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Old 08-17-2012, 02:30 PM   #1
Al-muell
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Michał Podlak

A quite recent aquisition, this group currently consists mostly of the documents, but since I hope to get his awards and later documents, I have decided to post it in the award groups section.

The group is to the private-sapper Michał Podlak of the 8th sapper battalion of the 1st Polish Army (in the East). This soldier apparently took part in the most important operations of his units, as he got gratitude letters for all of them. So here we start:

Stalin's gratitude for participation in the capture of the cities of: Złotów (Flatow), Jastrowie (here by the old version of the name: Jastrów), Nadarzyce (Reideritz) and Mirosławiec (Friedland, here in the polonised version: Frydląd Pomorski) and other settlements of the Western Pomerania. This letters of gratitude should have the form of a diploma (in Polish, not in Russian), however, since not enough diplomas were made, such "small letters" were printed locally.

Stalin's grattitude for participation in the capture of the cities of Czaplinek (Tempelburg), Złocieniec (Falkenburg) and Drawsko Pomorskie (Dramburg)

Polish Army Commander Rola-Żymierski's grattitude for participation in breaching the Odra river (sappers of this battalion were among those who prepeared the crossing). This is the official version of the diploma as far as I know.
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Last edited by Al-muell; 08-18-2012 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:51 PM   #2
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Re: Michał Podlak

Stalin's Grattitude for the participation in the capture of Kłobrzeg (Koloberg) - One of the heaviest urban battles that Polish 1st Army took part in before the Berlin Operation.

Temporary certificate for the "For Odra, Nysa and Baltic" medal from march 1946 and the medal itself. As You can see, It has suffered from the exposition to humidity.

Temporary certificate for the "Meritous on the field of glory" bronze medal from july 1946. This certificate suggests that he was still in active service then, which means that this award can as well be for his war-time deeds as for the post-war mine-sweeping operations in which he, as a sapper undoubtedly took part.

A letter from the commander of the Warsaw 1st Sapper Regiment certyfying that prvt. Podlak took part in the fight with thehitlerite invaders as a soldier of the 1st Warsaw Engeneering troops Brigade and should be awarded the "Victory and Freedom" medal, which was not given to him in his unit. This may suggest, that he was about to be demobilized or moved to a different unit. The document was issued in september 1946. From what I know, he eventually got the medal and I hope to aquire it and the doc when possible.

I like this group for several reasons. First is that it consists mostly of the "frontline" documents (temporary and ersatz). Then it is somewhat "compleate" - it shows the battle route of the man to the (most likely) end - demobilization. The final reason is that this set is to the soldier of a unit that had an almost identical route to that of the 18th infantry regiment - a unit that our group had chosen for reenactment. They even both were given honorary "Kołobrzeg" title for the participation in the battle for the city.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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Re: Michał Podlak

The last doc - for "meritous on the Field of Glory" medal.
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Last edited by Al-muell; 08-18-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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Re: Michał Podlak

Patience pays off. Today I have received two more docs to prvt. Podlak. Still hope to get the awards, a photograph, and any later docs.

So here we go, The first one is a 1946-dated temporary doc for the "For Warsaw" medal. This one was also exposed to humidity. It was glued to another piece of paper to make it a bit more durable. Note, that this blank differs from the one posted in the previous post.

The other one is VoG medal booklet. A surprisingly high-ranking person signed this one - a hsu general Stanisław Popławski, at that time - commander of the Silesian Military District. Even more surprising is the fact that it is signed by hand, not stamped.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:46 AM   #5
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Re: Michał Podlak

Victory and freedom medal
VoG - I will never know if he wore it on the "polonized" ribbon or original suspension:(
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:36 AM   #6
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Re: Michał Podlak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al-muell View Post
The last doc - for "meritous on the Field of Glory" medal.
HAving lately read an interesting book "Saperskie Opowieści" ("Sapper tales") by Alojzy Sroga, I have found a possible reason for awarding this medal.

In 1945 there was an order listing what awards and rewards could a sapper get for certain amount of defused landmines. Among other, it included a bronze "Meritorous on the Field of Glory" for defusing 3000 mines (only the mines found on fileds with no minefield chart available would count). Sroga also says that one of the awarding orders was at the end of July 1946.

While there's no way to be certain (the citation for this award was not found), it's safe to asume that this man got his medal for that - defusing 3000 mines of uncharted minefields.
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