September 1, 2017

POLISH GREATNESS.COM - 10-TH ANNIVERSARY !


I am pleased to announce that my website Polish Greatness.com is celebrating it's 10-th Anniversary!  It was first inaugurated on September 1st, 2007. The main feature of this website is dedicated to promoting Polish history during World War Two, and lists numerous articles which I have researched and written. They focus on Poland's enormous contributions to the Allied war effort during World War Two. It is a tribute to the great courage of the men, women (and even children) fighting the Nazis and Soviets, against all odds. There is a vast amount of historical information and data, as well as archival photos.

Additional sections were later added, such as "Polish Culture" which features Polish music of all genres,as well as sample videos, biographies and discographies of famous Polish stars.  There is also a small section based on book reviews (but I apologize for not having expanded it as I initially intended.).

Another special feature was added called, "What's New" to let visitors know the latest articles and blogs posted. On September 1st, 2010 I started Polish Greatness (Blog) featuring a regular series of more detailed stories about some of the battles of World War II, many of  the contributions of the Polish armed forces, and the biographies of Polish Generals, and many other heroes!

To celebrate this 10th Anniversary, I have created the Polish Greatness Database - Books which presents a vast collection of more than 200 books dealing with many topics such as Polish WWII history, Polish Military, Polish Medieval History, Polish Memoirs and much more. Images of the book covers have been arranged in thumbnail format and linked to the corresponding pages in Amazon (there you can read summaries of the books, information about the authors, reviews, and even order your books online if you wish).

The theme that I have chosen for this 10th Anniversary Special is the Polish White Tailed Eagle (which is featured in the logo that I have assembled especially for this occasion,  as indicated above. I extracted the image of this eagle from a photograph taken of the gate entrance of the University of Warsaw.)

Other special features are, The Order of the White Eagle, (showcasing some of the famous Polish recipients of this great medal), Polish Eagles Among Us (which is a whimsical illustration of symbols of the eagle in Polish architecture, and The Glory of the Polish Eagle, (which gives some historical insight to cultural relevance of the eagle.)

The eagle has been the symbol of the Polish nation since time immemorial and has been part of the Polish identity, and always will be. It saddens me deeply to know that the Polish White Tailed Eagle was on the brink of extinction, but thankfully has been saved by dedicated conservationists.  I consider this a "wake-up call" to all of us who take the eagle (and other creatures) for granted. I hope that it will raise awareness, and motivate governments, and businesses everywhere to take decisive action to protect these magnificent raptors.

I invite you to visit Polish Greatness.com (the Website) and discover history told in ways you never imagined. 

More articles will be posted (on the website) in the coming weeks. So stay tuned.


And Never, never, never, never, never stop learning about Polish history.


Thank you Dear Friends of Poland for your interest in Polish Greatness.com, for sharing my articles, and for your comments and encouragement!


POLISH GREATNESS WEBSITE
http://www.polishgreatness.com/











July 31, 2014

70th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARSAW UPRISING: A TIME TO REFLECT

At precisely 5:00 pm on August 1st, 2014,  Warsaw stops and holds its breath for a minute.  It is the 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising.  As every year, the Polish people pay their respects to their fallen heroes.  It is also a time for reflection.

The Warsaw Uprising was one of the most brutal, vicious battles of World War Two. Though historians often refer to it as urban warfare, this definition is grossly understated. The Warsaw Uprising was all-out war.

The Polish Underground had been planning this offensive since the outbreak of World War Two, and desperately relied on their alliance with Britain and the United States for their military intervention and war materiel. Churchill and Roosevelt responded amicably with abundant smiles and promises, but delivered too little too late. In the end Britain and the US betrayed their most valuable ally, Poland. Political expediency was the motivating factor, rather than the defence of democracy, honour and justice. Stalin was a political mastermind, and skillfully played Churchill and Roosevelt into bending to his will. Yalta was proof of that. The decades which ensued plunged the world into the Cold War, with Poland and many other nations trapped behind the Iron Curtain. The Warsaw Uprising was a catastrophic battle which lasted 63 days.

Tens of thousands of Polish Home Army soldiers were killed as well as 200,000 civilians. Nazi German armies barraged Warsaw night and day, airdropping bombs, launching heavy artillery, torching buildings, until much of Warsaw was reduced to a pile of smoldering rubble and ashes. All the while, the Red Army stood poised across the Vistula casually watching the destruction and waiting until the Nazi Germans finished their rampage. Then finally, the Russians entered Warsaw claiming to have "liberated" her.  It was really a hostile occupation under the guise of "liberation" ! Despite the heavy toll on the lives of Polish people, the events of the Warsaw Uprising is a testament to their fervent desire to be a free nation and people, and to their courage to fight against all odds. The Polish Armia Krajowa (Home Army) endured 63 days of fighting against the full military might of the Nazi Wehrmacht, while possessing few weapons and military equipment of their own.


The West still cannot fathom the devastating effects of the Warsaw Uprising, nor understand it. But the Polish people have not forgotten.  Citizens gather every August 1st at the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw to honour the memory of the brave men, women, and even children, who fought so courageously against the invaders. The Warsaw Uprising is still very much in the collective memory of the Polish people. So too is the realization that even after 70 years, the West still remains indifferent.




Warsaw after Warsaw uprising  (00:06:48m)    




   




Recommended Links:  
Virtual Tour of Powązki Cemetery (images from 64th Anniverary)
http://www.360cities.net/image/cemetery-powazki---64-anniversary-of-warsaw-uprising-warsaw  Website of the Warsaw Uprising Museum http://www.1944.pl/en/ Warsaw Uprising 1944 http://www.warsawuprising.com/  History of War in Pictures - (a Special 70th Anniversary Presentation of rare photos of the Warsaw Uprising)

 Presented by Polish Greatness.com http://historyofwarinpictures.blogspot.ca/  
 

June 15, 2014

MOLOTOV: THE MAN AND THE COCKTAIL



The Winter War 1939-1940 - Part 1 - How to Destroy a Tank (00:04:04m)


Have you ever wondered why they call it a Molotov Cocktail? During the Winter War in the early throes of World War 2 the Soviets air-dropped tons of incendiary and cluster bombs on Finnish targets and fortifications. This set off a storm of condemnation against the Soviets, and when asked why they were bombing innocent Finnish people, Soviet Minister Vyacheslav Molotov wryly answered that he was not bombing them, but was instead delivering food to the starving population.

In no time at all the Finns started to call these air bombings, "Molotov Bread Baskets". But the term quickly evolved into "Molotov Cocktails" when the Finns began launching retaliatory strikes against advancing Russian tanks using home-made incendiary "Molotov Cocktails". The Finns aptly called it "a drink to go with the food."

This is just one of Molotov's enduring legacies, that makes him second to Stalin as one of the most evil mass murderers in history.

As Stalin's protege, Molotov was complicit in numerous war crimes. In the period 1932-33, he implemented Stalin's policy for the collectivization of agriculture, and committed an endless series of horrendous atrocities; the violent deportation of millions of kulaks to the notorious Soviet labor camps where they were worked to death, or died from exposure in sub-arctic elements.  Molotov also signed the Law of Spikelets, and was personally involved in directing the massive confiscation of 4.2 million tonnes of grain from Ukrainian farmers.  It instigated a man-made famine that killed over 10 million Ukrainians. It was genocide, the Holodomor, a fact which the Soviet administration continues to deny to this day.  Furthermore, during the Great Purge (1934-40) Molotov personally approved over 370 execution lists, far exceeding that of any other Soviet leader including Stalins'

The least known but among the most sinister was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed by Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Molotov and Foreign Minister of the German Nazi Reich Joachim von Ribbentrop. This pact was a secret protocol contained in the Soviet German Non-Aggression Agreement signed on August 23, 1939 on the very cusp of World War 2.  It laid the basis for the joint German and Soviet invasion of Poland. On September 1, 1939, the German armies invaded Poland from the north, west and south.  Then on September 17, 1939, the Soviet armies invaded from the east converging with their German counterparts, and partitioning sovereign Polish territory between them.

In the battles that ensued during that September every Polish military unit on the ground, and in the air was mobilized. Though the Poles were outnumbered and outclassed by German war materiel, they did not succumb easily but fought like "mad-men" to defend their beloved homeland.  Even Polish civilians participated in defense tactics by erecting barricades and digging trenches. Throughout the war, the Polish Underground secretly began to stockpile a variety of weapons, in preparation for the Warsaw Uprising (August 1944). Needless to say, guns and rifles were hard to come by and difficult to conceal. The consequence of being caught hording them, was execution on the spot. The Polish resistance had to augment their meager supplies by manufacturing a variety of weapons such as home-made grenades, flame-throwers, and of course, Molotov Cocktails - along with the ingenious contraptions used to launch them upon those nasty Nazi tanks.

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