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Better late than never.

 
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Better late than never. - 5/31/2006 10:18:30 AM   
tukker

 

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I just heard this on the news: Today, Queen Beatrix will award the 'Militaire Willemsorde' (the Netherlands' highest military decoration, comparable to the VC or the CMH) to the First Polish Para Brigade, for its actions during Market Garden. It will be received by the 6th Polish Air Assault Brigade, keeper of the traditions of the 1st Para Bde. At the same time, General Stanislaw Sosabowski will be awarded posthumously with the 'Bronzen Leeuw' (the second highest military decoration). His grandsons will receive this for him.

Pieter
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RE: Better late than never. - 5/31/2006 11:32:11 AM   
Arjuna


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That is very good news. IMO the Poles fought very bravely at Arnhem. They were not as well equiped as the British Paras, were badly managed, dropped in a hopeless position, against an enemy that was waiting for them and yet somehow through all of that managed to form up into a cohesive force, tie up a much larger German force, assault across the Rhine in useless flimsy boats against enemy MGs firing on fixed lines and not once did they show any signs of giving up. They demonstrated great courage, determination and selfless service.

It's the Brits who should really be honouring them. Without the Poles at Driel none of the British Airborne would have got out. Food for thought indeed.

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RE: Better late than never. - 6/2/2006 12:27:02 AM   
RedMike


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Too bloody right! About time.

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RE: Better late than never. - 6/2/2006 12:38:03 AM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RedMike
Too bloody right! About time.


http://www.arnhemarchive.org/stanislaw_sosabowski.htm

History (and the British) treated him very unfairly - Gene Hackman did a suberb job portraying his "difficult" character making him the perfect scapegoat.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

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RE: Better late than never. - 6/5/2006 7:44:09 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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Well, like you said, better late than never....

But I'm curious now.....What was the dutch point of view since '45.....did Holland follow the scapegoat thingy?

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RE: Better late than never. - 6/5/2006 4:03:27 PM   
tukker

 

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AFAIK Sosabowski wasn't made a scapegoat in the Netherlands, but the 1st Polish Para Bde didn't get much attention. They do have a monument at Driel, but I think the 1st Polish Armoured Division is better known over here. Apparently it was the late Prince Bernhard (the father of Queen Beatrix) who lobbied for a decoration for the Polish para's and for Sosabowski- so it's actually a German who got them what they so thoroughly deserve.

Pieter

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RE: Better late than never. - 6/5/2006 4:15:38 PM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy
But I'm curious now.....What was the dutch point of view since '45.....did Holland follow the scapegoat thingy?


Well, just after the war the Dutch queen asked for the wheels to be set in motion to recognize the Polish effort. This either got postponed indefinitely or got rejected outright by the Dutch government - probably not too keen on upsetting their British ally - then the Iron Curtain fell and the politics of it just became more difficult.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx





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RE: Better late than never. - 6/5/2006 9:58:59 PM   
Grouchy


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In 1946 the Dutch ministries of War and foreign affairs asked Queen Wilhelmina to recognize ten polish soldiers from the brigade. The Queen agrees and authorises the ministry of war to carry it out. However because of unkown reasons the proposal wasn't carried out.

In 2004 the proposal was found again by a journalist who was making a documantery about the 'forgotten' polish soldiers. The ball then started rolling when the documantery was send out (with Prince Bernhard asking to recognize the polish effort).

Btw, apperantly no member of the 1st Polish Armoured Division ever got a medal either...politics



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RE: Better late than never. - 6/6/2006 1:06:32 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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aha ! Thanks for the infos, guys.....I've seen a short clip of a documentary that was put on a dutch webby dealing with Market Garden and the german occupation in general, I don't recall that site's name. Prince Bernhard said that the polish really deserve tribute, I just didn't know that his call in this docu set the ball rolling.....Nice to hear that a german got this going, though.

_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

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RE: Better late than never. - 6/9/2006 4:35:52 PM   
akileez

 

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mmm, nice thread-valuable neglected info. From what I've heard, the Polish Paras has astonishing unit discipline.

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