TRIGGER OF THE ACTUAL WAR
Hitler's revenge for Germany's defeat of 1918 brought about the cataclysm that was Europe between 1939 and 1945. The incident which triggered World War II was the fake simulated attack by the Germans on their own relay radio station for Radio Breslau at Gleiwitz on the Polish border. To make it appear that the attacking force consisted of Poles, SS officer Alfred Naujocks secured some condemned German criminals from a nearby concentration (protective custody) camp and dressed them in Polish uniforms before being shot and their bodies placed in strategic positions around the radio station. A Polish-speaking German then did a broadcast from the station to make it appear that Poland had attacked first. On January 26, 1934, Germany and Poland signed a ten year non-aggression pact but the Gleiwitz incident gave Hitler the excuse he needed to invade Poland, which he did on September 1, 1939, an act which was to develop into a war embracing almost the entire world and causing the deaths of some 55,014,000 persons, military and civilians. About 85 million men and women of all nationalities served as combatants in this, the world's first total war, in which more than twice as many civilians died than did uniformed soldiers.