World War 2

Watch WWII: 75 Years Ago Today Britain Declared War on Germany

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On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany began World War II when it invaded Poland. Two days later – exactly 75 years ago today – Britain and France responded, honoring their commitment to protect Poland's border, by declaring war on Germany.

U.K. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who had attempted appeasement to avoid war, stated:

This is a sad day for all of us, and to none is it sadder than to me. Everything that I have worked for, everything that I have believed in during my public life, has crashed into ruins. There is only one thing left for me to do: That is, to devote what strength and powers I have to forwarding the victory of the cause for which we have to sacrifice so much… I trust I may live to see the day when Hitlerism has been destroyed and a liberated Europe has been re-established.

Watch his declaration of war:

At this point, Germany had already incorporated Austria and seized key military defense positions from Czechoslovakia.  

Two weeks after Britain's and France's declarations, the Soviet Union, which had made secret agreements with Germany, invaded Poland.

The United States was very hesitant to join the Britain. Congress passed legislation to ensure neutrality, and even in 1940, as many as 80 percent of Americans polled opposed intervention. Not until December 8, 1941, the day after the Pearl Harbor attack did President Franklin Roosevelt declare war on Japan. Three days later, Roosevelt declared war on Germany and Italy. The latter two received unanimous approval from the House and Senate. The declaration against Japan was opposed only by pacifist Republican Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress. Not since has the United States formally declared war before engaging in military action.

NEXT: Scott Shackford on KABC Talk Radio at 11:30 a.m. (Pacific) Talking About Pensions

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  1. “This is a sad day for all of us, and to none is it sadder than to me”

    Actually Neville, there were a few million people who it turned out to be sadder for.

  2. Most nebbish declaration of war ever.

    1. “I tried to stop this, and now I’m going to look like a fool for the rest of history….”

  3. There ya have it! Britain was clearly the aggressor in declaring war on Germany. Right you clowns? Also, anyone reading your tripe would think the U.S. was also the aggressor against the innocent Hitler because you conviently failed to mention that Hitler declared war on the U.S. first. The father of the Koch Brothers (who finance you guys) was a big admirer of Adolf Hitler so I shouldn’t be surprised by your column.

    1. You know who else…

      1. Declared war on Germany? … Franz Jospeh I?

      2. …was a big admirer of Hitler?

      1. +?

        1. He mentioned the Koch Brothers. Otherwise it would have been a +less F.

          1. The Koch Brothers Father, no less.
            How come the Koch Kousins get no love?

          2. That’s fair.

      2. Too generous by half.

    2. Dude, why’d you marry your sister?
      http://home.comcast.net/~enjol…..G_0344.jpg

      1. Comcast gives you server space??!?!

        Why doesn’t anyone use it?

  4. If we’re lucky the UK and Germany will go to war again.

    Think of the war profiteering!

    We can lend them money to purchase armaments and then require gold as collateral. And this time we’ll optimize our profit potential by selling to both sides. And then lend them more money to rebuild what was destroyed – but, hey, they’ll need to purchase rebuilding materials from us, of course!! Good times. Good times.

    What the USA really needs is another European war. THANKS, VLAD!

  5. A couple of small quibbles – FDR declared war or the United States declared war? Also, why leave out that Germany declared war on the US first?

    1. Pish posh, what’s the correct version of history and use of words among friends, LTC?

    2. Also, why leave out that Germany declared war on the US first?

      Yeah, pretty important point since, at least what I remember from last time I read up on this, there was no guarantee of a Congressional Declaration of War against Germany prior to the German declaration.

      1. Indeed – there was quite the case of red ass for Japan, but not as such vs Germany.

      2. Is there something wrong?

        Will you stop talking about the war?

        Me? You started it.

        We did not!

        Yes, you did. You invaded Poland.

        1. One of the greatest 30 minutes of comedy ever.

          1. ” So, that’s two egg mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering, and four Colditz salads.”

          2. Yes, I’d definitely consider a vote for “The Germans” being the best sitcom episode of all time. We should broadcast it in high-energy radio and optical waves in all directions in space.

      3. A Congressional Declaration of War might not have been feasible in December 1941, but all of the inertia was going in that direction, with escalating naval confrontations in the Atlantic. The fact that a naval shooting war was already underway, and the US was firmly committed to economically supporting Britain, was largely what inspired Germany to declare war first.

  6. Britain and France responded, honoring their commitment to protect Poland’s border

    Sounds vaguely familiar.

    1. Estonia is like, totally different than Poland.

    2. Odd that commitment. Poland had invaded and annexed a portion of Czechoslovakia along with its German Waffen colleagues in 1938, but then Poland became huge fans of territorial integrity in 1939.

  7. There is only one thing left for me to do: That is, to devote what strength and powers I have to forwarding the victory of the cause for which we have to sacrifice so much….also, If the Americans wouldn’t mind coming on over with some tanks and some air power that would be great too, since we are kinda screwed if we have to go this alone.

    1. *also, If the Americans wouldn’t mind coming on over with some tanks and some air power that would be great too, since we are kinda screwed if we have to go this alone.*

      They had it worse than going it alone–they had to go in it with THE FRENCH.

  8. You know, since Germany unconditionally surrender to the Allies, that means we can invoke our rights at any time. Germany, free beer for the U.S. for the next decade.

    1. Ick. I prefer our own beer at this point. Maybe we should force them to take all the production of Anheuser Busch off our hands as reparations.

      Though, I still think they do wheat beer better.

      1. Free decent beer is a good thing.

    2. If beer is the loot of conquest…. I SAY WE INVADE BELGIUM!

  9. And Britain was not ready for war and got beaten in the field for the next 2 years.

    “”””The United States was very hesitant to join the Britain””””

    The US Army and Army Airforce were at very low levels and would have been lucky to deploy 3 divisions with WW1 equipment in the first year of war. Britain sent ten better equipped divisions to France in 1939/40 and were no more then speed bumps.

    1. Well, they got end-runned after fighting the last war and rushing into the low countries, right?

      1. Yes

        It did not help that they kept a small Army policy when they had committed to keep Germany down.

        Being able to put only 10 divisions into France after more then six months when Germany had over a hundred meant that reality did not match the requirements

        1. That was a parallel to British policy going back several centuries: build a big navy & have good allies on the continent to fight the ground war.

        2. Seems like they had a different view of that commitment to keep Germany down, i.e.- we’ll supply the navy (to which Germany has no answer) while the Frogs can supply the troops.

          All the while really just looking to secure the Channel?

          1. But the French did not want to fight alone, that is why they kept on trying to find allies, such as Poland, Czechs, Dutch etc.

            They knew that the British would be of little help on land

            1. What France should’ve done was implement what I call the We’reLieffin’ Plan, which involves all of the French relocating to Great Britain for the duration of any conflict.

  10. Three days later, Roosevelt declared war on Germany and Italy. The latter two received unanimous approval from the House and Senate.

    No Germany and Italy declared war on the US after Pearle Harbor. While technically true I suppose, that statement lies by omission and implies that the US declared war on Italy and Germany when in fact the opposite is true.

    Do they teach history anymore?

    1. There were numerous pairs of underwear sent out for laundering from the OKW,
      Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine when the big shots heard Hitler had honored his treaty with Japan and declared war on the U.S.

      1. “Hitler had honored his treaty”
        Imagine if Obo told the truth! Like that.

  11. “On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany began World War II when it invaded Poland:

    Japan had already invaded China before Germany invaded Poland.

    That was the real start to what eventually became World War II

    1. Also, Italy had invaded Abyssinia (aka Ethiopia) in 1935, prior to the invasion of Poland.

      “When did WW2 start?” is fuzzy, depending on how widely you want to define “world” and if you want to go by when the first fighting started, when everyone who was going to be in it was in it, or somewhere in between. Anywhere from Japan annexing part of China in September 1931 (first fighting by major combatants) to Pearl Harbor (all major powers at war) to Brazil declaring war on the Axis in August 1942 (at which point there were declared belligerents on all inhabited continents).

  12. On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany began World War II when it invaded Poland. Two days later ? exactly 75 years ago today ? Britain and France responded, honoring their commitment to protect Poland’s border, by declaring war on Germany.

    Sounds like Germany stared the German-Polish War of 1939, and Britain and France started World War Two.

    1. If you are an idiot, sure it does. Poland was France and Britain’s ally. Coming to Poland’s aide is not starting the war.

      1. Actually, they just resumed the Great War after a 25 year time-out.

  13. At the time of the invasion of Poland, Germany hadn’t just “seized key military defense positions from Czechoslovakia” — that was the annexation of the Sudetenland in October of 1938. The following March, 1939, Germany pressured Slovakia into seceding, and invaded and annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia to “quell unrest”.

    1. “…annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia to ‘quell unrest’.”

      Everything old is new again.

  14. *in 1940, as many as 80 percent of Americans polled opposed intervention. *

    After 22 June 1941, that figure dropped to 40 percent.

    Lol.

  15. Not since has the United States formally declared war before engaging in military action.

    Actually, the United States formally declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania (though I think the declaration spelled it “Roumania”) in 1942.

  16. Rankin also voted against World War I. She served two non-consecutive terms in the House, just enough to vote against both world wars.

  17. So, it was not over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    1. No, it ended when France dropped a Nuke on Rome.

  18. *Hitler[AoE] has joined the game.*
    *Eisenhower has joined the game.*
    *paTTon has joined the game.*
    *Churchill has joined the game.*
    *benny-tow has joined the game.*
    *T0J0 has joined the game.*
    *Roosevelt has joined the game.*
    *Stalin has joined the game.*
    *deGaulle has joined the game.*
    Roosevelt: hey sup
    T0J0: y0
    Stalin: hi
    Churchill: hi
    Hitler[AoE]: cool, i start with panzer tanks!
    paTTon: lol more like panzy tanks
    T0JO: lol
    Roosevelt: o this fockin sucks i got a depression!
    benny-tow: haha america sux
    Stalin: hey hitler you dont fight me i dont fight u, cool?
    Hitler[AoE]; sure whatever
    Stalin: cool
    deGaulle: **** Hitler rushed some1 help
    Hitler[AoE]: lol byebye frenchy
    Roosevelt: i dont got **** to help, sry
    Churchill: wtf the luftwaffle is attacking me
    Roosevelt: get antiair guns
    Churchill: i cant afford them
    benny-tow: u n00bs know what team talk is?
    paTTon: stfu
    Roosevelt: o yah hit the navajo button guys
    deGaulle: eisenhower ur worthless come help me quick
    Eisenhower: i cant do **** til rosevelt gives me an army
    paTTon: yah hurry the fock up
    Churchill: d00d im gettin pounded
    deGaulle: this is fockin weak u guys suck
    *deGaulle has left the game.*

    1. Roosevelt: im gonna attack the axis k?
      benny-tow: with what? ur wheelchair?
      benny-tow: lol did u mess up ur legs AND ur head?
      Hitler[AoE]: ROFLMAO
      T0J0: lol o no america im comin 4 u
      Roosevelt: wtf! thats bullsh1t u fags im gunna kick ur asses
      T0JO: not without ur harbors u wont! lol
      Roosevelt: u little biotch ill get u
      Hitler[AoE]: wtf
      Hitler[AoE]: america hax, u had depression and now u got a huge fockin army
      Hitler[AoE]: thats bullsh1t u hacker
      Churchill: lol no more france for u hitler
      Hitler[AoE]: tojo help me!
      T0J0: wtf u want me to do, im on the other side of the world retard
      Hitler[AoE]: fine ill clear you a path
      Stalin: WTF u arsshoel! WE HAD A FoCKIN TRUCE
      Hitler[AoE]: i changed my mind lol
      benny-tow: haha
      benny-tow: hey ur losing ur guys in africa im gonna need help in italy soon sum1
      T0J0: o **** i cant help u i got my hands full
      Hitler[AoE]: im 2 busy 2 help
      Roosevelt: yah thats right ***** im comin for ya
      Stalin: church help me
      Churchill: like u helped me before? sure ill just sit here
      Stalin: dont be an arss
      Churchill: dont be a commie. oops too late
      Eisenhower: LOL
      benny-tow: hahahh oh sh1t help
      Hitler: o man ur focked
      paTTon: oh what now biotch
      Roosevelt: whos the cripple now lol

      1. *benny-tow has been eliminated.*
        benny-tow: lame
        Roosevelt: gj patton
        paTTon: thnx
        Hitler[AoE]: WTF eisenhower hax hes killing all my sh1t
        Hitler[AoE]: quit u hacker so u dont ruin my record
        Eisenhower: Nuts!
        benny~tow: wtf that mean?
        Eisenhower: meant to say nutsack lol finger slipped
        paTTon: coming to get u hitler u paper hanging hun cocksocker
        Stalin: rofl
        T0J0: HAHAHHAA
        Hitler[AoE]: u guys are fockin gay
        Hitler[AoE]: ur never getting in my city
        *Hitler[AoE] has been eliminated.*
        benny~tow: OMG u noob you killed yourself
        Eisenhower: ROFLOLOLOL
        Stalin: OMG LMAO!
        Hitler[AoE]: WTF i didnt click there omg this game blows
        *Hitler[AoE] has left the game*
        paTTon: hahahhah
        T0J0: WTF my teammates are n00bs
        benny~tow: shut up noob
        Roosevelt: haha wut a moron
        paTTon: wtf am i gunna do now?
        Eisenhower: yah me too
        T0J0: why dont u attack me o thats right u dont got no ships lololol
        Eisenhower: fock u
        paTTon: lemme go thru ur base commie
        Stalin: go to hell lol
        paTTon: fock this sh1t im goin afk
        Eisenhower: yah this is gay
        *Roosevelt has left the game.*
        Hitler[AoE]: wtf?
        Eisenhower: sh1t now we need some1 to join
        *tru_m4n has joined the game.*
        tru_m4n: hi all
        T0J0: hey
        Stalin: sup
        Churchill: hi

        1. tru_m4n: OMG OMG OMG i got all his stuff!
          tru_m4n: NUKES! HOLY **** I GOT NUKES
          Stalin: d00d gimmie some plz
          tru_m4n: no way i only got like a couple
          Stalin: omg dont be gay gimmie nuculer secrets
          T0J0: wtf is nukes?
          T0J0: holy ****holy****hoyl****!
          *T0J0 has been eliminated.*
          *The Allied team has won the game!*
          Eisenhower: awesome!
          Churchill: gg noobs no re
          T0J0: thats bull**** u fockin suck
          *T0J0 has left the game.*
          *Eisenhower has left the game.*
          Stalin: next game im not going to be on ur team, u guys didnt help me for ****
          Churchill: wutever, we didnt need ur help neway dumbarss
          tru_m4n: l8r all
          benny~tow: bye
          Churchill: l8r
          Stalin: fock u all
          tru_m4n: shut up commie lol
          *tru_m4n has left the game.*
          benny~tow: lololol u commie
          Churchill: ROFL
          Churchill: bye commie
          *Churchill has left the game.*
          *benny~tow has left the game.*
          Stalin: i hate u all fags
          *Stalin has left the game.*
          paTTon: lol no1 is left
          paTTon: weeeee i got a jeep
          *paTTon has been eliminated.*
          paTTon: o sh1t!
          *paTTon has left the game.*

          1. That’s… VERY GOOD!

            One suggestion. After…
            *Hitler[AoE] has left the game*

            Then…
            tru_m4n: All (E)ur(ope) base are belong to us.

            1. I wish I could claim it.

              It’s the most excellent RTS version of WWII history I’ve ever seen. Popped up on the internet during Web 1.0 in the form of an animated gif slideshow which just showed the chat.

              I would have just linked the website, but the text was way over to the right and there were ads all over the place.

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