For the people of Gdańsk the end of the Second World War was not necessarily a liberation. The arrival of the Soviet Army meant first defeat and then factually a new occupation. The Poles who settled in Gdańsk after the war were not in favor of the Soviet domination. For many Poles the political consequences of the war lasted until 1989 when Poland became an independent and democratic state again.
The Treaty of Versailles established Gdańsk (Danzig) as a free city
The Polish Post Museum in Gdańsk was founded on 1 September 1979,
on the 40th
On 1 September 1939 the Germans attacked the Westerplatte peninsula in the port of Gdańsk. This assault marks the beginning of the Second World War. A small Polish garrison held out for seven days, bolstering the morale of the Polish people. After the war Westerplatte became a symbol of Polish resistance against the German invasion.
The obsolete German battleship Schleswig-Holstein played an
important role at
In 1966 a 25-metre high monument was erected on the Westerplatte
During the German assault on the Westerplatte, Mieczysław Słaby was
As D-Day approached, Kent became the stage for one of the War’s greatest deception plans, Operation Fortitude South. In order to mislead the German army and conceal the real location of the Allied invasion of Western Europe, extensive military preparations were made around Dover. But it was all fake.
At the frontline of England’s defences for many centuries, Dover
has often been
At the first phase of the Second World War, the tunnels of Dover
United States General George Patton made his reputation in North
6 June 1944 entered history under the now legendary name of D-Day, the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy. It was the most dramatic part of Operation Overlord, that marked the beginning of the liberation of German-occupied Western Europe.
Utah Beach was the codename of D-Day’s westernmost landing beach.
Here the U.S.
One of its kind in France, the Mémorial de Caen Museum gives the
As soon as the news of the D-Day landings in Normandy was heard,
the head of
Fought between the iconic landings on 6 June 1944 and the liberation of Paris on 25 August, the Battle of Normandy is often overlooked. Yet this campaign decided the course of the war in Northwestern Europe. The losses were huge: more than 100.000 people were killed during the 80 days, 20.000 of them civilians.
While preparing for Operation Overlord, the Allied strategists
The Landing Museum (D-Day Museum) of Arromanches, Normandy explains
General Dwight D. Eisenhower was placed at the head of the allied
Operation Pluto (Pipelines Under The Ocean) represents one of wartime’s greatest feats of engineering. Huge pipelines were successfully developed and laid beneath the Channel between Southern England and France. Fuel could safely be transported to the troops in Europe. The pipelines contributed largely to the success of the Allied operations after August 1944.
The liberation of Paris didn’t have Allied priority, but an uprising of the population against the Germans on 19 August made it necessary. Thus the 2nd French Armoured Division was send to Paris and entered the town on 24 August. On 26 August a huge triumphal parade was held on the Champs-Élysées.
During the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944, general Leclerc,
During the autumn and winter of 1944/45, the longest battle of the Second World War on German soil took place in the Huertgen Forest. With this battle, the war precipitated by the Nazi regime returned to Germany. The battle caused numerous casualties on both sides. For the American soldiers, it’s very name – with its first syllable ‘hurt’ – became a byword for injury and death.
The war took his family and his home. In 1945 Julius Erasmus
returned to the
In May 1940 the Netherlands was occupied by German forces. It would take five years before they could be ousted. The final drive to liberate the whole country was launched in February 1945 after the so-called ‘Hunger Winter’ had led to 20.000 fatalities in the still occupied territory.
The Betuwe, the floodplain between the Waal and Rhine river, became
Corporal Leo Major landed in Europe on D-day and took part in every
Operation Market Garden was one of the largest Allied operations of the Second World War. It aimed to secure the bridges over the rivers Maas (Meuse), Waal and Rhine in the Netherlands in order to outflank the heavy German defences of the Siegfried Line and to insure a swift advance towards Berlin.
Operation Market Garden managed to liberate a large part of the
One of the main objectives of Operation Market Garden was to
capture the two
During the Second World War 6 million Jews were murdered across
Europe by the
The Allied Rhineland Offensive comprised several large-scale military operations during the last months of the Second World War in Europe. The two main objectives of these combined British, American and Canadian operations were to clear the area west of the Rhine and to accomplish the crossing of the river itself. If successful, the offensive would mean a final blow to the last German line of defense in the West.
Operation Veritable was part of an Allied pincer-movement aiming to
The National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 is located on the site
where on 17
The battle of Berlin was one of the last battles of the Second World War in Europe. The war that had proceeded from Berlin returned to the city. Many soldiers and civilians died in widespread house-to-house fighting.
Regular air raids on Berlin by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the
U.S. Army Air
Tempelhof Airport’s main building is a protected historical
landmark and a symbol
After Italy announced its withdrawal from the Second World War in
The Second World War in Europe ended in the spring of 1945 with the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. The fate of the German people now lay in the hands of the four victorious powers, the USA, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France. Germany and Berlin were placed under a shared four-party administration.
With the unconditional surrender of the German Armed Forces on 8
May 1945, the
The Clay Headquarters compound was built for the German Air Force
The 14-year-old Jew Manfred Steinfeld fled from Nazi Germany to the
USA in 1938.
The concentration camp in Stutthof was initially founded to eliminate and persecute Poles. Later in the war the role of Stutthof changed as it became an integral part of the planned extermination of European Jews. Before the Soviet Army could liberate Stutthof, the surviving prisoners were send on horrible “death marches”.
Nervous about the approaching Soviet Army, the Germans decided to
Museum Stutthof is located in the former German Stutthof
The story of Petronela Brywczyńska proves that no one was safe
during the war.