In the Polish Secret War

Memoir of a World War II Freedom Fighter


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About the Book

Born in the Polish village of Gaj in 1923, Marian Mazgaj was a teenager when Germany invaded his country and launched Poland into the combat of World War II. Too young to join the Polish army, within a few years he became a member of the Sandomierz Flying Commando Unit, a unit which merged with the “Jedrus” Polish underground group. This memoir provides a vivid record of Mazgaj’s career in the military. The Sandomierz Flying Commando Unit and the “Jedrus” underground were actively engaged in fighting the Nazi forces in Poland during World War II, and the author provides a first-hand account of the groups’ roles in attacking and disarming German military units; destroying the enemy’s grain warehouses and receiving air drops of weapons, ammunition, and explosives from the Allies. He also describes the incorporation of his partisan group into the Home Army, whereby he and his comrades became the Fourth Company in the Second Regiment of the Second Division, gaining strength and destroying many more German units.

About the Author(s)

Marian S. Mazgaj has worked as professor of theology and philosophy at numerous institutions of higher education, and is the author of two books and hundreds of articles. He is a pastoral associate at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Marian S. Mazgaj

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 351
Bibliographic Info: 58 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3822-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5245-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1

Part One: Before World War II
Introduction      5
1. The Clouds of War      10

Part Two: The Time of War
2. The Beginning of World War II      13
3. The First Stage of the Nazi Occupation      24
4. The Conspiracy Begins      39
5. The Deportation of the Klimontow Jews      55
6. The Destruction of Struzki      59
7. Life Is Stronger than Bullets      70
8. Becoming a Freedom Fighter      81
9. Flying Commando in Action      97
10. The Attack on Szczucin Bridge      106
11. Disarming the Nazis in Samborzec      117
12. The Visit of Cap      122
13. Mining the Railroad            126
14. Snatching Nazi Cash      129
15. Attacks on Gestapo Agent von Paul      138
16. Military Air Drops      148
17. Sick Leave at Domoradzice Manor      155
18. The Merger of Two Units      161
19. The Battle of Osiek      168
20. German Raid on Our Quarters      173
21. Mobilization for the Operation “Storm” or “Tempest”      183
22. Crossing the German Front      202
23. Behind Enemy Lines      205
24. Demobilization      223
25. Our Secret Quarters      239
26. Returning Home      251
27. In School Again      255

Part Three: After World War II
28. Sequel      287
29. Epilogue      314

Notes      323
Bibliography      331
Index      333

Book Reviews & Awards

“Highly recommended”—Argunners Magazine