the defeat of Poland in 1939, many Polish soldiers and civilians made their way to Syria
and France via Romania and Hungary, flocking to join the Polish Armed
Forces in the West. By May 1940 there were 84,500 men under arms in France
and Syria. In April 1940 a brigade took part in the battle for Norway
before returning to France. The Independent
Carpathian Rifle Brigade was formed in the French Levant (Syria) and
later came under British command in the Western Desert. Polish
formations took part in the battle for France and many were captured and
some were interned in Switzerland. Others made their way to the Atlantic ports where around
24,000 were evacuated to the Britain.
The Polish Army was located in Scotland from the summer of
1940 and began immediate rebuilding.
The troops were to remain in Scotland until the end of the war.
Organised into the Polish Corps (later the 1st Polish Corps
following the formation of the 2nd Corps in the Middle
Polish troops were involved in the defence of the Fife region of eastern
Scotland from a potential German invasion from Norway. The Corps became
the base on which the 1st Armoured Division, the 1st Independent Parachute
Brigade, the 4th Infantry Division and 16th Independent Armoured Brigade
The 1st Armoured Division served in
France and North West Europe after D-Day.
The 1st Polish Parachute Brigade, although trained to
fight in Poland, were dropped near Arnhem in September 1944.