British admit the role of Polish intelligence during WWII

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szopen
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British admit the role of Polish intelligence during WWII

Post by szopen » 04 Jul 2005 12:53

Hm.. i'm quite tired, but maybe someone from other polish members of the forum will translate it into English?

http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/ ... 02294.html

Seems that British finally admitted how much their intelligence was depend on Polish intelligence. AK had organised intelligence network throughout whole Europe, including inside Germany, where MI6 for long time had no their own agents (though AK paid dearly for that, with German counter-intelligence being able IIRC twice to destroy whole network of agents in Berlin).

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 04 Jul 2005 15:01

This has been a recognised truth for sometime as far as I'm aware

Andy H

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Musashi
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Post by Musashi » 04 Jul 2005 16:07

A British member's post copied from Military Photos forum:

Oddball wrote:From the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website:

LAUNCH OF ANGLO-POLISH HISTORICAL COMMITTEE REPORT (04/07/05)

Event: Launch of the Anglo-Polish Historical Committee Report

Location: London

Speech Date: 04/07/05

Speaker: Jack Straw


Let me welcome you all very warmly to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I want to say a particular welcome to those veterans of wartime intelligence and their family members who are here today, including – I gather - several relatives of the Polish Enigma code-breakers.

This report is special for two reasons.

First, it covers an area of history whose very nature is secret. Even 60 years after the end of the Second World War, much of the story of wartime intelligence remains untold, and its heroes unsung.

Thanks both to the access they had to secret archives, and to their own perseverance and dedication, the members of the Anglo-Polish Historical Committee have succeeded in finding material which had lain undiscovered for many years. Much is both fascinating in itself and of enormous help to future scholars.

I pay tribute to the authors and all the members of the Committee for their work. I particularly want to thank the joint chair-women, Tessa Stirling and Daria Nalecz. And I want to pay a special tribute to the Committee's Honorary Chairman, Jan Nowak Jezioranski, who so very sadly passed away earlier this year. There was no better or more passionate supporter of this Committee's work; and I believe that if he were with us today he would have every reason to feel satisfied and proud of what it has achieved.

The second and most important reason why this report is so timely is that it leaves absolutely no doubt about the crucial role which Polish intelligence played in winning the War. It helps to set the historical record straight – something which we all know is of great importance 60 years on.

Many of us are already aware of how Polish mathematicians were the first to break the Enigma codes: that knowledge gave the Allies a decisive advantage in the crucial battles of the War. But not everyone is aware of the role that Polish code-breakers continued to play throughout the war – many people in this country assume, wrongly, that all those that worked at Bletchley Park were British by birth.

This report brings other tales of heroism to light – of Polish officers who collected and passed on information on Hitler's V-weapons; of work by the Polish underground to report on German movements before the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941; of a Polish double agent known only as 'Brutus', who passed dis-information to the Germans about the D-Day landings.

In the words of Commander Wilfred Dunderdale of the Secret Intelligence Service's Polish liaison section, 'The Polish intelligence service made an invaluable contribution to the ultimate victory of the Allied forces in Europe'. Over 130 Poles were decorated for their part in that.

Inevitably and tragically, the human cost was heavy. Hundreds of thousands of Poles suffered capture, torture and death in the fight against Nazi tyranny and for the freedom of their homeland.

On behalf of the British Government as a whole, I pay tribute to them today, and to their families, for their courage and their sacrifice.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Unlike the UK, Poland had to wait 45 years after the end of the War to win for itself the freedom and democracy for which those heroes fought and worked. But as Winston Churchill said in the dark days of 1939, 'the soul of Poland is indestructible'. Today a free, independent, democratic Poland has taken its rightful place as a full member of the European family. The United Kingdom and Poland enjoy the closest of partnerships, and we are proud of the longstanding, strong - and growing - Polish community here in the UK.

Without the contribution of Polish intelligence throughout the War, the victory of peace and democracy on our continent would have been far less certain. This report brings the full extent of that contribution to light. I commend it to you all.



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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 04 Jul 2005 16:21

Andy H wrote:This has been a recognised truth for sometime as far as I'm aware


My thoughts exactly.

/Marcus

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Post by szopen » 05 Jul 2005 10:55

Marcus Wendel wrote:
Andy H wrote:This has been a recognised truth for sometime as far as I'm aware


My thoughts exactly.

/Marcus


You mean that you know before, that about 44% of informations from Germany and occupied countries were passed to British by Polish intelligence, and that Polish agents worked in all european countries, Africa, Asia etc? Thank you! You made me believe again in high level of history knowledge in the West.

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Post by kstdk » 05 Jul 2005 11:12

Hello all

We have known of this also for some time, a long time actually !!

In Denmark was during the occupation a very good and growing cooperation between Danish resistance and Polish Intelligence. Many reports and informations about the German forces and their positions in Denmark were distributed via Stockholm to England via Polish agents.

Even today we can get many informations from the socalled "Stockholm Archives" in the Danish State Archives
( Rigsarkivet / RA ).

Regards
Kurt
kstdk.

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 05 Jul 2005 13:04

This has been discussed earlier too. Enigma was revealed to the west by polish intelligence as early as 1938 if I recall right.

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Post by szopen » 05 Jul 2005 13:19

Next time someone will accuse me about creating Polish national myths and saying fantasy stories I will redirect him to this page :)

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Musashi
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Post by Musashi » 06 Jul 2005 22:32

The same British member's another post in the same topic:

Oddball wrote:
Latest News
Untold Story of Enigma Code-Breaker
Published Tuesday 5th July 2005

The code-breaker who revolutionised British reading of the Enigma code, Marian Rejewski, was honoured by Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Michael Walker, and his Polish counterpart, General Czeslaw Piatas at a ceremony on 4 July 2005.

Rejewski's work has been described "the mathematical theorem that won World War II". Rejewski returned to Poland at the end of hostilities and died in 1980. As a result of the Cold War, he never received his 1939 - 45 War Medal and his story has gone largely untold.

Marian's daughter, Mrs Janina Sylwestrzak, received her father's War Medal on his behalf in the ceremony at Lancaster House.

Marian's work on Enigma's "Ultra" code started in Poland in 1932 and included clandestine meetings with British intelligence staff in the Kabaty Woods South of Warsaw, immediately prior to the outbreak of war. His work continued in Vichy France during 1942 before he fled France and was imprisoned in Spain.

He finally escaped through Gibraltar in an old Dakota aircraft and arrived in Britain to continue his work at Bletchley Park in 1943. Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walker said:

"The work of Marian Rejewski, and his colleagues at Bletchley Park, substantially altered the course of the war. His story and the obstacles he had to overcome to make his vital contribution are truly remarkable and it is a privilege to honour him with this medal today."

Biography and History

Marian Rejewski (pronounced "MAHR-yahn Rey-EFF-ski") was born on 16 August 1905 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

He was a mathematics graduate of Poznan University who, as a student, had attended a cryptology course organized by the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau.

He joined the Biuro Szyfrow (Cipher Bureau) of Polish Military Intelligence in September 1932. There he studied ways of cracking the German Army's Enigma cipher machine, which had come into service in 1930.
His achievements jump-started British reading of Enigma in World War II ("Ultra"), and the intelligence so gained may have substantially altered the course of the war.

Rejewski fundamentally advanced cryptanalysis by applying pure mathematics - permutation theory - to break the Enigma cipher for the first time.

Previous methods had exploited patterns and statistics in natural language texts such as letter-frequency analysis. Rejewski's mathematical techniques, combined with material supplied by French military intelligence, enabled him to develop methods of breaking the periodic as well as individual keys used in encrypting messages on the Enigma machine.

Rejewski devised a mathematical theorem that wartime Bletchley Park luminary, Professor IJ Good, has described as "the mathematical theorem that won World War II."

Details of the Polish achievements were revealed to British and French intelligence representatives in a meeting at a secret Polish Cipher Bureau facility at Pyry, in the Kabaty Woods south of Warsaw, on 25 July 1939.

The Germans had made changes to Enigma equipment and procedures in 1938 and 1939 that increased the difficulty of breaking messages; and as it became clear that war was imminent and Polish resources would not suffice to optimally keep pace with the evolution of Enigma encryption, the Polish General Staff and government had decided to bring their western allies into the secret.

With the crucial Polish contribution of reconstructed sight-unseen German Enigma machines and the Poles' cryptological techniques and equipment, the British at Bletchley Park, and later the Americans, were able to continue the work of breaking German Army, Air Force, Nazi Party SD, and (though with substantially greater difficulty) Naval Enigma traffic.

In September 1939, after the outbreak of World War II, Rejewski and his fellow Cipher Bureau workers were evacuated from Poland via Romania to France. At "PC Bruno," outside Paris, they continued their work at breaking Enigma ciphers, collaborating by teletype with their opposite numbers at Bletchley
Park.

When "Bruno" was evacuated upon Germany's invasion of France, the Polish cryptologists and their ancillary staff worked for two years in unoccupied southern (Vichy) France and outside of Algiers in French North Africa.

Following the German takeover of the "Free Zone" in November 1942, the secret French-Polish "Cadix" center in southern France was evacuated. Its Polish military chiefs were captured and imprisoned by the Germans but protected the secret of Enigma decryption.

Rozycki, the youngest of the three mathematicians, had died in the January 1942 sinking of a French passenger ship as he was returning from a stint in Algeria to "Cadix" in southern France.

Rejewski and Zygalski fled France for Spain, where they were arrested and imprisoned for three months. Released upon the intervention of the Polish Red Cross, almost three months later, in July 1943, they made it to Portugal; from there, aboard the HMS Scottish, to Gibraltar; and thence, aboard an old Dakota, to Britain.

Here Rejewski and Zygalski were inducted as privates into the Polish Army (they would eventually be promoted to lieutenant) and employed at cracking German SS and SD hand ciphers.

After the war, Zygalski remained in Britain while Rejewski took a big risk and returned to Poland to reunite with his wife and two children. He worked as a bookkeeper at a factory-bringing disfavor on himself when he discovered irregularities-until his retirement, and was silent about his work before and during the war until, in the 1970's, he contacted the military historian Wladyslaw Kozaczuk.

He published a number of papers on his cryptological work and contributed generously to books on the subject.

Rejewski died on 13 February 1980 in Warsaw and was buried at the Powazki Cemetery, one of Poland's pantheons of the great and valiant.

The Polish Mathematical Society has honored him with a special medal.

An odd footnote to the story of Rejewski's cryptologic contributions is that his role in World War II had been so obscure that one best-selling book (William Stevenson's A Man Called Intrepid, 1976) not only did not credit him with the work he had done but identified him as "Mademoiselle Marian Rewjeski."


Image
A wartime photograph of Second Lieutenant (Signals) [Polish Army] Marian Rejewski, taken while he was at Bletchley Park, c. 1943.


http://news.mod.uk/news/press/news_headline_story.asp?newsItem_id=3339

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Post by szopen » 15 Jul 2005 08:43

In POlish:
http://polityka.onet.pl/artykul.asp?DB= ... 37500&MP=3

Polish intelligence worked in Germany, France, Switzerland, Hungary, ROmania, Bulgaria, Greece, Nordic countries and Baltic, in Portugal and Spain,in USSR, and in Turkey, Persia, Afganistan, Salvador and many, many other countires.
Polish intelligence had a small role in preparing invasion in north Africa.

Supposedly Hayes Kroner once told Sikorski, that Poles have the best military intelligence in the world. CIA supposedly was using experiences of Polish intelligence.

Betweem 1940 and 1944 Polish intelligence gave British more than 70.000 raport, of which British value 25% of extremely valuable, 60% as very valuable, 12% as valuable, 2% as low value, 1% as without value.

Article also contains information that between 1942/43 Polish underground destroyed 1268 railway engines, 3318 train cars, 76 transports were burned, 25 hmm... what's the English for "wykolejono"? 7 bridges were destroyed.

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Post by Musashi » 15 Jul 2005 10:25

szopen wrote:Article also contains information that between 1942/43 Polish underground destroyed 1268 railway engines, 3318 train cars, 76 transports were burned, 25 hmm... what's the English for "wykolejono"? 7 bridges were destroyed.

Wykolejono = "derailed". So it should be [...] 25 transports were derailed [...].

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 17 Jul 2005 18:24

szopen wrote:You mean that you know before, that about 44% of informations from Germany and occupied countries were passed to British by Polish intelligence, and that Polish agents worked in all european countries, Africa, Asia etc?


What I was referring to was that the importance of the Polish efforts is well known, I can't comment on wether or not the "44%" is accurate or not.

/Marcus

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Post by polskifone » 29 Dec 2005 23:51

This has been a recognised truth for sometime as far as I'm aware


With all due respect to moderators...

As much as I hate to pick at nits and quibble but... and you knew there was a "but" there... do you really think it is well known? Let's face it, we are all a bit geeky about our history.["Speak for yourself" I hear you cry.] I do not think it is that well known at all. Jack Straw, when he comes out with these statements, is not doing it for our benefit. There are historians who contribute to these forums who can identify a place and unit just by looking at a tiny grainy 60 year-old b/w photo. For us, he is preaching to the converted. I have written this in other places, and I repeat it here, that most people ["the man on the Clapham omnibus"] have no idea that Poland made ANY contribution to the Second World War - let alone an important one. For a variety of reasons, the Polish contribution to WW2 has been marginalised in the public consciousness - paranoid conspiracy theory??? - I leave that for another time to argue. Ask any non-historian about Poland and the war and see what they come up with - cavalry and tanks... possibly Polish Pilots in Battle of Britain... If you're lucky Monte Cassino. That's your lot! So, I restate my point, that it is not necessarily well known.

By the way Szopen,

Thank you! You made me believe again in high level of history knowledge in the West.


Don't get your hopes up. These who log on to sites like this are not representative of the knowledge of history of the mass of people (in Britain at least).

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Post by polskifone » 30 Dec 2005 00:28

From spy master to spied on... a little lesser known episode:

During the War the Polish Intel. (variously named Dwojka O.II Deuxieme Bureau) was useful - after 1945 it caused problems for the British Government. The Warsaw (Communist) Polish Government complained:

"With regards to the repatriation of Poles, more or less up to the Middle of 1946, the Western Occupation Authorities, with the tacit agreement of UNRRA, were admitting the possibility of a change in the Polish policy and so wanted to maintain a cadre of people who would take over the political life of Poland. With the support of Polish military formations stationed at that time in Germany they used their newly formed watchmen companies to create a military and political apparatus for Poland that was dominated by right-wing elements. In the full knowledge of the occupation authorities these units - in particular the Swietokrzyska Brigade and the Deuxieme Bureau of the 1st Armd. Division - supported the active operations of the Polish Underground, supplying them with instructions, money, arms and liaising abroad with foreign intelligence services."

Although somewhat overstated by Warsw, the power of the Polish 'Dwojka' should not be underestimated. Colonel Gano's intelligence network had posts across Europe but more importantly there was a large network in Poland itself, with the largest going under the code-name of 'Pralnia II'. This network, like all the others working for the London Polish O.II were supposed to have been shut down after the war but both the Warsaw authorities and the British Government suspected otherwise.

The Poles in the West had been in radio communication with Poland throughout the war. From their cipher and transmitter centre at Woldingham in Surrey they were outdistancing the British Secret Service and the electronic devices they produced and according to one source, "...pushed all other existing devices to the status of museum pieces." Much to the chagrin of the British, the Poles continued to broadcast their anti Communist message to the old country, particularly from secret bases in Italy. Most of the files covering this aspect of Polish undercover work remain closed to the public but from the little that is available it would appear that Britain's MI6 were monitoring Polish radio broadcasts to Poland. When the Poles set up a "wireless school" in Rome the move did not convince the Foreign Office who obviously gave instructions to AFHQ to keep an eye on what was going on. On the 16th October, 1945, Allied Forces HQ, Italy ciphered the Foreign Office:

"My telegram No.1866

Station did not transmit yesterday

2. The mobile unit will continue to lie in wait.

Foreign Office please repeat to Warsaw as my
telegram No.10"


This was passed to General Sugden, Director of Military Operations and to "C" (the secretive General Stewart Menzies, Head of MI6). As well as two-way radio traffic, the Poles also had Radio "Fighting Poland" that broadcast the word according to the exiles. BBC Monitoring picked up its broadcast on September 10th, 1947:

"Its entire tone was anti-Soviet and, to some extent anti-Semitic. In a talk on "who rules Poland?" most of the members of the Polish Politburo were mentioned either as Soviet citizens or Jews, or as having been Soviet trained. Poland's rulers were said to have been forced upon the country by the USSR."

The security aspects of this situation were not wasted in London and Warsaw. The agents of a government no longer recognised by HMG were inciting 'counterrevolution' in an allied state, the government of which was recognised by HMG. The implications were far reaching and it was for this reason that the British security apparatus was brought to bear on the Poles in the West.

Colonel Kuropieska (Warsaw Military Attache to london) questioned the Foreign Office in October, 1946, about the Polish Ex-Combatant Society [SPK] that had recently formed in Britain, seeing it as a new source of conflict between Warsaw and the British. The FO was equally anxious to establish the true nature of the SPK and planned to infiltrate its leadership but as this might prove difficult they settled for an investigation by MI5. The Home Army Association was investigated by Special Branch for much the same reasons. The Polish Forces in the West would not be allowed to become a nest of anti-communist subversion

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Post by stcamp » 30 Dec 2005 03:49

Maybe I am a little off but why did the Brit's admit to this now? I don't think they make statements like this with out a reason. Is there some kind of Polish-UK joint intelligence project about to announced?

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Steve

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