August 29, 2018




Jan Henryk Dąbrowski (dob) was a Polish general, widely respected after his death for his patriotic fervor, and praised as a national hero.  He served in the Saxon Army and joined the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Army in 1792, shortly before the Second Partition of Poland. He was promoted to the rank of general in the Kościuszko Uprising of 1794. After the final Third Partition of Poland, which ended the existence of Poland as independent country, he became actively involved in promoting the cause of Polish independence abroad. He was the founder of the Polish Legions in Italy serving under Napoleon since 1797. And as a general in Italian and French service he contributed to the brief restoration of the Polish state during the Greater Poland Uprising of 1806. He participated in Napoleonic Wars, taking part in the Polish-Austrian war and the French invasion of Russia until 1813.


Prompted by the British, Germany issued one last diplomatic offer to Poland, with Fall Weiss yet to be rescheduled. The German government replied that it sought the restoration of Danzig but also demanded the Polish Corridor (which had not previously been part of Hitler’s demands). Hitler claimed that these demands were intended to safeguard the German minority in Poland.  However, Hitler gave an ultimatum that he was willing to begin negotiations on the condition that a Polish representative, with signatory powers, would arrive in Berlin the next day.

Peking Plan began.  At precisely 14:15 hours,  Polish destroyers began to sail for British ports, under the command of Komandor porucznik Roman Stankiewicz. The Polish destroyers Błyskawica was commanded by Komandor porucznik Włodzimierz Kodrębski, the Burza by Komandor podporucznik Stanisław Nahorski and the Grom by Komandor porucznik Włodzimierz Hulewicz.  The evacuation had to be conducted in great haste in order to safeguard the Destroyer division of the Polish Navy.  The fleet of the German Kriegsmarine possessed a significant numerical advantage over that of the Polish Navy, and in the event of war, if the Polish vessels remained in the small, landlocked Baltic, they would have been sunk by German attacks.  On August 30, the Germans recalled the tactical unit of three of its cruisers, the Nurnberg, Koln, and Leipzig, from the Baltic Sea,  that were assigned to attack the Polish vessels.  The Polish Destroyers served alongside the Royal Navy for the remainder of the war. ORP Burza and ORP Błyskawica survived the war but ORP Grom was sunk on May 4, 1940 during the Norwegian Campaign, in the Narvik area by a Heinkel He 111 bomber.

Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jozef Beck ordered mobilization, but under the pressure from Great Britain and France, the mobilization was cancelled. When the mobilization finally started, it added to the confusion.

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