ON THIS DAY 3 SEPTEMBER 1939:
DECLARATION OF WAR
Following on from the invasion of Bohemia and Moravia (the so-called 'Czech lands'), the governments of Britain and France committed themselves to supporting Poland should Germany invade that country.
On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. On 3 September 1939, the British ambassador in Berlin handed a final ultimatum to the German government to the effect that, unless the German government stated by 11.00 that it would withdraw from Poland, a state of ar would exist between Britain and Germany.
That deadline was not met, and so, at 11.15 that day, the then British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, told the British nation: 'I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and consequently this country is at war with Germany'.
A similar French ultimatum expired at 17.00.
Tuesday 3 September 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of that declaration and the beginning of World War II.
The death and misery suffered around the whole of the world following this declaration is unrivalled.
Since the end of that war in 1945, by and large, Europe has experienced 75 years of relative peace and prosperity.