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Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2006
What of the Polish Navy, including the legendary Polish Destroyer Blyskawic
8/4/2019 6:05:21 PM
Yes the Polish Naval ships worked side by side with the RN, much like their pilots fought with the RAF! Here is the story of one such ship flying the Polish Flag and fighting the Nazis along side the Royal Navy! Comments on this great effort by the Polish Military in WWII! Not many people know about this contribution by Poland??

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Any additions or comments??
Remember a Pole, holds up your nations flag!
MD

Kudos to all the Destroyers of the Allied Nations, they preformed the most military tasks! Comments on the Destroyers of your nation also welcome!?

In-fact feel free, to discuss the efforts of all Polish Military, to the Allied WWII War effort! Anyone?
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Kevinmeath
Navan  Ireland
Posts: 4
Joined: 2020
What of the Polish Navy, including the legendary Polish Destroyer Blyskawic
12/22/2020 6:08:38 PM
Can not remember the name of the Polish destroyer but in the night before her destruction The Bismarck was harried by a flotilla of destroyers, the Pole went suicidaly close ---getting so close that they were in small arms range and supposedly the crew ran up and used riffles and light AA weapons -- at all time flying a huge Polish Flag and a signaller flashing the signal to The Bismarck " I am a Pole, I am a Pole!"

A interesting You Tube post about the 'Free navies' of WWII

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nATHU6rHKsk
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
What of the Polish Navy, including the legendary Polish Destroyer Blyskawic
12/22/2020 9:25:45 PM
Welcome Kevinmeath. I have made it a little easier for others to gain access to your video link.

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Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
What of the Polish Navy, including the legendary Polish Destroyer Blyskawic
12/22/2020 10:22:37 PM
Elements of the Polish navy were active during the Battle of the Atlantic, engaging in convoy duty. They also escorted convoys on the Murmansk run.

I recall that one Polish destroyer was present at the ill fated raid at Dieppe. This destroyer rescued just under 100 Canadians trying to escape the beaches.

There is a war time history between Poland and Canada that goes back to WW1.

In 1917 Canadian authorities established Camp Kosciuszko in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This camp served as a military training facility for Polish ex-pats who wanted to fight. They were hopeful that their participation would lead to independence for Poland.

About 22, 000 Poles living in the US and Canada trained there and then were shipped to France to fight with Polish General Haller's Blue Army. They were called the Blue Army because they were issued French kit that was blue in colour.

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The Poles fought in RAF squadrons. The squadron leader of 303 squadron, a Polish squadron was a Canadian named Johnny Kent. The Polish pilots called him ‘Johnny Kentowski’.

In Normandy the Polish 1st Armoured Division was attached to the 1st Canadian Army and they fought with distinction in Normandy and Northwest Europe.

The Poles also fought in North Africa and in Italy. The Battle of Monte Cassino was an international affair but it was members of the Polish 2nd Corps who attacked and took the abbey. 1000 Poles died at Monte Cassino and many are buried on its slopes.

So a pretty impressive effort. Their will to fight was sorely tested when they learned that the Yalta Conference of early 1945 would not result in a free Poland. They felt betrayed but they continued to do their duty.

Many Polish combatants were permitted to stay in the UK, I believe. And many emigrated to Canada and the US.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2006
What of the Polish Navy, including the legendary Polish Destroyer Blyskawic
12/23/2020 11:49:34 AM
Kevin, & George,

Good replies, glad you brought this thread back up after 1 & a half years! I can see where the military guys from Poland, fought with distinction, & bravery, even though there country was occupied, in both WWI, & WWII. One thing for sure, they certainly wanted at the Germans!?

Any other facts on their participation in the World Wars? I know they attacked Hitler's Panzers with Cavalry! What's the story on that??

Stay safe,
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Kevinmeath
Navan  Ireland
Posts: 4
Joined: 2020
What of the Polish Navy, including the legendary Polish Destroyer Blyskawic
12/27/2020 7:28:08 PM
"No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II " by Kenneth K. Koskodan is a good book on Polish military in WWII.

They fought every where and generally (with exceptions of course) were very well received by the local population --i remember my grand parents speaking very highly of them, my grandmother saying how they were always so gentlemanly.

One of the most notable was 303 squadron in the BoB (you might watch the Netflix movie 'Hurricane') that were (depending on how you count scores etc) at the very least one of the 'best' and most effective RAF squadrons. Now how come the Polish airmen have their 'arse kicked in Poland, bravely escape to France only to have their 'arse kicked' again, to escape to Britain and now 'kick arse'! -- what changes?

Well firstly if you have survived those two disasters you are either lucky, very good or both -- flying inferior machines against a simply superior foe the odds are against you

You arrive in Britain they give you a modern fighter and you fight as part as a modern integrated air defence system (Context-- such a thing hadn't existed before all this 'white heat' new technology like radar, telephones and radios actually in planes!) directed to where the enemy actually are (rather than simply guessing) by well spoken young ladies. In fact that was one problem why the British at first did not want to deploy them (some accounts especially modern ones simply put this down to racism-- not that such sentiments didn't exist-- but that's not really the case but rather many of the Poles couldn't english and that is a huge problem in a defence system based on communication.

One story (James Holland BoB book?) was that the Germans accused the RAF of underhand tactic and killing bailed out German pilots-- machine gunning them or flying so close to the parachute to spill the air out of it so the pilot plummets to the ground. The RAF are indignant that they are officers and gentlemen and would do no such thing -- " can you say the same for the Poles?" reply the Germans. The RAF confront the Poles and their commander avoids the question but is pressed by the British the reply was something like "When the NAZI's are marching through London and putting your people, your families up against a wall and shooting them, then come to me and we will discuss your gentleman's rules of war"
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2006
What of the Polish Navy, including the legendary Polish Destroyer Blyskawic
12/28/2020 11:59:39 AM
Kevin,

You make some good points, the Poles certainly have an axe to grind against the Nazis!?

D
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

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