The song 40:1 by Swedish Heavy Metal band Sabaton, is written for the Battle Of Wizna, where, in September 1939, a force of no more than 720 Polish infantryman defended a small fortified line near...
Baptised in fire.
Forty to one

So silent before the storm
Awaiting command
A few has been chosen to stand
As one outnumbered by far
The orders from high command
Fight back, hold your ground!

In early September it came
A war unknown to the world
No army may enter that land
That is protected by polish hand
Unless you are forty to one
Your force will soon be undone
Undone!

Baptised in fire
Forty to one
Spirit of spartans
Death and glory
Soldiers of Poland
Second to none
Wrath of the Wehrmacht brought to a halt

The 8th of September it starts
The rage of the Reich
A barrage of mortars and guns
Stand past, the bunkers will hold
The captain has pledged his life
I'll face my fate here!
The sound of artillery strike
So fierce
The thunder of guns

So come, bring on all that you've got
Come hell, come high water, never stop
Unless you are forty to one
Your lives will soon be undone
Undone!

Baptised in fire
40 to 1
Spirit of spartans
Death and glory
Soldiers of poland
Second to none
Wrath of the Wehrmacht brought to a halt

Always remember, a fallen soldier
Always remember, fathers and sons at war
Always remember, a fallen soldier
Always remember, fathers and sons at war
Always remember, a fallen soldier
Always remember, buried in history

No vermin may enter that land
That is protected by polish hand
Unless you are forty to one
Your force will soon be undone
Undone!

Baptised in fire
Forty to one
Spirit of spartans
Death and glory!
Soldiers of Poland
Second to none
Wrath of the Wehrmacht brought to a halt

No, no, no


Lyrics submitted by Corban

"40:1" as written by Par Sundstrom Joakim Broden

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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40:1 song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThe actual, official ratio for the battle in question, was closer to 66:1, not 40:1.

    They really were screwed from the start, and as was stated in the song, "A war unknown to the world
    No warning they entered that land". We think now about WW2 and how it was a huge deal that everyone knew about it... except, at the very start, the first few attacks, either no one knew, or thought it was "someone else's problem".

    Despite it being such a one sided battle though, they really did give it their all though. Was this true bravery, or simple desperation in the knowledge that it would essentially mean their extermination and all that they knew and cherished would be gone? One could argue, they are one and the same anyways.

    Point still stands though, a small group fought against odds which would have made many people flee in terror or just give up, and while it was a foregone conclusion they weren't going to win... they did make a much larger dent in the enemy forces than they had any right to with being that badly outnumbered.

    This plays out in history, from time to time, such as the battle which the movie and comic "300" is based on, or the war of 1812, among other examples.

    Sometimes, it's worth standing in the face of the impossible tide and taking it anyway. Sometimes, you even win.

    Unfortunately for the Polish, in this case, they didn't.

    It's still a fitting tribute to those who gave up their lives for whot they believed in and cherished.
    Katsunion April 15, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSong is About the Battle Of Wizna.


    From September 7th till September 10th

    720 Polish Soldiers led by Władysław Raginis
    armed with: 2 Anti-Tank Rifles and 42MG's

    Fought Against
    42,200 men
    350 tanks
    657 mortars, MG's and grenade launchers
    Aircraft support

    As you can see in manpower alone its 40-1 but Germans also had tanks and had almost as many Heavey Firepower weapons as the Polish had men.
    Jay212127on October 10, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNot to mention that Polish troops fought under British (and later Soviet) flags to defeat the nazi's after their country fell.
    weaselfierceon November 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningSpecifically it's about the Battle of Wizna. About 700 from the Polish Army vs about 40,000 Germans... hence the 40:1 ratio.

    The Polish forces were defeated, but not before halting the German advance. The Poles fought to nearly the last man. About 80 survivors, 40 captured, 40 withdrawing.
    ArmouredPhalanxon February 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAbout the Invasion of Poland at the very beginning of WW2. Although Poland was conquered within a few weeks, it caused the German army far greater losses than they had expected.
    IQon July 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPoland, who had witheld against both German and Soviet forces. Who were at the time allies due to the Nazi-Soviet pact. No-one could come to Poland's aid; she was cut off.

    No army may enter that land,
    That is protected by Polish hand!

    Great song, i love it. Full of patriotism. Thank you to our Polish brothers from England!
    MinutesToHourson July 28, 2008   Link

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