms and takes them to the German-Polish border town of Gliewitz.
In an operation dubbed "canned goods," the SS seizes the Gliewitz radio
station and makes an announcement in Polish that Poland is invading
Germany. The concentration camp prisoners are then shot to death and
left lying on the ground for photographers to document the failed
"invasion." Germany's invasion is then dubbed a "counter-attack. "
On 07 September, the New York Times referred to the conflict for the
first time as the "Second World War."
By 17 September, it was almost all over, when the Soviet Union, which
had cynically signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler the month before,
attacked Poland from the East. By 20 September all of Poland was in
either German or Soviet hands.
What started World War II? Hitler had laid out his plans in his book,
Mein Kampf, which he wrote in 1923. His vision was to gain "living
space" for the crowded German people by stealing the lands of other
people, primarily the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe.
At first, Hitler gained territory for Germany without bloodshed, through
threats and bluffs. In 1936, he sent his troops in the Rheinland, which
by the Treaty of Versailles was supposed to be demilitarized. France
and England criticized the move, but took no action. This emboldened
Hitler. Had the French Army moved in to enforce the Treaty, they could
have kicked out the then-weak German army, and Hitler would have been
In 1937, Hitler convened all his top generals for a meeting in which he
told them to prepare the Army and the national economy for war.
In March 1938, Hitler annexed Austria, again through threats of
invasion. Then in September 1938, he threatens Europe with war unless
Czechoslovakia cedes its western section, known as the Sudetenland, on
the premise that most of the population of that area are ethnic Germans
who yearn to "return" to the German Reich. England and France take
Hitler's word that the Sudetenland is his "last territorial demand" and
that the cession will preserve "peace for our time." At the "Munich
conference," the deal is signed.
By March 1939, Hitler sends the German Army to occupy the remainder of
Czechoslovkia, breaking the vow he made at Munich. Germany now
surrounds Poland on three sides. A few days later, Germany demands, and
receives, the cession of the port of Memel from Lithuania, under threat
of naval bombardment. This is Hitler's last "bloodless" conquests.
As the spring and summer of 1939 pass, Hitler turns his demands on
Poland, seeking the return of territory taken from Germany and given to
Poland by the Treaty of Versailles, including the city of Danzig and the
"Polish Corridor," a strip of land cut right through Germany, giving
Poland access to the Baltic Sea.
But unlike the spineless British and French, the Polish leadership
(which at the time was a junta of army colonels) was resistant and
determined -- recklessly so, considering their vulnerable military
position. Hitler's demands for the return of Danzig and the Corridor
were insincere anyway -- had Poland relented, Hitler would have followed
up with further incursions as he did with Czechoslovakia anyway.
So on 01 September, Hitler began his blitzkrieg ("lightning war") which
overwhelmed the Poles. Three days later, England and France declared
war on Germany, but made no moves.
In April 1940, Germany invaded neutral Denmark and Norway. On 10 May
1940, German armies invaded neutral Holland and Belgium, despite many
solemn vows by Hitler to respect their neutrality. On 13 May, while
Dutch negotiators talked with German officials about the terms for the
surrender of Rotterdam, German bombers wiped out the heart of the city,
killing about 1,000 civilians. The German Armies proceed into France.
By 15 May the French Premier announces, "We have been defeated." The
French keep fighting, however, until 17 June, when they requested an
armistice. Formal surrender comes on 22 June 1940.
With invasions of Yugoslavia and Greece as well, and Italy in the hands
of Hitler's friend Mussolini, a long dark night settled over Europe.
The British held out desperately, and, aided in part by Hitler's lack of
understanding of naval warfare and Hermann Goering's ineptitude as
commander of the Luftwaffe, England fended off a planned German
invasion, and Hitler made the fatal mistake of attacking Russia on 22
June 1941 as a means of eliminating Britain's "hope" that the Soviet
Union would come to its rescue.
While German armies initially surprised and surrounded many Soviet
armies in the initial months of the attack, the sheer size of Russia,
the existence of millions more Soviet soldiers than Germany had counted
on, and the desperate fighting will of the Red Army -- aided by the
inability of German soldiers to cope with the harsh Russian winters --
eventually ground down the Germans and allowed Russia to take the
On 6 June 1944, England, France, Canada and the U.S. invaded France via
the Normandy coast and began to roll back the German armies, which were
attempting to hold on desperately against the Russian armies on the
Eastern front. Most German generals understood by the summer fo 1944
that Germany's defeat was inevitable, but Hitler and Goebbels, knowing
that if Germany was defeated, their own personal fates were sealed,
insisted on fighting to the death. In fact Goebbels, the propaganda
minister, had been advising the German public since late 1941 that the
outcome of the war would determine the "existence or non-existence" of
Part of the reason Hitler and Goebbels knew that Germany had to win in
order to survive, was that Germany had, in Goebbels words, "burned its
bridges behind it" with its massive exterminations of civilians -- Jews
in particular but also millions of Poles and Russians -- which, as much
as they justified these actions as part of Germany's "new order," also
understood would be viewed as horrific crimes by the rest of the world
in the event of Germany's defeat.
At the end of April 1945, with most of Germany occupied by Russian,
American and British troops, Hitler and Goebbles committed suicide (but
not before Goebbels murdered his six children with cyanide). Germany
surrendered on 07 May 1945. Fifty-one million people, half of them
civilians, died violently as a result of Germany's lust for world
If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.
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