December 31, 2018

DECEMBER 31 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

DECEMBER 31

1942

Battle of the Barents Sea took place on December 31, 1942. It was a naval engagement that took place in the Barents Sea, north of North Cape, Norway.  Warships of the German Kriegsmarine attempted to intercept and attack British ships which were escorting convoy JW 51B to Kola Inlet in the USSR. The British fleet included 2 light cruisers, 6 destroyers, 2 corvettes, 1 mine-sweeper and 2 trawlers against Nazi's 2 heavy cruisers and 6 destroyers.  The enemy's objective failed to inflict significant losses on the allied convoy, which infuriated Hitler. Subsequently, he ordered a change in German naval strategy which would concentrate on the U-boat fleet rather than surface ships. British casualties were 1 destroyer damaged,  1 destroyer and 1 minesweeper sunk, and 250 KIA. German casualties were 1 cruiser damaged, 1 destroyer sunk, and 330 KIA.


1944

Polish National Committee of Liberation declared itself the Provisional Government of the Polish Republic. Also known as the PKWN, it was joined by several members of the London-based Polish government in exile, among them Stanisław Mikołajczyk (later chased out of the country).  The PKWN was then transformed into Provisional Government of Republic of Poland.  Henceforth, all departments were renamed, among them the Department of Public Security which became the infamous Ministry of Public Security (a Soviet-controlled secret police).


1989

Poland Regained Sovereignty:  The People's Republic of Poland officially became the Republic of Poland.  Polish history has been one of many catastrophes caused by invasions by neighboring enemy states. Polish as a nation-state ceased to exist for over a hundred years when it had been partitioned and occupied by Germany, Austria and Russia.  Poland regained its independence after the end of World War I by the Treaty of Versailles but on September 1, 1939 was invaded again by Germany, and on September 16, 1939 by the Soviet Union (in accordance with the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). More than six million Polish citizens (ethnic and Jewish Poles) perished in the war.  Following the end of World War II, the Soviet Union occupied Poland and established it as a satellite state under iron-hand Soviet control.  It wasn't until the rise of Solidarnosc (Solidarity) under the auspices of Lech Walesa, that Poland began its struggle for freedom and independence.  In the aftermath of nation-wide protests as well as international pressure, the Solidarity movement paved the way for the re-emergence of a free, sovereign, and democratic Poland once again.   Lech Walesa was quoted as saying ".....We respect the dignity and the rights of every man and every nation. The path to a brighter future of the world leads through honest reconciliation of the conflicting interests and not through hatred and bloodshed. To follow that path means to enhance the moral power of the all-embracing idea of human solidarity...."


2018

Polish Greatness (Blog) wishes to thank all those who share an interest in Polish history and culture, and who have visited this blog (as well as the parent website, Polish Greatness.com.)  In a world that is so unpredictable and changing so quickly, it is important to learn about history. Greater understanding is essential to avoid the errors and tragedies of the past.  It is my greatest hope that the world leaders will use calm, intelligence, justice and collaboration to nurture a world of peace, tolerance, democracy and protection of human rights.



Zbliżający się Nowy Rok niesie wszystkim nadzieję
na uspokojenie, życzliwość i spełnienie marzeń.
W te piękne i jedyne w roku chwile
chcę złożyć najlepsze życzenia
pogodnych, zdrowych i radosnych dni
oraz szczęśliwego Nowego Roku !



The upcoming New Year brings hope to all
to calm, friendliness and a dream come true.
In these beautiful and unique moments
I want to send my best wishes
cheerful, healthy and joyful days
and a Happy New Year !




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