Rydz-Smigly commanded the Polish military during the invasion and conquest of that country by Germany and the Soviet Union at the outset of World War II. On September 18, 1939, following the fall of his country, he entered Romania, where he was interned for slightly more than a year, during which time he renounced his command of the Polish military. In December 1940, he crossed from Romania into Hungary, and from there into Slovakia and then back into Poland, where he volunteered as a common soldier in the Polish resistance movement. He died of heart failure in Warsaw in December 1941.
Edward Rydz-Smigly in The War That Came EarlyEdit
Edward Rydz-Smigly was Marshal of Poland and de facto leader of the country when the Second World War broke out. In the closing days of 1938, the Soviet Union accused Rydz-Smigly of policies which discriminated against ethnic Byelorussians living in Polish territory, thus giving itself a casus belli to attack Poland. Rydz-Smigly requested and received military support from Germany, thus bringing Nazi and Soviet troops into direct contact with one another for the first time since the fall of Czechoslovakia.
At Rydz-Smigly's direction, Polish forces worked closely with their German counterparts, which paid immediate dividends with the Polish capture of Wilno in the Spring of 1939. Rydz-Smigly was personally targeted by Soviet propaganda throughout the fighting, which usually combined Rydz-Smigly into Adolf Hitler as one central "enemy".
The war briefly turned against Poland in the closing days of 1939 as the Soviet Red Army made it to the outskirts of Warsaw. However, that drive was successfully held by joint German-Polish forces well into 1940, until Germany brokered an alliance with Britain and France. The new coalition began a successful drive out of Poland and into Soviet territory.
- ↑ Hitler's War, pg. 194.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 196-199.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 200.
- ↑ West and East, e.g, pg. 24.
- ↑ Ibid, e.g., pg. 191.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 422.
- ↑ The Big Switch, pgs. 23-24.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 238.
|Military offices (OTL)|
|General Inspector of the Armed Forces|
| Succeeded by|