Dear Friends, since I joined that great Forum I have been trying to share picture of a very special place in Poland devoted to 1st Armored Division memorabilia. The place itself is very little- or even unknown for most of the collectors but it contains of some great historical artifacts of famous Polish Armor Division. What is that place ? This is small in space but great in terms of historical value and its message chamber called “Chamber of military tradition in former Zary (Poland) garrison 1945 – 2001”. Underneath that enigmatic title we find a room devoted to military units of Polish Army that used be stationing in garrison of Zary in western Poland from 1945 until 2001. Someone may ask why it is linked with 1st Armor Division, so the answer is here:
Zary as a military garrison was home for various Polish Army units until 2001 when it was deactivated. Units that were stationed here were:
42nd Mechanized Regiment, reorganized (1995) into 11th Mechanized Brigade;
33d Field Artillery Regiment, reorganized (1995) into 11th Artillery Regiment;
And a few more of smaller size, but let’s stay with these two for our considerations. When the cold war ended and communism collapsed in Poland in late 80’s, new Polish democracy restored old & true military history tradition that had been forgotten during communism. In the early 90’s Polish 11th Armored Division that the units listed above were subordinated to, it commenced first official contacts with Veterans’ associations of 1st Polish Armor Div living around the world mostly in the UK, USA, Western Europe. At that time the transfer of proud tradition of WW 2 Polish finest armor force begun. I will intentionally skip the full story of that continuous process as it is the matter for several books… In July 1993 42nd Mechanized Regiment stationing in Zary received the lineage of 24 Pulk Ulanow during the big ceremony taking place in Zary that gathered more than 20 living cavalrymen of 24 PU including last regimental commander COL. T. A. Wysocki who handed over the lance pennon of the regiment to the 42d Regt Commander. 42d was also authorized to put on metal lance pennon shaped metal badge on the beret indicating its connection with pennons worn on the collars of 24 PU… For the following years, 42d Regt preserved the tradition of 24 PU hosting annual Regiment Day and visiting 24 PU members abroad and in Poland. Later 42d Rgt was reorganized into 11th Brigade still holding the tradition and colours of 24 PU. For all those years until 2001 when unit was disbanded, its history room was presented many memorabilia of 24 PU. Same story took place in neighboring 33d/11th Artilllery that received tradition of 1 & 2 PAM….After all the units were deactivated in 2001, their officers decided to hand over all those artifacts to newly created military history chamber in municipal library opened in 2002. It’s been 10 years since it opened and it provides care to many interesting artifacts of 24 PU & 1,2 PAM. I have taken pictures of the most interesting (at least in my opinion) memorabilia regarding 1st Armor Div. which I believe might be “music for your ears”; These are:
- Full service dress jacket of 24 PU’s 1st LT [por.] including original officer’s regimental badge which unfortunately I was unable to examine properly in order to check the variation.
- Service dress jacket of Sierzant 2 PAM including
- Battle dress uniform of 2 PAM Sierzant
- Battle dress uniform of Divisional Signals, 1st LT
- Unique set of 4 Polish small-size woven flags from 1940 France campaing that were attached to artillery howitzers presented by French Army to Artillery-10th Motor Cavalry in April 1940. It is said that these flags experienced 1940 campaing and were evacuated to the UK with the artillerymen. Each flag has a first name of a girl and each howitzer was nicknamed using girl's name.
- Official editions of Komunikat Kola 24 Pulku Ulanow (Association of 24 PU News) framaed with hard covers including two with original regimental badges (one of which is damaged)
I hope you will enjoy watching these pictures.