ww2 facts, Poland

1. Poland is one of the countries with the highest proportion of the population died during World War II. At least more than 5.5 million people died during the war. This figure accounted for more than about 16% of its total population. And the vast majority of these deaths were civilians. For example, only during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, more than 250,000 Warsaw residents were killed by the Germans. Because the Polish army was defeated only one month after the war started in its own territory. During the occupation, a large number of civilians were killed.

2. The Polish mathematician Marian Rejewski led his team to first decipher the German Enigma machine. Intelligence work of deciphering of the Allies during World War II against Germany was done on the basis of the results of their works.

3. After the end of the Polish Campaign, Polish did not sign any armistice agreement with German or the Soviet Union governments and organized the government in exile to continue fighting in the Allied-controlled areas. But because after the war Poland was controlled by the Soviet Union, the government failed to return home. Till in 1990 after the fall of the communist government in Poland, the Polish government in exile returned back.

4. The Polish cavalry was an effective maneuver combat troops and had played a role during the Polish campaign. Not like the propaganda outside, it was a troop with spears against the German panzers. Horses were only tools used to provide military mobility and these Polish cavalry units were equipped with modern weapons. These weapons included anti-tank guns, which could effectively destroy the German tanks.

5. Although the overall industrial level of Poland had a gap with that of Germany, Poland itself had some industrial strength. Before the war, it could independently developed tanks and aircraft and other modern equipment. But because of resource constraints, it could not achieve mass-production like Germany. Polish self-developed 7TP tanks were only produced less than 150 when the war broke out. Such tanks were better than most tanks used by the Germans in the fields of weight, thickness of armor and firepower. Because at that time most of the German armored forces were equipped with Panzer I and Panzer II. But these tanks were incomparably with the latest type of Panzer III and Panzer IV of Germany. Polish Air Force’s main fighter was PZL P.11 at that time, which was also researched and developed by Poland itself. Although its performance was relatively lagging behind then, it still shot down a large number of German aircrafts. According to statistics found after the war, the loss of every PZL P.11 was companied by at least more than one German aircraft shot down. Taking into account the relatively advanced German aircraft and the overwhelming advantage of number, Polish pilot’s records were very difficult to achieve. That is to say, although the level of equipment in Poland had gaps with the German army in terms of quantity and quality, the quality gap was not as big as people think. The main difference was in the number.

6. The army of the Polish government in exile was involved in many major battles, including the Allied operations in North Africa, Italy and Western Europe. After the Polish campaign, many soldiers went from neutral countries to Allied-controlled areas, consequently the government in exile of Poland could set up large-scale army. These troops had outstanding performance in battles and suffered from tremendous casualties. After World War II, because the newly established Polish government was under the control of the Soviet Union, these soldiers could not return to their homeland. Most of them spent their rest lives in a foreign country.

7. The Soviet Union government also set up an army composed of Poles, but mainly commanded by the Soviet army. In 1944 in the Warsaw Uprising, this Polish army did not take any measures to help the resistance movement of the country, making the Germans defeated and destroyed the Polish armed resistance, and also reduced the difficulty for the Soviet Union to control Poland.

8. During the period of being occupied, Poland built a large-scale armed resistance. Membership peaked at 500,000 or more. After the Soviet Union occupied Poland at the late stage World War II, these leaders of the resistance groups were trapped by the Soviet Union. Then the Soviet Union carried out show trial for these leaders. The main objective was to collapse the Polish resistance forces. After World War II, the Polish resistance groups continued to fight against the Soviet’s occupation forces. Till in the 1950s, the last member of the resistance forces died in 1963.

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