There are 83 Polish burials at Brookwood
On 1st Sep 1939 the German battleship Schleswig Holstein while on an official visit to Poland moved down Port Canal and opened fire on Polish troop barracks in Westerplatte and thus fired the first shots of World War Two. This aggression followed a German staged attack on its own radio station in Gleiwitz. This was blamed on the Poles. This deception was one of several used by Germany to justify the invasion of Poland which initiated WW2.
Germany and the Soviet Union had signed a non-aggression pact in August 1939 with plans to split Poland and East Europe between them. The Soviet Union invaded Poland on 17th September 1939 and then occupied Finland. Germany and the Soviet Union exchanged military aid and raw materials at this time under a trade pact designed to circumvent blockades of Germany.
The Polish Provisional Government was set up in London by General Wladyslaw Sikorski when Poland was annexed. During the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Axis Powers in June 1940 Sikorski asked Stalin to release thousands of Polish officers captured by the Soviets in 1939. Their bodies were later found at Katyn in Russia with those of intellectuals and civilian POWs. In all the Soviets murdered an estimated 21,000 Polish victims on orders signed by the entire Russian Politburo and Stalin.
The ancient Polish state was partitioned after it collapsed in 1795. Polish independance was regained in the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and lost once more in World War Two with occupation by Axis powers. Poland lost over six million citizens in World War Two - proportionally more than any other state. It was the fourth largest contributor of military personnel to the war effort. Post-war Poland's borders were changed displacing millions of people.
The Socialist People's Republic of Poland was created within the Eastern Bloc under Soviet direction in 1952. During the Revolutions of 1989, communist rule was overthrown and a democratic Poland was created as the Third Polish Republic.
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