POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

April 21, 2018

APRIL 21 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

APRIL 21

1909

Józef Stanisław Kosacki (dob) was a Polish professor engineer, inventor, and an officer in the Polish Army during World War II. He is best known as the inventor of the Polish mine detector, the first man-portable mine detector, whose basic design has been in use by various armies for over 50 years.  The device was used until the 1991 Gulf War. During World War II, Kosacki's name was classified in order to protect his family, which had remained behind in German-held Poland. Therefore, most of his patents were submitted under pseudonyms, including "Józef Kos," "Kozacki" and "Kozak." As a result, his surname is often given erroneously in postwar historiography.


1920

Signing of Treaty of Warsaw:  It was a military-economical alliance between the Second Polish Republic, represented by Józef Piłsudski, and the Ukrainian People's Republic, represented by Symon Petliura, against Bolshevik Russia.  For Piłsudski, the alliance gave legitimacy to his campaign for the Międzymorze federation , and secured part of the Polish eastward border. It also established the foundation for a Polish dominated Ukrainian state between Russia and Poland.  For Petliura, it was a last chance to preserve statehood and, at least, the theoretical independence of the Ukrainian heartlands, even while accepting the loss of Western Ukrainian lands to Poland.


1938

Polish Census in 1938 reported that the population of Poland had reached 34,534,000. Before the war, one third of Poland population consisted of numerous ethnic minorities.  After the joint invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939, the destruction of the Polish nation, began, in particular Polish Jews, and Polish Christians. By the End of World War II, according to the census of February 1946, the population of Poland was 23,930,000.  (32%  of the casualties were in cities and towns, and 68% from the countryside). Before the war, there were 3.3 million Jews in Poland but by the end of the war, there were only 180,000 to 240,000, settled mostly in Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, and Wroclaw.


1945

Battle of Bologna was part of the Allied Spring Offensive in Italy and resulted in an Allied victory. The Allied units consisted of the US 5th Army (II Corps, South African 6th Armoured Division, and the British 8th Army (composed of the V Corps and the 2nd Polish Corps.) During this battle, the Polish soldiers learned that Churchill and Roosevelt had given a major part of Polish territories to the Soviet Union, without prior consultation with the Polish Government in Exile. The news of this betrayal, concocted at the Yalta Conference on February 11, came as a profound shock to the Polish soldiers. One of the three Polish divisions was renamed the "Polish 5th Kresowa Infantry Division" after the Kresy region which the Britain and the U.S. handed to the Soviets.  General Wladyslaw Anders, Commander of the 2nd Polish Corps, subsequently requested permission to withdraw his units from the front battle line, though permission was denied. Churchill chided Anders by telling him that "you ( Poles) are no longer needed" but the American and British front line commanders—Generals Richard McCreery, Mark Wayne Clark and Field Marshal Harold Alexander—requested Anders that the Polish units remain in their positions, since they could not be replaced. Hence, Anders eventually decided to keep the Polish units engaged.



Polish-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Mutual Aid and Co-operation was signed by Provisional Government of the Polish Republic without reference to the western allies or the Polish Government in Exile. The Treaty confirmed the Russian position in regards to Poland's borders. Joseph Stalin said during the signing of the Treaty: “The old rulers of Poland did not want to have allied relations with the Soviet Union... The significance  of  this  treaty  is  that  it  liquidates  the old  and  harmful  policy  of  playing between  Germany  and  the  Soviet  Union  and  replaces  it  with  the  policy  of alliance and friendship between Poland and its Eastern neighbor."(Editors note: Stalin's quote revealed his ideology of totalitarianism, albeit covered in diplomatic expression.)



The Battle of the Ruhr Pocket ended in Allied victory. The Ruhr Pocket was a battle of encirclement that took place in late March and early April 1945 in the Ruhr Area of Germany. It marked the end of major organized resistance on Nazi Germany's Western Front, as more than 300,000 German troops were taken prisoner.



German submarine U-636 was depth charged and sunk west of Ireland by HMS Bazely, HMS Drury and HMS Bentinck in position 55°50′N 10°31′W.  There were no survivors.


2017

Opening of the United Nations War Crimes Commission Archive at The Wiener Library.  War crimes files reveal that early reports and evidence of Holocaust death camps that were smuggled out of eastern Europe, are among the tens of thousands of files that were made public for the first time. The once-inaccessible archives of the United Nations War Crimes Commission, dating back to 1943, was opened by the Wiener Library in London and is now open to the public.  The files establish that some of the first demands for justice came from countries that had been invaded, such as Poland and China, rather than Britain, the US and Russia, which eventually coordinated the post-war Nuremberg trials. According to the UNWWC, the Polish Government in Exile supplied the Allies with extraordinarily detailed descriptions of concentration camps such as Treblinka and Auschwitz, where millions of Jews were gassed. These reports had been smuggled out of Nazi-occupied eastern Europe.  (read about Jan Karski, and Witold Pilecki)



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