Tadeusz Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski, Michal.

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Tadeusz Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski Michał, Coat of arms of Trąby pseudony Doktor, Stolarski, Torwid, born 05-01-1893 in Lwów, the son of Bolesław and Helena Lerch de Lerchensfeld. He grew up in Drohobycz (interestingly, he graduated from the same school as Bruno Schulz, author of “Cinnamon Shops”), lived with his mother and grandmother. In 1913, he graduated from gymnasium, and after graduating from high school, he began to study at Lviv University. He began to study at the Faculty of Medicine, from where he subsequently moved to Krakow, where he studied at the Jagiellonian University. During his studies he decided to commit himself to self-employment activities. He was active in the Active Combat Association and the Riflemen’s Association. At the latter organization he completed officer training in 1913. From 1910 he was a member of the Polish Socialist Party-Revolutionary Faction. Before 1914 briefly in the Austrian army. He became a Polish General, founder of the resistance movement “Polish Victory Service. Michał served in the Polish Legions from 1914 until 1917, then in the POW (Polish Military Organization).  Polish Legions was the name of Polish armed forces created in August 1914 in Galicia. He was a commanding officer of the “5th Infantry Legion Regiment”  during the Polish-Ukrainian War, which fought in Lwów. After Poland regained independence in 1918, Michał served in the Polish Army. In April 1919 he participated in the Polish-Soviet War, when Wilno was seized by Poland. From 1924 until 1926 he was commanding the “19th Infantry Division” in Wilno, from 1928 until 1932 a commanding officer of the “25th Infantry Division” in Kalisz and from 1932 until 1939 a commanding officer of the Corps area (okreg korpusu) in Grodno, Lwów and Toruń. During the Polish Defensive War of 1939, he was commanding the Operation Group (grupa operacyjna) of the “Armia Pomorze”, Pomeranian Army.   He fought in the Battle of Bzura and was the second-in-command of “Armia Warszawa”, Army Warsaw, which was commanded by General Juliusz Rómmel, during the defence of Warsaw. In occupied Poland, on 27-09-1939 he founded the resistance movement “Służba Zwycięstwu Polski”, Polish Victory Service and was its Commander-in-Chief until December 1939, when he became the commanding officer of the “3rd Lwów area under Soviet occupation. Crossing the new German-Soviet border, in March 1940 he was arrested and imprisoned by the NKVD. Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski after arrest by NKVD 1940  After being released from prison, Michał was appointed a commanding officer of the “6th Infantry Division” of the Polish Army in the Soviet Union in August 1941. From March 1943 until 1944 he served as the second-in-command of the Polish Army in the East. In 1944 he became a commander of the 3rd Polish Corps which was formed in Egypt. After the war he stayed in exile in England and settled in London.

Death and burial ground of Tadeusz Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski, Michal.

.      From 1954 on he was the General Inspector of the Armed Forces of the Polish forces in exile.  He died on 22-05-1964, age 71 in Casablanca, Morocco In September 1992 the urn with his ashes was transferred from Brompton Cemetery in London to Poland and buried at the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw. In 2006, General Tokarzewski’s medals and battledress came up for public auction. Two Canadians, who were aware of the unfortunate history of Poland during World War II, were successful in their bid and brought the items to Canada. The two then donated the entire collection to “Poland and the Polish people” during a ceremony at the Polish Combatants’ Association, Branch#20, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The collection was displayed at the Branch #20 museum until March, 2007, when it was and shipped to Warsaw to be displayed in the Warsaw Military Museum in that city. On this cemetery are also buried the Polish fighter ace Jan “Johnny” Zumbach, General Rómmel, General, Walerian CzumaGeneralmajor of the Para Troops the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade , during Operation Market GardenStanislaw Sosabowski The Poles suffered significant casualties during the next few days of fighting, but still were able, by their presence, to cause around 2.500 German troops to be diverted to deal with them for fear of them supporting the remnants of 1st Airborne , under command of General Major Roy Urqhart trapped over the lower Rhine in Oosterbeek. The Brigade had lost 25% of its fighting strength, amounting to 590 casualties.  The British Airbornes during operation Market Garden, lost 7.077 men, 1.174 were killed and 5.903 missed in action. Also buried here Polish Marshall, Edward Rydz-Smigly.



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