Stanisław Maczek

Stanisław Maczek

31-03-1892 - 12-11-1944

Keywords for this biography
Fighting Liberation Victory and defeat
Liberation Route Europe

Stanisław Maczek

A philosopher by education, a tankman by calling. Soldiers adored him, for he cared about their lives. Dutchmen and Belgians started to love him after he liberated their towns taking great care not to causes too much damage.

Born on 1892 in Szczerc near Lvov, Stanisław Maczek first saw action during the First World War when he fought as an officer on the Italian front. In 1918 he joined the army of Józef Piłsudski and fought for an independent Poland. Independent, quick and bold in decision and realization – wrote the commandant of the War College of Warsaw, general Serda-Teodorski.

After military studies Maczek served in the Eastern Borderlands. In Autumn 1938 he took command of the first motorized unit in the Polish army – the 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade. During the first days of the war Maczek’s unit managed to slow down the German advance, but when the Soviet Union invaded they soon received orders to leave Poland. On 19 September it crossed the Hungarian Border. Maczek, along with his wife and two children, managed to get to France. Soon he was given the command of the rebuilt 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade, but in Spring 1940 France was defeated, so the general got to Great Britain. In 1941 he took command of the 1st Armoured Division. In August 1944 his division landed in France. During the ensuing battles he proved his military talent – he never lost one. After the war he didn’t return to his motherland, which was ruled by communists, who took away even his Polish citizenship. Until his late years he engaged in combatant organizations’ activities. In 1989 Maczek regained his Polish citizenship after democratic changes took place in Poland. He died on 11 December, 1994 in Edinburgh. According to his last will, his remains lie in the Polish Military Cemetery in Breda togehter with his soldiers. 

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