The history of the world would have turned out differently had it not been for Polish soldiers during World War II. Enormous courage and stubbornness won them respect. They have shown that even in hopeless situations, one has to fight till the end.
“First, on the territory of the Second Polish Republic, and later on the combat route, they fought on the fronts of Western Europe, at Monte Cassino, near Tobruk, they also fought in Asia,” said Rafał Leśkiewicz, spokesman for the Institute of National Remembrance.
Although Poland was defeated militarily, no one waved the white flag. Polish soldiers played a significant role in the war many times. In the Netherlands, soldiers led by General Maczek, liberated Breda and are still highly respected to this today.
During the battle of Britain, Polish squadron 303 played a vital role in defeating the Germans. “Everyone must immediately choose their German bastard and attack him,” General Witold Urbanowicz famously said to the Polish pilots before the battle. Later this air superiority facilitated the subsequent Allied landing in Normandy.
Poles not only fought at the front. For example, they legalised documents to save lives, took part in intelligence operations or - even before the war - broke the German Enigma code.
Poles could not win the war by themselves, but they did not wait for someone to set them free.
Witold Urbanowicz, a Polish fighter ace from Squadron 303, summarised “because we are not begging for freedom, we are fighting for it,” a sentence that was written on his plane, embodying the spirit of Polish soldiers.