The European Union is experiencing one of the most critical moments in its history. A new fact comes to reveal that international community.
NATO and the EU have yet to offer military aid to Poland
While some continue to equate Europeanism with the European Union, as if Europe had not existed before its existence and as if Norwegians, Swiss, British or Icelanders were African peoples, reality is putting things back in their place. Until yesterday, in the face of Belarus’ migratory attack on Poland, only one country had exhibited its military support for the Poles: the United States. Both NATO and the European Union have limited themselves to statements of support, without going beyond words and an announcement of new sanctions, in the case of the EU.
The ungrateful attitude of the socialist-communist government of Spain
As a Spaniard, I feel especially ashamed of the passivity of our government. In May, the Polish government offered troops from its Police and its Border Guard to Spain to face the migratory invasion of the Ceuta fence by thousands of Moroccans. However, in the face of the recent Belarusian migration attack on the Polish border, Sánchez’s socialist-communist government has not provided Poland with a simple press release of support, not even a paltry tweet. Pedro Sánchez is not only unsupportive with our ally country, but also ungrateful.
The United Kingdom offers military aid to Poland, invoking “a long history of friendship”
Ironically, the first European country to offer its military support to Poland is not even in the EU. Yesterday the British Ministry of Defense published a message that should put all the governments of the Union to shame:
🇬🇧 and 🇵🇱 have a long history of friendship and are @NATO allies.
A small team of UK Armed Forces personnel have deployed following an agreement with the Polish Government to explore how we can provide engineering support to address the ongoing situation at the Belarus border.
— Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) November 12, 2021
In Spain there is a lot of antipathy towards the United Kingdom. The British colony of Gibraltar gives us good reasons for this, but we Spaniards in particular and Europeans in general should reflect a little on the lesson that the British government has just given us with that gesture towards Poland, which shows that foreign policy is you can and should have more honorable friendships than Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, the favorite partners of the Spanish communists.
The British went to war to defend Poland in 1939
On that “long history of friendship” of which the British Ministry of Defense speaks, I would like to make a few notes. When only 21 years had passed since the end of the World War I, when more than 900,000 British soldiers died and more than 2 million were wounded (can we really imagine what those figures are for a country like that, and the footprint that left in a whole generation?), the UK was thrown into war again in response to the German invasion of Poland. The British could have stood by and looked the other way, but they didn’t, and I’m sure many Poles don’t forget.
The great Polish aid to the British war effort in World War II
After the fall of Poland and France, many Poles managed to reach Great Britain, many of them saved by British ships that ventured to Dunkirk and other French ports to rescue the Allied troops. On the website of the British Parliament there is a page dedicated to remembering the Polish contribution to the United Kingdom’s war effort:
Tras la caída de Polonia y de Francia, muchos polacos lograron llegar hasta Gran Bretaña, muchos de ellos salvados por los barcos británicos que se aventuraron hasta Dunkerke y otros puertos de Francia para rescatar a las tropas aliadas. En la web del Parlamento británico hay una página dedicada a recordar la contribución polaca al esfuerzo bélico del Reino Unido:
“Polish ground forces fought in the North Africa campaign, the Italian campaign, the Normandy campaign following on from D Day and in the Battle for Berlin.
Polish personnel served in all RAF commands and across all operational theatres and were some of the most experienced Allied pilots, having already fought in the 1939 campaign in Poland and the 1940 Battle of France. Their contribution to the Battle of Britain was considered invaluable. 5% of the pilots involved in the Battle were Polish (145 in total), but were responsible for 12% of total victories, with 303 (Polish) Fighter Squadron recognised as the most successful of any Allied squadron. Twenty nine Polish pilots lost their lives during the Battle of Britain. Four Polish officers were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Of the Polish contribution to the Battle of Britain, then Commander in Chief of Fighter Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, went on to comment later:
Had it not been for the magnificent work of the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of battle would have been the same.
After the Battle of Britain, the Polish Air Force continued to serve alongside the RAF in the air campaign until the last day of the war. By the end of the war approximately 19,400 Poles were serving in the RAF, across Fighter, Bomber and Coastal commands. 2,408 Polish airmen were killed during the war. 300 (Polish) Squadron, serving with Bomber Command, suffered the highest number of deaths of any Bomber Command unit.
Polish Navy vessels, which had escaped to the UK on the eve of war, also fought alongside the Royal Navy throughout the entirety of the war, supplemented by a number of British ships and submarines crewed by Polish personnel. They were heavily involved in the escort of convoys, in operations against The Bismarck and took part in D-Day. Of the 4,000 Polish personnel who served with the Polish Navy during the war, 450 lost their lives in action.
By 1944 the Polish Armed Forces in the West numbered 195,000 personnel.
Three Polish mathematicians, Jerzy Rozycki, Henryk Zygalski and Marian Rejewski also pioneered early decryption work that led to the Allies eventually cracking the ‘Enigma’ code, which is considered to have shortened the war by two years. Polish intelligence also operated one of the largest intelligence networks in Europe and Nazi Germany as part of the Allied war effort.”.
After the Second World War, 200,000 Poles remained in exile in the United Kingdom and in some of its dominions, as many of them would have been imprisoned and even executed if they had returned to their homeland, since the communist dictatorship imposed by Stalin considered them traitors for the mere fact of having fought alongside the Western Allies against the Nazis. Today more than 690,000 descendants of those exiles reside in the United Kingdom, all of them born in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Photo: British Army. Polish and British soldiers in a joint maneuvers in Poland in 2014.
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