POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

June 15, 2014

MOLOTOV: THE MAN AND THE COCKTAIL



The Winter War 1939-1940 - Part 1 - How to Destroy a Tank (00:04:04m)


Have you ever wondered why they call it a Molotov Cocktail? During the Winter War in the early throes of World War 2 the Soviets air-dropped tons of incendiary and cluster bombs on Finnish targets and fortifications. This set off a storm of condemnation against the Soviets, and when asked why they were bombing innocent Finnish people, Soviet Minister Vyacheslav Molotov wryly answered that he was not bombing them, but was instead delivering food to the starving population.

In no time at all the Finns started to call these air bombings, "Molotov Bread Baskets". But the term quickly evolved into "Molotov Cocktails" when the Finns began launching retaliatory strikes against advancing Russian tanks using home-made incendiary "Molotov Cocktails". The Finns aptly called it "a drink to go with the food."

This is just one of Molotov's enduring legacies, that makes him second to Stalin as one of the most evil mass murderers in history.

As Stalin's protege, Molotov was complicit in numerous war crimes. In the period 1932-33, he implemented Stalin's policy for the collectivization of agriculture, and committed an endless series of horrendous atrocities; the violent deportation of millions of kulaks to the notorious Soviet labor camps where they were worked to death, or died from exposure in sub-arctic elements.  Molotov also signed the Law of Spikelets, and was personally involved in directing the massive confiscation of 4.2 million tonnes of grain from Ukrainian farmers.  It instigated a man-made famine that killed over 10 million Ukrainians. It was genocide, the Holodomor, a fact which the Soviet administration continues to deny to this day.  Furthermore, during the Great Purge (1934-40) Molotov personally approved over 370 execution lists, far exceeding that of any other Soviet leader including Stalins'

The least known but among the most sinister was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed by Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Molotov and Foreign Minister of the German Nazi Reich Joachim von Ribbentrop. This pact was a secret protocol contained in the Soviet German Non-Aggression Agreement signed on August 23, 1939 on the very cusp of World War 2.  It laid the basis for the joint German and Soviet invasion of Poland. On September 1, 1939, the German armies invaded Poland from the north, west and south.  Then on September 17, 1939, the Soviet armies invaded from the east converging with their German counterparts, and partitioning sovereign Polish territory between them.

In the battles that ensued during that September every Polish military unit on the ground, and in the air was mobilized. Though the Poles were outnumbered and outclassed by German war materiel, they did not succumb easily but fought like "mad-men" to defend their beloved homeland.  Even Polish civilians participated in defense tactics by erecting barricades and digging trenches. Throughout the war, the Polish Underground secretly began to stockpile a variety of weapons, in preparation for the Warsaw Uprising (August 1944). Needless to say, guns and rifles were hard to come by and difficult to conceal. The consequence of being caught hording them, was execution on the spot. The Polish resistance had to augment their meager supplies by manufacturing a variety of weapons such as home-made grenades, flame-throwers, and of course, Molotov Cocktails - along with the ingenious contraptions used to launch them upon those nasty Nazi tanks.

Na zdrowie

June 1, 2014

HERO OF TWO NATIONS: CAPTAIN STEFAN P. WESOLOWSKI (1909-1987) by Prof. Zdzislaw P. Wesolowski



On the eve of World War II in the silence of the night, the ORP Blyskawica quietly sailed out of the port of Gdynia alongside her sister ships, ORP Grom and ORP Burza, with other Polish vessels to follow in the ensuing days.  It was Operation Peking, a secret and treacherous mission by the Polish Navy to reach the British Isles in a desperate attempt to avoid annihilation from the impending onslaught by German forces.

Hero of Two Nations is the epic story of one of the men on the famous ORP Blyskawica - Stefan Wesolowski.  He was born to be a great military leader.  Stefan Wesolowski was to the military as Chopin was to classical music.  A child prodigy, a genius. He was a child soldier at the age of 9 and promoted to Corporal at the age of 12.  During World War II he rose the ranks to Captain and became the only Polish officer to command an American aircraft carrier.  Never has the world seen the likes of Captain Wesolowski before or since.



Polish Greatness.com is proud to present this special feature,  Hero of Two Nations: Captain Stefan P. Wesolowski (1909-1987) written by Prof. Zdzislaw Wesolowski.


(links to Polish Greatness.com)




ORP BLYSKAWICA (00:09.45m)