July 19, 2018




General Sir Edmund Ironside, Inspector-General of Overseas Forces, arrived in Warsaw on a four-day visit. He met with Marshal Smigly-Ridz, the Inspector-General of the Polish Forces, as well as Polish Foreign Minister Colonel Beck, and General Stachiewicz, the Chief of General Staff.  The visit was considered highly important on both sides. The British wanted to ascertain the Polish military's strategic plans for the imminent war, as well as co-ordinate British, French and Polish military efforts. The visit was seen as symbolic of Anglo-Polish solidarity, and was met with great interest in the Polish capital. This morning,  Ironside placed a  laurel wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Pilsudski Square, and declared in Polish, "Czolem Panie Generali – Heil General".  As a result, Ironside's popularity surged, and Poland felt assured that Britain, and French were reliable allies.  The “Kurjer Poranny”, an official Government periodical commented on Ironside thusly "... Thanks to the constant progress in Britain’s military preparations and to the continuous increase in the strength of the Allies, London, Paris and Warsaw are making ready an armed might which will be capable of offering victorious resistance to every aggression”...." (In his 2012 book, " Pact Ribbentrop-Beck",  Mr. Piotr Zychowicz, wrote that during the July 1939 visit, Ironside told the Polish officers and politicians absurd promises that the RAF would be sent to Poland, and a British aircraft carrier would anchor at Gdynia, among other falsehoods.)

Friction between Danzig and Polish authorities increased tonight following the arrest of 20 persons charged with a “Marxist" dynamite plot against Nazis and the arrival of a Polish navy motor boat in Danzig harbor.


Battle of Britain: Flying Officer Antoni Ostowicz scored the first Polish kill in the Battle by sharing a He 111 over Brighton. Tragically, Ostowicz was also the first Polish pilot to die in the Battle. He was shot down by Messerschmitt Bf 109s south of Swanage. The day also marked the moment that the British RAF finally acknowledged that the Polish pilots were hard-driven aces, and capable of fighting the Germans on equal terms. (Previously, British command did not believe that Polish pilots were experienced, and wasted a lot of time training them on bicycles.)


Wojciech Jaruzelski was President of the Peoples Republic of Poland from 1989 to 1990.  He was notorious for the imposition of martial law against Solidarity. It had always been his intention to crack down on pro-democracy movement.  In 1981, when he became  the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party, he met with the leader of Solidarity, and Jozef Glemp, the Catholic primate,  to discuss the possibility of forming a "coalition" with the Soviet-backed government, which was nonsense, because his objective was to politically crush them.  His subsequent actions spoke louder than words.  He censured, persecuted, arrested, and jailed thousands of Polish journalists, and pro-democracy protesters, without charge. Many Polish protesters were killed in the violence.  This resulted in a socio-economic crisis.  Median income fell by 40 %.  About 700,000 people fled the country.  Jaruzelski's legacy is that of a traitor to Poland.

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