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Old May 9th, 2014, 09:30 AM   #1
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Poland during WWII


I recently finished Kenneth K. Koskodan's 'No Greater Ally,' which tells the story of Poland and Polish Forces during the Second World War. I felt shocked and saddened that we don't tell the story of Poland more often and give thanks to the Poles for their effort during WWII.

What do you think? Do we not tell Poland's story enough? Do we overate it? Are there any highlights of Poland's campaign? Being the fourth largest military ally in the war, there is bound to be some opinion on Poland.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 10:19 AM   #2

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Historians and people interested in history talk aboot it a lot. Especially in Poland and Eastern Europe.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 11:30 AM   #3

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Repeat please?

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyQfXdAiyr0]Battle of Britain "Repeat please!" - YouTube[/ame]
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Old May 9th, 2014, 12:43 PM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by camstewart96 View Post
What do you think? Do we not tell Poland's story enough? Do we overate it? Are there any highlights of Poland's campaign? Being the fourth largest military ally in the war, there is bound to be some opinion on Poland.
I think their contribution gets little ink. On the other hand, there are other countries whose contribution gets no attention at all. For example, I've never read or even seen a single account of the Brazilian forces. I'd wager most folks outside Brazil didn't even know they were in it.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 05:14 PM   #5
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Considering that at the behest of Churchill -the majority of the Polish Army in exile were stationed between 194044 in my country Scotand Isimply don't recognise claims that the contribution of Poland is little known.
On the contrary it is very well marked here.For example i, the bulk of Polish Army forces were posted and based in Fife on Scotland's eastern coast .That's why in Leven Fife you will find a memorial to the Polish paratroops who dropped on Arnhem in 1944 for they were based in that Fife seaside town (Leven) for three yera before shipping south to land at Driel Holland.
Two yeras ago a commemorativecairn was unveiled at Grangemouth the Stirlingshire seaport and oil refining capital of Scotland because the bulk of Polish pilots post BOB were trained at Grangemouth airfield..
Ther are also loads of Grabeks Sikorksis etc walking arund Scotland today -direct descendants of the Polish troops who came to Scotland in 1940..
The arrival of the Polish Army in Scotland had its comic aspects.
Here in Scotland the bulk of the ordinary Scots do not speak Standard English but Scottish dialect.
Polish officers who were billeted with Scottish middle class families exicited horror among their posh speaking middle class hosts because they picked up Scottish dialect from the local natives thus Colonel Grabek would say Howze it gaun Jimmy?''''Are ye okay hen? etc
and other dialect words.
As for Brazil that country did not join the war until it was nearly ver and on a very small scale so there is no comparison beteen the Polish contribution andd that of Brazil.
Also on D-Day June 6 allied troops found themselves fighting Polish Wehrmacht conscipts not just ethnic Germans
I also know that the Polish armoured troops who took part in the 1944 battle of the Falaise gap in Normandy were stationed at Newark Nottinghamshire in England pre-invasion and that too is commemorated in that English town..
So forgotten Poleas not in rBitain.
Besides no history of the Nazi enigma coding machine hat fails to mention Poland's important role in that story is worth a damn..
And anyone who knows anything about W.W.2 knows that it was Polish troops who were involved in the final tiumphant battle at Monte Cassino Italy.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 05:55 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
I think their contribution gets little ink. On the other hand, there are other countries whose contribution gets no attention at all. For example, I've never read or even seen a single account of the Brazilian forces. I'd wager most folks outside Brazil didn't even know they were in it.
Indeed. Brazil was the predominate South American nation in contributing to the allied effort. Her naval assets were quite useful in anti-uboat efforts in coastal convoy protection. And of course, Brazilian air and ground forces served in the Italian campaign.

How about Mexico? For the first time in her history, a unit of her armed forces fought outside her borders in the form of a fighter squadron, flying P-47's in tactical and close air support of MacArthur's retaking of the Philippines. The served with distinction, losing several pilots. There were some sixteen, iirc, additional squadrons of Mexican flyers training in the US that were to be part of Operation Downfall.

As for Poland, well it's hard to imagine a more devastating start to a conflict than the double whammy she suffered at the start. I'm reading Ford's "Poland's Daughter" in which he details the travails of his Polish wife's family who lived in Lwow when the war kicked off. Her father was a colonel in the Polish reserves called up, captured by the Russians, and executed. As was her brother serving in a different location. As family of a Polish army officer, Stalin determined they were counter-revolutionary and were exiled to Kazakhstan in what was known as a "free deportation". They lingered there and were "rescued" by an uncle who had joined Anders' army and had papers approved to transport his family to Persia. I'm in this portion of the book now, and she relates some rather unexpected views. Though grateful for her families release from exile, she said Anders is not the great hero much of Poland tends to view him as. She also thought Churchill's carping early on regarding Anders' Poles led to the deaths of many Polish civilians unable to get to Persia during that phase.

Last edited by Spartacuss; May 9th, 2014 at 06:02 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 02:24 AM   #7
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In some countries like UK it is well known. For example this BBC documentary about Polish pilots:

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptijNcDanVw]Bloody foreigners. Untold Battle of Britain. (polskie napisy) - YouTube[/ame]
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Old July 11th, 2014, 12:29 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by camstewart96 View Post
I recently finished Kenneth K. Koskodan's 'No Greater Ally,' which tells the story of Poland and Polish Forces during the Second World War. I felt shocked and saddened that we don't tell the story of Poland more often and give thanks to the Poles for their effort during WWII.

What do you think? Do we not tell Poland's story enough? Do we overate it? Are there any highlights of Poland's campaign? Being the fourth largest military ally in the war, there is bound to be some opinion on Poland.
Poles couldn't contribute to writing the history of WW2, because they were cut off by the Iron Curtain for 50 years.

Others, naturally had no interest in telling the story.

Consequently, it's hardly known - and as such evokes little interest (judging by the number of views/responses to your OP)

A story (historical narrative) becomes common knowledge if influential circles or a powerful state have a political interest in it and means to promote it.

The Polish story is highly inconvenient for two major players: Germany and Russia. It's also moderately inconvenient for some others.

That perhaps answers your question.

Thank you for bringing up the topic, Camstewart. I'll try to post some photos to your thread, anyone's welcome to contribute.
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Old July 11th, 2014, 02:39 AM   #9

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Sorry wouldn't agree that its hardly known, certainly not in many areas of the UK but it perhaps not well enough known as it should be.

My grand parents always talking in the most positive terms the 'The brave Poles'.

I've read the book and enjoyed it and its worth while.
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Old July 13th, 2014, 12:43 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by antonina View Post
Poles couldn't contribute to writing the history of WW2, because they were cut off by the Iron Curtain for 50 years.

Others, naturally had no interest in telling the story.
The Iron Curtain was a concept from after WW2, but yes, no one was interested in telling the stories as Poland was under Communist control and the Communists did everything to try and hide the fact that Poland did great things ever. But the Polish people were one of the many refugees from eastern Europe that helped the Brits survive in the Battle of Britain; for example, the 303 Fighter Squadron "Kosciuszko" had the one of the highest (if not the highest) amount of Nazi planes felled, and it had less casualties than most Brit fighter squadrons.
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