A Lance Corporal of the Polish Army in France shows his World War I era Berthier Fusil Mle 1907/1915 rifle to a young French boy. The Polish Army in France formed in France under the command of General Władysław Sikorski (and hence sometimes known as Sikorski’s Army) on 6 October 1939 after the fall of Poland to Germany. France, a Polish ally, had formally declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 in response to the invasion of Poland. France welcomed Polish refugees (as well as the Polish government-in-exile) and started organizing them into several military formations. About 85,000 Polish troops were in the process of being organized into fighting formations when Germany then invaded France. The army was partially destroyed in the hostilities, but over 20,000 soldiers were evacuated and formed a new Polish army in the United Kingdom. Comblessac, Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, France. 16 March 1940. Image taken by Władysław Jacek Prytyś.

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