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A piece of white and red cloth with a W.P. stamp served as a necessary substitute for the longed-for Home Army soldier uniform — a clear sign that one is a soldier rather than a civilian. The Union of Armed Struggle [Związek Walki Zbrojnej] was...

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A piece of white and red cloth with a W.P. stamp served as a necessary substitute for the longed-for Home Army soldier uniform — a clear sign that one is a soldier rather than a civilian. The Union of Armed Struggle [Związek Walki Zbrojnej] was ultimately aimed at open, mass and armed opposition against the occupier — a general uprising. For that purpose, arms and equipment were gathered and a training campaign was organised. Under clandestine conditions, it was impossible to provide Home Army soldiers with standard uniforms as required under international law. We should also bear in mind that in many cases Home Army soldiers used foreign uniform elements, most often German ones. For that time, it was necessary to provide standard badges to the Home Army soldiers to denote their being an inextricable part of the Polish Army. Sewn during a period of clandestine activities, the badges were transported to storehouses — special hiding places to be opened upon the launch of direct preparations for the general uprising. Although in the end no general uprising occurred due to the political and military situation, the bands were used in the Storm [Burza] campaign as well as the Warsaw Uprising.
This particular band is one of 118 bands made for the Home Army's Kraków District — the exact date and time of production are unknown, though. The exhibit is a “canonical” version of the band. There were diverse variations depending on the character or name of the Home Army's unit and the type of service pursued by a given Home Army soldier wearing one. The collection at the Museum of the Home Army includes bands of the Żelbet Kraków Home Army Group and the Śląsk Cieszyński Home Army Operational Group, and, most of all, bands of various Home Army groups fighting during the Warsaw Uprising, which specify the group’s identification numbers.

Elaborated by the Museum of the Home Army dedicated Gen. Emil Fieldorf “Nil”, editorial team of the Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Home Army Band

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