3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermon Illustrations

On September, 1st, 1939 a German battleship opened fire on the Polish garrison of the Westerplatte Fort, in Danzig, which is now called Gdansk. (Point it out on the map) This plan of attack is what started World War II. At the exact same moment this fort was being fired upon from waters of the North Sea, simultaneously, 62 German divisions supported by 1,300 aircraft commenced with an invasion of Poland coming from the other direction. To this day they say the decision of Hitler to invade Poland was a gamble. Why? Well, because the German army wasn’t at full strength and the German economy was still locked into peacetime production. So, Hitler’s generals urged him to be cautious because they needed more time to complete the defenses of the West Wall. You see, they expected to be attacked by the British and the French along this border (Show the picture of the Western Wall) At this point of the war, Germany was already heavily engaged in war in the east against Russia. Well, you can imagine what Hilter said to his generals. He dismissed their concerns of being unprotected from the west and he demanded complete loyalty. He was absolutely convinced that the invasion of Poland would result in a short victorious war for two reasons. First, he was convinced that the deployment of the world’s first armored tank unit would swiftly defeat the Polish armed forces. And he was right! Secondly, he judged the British and French to be weak and indecisive and certainly opt for a peace settlement rather than war. This time Hitler was wrong! He found out that Winston Churchill was more than he bargained for. He was like the energy bunny! He just didn’t give up. He continually pulled his troops together by saying, “We can win this war.” “We must win this war.”