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Reply #1: I applaud Poland. [View All]

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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-04-06 03:05 PM
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1. I applaud Poland.
In commemorating those who died, Poland also deserves acclamation for its direct and unique contribution to the winning of the Second World War itself. The Poles managed to find themselves at virtually every important juncture of the war in Europe. Though overwhelmed by the German and Soviet invasions at the very onset of the war, Poland did not surrender. Its government moved to London, its intelligence network still functioned, and its sailor, soldiers, and airmen, some 200,000 of them, still fought in the field.

In that capacity the Poles made invaluable, perhaps essential contributions to the war effort. Polish pilots were among the most experienced and successful pilots in the Battle of Britain and eventually supplied fifteen squadrons for the duration. The Polish Navy slipped out of the Baltic to join with the Royal Navy, helped evacuate at Dunkirk, chased the Bismarck, participated in every major Allied amphibious landing and many special operations, and provided critical merchant shipping escort. The Polish Army fought on from Norway to North Africa to the Middle East. Poles fought at Narvik, Tobruk, Dieppe, Normandy, Monte Cassino, Falaise, Arnhem, Warsaw, Prague, and Berlin. At home, partisans resisted fiercely and tragically, and their spy network operated tirelessly. Polish intelligence made the first successful inroads into cracking the Enigma codes, and shared its results with the British and the French prior to the onset of war; it would appear as if the cryptologer Marian Rejewski divined part of the machine's wiring through the application of mathematical theory alone, perhaps one of the greatest cryptological feats of all time.

As an example of how hard and how well the Poles prosecuted their part of the war, consider this: the 145 Polish pilots who participated in the Battle of Britain are thought to have accounted for some twelve percent of all German planes lost.

Yet through the vagaries of politics and geography, the West turned its back on Poland at the end of the war, allowing it to continue for forty full years under direct German or Soviet influence and occupation. Many Polish fighters found it too dangerous to return home, and instead became exemplary citizens elsewhere, notably in the United Kingdom and here in the United States.

Thank you for everything, Poland. I think you you're great.
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