Mud Men Final Episode: A Poland Special…Poland and The Second World War

Mud Men, you either love it or you hate it, and we firmly sit in the Love camp! The series follows members of the Mudlarks Society as they hunt for items on the River Thames foreshore that may have changed the course of history. The series is presented by Johnny Vaughan and Steve “Mud God” Brooker, chairman of the Mudlarks Society…

Last weeks final special Polish episode of Mud Men features a Minelab E-Trac, Fisher F75 Special Edition and other Joan Allen bits all loaned by Joan Allen Metal Detectors!

One thing that particularly struck us after watching the final show was Poland’s relationship with the Second World War… I suppose we didn’t really appreciate a, their involvement and b, that the Polish lived in constant fear and endured the most severe wartime occupation conditions in modern European history.

I guess we also overlook at times that Polish Squadrons played an important role in the Battle of Britain, accounting for 12% of all German aircraft destroyed at the cost of 33 lives. By the end of the war Poland had flown a total of 86,527 sorties, lost 1669 men and shot down 500 German planes and 190 V1 rockets.

Now we aren’t attempting to give people a History lesson here, and we are by no means assuming authority on the subject, we are merely wishing to express our respect towards the Polish state and acknowledge the pain it went through; like many people did.

Poland and The Second World War:

After an unsuccessful First World War campaign and a German national resentment to peace terms, Hitler began driving a new German war machine across Europe in 1939.

Hitler subsequently invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939, hurling the majority of Germanys armed forces at it’s eastern neighbour; with this event considered the catalyst of World War II; the most devastating period in the history of Poland.

Based on existing guarantees of security, Britain and France declared war two days later, but they gave no effective assistance to their ally.

Mid-September saw Warsaw surrounded, despite stout resistance by outnumbered Polish forces. The Soviet Union then administered the cherry on the cake by invading from the east on September 17. For the next five years, Poland endured an environment of constant fear but with staggering courage.

6 million people, over 15% of Poland’s population perished between 1939 and 1945. The war not only claimed an unquantifiable amount of lives, it also left much of Poland in ruins; inflicting emotional and physical scars.

Hans Frank said, “If I wanted to put up a poster for every seven Poles shot, the forests of Poland would not suffice to produce the paper for such posters.”

The Germans declared their intention of wiping out the Polish race alongside the Jews, by a process otherwise known as the “Holocaust.” This process was carried out systematically, as with all things German, with all members of the ‘intelligentsia’ hunted down in order to destroy Polish culture and leadership.

2000 concentration camps were built in Poland, which became the major site of the extermination programme, since this was where most of the intended victims lived. Polish Jews were herded into Ghettos and slowly starved, with non-jewish Poles either transported to Germany for slave labour or simply executed.

Never Give Up

Poland was the only country to combat Germany from the first day of the Polish invasion until the end of the war in Europe. Despite everything, the Polish Army, Navy and Air Force reorganised abroad and continued to fight the Germans. In fact they have the distinction of being the only nation to fight on every front in the War.

In 1940 they fought in France, in the Norwegian campaign they earned a reputation for bravery at Narvik, and in Africa the Carpathian Brigade fought at Tobruk.

A major contribution to the Allied side in the 1930s came from the Polish intelligence personnel. Polish agents had secured information on the top-secret German code machine, Enigma, and experts aided the British in using this information to intercept Hitler’s orders to German military leaders.

In Poland itself, resistance to the German regime came from The Home Army (Armia Krajowa), which operated under direction of the London government-in-exile. The Home Army became one of the largest and most effective underground movements of World War II and was the backbone of a network of genuine Polish institutions and cultural activities.

By 1944 it had claimed 400,000 members, commanding wide-spread popular support. The Home Army conducted a vigorous campaign of sabotage and intelligence gathering, as a means of social defence against the invaders…

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2 Responses to Mud Men Final Episode: A Poland Special…Poland and The Second World War

  1. paul shave says:

    winston Churchill didnt even let them march in the victory parade after the war what an insult mind you bomber command was not treated any better

  2. Fred Barnes says:

    And we must also remember that many Poles were sent home by the Allies after WW2 only to be shot by the Russians. They deserved much better in view of their support for the fight against Hitler. The Russians were just as bad as the Nazis in their hatred of Jews and other races.

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