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Data: 2005-03-14 00:00:00
Millitary contribution of Poland to World War II
Autor: MON

Download file: French version -click here Russian version -click here German version -click here Poland was the first object of armed aggression in world war II and was also the first to oppose the invasion: On September 1st – of the Third Reich, and from September 17th also of the Soviet Union. Poland’s resistance in September of 1939 started the process of formation of an anti-fascist coalition, of which Poland was an active participant throughout the entire war. Three components have contributed to Poland’s armed effort during the years of the second world war: - active defense against the German and later the Soviet aggression from September 1st to October 6th of 1939; - fight in an underground conspiracy; - combative actions of regular units of the Polish Army in western and eastern Europe, as well as in north Africa and Asia Minor and on the Atlantic. The quality- as well as quantity-wise superiority of the anti-Polish coalition over the Polish Army was the reason why in a lonely clash Poland stood no chance. Despite the heroic efforts of the Polish soldier defeat was inevitable. It brought along a loss of Poland’s independance and an occupation. However, the Polish nation did not capitulate and the spirit of the people had not been broken. The armed resistance inside the country and outside its borders was directed by the constitutional government of the Republic of Poland, that represented Poland among the allied countries. Their main goal was a recreation of the units of the Polish Army alongside the allies, in order to continue the fight until a victorious end. In time, upon the occupied Polish territory there formed structures of an Undergound State, with its own governing body, administration, court of justice, secret education system, and most important, an army. The Polish Underground State was a phenomenon on the scale of the occupied Europe. In mid-1944, at the height of its activity, the Polish military conspiracy had more than 650 thousand soldiers, simultaneously conducting an underground battle of all types – from sabotage and diversion to open armed conflicts. The biggest battle of the soldiers of the Polish undergroud was the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, which, due to scale of engagement of strength and resources, its duration (63 days) as well as the suffered casualties on both sides has no equivalent in the occupied Europe. One of the many Polish successes during the years of world war II was the identification by Home Army intelligence of German preparations for a manufacture of V1 and V2 type missiles. Of priceless value to the allies was also the success of Polish scientists from the Polish Cipher Bureau in the decoding and construction of a replica of the German encrypting machine the “Enigma”. In September of 1939 the deciphering group was evacuated from Poland. Later on it had cooperated closely with the British, who, on the basis of the achievements of Polish cryptologists, built a listening and decrypting post, intercepting the content of German telegrams until the end of the war. The breaking of the “Enigma” code system by Poles enabled the allies to learn the content of military orders and operational plans of the Germans. The VI Division of the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief has cooperated with the British department of diversion and sabotage, the Special Operations Executive, as it organized conspiracy activities, such as transfers of equipment, arms and people into Poland. Recreated in France, following a defeat of 1939, the Polish Army had 85 thousand soldiers in June of 1940. They participated in defending France and in the Battle of Narwik. After the fall of France and an evacuation to Great Britain the Polish Army had only about 27 thousand soldiers. Its reconstruction was immediately initiated. The Polish Airforce and Polish Navy with excellence carried out the assignements entrusted by the allied command. The Polish pilots have gained fame and glory for their air fight during the Battle for Britain as they destroyed 203 Luftwaffe plains. A year later, an independent Brigade of Strzelcy Karpaccy (Carpathian Rifle Brigade) became famous during the fighting in defense of the Tobruk stronghold in northern Africa. The strongest land operations formation of the Polish Armed Forces in the West was the 2nd Polish Corps, commanded by General Wladyslaw Anders, which has covered the combat track, as part of the British 8th Army, from the river Sangro through Monte Casssino, Emilian Apennine, Ancona, to Bologna in April of 1945. During the invasion of the allied forces in Normandy in June of 1944, the Polish airforce and navy have operated within the allied armies. At the end of July, the 1st Armoured Division of General Stanislaw Maczek moved into the continent. It was the strongest tactical formation of Polish Armed Forces in the West, which has become famous during the battle of Falaise and Chambois, and for its participation in the liberation of many cities in France, Belguim and Holland. The Division has completed its combat track on May 6th 1945 with the conquest of the German port of Wilhelmshaven. The second Polish tactical formation battling on the western front in 1944 – the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade of General Stanislaw Sosabowski, has participated in the allied operation “Market-Garden” during September 18th to 26th . During 1939-1945 Polish land and air units in the West have fought in three theaters of combat operations: northern European (1940), western European (1940 and during 1944-1945) as well as the middeterenian (1940-1942 in North Africa and 1944-1945 in Italy). The Polish Navy operated on three seas: North, Norwegian and Arctic, on the Atlantic Ocean as well as on the Middeterenian Sea and its adjoining water regions. During the ending period of the war, Polish Armed Forces numbered about 200 000 soldiers. In May of 1943 the Polish Communists, supported by Joseph Stalin, have started the formation of units of the Polish Army on the eastern front. From the middle of May of 1943 to mid-July of 1944 the Polish Armed Forces in USSR have developed into an army of over 113 thousand soldiers. By the end of 1944, the Polish Army on the eastern front numbered 300 thousand soldiers, organized into two general armies with airforce and armoured units. Polish Army on the eastern front began its combat track in September of 1943 and ended it in May of 1945 on the rubble of Berlin. The biggest military operation of the Polish Army on Polish territory, conducted by the Polish Army during world war II, after the September defeat, was the breaking of the Pomeranian Wall by the Army, that took place from January 31st to February 19th, 1945. The Polish Army, fighting alongside the Red Army, on the day when the second world war ended in Europe was a 400 thousand-strong partner in the anti-Hitler coalition. The Polish military effort during the ending period of the war may be measured with a participation of nearly 600 thousand soldiers. Together with the soldiers of the underground army, of the various organizations in the occupied country, by the end of the war the Polish nation has produced a huge army numbering 1200 thousand soldiers. Thanks to the immense effort, the bloody sacrifices made on all fronts, the Polish military contribution in world war II in Europe should be view as the biggest, nest to the super-powers of the United States, Soviet Union and Great Britain. Despite such a huge military undertaking Poland was mearly an object in the great game of the super-powers and, after the war ended, Poland did not have the feeling of being among the winners.

Udostępniający: tomek
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Czas udostępnienia: 2005-03-14 12:07:24
Czas wytworzenia: 2005-03-14 12:07:24
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