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Question about Polish forces in west.

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by NihonNOGAY, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. NihonNOGAY

    NihonNOGAY New Member

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    So I know that polish troops and pilots escaped west to continue fighting alongside allies until the end of the war, but I'm interested if Poland managed to get any of it's equipment west, Like planes or tanks, I'm guessing guns and infantry equipment definitely. Btw i know Poland managed to get ships west that it sent to Britain pre war.
     
  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Hello Nihon, actually the Poles were able to get very little in the way of equipment and vehicles to France and Great Britain before the nation was completely occupied. As you mentioned, it was mostly the Polish Navy that escaped in large numbers, picking up thousands of Polish infantry on their way out, usually just with their uniforms and rifles, no vehicles or equipment. A few Surface ships (3 Destroyers) and Submarines (2) of the Polish Navy managed to escape the invasion, some aircraft and pilots also escaped to Romania and Hungary, but their numbers were relatively few, and not enough to be deemed and effective air force anymore. The aircraft that did escape were not further used to my knowledge, as most were obsolete and outdated.
    Polish Navy (WW2)
    It’s a Myth That Germany Wiped Out the Polish Air Force in Three Days in 1939
     
  3. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Poland's mobilization order for ground units was made on 26th August 1939 followed by the general mobilization order on 30th August 1939. On 28th August 1939 all Polish flag carriers were ordered to remain outside the Baltic Sea with the Polish Destroyer Division ordered to sail for Britain on 30th August 1939 under operation Peking in an agreement with Britain's admiralty. When war broke out on 1st September 1939 some of Polish Navy had successfully run the gauntlet while others defended the approaches to the ports and Westerplatte.

    Burza, Grom and Blyskawica had escaped to Leith in Scotland.

    Several Polish naval vessels were interned in Sweden for the duration of the war.
    The first Polish submarine that arrived in Sweden had a leaking exhaust pipe and took in water. The crew had to abandon their journey to Britain, and on 17th September Sep (Vulture) arrived in Sweden.

    In the morning of the 18th September the submarine Rys (Lynx) arrived, with too little fuel for a trip to Britain and some minor damages. On the 25th Zbik (Wildcat) came to Sweden, with a tower hatch that leaked in high sea. The submarines were disarmed, and the crew interned in Sweden. Several died during their internment. Later 29 of them were allowed by Sweden to fly to Britain in a British bomber. The rest remained in Sweden for the duration of the war, and after the war 71 chose to live in Sweden.

    The Polish submarine Orzel had to sail to the neutral Estonia on 14 September 1939, with a sick man and a faulty engine. She was interned after a decision in the Estonian government. The Polish legation removed all secret equipment. One night the crew managed to run away with the submarine, and with 'sea charts' drawn from the memory of the navigation officer and with the help of a list over Swedish lighthouses. Close to the Swedish island Gotland the Estonians who had been aboard the submarine were sent ashore in a rubber boat. Orzel made it to Rosyth, the naval base in Scotland.

    Apart from the three submarines a boat Batory and sailing ship Dar Pomorza (The Gift of Pomerania) were also interned in Sweden. All interned vessels remained in Sweden throughout the war, and were given to Communist Poland at the conclusion of the war.
     
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  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I believe I read about the Orzel in C. Brian Kelly's Best Little Stories From World War II, in a story called "Intended to Fire Torpedo", which is about the Orzel after it's escape and use with the Royal Navy in the defense of Norway.
     

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