POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

February 18, 2018

FEBRUARY 18 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

FEBRUARY 18

1938

Three members of the Wilno branch of the National Party were arrested and sent to the Bereza Kartuska prison.  The National Party was a Polish political party formed on October 7, 1928.  It was comprised of most of the political forces of Poland's National Democracy right-wing political camp, and were one of the main opponents of the Sanacja regime.  It was one of the largest opposition parties with over 200,000 members.(shortly before WW2)


1996

A Double Referendum was held in Poland. One concerned enfranchisement, while the other dealt with state property. The first was ordered by the President, while the other were created on the basis of resolution made by the Sejm. All except one were approved by over 90% of voters. However, voter turnout was just 32%, well below the 50% threshold required to make the referendums valid.





February 17, 2018

FEBRUARY 17 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

FEBRUARY 17

1945

German scientists evacuated the Peenemünde Army Research Center.  The first train departed from Peenemunde on February 17, 1945 with 525 people en route to Thuringia, Germany, (including Bleicherode, Sangerhausen (district), and Bad Sachsa) By mid-March the evacuation was complete.
The evacuation was called due to increased Allied bombing of the center.  During Operation Crossbow, the British aerial attacks on Peenemunde, began on the night of August 17-18, 1943,  followed a year later by bombing runs on July 18,  August 4, and August 25. They were carried out by the U.S. Eighth Air Force.  Operation Crossbow was possible only due to the work of the Polish underground.  In early 1943, two Polish inmates of Camp Trassenheide located adjacent to Peenemunde,  obtained maps, sketches and reports that they stole and smuggled to Polish Home Army Intelligence, and from there were sent to British intelligence. The Polish underground had provided two such reports which identified the "rocket assembly hall", "experimental pit", and "launching tower". The Allies gave the Polish men advance warning of the attack, but they could not leave due to tight SS security.



German submarine U-425 was depth charged and sunk by the British sloop HMS Lark and the corvette HMS Alnwick Castle near Murmansk. The U-boat had taken part in eight wolf packs throughout 1944.






February 16, 2018

FEBRUARY 16 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

FEBRUARY 16

1941

Special Polish forces were created in Britain. They were named the Cichociemni ("Silent Unseen", an elite special-operations paratroops of the Polish Army in exile, whose mission was to fight against the Nazis in occupied Poland. A total of 2,613 Polish Army soldiers volunteered for special training under Polish and British SOE operatives. But only 606 Polish men completed the rigorous training. Eventually 316 of them were secretly parachuted into Nazi-occupied Poland. They also operated in German territory covering intelligence, covert operations, partisan warfare, as well as radio operators and emissaries, airmen and airdrop coordinators, and forging documents.  Among the these Polish heroes,  91 operatives fought in the Warsaw Uprising.


1944

Stalin responded to Roosevelt's message of February 7 by saying the Polish government was made up of elements hostile to the Soviet Union and was incapable of friendly relations with the USSR. Stalin advised that "The basic improvement of the Polish government appears to be an urgent task."


1945

German submarine U-309 was depth charged and sunk in the North Sea by Canadian frigate HMCS Saint John. U-309 was shadowing Convoy WN-74 into the Moray Firth when she was detected by the Canadian River-class frigate Saint John with ASDIC (sonar). The first attack on the U-boat produced some oil on the surface. Two further attacks were carried out using the Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar, which produced more oil. The fourth attack using depth charges produced wreckage including charts, signal books and cork insulation material. U-309 sank in position 58°09′N 02°23′  All 47 aboard were lost.