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Służba Zwycięstwu Polski (Service for Poland's Victory, or Polish Victory Service, abbreviated SZP) was the first Polish resistance movement in World War II. It was created by the order of general Juliusz Rómmel on 27 September 1939, when the siege of Warsaw, capital of Poland, where Rómmel commanded Polish defence, was nearing its end (Warsaw would capitulate on 28 September).
The commander of SZP was General Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski.This secret organisation was tasked with the continuing of armed struggle to liberate Poland in the pre-war borders of the Second Polish Republic, recreation and reorganization of the Polish army and establishment of the secret government (Polish Underground State).
In November 1939 SZP was renamed Union of Armed Struggle (ZWZ).
The history of Poland from 1939 to 1945 encompasses primarily the period from the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to the end of World War II. Following the German–Soviet non-aggression pact, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany on 1 September 1939 and by the Soviet Union on 17 September. The campaigns ended in early October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland. After the Axis attack on the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, the entirety of Poland was occupied by Germany, which proceeded to advance its racial and genocidal policies across Poland. Under the two occupations, Polish citizens suffered enormous human and material losses. According to the Institute of National Remembrance estimates, about 5.6 million Polish citizens died as a result of the German occupation and about 150,000 died as a result of the Soviet occupation. The Jews were singled out by the Germans for a quick and total annihilation and about 90 percent of Polish Jews were murdered as part of the Holocaust. Jews, Poles, Romani people and prisoners of many other ethnicities were killed en masse at Nazi extermination camps, such as Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibór. Ethnic Poles were subjected to both Nazi German and Soviet persecution. The Germans killed an estimated two million ethnic Poles. They had future plans to turn the remaining majority of Poles into slave labor and annihilate those perceived as "undesirable" as part of the wider Generalplan Ost. Ethnic cleansing and massacres of Poles and to a lesser extent Ukrainians were perpetrated in western Ukraine from 1943. The Poles were murdered by Ukrainian nationalists.
Stefan Paweł Rowecki was a Polish general, journalist and the leader of the Armia Krajowa. He was murdered by the Gestapo in prison on the personal order of Heinrich Himmler.
The Polish Underground State was a single political and military entity formed by the union of resistance organizations in occupied Poland, that were loyal to the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile in London. The first elements of the Underground State were established in the final days of the German and Soviet invasion of Poland, in late September 1939. The Underground State was perceived by supporters as a legal continuation of the pre-war Republic of Poland that waged an armed struggle against the country's occupying powers: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The Underground State encompassed not only military resistance, one of the largest in the world, but also civilian structures, such as education, culture and social services.
Biuletyn Informacyjny was a Polish underground weekly published covertly in General Government territory of occupied Poland during World War II. The magazine was edited by Aleksander Kamiński and distributed as the main organ of ZWZ-AK headquarters in Warsaw, initially in order to inform the AK soldier about ongoing resistance activities. By 1944 Biuletyn Informacyjny had a circulation of 42,000-43,000 copies. The publishers recommended readers to have the articles reprinted in provincial underground publications throughout Poland.
General Michał Tadeusz Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski, Coat of arms of Trąby pseudonym Doktor, Stolarski, Torwid was a Polish general, founder of the resistance movement "Polish Victory Service".
Związek Walki Zbrojnej was an underground army formed in Poland following its invasion in September 1939 by Germany and the Soviet Union that opened World War II. It existed from 13 November 1939 until 14 February 1942, when it was renamed into Home Army.
Major Wanda Gertz was a Polish woman of noble birth, who began her military career in the Polish Legion during World War I, dressed as a man, under the pseudonym of "Kazimierz 'Kazik' Żuchowicz". She subsequently served in the Ochotnicza Legia Kobiet of the Polish Armed Forces during the Polish–Soviet War. In the interwar period she became a reserve officer but faced discrimination and was stripped of her officer rank. She worked closely with Marshal Piłsudski and remained an activist in the cause of women in the military.
General Leopold Okulicki was a General of the Polish Army and the last commander of the anti-Nazi underground Home Army during World War II. He was arrested after the war by the Soviet NKVD and murdered while imprisoned at Butyrka prison in Moscow.
Juliusz Karol Wilhelm Józef Rómmel was a Polish military commander, a general of the Polish Army.
The Polish resistance movement in World War II, with the Polish Home Army at its forefront, was the largest underground resistance movement in all of occupied Europe, covering both German and Soviet zones of occupation. The Polish resistance is most notable for disrupting German supply lines to the Eastern Front, providing military intelligence to the British, and for saving more Jewish lives in the Holocaust than any other Western Allied organization or government. It was a part of the Polish Underground State.
Gen. Antoni Chruściel was a Polish military officer and a general of the Polish Army. He is best known as the de facto commander of all the armed forces of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, as well as Home Army's chief of staff.
Maciej Kalenkiewicz was a Polish engineer and lieutenant colonel of the Polish Army. During World War II was a soldier of Henryk Dobrzański's military unit, member of cichociemni, officer of the Home Army, partisan commander in the Nowogródek District of the Home Army.
Armia Krajowa Cross is a Polish military decoration that was introduced by General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski on 1 August 1966 to commemorate the efforts of the soldiers of the Polish Secret State between 1939 and 1945. The decoration was awarded to soldiers of the Home Army and of its predecessor organizations.
Tadeusz Walenty Pełczyński was a Polish Army major general, intelligence officer and chief of the General Staff's Section II.
Narodowa Organizacja Wojskowa was one of the Polish resistance movements in World War II. Created in October 1939, it did not merge with the Service for Poland's Victory (SZP)/Union of Armed Struggle (ZWZ); later Home Army (AK). Nevertheless, it recognized the Polish government in exile, which was located in London. The National Military Organization was politically related to the National Party (SN). In 1942/1943 it split into two parts; one merged with the Home Army, while another formed the National Armed Forces (NSZ). After the Warsaw Uprising, most of NOW members formed the National Military Union (NZW).
Henryk Jan Józewski was a Polish visual artist, politician, a member of government of the Ukrainian People's Republic, later an administrator during the Second Polish Republic.
Operation N was a complex of sabotage, subversion and black-propaganda activities carried out by the Polish resistance against Nazi German occupation forces during World War II, from April 1941 to April 1944. These activities were organized by Office N, which in October 1941 was transformed into an Autonomous Sub-Department N of the Bureau of Information and Propaganda of the Armed Resistance, later of the Home Army. It was headed by Tadeusz Żenczykowski.
Franciszek Niepokólczycki alias Teodor, Szubert, Franek, Żejmian, Halny was a colonel of Polish Army. During World War II, commander of the Union of Retaliation, officer of the Union of Armed Struggle and the Kedyw of Home Army. President of the Freedom and Independence from 1945 to 1946 and political prisoner of the Stalinist period.
Emil Kumor, code name "Krzyś" was a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Polish Army, soldier of the September Campaign and the Warsaw Uprising, officer of the Main Command of the SZP and Main Command of the ZWZ and Home Army. In 1942, Kumor initiated and organized "Operation Góral", a successful heist during which a German money transport worth 105 million Polish zlotys was captured.
Anna Smoleńska,, pseudonym "Hania", Polish student of art history at the University of Warsaw, author of the symbol of Fighting Poland during World War II, girl scout Gray Ranks.
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