German troops occupy Częstochowa. In air combat, we took down fourteen enemy aircraft and lost three of our own. Westerplatte is fighting. After heavy fights, we were forced to leave Grudziądz and Bydgoszcz.
Our corps had a surprise visit from Adolf Hitler. I met him near Plevno on the Tuchel-Schwetz road, got into his car, and drove with him along the line of our previous advance. We passed the destroyed Polish artillery, went through Schwetz, and then, following closely behind our encircling troops, drove to Graudenz where he stopped and gazed for some time at the blown bridges over the Vistula. At the sight of the smashed artillery regiment, Hitler had asked me: 'Our dive bombers did that?' When I replied, 'No, our panzers!' he was plainly astonished. See more
During the drive we discussed at first the course of events in my corps area. Hitler asked about casualties. I gave him the latest figures that I had received, some 150 dead and 700 wounded for all the four divisions under my command during the Battle of the Corridor. He was amazed at the smallness of these figures and contrasted them with the casualties of his own old regiment, the List Regiment, during the First World War: on the first day of battle that one regiment alone had lost more than 2,000 dead and wounded. I was able to show him that the smallness of our casualties in this battle against a tough and courageous enemy was primarily due to the effectiveness of our tanks.
As we neared the Vistula, we could see the silhouette of a town against the sky across the river. Hitler asked if that was Kulm. I replied: 'Yes, that is Kulm. In March of last year I had the privilege of greeting you in your birthplace; today you are with me in mine. I was born in Kulm.'
Our conversation turned on technical matters. Hitler wanted to know what had proved particularly satisfactory about our tanks and what was still in need of improvement. I told him that the most important thing now was to hasten the delivery of Panzers III and IV to the fighting troops and to increase the production of these tanks.
Great Warsaw, from its center to its suburbs, is cloaked in a terrible darkness, comparable to the plague which was visited upon Egypt - darkness so thick it can be felt. They are very strict about the blackout, and night traffic in the streets has practically ceased. In the hope of keeping the people calm, the theaters are open, trolley-buses are operating, and the same is true of many other outward manifestations of life in the city. But no one is using them. Everyone prefers to remain at home, because this is an awesome darkness which casts fear into everyone within it. Our noisy, gay city seems to have stopped breathing.
Planes appeared twice more before the alarm was called off. They dropped plenty of bombs on the suburbs. As far as I know, none of them hit the centre though. Grandma was unaware of the danger, kept asking questions about the whole thing. She said she was fine, and asked us to look after ourselves, as there was no threat to her. Her only concern was lack of lemon for her tea.
Our 36th wedding anniversary – unfortunately we are celebrating it in silence; – only distant shots are heard. Panic and fleeing crowds make for unpleasant scenes – the city is empty everywhere. Since morning, we have been forming a Civil Guard, because the mob is already robbing a cigar factory, a mill, an alcohol shop. The guards have even abandoned the prisons, and security must be sent there. The southern militia begins its shift around four o’clock. Meanwhile, it will also gather at noon and in the evening at 6pm under the leadership of the Citizens’ Committee of Metropolitan Bishop Sapieha, divided into economic, financial, charity divisions, etc.
I signed the interpretative protocol of the alliance agreement and the secret protocol. I agreed to Switzerland and Luxembourg! I believe these matters are irrelevant today, however, it is important to set a clause which prohibits separate peace deals, and emphasizes the shared interests in our alliances with England and France. There are no other changes. The report will be announced tomorrow by Havas.
I was not able to see Daladier today or yesterday, I don’t know if it is because he is upset with my energetic endeavours regarding the ultimatum, or if he is busy due to the government's reconstruction and negotiations with Italy. At the headquarters, they've clearly been tiptoeing around my military attaché since yesterday, they share no information with him about the French plan.
Tomorrow I will try to continue through other avenues. There is no appetite for war in political circles, the masses are in a good mood. There seems to be a definite retreat from the path to war.
I visited HalifaxSecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, passed on the Minister’s message and, with the greatest possible emphasis, pointed out the need for immediate military action in the west. I also mentioned the request of our air force that arrived at the headquarters through a military attaché: it's a request for an air campaign against Germany to relieve us.
Halifax accepted my appeal and said that my letter to Churchill regarding this very matter had been read at the cabinet meeting today. He avoided giving a concrete answer. He only told me solemnly that England now had one goal: to defeat Germany in Gdańsk. H. understands our concerns and feels them as his own, however, the local government, which stands by Poland and will stand by us till the end, can not disperse the forces that are needed for a decisive strike.
As for France, the generals Ironside and Gort, who were there yesterday, are positive and satisfied with both the army's morale and the French government's decision to use it. Halifax expects that after yesterday's torpedoing of a merchant ship by the Germans, there will be fatal attacks on both the European and American coasts. The English have announced that our military mission will be arriving in London tonight.
The Germans destroyed the Catholic church in Czestochowa, the most important Catholic shrine in Poland. The Poles call the Germans all sorts of insulting names and threaten them with revenge. Good! They are bitter. And when a nation is bitter, it cries out to avenge its blood and the desecration of its holy things.
Chamberlain delivered a radio address to the German people – who aren’t allowed to listen.
There’s still nothing happening on the western front. But it seems clear that Germany is giving Poland a good thrashing.
I bought shoes for myself and the kids, before the prices go up: two pairs for Karin at 12.50 kronor a pair, one pair for Lasse at 19.50 and one pair for me at 22.50.
The people are intoxicated with the first successes in Poland, although they are clearly exaggerated. Our complete victory should be doubted at least because of the introduction of grocery cards. However, children's faith in the infallibility of gods and demigods is not yet shaken. Needless to say, even if people, who by virtue of life experience should have their own opinion, swallow absurdities and rumors, like hungry dogs are a piece of meat, and again think of themselves as heroes.
And why not just talk about the powers of the axis! Despite the failure in 1915, many Germans still believe in their irresistible power. After the conclusion of the Anti-Comintern Pact, I said in a narrow circle that Italy would never enter the war on the side of Germany, the answer to this was silence at best, nobody wanted to agree with me.
Correctly say: the Lord amazes the criminal with blindness. How can one fight and win a war with an actually enslaved people? See more
If the government wanted to do a good deed for the whole country, it would follow the only possible way: it would dissolve the party and all other organizations!
It would not have been the Germans of the first and second grade (Partuigenossen and Volksgenossen), and there would be only Germans! As in the trenches - only soldiers. But such an idea is absolutely not in the spirit of National Socialism and therefore unreal.
I go to court every day as the sessions take place as normal. Yet everyone feels uneasy when a plane flies by and there is an alarm. More and more people are fleeing. Our whole street is stacked with cars: long lines on both sides. Mary and I take turns in taking over the watch in our flat. Nights pass quietly though. Strange, you can’t see the army, they don’t enroll volunteers.
Morning conversation with Brauchitsch. When I told him that I was going to advance on Lomza with my strong east wing, he issued an order for the 4th Army to advance on Ostrow - Maz with its left wing. The objective of the Army Group (North) Warsaw. Reason: the Poles are by and large no longer capable of operations. Of course things will move quickly that way, but wny commit an entire army in a purely frontal way? This comes as all the more of a surprise, when last night the Army Command still agreed with me that we had to advance toward and through Lomza.
The whole division sets out on the road, after dark, for fear of planes. With our horses and drivers still unused to the convoys, each climb is sheer purgatory, each descent and acrobatic feat. We look like a tribe of gypsies[...]… And here we are rolling along until midnight or 1 a.m. and even until ten or eleven the next morning, constantly being held up and with innumerable halts. Then I go ahead to see what is the matter; sometimes it is an infantry regiment, with all its accompanying gear, sometimes a convoy of artillery, a mile long, which has come to a standstill in front of us; wagons, guns, trucks, horses, men, doltish, passive, silent, asleep, standing by the ditch-side. A few of them enjoy a smoke and talk softly. See more
Are these dumb shadows emerging from the night for a few seconds the men I knew in the last war, the dead rising to stride to the front to wreak their vengeance on the Hun, to finish the work that we didn't end? Are they the new generation, marked by destiny as the victims of this war? Are they not rather fleeting shadows, wraiths whom night robs of being and substance?
We agree that at the right moment we will have to begin taking concrete actions. But we believe that this moment isn’t here yet. It is possible that we are making a mistake, but we believe that hurrying might ruin the situation and make it easier for our enemies to form an alliance. We understand that in the midst the operation, one or both sides might find itself forced to temporarily cross the line of the common interests of both sides, but these incidents cannot interfere with exact execution of the approved plan.
In 1939, a trade agreement was signed between the USSR and Poland, to which the Soviet side is determined to adhere precisely. With regard to deliveries from the USSR to Poland of military supplies, and also transit through the USSR from other countries, then it is unlikely in the current international situation, when Germany, Poland, Britain and France are already at war, and the Soviet Union does not want to be dragged into that war, not on one side nor the other, and must, in turn, take measures to supply itself with necessary military supplies and in general provide for its own external security.