• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland



  • Organisation

    The First Polish Armored Division

     Walki uliczne w Tielt
     Street fights in Tielt
    The First Armoured Division was formed on February 25, 1942,  in south-eastern Scotland, on the basis of the order of Supreme Commander General Wladyslaw Sikorski.  Gen. Stanisław Maczek assured command of the Division and he was the main organizer of its units. Gen Maczek had impressive military career, beginning from 1920-22 Polish- Bolshevik War. He was also commanding polish 10. Armored Cavalry Brigade in 1939-1940. By mid -1944, the Division had been transferred to Normandy where it was incorporated into the First Canadian Army, with its final subunits reaching their destination on August 1. 

    The Division entered combat on August 8 near the town of Cauvicourt. Despite three days of harrowing combat, the Polish units were only partly successful in breaking through German defences. The Polish Division closed the Falaise Gap. This guaranteed the success of the whole operation of destroying German 7th Armored Army. It was not until their second attempt on August 15, that enemy lines were successfully broken. Following a short rest and a restocking, the Division went on to pursue the Germans along the French and Belgian coastlines liberating the towns of Abbeville, St. Omer, and on September 6, having crossed the Franco-Belgian border, the town of Ypres. Within two weeks, the Polish units liberated the towns of Thielt, Ghent, Ruysselede and Steneke, and following different battles, the towns of Axel in the Netherlands. By the end of September 1944, the First Armoured Division entered the Netherlands and took part in the battles of Baarle, Nassau and Breda. On April 8, 1945, the Division entered Germany in the area of Emsland. In May 1945 the Polish Division ended its campaign reaching the German Naval Base of Wilhemshaven.

     Gen. Stanisław Maczek



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