“Never in the field of human conflict was so 

much owned by so many to so few.”

–Winston Churchill

Image: The Telegraph

On September 3, 1939, Britain declared war on Germany after the invasion of Poland. France followed six hours later, quickly joined by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, broadcasted the news to the rest of the nation on theBBC Radio.

However, in reality, little practical assistance was given to Poland and it was soon defeated. In its early stages, this war was popularly known as the “phony war”. Britain’s response, initially, was no more than the dropping of anti-Nazi propaganda leaflets—13 tons of them—over Germany. They would begin bombing German ships on September 4, suffering significant losses. They were also working under orders not to harm German civilians. The German military, of course, had no such restrictions. Further, neither the British Empire nor the French ever declared war upon the Soviet Union, which invaded Poland on 17 September 1939.