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Blitzkrieg in Poland (Hardback)

Then and Now

Military > After the Battle Military > By Century Military > Reference World History

By Steven Howard Casely
Imprint: After the Battle
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 364 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036101732
Published: 30th March 2025


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This book starts with the Incident at Mosty, in which we explore a little-known event which took place on August 25, 1939 near the Czechoslovakian/Polish border. The next chapter is The Gleiwitz Incident where we tell the story of an incident on the night of August 31/September 1, 1939, where the German Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service) staged a series of fake border incidents along the German-Polish frontier in Upper Silesia designed to give Nazi Germany an excuse for invading Poland. The most prominent of these provocations was the seizure of the German radio station in the town of Gleiwitz. Following from this we the describe the story of Westerplatte where the opening shots of the Second World War were fired in Poland: The Free City of Danzig, Westerplatte, The Military Transit Depot, Preparations for Defence, Preparing for Aggression, The Last Hours of Peace, The First Day of War, The Second Day, The Third Day, The Fourth Day, The Fifth Day, The Sixth Day, The Seventh Day, Hitler Visits Danzig, Westerplatte Today. Finally, we describe The Siege of Warsaw in 1939. On September 8, 1939, one week into the Nazi invasion of Poland, German armoured troops reached the gates of Warsaw. The Polish government and High Command had left the city but a determined garrison awaited the enemy invader and the Poles were able to stave off two consecutive German attempts to take the capital by armoured attack. Thus began a siege that would last for three weeks and subject the Warsaw Army of over 100,000 and the civilian population of over one million to a ruthless campaign of aerial bombardment and heavy artillery shelling, causing thousands of casualties and widespread destruction. It was a hopeless battle that could only end in defeat and on September 27 the Polish garrison capitulated. The photos of the first penetration by tanks and infantry of the 4. Panzer-Division taken on September 9 became standard repertoire of German propaganda publications on the Blitzkrieg in Poland.

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About Steven Howard Casely

Steven H. Casely's interest in military history began many years ago with modelling military vehicles from scratch, before the advent of the 1/35th scale tanks that became available. Steve would travel to Bovington Tank Museum to measure up, photograph and make sketches of whichever vehicle he hoped to reproduce in model form.

That research, coupled with an intense interest in photography and having an eye for detail, eventually led Steve to a chance meeting with former Editor-in-Chief of After the Battle, Winston Ramsey, on Slapton beach in South Devon on April 15, 1984, where he began recording the recovery of the Sherman tank which was to be raised from the sea bed, three quarters of a mile off the shore and subsequently mounted, as it is today, in the car park by the beach, as a memorial to those service personnel who trained there, and in many cases, lost their lives on exercise Tiger and the D-Day beaches of Normandy. That chance meeting led to Steve’s first work for the company with the article ‘The Tank That Missed D-Day’, published in issue 45 of the then quarterly magazine, which was also called After the Battle.

Steve's engineering training has led him through a career as a mechanical and electrical manager in the construction industry and for over 40 years there has been much involvement with After the Battle throughout the UK and Europe, in articles published in the former magazines After the Battle and Wheels and Tracks, as well as in many books, such as those on D-Day, the Blitz, Bomber Command, Coastal Command, Wreck Recovery (especially with the Devon Aircraft Research and Recovery Team) and The Falklands War Then and Now to name but a few in his 40 plus years as a contributor/author with the company.

Steve lives in South Devon and his interest in all matters of military history is as strong today as it ever was.

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