Such a Beautiful World

April 16, 2008

Westerplatte, the place where World War 2 started

Filed under: Poland — anituccia @ 9:18 pm
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Westerplatte

Westerplatte is a peninsula at the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdansk Bay. It was formed as an island in the 15th century as a result of the activity of the river transporting rubble and stones to the sea. In the second half of the 19th century the island got connected with the mainland and that is how Westerplatte peninsula was formed.

In 1925 Poland was allowed to place there its military unit consisting of 88 officers and soldiers. When Hitler took over power in Germany some more soldiers were sent there to strengthen the base. On the 1st of September 1939 the unit consisted of 182 officers and soldiers commanded by major Henryk Sucharski. The base was modestly armed and when it was attacked by the warship Schleswig-Holstein on the first day of the Second World War it had little chance to defend itself successfully against powerfully equipped German armed forces. It surrendered after a few days of heroic defense.

In 1966 a monument honoring the Polish soldiers of Westerplatte was built and the place is visited by many tourists to Tricity and the whole Gdansk Bay.

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