The Second World War began with the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland. The German siege of Westerplatte was the first battle in that long and bloody conflict. In spite of immense technological and numerical superiority enjoyed by the forces of the Third Reich, the invaders required an entire week (September 1-7, 1939) to subdue the small Polish garrison defending a supply depot on the Westerplatte Peninsula in the Free City of Gdańsk/Danzig.
This heroic, Thermopylae-like resistance against all odds was the subject of this year’s annual Kościuszko Chair Military Lecture, which was delivered by Prof. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz–the holder of the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies–on Friday, 27 September 2013.
The presentation was followed by the screening of the film 1939: Battle of Westerplatte.