After two pitch inspections, the game was eventually called off 45 minutes after the scheduled kick-off, by which time England's players had changed out of their kit and were ready to leave.
With a number of their squad due to play league matches on Friday, the Polish federation were reluctant to agree to a one-day delay and suggested a November encounter instead.
However, with FIFA regulations stipulating the game should be rearranged for Wednesday, and England already having a lucrative friendly in Gothenburg next month as part of the centenary celebrations of the Swedish Football Association, the FA stood firm.
"We wanted to play the game tomorrow [Wednesday]," Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said.
"Our fixture programme is full for the next 12 months. We're already here and our flight can be put back 24 hours."
Yet manager Roy Hodgson has major reservations about the game going ahead as planned, at 5pm local time (4pm BST).
"The pitch is in very poor condition," he told ITV1. "Water is lying on the surface. It's going to need a lot of attention if it's going to be playable tomorrow afternoon."
The manner in which events unfolded was bizarre given the National Stadium, built for Euro 2012, boasts a sliding roof, which clearly offers protection against the elements.
Knowing rain was forecast, the FA asked on arrival on Monday whether it was going to be closed but were told it was going to remain open.
By the time it became obvious the heavy rain that began falling at lunchtime was not going to stop, it was too late.
"The FIFA delegate made the decision tonight [Tuesday night] to close the roof as quickly as possible but we could not do it because the rain already on it was too heavy," Polish FA spokesperson Agniesza Olejkowska said.
A brief inspection by England coaches Gary Neville, Ray Lewington and Dave Watson as they prepared for the warm-up confirmed worst fears.
Referee Gianluca Rocci held two inspections but perhaps the greatest example of how impossible a game would have been came in the middle of them as two fans ran onto the pitch.
Heading for the opposite goalmouths, they embarked on a slide that almost took them into the goals.
Security staff splashed their way after the pair, barely visible with the amount of spray they were producing. The scenes even convinced a capacity crowd, who up to that point had voiced their disapproval at the mere suggestion of a postponement, there was no chance of the game being played.
Fears about the match taking place behind closed doors have been eased, although clearly the inconvenience and cost of rearranging flights and accommodation means many will not be able to attend anyway.
"It's a disaster for the Polish Federation," said Hodgson, who had already named a starting line-up showing six changes from the team that beat San Marino on Friday.
"I had no idea quite how bad the conditions were going to be.
"I've been in the hotel like the players preparing for the game.
"It's up to the people whose responsibility it is to run the stadium to decide if the roof needs to be on."
Now the stadium authorities can only hope the rain stops in time for sufficient work to take place on the pitch to prevent another postponement.
Under FIFA rules, the game could be played on Thursday.
However, that would require an agreement from both teams which, given the Premier League programme at the weekend, is highly unlikely to happen.
Bevington added: "We've said to the FIFA delegates that once the rain stops we expect the roof to be closed and the groundstaff to get it into a fit and proper state for tomorrow [Wednesday]."