For the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, two Polish veterans of WWII arrived in Ancona for the 77th anniversary of the liberation of this Italian port by the 2nd Polish Corps of General Władysław Anders.
Two years after the previous ceremonies, Captain Władysław Dąbrowski, a veteran of the 2nd Polish Corps, born in 1924, returned to Ancona. In 1940, he was deported with his family to Kazakhstan. From April 1942, he was a soldier of the Polish Armed Forces in the West - first of the Polish Army in the USSR, and then of the 2nd Polish Corps. As a soldier of the 15th Poznań Lancers Regiment, he reached Italy through Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Egypt. There, he participated in the front fights of the 2nd Polish Corps, among others to Monte Cassino, Ancona and Bologna.
Many of Captain Dąbrowski's friends from the 15th Poznań Uhlans were laid to rest at the local cemetery in Loreto.
The ceremony was also attended by Lieutenant Janusz Maksymowicz, born in 1930, a veteran of the Home Army, Warsaw insurgent, member of the Council for Veterans and Victims of Oppression at the Head of the Office.
During the Saturday and Sunday ceremonies, the veterans will be accompanied by the Polish ambassador to Italy Anna Maria Anders and the head of the Office for Veterans and Victims of Oppression, Jan Józef Kasprzyk. The anniversary ceremonies will take place first at the Polish war cemetery in Loreto and on Sunday - on the anniversary of the liberation of Ancona at the city gate - Porta Santo Stefano.
After a two-day fight Polish forces entered Ancona on July 18, 1944, the capture of such an important port enabled the Allies to continue their operations on Rimini and the Gothic Line to the north of Italy. More than 500 Polish soldiers were killed in the battle for the city, the first completely independent action of the Polish Armed Forces in the West.