Gallery 3. Unvanquished
You are in: Room 3b.
Polish Forces in The West (1940-45)
- The Polish Armed Forces in the West were subordinated to the Polish Government in exile. They were formed largely from soldiers who escaped the fall of Poland to France in 1939-40 and thereafter evacuated to G.B.
- Polish Airforce – Famously excelled in the Battle of Britain. 303 Squadron shot down more Germans than any other allied squadron. By 1945 there was 18 squadrons, both fighter and bomber.
- Army – The 1st Polish Corps comprised of the 1st Polish Armoured Division and the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade.
- Polish forces fought in the Narvik campaign in Norway. The 3rd Carpathian Infantry Brigade took part in the siege of Tobruk in 1941.
- The 1st Polish Armoured Division was formed under General Maczek. Landing in Normandy in August 1944 they closed the gap at the Falaise Pocket, capturing thousands of retreating German forces. The Division went on to liberate St Omer, Ypres, Breda and Wilhelmshaven.
- The 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade was formed under General Sosabowski. The brigade was forced to fight in the disastrous Operation Market Garden, an attempt to cross the Rhine.
- The Polish Navy was small compared to the ground forces, but fought in almost every theatre of War – arctic convoys, the battle of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, Normandy landings.
Officer candidates in Coetquidan, France, 1940. Candidates at the Officer school in Coetquidan. Major Dziewiszek is in the center of the photo, 1940. Source: Stanley Biernacik Gen Maczek and Gen Montgomery reviewing Polish troops. Galashiels, Scotland - 13 March 1944. Source: Tadeusz Siomkajlo Count Stanislaw Krasicki. Captain of the 10 Pulku Strzelcow Konnych, First Polish Armoured Division, under Gen. Maczek. Source: Jerzy Krasicki George VI and Queen Elizabeth with General Sikorski at Polish Army parade, Forfar, Scotland - 07.03.1941. Source: Stanley Biernacik Photographs TestimoniesPolish Forces in The West (1940-45) - the script for the audio narration
Polish bomber squadron, 1941Map of Narvik campaign 1940. Source: Boje Polskie 1939-45, Fundacja Historia I Kultura, Warsaw.
Polish Navy Officer and then Polish Liaison Officer, Polish Armed Forces in the West