Operation Dunabe and re-enactment


Re-enactment

General public at the shows often asking me about post-war Polish involvement in international conflicts. Luckily as conscripted soldiers doing the national service against our will, we never had to fight for communism. With the one exception which is described below. This led me to the idea of re-enactment and re-introducing the history of the Cold War and this ludicrous intervention of the Warsaw Pact against one of its own members.
I would like to form a re-enactment group recreating that conflict and 1960's and 1970's Polish army in general. Of course I'm not going to build burning Prague or organize march of several thousand soldiers and vehicles. My project provides staged small encampment of Polish troops temporarily stationed at the Polish-Czechoslovak border.
The first attempt was successful. My exhibition aroused considerable interest. Just what kind of squad from one soldier... I'm looking for volunteers to participate in this project living in south England. Polish 'raindrop' camo and an old type Polish army boots, or uniform of a member of the Warsaw Pact (East Germany, the Soviet Union, Hungary and Bulgaria) are the minimal requirement. I can help with finding and buying one from Poland.
Re-enacting isn't just about wearing the right gear and acting in the right way, as after the public leaves it becomes more about relaxing with a cold beverage (or several) and chatting with like minded individuals. And you get free camping for the weekend too!
If you like the military lifestyle without joining the army please drop me an email.


My first exhibition 'Operation Danube'.


The exhibition in August 2013.


The exhibition in August 2013.


 

Operation Dunabe

Operation Dunabe - the codename that was given to the intervetion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact members. It began on the 20th of August 1968 at 23:00 hours. It is considered to be the largest military operation in Europe after the Second World War and also the greatest of the Cold War. Military forces of the Warsaw Pact led by the Red Army invaded the Czechoslovakian Socialist Republik in order to stop the political libralization reforms of the 'Prague Spring' led by Alexander Dubček. The operation successfully stopped the reforms and strenghtened the authority of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

Voted into office on 4th of January 1968, the new secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Alexander Dubček, announced deep social and economic reforms. The so-called 'Prague Spring' gave birth to the concept of 'socialism with a human face', a state based on the priciples of democracy, freedom of speach and the law which was breaking away from the Stalinist model. The reforms introduced by Dubcek did not however change the geneal communist party line either internally or externally. They had no intention of stepping out of the Warsaw Pact or breaking from close partnership with the USSR or fraternal partnerhip with other socialist countries.

Nevertheless the conservatives of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party feared destabilisation of the whole communist ethos. In offical propaganda it was called counter-revolution.

For Leonid Brezhnev the Secretary of the USSR Central Committee and other Warsaw Pact leaders these reforms had the nature of counter-revolution which had to be prevented. Bilateral talks between Russia and Czechoslovakia in January and February ended in a stalemate. On the 23th of March a Warsaw Pact summit , called later 'Warsaw Six', took place with the top leaders of the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Bulgaria. They all expressed great concern about the situation and it soon become 'a trial' against Dubček and his reforms. The members of the summit were increasingly looking towards a military solution. The greatest proponent of this was the Polish leader Władysław Gomułka. He was having to deal with student uprisings against the communist regime in Poland and was hoping that the Czechoslovakian example would calm down the situation in his country.

Another two summits took place in Moscow (May) and in Warsaw (July), this time without Czechoslovakia. The final conclusion was harsh:

"We can not accept the fact that the hostile forces detract your country from the path of socialism and create the threat of separation of Czechoslovakia from the socialist community. This is not only a matter for yourselves, this is the common cause of all the communist and workers parties and countries joined by alliance, cooperation and friendship. It is the common cause of our countries that joined the Warsaw Pact."

The 'last chance' bilateral meeting between USSR and Czechoslovakia took place on the 28th of July in Czerna upon Cisa. The nation gave Dubček the message: "Negotiate, explain, but stand in the defence of the reforms we have taken, and which we will not give up alive. (...) We are with you and you be with us!". After tense negotiations it seemed that a compromise was reached and the threat of military intervention was postponed. At the end of the meeting Brezhnev said: "You have given us a promise and we believe that you will fight, we are able to give you any help. But if you cheat, we will need to convene a new conference …". Following this bilateral meeting a further summit of five Warsaw Pact countries was called on 3rd of August in Bratislava, named later 'Bratislava Five'. It appeared that a compromise was reached and the Czech newspapers announced the "Victory of 'Bratislava Five' over 'Warsaw Six'." It was not known, however, that on the sidelines the Czechoslovakian reform opponents secretly handed a letter to the Russians asking for "fraternal assistance". This letter has become a pretext for military intervention.

 

Below is very interesting article by Przemysław Wywiał about involvement of Polish forces in the invasion. I copied it from a Polish website historycy.pl and translated to English.

1. Introduction
The problem of the participation of 6 Pomeranian Airborne Division (6 PDPD) in "Operation Danube" has not yet been adequately described in the historical literature, so I had to rely mainly on archive sources. The Army Archives in Krakow I found four volumes of reports on the situation in 6 PDPD units from August to October 1968 in Czechoslovakia and Klodzka Valley. These documents have never been previously published or analysed by historian.
In the 6 Airborne Brigade Museum is kept Division Chronicle, where there are several mentions about the events of the summer and fall of 1968. The museum also have unpublished manuscript of memories of sergeantZbigniew Ślusarczyk, a soldier of the 6 PDPD and a participant in those events, which devotes two chapters to the invasion. Many valuable comments and insights on how to participate in the invasion six PDPD shared during a conversation with me, Brig. Edward Dysko, commander of the division since August 1968.
When it comes to items published a very valuable work of Leszek Pajórka on the participation of the Polish Armed Forces in the suppression of the "Prague Spring." The author, an employee of the Military Historical Institute was mainly based on the materials of the Central Military Archives in Warsaw. In addition, Lech Kowalski published a book containing his interviews with senior officers and commanders of units involved in the operation "Danube." There you will find Gen. E. Dysko and Cpt. Roman Orlowski, commander of 48th company. A short chapter on the topic of interest to us also posted Hubert Królikowski in its history of the 6 PDPD.
2. The military response of the Warsaw Pact countries to the events in Czechoslovakia,
Political changes in Czechoslovakia in hopes of building "socialism with a human face" initiated in 1967. Moved away a group of conservative governments Novotny and reforms supporters came to power: Dubcek, Ota Szik, Czernik. Freedom of expression and publication was no longer limited by censorship, calls for changes to the system began to appear in the press, the people gathered spontaneously at rallies and public debates, to express their views. Published in April 1968 "Programme of Action" announced carrying out important reforms, including elimination of central management in all areas of social life, the introduction of control over the police, also guaranteed freedom of speech. In June the manifesto "Two Thousand Words" was released.
Such moves in Prague have to worry leadership of other countries of the socialist camp. Stepped up their criticism of the team Dubcek, mainly in Polish and East German press. The problem has been discussed at meetings of the heads of the Communist parties in Dresden in March 1968, and then in Warsaw in July. Tried to put pressure on the Czechoslovak leadership. Despite concessions from the Czechoslovak reformers have taken place during the conference in Czerna and Bratislava, compromise proved to be illusory and fragile.
Along with attempts to exert political pressure on the leadership and people of Czechoslovakia, pressure of a military nature was used. Series of military manoeuvres conducted in the spring and summer of 1968 in Czechoslovakia and around its borders with the participation of the Warsaw Pact armies. Exercises were held under the code names "North", "Neman", "Blue Shield", "Szumawa" "Ether", "Cloudy Summer 68". The aim was not only to intimidate the Czechs, but also to prepare troops for military intervention. General test for the invading troops was the Command and ordnance exercises "Szumawa" which took place on 18.06-02.07. In July the Eastern Bloc leaders eventually concluded that "there is only one way out: an extensive support from Warsaw Pact countries for Czechoslovakia" and that "the situation could only be changed on the basis of the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact". 29 of July the great manoeuvres, code-named "Cloudy Summer" began which had to start "Operation Danube". Although the units taking part in them were ready for action at the end of July, the date of intervention was postponed by three weeks because of ongoing negotiations in Czerna.
Soviet, Polish, Hungarian, Bulgarian and German armies (the latter immediately withdrawn and left in dissuades) crossed the border of Czechoslovakia on the night of 20 to August 21, and unopposed reached targets within 24 hours. In the first wave in Czechoslovakia there were 300,000 soldiers of the Warsaw Pact, and just over a week later the number exceeded 800,000. They were equipped with 7,500 tanks, 2,000 heavy guns and a thousand planes. These forces with the exception of the Soviet Army left Czechoslovakia by November 1968.
3. Tasks of the 2nd Polish Army
Poland separated into "Operation Danube" the 2nd Army issued on the basis of the Silesian Military District and enhanced by the 6 PDPD of the Warsaw Military District. The commander of the 2nd Army was Gen. Florian Siwicki. It was a part 1 Army Group "North" under the command of Gen. Iwan Pawłowski. One of the tasks of the 2nd Army was to cooperate with the Red Army to control the northern part of Czechoslovakia, blocking Czech units stationed in the area and counteract any attempts of sabotage or resistance. During the first wave came in the area of Czechoslovakia 10th and 11th Panzer Divisions. 4th Mechanised Division was to remain in reserve (it was however deployed to Czechoslovakia on August 25). They were supported by one battalion assault from Dziwnów, communication, procurement, anti aircraft and reconnaissance units. 2nd Army operated in the north-eastern Czechoslovakia, in the region of Mlada Boleslav - Hradec Kralove (here the staff 2A) - Pardubice. In order to efficiently perform occupational tasks 13 garrison commands were established in the area. A total of 24.3 thousand troops equipped with 647 tanks, 566 armoured personnel carriers, 450 guns, 4.7 thousand vehicles and 36 helicopters participated in the invasion. Together with the remaining in the Polish territory odwodami these forces consisted of 28.6 thousand soldiers. They had to face "the emerging counter-revolution" with its southern neighbour, the attack of "fascist hordes" from Germany and prevent, "the imperialists tried again to surround our country".
4. The coming into operation 6th PDPD
It soon turned out that the Polish forces forming the core divisions may have serious problems with the task of the occupation and maintain the occupied territory in the event of any complications. Units of this type must have the support of the infantry. It was therefore decided to direct the "winged infantry", as they called soldiers of the 6th Pomeranian Airborne Division. It was envisaged that the border will cross a fifth forces of the division, while the rest remain on the Polish side in the Kłodzko Valley. 6 PDPD, all the time in standby mode and had to serve as a support for the 2nd Army.
6th Pomeranian Airborne Division was established in 1957 on the basis of the 6th Pomeranian Infantry Division. Its troops stationed in Krakow, Niepołomice, Auschwitz and Bielsko-Biala. Division was intended to act on the rear of the enemy, destroying its means of destruction, disruption of work of destruction and command the enemy, thereby aiding rapid pace of advancing troops of their own. The training the "red berets" underwent in skydiving, rock climbing, sabotage, reconnaissance made ​​them an elite unit.
From July 26 to August 24 6 PDPD carried training at a summer camp in the north of the country in the area of Szymany. During this time the soldiers could only speculate about the tense situation in connection with the events in southern neighbour. Paratroopers could see the continuous movement of Soviet troops on the nearby road Szczytno - Jedwabno. Increased traffic also prevailed in the sky with squadrons of fighter planes and transport aircrafts AN-12. Combining these observations with newspapers they could guess that "something is wrong" and that "something is happening in Czechoslovakia" Trying to get some further news from the Polish-speaking Soviet reservists from Lvov proved unsuccessful.
20 of August Warsaw Military District commander Maj.-Gen. Col. Zygmunt Huszcza called back from holiday Col. Edward Dysko and appointed him a commander of the 6 PDPD. August 24 at 17.00 division training was stopped an annuanced an alarm. Soldiers were issued with life ammunition and dry rations. The commander of the division received order "Lajkonik" This order meant to immediately achieve full combat readiness and regroup the whole force to the south of Poland. Easy to guess that the relocation to the Kłodzko Valley is linked to the events in Czechoslovakia, but the "Lajkonik" din not mentioned it.. At 18.00 there was a briefing of staff of the division. Col. Dysko briefly discussed the current political situation, gave orders to the commander of the District and put orders and tasks. Preparations for departure began.
The division was moved to Kłodzka Valley by combined transport (air and rail). Commander of the Air Force was to provide first-line transport division of Muszak the airport in Wroclaw. Separated for the job two aircraft An-12, four Il-14, four 4 Li-2 and 9 of the An-219. Operational group divisional staff, 16 Battalion Airborne, 48 reconnaissance company were transported by air. At the command of Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Boleslaw Chocha indefinitely assigned to the disposal of the commander of 6 PDPD 80 vehicles for the transport of personnel and equipment. 2.00 August 25 they were concentrated in the area of Wroclaw airport. Using them smuggled to Kłodzko Valley troops that arrived in Wroclaw by air. Some guns ASU-85 being supplied with 35 self-propelled artillery battalion was transported by rail, the rest of the road.
Meanwhile, at 22.00 on August 24 went wheel transport covering the remaining units of the division. To improve traffic and increase the speed of movement two columns of trucks GAZ -69 and STAR-66 were formed. Columns moved two routes. First ran from Szczytno by Nidzica, Sierpc, Koło, Oława, Bystrica Kłodzka to Międzylesie, and the second from Płońsk by Szczytno, Wielbark, Zduńska Wolal, Opole, Bystrica Kłodzka to Międzylesie. The soldiers perceived concerns in passing places. People, fed by the propaganda of the information about the threat of German and the possibility of the outbreak of the conflict, were filled with fear. Treating paratroopers with fruit, giving flowers. Participant recalls these events, "they said goodbye to us as Poles have always said goodbye to their soldiers going to war, sincerely and with concern". During of shifting the division, there were no accidents. Col. Dysko informed Militia Headquarters about the route of the march and subsequent district headquarters should keep this information secure by taking required traffic control and military pilot. 780 km separating Masuria and Kłodzka Bystrica defeated during the day, which can be considered a real success.
The Division had to block Czechslovak garrisons dispositive cantle larger force, which would be difficult to do without the support of armour. Therefore in order of General Chochy in alarm mode, ie without replenishment of reserves, 1st Warsaw Medium Tank Regiment and 61st reconnaissance company of the 16 Armoured Division of Elblag were desinated for this task. By 4.00 hours August 26 they were regrouped by rail to the Kłodzko area, which strengthened the 6 PDPD by the force of 771 men, 72 tanks T-54 and T-55, two track tractors, 20 BRDM armored personnel carriers, SKOT and BTR's, 119 cars and 10 motorcycles. They were commanded by Lieutenant Colonel. Stanislaw Majewski.
A few kilometers before Kłodzko in the morning on August 26 the situation became clear. Colonel Kazimierz Wojtowicz, a representative of the Group Operational WOW, gave Colonel. Dysko combat task for the division, directly related to the intervention in Czechoslovakia. The Division had to cross the border and loosen the 17th mechanised regiment. So paratroopers learned that their "division received a serious and responsible task of helping fraternal Czechoslovakia threatened by counter-revolutionary forces". By 16:00 on August 26 concentration of forces of 6 PDPD and one tank regiment in the area was completed and conducted reconnaissance anticipated action area the Czechoslovakia.
Only a fifth of the division entered the area of Czechoslovakia. The rest was deployed in the vicinity of Międzylesie where also was the headquarters of the 6 PDPD, 48th reconaisance company and front support. In Goworowo deployed 16th Airborne Battalion. The soldiers were quartered in rural households. It consisted of 531 people, including 35 officers and 32 NCOs. Battalion commander was Lt. Col. Tadeusz Charzewski. 10 bpd stationed in one of the Upper Silesian coal mines in Boleslawów. The battalion was in the strength of 540 soldiers, including 27 officers, 59 petty officers and 39 NCOs. Commanded by Lt. Col. Mieczyslaw Bubliński. Squadron armored division was in Domaszkowo, and artillery in Roztoki. The commander of the 5th Artillery Battalion was Lt. Col. Ryszard Piwowar, and 35th Self-propelled Artillery Squadron, Lt. Col. Izydor Hachulski. 1st Tank Regiment and 61st Reconnaissance Company of 16th Armoured Division of Elblag quartered in Wielopole-Zdroj. The 6th Supply and Repair Battalion stationed in Różanka. 1st and 2nd company slept in tents, and the rest were accommodated in residential buildings. A battalion commander was Lieutenant Colonel Czeslaw Mitkowski. In total in the area there were 276 officers of the 6 PDPD , 298 non-commissioned officers and 2.367 national service soldiers. The equipment consisted of the 2249 KBK AK 7.62 mm, 281 KBK GN 7.62 mm, pistols PW Mod. 33 7.62 mm, 335 guns P-64 9 mm, 104 RKMD 7.62 mm, 27 82 mm mortars and 9 120 mm, 96 hand-held antitank grenade launchers, machine guns PKMZ-2 14.5 mm, 18 plots ZU-23-2 23 mm, 12 rocket WP-8 and 7 2P-26, 87 pistols signali 26mm.
Turned out that there is a problem with young soldiers who have not yet filed an oath, so they can not be send to perform combat tasks. One of the three platoons of reconisance companies that had to enter Czechoslovakia immediately was made entirerly of soldiers with only a four-week internship in the military. They were incorporated into the division in July. Therefore, immediately after their arrival in Międzylesie they have made ​​an oath in an empty room of the local castle. Oaths were also held in the next coming subunits of 6 PDPD. The poignant moment came in Domaszkowo where the local priest blessed the swearing soldiers and invited them to church. The invitation, however, has to be dismissed. Soldiers of the 10th Air-assault Battalion took the oath in the field near Międzylesie, and 16th bpd in the place of stationing in Goworowo. Often during these celebrations army met with friendliness of the local population, was bestowing small gifts. But could feel the fear and uncertainty about the coming days as the chronicler division recorded using contemporary terminology - Oath "took place in a tense political environment in the face of confrontation with the forces of counter-revolution".
The division was responsible for the area of Nove Mesto, Kraliky, Stity, Usti n Orlici, Holice. Five groups has to have to block the Czech People's Army units. In the area of operation 6 PDPD were cantly following forces: in Cervena Voda 103th Chemical Regiment (400 men) in Žamberk 21st PTBR (360 people) in Rokytnicach Driver Training Center (350 people) in Kostelec Rychnov operational-tactical missiless quadrons (168 people).
At 4.00 on August 27 Col. Eugeniusz Habdas, the battalion commander, reported readyness to do those tasks. At 13.00 soldiers of the 18th bpd crossed the Polish-Czechoslovakian border in two places at and by 18.00 reached the designated areas. moved the positions of the soldiers of Company recognized Cpt. Orlowski and two Army staff officers who were already there. Reinforced company of tanks 18 bpd counted 648 soldiers, 12 tanks, six guns ASU-85, 12 mortars and 113 cars. Headquarters Battalion was in Zamberk.
During the night of 9 to 10 September under cover of 65th Reconaisance Company and reconnaissance platoon from 1st Tank Regiment 18 bpd was replaced by the 10 Airborne Battalion. His forces consisted of 708 soldiers, 12 tanks, six guns ASU-85, 12 recoilless guns, three mortars, 120 mm, 82 mm mortars 9, 3 RKM-2 and 9 guns ZSU-2350.
Further, last rotation has occurred during the night of 23 to 24 Sept., whe 16th Airborne Battalion entered Czechoslovakia. This was divided into five groups. Operational Group "Poprad" (commanded by Major Zdzislaw Chechen) operated in the area of Rokytnice, in the area Žamberk OG "Raba" (Maj. Stefan Rojek), near Rychnov OG "Skawa" (Maj. Anthony Lech), near Kostelec OG "Volga" (Col. Tadeusz Charzewski), while in the region Cervena Vod Captain Stanisław Dudek's group. Soldiers left Czechoslovakia at night from 21 to 22 of November.
5. Implementation of the 6th PDPD in Czechoslovakia
Details of the deployment and execution of the tasks assigned by the soldiers of 6th PDPD will be explained on the example of 10th Air-assault Battalion that operated on the territory of Czechoslovakia from 10 to 24 of September. Early September 6, a group of officers who had to make a reconnaissance was sent to Czechoslovakia. To Žamberk went battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel. Mieczyslaw Bubliński to Rychnów Major Stanislaw Rekiert to Rrokytnice Cpt. John Zebrowski, to Kostelec Major Emil Judah, and to Cervena Voda Captain . Janusz Wojtowicz. They familiarized themselves with the local conditions and circumstances. Upon their return to the country they shared thoughts and comments with the rest of the staff and soldiers.
On 9 September was another reconnaissance. On that day, battalion was divided into five groups, which were run in different areas. September 10 there was Battalion Party meeting , intensely preparing for departure, and complete supplies. At hours. 17.00 commander Lieutenant Colonel. Mieczyslaw Bubliński inspected the battalion. An hour later came the division commander Colonel. Edward Dysko and and his deputy for political affairs Lt.-Col. mgr. J. Gąstoł and conducted an inspection of the unit. At hours 19.00 began to set the columns of vehicles that vithin an hour were ready to move in the direction of Czechoslovakia. They riched the target at 21.00. The first column that crossed the border headed towards Rychnów. By hour 24.00 they managed to loosen the remaining previously in the area forces of 18th bpd.
Rychnów Group was commanded by Major Stanislaw Rekiert. Besides its headquarters in the group composed of the deputy for political affairs Cpt. Górka, Chief of Staff Captain. Henryk Laskowski, Vice President of Engineering Cpt. Alexander Gromow, head of communications Krzysztof Szablewski and also Ltn. Ludomir Schab, Ltn. Wieslaw Grzyś, Ltn. Józef Wojtyna, Sergeant. Jan Rusin, Sergeant. Adam Salwerowicz, Cpr. Grzesiak and battery commander Ltn. Henryk Kropidłowski. The group included 1st Assault Company without 2nd assault platoon, a platoon of tanks, battery PPK, anti-aircraft battery.
Zamberk group commander was Lieutenant Colonel. Mieczyslaw Bubliński and beyond were there as a substitute for Political Affairs Ltn Stanislaw Gajda, Chief of Staff (the first few days) Cpt. Jan Zebrowski, Vice President of Engineering Cpt. Marian Gałuszka, head of communications Cpt. Sylvester Neiman, Assistant Quartermaster Cap

tain. Shin and Cpt. Casimir cavity, Cpt. Stanislaw King, Jankisz cf, cf Boleslaw Caba, Cpt. clusters, see the drug. Stefan toddler, Sgt. Gałuszak, Sgt. Malachowski, Sgt. Alexei Leszczynski, Sgt. Stanislaw Szpunar, platoon account, Joseph Bush, Kuryłło, Witold Wtulich, Borkowski, Ochocki, Stanislaw Neviadomski. Composition of the group were: three assault company, platoon communications, plutonium bomb squad, platoon and a platoon of tanks RMC. Group operates a Kostelec in the region led by Major Emil Judah. ​​belonged to the staff group also Cpt. Kazimierz Lewandowski, Sec. Stabryn, Sec. Stefan Sobol cell. Ryszard Piotrowicz, Sergeant. Vladimir Strzałkowski, Sergeant. Witas Joseph, Sergeant. John Wheeler and Cpl. John Cwik. in the composition of the group included a battery of artillery, assault platoon of one company, platoon and firing anti-aircraft self-propelled artillery. commander of Rokytnice was Maj. Ing. Jozef pole. Apart from him, acted in it as Lieutenant Tadeusz Urbanczyk, see Roman Baszczuk, see Charles Gryzowski, Sgt. Adam Habant, Sgt. Czeslaw Szymanowicz, Sergeant. Tadeusz Button, Sergeant. Zygmunt Pyc, Sergeant. Janusz Walczak, Cpl. ndt. Dyrbosz, Cpl. ndt. Boleslaw Piegza. The group included two assault company and platoon of tanks. Cervena Voda Group, commanded by Captain. Janusz Wojtowicz. in this group were also Leszek see Hoffman, see Roman Kotecki, Sec. T. Wrześniowski, Sec. Eugene Gniecki, Sgt. Lukasik, Sergeant. Lettuce, Sergeant. Miter, Sergeant. Miroslaw only child. Paratroopers supported self-propelled artillery battery here. Moreover, each group assigned one officer from Headquarters Division. Zamberk The group was a Lieutenant Colonel. Edward Bolt, in Rychnov Major Lech Zakrzewski, in Rokytnicach Major Hornet in Kostelec Major Witold Sobański in group Cervena Voda Major Tadeusz It formed. All groups performed the same task. were to So to be in constant readiness to repel an attack or diversion from the branches I began, blocking of the Czechoslovak army and be ready in case you need their disarmament. tasks are performed by 10 bpd two weeks, in the night from 23 to 24 September to be zluzowanym by 16 Battalion Airborne desantowy.
6. 48 company-finding tasks and their execution
From the first day were operating in Czechoslovakia soldiers finding companies under the command of Captain. Romana Orlowski. They are also the last to leave the borders of the country. Initially the plan was taken from Szymany are planes AN-12 and will perform the landing of Czechoslovakia. Due to bad weather conditions, however, have to land in Wroclaw and from there it moved their cars in the area nadgraniczny54. Soldiers Cpt. Orlowski reconnaissance operations were carried out for six PDPD. Their main task was to recognize objects military and the military-industrial-economic development. had it all the more important that the leadership had often sparse and incomplete information on the area where the division came operate. task so krozp was 48 I began locating units, which have not been reported. It turned out in fact, 6 PDPD that block chemical non-commissioned officers school, and 30 km on the barracks were much stronger and more dangerous Tank Regiment, which commands the division nobody had poinformował55. During the first days of intervention Czechs destroyed all signs and information boards, which greatly hampered the movement of the unfamiliar terrain of the occupation forces. therefore the soldiers of companies engaged in piloting an exploratory entering the Czechoslovak units. they recognized they were also a powerful belt of fortifications in Sudetach56. krozp One of the platoons made ​​up of the youngest soldiers, he was also escorting and securing crossings VIPs most en route to the headquarters of the 2nd Army located in Hradec Kralove57. primary base ("cradle of") krozp was Międzylesie58, but it also operated from bases on the territory of the division of Czechoslovakia, from Olomouc and Kostelca59. Shortly after entering closed military intervention Czech Radio . then independent news Czechs began to transmit radio using the Czechoslovak army. This propaganda was a serious problem for the occupation forces, so attempts were made ​​to localization and liquidation of transmitters. in zone 6 PDPD masts broadcasting company located the finding soldiers and radios were then muted with the participation of groups szturmowych.
7. Relations between the army and society, Czechoslovak and Polish soldiers
Initially, the ratio of the Czech population to Polish soldiers were characterized by hostility and mistrust. entering paratroopers destroyed greeted with signs hanging from the windows and the ubiquitous black flags painted on houses, roads, bridges, inscriptions: "Polish traitors," "Brothers themselves build a socialism," "fascists," "Siberia, 6000 km," "At Ziva Dubcek," " Sovětská tanky go home," " Warsaw 400 km," "No pasaran," "Ivan go home." In the village Kraliki local people under the leadership of mayor aligns even the barricade did not want to pass a convoy with guns and paratroopers, in the end, ustąpiono62. Soon, however, relations with local authorities such as the military and the Czech population have improved. Influence It was certainly high discipline prevails in the ranks of the "red berets" No incidents or accidents in which the local population could be affected, and of the fact that the Czechs' of two evils prefer our troops than the Soviets. "63 In addition, the subordinated 6 PDPD were no Polish garrison command, which took place in other zones of occupation, even in areas subordinate to the Polish units 10 and 11 Panzer Divisions and 4 Mechanised Division. Here in effect determine the czechosłowackiej64. division headquarters was carried out in the records of damages and losses caused to the national economy or individual citizens of Czechoslovakia by the Polish wojsko65. As time became more and more frequent mutual visits and return visits, exchange of views, conversations, there are signs of affection on the part of the Czech population in relation to the paratroopers. During one of the meetings Col. Dyśko heard at the start of the invasion The Czechs were ordered saying they do not have to shoot the encroaching Red Army. ABOUT other interwentach, including Polish troops, there was no way. Czechs spontaneously made ​​the decision so that the Poles will also not be walczyć66. initially intransigent stance against the Poles occupied unit commander cantly in Kostelec Col. Dewotin. Soon, however, he and his soldiers have established friendly relations with Polish soldiers who were allowed to even bathing in the local koszarach67. Similarly applies to cooperation with the commanders of the other units I began. September 6 commander of the 10th Regiment of chemical cantly in Cervena Voda invited paratroopers in the match, which in Lansskroun have played teams from the jednostki68. Certain problems on a Czech driver who felt themselves masters of the winding mountain roads. Their reckless driving trucks posed a danger to moving the Polish road convoys. Such behavior "which is sure way of showing the Czechs stop "trying to counter the company's exploratory patrols stop unruly kierowców69. Despite some improvement in relations could feel that the remaining reserves in mutual contacts. Czechs had a grudge against the neighbors that so brutally crushed the Prague Spring and like many Americans felt for shame part of the Polish Army in the fracas. As mentioned Gen. disco, "we and they" both sides "had a moral hangover that it all happened." 70 Many soldiers felt their participation and intervention of the Polish Army's shameful. Moreover, not all were able to go over the agenda. During their stay in the territory of Czechoslovakia, one of the officers 10 bpd, commander of the platoon Assault 3 assault company, collapsed. immediately suspended him from duties and sent back to the country. crash was treated as desertion from the battlefield and at the request of the commander of the division officer was released to the reserve and demoted to the rank of private. There are also elements of the cooperation of representatives of the two "brotherly" nations and the army, which, however, could not be discouraged by the command. Well, "some staff using departures and arrivals to the country in CSRS area trying to cultivate illicit trade with the local population thus staining the reputation of a Polish soldier. "Both so some Poles and Czechs began to take advantage of the situation. awareness campaign was" omission which is aimed at all kinds of commercial transaction and supply of alcoholic beverages " przeprowadzić mieli dowódcy jednostek i aparat polityczny72. Na wyrobienie odpowiedniej postawy wśród spadochroniarzy miało wpłynąć intensywne szkolenie polityczne. Starano się uświadomić żołnierzom, że ich pobyt na terenie Czechosłowacji jest jak najbardziej słuszny i służy interesom ojczyzny oraz samym Czechom, a "okiełznanie sił kontrrewolucyjnych, pomoc prawdziwym patriotom Czechosłowacji w obronie podstaw i zdobyczy socjalizmu" jest " The subordinate occupation zone 6 PDPD has been only one serious incident. Well, in the vicinity of Cervena Voda 16 soldiers airborne assault battalion were shot from a passing SKOT armored personnel carrier. Immediately it was the pursuit, but followed the fleeing vehicle stopped near the stationing of Soviet units. The investigation in this case has taken Military Internal Service, but its results Commander 6 PDPD not poinformowano.
8. Polish population ratio for men 6 PDPD
Not idle as this part of the division, which was stationed in the country Kłodzko Valley. August and September is a period of intensive work in the field, and therefore "in the performance of their internationalist duty soldiers division helped local residents when working in the field, omłotach and repaired the road." 76 was a spontaneous help, no one had to be coerced into it, especially that a large part of the soldiers slept on the plots on farms and know who is most needed. First, the support received these families whose sons served in the military, and those in which they were such inwalidzi77. The soldiers helped in repairing schools, rebuilding barns that have been burned, the military doctors were involved in the local population, including studied 560 children in Długopolu78. paratroopers also took part in the cultural life of the local population, helping to prepare various events, greeting academies, met with school children, visited the monuments and museums. The soldiers took part in a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Polish People's Army organized by the District House of Culture in Bystrzyca or scout at a rally in Stronie Śląskim79. They also visited a match factory in Bistrita Kłodzkiej80. In his spare time you can watch the show for army movies, even "Bad Luck" and "Eve wants to sleep." 81 They met with kindness on the part of the Polish population. Worked together, played at, "glowed friendships, acquaintances, went to many a love, broken little hearts." 82 There were, however, no fights and incidents of abuse by some soldiers of alcohol. In view of the severe consequences of the guilty were pulled out, a few professional soldiers dismissed from the army. In early September, three non-commissioned officers punished for arbitrary dismissal of the individual and drinking. This order was given to the whole of Personality dywizji83. October 2 reported state "intoxication" with Sgt. Leon Werra of one tank regiment. Stepped up the monitoring for the presence of soldiers in a shop in Dlugopole Zdroj and agreed with the staff that they will not sell alkoholu84 soldiers. It seems, however, that such sporadic incidents bound to impact the opinion of the "red berets." There was at that time the suicide of one of the soldiers of the division, the gunner Waldemar July. From the investigation conducted by the Military Service of Internal showed that the "cause of targnięcia on his life was heartbreak." Soldier betrayed narzeczona85. Being a large number of soldiers in the Kłodzko Valley, the need for mobility, driving your supply could cause a threat to the security of the local population. Despite the precautions taken, it was not without casualties. September 2 in Bystrzyca leading military vehicle hit a corporal snapper Żurecki 8-year-old boy. Child zmarło. In order to minimize the possibility of another tragedy reduced car trips "with the exception of essential needs associated with the supply and szkoleniem. During training interventions have not been conducted at the battalion or company, restricted to personal training. was not until the end of September and October were on the verge skydiving . to parachute training were two helicopters Mi-4 and created a landing field in Pisary. articles in need soldiers could source the organized divisions stationed in the canteens. were used as zaopatrzone89. Moreover, every soldier, there were 20 cigarettes per day "Silesia." Sometimes the service 6 PDPD seemed quartermaster supplies or provided a similar service for the troops of other Warsaw Pact countries participating in interwencji90. Once the situation has stabilized to make the scene "in appropriate cases and with the consent of the commander" on trips to the garrisons macierzystych91. began to also visit Polish troops stationed in Czechoslovakia numerous delegations from Krakow and the entire country. Patients received either paratroopers list of companies, all walks of life, young people. As reported later in Cracow newspaper, "from the first moments of their temporary stay in Czechoslovakia residents of Krakow and the Krakow region, crew workplaces directed to the address of the soldiers thousands of letters full of sympathy, led by many delegations that had a glimpse of it as a great attitude held our soldier in the performance of this difficult and responsible service. "92 At the beginning of September brought gifts for soldiers Gdansk Province delegation headed by Secretary of the Provincial Committee of the Communist Party Lewińskim93 . They came representatives of companies from Stalowa Wola, Rzeszow, Nowa Huta, Auschwitz, Bielsko-Biala. recalls Commander 6 PDPD, "attitude coming to our tasks was characterized by concern for the life and health of the soldiers. You added comfort us that remember us and give moral support. "94 divisions agencies involved in the intervention for the first time in its history, celebrated the Feast of the Polish People's Army out of the country. On this day, October 12, many of whom had been promoted and awarded with medals nagrodzono95. many of the intervention has already received promotions and medals, including the Bronze, Silver and Gold Cross of Merit, Meritorious Polish, Medals of Merit for Defence Kraju.
9 Back to the country
Withdrawal of units 6 PDPD Kłodzko Valley to areas of permanent dislocation began Oct. 15. agencies stationed in the vicinity of Międzylesie (except 16 air assault battalion and security detachments located in Czechoslovakia) began to shift transport and rail transport to stem garrisons. Oct. 16 derived from the subordination of 2 1 Warsaw Army Tank Regiment and 61 pilgrimage finding of 16 Armoured Division. After October 17 in the area of Kłodzko remained only six operations group command to provide DPD command units still remaining in Czechosłowacji97. Oct. 18 "red berets" have reached Łobzów in Krakowie98. Oct. 21 in the evening began withdrawing the country's 16 bpd. As reported then-press warmly greeted returning soldiers in the country. "They were not in Krakow with the top three months. Long enough time to stęsknić behind them, "wrote one of korespondentów100. Parachute visited by delegations from Rzeszow, land Olsztyn and białostockiej. Oct. 30 ceremony held in Krakow welcome 6 PDPD" "flowers stuck in the barrel slot. Flowers pinned to their uniforms. Red roses and carnations. Chrysanthemums gold. obsypały Flowers Krakow girl soldiers returning to their country after the internationalist and patriotic duty. " The ceremony began with the submission of the Colonel. Disco Huszcza General report, the commander of WOW. Then, in his speech, General Huszcza recalled that Poles already during World War II liberated Czechoslovakia, and now helped save her from the threat of counter-revolution. Welcome speech was delivered as Czeslaw Domagala, First Secretary of the Communist Party in Krakow KW that turning to the soldiers 6 PDPD stressed that "the whole community is proud of your successes and achievements." The tribune of honor were, among others Soviet embassy military attache in Warsaw Gen. Alexander Rodionov and the Soviet consul in Krakow Vladimir Niestierowicz. During the ceremony, one of the units received standard divisions assigned to it by the State Council on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Polish People's Army. The ceremony ended with a parade down the avenue Pushkin and avenues Three Bards. That day there was "such a soldier" paratrooper who defilowałby front of the tribune of honor without even one flower. They were the chosen ones, the more successful half of the Krakow community giving away a whole bunches. "102 Thus, the event presented the official press. completely different that day remembered Sgt. Zbigniew Ślusarczyk participant intervention and 6 PDPD soldier who, along with his colleagues returned to Krakow. According to the relation of "red berets" greeted with stands adorned with large portraits of Gomulka and Spychalski Cyrankiewicz party officials, but there were no crowds cheering in honor of paratroopers, but at most "spent on the celebration of children from primary schools and some random onlookers. "Cracovians boycotted because" welcome winning the Polish army, "ironically described as Sgt. Ślusarczyk103. was not yet to be proud of ...
10. Ratings attitudes and tasks for 6 PDPD
In late September and early October inspection has been carried out in units of the 2nd Army . taken part in the intervention units 6 PDPD received an average rating of 3.53. 6 PDPD The Chronicle can read that "his soldiers Division action, attitude, disciplined and high political consciousness shown during a job on earth fraternal Czechoslovak confirmed the high values ​​and ideological moral and Combat 6 Pomeranian Airborne Division. " This sentence was obviously in line with the then official reviews the presence of Polish troops in Czechoslovakia. Gen. Zygmunt Huszcza, commander of the Warsaw Military District, praised the quick flip of the Mazur to Klodzko Valley and almost immediate entry into operation. According to him, six Pomeranian Airborne "has demonstrated high combat readiness, efficiency in the organization and making rearrangement way combination of long distance, and its staffing high discipline and proper attitude soldiers while on duty across the country and beyond borders. " High level of discipline prevailing in the "red berets" contributed to the fact that there was no division are responsible for any incidents between soldiers and the local Polish community and the Czech army. Poles do not impose their authority and do not interfere with local relations. These facts certainly contributed to the fact that over time began to disappear distrust and hostility in their relations. During three months the soldiers "often with little experience in the army - were on full alert, they had live ammunition, and took place at the time of any accident weapons, which also proves their mastery and wyszkoleniu. Although many soldiers negatively evaluated part of our army in the intervention, they tried their best to carry out your task. This is because they do not bear responsibility for the fact that they were in Czechoslovakia.
Przemysław Wywiał (Institute of History of the Jagiellonian University, Cracow 2004). The thesis was written under the direction of Dr. John Jack Bruski on the run by the Institute of History of the Jagiellonian University seminar "The Polish-Czech-Slovak relationship in the twentieth century."

Operation Dunabe and re-enactment

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