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Blitzkrieg in the East (September 1939 - October 1939)

Blitzkrieg in the East (September 1939 - October 1939)

The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II. The invasion began on September 1st, 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and ended October 6th, 1939 with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland.

The day after the Gleiwitz incident, German forces invaded Poland from the north, south, and west. As the Germans advanced, Polish forces withdrew from their forward bases of operation close to the Polish-German border to more established lines of defence to the east. After the mid-September Polish defeat in the Battle of the Bzura, the Germans gained an undisputed advantage. Polish forces then withdrew to the southeast where they prepared for a long defence of the Romanian Bridgehead and awaited expected French and British support and relief.

The Soviet Red Army's invasion of the Kresy on September 17th, in accordance with a secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, rendered the Polish plan of defence obsolete. Facing a second front, the Polish government concluded the defence of the Romanian Bridgehead was no longer feasible and ordered an emergency evacuation of all troops to neutral Romania. On October 6th, following the Polish defeat at the Battle of Kock, German and Soviet Union forces gained full control over Poland. The success of the invasion marked the end of the Second Polish Republic, though Poland never formally surrendered.

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German Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car - Unidentified Unit, Poland, 1939 German Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car - Unidentified Unit, Poland, 1939 (1:72 Scale)

To support its mobile concept of modern warfare, Germany introduced a wide range of tracked and wheeled armored vehicles. One wheeled family of vehicles introduced in 1936 included 4x4 armored cars known as the Leichter Panzerspahwagen, which translates as Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle.

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Soviet Kliment Voroshilov KV-2 Heavy Tank - 4th Mechanized Corps, Lvov, Western Ukraine, June 1940 Soviet Kliment Voroshilov KV-2 Heavy Tank - 4th Mechanized Corps, Lvov, Western Ukraine, June 1940 (1:72 Scale)

Design on the KV-1 heavy tank began in 1938, with the intention that it should be the successor to the T-35 heavy tank. The first models of the KV-1 were field-tested during the Red Army's disastrous 1940 campaign in Finland.

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German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - Panzer Regiment 35, 4.Panzer Division, Poland, 1939 German Sd. Kfz. 121 PzKpfw II Ausf. C Light Tank - Panzer Regiment 35, 4.Panzer Division, Poland, 1939 (1:72 Scale)

Originally identified as the '2cm MG Panzerwagen', the PzKpfw II light tank was designed to supplement the PzKpfw I by providing an automatic weapon capable of firing both a high explosive round and an armor piercing round.

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German Sd. Kfz. 141 PzKpfw III Ausf. A Medium Tank - 1.Panzer Division Poland September 1939 German Sd. Kfz. 141 PzKpfw III Ausf. A Medium Tank - 1.Panzer Division, Poland, September 1939 (1:43 Scale)

As early as 1934/35, General Heinz Guderian envisioned two basic types of armor to act as the lead elements of the future German Panzer Divisions. The first vehicle was to be armed with an anti-tank gun and two machine guns while the second one was to be a support vehicle, armed with a larger caliber gun.

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German Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car - Unidentified Unit, Poland, 1939 German Sd. Kfz. 222 Light Armored Car - Unidentified Unit, Poland, 1939 (1:72 Scale)

The Leichter Panzerspahwagen (roughly "Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle") were a series of light 4 x 4 armored cars produced by Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1944.

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German Sd. Kfz. 11 3-Ton Personnel Carrier / Prime Mover - Unidentified Unit, Poland, 1939 German Sd. Kfz. 11 3-Ton Personnel Carrier / Prime Mover - Unidentified Unit, Poland, 1939 (1:72 Scale)

The Sd.Kfz. 11 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug - special motorized vehicle) was a German half-track that saw very widespread use in World War II. Its main role was as a prime mover for medium towed guns ranging from the 3.7 cm FlaK 43 anti-aircraft gun up to the 10.5 cm leFH 18 field howitzer. It could carry eight troops in addition to towing a gun or trailer.

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German Sd. Kfz. 232 Armored Car - 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte LSSAH, Poland, 1939 German Sd. Kfz. 232 Armored Car - 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte 'LSSAH', Poland, 1939 (1:72 Scale)

The Leichter Panzerspahwagen (roughly "Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle") were a series of light 4 x 4 armored cars produced by Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1944.

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German Zundapp KS750M Motorcycle with Sidecar - Luftwaffe German Zundapp KS750M Motorcycle with Sidecar - Luftwaffe (1:10 Scale)

The Zundapp KS750 was a purpose-built motorcycle created for the burgeoning German military machine. In fact, the KS750 was designed from the onset to survive the rigors of combat and travel over most types of off-road areas.

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