At 4:45 am this morning, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire upon a Polish military depot in Danzig – the opening aggressive act of World War Two.
The German air force, the luftwaffe, also flew across the border into Poland and bombed several targets, including Wieluń. Targets bombed included most of the town centre, including a clearly marked hospital, a synagogue, and the historic church. Reports say 127 civilians were killed in the bombing.
Just over an hour later, at 6:00am local time, German troops made their move, by crossing into Poland. The German army was joined by Slovakian troops who together crossed over into Poland from the north and south.
Hitler later spoke to the German Reichstag. In his speech, he falsely accused Poland of starting the war:
This night for the first time Polish regular soldiers fired on our territory. Since 5:45 a.m. we have been returning the fire, and from now on bombs will be met by bombs.Hitler, speaking to the Reichstag on 1st September, 1939.
Britain and France have now to decide how to respond.