Did the postwar Forest Brothers and Cursed Soldiers receive western armaments?

Discussions on the Allies and the Neutral States in general and the countries that does not have sections of their own.
Komi
Member
Posts: 136
Joined: 07 Dec 2020 13:12
Location: Seeking history

Did the postwar Forest Brothers and Cursed Soldiers receive western armaments?

Post by Komi » 19 Apr 2021 00:17

The Baltic "Forest Brothers" and Polish "Cursed Soldiers" waged a guerilla war against Communism after WW2 that lasted into the 1950s. I know that they received some support from the British, for example via the insertion of agents in Operation Jungle ca. 1949-55. My question is did these Baltic and Polish guerillas receive any small-arms from the British or other western nations during the post-WW2 period? Or were all of their guns sourced locally in eastern-Europe?

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1187
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: Did the postwar Forest Brothers and Cursed Soldiers receive western armaments?

Post by ROLAND1369 » 20 Apr 2021 14:48

The western powers supported both insurgencies with weapons and personnel drops. The US utilized converted P2V Neptune aircraft flown from Germany by Polish and Czech exile pilots. As for weapons, when supporting insurgencies you do not equip them with with your own, in this case western, weapons which can be used as proof of your actions. Additionally the use of western weapons would have necessitated the training of the insurgents in their operation, maintenance, and external resupply of ammunition and repair parts. It is always preferred to use locally used weapons as the insurgents are already familiar with and trained in their use and locally captured ammunition and parts are available. So the answer to your question is yes the west supplied weapons and equipment to the Forest Brothers and Ukrainian resistance but not Western Weapons. Remember that the Allies had Warehouses of both German and Captured Russian Weapons, which the former German military surrendered after the War. If you examine some of the forest brothers photos you will see several of them wearing US leather aircrew clothing. This was supplied them from stocks turned in by US flyers at the end of the war and was considered sterile as so much was released as surplus in post war Europe. As an example of some of this clothing being retained for postwar clandestine operations the UN Partisan Force, which ran behind the lines operations in 1952 Korea, requested uniforms for it operatives. They received WW II German winter SS uniforms, some with the SS eagle still attached. In addition to the "Black" P2Vs the USAF Fielded 3 Aerial Resupply and Communications Wings. They flew a combination of all black Stripped B 29s, C119s, SA 16 And H 19 heliocopters to insert or extract Personel and equipment in denied areas primarily at night. Most of their missions are still classified. Forgive my long winded explanation.

Komi
Member
Posts: 136
Joined: 07 Dec 2020 13:12
Location: Seeking history

Re: Did the postwar Forest Brothers and Cursed Soldiers receive western armaments?

Post by Komi » 20 Apr 2021 15:24

ROLAND1369 wrote:
20 Apr 2021 14:48
As for weapons, when supporting insurgencies you do not equip them with with your own, in this case western, weapons which can be used as proof of your actions. Additionally the use of western weapons would have necessitated the training of the insurgents in their operation, maintenance, and external resupply of ammunition and repair parts. It is always preferred to use locally used weapons as the insurgents are already familiar with and trained in their use and locally captured ammunition and parts are available.
Yeah obviously, I wasn't thinking of western weaponry. The US, Britain, etc. had loads of captured German guns at the end of the war, they could easily have sent those to the anti-Communist partisans since German weaponry (and ammunition) was still widely available in that part of the world in the postwar years.
ROLAND1369 wrote:
20 Apr 2021 14:48
So the answer to your question is yes the west supplied weapons and equipment to the Forest Brothers and Ukrainian resistance but not Western Weapons. Remember that the Allies had Warehouses of both German and Captured Russian Weapons, which the former German military surrendered after the War. If you examine some of the forest brothers photos you will see several of them wearing US leather aircrew clothing. This was supplied them from stocks turned in by US flyers at the end of the war and was considered sterile as so much was released as surplus in post war Europe.
Interesting, that's the sort of thing I had in mind. Thanks very much for your reply.

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1187
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: Did the postwar Forest Brothers and Cursed Soldiers receive western armaments?

Post by ROLAND1369 » 20 Apr 2021 22:12

One correction I neglected to add the C 47 aircraft to the Aerial Resupply and Communications wings. It was used for insertion and extraction of personnel as well as certain other black missions.

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1187
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: Did the postwar Forest Brothers and Cursed Soldiers receive western armaments?

Post by ROLAND1369 » 03 May 2021 16:09

One sad point to remember is that most of these efforts to aid the anti communist resistance were betrayed by the ring of British traitors such as Kim Philby. They betrayed the western operations and much of the Insertions/drops/movements/personnel were compromised.

User avatar
Steve
Member
Posts: 828
Joined: 03 Aug 2002 01:58
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Did the postwar Forest Brothers and Cursed Soldiers receive western armaments?

Post by Steve » 26 May 2021 21:23

Before the end of the war the British stopped supporting the anti communist resistance in Poland. In December 1944 all flights from Britain and Italy to Poland were stopped. The training of men who were to be dropped behind enemy lines was also ended. On February 9 the Foreign Office asked the Polish Government in exile to cease sending any further radio messages to Poland and a few days later they were told all communications were to end immediately. Radio links operated by Polish military units in the west managed to continue. On September 4 1945 all links between Polish bases on the continent and Poland were supposed to have ended. The British did not want to upset the Soviet Union and the new communist government in Poland.

Anti communist Poles in the west was able to continue sending some aid to the resistance in Poland. Apparently after the start of the cold war the Americans and the German Gehlen organisation were involved. In 1952 accusations were made that the military organisations responsible for sending aid had been infiltrated by communists.

Return to “The Allies and the Neutral States in general”