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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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  #1  
Old 7th April 2017, 19:10
keith A keith A is offline
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Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

Was there a policy to assign these nationalities to separate squadrons? I notice that in many instances they were kept apart but was it intentional? Both Poles and Czechs can speak together in their own languages (I know this from working with mixed groups) but I also know that Poland used the German invasion of Czechoslovakia to seize Czech territory.

From the Liskutin memoir there was mention of a Communist threat from Czech ground staff, and Polish fighter pilots were very anti-Bolshevik, but there is the example of Frantisek serving in 303 Squadron in 1940.

Just a discussion point, my wifes family is Polish and I have a couple of Czech friends so....

regards

Keith
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Old 7th April 2017, 19:52
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

Hello Keith,


A starting point. As usual, a somewhat complicated picture emerges. Just as Polish General Anders helped lead Polish ground troops under British Command.


http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/czechsinraf.html



Ed
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Old 7th April 2017, 21:04
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

Yep, several Czechs served with 1 Sqn, and with 611 Sqn but I don't remember any Poles. Was it a question of location of OTU training? I note that the Czechs and Poles were largely separate in the French Air Force in 1940.
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Old 9th April 2017, 01:40
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

A little snippet.


http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research...squadrons.aspx


The Polish Air Force flag remained in England until after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In an elaborate ceremony, the flag was handed over to the new Polish Air Force by World War II veterans. Some people don't understand the great sense of love of one's home country that prevailed during World War II.



Ed
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Old 9th April 2017, 13:34
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

I believe Anders 2nd Army accepted quite a number of non-ethnic Poles including the war criminal Anton Gecas, and members of the 14th SS Galician Division. There was also a Czech battalion with the Independent Polish Brigade at Tobruk. My father served in 1st Armoured and among his comrades there were both Ukraianians and Belorussians.

So the answer is that there was no policy separating the two?
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Old 9th April 2017, 18:03
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Teresa Maria Teresa Maria is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

Josef Frantisek flew with the Poles in the 303 Polish Squadron:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Franti%C5%A1ek
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Old 9th April 2017, 22:09
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith A View Post
I believe Anders 2nd Army accepted quite a number of non-ethnic Poles including the war criminal Anton Gecas, and members of the 14th SS Galician Division. There was also a Czech battalion with the Independent Polish Brigade at Tobruk. My father served in 1st Armoured and among his comrades there were both Ukraianians and Belorussians.

So the answer is that there was no policy separating the two?



You'd have to ask others about this. I am no expert regarding foreign volunteers in the RAF. Regarding the integration of foreign ground troops, that is an entirely different matter, and even more complex.


https://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Front.../dp/1780768907




Usual disclaimer,
Ed
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Old 16th April 2017, 00:12
cz_raf cz_raf is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

Hi chaps,

seems to me I can give you some details abour relationship about Czechoslovakians and Poles in the UK during WWII.

Yes there were some political problems with seizing part of former Czechoslovakia before the war started but in general they were true allies and co-operated.

There were also few exchanges of Czechoslovak and Polish airmen between their squadrons to deepen the colaboration.

As both nations are of Slavic origin, their languages are similar and we are able to undrstand each other a little bit, but not perfectly. It depends on region - for example people from the northern Moravia are able to communicate fluently, people from central Bohemia would understand in general only. It was quite a common problem at the early stage of training. British COs simplified Polish and Czech/Slovak language into one and were putting them into the same plane "they will undertand each other." There was a nearly tragic at No. 10 AOS in Desember 1941. Two Czech Observers u/t were sent to a Cross Country flight with a Polish pilot who know only Polish. Observers have tried to communicate with him in English, German, French, Czech+Slovak with few Polish words and even in Latin but he was not able to understand. Finally the flight has finished in ditching (no one was hurt).

The good relationship was partially broken in July 1943 when Polish Gen. Władysław Eugeniusz Sikorski, a Polish military and political leader, got killed in mysterious air crash after take off from Gibraltar. The problem was that the Liberator AL523 was captained by Czech F/Lt Eduard Prchal who by some miracle has been the only survival.

Anyway on the "low level" amongst the aimen or soldiers there was a friendship during the whole war and I have not knowledge abou any policy to separate them.

HTH

Pavel
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  #9  
Old 16th April 2017, 08:43
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

Thanks Pavel, that clears it up for me
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Old 16th April 2017, 12:44
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Czecha and Poles on the same Squadron?

It seems to me that there is also a matter of timing. There were fewer Czech aircrew available than Polish, so Polish units formed first, and it made sense (as described above) that they included Czech individuals. Once enough Czech aircrew were available, then dedicated units could be formed. Clearly some policy of separation was involved in the creation of these units.
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