Gdansk (pop. 461,700; formerly Danzig), large Polish industrial city and port on the Baltic Sea, with some of the world's largest shipyards. Its economy rests on mechanical engineering and chemical industries. Once a major city in the Hanseatic League, since 1772 Gdansk has alternately been a free city and a city under German or Polish control. The German invasion of Poland in 1939, on the pretext of reestablishing the city as German territory, precipitated World War II. The city became a center of the workers' rights movement led by Lech Walesa during the 1970s and 1980s.
See also: Poland.