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The Polish theme at the permanent exhibition of the El-Alamein Military Museum 

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 15:56
 The Polish theme at the permanent exhibition of the El-Alamein Military Museum 

The El-Alamein Military Museum in Egypt was established to commemorate the Egyptian role in one of the most important battles of WWII, which took place in 1942, when the Allied Forces fought the Axis Powers in North Africa.

On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, the Director of the Museum of the Second World War, Dr. Karol Nawrocki, together with representatives of the Polish Embassy in Cairo paid a visit to the El-Alamein Military Museum in Egypt. The main purpose of the visit were talks concerning the addition of the Polish theme to the permanent exhibition of the Egyptian museum.

During World War II the Polish soldiers fought in the Polish Armed Forces formed in the West, joining in the military operations in the battles of Narvik (the Norwegian Campaign), and also in battles of France and Great Britain. 

The soldiers of the Polish Army took an active part in the military operations of the Allied Forces in North Africa. The Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade which  was formed by order of General Władysław Sikorski on April 12, was sent to Egypt in 1940. In the course of military operations, of special significance was the role it played in defending Tobruk against the Germans (August until November 1941) as well as combat operations carried out at Cyrenaica  (December 1941- January 1942). The experience gained in these battles was utilized in the formation of the Polish II Corps, a major tactical and operational unit, commanded by Lieutenant General Władysław Anders, which fought in the Italian Campaign.

A significant contribution to the military victories of the Allies in North Africa was made by the Polish military intelligence officers who carried out the identification of the German and French forces while operating within the so-called  "Agency Africa”. In 1943, Polish pilots, who served on the Polish Fighting Team [Polski Zespół Myśliwski], (also known as "Skalski's Circus”) [Cyrk Skalskiego], which supported the Alied Forces in Tunisia, took part in air combat against the Luftwaffe.

A significant part of the proposed ‘Polish theme’ to supplement the exhibits of the El-Alamein Military Museum is the presentation of the figure of General Stanisław Kopański - the military commander of the Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade.

The Polish delegation also invited the management of the Egyptian museum to participate in the second edition of the international conference World Battlefield Museums Forum, organized by the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk in September 2020.
During the meeting the Museum Director Karol Nawrocki presented Major Mahmoud El Sayed Abdel Moneim with a replica of the Polish military eagle insignia discovered during archeological excavations on Westerplatte, while he explained the significance of the Battle of Westerplatte in September 1939.