"For the first time last night, Polish military invaded our territory and attacked from our soil. We have now been returning fire since 5:45 AM ! And from now on, we shall repay bomb for bomb!"
Adolf Hitler's speech to the German Reichstag, Berlin - September 1, 1939
On September 1, 1939, the pre-dawn skies lit up over the Baltic Sea as the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on a Polish fortress on the Westerplatte Peninsula as assault troops hidden aboard the vessel stormed the shoreline. The venerable ship that had seen action in World War I fired the first salvos of what would be a second global conflagration. Without a declaration of war, 1.5 million troops stormed Nazi Germany’s 1,750-mile border with Poland. They came from the north, south and west. They came by land, by air and by sea in a quest to regain territory lost by Germany in the Treaty of Versailles and colonize its neighbor.http://www.history.com/news/world-war-ii-begins-75-years-ago