The Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939 was a military operation that
started on September 17, 1939, during the early stages of World War
II, sixteen days after the Nazi German attack on Poland. It ended in a
decisive victory for the Soviet Union's Red Army. On August 23, the
Soviets signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany, and on 1
September, the Germans invaded Poland from the west. The Red Army
invaded Poland from the east on 17 September after several calls by
Germany to do so. The Soviet government announced that it was acting
to protect the Ukrainians and Belarusians who lived in the eastern
part of Poland, claiming that the Polish state had collapsed in the
face of the German attack and could no longer guarantee the security
of its own citizens. The Red Army quickly achieved its targets,
meeting only light Polish resistance. 6,000 to 7,000 Polish soldiers
died in the fighting, and 230,000 or more were taken prisoners of war.
The Soviet government annexed the territory newly under its control
and in November declared that the 13.5 million Polish citizens who
lived there were now Soviet citizens. The Soviets quelled opposition
by executing and arresting thousands. During the existence of the
People's Republic of Poland, the invasion was considered a delicate
subject, almost taboo, and was often omitted from official history in
order to preserve the illusion of "eternal friendship" between members
of the Eastern Bloc.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
American Civil War: Almost 23,000 total casualties were suffered at
the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland, where Confederate
and Union troops fought to a tactical stalemate.
The Imperial Japanese Navy defeated the Beiyang Fleet of Qing China
in the Battle of the Yalu River at the mouth of the Yalu River in
Korea Bay, the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese
World War I: "The Red Baron", a flying ace of the German
Luftstreitkräfte, won his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France.
President Anwar Al Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin
of Israel (pictured with U.S. President Jimmy Carter) signed the Camp
David Accords after twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened for the first time after the
September 11 attacks. However, the stock market index posted its
biggest point drop in its history closing down 684.81 points to
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
diphthong: (phonetics): A complex vowel sound that begins with the
sound of one vowel and ends with the sound of another vowel.
Wikiquote of the day:
You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You
lead by going to that place and making a case. -- Ken Kesey