Wednesday, March 9, 2016


After WWI, the Free City of Danzig (Gdańsk) was a semi-autonomous city-state under the protection of the League of Nations.

Poland was allowed to keep a small garrison on the peninsula at Westerplatte.

There were 180 men stationed here and, in case of war, they were supposed to hold out for up to 12 hours until the Polish Army could send relief.

On 1 September 1939, the battleship Schleswig-Holstein, which was on a courtesy visit to Danzig, opened fire on the Polish garrison at 4:48 AM.  This is considered the beginning of WWII.

Westerplatte was hit with naval and field artillery plus Luftwaffe bombing raids.  The 180 Polish soldiers repelled multiple attacks by 570 German soldiers for a week.

Due to a lack of ammunition and supplies, the Polish commanding officer surrendered on 7 September.  They put up one heck of a fight holding back the German attack.

The monument to the Defenders of the Coast was unveiled in 1966

The barracks and guardhouses are still here, plus a small graveyard.  

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