Belonging to Colonel Jozef Kapciuk, Chief of Polish Armored Troops during the Nazi
invasion of 1939, this group consists of the following: 1) silver and amber-mounted
officer’s dagger with straight 9 1/4 inch blade, maker marked on the ricasso “G
Borowski”, obverse etched with panels of scrollwork and the Polish eagle and inscribed
“Honor and Fatherland”; silver hilt of proscribed form, the grip of amber; black leather
scabbard, the silver mounts molded with acanthus. 2) Medal of Valor with one bar. 3)
Officer’s silver and gold bullion thread cap badge. 4) Pilot’s badge, maker marked “J.P.
Gaunt & Son, Ltd./London”. 5) Silver Staff College badge, maker marked “W.
Gontarczyk/Warzawa”. 5) Officer’s silver and enamel badge for the 7th Armored
Division, maker marked “W Gontarcxyk/Warzawa/Ul. Miodowa No. 19″. 6) Silver and
enamel Commemorative badge of the Lithuanian-Belorussian Front, marked “K.
Gajewski/Grawer/Warszawa/Nowy-Swiat 49″. 7) White metal undress cap badge. 8)
Period photograph of Col. Kapziuk in full dress uniform wearing his medals. 9)
Photocopy of Col. Kapziuk’s diploma from the General Staff Academy. 10) Photocopies
of several period photos of Col. Kapciuk including two showing him reviewing Polish
troops in England with George VI. Also included is the Polish order of battle in 1939,
listing Col. Kapciuk as a member of the High Command as Chief of Armored Troops.
Colonel Josef Kapciuk was the youngest member of the Polish High Command,
commanding Polish armored troops at the outbreak of the war. After the Poles
surrendered, he and his immediate family fled to England. For the remainder of the war
he was active in the Polish Air Force and commanded armored trains in Britain. His
brothers, who remained in Poland, were killed by the Soviets in the Katyn Forest
massacre. After the war, Kapciuk immigrated with his family to California. This group
came from his grand daughter and includes a letter of provenance to this effect.
Surviving Polish WWII memorabilia is quite scarce due to the devastation they endured
during the war. The brave exploits of Polish troops in the face of overwhelming force by
the Nazi panzers are legendary. Those who escaped to Britain remained some of the
fiercest and most dedicated fighters against the Nazis throughout the war.