The Magdeburg Sting 1936
On September 1, 1939. Nazi tanks rolled over Poland.
On September 5, 1939, as it became clear that Poland was unlikely to halt the German invasion, The Cipher Bureau's German section, BS-4, received orders to destroy part of its files and evacuate essential personnel.
On September 17, 1939. Red Army invaded Poland from the other side. Over 14 000 of Polish officers were imprisoned by soviets. Within six months, over 4 000 were executed in Katin woods near Smolensk, approximately 6 000 were drowned, locked in the barges, in cold waters of White Sea, and 2 000 were executed near Minsk and buried in yet unknown place. General NKVD (Kombrig) Serov was in charge of Polish solution. From Polish territory, occupied by Red Army, within few months, the NKVD troops of Colonel Siemion Moysheyevich Krivoshein deported 1 700 000 of Polish women, men and children. They were sent to Kazakhstan and Siberia on a one way trip. The NKVD general, Ivan Serov, responsible for this exercise in barbarism, issued orders to divide all families before packing them into railroad cars. In late 1950, very few returned to Poland. My youth memories are filled with the sounds of endless lists of names recited over the radio, as the survivors and relatives were looking for each other. The ancestral lands of Poland are still occupied by Russians.
On September 17, 1939, upon the Soviet Army's entry into eastern Poland, BS-4 personnel crossed the border, with other Polish military and government personnel, into Romania. Subsequently they made their way to France, where at "PC Bruno," outside Paris, they continued breaking German Enigma ciphers in collaboration with the Ultra operation at Bletchley Park, fifty miles northwest of London, England. In the interest of security, the allied cryptology services corresponded, by teletype, in Enigma. Braquenié often closed messages with a "Heil Hitler!"
Soviet NKVD Col. Semyon Moiseyevich Krivoshein salutes his comrade at arms and war crimes - Nazi Gen. Heinz Guderian, at the military parade crowning the Nazi-Soviet slaughter of Poland. Brześć nad Bugiem, Sep. 22, 1939. While Krivoshein, a Soviet jew, celebrated the occasion wining and dining his Nazi friend in a most cordial atmosphere of brotherhood and mutual understanding, his brethren in Nazi-occupied Polish towns and villages were herded unceremoniously, and driven away to meet their fate. The Poles could only watch in horror - they themselves already victims of the war criminals such as Krivoshein and Guderian. And the worst was yet to come.
As late as December 1939, when Lt. Col. Langer, accompanied by Captain Braquenié, visited London and Bletchley Park, the British asked that the Polish cryptologists be turned over to them. Langer took the position that the Polish team must remain where the Polish Armed Forces were being formed - on French soil. Interestingly, the mathematicians might conceivably have ended up in Britain already in September 1939; but when the trio went to the British embassy in Bucharest, Romania, they received an apparent brush-off from a preoccupied British ambassador or military attaché.
Triumphant Adolf Hitler on Warsaw's Saxon Square, before Polish General Staff building (the Saxon Palace) and Bertel Thorvaldsen's statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski, during victory parade in 1939. Little did Hitler realize that the doom of his Thousand-Year Reich had been sealed seven years earlier - just as he was about to take power - in the very building he is facing. The Cipher Bureau's German section, BS-4, was housed in the Polish General Staff building (the stately 18th-century "Saxon Palace") in Warsaw until 1937.
March, 1940, representatives of NKVD and GESTAPO met for one week in Zakopane, for the coordination of the pacification of resistance in Poland.
Zakopane, Germans patrolling the town in March 1940.
April-June, 1940, massive executions of Polish POWs and nationals in Soviet occupied zone.
1940, Latvia, and Estonia are attacked by Soviet Union.
August, 1940, Beria's agent kills Trotsky in Mexico City.
Trepper with his partners Mendel Strolnikoff and Joseph Joanovici set up shop in Paris, France. This time, they were working with GESTAPO as they fed disinformation to Allies while rising as the black market stars.
Following the capitulation of France in June 1940, Poles from PC Bruno were evacuated to Algeria, in North Africa.
On October 1, 1940, they resumed their cryptology work at "Cadix," near Uzès in unoccupied southern, Vichy France under the sponsorship of Gustave Bertrand. They worked there until, a little over two years later, the "Free Zone" was occupied by Germans.
August 17, 1941. The Sikorski-Mayski Agreement, a treaty between Soviet Union and Poland was signed in London.
On November 8, 1942, Bertrand learned from the BBC that the Allies had landed in North Africa ("Operation Torch"). Knowing that the Germans planned in such an eventuality to occupy Vichy France, on November 9 he evacuated Cadix. Two days later, November 11, the Germans marched into the Southern France.
August 1 to October 2, 1944, the Warsaw Uprising, a futile and desperate action by AK to regain control of Poland already betrayed by Allies. The Uprising started at a crucial point in the war as the Soviet army approached Warsaw. Although the Soviet army had reached a point within a few hundred meters across the river from the city on September 16, the Red Army stopped on the east bank of the Vistula River thus permitting the Germans to crush the uprising at will, their attacks against 4th SS Panzer Corps and 46th Panzer Corps stopped at that point. The Polish Air Force had flown 223 sorties using bases in faraway Italy, loosing 34 aircraft, but the effect of these airdrops were mostly psychological. The United States Air Force (USAF) planes did not join the operation. The Allies specifically requested the use of Red Army airfields near Warsaw on 20 August but were refused by Stalin on 22 August (he referred to the insurgents as "a handful of criminals"). Soviets even shot down a number of aircraft which carried supplies from Italy. After Stalin's objections to support for the uprising, Churchill sent a telegram to Roosevelt on 25 August and proposed sending planes in defiance of Stalin and to "see what happens". Roosevelt replied on 26 August, "I do not consider it advantageous to the long-range general war prospect for me to join you in the proposed message to Uncle Joe". British complied preventing more flights of Polish Air Force.
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