Next in sequence Previous in sequence Home Pastel index
Military Law Officer
The first time a Polish regiment turned up behind the French front it was to general surprise. Certainly all the men wore the sky blue trenchcoat, and helmet, although marked with an eagle, was almost the same as our own; they were lined up in the French manner; their machine guns, their vehicles were French, and so were their bayonets and rifles. But attached to all the bags, brandished on all arms, small amaranth (see in Wikipedia) flags fluttered over the column. The men spoke many of the world's languages: Russian, English, Italian, and German too. By what miracle of patriotism has such a group become a powerful army? The idea of the old homeland, dismembered, fragmented for centuries, the white eagle enslaved by neighbouring empires, this dream of unification rediscovered, of a Poland alive and strong at last, has sustained all the bravery, garnered the wills, reunited in a solid bundle the efforts of all these individuals. Join this up with a love of France, always a faithful friend, the memories of ancestors, Poniatowski's red lancers, the long haired heroes of 48, and we can understand why these Poles fought in such a beautiful way. They have struggled for an idea. In the fine lines of this officer, this mysticism is apparent. He has faith, and it is the faith which has the rectitude of all the historic and diplomatic past; it is through this that Poland is reborn and through which she will live again.
Lieutenant Stanislas Stein (from Krakow)