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USC Shoah Foundation Institute Thesaurus
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Used for discussions of the presence or activity of Polish units or its members. "Polish units" should be used in conjunction with the relevant (French, British, Soviet) "armed forces" term. For discussions of Anders Army, the index term "Anders Army" should be used instead. Additional Information: For discussions of the Polish army up until its capitulation in early October 1939, the keyword "armed forces, Polish" should be used. (en-US)


Military units comprised of Polish nationals under the auspices of the French, British or Soviet armed forces. After the Polish collapse in September 1939, the Polish army became an army-in-exile. In the West, remnants of the army fled to Hungary and Romania and later regrouped in France under the French Army. After the French surrender in 1940, around 19,000 Polish soldiers reached Britain. The Polskie Sily Zbrojne (PSZ, or Polish Armed Forces) were formed in August 1940 led by General Sikorski under the operational control of the British military. These units later fought in North Africa and Europe. In the East, two separate armies were created: "Anders Army" and the Soviet Polish forces. The Polish-Soviet Agreement of August 1941 enabled the formation of a Polish fighting force comprised of former POWs and deportees under the command of General Anders. Initially under Soviet command, Anders Army was evacuated from the USSR in 1942 and moved, via Iran and Iraq, to join the British Army in Palestine. Subsequently, the Soviet government created Polish units within the Soviet army: first the Kosciuszko Infantry Division in 1943, which expanded into the larger Armia Polska (AP, or Polish Army) in 1944; during the liberation of Poland, this force incorporated the Armia Ludowa resistance group and became the Ludowe Wojsko Polskie (LWP, or Polish People's Army). These forced were led by General Berling and fought in the western USSR, Poland, and Germany. (en-US)


Davies, Norman. God's Playground: A History of Poland, volume II. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982. pp. 435-491

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