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Was My father a Cichociemny ?

Article about: Hi members, My dad was a cichociemny and he died in 1994. I was only 12 years old at the time and didn't understand his role in the war until I was in high school, but my mom couldn't rememb

  1. #1

    Exclamation Was My father a Cichociemny ?

    Hi members,

    My dad was a cichociemny and he died in 1994. I was only 12 years old at the time and didn't understand his role in the war until I was in high school, but my mom couldn't remember too many details about his stories. After watching a documentary on WWII on the history channel last week I began researching the cichociemni and came across this forum. I'm so excited to learn about these book titles and about the spp-pumst! I am trying to find out more information about my dad's service history and so I emailed the spp-pumst and they're looking up my dad! His name was Ryszard Kruger (don't know his "code" name) and he was born in 1923. He was only 16 when the war began and he must have been one of the youngest cichociemni. If anyone knows any information about him I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by Gary J; 07-25-2011 at 09:48 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    Hi Cichociemny Kid,

    I couldn't find your father's name in cichociemni listing taken from Tucholski's book: cichociemni so hopefully SPP-PUMST will have the information
    Cichociemni- Encyklopedia skoczkw AK
    Good luck with your research
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    I've been researching cichociemni online for a couple of weeks now and it seems that I can only find information about those that jumped into Poland. My dad did NOT jump into Poland, but jumped into Germany as well as other countries. Does anyone know where I could find information about troops that jumped into countries other than Poland?

    While searching You Tube I found an amazing video from 1944 entitled : School of Polish Special Forces - London 1944. They are referring to the troops as "special agents" are they talking about cichociemni?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    You are right 'cichociemni' or 'The Unseen and Silent' was the unofficial name those parachuted back into Poland. You will know that there was no formal military unit of 'cichociemni' as such, other Poles that underwent the same 'cichociemni' type training courses were in the Polish section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and took part in operations for the SOE throughout the European theatre of operations.

    Some brief information on Poland & SOE can be found here:
    Poland and the SOE

    Jozef Garlinski's book 'Poland, S.O.E. and the Allies' is still an informative read.

    The National Archives at Kew, England does hold SOE records but these are incomplete; some remain classified and a large number of SOE records destroyed in a fire. If you have already contacted SPP-PUMST and have not recieved any information about SOE ops in Germany then I would try the SOE records at Kew.

    There is also a very knowledgable group of SOE guys at:

    specialoperationsexecutive : Special Operations Executive

    I know the film you mention and the 'special agents' were Poles in SOE.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    Thanks so much, you're been super helpful! The SPP-PUMST got back to me and said that they couldn't find anything about my dad, but there might have been some miscommunication regarding his name. His name was Ryszard A. Kruger, but my dad always talked about his last name being Oginski and that they changed it during the war to Kruger. His family was very wealthy at the time and were in some way involved in supporting the underground army and were trying to hide from the Germans. However, when my family obtained a copy of his birth certificate from Poland a few years ago we were shocked to see his name as Kruger on the birth certificate. A wrote the SPP-PUMST again and provided them with both possible names in case that makes a difference. Also, when I wrote them I referred to my dad as a "cichociemny" that did not jump into Poland. Should I write them again and clarify that he was an SOE?

    Thanks again for your help!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    Have you looked in Historia Polskiego Znaku Spadochronowego J.Lorys the Polish para brigade reference book... if he received his 'wings' after successfully completeing his para training he should be in that book?

    I don't have a copy but GaryJ and others on the forum do, so could probably help look up both names for you... over to you guys

    If SPP-PUMST can't help have you tried PISM with both names for you father?
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    Is the SOE part of the British Army? I'm confused. I was reading various articles and from what I understood there was mention of Churchill establishing the SOE, but then there are different sectors for different countries. Did the polish army have their own SOE or were the Poles working in collaboration with the British? Can someone please clarify?

    Also, I was wondering if all SOE troops spies or were different SOE troops trained for different things (paratroopers, spies, etc.)?

    I'm loving this research! It is so fascinating!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    I'm hoping that someone who has a copy of Historia Polskiego Znaku Spadochronowego by J.Lorys could look up my father's name for me. From what I understand he was a Polish SOE paratrooper who jumped into Germany, Holland, and possibly other countries as well. I was told that he was bombing bridges as well as other places of strategic importance during the war and was carrying large amounts of money on his person for bribery. I also know that at the end of the war he was part of a group that was recognized by the Queen of England because I have a photo of this.

    I've contacted the spp-pumst, but they could not find anything and I am also waiting to hear back from the archives in Kew, England.
    His name was Ryszard Aleksander Kruger; however he could also be listed as Ryszard Aleksander Oginski or possible Ryszard Aleksander Kruger-Oginski

    His last name was originally Oginski, but it was changed at some point, possibly during the war.

    Thanks for the help!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    The SOE was not part of the British Army as such. It was entirely clandestine and although some SOE operatives (nicknamed "the Baker Street Irregulars" as SOE HQ was based at 64 Baker Street, London) were from military background many were not, but all received general military training in clandestine warfare and also specialised 'spycraft' training tailored to their eventual SOE mission.

    The overarching mission of the SOE was the liberation of Europe, and within that mission various sections were set up to support European underground organisations although Polish operations were not part of the SOE strategy for the liberation of Europe and nearly all Polish SOE missions were directed by the Polish government-in-exile in cooperation with SOE. However Poles were also recruited by SOE not connected to the Pollsh government-in-exile or Poland for missions in Europe. You father may have been in the latter group so that could be a possible reason SPP-PUMST has no record.

    Would like to see the photo you mention from the end of the war?

    SOE agents often carried huge amounts of cash with them, some as you say for bribery but also cash (mainly US dollars and gold) to give to the various national underground organisations to sustain their fighting capacity. In fact literally millions of dollars in currency and gold was parachuted into Poland with cichociemni. Gen. Stefan 'Starba' Bałuk told me he carried over 250,000 dollars in cash with him on his drop into Poland! Every cent made it to the AK in Warsaw.

    Would definitley recommend getting hold of a copy of Jozef Garlinski's book 'Poland, S.O.E. and the Allies'
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cichociemni (Polish SOE)

    I'll post some photos next week. They're at my mom's house and I have to get them and digitize them. I'll also post some photos of medals that he received...maybe that will help figure out what he was a part of.

    According to my mom, when the war started my dad was 16 and his parents sent him to Germany to stay with some family friends in the hopes of keeping him safe (my dad spoke excellent German); however, when he arrived they sent him straight back to Poland! Once there he ended up being arrested (not sure if he was alone or with a group of people) and taken to a Russian Prison. The British or possibly the the Polish Army that was in Britain liberated those imprisoned and my dad went back with them to England, where he then joined the Polish Army. In addition to jumping in Germany and Holland, he was also in Africa, Israel, and Italy, but we don't know if he jumped there or perhaps he was there with the Polish Army before he became a paratrooper.

    The National Archives at Kew did not find anything, but sent me some other links to check out.

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