Main Directorate of Information of the Polish Army
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|Main Directorate of Information of the Polish Army|
Główny Zarząd Informacji Wojska Polskiego
|Parent agency||Polish Military|
Główny Zarząd Informacji Wojska Polskiego (GZI WP - "Main Directorate of Information of the Polish Army"), was a name of a first military Police and counter-espionage organ of the Polish People's Army in communist Poland during and after World War II. It is also well known as Informacja Wojskowa ("Military Information").
History and responsibilities
Główny Zarząd Informacji Wojska Polskiego (GZI) was established in 1944 as part of the Polish Military in the USSR, it was responsible for the:
- Counter-espionage in the Polish Army.
- Protection of Army's structure and its unit’s against sabotage.
- Exposure and neutralising of members of anti-state organizations or political parties in the army's units or structure.
- Exposure and neutralising of members of anti-state organizations or political parties in the army's units or structure that were acting or planning to act against the Polish Committee of National Liberation.
- Prevent and punish cases of desertion and high treason.
- Establish and run nets of secret informers amongst soldiers and officers inside army structure.
- Secure important military infrastructure and installations.
- Oddział 1 ("Section 1") - Intelligence work in General Staff of the Polish Army.
- Oddział 2 - Exposing and naturalizing enemy Intelligence agents, interrogation of German POW's.
- Oddział 3 - Running GZI field organs in army groups, divisions, and military districts.
- Oddział 4 - Investigations.
- Oddział 5 - Revisions, apprehensions, establishing, external observation.
- Oddział 6 - Personnel recruitment, selection and training, formation of new units.
- Oddział 7 - Personal Record and operation statistics.
- Oddział 8 - Codes and communications.
- Office of strategic supplies to the GZI.
The person in command of GZI was its Chief; he was responsible for GZI actions, and reported directly to first the vice-minister or minister of National Defense. In the end of 1945, GZI was made of nine sections and eight lower rank independent sections and detachments, the number of staff surpassed 1,000 officers. In the next year, because of the demobilization of the armed forces, the number of staff has fallen to 992.
At the same time there was an all-out rebuilding and transformation of staff. At the end of August 1944, the main officer staff was Russian, they came from the Soviet secret services like the NKGB, the NKVD and the military branch of counter-intelligence called SMERSH. In December 1945, the number of Poles in GZI did not surpass 43%, but year later (1946–1947) has grown up to 77%.
In first months of GZI activities the Warsaw headquarters staff was entirely Russian. The first Pole came to headquarters at the end of 1945, but by September 1947, almost all important positions were occupied by Polish army officers.
In June 1950 headquarters again had been placed under the management of a Russian officer when Dmitrij Wozniesieński (a former SMERSH officer) become the head of GZI. With him came 150 new Russian officers who took over all executive posts.
GZI in numbers and Secret agents
Whilst in January 1951, the number of permanent employees in GZI was 2,740 (1,002 officers, 302 non-commissioned officers, 1,198 privates and 238 civil employees) by January 1953 the number of permanent employees was up to 4,130 people - (1,502 officers, 453 non-commissioned officers, 1,795 privates and 380 civilian employees).
New informers and secret agents were recruited from regular army, navy and air force units. The biggest number of informers and secret agents was in 1952, when for a total of 356,481 Polish army soldiers there were 24,025 informers and secret agents, working inside military structure. At that time, every seventh soldier in the Polish military was in contact with a GZI officer. It was the approved norm that at least one agent from the GZI should be in each platoon.
From 1944 to 1957 GZI WP played a role in cleansing the army of officers and soldiers from the pre-war Polish army who were admitted into the new, Polish People's Army, and was responsible for repressions and executions on Home Army soldiers.
- Trial of the Generals
- The Commandors case (Stanisław Mieszkowski, Zbigniew Przybyszewski, Jerzy Staniewicz - death) 
Changes and Reform
In September 1955 Główny Zarząd Informacji Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej (GZI MON - that name applied from 1950), became part of the Committee for Public Security (Komitet do spraw Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego what means KGB in Russian), which was the well known successor to Ministerstwo Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego more usually known as Urząd Bezpieczeństwa or UB, responsible for political police, counter-intelligence, intelligence and government, protection, and now becoming the Main Directorate of Information of Committee for Public Security or GZI KdsBP.
In November 1956 GZI KdsBP separated from Committee for Public Security, and returned to its previous role, becoming again the Main Directorate of Information of Ministry of National Defense.
After the reform instituted by Władysław Gomułka in 1956, and the role GZI played in repressions and executions, one year later in 1957 the Main Directorate of Information of Ministry of National Defense was dismantled and replaced by Military Internal Service (Wojskowa Służba Wewnętrzna - or. WSW).
1990/1991 Changes in military
In 1990 WSW was join with military intelligence (Zarząd II Sztabu Generalnego Wojska Polskiego - "2nd Directorate of General Staff of the Polish Army"), so that Intelligence and Counter-intelligence were working under one structure which was Zarząd II Wywiadu i Kontrwywiadu - "2nd Directorate for Intelligence and Counter-intelligence". The organization structure was accepted by minister of national defence General Flolrian Siwicki , but at the same Polish military and political establishment wasn't happy about the huge size of 2nd Directorate. Decision was made to separate the law enforcement part responsible for law and order in military and create new organization called Zandarmeria Wojskowa.Rest of the post communist services KI, and military intelligence was transformed in to Military information services - Wojskowe Służby Informacyjne (or. WSI).
Chiefs of the GZI WP/MON/KdsBP
- 1944 - 1945 — Col. Piotr Kożuszko.
- 1945 - 1947 — Col. Jan Rutkowski.
- 1947 - 1950 — Col. Stefan Kuhl.
- 1950 - 1953 — Col. Dmitrij Wozniesieński.
- 1953 - 1956 — Col. Karol Bąkowski.
- 1956 - 1957 — Col. Aleksander Kokoszyn.
The Directorate in popular media
The 1982 film Interrogation shows the Directorate operation.
- Leszek Pawlikowicz Tajny front Zimnej Wojny. Uciekinierzy z polskich służb specjalnych 1956-1964, Oficyna Wydawnicza Rytm, Warszawa 2004.