The Nazi Invasion of Poland: Background information when reading 22 Britannia Road

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

22 Britannia Road

A Novel

by Amanda Hodgkinson

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2011, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2012, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Nazi Invasion of Poland

Print Review

In Amanda Hodgkinson's 22 Britannia Road, Silvana and Janusz are plunged into war when Germany invades Poland in 1939. Though the invasion catches them (and their real-life counterparts) by surprise, Polish-German relations had been increasingly strained since the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which redrew European borders at the end of World War I in 1919. A German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact, signed in 1934, had promised to keep relations between the two countries cordial, but, among other reasons, Germany's unwillingness to cede the Polish Corridor, per terms of the Treaty of Versailles, strained diplomacy.

Polish Corridor map As Hitler gained power, he focused his vision of a hegemonic Germany, taking territories from surrounding countries to create a "living space" that would expand "Greater Germany." An obvious choice was the Polish Corridor, a splice of land that belonged to Poland and cut East Prussia off from Hitler's expansion. The area was contested by both countries and inhabited by Germans and Poles alike. At the center of the disagreement was the city known by the Germans as Danzig, and to the Poles as Gdansk, a busy port city with an approximate 95% German-speaking population. Along with Hitler, many Germans wanted to "free" Danzig after it had been given to Poland (along with the rest of the contested territory in the Polish Corridor), but Poland refused.

A proposal in 1937 to build a roadway through the Polish Corridor - to connect Germany with East Prussia - was likewise refused for the same reason: Poland was increasingly wary that Germany discounted Poland's sovereignty. The British and French were also growing concerned and pledged their support to Poland to help maintain Poland's territory.

Though both sides harbored hopes that an agreement about Danzig - and perhaps all of the Polish Corridor - could be struck before the outbreak of war, Hitler's withdrawal from the German-Polish Non-Aggression Act in 1939 indicated that Hitler was interested in pursuing more aggressive tactics to achieve his aims.

Signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop PactDiplomacy broke down, and Hitler soon learned that Britain and France had failed to cement an alliance with the Soviet Union, opening the door for a German-Soviet alliance. The signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August of 1939 created the partnership between Germany and the Soviet Union that Germany needed to move forward with Hitler's plans for a "military solution" in Poland. The pact also promised Soviet support should Germany go to war with Britain and France. Now allied with the Soviet Union, Hitler invaded Poland - an act that would ignite World War II.

This article was originally published in May 2011, and has been updated for the April 2012 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Ghachar Ghochar
    by Vivek Shanbhag
    The Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) that has dominated economic news headlines over the past decade is the...
  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Anagrams

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -