People's Army
The Situation in 1982
Interwar Period and September Campaign: The fate of Bronislaw Sokolowski
Deported to Siberia and travels through the Middle East
Italy 1943-45
England 1946-47
Eastern Poland
Anna Usowicz
Soviet Occupation of Poland 1939
Invasion Map
Invasion: Battles and War Crimes
Second Invasion
More Stories
Fallen Soldiers1
People's Army
Fallen Soldiers2
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Polish Forces under Soviet Command - Poles who could not escape Soviet captivity volunteered for the various Polish fighting units, that were controlled by Soviet officers and political leaders, as a means of escaping the death camps and prisons. Other Poles were forced to join.

The Polish People's Army is Born
It became obvious to the Soviet leadeship that the Polish Army being raised on Soviet territory during 1941-42, under the command of General Anders, was not going to accept Soviet orders. By the end of August, 1942, most of this army had evacuated from the Soviet Union into Iran, and Stalin closed the borders. Many Poles were left behind.
With the aim of forming the remaining Poles and former Polish citizens into Soviet controlled units who would fight when told, the Soviets decided to establish the Tadeusz Kosciuszko 1st Infantry Division. It's commander, colonel Zygmunt Berling, issued the first order on May 14, 1943, thus bringing to life the first unit of the Polish People's Army.
The only regimental commander who was Polish was Lt. Col. Leon Nalecz-Bukojemski of the 1st Artillery Regiment.
From that first month, "volunteers" began to arrive at the camp in Sielce from across Siberia (e.g. from Chelabinsk - 1094 persons, Nowosybirsk - 684, Omsk - 364, Archangielsk - 178).
The initial organization of the 1st Polish Infantry Division included 3 infantry regiments (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and an artillery regiment. Units were added as the division grew although, more than anything, the Division lacked motorized equipment.
Poorly trained, the Kosciuszko Division was sent into its first battle on November 12, 1943, at Lenino. Against a strong German defence, the Poles lost 3,054 soldiers (almost 24% of initial strength). Of that total, 510 were killed in action or died of their wounds, 1,776 were wounded, and 768 went missing (of the 768, 400 were captured by the Germans).
By December, 1943, the Division had grown into a Corps with 2 infantry divisions and a third being formed. The number of soldiers had grown to 32,400.
The Red Army crossed the former border with Poland in the area of Rokitno on January 4, 1944. This entry into former Polish territory greatly increased opportunities for recruitment. By March, 1944, the numbers had swelled to 40,262 soldiers and the reorganization of the Corps into an Army had begun. It would contain: 4 infantry divisions, 1 air force wing, 1 armoured corps, etc.

Polish Armed Forces Under Soviet Command
Spring, 1945 
(Organizacja wojsk operacyjnych ludowego Wojska Polskiego wiosna 1945 r.)
Naczelny Wodz (Commander in Chief)
Sztab Glowny - - Glowny Zarzad Pol. - Wych.
(9 departments)
 1AWP (1st Army)
1 DP
2 DP
3 DP
4 DP
6 DP
1 DAPlot
1 BPanc
1 BK
1 B A A
2 B A H
3 B A H
4 BAPpanc
2 B Zap.
1 B Sap.
2 AWP (2nd Army)
5 DP
7 DP
8 DP
9 DP
10 DP
3 DAPlot
16 BPanc
9 BAPpanc
14 BAPpanc
4 B Sap.
Dowodztwo Artylerii
4 DAPlot
1 BM
11 BAPpanc
5 DA
10 BAC
2 DA
6 B A H
7 B A H
8 B A C
Dowodstwo Wojsk Inz.
3 BPont
2 B Sap.
5 B Sap.
Dowodztwo Wojsk Panc. i Zmot.
1 K Panc
1 B Zmot
2 B Panc
3 B Panc
4 B Panc
Dowodztwo Lotnictwa
1 M K L
4 M D L
1 D L B
2 D L Sz
3 D L M
Szefostwo Wojsk Lacznosci
Glowne Kwatermistrzostwo
DR - G
Jednostki Zabezp.
Wojsko Polskie, Wydawnictwo Bellona, Warszawa, 1994