The Polish Armed Forces (Army, Air and Naval) reinforced by compatriots finally released from the Soviet Union fought along the British, Canadian and American troops in Overlord. The Polish 1st Armored Division, under the command of General Maczek, transferred a total of 16,000 men, 380 tanks and 470 guns to France to form part of the Canadian Corps which won the battles of Falaise and Chambois. The Polish 1st also liberated the cities of Abeville, St. Omar and Cassel in France, as well as Ypres and Gent of Belgium and Breda in the Netherlands before finally capturing the German-held port of Wilhelmshaven.
The Division covered 1800 km, destroyed 260 enemy tanks and self-propelled guns, and lost 4600 soldiers, including more than a 1000 of casualties. However that wouldn’t be the end of their part in the war: In September 1944, the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade was airdropped near Arnhem during Operation Market Garden and suffered great losses.
June 06, 2012, 2:10pm / 50