The Armed Forces of Poland



At the outbreak of the Second World War Poland, as in the past, found itself partitioned between its traditional enemies. On Poland’s western and central fronts the Germans encountered fierce resistance, while in the eastern territories the Soviets marched in with little trouble, once the Poles had been smashed by the Nazis. While almost 350 000 Polish officers and men became prisoners of the Germans, many Poles were able to escape to the West via Hungary and Rumania in order to carry on the war against Germany.1 After the fall of France in 1940, the Polish government-in-exile was transferred to London where it directed both the exiled Polish army and the Armia Krajowa (AK), or the underground Home Army in Poland.


Polish Officer Armed Force Polish Force Officer School North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 
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Notes and References

  1. 3.
    M. K. Dziewanowski, Poland in the 20th Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977) p. 115.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Adam B. Ulam, Expansion and Coexistence, 2nd edn (New York: Praeger, 1975) p. 359.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    For details on the Warsaw Uprising see J. K. Zawodny, Nothing But Honour (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1979).Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    Zbigniew Kruszewski, ‘Army and Paramilitary Organisations,’ in Alicja Iwanska (ed.), Contemporary Poland: Society, Politics, Economy, preliminary edn (University of Chicago: Human Relations Area Files, 1955) p. 379.Google Scholar
  5. 22.
    Peter Raina, Political Opposition in Poland 1954–1977 (London: Poets and Painters Press, 1978) p. 234.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    James F. Morrison, The Polish People’s Republic (Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1968) p. 92.Google Scholar
  7. 28.
    See Dale R. Herspring, `Technology and the Changing Political Officer in the Armed Forces: The Polish and East German Cases’, Comparative Communism, vol. X, no. 4 (Winter 1977), pp. 380–381.Google Scholar
  8. 29.
    A. Ross Johnson, Robert W. Dean and Alexander Alexiev, East European Military Establishments: The Warsaw Pact Northern Tier (Santa Monica: The Rand Corporation, 1980) p. 34.Google Scholar

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© Edmund Walendowski 1988

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