The Battle of Westerplatte • Gdańsk Local Tours

The Battle of Westerplatte tour

Where the Second World War began

The Battle of Westerplatte

Gdańsk Local Tours

Westerplatte is a peninsula in Gdańsk. In this place, in 1926-1939, a military transit depot was operating. It defense in 1939 became one of the most important and best known symbols of Poland's resistance against the Nazi invasion. The name "Westerplatte" derives from German. From the words: Wester - west and platte or plate (here in the sense of the island), so in literal translation means the western island. It is the only place in Gdańsk that has kept its name sounding impolite. It remained unchanged due to its symbolic meaning of the Poles' struggle for freedom.

Hearing the name of Westerplatte, the period of the Second World War comes to our mind and in particular the day of direct German aggression against Poland. It was here, on 1 September 1939, at 4:45 that Hitler's attack on our country began. The German school battleship Schleswig - Holstein came to the Gdansk port on August 25, 1939 with a courtesy visit. The pretext was the earlier visit of a smaller ship that allegedly broke. The battleship's construction was a bit outdated, but it was extremely heavily armed and prepared for the attack on Westerplatte. Under the deck he carried the Kriegsmarine assault company.

The defense of the peninsula from 1-7 September was commanded by Maj. Henryk Sucharski (from 2 to 7 the command was carried out by the deputy Captain Franciszek Dąbrowski). The garrison was engaged in a lonely struggle, in the siege of the prevailing hostile forces. After the announcement of the capitulation, German troops have already brought Polish prisoners to the peninsula on October 10, who were supposed to clear up the area after earlier fighting.

After the end of hostilities in 1966, the Polish nation, honoring the heroes of Westerplatte, erected a monument to the Defenders of the Coast at the entrance to the port. Currently, ships of different flags honor the heroes' memory with appropriate signals when entering the port.

Take a look!