Collectors and Military shows.

Discussions on other First and Second World War militaria and collecting in general. Hosted by John G & William Kramer.
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PolAntek
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Post by PolAntek » 01 May 2004 01:07

dasboot wrote:Whats the story behind this Polish Division?


The following provides a concise account of the First Polish Armored Division, and the story of its brilliant commanding officer, General Stanislaw Maczek (Source: http://dragoons10.tripod.com/1st.html)


Polish 1st Armored Division

The Polish 1st Armored Division truly began as the 10th Mechanized Brigade in 1939. Known as the "Black Brigade" for its distinctive black-leather uniform jackets, it was in fact Poland's only major mechanized unit at the time of the German invasion. Heavily outnumbered and outgunned, the 10th Mech Brigade gave an excellent account of itself during the September Campaign. Covering the retreat of Army Krakow and participating in counteroffensives in the Lwow area, Maczek and his men proved themselves more than a match for the Germans. After the fall of Poland, many of the officers and men escaped into Hungary and Romania, to later go further on to France. Luckily for the Allied cause, General Stanislaw Maczek, the able commander of the 10th Mech, was among them.

In France, they reformed, but that reformation was a slow and frustrating process fully hampered by the arrogant attitude of the French government who, at this point, viewed the Poles as "losers." (One must stop at this point and recall the performance of the French Army in 1940...) In spite of this, the newly formed Polish mechanized forces did see action late in the French campaign. In one incident, they even covered the retreat of a much larger French unit, only to watch the French unit subsequently surrender to the Germans! After the disastrous French Campaign, many of the members escaped to Great Britian. Again, among them was Stanislaw Maczek.

In Great Britain, the Poles once again reconstructed their armored unit, although this time with the resulting strength of a division. Renamed the Polish 1st Armored Division, General Stanislaw Maczek once again took command. Over the next four years, the division trained and prepared to face the nazis once again. Thanks to American vehicles like the Sherman tank, and lovable jeep, the new 1st Armored Division was now a fully modernized and potent force. Despite the new name and formation, the Division retained the old traditional pre-war regimental insignia. All members were also eventually required to wear a blackened left epaulette as a symbol of honor towards the original 10th Mech Brigade of the 1939 September Campaign

In late July 1944, following the Normandy Landing, the 1st Division was dispatched to France to operate as a part of the 1st Canadian Corps. With the battle for Normandy in its final stages, the Americans to the south, and the British and Canadians to the north, the bulk of the nazi army was threatened with destruction. Regardless, the Germans forces were putting up furious resistance. Beginning on August 7, Polish and Canadian forces began driving south to link up with Gen. Patton's Americans and complete the encirclement of the German forces.

On August 19th, advance elements of the Polish 10th Mounted Rifles regiment linked up with the Americans to the South, precariously closing the ring around the Germans. Still at this point in time, the nazis were desperately trying to escape the trap. During this deadly "race", elements of the Polish 1st Armored division seized a hill called "the Mace" (due to its shape) which overlooked the few remaining roads the nazis were using to escape. By seizing and occupying these heights, the Poles had put themselves in a very precarious position - nazi units were actually on either side of the hill. By seizing this position, and vowing to hold it at all costs, the Poles began what was to later be known as "The Battle of Falaise Gap".

Low on fuel, the Poles dug in their tanks on the heights and prepared to defend.

Desperate to escape the onrushing Allies, nazi forces--including the fanatical SS LAH and SS Hitler Youth Divisions, savagely attacked the heights. The Poles, even when running low on ammunition, threw back every assault! Meanwhile, Polish radio operators from their hilltop position, directed the fire of Canadian and Polish artillery batteries on the masses of retreating nazis in the valley below.

The result was a huge victory: 50,000 Germans were captured, another 10,000 died trying to escape the trap. The Poles alone captured over 5,000 prisoners. In recognition of their valor, Canadian troops later christened the hilltop with a sign that simply, yet majestically proclaimed: "A Polish Battlefield."
Even Winston Churchill acknowledged the steadfastness of the Polish 1st Armored Division when he likened their participation in that battle to a "cork in a bottle".
(the Germans being trapped in "a bottle" with the Poles as a "cork" which would not budge)

After the Normandy Campaign, the 1st Polish Armored Division drove on across Belgium helping liberate numerous towns and villages. The next major action of the Division took place at a city called Breda in Holland. The Germans had planned to turn Breda into a fortress and defend it to the last, yet General Maczek was able to outmaneuver his opponent and force the Germans to retreat without leveling the city. In the final stages of the war, the Poles formed the outside flank of the Allied advance into Germany in 1945. Their final action was the battle of Wilhelmshaven. The Poles captured the city and received the surrender of almost the entire German navy!

Despite their steadfast commitment to the Allied cause, and despite almost six years of fighting the nazis, Poland was handed over to Stalin and the Soviet Union at the War's conclusion.
(Bear in mind that the Communist Government of the Soviet Union bears the responsibility for the deaths of an estimated 700,000-1 million Poles during the years 1939-56.)
Polish soldiers who returned to Poland were at best mistreated, and at worst executed for being "Anti-Communist". They were even denied the right to march in the postwar victory parades in the West for fear of offending Stalin. There, the vast majority of them remained - in the West, not daring to return to their beloved Homeland, and sorely missed families.

Thankfully, the Polish spirit remained unbroken, and in the early 1990's the Polish democratic government based in London since 1940, was allowed to return to Poland. Sweeping changes had taken place in Eastern Europe, some say those sweeping changes can be directly credited to Poland's stubborn spirit to resist oppression, and to fight for freedom. World War Two had finally ended for Poland.


Another couple of good sites:

http://www.polamjournal.com/Library/Bio ... aczek.html

http://www.maczekmuseum.nl/main.html
Last edited by PolAntek on 01 May 2004 03:11, edited 1 time in total.

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PolAntek
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Post by PolAntek » 01 May 2004 01:21

cannon wrote:I saw that tunic there. I also found some great deals, more so on the last day.


I wanted to return Sunday as I didn't get a chance to scour through all of the seller's tables. But it was my 12th wedding anniversary and it's bad enough that my wife thinks I love WWII history more than her - so knowing what's best I spent the day with the family. Anyway, I got the tunic (which she doesn't know about yet) which effectively drained my funds.

You say you " found some great deals"...how about some more details?

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cannon
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Post by cannon » 01 May 2004 01:35

Howdy,

Yes the second day was much better for me. The first day I bought a HJ belt with buckle and cross strap. It replaced my setup which was in kinda in poor condition. I also bought some Vietnam gear for a friend all for reasonable prices. On Sunday we returned and searched for better deals. I bought a ton of ww2 US items for $100. items are very close to mint: Pistol belt, shoulder straps, 2 nade pouches, first aid pouch with bandage, shovel with carrier, M1 bayonet, holder or frog for a pickaxe, muzzle cover and a M1936 field bag. At the end there were some people giving books and stuff away, I joked to my friend we should go dumpster diving after everyone was gone. Its too bad the regular show is not that large.

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cannon
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Post by cannon » 01 May 2004 01:39

I forgot about the ww2 US Canteen and cup ! :P

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PolAntek
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Post by PolAntek » 01 May 2004 03:07

Cannon:

Wow - sounds like you walked away with a pretty good haul. Yeah, it is too bad that the show has shrunk down to one building. Last year it needed two buildings, and the year before three buildings were required for all the sellers. We can always hope for the best next year.

You probably know that May 16th is the next HACS show - back at the Ledger Hall in Burnaby.

Cheers

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stevezz1
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Post by stevezz1 » 16 May 2004 18:19

Hi All,
Anyone going to the D-Day Duxford (England) Air show on the 6th June?
Loads of Spitfires and Mustangs..............

Should be a good one if the sun shines.............

Regards, Steve.

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Drew Maynard
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Toronto Area Militaria Show

Post by Drew Maynard » 20 May 2004 15:55

Etobicoke Olympium (Just west of Toronto - a suburb).
Saturday, June 12th, 2004.
Open at 8am though there's an option to buy early bird tickets, at a much higher price.

If you need more details, PM me, I'll be working the door...

Regards

Vinland

aussie jason
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Post by aussie jason » 14 Jun 2004 19:12

For anyone in Western Australia there is a show coming up on the 20 of june at the Leederville town hall starts 9:00am.

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stevezz1
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Post by stevezz1 » 18 Jul 2004 18:31

Any Brits going to the War and Peace Show at the Hop Farm this week.

Chris, i will be there on Sunday...........

Steve.

CHRISCHA
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Post by CHRISCHA » 19 Jul 2004 18:23

Excellent. I'll give you a ring or email to meet up.

Did you see it advertised on TV?

It was billed as the Worlds biggest military show.

seahawk11
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Post by seahawk11 » 16 Aug 2004 23:22

There's a quarterly militaria show in the Denver, Colorado area, at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. I typically set up at this one....The next one is in October (last I heard it will be on the 17th). Here's a link to their website:
http://www.co.jefferson.co.us/ext/dpt/c ... /index.htm
Best,
Tony

CHRISCHA
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Post by CHRISCHA » 26 Aug 2004 19:30

The Military Odessey show this weekend, Detling Hill just outside Maidstone.

Second bigest in Europe outside of the Hop Farm.

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Nick_since_1985
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Post by Nick_since_1985 » 04 Sep 2004 13:37

Lots of info about show on this site:


http://groups.msn.com/WW2Militaria/welcome.msnw

woestewolf
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Post by woestewolf » 18 Sep 2004 01:24

Nick_since_1985 wrote:Lots of info about show on this site:


http://groups.msn.com/WW2Militaria/welcome.msnw



die man achter die site ken ik :roll: ...die biedt maar betaalt nooit.

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stevo4361
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South Dakota?

Post by stevo4361 » 07 Oct 2004 06:59

Hey everybody,
anybody know of any shows going on around South Dakota? Like Minnisota, Colorado, Wyoming, ect? Probly not many, a few booths at gunshows is all I seem to find. Any info would be great.

Thanks
Steve

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