General Wladyslaw Anders
Born in The Russian Empire
General Wladyslaw Anders (11 August 1892 – 12 May 1970) was a Polish Army General who later in life became a politician as well as a member of the Polish Government In Exile (London).
He was born 60 miles west of Warsaw in Krosniewice, Blonie. At this time, due to the partitions of Poland, he was born technically in a part of the Russian empire.
Serving 2 Masters
He enrolled in the Russian Military School for reserve officers and served in the 1st Krechowiecki Lancers Regiment which was part of the Russian army.
In November 1918 Poland regained independence and a new Polish Army was created. General Anders went on to command the 15th Poznań Uhlans Regiment of the Polish Army.
This Polish-Russian connection is likely one of the factors that would later see him in 1941/42 commanding the Polish Army In Exile In Russia.
Capture And Imprisonment
In September 1939 General Anders commanded the Nowogródzka Cavalry Brigade who were fighting the Germans in the west of Poland. When he heard about the Soviet invasion of Poland, General Anders retreated to towards Lwow in the South of Poland, heading for Romania.
Many Poles were similarly heading for Romania for safety, in order to escape both the Germans and the Russians.
On the 29th September 1939 the Russians captured General Anders and jailed him in Lwow. On 29th February 1940 they transferred him to Lubyanka prison in Moscow where he was interrogated, tortured and heavily urged to join the Russian Army.
Following Operation Barbarossa (Germany's invasion of Russia), General Anders became a very useful pawn in a game that was to see him lead over 200,000 Polish soldiers imprisoned in Russia out of captivity and through Persia to freedom.
Our Interest In General Anders
Our interest in Anders lies in the Russian-Polish military experiences he had and how these were used later on by Russia for the formation of a Polish Army (In Russia) protecting Russia by fighting invading Germans.
It is therefore appropriate that this web section, called "Hope" commences with an overview of General Anders.