Polish General Wladyslaw Sikorski inspecting a composite guard of honour of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. England, 19 June 1941.Credit: Lieut. Laurie A. Audrain / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-132201 Restrictions on use: Nil Copyright: Expired
"On the side of the road there was a cornfield and the Germans were firing at us with machine guns and... I was hiding behind a tree and I couldn't cross the road because the fire was so intense. "
I consider myself very lucky. I can't believe it that I, I got through it, you know, some of the, some of the fire that I was under, you know. I consider myself very, very lucky. I remember one time we were going to, we were under attack and around Ancona [Italy], and we had to cross the road.
And on the side of the road there was a cornfield and the Germans were firing at us with machine guns and I, I couldn't, I was hiding behind a tree and I couldn't cross the road because the fire was so intense. And I, but I had to go through, I had to run through into the cornfield. So I did and I, I consider myself very lucky. And another friend of mine got wounded there, too.
As far as I'm concerned, the Allies were very naive when, where the Russians were concerned, you know. And [British Prime Minister Sir Winston] Churchill wanted Russians to actually, you know, fight and wanted to open a second front in, on the Balkans, but it didn't happen. But anyway, Russia did contribute a lot, there's no question about that. You know who went in the Second World War, Russia did contribute.
But on insistence of [Soviet Leader Joseph] Stalin, Churchill agreed that the Polish forces won't take part in the victory parade. Yeah, we were standing there just watching. And some people asked us in England some people asked us, "Why aren't you in the parade?" It was terrible. It was a terrible letdown. After the sacrifices we made in the Second World War, it was just unbelievable that this thing was done to us.