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Here's a link to some items relation to Poland that The Queen keeps in her private collection. Apparently they made an exhibition of them when President Kaczyński visited recently.
Intereesting collection, especially the General Sikorski stuff.
Sikorski is always a difficult subject. As commander and head of state during much of the war he should be accorded certain recognition. On a personal and political level he is less than appealing. A scheming self aggrandizing individual of his sort is not a role model for individuals or nations.
Tell us more. They seem to like him here & believe the UK killed him, or were complicit in his death, though the evidence appears inconclusive.
I've never heard the same acclaim given to his name in the UK as say pilsudski or koscuiszko or anders. I've always been a bit curious about him because the name seems high profile in the US.
I was surprised to learn that the Sikorsky helicopter was named after a Russian guy, and not the General. There's a big monument to him just round the corner from my flat. The General, that is.
isnt there a sikorski institute?
>>I was surprised to learn that the Sikorsky helicopter was named after a Russian guy, and not the General. There's a big monument to him just round the corner from my flat. The General, that is.
Sikorsky isn't the name of a helecopter, but a helecopter company, and wasn't named after anyone in that sense. The Sikorsky aircraft co was just founded by a Russian named Sikorsky.
Up front it is important to note that Sikorski was a Polish nationalist at a time that there was no Poland. He fought well and bravely in the pre-independence years and in 1920. He was an able tactician and in an era when many people laid claim to being early supporters of mobile fluid warfare he had the logistical abilities to take the theory and put it into practice.
That said: At the time of the “oath crisis” when Pilsudski and the legions refused fealty to the Kaiser, Sikorski took the oath and only recanted many months later when the war turned against the Axis.
In 1920 he broke out of the Warsaw bridgehead to the East instead of to the intended North East, this engaged more Soviet units but allowed 45,000 Soviets to escape into East Prussia.
In 1926, at the time of Pilsudski’s May Coup, he sent telegrams to both Pilsudski and the government intoning “I am coming to Warsaw”.
In the 1930’s he flirted with multiple political parties including the ND’s of Dmowski
In 1939 after escaping to France he prevailed with the French and British to not recognize the command staff and others empowered by the Polish government, interned in Romania, to act on its behalf. Instead he convinced the French that the Polish defense had been incompetent instead of letting the French learn from what the Poles had done right.(in the end the Germans lost more men and material in the Polish Campaign than in the French Campaign)
In 1940 Sikorski agreed to the deployment of Polish forces to Narvik at a time that the French and British were already withdrawing from Norway.
A believable theory about his death seems to be that he was killed by a bomb placed by a British KGB agent.
However, many of the Poles interested in this era entertain themselves with the idea that Churchill loved Stalin so much that, despite the fact he didn't assassinate Nazis (except for Heydrich), he did have Sikoski murdered.
Sikorski was no more assassinated than was Glenn Miller. There were tens of thousands of airplanes flying in 1943 when just a few years earlier there were virtually none. Maintenance and inspection frequency was stretched beyond anything that anyone would contemplate before or after the war. Parts were scarce, mechanics scarcer. There was no explosion or bomb. The plane rolled over immediately upon takeoff as it would if there had been a failure in the control system (steering cable), the pilot that had been belted and strapped into his seat survived; the passengers that were not died.
Not much more to note other than conspiracy theories are provocative and intriguing in a way that simple occurrence can never be.
Glenn Miller was abducted by aliens.
“Not much more to note other than conspiracy theories are provocative and intriguing in a way that simple occurrence can never be.”
I generally agree, but if that’s the case, how come British government recently postponed (again) releasing files on Sikorski’s death by another fifty years?
"Glenn Miller was abducted by aliens."
Not true. He's living above a chip shop in Ossett with Elvis Presley, Lady Di and Lord Lucan.
"I generally agree, but if that’s the case, how come British government recently postponed (again) releasing files on Sikorski’s death by another fifty years? "
Wartime relations with certain other countries are still sensitive, so they're probably being careful. I think there are also issues about who else was there at the time, including Buster Crabb, who was subsequently abducted by the USSR and never turned up again. There was quite a lot going on in Gibraltar at the time.
Why keep the Gibraltar records secret? There is no upside to complicating things for the current King of Spain, Juan Carlos. His father, Juan, left the Spanish naval academy in Cadiz in 1931 when the Spanish Republic was declared. The Spanish King Alphonso XIII requested of his wife’s second cousin George VI that Juan be able to complete his naval studies in Britain where Juan graduated from the Royal naval academy in Dartmouth and then went on numerous deployments with the British Royal Navy. But as he never renounced his Spanish citizenship he held no rank.
Franco, maintained that Spain was a monarchy but would not let Alphonso (and later Juan) return to Spain. Nevertheless a large portion of the Spanish establishment (especially the Navy) was loyal to the Royal family and maintained contact with them during the war.
There is no way to release the secret files on Gibraltar without showing the ties between non-falangist monarchists in Spain and the Royal Navy.
I could see Ossett from my bedroom - just the other side of the valley ...
My old home ...
I think it's about US, Russia & France.