POLAND FIRST TO FIGHT
Democracy did not emerge victorious in the aftermath of World War II. The
democratic principles so passionately espoused by Great Britain and the
United States were easily surrendered to Stalin in exchange for the illusion
of world peace. To the victor goes the spoils, they say, and this was no
less true at the Conferences of the Big Three at Teheran and at Yalta. The
true victor of World War II was tyranny. Stalin was not alone in this, but
shared culpability with two of the most unlikeliest of accomplices - Churchill
At the Conference of Yalta Churchill unilaterally ceded the territories of Eastern Europe, in particular, the eastern
regions of Poland, in a charade that took less time than lighting up a cigar. In the end, Poland, the fourth largest
and one of the most important of Allies, was betrayed by the Allies, and found itself trapped behind the Iron
Curtain - an unwitting sacrificial lamb in the vicious game of world domination.
Though in exile, Poland's armed forces fought on every front and in every battle from the beginning to the end of
the war. The II Polish Corps, under the command of General Wladyslaw Anders fought at Monte Cassino, a battle
that has gone down in history as the bloodiest and most difficult to win. The Polish armies recaptured Monte
Cassino, when the British and Americans had failed to do so, and thus paved the way for the liberation of Italy.
The Kosciuszko Squadron, elite Polish fighter pilots were legendary in their awe-inspiring aerial maneuvers, and in
their skill at shooting down a record; number of enemy aircraft. They were the ace pilots who fought with the
British in the Battle of Britain. Had it not been for the Poles, the Battle would have been lost.
The Poles were the heroes of World War II but the world did not know it because of the conspiracy of silence
imposed upon Prime Minister Sikorski, by Churchill and Roosevelt - to the delight of Stalin. Like the proverbial fox
in the hen house, Stalin so intimidated Churchill and Roosevelt that they went to extraordinary lengths to appease
and accomodate Stalin's every demand. British and American propaganda cranked out an endless stream of lies
depicting Stalin as a benevolent ally and friend to the West, Uncle Joe they called him. With Russia's entry into the
Alliance, the Poles became persona non-grata. Polish soldiers who were once objects of British adoration were
suddenly treated as if they had become the enemy, and were virulently scorned by the British for their resistance
to Stalins' advances towards Poland. Stalin wanted to conquer Poland, and Churchill stood aside and held open
In the most desperate of battles, the Warsaw Uprising, the Poles continually demanded Britains help, but it fell on
deaf ears. The world was in the throes of celebrating the liberation of Paris, and then V-E Day. From August to
October 1944, the Polish people struggled for their survival as a people and as a nation, while Hitlers' storm-
troopers razed Warsaw to the ground, block by block. The Poles courageously held out for sixty-three days.
For months, Britain made assurances to Poland to supply it with military equipment, and reinforcements but
continually reneged on its' promises. When Britain finally did send help it was too late. The resources of the Polish
Home Army were depleted. Warsaw was at it's end.
The Russians, like the British, had frequently promised that they would defend Poland from the Nazis, but at the
crucial moment the Red Army, poised across the Vistula River waited for the Germans to eliminate the last
vestiges of Polish resistance before making its entrance to “ liberate “ Warsaw. In reality, it was not liberation but
That Allied complicity led to Poland's downfall cannot be denied. This betrayal was further compounded by British
efforts to erase from history the facts of Polish contributions to the war effort. By his own admission, Churchill
stated that he intended to write the history of World War II so that the world would think better of him. "History will
be kind to me, for I intend to write it." And indeed he did. In a six volume treatise on World War II, Churchill barely
mentioned Poland, much less her contributions to the war effort.
I can only surmise that shame and envy were motivating factors. Shame for having betrayed a valuable and loyal
ally, and envy of Polands' military achievements, and its fervent commitment to honor.
Though ironic, Churchill said it best.
There is only one helpful guide, namely for a nation to keep its word, and to act in
accordance with its' treaty obligations to Allies. This guide is called honour.