February 16, 2018




Special Polish forces were created in Britain. They were named the Cichociemni ("Silent Unseen", an elite special-operations paratroops of the Polish Army in exile, whose mission was to fight against the Nazis in occupied Poland. A total of 2,613 Polish Army soldiers volunteered for special training under Polish and British SOE operatives. But only 606 Polish men completed the rigorous training. Eventually 316 of them were secretly parachuted into Nazi-occupied Poland. They also operated in German territory covering intelligence, covert operations, partisan warfare, as well as radio operators and emissaries, airmen and airdrop coordinators, and forging documents.  Among the these Polish heroes,  91 operatives fought in the Warsaw Uprising.


Stalin responded to Roosevelt's message of February 7 by saying the Polish government was made up of elements hostile to the Soviet Union and was incapable of friendly relations with the USSR. Stalin advised that "The basic improvement of the Polish government appears to be an urgent task."


German submarine U-309 was depth charged and sunk in the North Sea by Canadian frigate HMCS Saint John. U-309 was shadowing Convoy WN-74 into the Moray Firth when she was detected by the Canadian River-class frigate Saint John with ASDIC (sonar). The first attack on the U-boat produced some oil on the surface. Two further attacks were carried out using the Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar, which produced more oil. The fourth attack using depth charges produced wreckage including charts, signal books and cork insulation material. U-309 sank in position 58°09′N 02°23′  All 47 aboard were lost.

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