Polish Service Dress – 1st Lieutenant Bletek – Military Cross (MC)
Very scarce WW2 Polish named uniform grouping. Service-Dress worn by Porucznik (1st Lieutenant) Tadeusz Bletek with army number A 04891. Lieutenant Bletek served with 11th Company Engineers, Divisional Engineers, 1st Polish Armoured Division, The Service Dress is made in England, good used condition with some small damages caused by usage. Fitted with makers label. All insignia are original applied. Bletek’s name is not written inside the jacket but we were able to indentify him as there was only one Lieutenant who was awarded with a Military Cross (MC) in the Divisional Engineers, 1st Polish Armoured Division. On the left breast pocket a nice original breast badge for Armoured. The trousers are in used condition, repairs on the backside (see photos). Very unique uniform!!
Porucznik (1st Lieutenant) Tadeusz Bletek. https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/70427/Bletek-Tadeusz.htm
“On 26th April 1945, an assault crossing of the River Leda near Potshausen / Map reference 924103Q/ was launched by a company of the 10th Infantry Regiment. Under very heavy enemy Artillery and Mortar fire, the assault boats were manned by sapper personnel under the command of Lieutenant Bletek and the whole company was successfully transported across the river.
A Class 5 raft was then built and four carriers taken across the river, the fifth received a direct hit from an enemy mortar and the raft and carrier were sunk. Work was then started on the construction of a class 9 raft, but was nit completed owing to enemy mortar fire which destroyed one quarter of the material. A second class 5 raft was built still under enemy fire, this was completed successfully and the remainder of the Infantry company’s equipment was transported across the river. Thus enabling the bridgehead to be held and expanded, this officer was on the river side commanding the engineer operations under enemy fire continuously for 8 hours without relaxation. Lieutenant Bletek by his own courage and determination during the whole of this period did much to encourage the sappers and ensure the ultimate success of the operation”.
Below is a citation from War Diary 1.DYWIZJA PANCERNA
“From Breda the road ran in a perfectly straight line parallel with the railway in the direction of the Moerdijk Bridge. One of the longest bridges in Europe, spanning the mouth of the river Hollands Diep, the Moerdijk Bridge connects North Brabant with South Holland. The Cromwells of the 10th Mounted Rifle Regiment sped in that direction but they did not get far, being halted by Mark Canal. They came to a stop som ten kilometres from the Maas. Blown-up remnants of the bridge hung over the canal, it had been cut in several places by explosives. The 8th Battalion followed close on the heels of the Mounted Rifles. It advanced as near as possible to the water which it would have to cross. The 1st Company was leading under Capt Nitka, followed by the engineers, who were facing a new and very arduous task.
2nd Lieutenant (later 1st Lieutenant) Tadeusz Bletek moved nearer to the Canal, crwaling along the ditch, to examine the area and to select the most suitable place for the crossing. Patrols and engineers followed the same route. The former, under Lieutenant Kanonowicz, reached the canal on the left side of the road, following a little side path in order to estimate the width of the waterway. At one time there had been a ferry at this point. Approaches were possible, but visible to the enemy from a very long distance. On the other side of the canal there were two farms, behind which stretched a dyke. The ground was flat and waterlogged. German voices could be heard – evidently the buildings concealed a German outpost. Lieutenant Andrzejewski and Lieutenant Bletek proceeded in single file and very cautiously between the railway line and the road crawled up to the water’s edge. The was no possibility of building a bridge at that point. The marshy banks would not have borne the weight of the structure nor allowed a tank or heavy vehicle to approach it. There was some movement on the other side of the canal. Germans could be seen, calmly walking about and utterly unconscious of the fact that they were shortly to be ejected from their positions……”
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