Dear group, interesting information in Halik Kochanski s book The Eagle Unbowed on the priority of divisions evacuation to Pahlevi and the state of theMessage 1 of 39 , Apr 9View Source
Dear group, interesting information in Halik Kochanski's book "The Eagle Unbowed" on the priority of divisions evacuation to Pahlevi and the state of the troops on arrival:
"At the beginning of March 1942, the establishment of the Polish Army in the Soviet Union stood at 70,000 men: the 5th and 6th Divisions were full strength, the 7th Division was at half strength, and the remaining three divisions (8th, 9th, 10th) were skeleton forces of between 1,700 and 2,800 soldiers...
"The orders for the evacuation were given on 23 March and the first ship left Krasnovodsk in Turkistan on the following day. General Szyszko-Bohusz later wrote: 'The NKVD showed sparkling organisational skill. Trains were made available almost without delays, even though wagons and locamotives had to be brought from all over the south-eastern regions of the USSR. On the Caspian Sea all the ships of greater or lesser size were mobolized and they managed to avoid creating any kind of serious blockage at Krasnovodsk'.
"Anders decided that the fittest men and the best-equipped units should remain in the Soviet Union because they were best able to survive. Consequently the 5th, 6th and 7th Divisions and the Enginners and Artillery remained behind apart from the weakest men, while the 8th, 9th and 10th Divisions were completely evacuated... the trip across the Caspian lasted anything from 24 hours to 3 days.
"When the evacuation staff, made up of Poles, and British and Indian officers and men, arrived at Pahlevi on 25 March, they found the first ship already in the harbour ready to disgorge its cargo of desperate humanity. Ryszard Zolski recalled his arrival: 'Now we could see many Army officers, wearing several kinds of uniform, English, Persian and Polish/English, like mine. They seemed very grim, as they surveyed the cargo of human wreckage being unloaded. Perhaps they were trying to assess what potential was left in us. Their faces expressed pity, and disgust - that once healthy, stalwart men had been brought to such a stage of misery and dejection... Spontaneously, I and many hundreds of us, knelt on those golden sands, raising our eyes to heaven, silently thanking God for our safe journey and at last our longed for freedom. Bowing my head, I reverently kissed the sands of Persia - that free land. Emotion was so strong that many of us were weeping from sheer joy. Even some of those who greeted and checked us in, had eyes filled with tears'.
Anna Pacewicz, Sydney
Anna, I only managed to locate two reports by Ross. If there are any clues about the 3rd report I may go back to the archives to try and find it. The archivesMessage 39 of 39 , Apr 13View SourceAnna,I only managed to locate two reports by Ross. If there are any clues about the 3rd report I may go back to the archives to try and find it.The archives have a vast amount of detailed documents regarding the evacuations. Much of it routine messages between officials. There are discussions on the costs of supporting the refugees. I've copied some of the more relevant pages, which show that the Polish Government repaid these costs as they were incurred. I've uploaded a few of the pages here: http://januszandrzej.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/who-funded-help-to-refugees-in-pahlevi.htmlThere are also lots of discussions on what to do with the civilian refugees. These include requests for help from countries of the Commonwealth and beyond. One could literally spend weeks in the archives going through this material in detail. I have a few more pages which I'll upload, once I've converted the photos into document form.Janusz----- Original Message -----From: annapacewiczSent: Saturday, April 13, 2013 7:36 AMSubject: Re: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Stan and John......Krasnowodsk to Pahlevi
I have just received the Keith Sword book "Deportation and Exile: Poles in the Soviet Union, 1939-1948" which is a total treasure of information. Stan I will be scanning and email you the appropriate pages this weekend. But a couple of points of interest:
In the footnotes (page 218) reference is given to Lt-Col A Ross's 'Report on the Evacuation of Poles from Pahlevi' that Janusz scanned and uploaded for us. It says, "The report is dated 3 June 1942 and is one of 3 reports on the 1942 evacuations that Ross compiled. Ross, who was a Russian speaker (his mother was Russian) and also spoke some Polish, served in the Highland Light Infantry and was, at this time, Officer in Charge of the British Base Evacuation Staff at Pahlevi. When he returned to Pahlevi in August to supervise the second evacuation of Poles, he arrived as an official of the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) which shortly before had taken over responsibility for the reception and onward movement of all Polish civilian refugees".
The footnotes alsom makes reference an article by M. Kruszynski "The State of Health of Poles Evacuated from Russia to Persia in 1942", Antemurale (Rome), Vol. XX (1976), pp. 133-205.