5th Kresowa Infantry Division

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Emblem of the division worn as a shoulder patch and painted on vehicles

The Polish 5th Kresowa Infantry Division (Polish: 5 Kresowa Dywizja Piechoty) was a Polish Armed Forces in the West unit fighting during World War II in the Italian Front. It was formed in March 1943. It was part of the Władysław Anders' 2nd Polish Corps, affiliated with the Western Allies.

History[edit]

The division was formed in March 1943.

Fighting in Italy[edit]

The division landed in southern Italy in February, 1944 and entered the line in March, as part of the 2nd Polish Corps. In May it took part in the Battle of Monte Cassino in which it suffered 15% casualty rate. In June/July the division participated in the Battle of Ancona. In the fall of 1944 it fought on the approaches to the Gothic Line. After the front line stabilized for the winter, the division renewed active operations in April, 1945, advancing to liberate Bologna at the end of the war. During its war service in Italy the division suffered 5127 casualties, including 1063 killed in action.

After the war[edit]

The division remained in Italy as part of Allied occupation forces until May 1946 when it was transported to Britain and then disbanded in 1947. The majority of its soldiers did not choose to return to Communist Poland, and were resettled in various Western countries (mainly Britain and Canada).

Commanders[edit]

It was commanded by Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko (1943) and Nikodem Sulik (from 1943 to 1946).

Composition[edit]

The division consisted of 14446 men, including 820 officers. Its component units were:

The division was named after the Kresy region (eastern borderlands of the Second Polish Republic).

References[edit]