Polish Second Corps - Recruitment times

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HenryD
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Polish Second Corps - Recruitment times

Post by HenryD » 05 May 2019 23:38

This is my first post so please be gentle.

My question revolves around turnaround times for polish members of the wermacht from the point where they changed sides after reaching the allies and subsequently recruited into the polish II corps and make it to the front lines as it were.

I read somewhere previously that it was around 3 months from the point of being a POW to being renlisted into the Polish II Corps. But I would like an informed opinion if someone has the knowledge.

The question arises from my grandfather who would have been conscripted into the wermacht, found the allies and swapped sides. By knowing how long it takes I would be able to trace to what theatres he may have been a part of with the Germans.

Many Thanks,

Henry

GregSingh
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Re: Polish Second Corps - Recruitment times

Post by GregSingh » 08 May 2019 00:54

:welcome:

As far as I know there was no rule. It was all on case-by-case basis.
Generally that waiting time shortened as war progressed.

If you are after his service record in German Army, why not send a request to Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) ?
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

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Steve
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Re: Polish Second Corps - Recruitment times

Post by Steve » 08 May 2019 02:44

Hi, the following is taken from an edited version of the official history of the 2nd Corps by Witold Madeja. It may not be exactly what you are looking for but maybe it will help.

“From September 1944 the Corps numerical strength had begun to rise. Corps base had sent up reinforcements (mainly Poles recovered from the PW camps) and thus the most urgent needs were satisfied.”

The following refers to the setting up of new units “…..Corps staff decided in the first place on the time required and the organisation of the required signalsmen, tradesmen, and armoured troops and E.M.E. The time required to train that personnel varied from 7 to 8 months. Adding at least 3 months for team-work training, 10 months would be the minimum…………….training could be shortened considerably in view of the fact that the great majority of incoming reinforcements from P.W. camps were not ordinary recruits, but men with fighting experience who had undergone various forms of training in the German Army …..… there was no need to start training them from the very beginning. It would be advisable to make use of the men according to their respective previous training. …… owing to the lack of adequate units in the rear areas, the task of training in many of the specialised trades was undertaken by the fighting units………Particular attention was paid to getting acquainted with the equipment used at the front. The new men also needed to work together in teams, and integrate into the 2nd Corps.

If you contact the British Ministry of Defence and can show proof of your relationship you should be able to obtain your grandfathers service records relating to his 2nd Corps service. The address of the records section was 2B Bourne Avenue, Hayes Middlesex UB3 1RF.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Polish Second Corps - Recruitment times

Post by Sheldrake » 08 May 2019 11:30

Steve wrote:
08 May 2019 02:44
“From September 1944 the Corps numerical strength had begun to rise. Corps base had sent up reinforcements (mainly Poles recovered from the PW camps) and thus the most urgent needs were satisfied.”

The following refers to the setting up of new units “…..Corps staff decided in the first place on the time required and the organisation of the required signalsmen, tradesmen, and armoured troops and E.M.E. The time required to train that personnel varied from 7 to 8 months. Adding at least 3 months for team-work training, 10 months would be the minimum…………….training could be shortened considerably in view of the fact that the great majority of incoming reinforcements from P.W. camps were not ordinary recruits, but men with fighting experience who had undergone various forms of training in the German Army …..… there was no need to start training them from the very beginning. It would be advisable to make use of the men according to their respective previous training. …… owing to the lack of adequate units in the rear areas, the task of training in many of the specialised trades was undertaken by the fighting units………Particular attention was paid to getting acquainted with the equipment used at the front. The new men also needed to work together in teams, and integrate into the 2nd Corps.

If you contact the British Ministry of Defence and can show proof of your relationship you should be able to obtain your grandfathers service records relating to his 2nd Corps service. The address of the records section was 2B Bourne Avenue, Hayes Middlesex UB3 1RF.
Two observations on this:-

Training for infantry soldiers might be shortened for those with wehrmacht experience. Such soldiers would not need the full 12 weeks of basic training designed to militarize the civilian. They would need to be training in British Infantry weapons and minor tactics. Competency as a wehrmacht mechanic, signaler or tank crewman was not as transferable and might still take months of conversion training,

The comments about new units include the time for collective as well as individual training. The bottleneck was the number of specialists who could not simply pick up and operate allied equipment. IRRC the Polish Corps did not form new units at this time, but reinforced the existing units of the corps, depleted after a summer of heavy fighting.

Volyn
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Re: Polish Second Corps - Recruitment times

Post by Volyn » 08 May 2019 11:57

It looked different in 2 KP and it depended on where he was captured and which camp he was sent to, example: North Africa, Italy, Southern France or in Greece. Was he in a British or American POW camp, or did he desert earlier and joined partisan units in France?

After gathering the appropriate group of volunteers of former prisoners, they were separated and sent to another place in the camp and were subjected to preliminary interviews to confirm personal data and the type of service in the German Armed Forces. Then they were transported by land (vehicle or train) or by sea and sometimes by air in groups of a dozen to several dozen. After arriving in Italy, they were detained in the POW Camp for Poles, prisoners and deserters from the German army. "Jolanda" was located to the south of San Basilio and was one of these camps; I believe this camp garrisoned the 7 (Reserve) Infantry Division - 2 KP.

Here, defense intelligence officers and officers of the Supplement Records No. 3 interrogated the volunteers and qualified them for service in the units of the 2 KP. Subsequently, the recruitment took place in the units of the 7th Division, where, depending on the needs and capabilities of the uniformed, they were given equipment and weapons. Then they were trained in the use of allied weapons, familiarized with tactics at the basic organizational level and customs and principles of service in the Polish Army, afterwards they were assigned to the front units or they created a new one at the 2 KP base.

The process lasted from several weeks to several months. It was different in the case of 1 DPanc. 1 SB Spad., Aviation units and 1 KP units stationed in the UK.

HenryD
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Re: Polish Second Corps - Recruitment times

Post by HenryD » 11 May 2019 09:37

Thanks for the welcome and all the helpful comments.


I have the forms for records regarding "Deutsche Dienststelle". Just need to send them off, but I hear there is a very long wait and most records were destroyed. So that has slowed my movement in that direction. I need to take some holiday time to get to the sikorski institute in London also. I've received the regards from APC Polish enquiries, Margaret who was extremely helpful. However, as polish records would be they are in Polish and some very fancy small writing has been going on, so I'm deciphering as I go. Thanks to some polish students and google translate.
Volyn wrote:
08 May 2019 11:57
It looked different in 2 KP and it depended on where he was captured and which camp he was sent to, example: North Africa, Italy, Southern France or in Greece. Was he in a British or American POW camp, or did he desert earlier and joined partisan units in France?
Like all stories there is fact and conjecture, I would assume. Apologies if I am veering off topic, but to give context to my initial question.

He was born in 1925 which means he would have been 18 in 1943. Was that the minimum age of conscription 17/18?

Apparently, he fought against americans while with the Germans which could limit the theatres of operations with the germans then in 1942/1943. I think, to North Africa, Sicily/Italy when deserting/getting captured?

His first record was 16.4.1944 → 19.11.1944 I'm unable to read the handwriting yet. Though I took a photo if you would like to try and decipher something from it.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sBJ5v ... 1Ra35uBBEF
Volyn wrote:
08 May 2019 11:57
After arriving in Italy, they were detained in the POW Camp for Poles, prisoners and deserters from the German army. "Jolanda" was located to the south of San Basilio and was one of these camps; I believe this camp garrisoned the 7 (Reserve) Infantry Division - 2 KP.
The first unit assigned is 19.12.1944 - As part of the 17 Signals Battalion. Which I believe is a part of 7 reserve infantry division you mention. Then moving through different units and settling with 2 Warsaw Signals Battalion: 2 Warsaw armoured brigade.

He has a 2nd armored division insignia made from a tin can as I guess they didn’t have one for his uniform, maybe later in the campaign.

Apparently again, he was at Monte Cassino which complicates matters further is that there is a monte cassino ribbon on his uniform. But this happened earlier in the year in May 1944. It is all physically possible that he aquired it post war.

He vividly mentioned being in palestine though doing “security”. Similar to that BBC series “The Promise”. I don’t know when this would have been. But, I had thought the polish moved out of palestine when the corps got shifted to Italy from egypt in April 1944, did they go back at all after?

I would have nearly thought he was with the Anders army crossings and wanted to avoid the topic if it wasn’t for the explicit detail with which he explained some actions with the germans and what was going on in Palestine. His age at the time would have limited his scope for fighting with the germans getting into the soviet union and getting to Palestine that way.

HenryD
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Re: Polish Second Corps - Recruitment times

Post by HenryD » 12 May 2019 08:32

R Durka b.jpg
The guy on the left.
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