Summary out of the book:


Author Tadeusz Wiatrowski
Published in 1946 at Hannover, Germany


Today we can say, that on the day of entry into action on the Continent, every soldier in the Regiment was ready to the last stitch, trained, co-ordinated and confident.

The time had come once again to match ourselves against our enemy, this time with chances even and evenly armed. Anyone watching the 2-nd Armoured Regiment moving into action knew, they were ready for anything. Each soldier had his own account to settle, each meant to win.

The day of embarkation on board ship for the Continent was the day, for which every soldier had been waiting ever since his arrival in Great Britain. It was the start of the approach march of the Regiment which was to lead through conquered Germany to liberated Poland.

On the 1-st of August 44 the Regiment lands in Normandy in the neighbour-hood of Courseulles-sur-Mer. After four years of waiting Polish Troops are again ready to fight on French soil.

After a whole night's march the Regiment, having passed Caen at dawn reached its "starting Line" north of St. Aignan de Cramesnil-Couteville road.

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On the 18-th of Augus 44, having fought all day long and with little ammunitions or petrol left, the Regiment was ordered to reach Chambois as quickly as possible, cut off the enemy's main line of retreat and join up with the U.S. Forces. In order to do so we had to push on for 12 km right trough enemy defence.

On the 19-th of August 44. The Regiment moves on to the Hill 262, where the 1-st Armoured Regiment and the 1-st Highland and 8-th Infantry Battalions are already fighting against heavy odds since morning. The "Falaise Gap" is closed.

On the night of the 20-th of August the Hill is completely surrounded by the Germans. For several days they try in vain to annihilate us and open up again the lines of retreat.

Two Armoured Regiments supported by an Infantry Brigade repeled all counter attacks, suffering themselves heavy casualties. On the 21-st of August the Germans attack once more. They died in hundreds, finally surrendered, throwing their arms away.
1500 were killed, 1500 taken prisoner, 20 tanks and 30 guns knocked out. Countless other vehicles were burnt.


For a few days the Regiment rested at Beveren-Waas, sending patrols north of the town. On the 28-th of September we moved towards the Dutch border.

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On the 1-st of Oktober 44. The Regiment being in the advance guard was stopped by heavy German defences. In the course of two days fighting the Regiment destroyed many German tanks, killed about 100 Germans and took prisoners.

We have already known that the "birds" are constantly ready to help. The 131 Polish Wing was often near us and its planes supported us frequently.

The establishing of the bridgehead on the Mark was a ruse to distract the enemy from our activities on another sector. The scheme worked and the Germans, thinking that the main crossing of the Division was to take place here, concentrated their forces and struck time and again in their efforts to liquidate the bridgehead. The bridgehead troops paying no heed to their losses resisted successfully each attack until ordered to retire.

click on map to enlarge Mark-Dintel Line

On the 5-th November 44 the Regiment supporting the 3-rd Rifle Brigade, left Terheijden for Moerdijk to liquidate enemy troops hurriedly retreating to the North of the Maas.

A vast number of anti-tank guns, tanks, huge barricades and mined roads delayed us. At evening a detached Unit occupied Zevenbergschen Hoek and held it trough night in spite of heavy and accurate H.E. and mortar fire.

On the 6-th November 44 the 3-rd Rifle Brigade in company with the 24-th Lancers captured Moerdijk After reaching the Maas there was lull in the fighting. The Regiment continually changed its location and together with the Infantry set up outposts along the river. During this period it was re-equipped with new Shermans with 76 mm guns.

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During the winter 1944-45 advantage was taken of the general inactivity to reinforce tank crews, become acquainted with our new equipment and get ready for further action. Flying bombs and enemy planes became rather a nuisance.


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On the 14-15-th April the Regiment and two companies of the 8-th Infantry Battalion advance as a separate group on Boertange. On the frontier we meet strong resistance. Furious fighting begins, but marvellous cooperation of infantry helps to complete annihilation of major Pitz's group, with the loss of one killed, five wounded and two tanks only. Over 100 Germans were killed, 50 prisoners and 18 guns taken.

On the 17-th April the Regiment with 10-th Dragoons assault Rhede. The action is supported by our artillery. Tanks and Dragoons roll on, wiping out in furious fighting bunker after bunker, taking houses one by one. Flame-throwers burn out M.G. and mortar positions.

Marvellous cooperation of Dragoons and artillery support gave splendid results. 266 prisoners and many guns were taken. On next day Dragoons supported with tanks take Borsum. After having cleared the country North of Rhede from the enemy, we move to Maten, where Lt. Col. Koszutski hands over the command to major Gutowski.

According to the orders received, the Regiment takes Logabirum Woods, Brinkum and Hesel, in spite of strong resistance and very difficult country. Where tanks can not pass trough, goes the infantry, supported with our fire. Once more the cooperation is faultless. In this action over 250 prisoners were taken, one S.P. and several field guns destroyed.

After taken Hessel we stay overnight in Schweringsdorf C Squadron is sent to reiforce bridgehead on the Nord Georsfehner Canal. In the morning of 2-nd May 45 we move on to Grossoldenhof from there clear the vicinity within miles to North and East.

On 3.V.1945 the Regiment march on to Westerstede. In this advance no resistance is met. In the afternoon contact with Canadian troops advancing from the Douth is established.

On 4-th may 1945 we move on to Wilhelmshaven. The advance is slow owing to road-blocks and mines. Bypassing obstacles is difficult because of soft ground, and repair takes long time. Engineers suffer losses in their work from enemy mortar and artillery fire.

At 08.00 hrs on 5-th May 1945 comes "cease fire". Germany has surrendered At last the war begun on 1-st September 1030 has come to end.

Wilhelmshaven, the pride of the German Navy surrenders to Poles, Soldiers of the Army which "ceased to exist"in 1939. The row of Germans officials wait humbly for our arrival. They ask who we are: Americans, British or Canadian? On hearing the answer -Poles- they pale.


On 20-th May we hand over the town and the harbour to the Canadians. The Regiment moves to Löningen area. The fighting is over, now the work no less important begins - occupation. Our soldiers, half-way back to Poland, will fulfil his duty, even thought it be difficult at times, but all the times is waiting for the day, when we can go back to a truly Free and Indepent Poland.

A few facts from Regimental records regarding the activities from 1-st August 1944 to 6-th May 1945 are given below.

15 tanks of "Tiger", "Panther" and Mark IV type
12 self - propelled guns
86 guns various calibres
234 vehicles various types

Captured prisoners:
21 officers
1546 other ranks

8 officers
46 other ranks

Died of wounds:
1 officer
10 other ranks

51 officers
180 other ranks

6 other ranks

68 tanks destroyed or burned
15 other vehicles destroyed or burned


Silver Cross of the order of " VIRTUTI MILITARI" V-th class:
24 officers
10 other ranks

Cross of Valour with 2 bars:
3 officers

Cross of Valour with one bar:
16 officers
18 other ranks

Cross of Valour:
44 officers
136 other ranks

Gold Cross of Merit with Swords:
1 officer

Silver Cross of Merit with Swords:
8 officers

Bronze Cross of Merit with Swords and bar:
1 other rank

Bronze Cross of Merit with Swords:
56 other ranks


D.S.O. - 1 officer
Military Cross - 1 officer
Military Medal - 2 other ranks The Legion of Merit - 1 officer
Croix de Guerre - 2 officers and 2 other ranks
1939 - 1945 Star - 58 officers and 580 other ranks
France - Germany Star - 59 onicers and 694 other ranks
Africa Star - 6 other ranks
Defence Medal - 33 officers and 234 other ranks