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The Polish War Cemetery at Monte Cassino in Italy.
Lieutenant-General Władysław Anders CB (August 11, 1892 – May 12, 1970) was a General in the Polishmarker Army and later in life a politician with the Polish government-in-exile in London.

Anders was born on August 11, 1892 to his Baltic-German father Albert Anders and his mother Elizabeth, born Tauchert, in the Polish village of KrośniewicemarkerBłoniemarker, near Kutnomarker which at that time was part of the Russian Empire (Partitions of Poland). He was baptized as a member of the Protestant Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland; but while being kept in Soviet prisons he made a promise that if he survived and regained strength in his legs (he was seriously injured) he would convert to Roman Catholicism. He did survive, and did indeed convert.

While an undergraduate at Riga Technical University Anders became a member of the Polish student fraternity Arkonia. As a young officer, he served Tsar Nicholas II in the 1st Krechowiecki Lancer's Regiment during World War I, later joining the Polish Army and again serving as a commissioned officer in a cavalry regiment.

Anders was in command of a cavalry brigade at the time of the outbreak of World War II. The Polish army at that time had not yet had a chance to fully modernise, having been resurrected only 20 years earlier, in 1918–19, following Polish independence from German, Austrian and Russian rule. Polish forces were not matched with the larger German forces and their Blitzkrieg tactics, and the Polish forces were forced to retreat to the east. During the fighting and retreat he was wounded a number of times. Anders was later taken prisoner by Sovietmarker forces and was jailed, initially in Lvov (then Lwów) and later in Lubyankamarker prison in Moscow. During his imprisonment Anders was tortured.

Shortly after the attack on the Soviet Union by Germany on June 22, 1941, Anders was released by the Sovietsmarker with the aim of forming a Polish Army to fight alongside the Red Army. Continued friction with the Soviets over political issues as well as shortages of weapons, food and clothing, led to the eventual exodus of Anders' men – known as the Anders Army – together with a sizeable contingent of Polish civilians via the Persian Corridor into Iranmarker, Iraqmarker and Palestine. Here, Anders formed and led the 2nd Polish Corps, fighting alongside the Western Allies, while agitating for the release of Polish nationals still in the Soviet Union.

Anders was the commander of the 2nd Polish Corps in Italy 1943–1946, capturing Monte Cassino in the Battle of Monte Cassinomarker.

After the war the Soviet-installed communist government in Poland in 1946 deprived him of Polish citizenship and of his military rank. Anders had, however, always been unwilling to return to a Soviet-dominated Poland where he probably would have been jailed and possibly executed, and remained in exile in Britain. He was prominent in the Polish Government in Exile in London and inspector-general of the Polish forces-in-exile. He died in London on 12 May 1970, where his body lay in state at the church of Andrzej Bobola, where many of his former soldiers and families came to pay their last respects. He was buried, in accordance with his wishes, amongst his fallen soldiers from the 2nd Polish Corps at the Polish War Cemetery at Monte Cassinomarker in Italy.

After the war Anders wrote a book covering his thoughts and experiences. An Army in Exile was published originally by MacMillan & Co., London, in 1949. The book has been recently re-issued under the same title.

In 1948 he married the actress Irena Anders.

After the collapse of Communist Poland in 1989, his citizenship and military rank were posthumously reinstated.

Medals

Poland The United States of America Great Britain Czechoslovakia Italy Knights of Malta Yugoslavia (Royal) Persia France Russia (Imperial Russia)

Notes

Image:Wladyslaw Anders2.jpg|Image:Wladyslaw Anders1.jpg|


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