Over 260 photographs taken in the summer of 1939, have gone on display at the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Poland.
The unique photographs taken by pre-war photographer Henryk Poddębski, show key elements of the Polish army participating in war-manoeuvres just weeks before Hitler invaded.
Karol Nawrocki, head of the museum, said: “The photographs that make up Mr Poddębski’s exhibition, show an army which we will never see again.
“An army, which led a heroic fight from September 1 1939, was defeated and driven all across Europe’s fronts to fight for a free Europe, a unified and democratic Europe and a strong and independent Poland.”
Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland on the morning of September 1, 1939, under the false pretence of Polish sabotage actions along the border.
Two days later Britain joined the fight, declaring war on Germany. What followed was the valiant but unsuccessful September Campaign to drive out the aggressors.
On September 17, Poland was invaded by the Soviet Union from the east and the country was brought down to its knees on September 27.
Photographer Mr Poddębski first came to prominence for his landscape and photo-journalistic work in the 1930s with the German-made Leica camera.
World War 2: The photos of the Polish army were taken just weeks before Hitler’s invasion
World War 2: The photo negatives survived the devastating conflict
It is likely he was one of several photographers commissioned to document the war games by the Polish Armed Forces Ministry.
Sadly the photographer died in 1945 at the German…