Until now, there is no consensus on the question of when and where the Second World War began and who is directly responsible for this disaster. Officially, historical science calls the date September 1, 1939, but this statement is often questioned: de facto, only the Polish-German conflict began on this day. The real flame of the World War broke out on September 3, 1939 - on that day, France and Great Britain (and, therefore, the entire British Empire) declared war on Germany, which had invaded Poland two days earlier.
Perhaps the inhabitants of the Far East will disagree with us. The fighting in this region has been fought since September 18, 1931 - on that day, a railway line in the suburbs of Mukden was blown up, which was the beginning of the Japanese intervention in China. The Sino-Japanese War flared up with renewed vigor in 1937 and did not stop until September 9, 1945. It was the Japanese shelling of the Marco Polo Bridge on July 7, 1937 that some researchers take for the first episode of World War II. This conflict was beneficial to the rest of the world powers: Great Britain, fearing that the Japanese would capture their colonies in Southeast Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.), secretly rejoiced that the Japanese Empire was bogged down in the vastness of mainland China. The Soviet Union, despite the alarming situation in the Far East and regular incidents (Khasan, Khalkhin-Gol), understood well that Japan was not capable of conducting any major offensive actions until it resolved its issues in China. Following this doctrine, the USSR intensively provided military assistance to China, and on April 13, 1941, concluded a mutual non-aggression pact with Japan, which made it possible to transfer a large number of troops to the western borders. Japan also benefited from a fragile peace with the USSR: the war with China was on the decline, gradually turning into an anti-guerrilla war. Realizing clearly that it would never get to Baku oil, Japan concentrated all its forces to strike at the gigantic archipelagos of the Philippines and Indonesia - having the world's most powerful fleet, it would not be difficult for it to seize the rich oil and ore deposits in that region.
A similar game was played by the United States - the endless war in China did not allow Japan for the time being to realize its ambitions in the Pacific Ocean. In the summer of 1941, America decided to slightly "strangle" the victorious march of the Japanese army, imposing an embargo on the supply of oil to the Land of the Rising Sun, thereby securing a guaranteed Pearl Harbor.
As for European events, everything is no less complicated and contradictory there. The world powers engaged in mortal combat on September 3, 1939. As for the German attack on Poland, this is just one of the many preconditions for World War II in Europe. And was Poland the “innocent victim” that it appears in the annals of history? Over the past years, many disgusting events have taken place in Europe, each of which can be qualified as the beginning of the Second World War.
So, in February 1938, three weeks before the Anschluss (the incorporation of Austria into Germany), Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck, in talks with Goering, expressed warm support for German intentions and stressed Poland's interest in an early solution to the "Czech problem".
On the morning of March 13, 1938, the Austrians woke up and learned that they were now living in a new state. Nobody raised any objections to this - the Austrians took the Anschluss for granted: one nation, one language. Encouraged by the German success, Poland on March 17 presents Lithuania with an arrogant ultimatum demanding the abolition of the paragraph of the Lithuanian constitution, in which Vilnus is still listed as the capital of Lithuania, i.e. recognize the legal occupation of Vilnius by Polish troops in 1922 and renounce the right to this territory. The Polish army began to redeploy to the Polish-Lithuanian border. If the ultimatum was rejected within 24 hours, the Poles threatened to march to Kaunas and finally occupy Lithuania. The Soviet Union, through the Polish embassy in Moscow, recommended not to encroach on the freedom and independence of Lithuania. Otherwise, the USSR will denounce the Polish-Soviet non-aggression pact without warning and, in the event of an armed attack on Lithuania, will retain its freedom of action. Thanks to the timely intervention, the danger of an armed conflict between Poland and Lithuania was averted. The Poles abandoned an armed invasion of the territory of Lithuania.
On September 8, 1938, in response to the readiness to come to the aid of Czechoslovakia both against Germany and against Poland, declared by the Soviet Union, the largest military maneuvers in the history of the revived Polish state were organized on the Polish-Soviet border, in which 5 infantry and 1 cavalry divisions participated. 1 motorized brigade, as well as aviation. The Reds attacking from the east suffered a crushing defeat from the Blue. At the end of the maneuvers, a grandiose 7-hour military parade took place in Lutsk, which was personally hosted by Marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly.
The time will come when the Poles will pay dearly for their bragging - the Second World War will take the lives of 6 million Polish citizens.
Further events developed rapidly:
September 19, 1938 - The Polish government agrees with Hitler's opinion that Czechoslovakia is an artificial formation. Poland also supports Hungarian claims over the disputed territories.
September 20, 1938 - Hitler gives official guarantees to the Polish ambassador in Berlin, Jozef Lipski, according to which, in the event of a probable Polish-Czechoslovak military conflict over the Cieszyn region, the Reich will side with Poland. By his decision, Hitler completely unties the hands of Poland. Not without a discussion of the "Jewish question" - Hitler saw a solution to the Jewish problem through emigration to the colonies in agreement with Poland, Hungary and Romania.
September 21, 1938 - Poland sent a note to Czechoslovakia demanding a solution to the problem of the Polish national minority in Cieszyn Silesia.
September 22, 1938 - the Polish government urgently announces the denunciation of the Polish-Czechoslovak treaty on national minorities, and a few hours later announces an ultimatum to Czechoslovakia to annex lands with the Polish population to Poland. On this day in Warsaw, recruitment to the Cieszyn Volunteer Corps was launched quite openly. Formed detachments of "volunteers" are sent to the Czechoslovak border, where they arrange armed provocations and sabotage.
September 23, 1938 - the Soviet government warned the Polish government that if Polish troops concentrated on the border with Czechoslovakia invade its borders, the USSR will consider this an act of unwarranted aggression and denounce the non-aggression pact with Poland. In the evening of the same day, the Polish government responded. His tone was, as usual, arrogant. It explained that it was carrying out some military activities only for defense purposes.
On the night of September 25, in the town of Konskie near Trshinets, Poles threw hand grenades and fired at the houses of the Czechoslovak border guards, as a result of which two buildings burned down. After a two-hour battle, the attackers retreated to Polish territory. Similar clashes took place that night in a number of other places in the Teshin region.
September 25, 1938. Polish bandits raided the Frishtat railway station, fired at it and pelted it with grenades.
September 27, 1938. The Polish government is putting forward a repeated demand for the "return" of the Cieszyn region to it. At night in all districts of the Teshinsky region, rifle firing and pelemetry bursts were heard. The most bloody clashes, as reported by the Polish Telegraph Agency, were observed in the vicinity of Bohumin, Teshin and Yablunkov, in the townships of Bystrica, Konska and Skshecheny. Armed groups of "rebels" repeatedly attacked the Czechoslovakian arms depots, and Polish planes violated the Czechoslovak border every day. In the newspaper "Pravda" dated September 27, 1938, N267 (7592), the article "The unbridled arrogance of the Polish fascists" is published on 1 page
September 29, 1938. Polish diplomats in London and Paris insist on an equal approach to solving the Sudeten and Cieszyn problems, the Polish and German military agree on a line of demarcation of troops in the event of an invasion of Czechoslovakia. The newspapers describe touching scenes of the "fighting brotherhood" between German fascists and Polish nationalists. A Czechoslovak border post near Grgava was attacked by a gang of 20 people armed with automatic weapons. The attack was repulsed, the attackers fled to Poland, and one of them, being wounded, was captured. During interrogation, the captured bandit said that there were many Germans living in Poland in their squadron. On the night of September 29-30, 1938, the infamous Munich Agreement was concluded.
October 1, 1938. Czechoslovakia yields to Poland a region where 80 thousand Poles and 120 thousand Czechs lived. The main acquisition is the industrial potential of the occupied territory. At the end of 1938, the enterprises located there produced almost 41% of the pig iron smelted in Poland and almost 47% of the steel.
On October 2, 1938, Operation Zaluzhie began. Poland occupies Cieszyn Silesia (Teschen - Frishtat - Bohumin region) and a number of settlements on the territory of modern Slovakia.
Hence, a simple conclusion follows: Poland, Hungary and Germany together with Polish-Hungarian-German tank wedges dismembered Czechoslovakia in October 1938. It is clear that this ugly event can be regarded as the beginning of World War II.
Figuratively speaking, Poland, Hungary and Germany played with burning brands until they ignited the fire of the World War. Trying to substitute each other, they all got what they deserved.