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POLAND SAVED GREAT BRITAIN DURING WORLD WAR II

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Kwaqu777, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. Kwaqu777

    Kwaqu777 Member

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    If not the Polish pilots Great Briatin would be partially doomed, as Queen Elizabeth said in 1996 "...If Poland wouldn/t stand by us at that time the candle of freedom would be snuffed out."
    And immediately after WWII when the Victory parade was held Polish pilots and all Polish soldiers couldn't take part in the parade ecause of Stalin. Quote from "A Question Of Honor"***"as the parade was going by one young polish pilot was standing at the sidewalk, when he turned back to walk away an older woman asked: Why are you crying young man?"
    I think we could ask for a "Excuse us" from the British gov, couldn't we???.......I'm waiting for your comments on this.
     
  2. No.9

    No.9 Ace

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    ”'The Few' were 2353 young men from Great Britain and 574 from overseas, pilots and other aircrew, who are officially recognised as having taken part in the Battle of Britain. Each flew at least one authorised operational sortie with an eligible unit of the Royal Air Force or Fleet Air Arm during the period 10 July to 31 October 1940.”

    Of these 2927, 141 were Polish

    Claims of ‘saving ass’ are, to put it bluntly, pointless and puerile, and not argued by ad hoc quotes of politicians or royals just being courteous.

    The contribution made by the Poles in W.W.II has been quite accurately discussed many times here as has those of other nationals. This period in time was after all a World War. If anyone thinks in terms of saving ass and kissing ass, then kiss Britain’s because Britain had the option in 1939 of telling mainland Europe to get stuffed and get on with it, because no one was threatening to cross the Channel or drop a bomb over here – the same as in W.W.I, and, after the respective wars Britain did not take any part of mainland Europe for their trouble or rip-off the countries they played a part in saving.

    No.9
     
  3. Wojtix

    Wojtix Member

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    Polish Squadrons Remembered:

    http://www.geocities.com/skrzydla/

    THE VICTORY PARADE

    "A specially warm tribute of applause was forthcoming from the crowds all along the Victory Parade route as the troops of our Allies marched by; and as they passed the saluting base, the war leaders grouped there beside the royal dais made grateful acknowledgement to the flags of countries whose men had fought side by side with our men. Headed by the Guards band the representatives of Allied forces were led by the United States, whose contingent included the Marine Corps. After the American contingent came the troops of China, occupying the place in the procession originally reserved for USSR, and behind them cane contingents with a bewildered variety of flags and uniforms - France, Belgium, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway and Transjordan. Apart from the USSR, only Poland and Yugoslavia were not represented among our Allies...."

    1. 2.

    You will find the above paragraph in The Illustrated London News - Victory Parade Number, issued June 15, 1946. It’s almost word for word to what we had heard on radio at the time, as angry and astonished, we listened the commentaries of the BBC man. How the hell it came about; we the first ally of England, fighting side by side the British soldiers from the very beginning of the war, and now, when it’s all over, we are not represented? Argentine, who declared war on Germany practically a few days before Germany surrendered, and now she is represented on the parade? Did the British soldiers ever see the soldiers of Iraq or Iran, or Mexico for that matter, fighting beside then? And how about that USSR not being represented? Only the British seemed surprised, for anybody who knew anything about the war, knew that first of all, USSR was an Ally of Nazi Germany - the fact that caused the war in the first place. The USSR — let’s call her Russia, for that’s what she always was - was practically forced to accept proposed partnership of its or hers "capitalistic" enemy, when Hitler, her ally, stabbed her in the back. She was a reluctant Ally from the beginning. Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, with an eye open for any help, even from "the devil himself", knew exactly how to take advantage of the new political situation. Stalin, suffering initial defeats on the front, had no choice. And thus, an old imperialist and ferocious communist became reluctant Allies. In the darkest moments of desperate defeats, Stalin never abandoned an idea of turning tides of defeats into the conquest of Europe. And now, with a half of Europe under the boots of the Red Army "soldats" he had no intention of conducting world’s affairs with his war Allies - he will have his own Victory Parade in Moscow.
    Yugoslavia, under protection of it’s own partisan-communist Tito, wasn’t ready to expose too soon it’s tendency of being independent some day, there fore, for the moment, she’ll dance to the tune of the Kremlin chiming "kurants" - she’ll take part in a parade in Moscow.
    But Poland, which was in the eye of the gathering war storm from the beginning...? Perhaps we should start where it all started.... in the Munich Conference, in September 1938. The then Prime Minister of Great Britain, Chamberlain, returned from conference with a scrap of paper in his hand - Peace in our Time. Pretty soon he realized that Hitler had in his mind just the opposite - War in his Time. And so, day after day, of constant Hitler’s demands, the Government and War cabinet of Britain came to conclusion, that there was no stopping the usurper, the war was inevitable.

    In May, 1939, agreement of mutual assistance was signed between Great Britain and Poland. That only infuriated Hitler. And so, on the first of September, very early morning, when the sun was still under horizon and frogs croaked in bull-rushes, the Second Great World War began.
    Poland was defeated in three weeks. In the spring of 1940, France - an Ally of Poland and England as well as the biggest military force at that time - was defeated in four weeks. The Polish Army and Air Force, reorganized in France from September remnants and volunteers, was evacuated to Britain, together with whatever left from British Expeditionary Force. The new Polish Army and Air Force began to organize all over again. The land army, though under British Supreme Command, internally remained under Polish command, but the Air Force, became the integral part of RAF -"rock, stock and barrel". We wore the British uniforms, ranks insignia, saluted the British and each other, the British way. If one saw a man in royal blue ahead of him, he didn’t know to what nationality he belonged.
    The British RAF authorities, including the "big chief", Lord Dowding, were skeptical as to the abilities of Poles , flying modern machines, in spite of the fact, that many Poles already flew the French Morans and others, which were not inferior to Hurricanes or first models of Spitfire. But when, during the training flight, the Po1es shot down three or four Messerschmits, the opinion as to their abilities, somewhat changed.
    That was early summer of 1940 in France, but in England the relatively action-mild spring, turned to hot summer. And sometime in July, volens nolens, the Battle of Britain began. September l5th, the Germans reached their day of no return. Poles in number of 139 took part in that struggle and shot down 203 enemy planes, thus contributed well to Churchill’s famous: Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many, to so few." But political amity between England and Po1and, soon changed. In June 1941, the bosom friends, Hitler and Stalin, were at their throats. Thus, more per forza than per amore, England got herself more powerful Ally. The problem was, that this new friend of England, was not only deadly enemy of Poland, but also had his eyes on her property.
    The whole world took a deep breath, as Hitler said, but Eng1and bean to breath easier; the whole fury of nazism as promised in " Mein Kampf", turned it’s eyes towards the East. From now on, the two words "Eastern Front", will dominate the political scene until the end of the war. In December 1941, Japan attacked USA, and Germany declared war on USA - so much better for England, one Ally more. But the main action of USA was on the Pacific Ocean, but in defense of England, it contributed The F1ying Army. From then on, until the Invasion in June 1944, RAF and US Air Force, will be the only forces on the "Western Front". As the war drugged on, it became clearly evident, that the Easter Front was going to decide the fate of Europe - Stalin knew it, Churchill knew it and Roosevelt knew it; and they all knew, that unless England and USA open the "Second Front", as Stalin constantly demanded, somebody will have to pay him for his effort of saving the capitalists fro total annihilation.
    There is nothing more rewarding, than nice piece of real estate. Since Stalin’s requests for the Second Front, kept on falling on the deaf ears of his Western Allies, he knew that Churchill and Roosevelt will be less obstinate in compensating him with piece of Poland. In December 1945, the grand trio - Churchill, Roosevelt and Sta1in - met in Tehran for the first time. It was there, when Stalin put the map of Europe on table and with sharp red pencil, delineated the new borders between USSR and Poland after the war.

    The writer of this article is not historian, nor a cool political scientist; he is a simple man and puts his thoughts in simple terms. He doesn’t know exactly who agreed first to Stalin’s proposition, but he remembers him and some of his colleagues listening to BBC and Churchill relating the above matters in the House of Commons. Russian’s demands, he said, were "right and just". We hard1y be1ieved our ears. Here, our great Ally, almost semi god, good friend, is rewarding our deadly enemy with our territory, for his efforts of defeating our common enemy. Chills froze our hearts, and these are not empty words - that was our native land being bargained.
    And thus, Poland was pushed on a slippery, political skid row. Stalin was like a professional beggar - you gave him once, he will outstretch his hand and asks for some more. And since Churchill and Roosevelt were generous, every time he got something. Roosevelt’s appearances on all conference were important due to the fact that USA was an economic furnace, fueling its Allies with all sorts of goodies. Many people believed that he couldn’t care less about Europe at the time, with Japan being his problem. For Churchill, as he loved to brag, Europe was the cross on his shoulders.

    3. 4.

    Battles at Stalingrad and at Kurks on the Eastern Front broke the backbone of the German armies. Slow, deadly, Napoleonic retreat of the German armies began. And as the Red Army mowed West, Stalin’s appetite increased. One conference after another, each time his demands were "reluctantly" approved by Churchill and seconded by Roosevelt. Half of Poland was already granted to him, but to get to Berlin he had to swallow the rest of Poland. Oh, yes! Of course! Poland was going to be "sovereign, independent and absolutely democratic", but somewhat tinted red, to Stalin’s vision of all democracies.
    On January 17, 1945, the Red Army "liberated" Warsaw. Two days later, pro-communist government established by Stalin, assumed control over "free" Poland. On February 15, the last Allies Conference in Yalta took place. Stalin achieved all he wanted, and perhaps, to appease the guilty conscience" of his partners in connection with Poland, relented to let the communist government of Poland play democracy "the British sty1e" until its boys, the last Polish soldiers, airmen and sailors in West return home.
    On July 5th, Great Britain and USA recognized the communist regime in Poland. Unless you are one of those who were there, you will never know what it means to be suddenly in the limbo - nobody wants you, and you have nowhere to go. Nevertheless, we were not fooled. Many of us had experience in the "Siberian democracy". Yet for various reasons, many of us chose to return.

    It must be said, that Great Britain, hosting so many thousands if not millions of people of different nationalities for five years - though knowing the reasons why they were there, and tolerating their foreign peculiarities - was really glad to see them off goodbye. All the pent-up animosities and prejudices accumulated through the wartime, just waited to be vent on something or somebody. The country was short practically of everything, from food and fuel to.... ladies underwear. And here, the thousands of "gallant" soldiers; whose country was "free, independent and democratic", decided to stay here. Only a few Britons knew and understood why these "bloody foreigners" didn’t want to go home. The rest of the public, just simply wouldn’t care.
    It also must be said, that the above fact caused a great dilemma for the British Government. It tried and mostly succeeded in finding work and homes for those who decided to stay in England. It also paid for the bonvoyage for those who decided to emigrate. But before the administrative machinery of such huge venture went into action, as never before, we had a chance to find and see the other side of the civilized British society. And only those who lived in the British colonies were not taken aback by hue and cry: "Polacks go home! We don’t want you here!"
    Even in the best of times, during the war comradeship, we who flew in British squadrons, always felt as being on the other side of the invisible barrier; them and us. No doubt that the superior British upper lip, has it’s "good points", and can be quite attractive on occasional, social encounters, but unless it’s subdued and under control, it betrays the ugliest trait of character. After such encounter, no Briton is quite the same.

    Until this day, the writer of this essay has hundreds of newspapers cutouts, depicting the ferocity of those very unpleasant days. And no matter how well he tries to rationalize those events, the image of the British society, was tarnished once and for all. It was then that we understood, what it meant to be some dark skin colonial.
    And it was in such circumstances and atmosphere, when in May, as I recall, some of us heard and red in papers, of the forthcoming Victory Parade. Quite frankly, we accepted it with a proverbial "shrug of shoulders" - THEY will not invite US anyway. Hadn’t we fought for that victory? We wanted to go but the invitation was not forthcoming. And then, a week or so later, a slap in the face - only the pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain were to be invited. Stunned? No. Surprised? Not quite, for almost a year now, we went through "Polacks this, Polacks that ". Despite all this disappointments, incredibility, and all that, some of us felt, that there was some kind of reason for British acting in so "un-gentlemanly" way. Though by then, every Englishman was a S.O.B. in our eyes, some still looked for bright sides. Those invited refused the invitation and stated without hesitation: contingents representing each service or none at all. And so, none it was.

    A bit of time lapsed, before the reasons came out to surface. Since Great Britain already recognized new Polish government in Poland, and thousands of Polish servicemen, legally Polish citizens, were still in England, it would be diplomatically correct, to invite a contingent of each service from Poland, and together, in fraternal unisons with the "local" soldiers, take part in Victory Parade in London.
    At the time, we couldn’t get over the fact, that the British Government, dealing with Stalin for several years, were so naive as to think that the so called "Polish government totally subservient to USSR, would sent it’s contingents, to join their compatriots in England. We hated the communists, especially the Polish ones, and would rather vegetate abroad, than to return home and be dominated by them. Later on, we heard some rumors, that apparently, the Polish authorities were ready to sent a contingent of men, but at last moment, received a "message" from Moscow: " What’s going to happen, if your soldiers get captivate by fascists in England and never return?" That did it. As I said, it was probably just a spiteful gossip, but there is a kernel of truth.
    We speculated a lot concerning the above, but in the end came conclusion, that British were not naive at all, they new exactly what they were doing; running so vast an empire, has taught them a lesson or two. What we thought might have been diplomatically correct, proved to be diplomatically expedient. To put it bluntly: if you don’t want to come here, and you who are here don’t want to go there, the hell with you all.

    As I am leafing through the yellowing pages of the London News Magazine, and looking at the sepia photos of the marching columns of the Allies servicemen, it’s the illustrious ones, watching the parade and taking all the salutes that draw my attention; the Royal Couple on the saluting base and Winston Churchill, sitting below.
    As I recall, they were the most frequent and important visitors of our squadrons during the war. Were they aware of the fact that the first and loyal friend was not represented among the victorious Allies? For if they were, and I am sure they were, what were they thinking? To what degree were they responsible for that fact? If the Royal Couple felt guilty, they could not do much about it. Undeniable master of this parade was Winston Churchill, who pulled all the strings. True, he was out of the office at the time, but he carried such a prestige on his shoulders that one word from him could have changed the decision of the Parade Commissioners. If the communist Poland does not want to send its contingent to London, to take its part in the Parade, let those soldiers who are still in England to march side by side, as they fought side by side, with British soldiers. But that was not to be so. Churchill knew perfectly well, that the Communist Government in Warsaw was just bunch of Kremlin’s stooges, the government he helped to create, and the real master of Poland was "uncle Joe". Perhaps it was in interest of England not to irritate, the new master of the half of the Europe, but Churchill’s whole political carrier was to take decisions against the established scheme of the things. Surely, one more irritation of Stalin would not hurt either of them.

    We all know, that in political games, when one of the partners becomes just a marginal affair, it’s the personal relations with that partner that decides the further course of events. The well-known fact is, that Churchill didn’t like Poles. Some parts of his Story of the Second World War (Six volumes!), as well as his friend Sir Alexander Cadogan’s diary of 1938-1945, reek – to put it gently – with negatives about Poles. Perhaps it was caused by their relations with some of the members of the Polish Government in Exile in London? Some of its members were sincerely disliked by the Poles themselves, who saw them as a clique of nationalists, with the hunchbacks full of animosities from way back, constantly bickering among themselves and everybody else. Churchill and Cadogan could have been influenced by this fact. Perhaps the spoon of Polish tar spoiled the political honeymoon with the first of England’s Allies.

    Not so far from London, there was RAF Northolt, where during the Battle of Britain Poles used to take off to defend the British skies. It was there, that long after the war, Polish airmen themselves, not the grateful Great Britain, erected the monument for those who never returned. It carries an epitaph:

    We gave our souls to God, Our hearts to Poland, Our bodies to the British soil.

    That about tells the whole story, why those who remained after the war, and those who are still alive, were never invited to Victory Parade. Time gradually heals all the scars, but memories stay forever.

    [ 25. January 2004, 06:45 PM: Message edited by: Wojtix ]
     
  4. No.9

    No.9 Ace

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    Well Wojtix, you could have just posted a link to something so full of propaganda and revisionism!.

    I did find one statement I completely agree with however; ”The writer of this article is not historian”. An amen to that, but no arguments for any claim of a BS artist.

    Frankly there is too much to correct, but, just a few examples, based on fact – sorry to cloud the issue.

    The Polish War Memorial outside RAF Northolt (from which Canadians also flew ), was not paid for by all the poor hard done-by Polish airmen. They launched the project but looked to the British people to put their hands in their pockets – which they did. Not only in 1946 when the few Poles in Britain may have had a hard job finding the money, but again in 1994. Now, Lech Walesa, (respect), was sworn in as the first non Communist Polish President of a democratic Poland in 1990. So, if you had a mind to and weren’t so tight, you could easily have had a whip-round at home to fund the project?

    The inscription on the memorial reads: ‘ I have kept the faith, I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course’. The correct version on the one you have made a disgraceful attempt to rob is:

    PRZECHODNIU, POWIEDZ POLSCE, ZESMY POLEGLI WIERNI W JEJ SLUZBIE, ZA WOLNOSC NASZA I WASZA, MY ZOLNIERZE POLSCY ODDALISMY-BOGU DUCHA, ZIEMI WLOSKIEJ CIALO, A SERCA, POLSCE

    Passer-by, tell Poland that we fell faithfully in her service, for our freedom and yours, we Polish soldiers gave our souls to God, our bodies to the soil of Italy, and our hearts to Poland


    It’s got nothing to do with pilots at Northolt, it’s from the Polish Cross at Monte Cassino, (respect).

    I find the ‘bleeding heart’ and ‘woe is me tone’ of the article exceedingly disingenuous. No one disputes Poland experienced very harsh treatment, nor that those who became part of the Allied war effort did not make a valid contribution – as did so many others. However, history says Poland is not exactly a warm, cuddly country who never did anything to upset anyone!

    It originated about the 10th century, so by European standards it ain’t that old. In the 16th century, Poland and buddy Lithuania expanded eastward to annex much of the Ukraine and some Russian territory. But, while it adopted and was spreading anti-establishment doctrine, its neighbours Prussia, Russia, and Austria waded in and all annexed parts of Poland in 1772. In 1793 Poland was further partitioned among the three powers. 120 Years later, in W.W.I men were conscripted by the opposing powers of that war, with some getting to France to form Haller's Army of the Allies. After the war, Poland got to be Poland again with a corridor to Danzig on the coast so they could export their steel to the west – and split Prussia from Germany.

    They got more German land than just the corridor, irrespective of the ethnic origin of the citizens. 178,220 sq. km. were ceded to the Soviet Union and the Poles were compensated with 101,200 sq. km. of German territory lying between the old frontier and the new boundary along the Oder and Niesse Rivers. Five million Germans living in what the Communist termed "recovered territories" were quickly expelled to make room for Poles leaving the now Soviet eastern territories.

    The new Soviets engaged Poland in war in 1918 and were forced into an armistice in 1921. The Treaty of Riga ended the Russo-Polish War, and the agreement left Poland in possession of large tracts of previously Russian territory where Poles were only a small percentage of the population and ended Lithuanian aspirations of establishing Wilno (Vilnius) as the capital of their newly independent state. Victory in the border conflicts created a Poland in which a third of the citizenry was composed of non-Polish Germans, Lithuanians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians or Yiddish speaking Jews.

    In 1926, Marshal Pilsudski took control in a pre-emptive power seizure, forcing the President and Premier to resign and established the Sanacja regime intended to clean-up ("sanitise") political life. By 1930 this had become a virtual dictatorship. It meant the end of free political discourse. (hmm….that would be after Mussolini but before Hitler). When the socialist and peasant's parties federated to form the CENTROLEW, in June 1930 prime minister Slawek had their leaders arrested. Organisations of the national minorities were dissolved. In Eastern Galicia, guerrilla activity was answered by Polish terror. On March 23rd 1933, the Sejm passed an ACT OF ENABLING, which gave the government dictatorial powers. In 1934, CONCENTRATION CAMPS were established to "treat" radical political opposition. In September 1934, Poland annulled the constitutional statute guaranteeing protection of the minorities' rights, which lead to a worsening of German-Polish relations. (Frankly, can anyone be surprised?) Jozef Pilsudski died in 1935. In the years of APPEASEMENT, Poland forced Lithuania [it’s old ‘friend’] to accept a redesignated common border.

    Something that’s always mildly puzzled me is why, when Hitler wanted a piece of Czechoslovakia, Poland didn’t speak up for their neighbour and ‘friend’ and drift some men over the border, through mutual consent, to show solidarity? What I’ve discovered doesn’t sit very well.

    In October 1938, Poland compelled Czechoslovakia to cede its OLSA TERRITORY. Polish politicians were convinced that Germany and the USSR could not overcome their friction, and as long as that friction existed, Poland was safe. On September 27, seeing that Czechoslovakia was in dire straits with nazi troops readying to invade, Poland issued an ultimatum, demanding that Czechoslovakia hand over its Tesin (Teschen) district. Two days later, on September 29, France, Britain, Germany, and Italy signed the Munich Agreement. It allowed Hitler to have the Sudetenland in exchange for him agreeing to "guarantee" Czechoslovakia's borders -- but only after Poland and Hungary had taken their shares!

    So, Britain and France not only sold out Czechoslovakia to Hitler -- but to Poland and Hungary too!

    [​IMG]
    Post Sudeten and pre Poland invasion

    The sell-out appears in Article 1 of the Munich Agreement.

    "As Article 1 of the agreement put it, 'when the question of the Polish and Hungarian minorities in Czechoslovakia has been settled, Germany and Italy will each give a similar guarantee to Czechoslovakia'. Poland had been first to share in the spoils. After an ultimatum from Warsaw on September 27, 1938, Czechoslovakia had ceded to Poland the district of Tesin (Teschen) -- an area of some 625 square miles with a population of 230,000 people."


    Something no one should be in two minds about is that Poles, and many other Europeans, who fought in the British forces were primarily fighting for their homeland and against its enemies. Those aliens who fought in the British forces are known, acknowledged and respected for their contributions. So too those who came to Europe though there was no direct threat to their homeland.

    Equally you should not delude yourself that Britain, and France, went to war to ‘save’ any particular country, but to defeat the nazi ambition which threatened them.

    Tell me, if Hitler’s sole ambition was to leave Germany’s eastern borders and concentrate only on seizing France, Belgium, Holland and Britain, would Poland have rushed to our aid? – you wouldn’t event help your neighbour Czechoslovakia, quite the opposite in fact!

    No.9
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Unfortunately must say that Poland taking Czechoslovakia´s Tesin changed quite alot the political scene as it played the cards for Hitler´s favour definitely. It was quite a gamble with someone like Hitler lurking round the corner, but then again we Finns weren´t that much cleverer with Russia in 1939....by being tough politically we thought we´d win the paper war and Russia would not attack.

    :(
     
  6. Falcon

    Falcon Member

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    The Czechs did the same in 1919 - they'd taken Olsa Territory using their army and one year later, in 1920 - without asking the people living there - it had been already part of Czech territory.

    And, as for beggining of the war in September 1939 - Great Britain and France had an alligment with Poland, which said that if Germany attacked us, Western countries would counterattack on German west border on 15th day from the date of German attack. As you know, they didn't do so... You've asked would Poland help France if she had been attacked. First of all, WE were attacked, and Britain and France were obligated to help us. Secondly, I think we would help - maybe not by starting a big counteroffensive in the eastern Germany, but with small fights on Polish-German border - just to keep some of German forces far away from France.

    Next, No9, you said that Wojtix's text is biased. Yes, it is - but majority of things which this article include, are, unfortunately, true...

    PS. Forgive me my terrible English - I'm still learning it [​IMG]
     
  7. BratwurstDimSum

    BratwurstDimSum Member

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    OH my god ... MY EYES! :eek: Such long posts are not doing them any good, woljtix, can I suggest perhaps that unless you typed it yourself, that you just send a link next time or at least edit it so that the relevant parts are shown? Not being nasty but sometimes one just gives up reading such a huge post! :rolleyes: ;)

    Ok back to the subject then guys, as Richard, my polish vet told me.
    Alleigace by the Poles to Britain is an illusion, we owe them a debt of thanks, but they were fighting to the last man for their OWN country, nothing else. They would've worn ANY uniform so long as the country behind it would've provided a single bullet to which they would have happily given their invaders.

    As for their contribution; by the time the Poles (who were already trained pilots) were combat effective, their kill ratio was (on average) much higher than the British who were relying a lot on fresh recruits who'd only been, (again, on average), under 20 hrs on combat aircraft.
     
  8. Wojtix

    Wojtix Member

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    The Author of this article is Rudolf Falkowski (picture). He flew with 635, 639 and 303 squadrons.
     
  9. Wojtix

    Wojtix Member

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  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Definitely a great deed and huge success against Germans in BoB ( and other battles ) by the Polish pilots but there were several nations´ pilots taking part in the BoB from countries under nazi boot and we should not forget them either. And we have discussed the role of the foreign pilots in BoB earlier and given them great respect for their sacrifices.
     
  11. BratwurstDimSum

    BratwurstDimSum Member

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    So what do you think of the upcoming Tom Cruise Movie then ;) ... "The Few" ?
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Maybe he could play the part of Josef Frantisek - the highest-scoring BofB 'ace' of 303 ( Polish ) Squadron.

    Although Frantisek was.....a Czech.
     
  13. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I think that the History of France and Great Britain —the beloved western democracies— during the 1930s is really shameful. Though I perfectly understand the circumstances which made them both act the way they did.

    I am a WWI geek too and I realise how a big trauma the whole war was and that they wanted to prevent anything similar to happen again by any means —I would probably have done that myself too— and to prevent sending an entire generation to a slaughter like that of 1914-1918.

    However, WWII would have been very different if politicians in Great Britain would have been less Baldwins and Chamberlains and more Churchills. A rearmament in depth started in 1936 after the Rhineland crisis would have allowed Great Britain and France to stand to Hitler when he marched into the Sudetenland. Chamberlain and Daladier sincerely wanted peace and British agressive military and politicians wanted time. Czechoslovakia was abandoned as was Poland. Because Great Britain was too weak in 1938 and 1939 to stand against Germany —or so they believed.

    But with what we know now we can see that it was a huge mistake. Great Britain and France could have precisely avoided a war like the Great War by punishing Germany in 1933 for quiting the League of Nations, then punishing her for the reintroduction of mobligatory military service and France should have invaded the Rhineland after Hitler's move of March. Many can say that the Versailles Treaty was unfair and that the Germans were not asked for it. But they provoked a Great War and lost it. They deserved that and more. And even if the Versailles treaty was made unilaterally only, the Germans ratified it at Locarno, multilaterally.

    Then attacking Germany instead of Munich, or attacking her immediately after Poland. We know Germany was too weak in 1939 to bear a two front war inside her borders.

    Czechoslovakia was abandoned to buy some very precious time. There's the old saying that without Munich, the RAF would have gone to war with biplanes. But Poland was abandoned to her luck whilst a couple of weak German infantry divisions protected the borders in the incomplete 'Siegfried Line'.

    There wouldn't have been a Warsaw guetto, a Balcans partisan campaign, a DAK, an Italian campaign, the whole eastern front wouldn't have existed, no occupied Scandinavian and Low countries, no D-day... Millions wouldn't have died.
     
  14. Falcon

    Falcon Member

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    And what was UK fighting for? As Poles, British soldiers were also fighting for their country. We were fighting for our country, but also for defeat of Nazi Germany - it was common to all Allied countries involved in war...

    [ 26. January 2004, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: Falcon ]
     
  15. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Freddie,
    Absolutely agree. And if the Allies had shown a bit more compassion and foresight at Versailles, instead of allowing the French to demand the same conditions imposed on them by Germany in 1870, there might not even have been another war.
    You read a book called From Versailles to Wall Street, btw?
    The Poles deserved a LOT more official recognition than they got. As late as the '70s, there were cases of British people with Polish parents being refused admission to the RAF. Why? Because Poland was a member of the Warsaw Pact!And these officials were serious when they said that.
    Never mind these people's parents fought for Britain and had been here 30 bloody years, like...... :rolleyes:


    Regards,
    Gordon

    [ 26. January 2004, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: The_Historian ]
     
  16. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    No, Gordon. I unfortunately haven't even heard of the book...

    But let me tell you that I strongly disagree. Versailles Treaty was a bad treaty. But not because it was unfair, because it was not unfair enough.

    France's claims at the end of WWI were the right ones; making the Rhine her new defence against Germany would have made any invasion against France nearly impossible. And France had the right to do so.

    The richest part of the country —2/5 by the way— were in ruins and 1,5 million of her men were dead, she was bankrupt and all because of German megalomania and ill-diplomacy.

    President Wilson shouldn't have been seating there imposing terms in the first place. French and British wanted to make Germany a parliamentary monarchy like that of Great Britain and Italy, but the republican —let it be clear that I'm not talking about the party— bastards across the Atlantic were not going to tolerate a King (!) [​IMG] So they supressed the the Kaisers and left the Germans without their powerful leader, ephitome of Germany...

    Wilson also made guarantees, treaties and agreements without consulting his congress back home first. Clemenceau was naïve enough to put French seccurity on the hands of a man as irresponsible as Woodrow Wilson, who even if an stateman and a great idealist was not cold enough for a politician. Result? The American congress simply refused to ratify those agreements whom they have being ignored and not even told.

    Clemenceau and Lloyd-George's mistake lays there; thinking that Wilson could take decisions in the same way they could. They believed then in a Society of Nations and the ideals of 14 points... but ignored the advices of people with clearer minds like maréchal Foch.

    War reparations were indeed a mistake. Where was Germany going to get the money to pay? She was even worse than the Allies financially. But France had a destroyed country and a bankrupt state the rebuild by any means possible. And after such an agony, I think it was logical to make the Germans pay for what they started and did. Harsh? Yes, but the Germans showed no mercy in 1870, nor in 1916 with Romania nor at Brest-Litovsk in 1918. How could Germany expect tolerance?

    Lord Keynes suggested that German men should have been sent to France to rebuild her. Impossible. France had millions of de-mobilised and unemployed workers of her own. Rebuilding Germany into an industrial and market nation so she could export, make money and then pay? We know it was the right thing to do. But then, how could you give money and see the authour of the war strenghten again before your eyes?

    The Treaty of Versailles was decided by the victorious nations and imposed to the defeated Germany. A decade later Germany ratified the same treaty at Locarno and was democratically accepted that she gave up her colonies and everything else Versailles said. After the nightmare of 1914-1818 got further and further into the past, then peace came and Europe saw a period in which Germany gained prosperity without being a treat to anyone and in which she was paying her reparations.

    But German megalomania was sleeping. Another huge world war was necessary to get that tumour definately out of the nation and make her a nation completely peaceful and democratic, full of virtues.
     
  17. BratwurstDimSum

    BratwurstDimSum Member

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    And what was UK fighting for? As Poles, British soldiers were also fighting for their country. We were fighting for our country, but also for defeat of Nazi Germany - it was common to all Allied countries involved in war... </font>[/QUOTE]Falcon,

    I never meant any disrespect, I adore my Polish vet, so uncomplicated and non PC! [​IMG]

    I think people try too hard sometimes to over-analyse motivations behind some people's call to fight the Nazis. We don't owe the Polish for volunteering any more than we owe the normal Kent farm boy for signing up, in fact we did them a favour in giving them a weapon to continue their struggle. There are many people who demonise the Germans for instance for shooting pilots who'd bailed out of their aircraft, the Poles did this as well, according to Richard there was nothing that he enjoyed more than killing Germans, whether "on the record" or off. He found any way he could to accomplish that aim and rid the world of them. Geneva conventions be damned.

    A British born SAS vet I know here in England said he joined up because he was bored and wanted to shoot other guys, same with the rest of his company. When asked about patriotism he just laughed it off and said that things were a lot simpler then than today.

    I get the feeling that this generation wants to be able to explain-away the tulmotuous times of WW2 in some freudian-like navel gazing frenzy, and not look to the simple facts.

    [ 26. January 2004, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: BratwurstDimSum ]
     
  18. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    This is definately an interesting thread. I never realized that Poland alone saved the "British Chestnuts from roasting in the German fires."

    I think (for the person who started this thread) that you definately undermine the will of the British people.

    Now, I DEFINATELY have nothing against any Polish men who fought with England and the Allies and I DEFINATELY know that the Polish soldiers in most cases, were tough and brave soldiers.

    I mean no disrespect for any of them and I personally know two POLISH Battle of Britain pilots. But, what I do have trouble with is that from your postings--I get the feeling that you are trying to say something akin to: Poland winning the war and the rest of the allies helped.

    Am I right or wrong?
     
  19. Kwaqu777

    Kwaqu777 Member

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    No no no no, I think thatif not the Polish pilots britain, during the battle of Britain would be lost. We didn't win the war alone,but we (the Poles) certainly won the Battle of Britain.
     
  20. Kwaqu777

    Kwaqu777 Member

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    And by the way GO COWBOYS!!!!!
     

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