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Letter from General Maczek to the 1st Polish Armoured Division - 06.08.1944

Lettre du Général Maczek à la Première Division Blindée Polonaise - 06 août 1944


France, 6th August 1944

Soldiers of the 1st Armoured Division!
After four years we are back in France. We have landed on the free French soil in order to fight for the Polish Cause at the side of England and America.
When we left France in June 1940 our ranks were thinned, our future was unknown and we were powerless. Today after four years of endeavour on British soil, we have begun our armed journey towards Poland. The first stage of that journey is again France. but now our circumstances have changed. We return here with the feeling of self esteem and strength.
We take pride that during the five years of war we did not break down and did not surrender our arms. On the contrary, with strenuous and patient work we formed an Armoured Division, the first one in the history of our Army. This Division now takes up its position on the battlefield facing those who announced to the whole world that we ceased to exist.
We are strong - because in our Division we have the best equipment that the Allies posses. We know the value of this equipment and we know how to use it. Therein lays our physical strength. Apart from that we take into battle that which the Germans no longer posses - we take huge moral strength. We take full awareness that we fight for a just cause and that the first signs of victory are already in front of us.
And so entering the first battle we will demand an accounting for the five years of this war - for Warsaw, for Kutno, for Westerplatte and for hundreds and thousands defenceless victims who perished at the hands of the occupier. We demand an accounting for each Polish life which the Germans took away from us.
It does not mean however that you are to use barbaric methods. Fight in a way that Polish soldier has always fought during the whole of our history. Fight hard and fight with chivalry.
We go to our first battle with the best Allied Divisions. We know what we are worth and that is why today, as your Commanding Officer, I wish you one thing - let the Germans pay heavily with their blood for the privilege of fighting with you.
And remember - Polish soldier fights for the freedom of many Nations - but he dies only for Poland.
We all believe that from our efforts and our work Poland will arise to live again.


(English version by Marek Schwetz)

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«Vraiment un superbe document, historiquement et émotionnellement chargé. Bravo et merci de nous en faire profiter.» - Ze-Pole - 06-12-2009

«Bonjour, Vice président de l'association "devoir de mémoire" à Saint-Omer (France), nous recherchons de la documentation sur la 1ère DBP qui libéra Saint-Omer. Nous avons un projet futur pour mettre à l'honneur ces valeureux qui nous ont libérés. Pourrions collaborer ensemble? amitiés à vous Fr.Goulette» - Association "devoir de mémoire" - 20-05-2012

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