"The Katyn Massacre" 1


In a quiet part of Cannock chase in Staffordshire there is a memorial.  If you drove down one of the tree lined woods of the chase, you would perhaps not know  it was there, but for the sign along the side of the road that says "Katyn memorial."

To me its a strange place for a memorial to the event its dedicated to, that of the slaughter of Polish soldiers during the Second World War.

If you drive down Camp road towards Springslades Lodge, then leave the road where the sign points to the memorial, driving down an uneven path and entering a small car park you will see this.

Katyn memorial

INDEX To understand why, this is a short résumé of the historical episode of the Katyn Massacre and to understand Special  Operation Executive's involvement in the affair.

The story of its emergence started in 1941 with the invasion of Russia by German forces.  The Soviet government in Exile had agreed to co-operate with the Polish government in Exile in London.  The Poles asked for information about the return of some 15,000 Polish prisoners taken in 1939, when the Russians occupied the eastern half of Poland during the time when their was Soviet-Nazi co-operation

The Soviet government claimed that the prisoners had escaped to Manchuria, and could not be located.  And so the story of accusation and counter accusation started.

It first came to the worlds attention when in 1943 the German authorities announced the discovery of a mass grave of Polish officers in the Katyn forest, near Smolensk.  For over a month they dug up body after body.

Each had their hands bound and had been shot in the back of the head.