Polish People's Army

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Polish People's Army
Ludowe Wojsko Polskie
Orzeł LWP.jpg
Emblem worn by LWP soldiers;
the "Piast eagle" without the crown
Motto God, Honor, Fatherland
(Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna)
Founded March 1945
Disbanded 30 December 1989
Service branches Polish People's Land Forces
Polish People's Air Forces
Polish People's Navy
Industry
Foreign suppliers  Soviet Union
 Czechoslovakia
 Cuba
 East Germany
Annual exports  Algeria
 North Vietnam
 Angola
 North Korea
Related articles
History List of Polish wars
Timeline of the Polish Army

The Polish People's Army (Ludowe Wojsko Polskie pronounced [luˈdɔvɛ ˈvɔi̯skɔ ˈpɔlskʲɛ], LWP)[1] constituted the second formation of the Polish Armed Forces in the East (1943–1945) and later the armed forces (1945–1989) of the Polish communist government of Poland (from 1952, the Polish People's Republic) along with the ruling Polish United Workers' Party.

The official name of those formations were: Armia Polska w ZSRR (Polish Army in the USSR) from 1943–1944, Wojsko Polskie (Polish Troops) and Siły Zbrojne Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej (Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland) from 1944–1952 and from 1952 Siły Zbrojne Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej (Armed Forces of the Polish People's Republic).

Second World War[edit]

Polish troops, 1943
Polish Army, 1945

What later became the LWP was formed during the Second World War as the Polish 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division, also unofficially known as the Berling Army. As late as the beginning of 1945, out of approximately 40 thousand officers, the LWP had almost half, or 18,996, Soviet officers, including 36 generals.[citation needed] In March 1945, Red Army officers accounted for nearly 52% of the officer corps (15,492 out of 29,372). Around 4,600 of them remained in the LWP by July 1946.[2]

It was not the only Polish formation that fought along the Allied side, nor the first one in the East - although the first Polish force formed in the USSR, the Anders Army, had by that time moved to Iran. Polish forces soon grew beyond the 1st Division into two major commands - the Polish First Army (Berling's) and the Polish Second Army (commanded by Karol Świerczewski). The Polish First Army participated in the Vistula–Oder Offensive and the Battle of Kolberg (1945) before participating in its final offensive with the Battle of Berlin.[1]

Post-war history[edit]

T-55A tanks of the Polish People's Army

After the war the Polish Army was reorganized into six (later seven) military districts. These were the Warsaw Military District, headquarters (HQ) in Warsaw, the Lublin Military District, HQ in Lublin, the Kraków Military District, HQ in Kraków, the Lodz Military District, HQ in Lodz, the Poznan Military District, HQ in Poznan, the Pomeranian Military District, HQ in Torun, and the Silesian Military District, HQ in Katowice, created in autumn 1945.[citation needed]

In the late 1940s and early 50s the Polish Army was under the command of Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky, who was given the additional title Marshal of Poland and was also Minister of National Defense. It was increasingly tied into the Soviet structures. This process was stopped in the aftermath of the Polish October, in 1956, however, and brigades began to be formed in the engineering and artillery arms.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Popularna Encyklopedia Powszechna Wydawnictwa Fogra (2016). "Ludowe Wojsko Polskie (LWP)". Pierwsza Armia Wojska Polskiego. Encyklopedia WIEM. 
  2. ^ Kałużny, Ryszard (2007). "Oficerowie Armii Radzieckiej w wojskach lądowych w Polsce 1945-1956". Zeszyty Naukowe WSOWL (in Polish). AWL (2): 86–87. ISSN 1731-8157.