Photos WW2 Allied Forces

Transport of Soviet Army wounded to the medical battalion.

First Polish Bomber Squadron in Britain was formed on this day, July 1, 1940.
No. 300 (Polish) "Land of Masovia" Bomber Squadron.
Active: 1 July 1940 – 2 February 1947.
Air base RAF Bramcote.
Squadron code: BH (Jul 1940 – Oct 1946).
Aircraft: Fairey Battle, Vickers Wellington, Avro Lancaster.
During the war, the squadron took part in most of the major air operations in Europe.
Between 19 July 1940 and 8 May 1945, the crews of the squadron flew 3,891 sorties and spent 20,264 hours in the air.
Between 19 July 1940 and 8 May 1945, the crews of the squadron flew 3,891 sorties and spent 20,264 hours in the air. Sadly, the No.300 Squadron suffered the highest number of deaths of any Bomber Command unit.
The last mission was flown on 25 April 1945 against Adolf Hitler's residence in Berchtesgaden.
The unit was disbanded on 2 January 1947.
Photo: RAF, No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron at Hemswell, Spring 1943. The unit's Wellington Mk Xs attended by ground crew.

On 1 July 1944, Russian fighter ace Grigori Rechkalov received his second Hero of the Soviet Union award when his score stood at 48 individual and six shared victories. Rechkalov would be relieved of his command by General Utin shortly after for "lack of leadership" but would eventually be officially listed as the Soviet Union's third highest scoring ace of all time with 57 aerial victories credited to his name. Rechklov began his combat career on 22 June 1941 over Moldavia flying a I-153 marked "blue 13" on the tail, undertaking 30 sorties in this aircraft during the month and engaging in ten combats. On 27 June, Rechkalov attacked and brought down an Hs.126 east of Boksha, near Sculeni, for his first claim. On 11 July he claimed a Ju-88 near Kotovsk. On 26 July 1941 near Dubasari, Rechkalov was wounded in the right leg by AA fire. He returned safely to his airfield and after landing was hospitalized. He returned to the 55th IAP in April 1942.
During the summer of 1942 the 55 IAP was re-christened 16 GvIAP for outstanding service, and Rechkalov served with 16 GIAP from the summer of 1942. Rechkalov was also part of the 216th Air Division, which later became the 9th Guards Air Division (GIAD). By the end of 1942 Rechkalov had claimed 4 and 2 shared victories. At the end of 1942 the 16th regiment was re-equipped with new P-39 Airacobra. In the spring of 1943 they were posted to the North Caucasus Front and the Kuban River. On 24 May 1943, he was decorated with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union for 12 (and 2 shared) claims in some 194 sorties. In May 1944 Rechkalov took command over the 16th GIAP.
On 31 May 1944 Rechkalov was leading a formation involved in a disastrous battle over Jassy with Bf 109 fighters, and five P-39s were lost. According to official accounts, Rechkalov was disciplined by his superiors for pursuing the enemy alone rather than offering leadership to his less experienced squadron. Upon the recommendation of his commanding officer Aleksandr Ivanovich Pokryshkin, Rechkalov was replaced by Dmitriy Glinka of the 100 GIAP as commander of the 16th GIAP, removing Rechkalov, for (according to Pokryshkin) "losing control, indecisiveness and lack of initiative". Interestingly, Rechkalov had previously been the wingman of Pokryshkin. Despite his apparent failure as a leader, Rechkalov was awarded his second Hero of the USSR two months after this disciplinary action.
On 15 July 1944 Glinka was seriously wounded when he bailed out of his badly damaged P-39 and struck the tailplane. Rechkalov again took over as regiment commander. Rechkalov resigned command of 16 GIAP in February 1945 and was appointed Inspector for Flight Training of 9 GIAD. By the end of the war the Air Division was credited with 1,147 victories and some 31 Heroes of the Soviet Union had served with the unit. His last combat against the Luftwaffe was fought over Berlin in April 1945, flying the Lavochkin La-7.

Danish resistance fighters riding through the Central Square in Copenhagen in a German vehicle. 5 May 1945.
Norwegian Army machine gun crew with Colt M/29 heavy machine gun, near Narvik, Norway, May 1940
Men of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army Forces conducting mop-up operations on Tarakan, Borneo, late May 1945
Head of the Soviet military administration in Germany, Marshal of the Soviet Union G.K. Zhukov and Commander of the 3rd U.S. Army General George Patton, Military Governor of Bavaria during parade in Berlin
OTD in 1941, Dundee area. A tank commander from 2 Battalion 1 Tank Regiment (Polish 1 Corps) with his Valentine Mark III crew planning their next move during a military exercise.
Courageous soldiers of the Polish Army marching for the defence of their country in September 1939.
Poland had 1 million people in the armed forces, but less than half of these were mobilized before the beginning of the invasion. Those arriving late suffered heavy losses, as they were easy targets for the Luftwaffe.
The Polish army also had a deficit in armored vehicles, and the ones they did have were spread out through all the infantry forces: Germany had 3600 against 750 for Poland.

Polish Soldiers evacuate from France on the British merchant ship SS Alderpool - June 1940
Note French MAS-36 rifle, FM 24/29 LMG, Berthier rifle, and Reibel MG in an improvised mount
SS Alderpool left the French port of La Pallice in La Rochelle on June 19, 1940 and reached Plymouth England on June 22, 1940, the same day of the Armistice between France & Germany
Over 20,000 Polish soldiers were evacuated and formed a new Polish army in the UK
SS Alderpool was sailing with Convoy SC-90 when she was sank on April 3, 1941 by U-46 and U-73

1939, begin of the German siege of Warsaw. The initial German attack was repelled by the Polish army and soon afterwards the capital of Poland was placed under siege.
Warsaw fell in German hands on 1 October 1939. On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland, as agreed with Germany during the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact on August 23, 1939.

Squadron Leader Stanisław Łapka of
No. 302 Polish Fighter Squadron RAF, roars low over the airfield at RAF Hutton Cranswick in his Supermarine Spitfire as ground crew work on another Spitfire - March 1943
IWM - London News Agency Photographer

(M1930) on board the Polish Navy Destroyer ORP Błyskawica (Lightning) whilst in port at Devonport, Plymouth England - September 13, 1940
ORP Błyskawica originally had four of these 13.2mm twin mounts, in December 1941 they were replaced by four Oerlikon 20mm mounts
IWM - Tomlin, H W (Lt) Photographer

An M10 Tank Destroyer of the 2nd Battery, 1st Anti-Tank Regiment (1st Polish Armoured Division) during the heavy fighting at the Dutch town of Hooge en Lage Zwaluwe, late October-early November 1944
Note empty shell casings, this M10 is named 'Gdynia I'
IWM - Polish Official Photographer

Greek destroyer Vasilissa Olga, seen from the port bow. She was sunk by German bombers in the Eastern Mediterranean on 26 September 1943.
The 1945 Berlin Victory Parade was organized by the Allies of World War II on September 7, 1945 in Berlin, the capital of defeated Nazi Germany, shortly after the end of World War II.
The four participating countries were the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
The senior officers present at the parade were Soviet Union Marshal Georgy Zhukov of the USSR, General George S. Patton of the United States, General Brian Robertson of the United Kingdom and General Marie-Pierre Kœnig of France] General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery they declined the invitations shortly before the parade and sent Patton and Robertson as their representatives.
The units present included the 248th Soviet Infantry Division, the 2nd French Infantry Division, the 131st British Infantry Brigade and the 82nd US Airborne Division; the forces present come primarily from the local garrisons.
The armored contingent came from the British 7th Armored Division, the French 1st Armored Division and the U.S. Mechanized Cavalry Group.
The Red Army used this opportunity for the first public display of the IS-3 heavy tank, which was attended by 52 tanks from the 2nd Army Tank Guard.


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