France, England, New Zealand & Australia Declare War on Germany Hot

France, England, New Zealand & Australia Declare War on Germany

War is Declared, 1939

World War II: The Second World War becomes more global when France, England, New Zealand, and Australia declare war on Germany. They have mutual defense treaties with Poland and have given Germany a deadline of today to pull out of Poland.

These nations will become known as the Allies, as opposed to the "Axis" nations: Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia.

British troops immediately begin moving out to reinforce French forces along the border with Germany, but soon the French army retreats behind the Maginot line. This begins the period known as the "Phony War" (also "Twilight War" and der Sitzkrieg) when the western front is completely quiet. This will only be broken when Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg in May.

Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tells the British people over the radio:

"This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final Note stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us.

I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.

You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me that all my long struggle to win peace has failed. Yet I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful. ...

We and France are today, in fulfillment of our obligations, going to the aid of Poland, who is so bravely resisting this wicked and unprovoked attack on her people. We have a clear conscience. We have done all that any country could do to establish peace. The situation in which no word given by Germany's ruler could be trusted and no people or country could feel themselves safe has become intolerable. And now that we have resolved to finish it, I know that you will all play your part with calmness and courage."


British Declaration Of War — Radio Broadcast — 3 Sept 1939

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