The Silent & Unseen" Deadly Parachute Killers
This page is a very brief overview of The Cichociemni, a specialist paramilitary group of Polish soldiers who trained at Largo house alongside the regular paratroopers. To learn more about them it is best to visit more specialist websites but for now here is a quick overview.
Winston Churchill instigated the SOE (Special Operation Executive) in July 1940 and they were to undertaker sabotage and subversive activities on military and commercial installations in enemy occupied countries.
It was out with military control and under civilian control. Operations began in 1941 with the first Chicociemni parachuted in Poland on 14/15 Feb 1941.
Audley End House , Saffron Walden - House AKA "Station 43" trained the Poles to be dropped also into their own country where the threat was from Germans, Russians and their own fellow citizens.
Training for the Cichociemni started in Palestine in 1941
Recruiting officers for the Cichociemni (From Polish Sixth (XI) Bureau of Information and Propaganda) travelled directly to units to recruit, even going out to the Middle East.
Candidates were interviewed under secrecy where "parachuting into Poland" was suggested to them.
Many initial candidates for preliminary courses were not aware they were being singled out for recruitment into the Cichociemni. At first volunteering was enough to qualify (after background checks)
Candidates for the Cichociemni also underwent very intensive training at Largo House.
Recruits were taught to live off the land, snaring rabbits, fish, eating edible roots and plants and eating off the wild land. This was seen as necessary as they may have to do this in enemy land.
Physical training was carried out at Largo House, Lundin Links, Fife and involved gymnastics, trapeze work and parachute practice.
The Cichociemni had safe houses all over England where some training was also carried out.