AUG. 23, 1939

Smithsonian Magazine - - Prologue -

Ger­many and the USSR sign the Molo­tov-Ribben­trop Pact,

pledg­ing to re­main neu­tral to­ward each other and to di­vide Europe be­tween them.

SEPT. 1, 1939

Ger­many in­vades Poland, the spark that will ig­nite World War II in Europe.

SEPT. 3, 1939

Bri­tain and France, hav­ing is­sued ul­ti­ma­tums to Hitler to with­draw troops from Poland, de­clare war on


SEPT. 17, 1939

The Sovi­ets in­vade Poland from the East.

SEPT. 22, 1939

Soviet troops en­ter the city

of Lwow.

SEPT. 28, 1939

War­saw sur­ren­ders to the


SEPT. 29, 1939

Pol­ish Pres­i­dent Ig­nacy Mosci­cki

re­signs and trans­fers power to a Pol­ish gov­ern­ment-in-ex­ile

in Paris.

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