111. Kompania Ochrony Mostów – polsko-włoski oddział 2. Korpusu i jego szlak bojowy od Ankony do Pesaro

Krzysztof Strzałka

Abstrakt

111th Bridge Protection Company – a Polish-Italian Unit of the 2 Corps

The 111th Bridge Protection Company called into being in March 1944 was an auxiliary unit of the 2 Polish Corps which fought on the Italian front in the years 1944–1945. The special character of the unit was due to the fact that it consisted predominantly of Italian volunteers and the Poles held in it the posts of officers and  noncommissioned officers. Initially, the soldiers of the 111th Company were responsible for ensuring provisions as well as arms to the front-line units; they were also responsible for reconnaissance tasks and the transportation of the wounded. Due to the exceptional courage, determination and dedication of both the officers and soldiers, in May 1944 the unit had been transformed into a commando company and together with the first Polish company of this formation, it became a part of the I Commando Concentration under the leadership of major Smrokowski. In the latter capacity, it was subsequently transferred to the front-line and it very actively and successfully participated in the battle of Ancona in July 1944, as well as in the battle on the river Metauro in August 1944, in the break-through of the so called “Got line” and the conquest of the town of Pesaro at the end of the same month in 1944. The Polish-Italian brotherhood in arms had been realized in practice in the above battles whereas the achievements of the company (which was dissolved in September 1944) were appreciated by both the Polish and Italian military commands. The effect of the above successes was a large number of medals and distinctions granted to the soldiers: 17 Crosses of Valour, as well as Silver and Bronze Crosses with Swords. 

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