741.60C11/12

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

No. 5739

Sir: I have the honor to report the signing yesterday of an Anglo-Polish military agreement32 defining the principles on which the armed forces of Poland will be organized. The agreement was signed by Mr. Churchill33 and Lord Halifax34 on behalf of Great Britain and by the Polish Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief, General Sikorski, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. Zaleski, on behalf of Poland.

By the terms of the agreement, the Polish armed forces will be organized and employed under British command in its character as the Allied High Command. The British Government, which has granted the necessary credits to finance the cost of maintaining the Polish forces, will assist the Polish Government in the reconstitution of the Polish forces.

The Polish Army will be organized out of the Polish troops in Great Britain and in the Middle East, and completed by a mobilization of Polish citizens living in the United Kingdom as well as by drafting of volunteers from other countries. The Polish land forces are defined as the Army of the Sovereign Polish Republic, and its units will form one operational formation under Polish command.

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The Polish Air Force, now in training in England, will be reorganized, and its ranks enlarged by officers and men from France. A joint Polish-British board will select the men suitable for the different air services. The Polish Air Force will be on the same footing as the Royal Air Force and Polish units will be used in the same manner as units of the Royal Air Force. Circumstances permitting, units of the Polish Air Force will operate together and may be used in support of the Polish Army when necessary.

The position of the Polish Navy, which has been collaborating with the Royal Navy for some time, was defined at the beginning of the war when Polish naval units escaped from the Baltic and reached British ports.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Herschel V. Johnson

Counselor of Embassy
  1. This treaty was signed on August 5, 1940, in London.
  2. Winston S. Churchill, British Prime Minister since May 10, 1940.
  3. Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, Viscount Halifax, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.