At three o'clock in the morning of September 1, 1939, General George C. Marshall, acting Chief of Staff of the United States Army, was wakened by the telephone. He needed no more special knowledge to anticipate the news he was about to receive from the War Department than millions of his fellow citizens who had been living by their radios for days as their world moved toward war. Now it had happened and the word was official. From Paris, Ambassador William Bullitt had just phoned President Roosevelt that Hitler's legions had crossed the frontiers of Poland, an aggression that France and Britain were pledged to resist. From Warsaw, Ambassador Anthony J. Drexel Biddle reported that German troops had seized Danzig, and German planes, even as he talked, were overhead.
- From George C. Marshall: Education of a General 1880-1939 by Forrest C. Pogue