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.
After the Second World War the German population was forced out of
the now Polish
The Museum of the Second World War was launched in November 2008
and is located
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
After the Second World War the former deputy commander of the
Major Henryk Sucharski, the commander of the small garrison at
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
Juan Pujol Garcia, known by the British codename Garbo, was a
double agent during
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.
Pointe du Hoc is a high point between two of the five D-Day landing
More than a museum dedicated to the landings on D-Day, the Juno
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 Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy in Bayeux relates how
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.
Helene Palm’s family was unwilling to evacuate their ancestral
village of Vossenack,
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.
On 5 May 1945 German commander general Blaskowitz met with Canadian
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.
To ensure the success of Operation Market Garden, the Allied forces
had to capture
One of the main objectives of Operation Market Garden was to
capture the two
Christiaan Lindemans was a Dutch resistance member and escape line
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.
On 16 April 1945, Soviet troops attacked the German line of defense
The German-Russian Museum is located at the site of the
Soviet Colonel-General Nikolai Berzarin commanded the 5th Shock
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
German Emperor Wilhelm II had Cecilienhof Palace built for his son
Wilhelm Keitel served as chief of the Supreme Command of the
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”.
In January 1945, most of the prisoners of the main Stutthof camp
Museum Stutthof is located in the former German Stutthof
The Reifeisen family was an ‘ordinary’ Jewish family, whose fate is