The 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigate was an infantry brigade of Polish Army that was created in September 1941.
The Brigade was formed by Polish soldiers in exile in UK with the aim of its being used to support Polish resistance during Ww2.
Unfortunately, on July 27, aware of the imminent Warsaw uprising the British governement refused the idea to use this brigate to support the insurgents. Polish unit should have took part of Normandy assault but also this mission was cancelled for them.
On contrary the brigade was involved in Operation Market Garden in September 1944. This operation was a bold plan designed to caputure the Rhine crossing along the Dutch-German border and establish a foothold for an advance in Germany.
Owing to bad weather and shortage of planes the drop on their objective was delayed by two days. They dropped into Driel (near Arnhem) without British units of support and without radio contact with the main Allied forces. They were dropped directly under a significant German fire and they were forced to set up a defensive hedgehog position.
They tried for two days to cross the Rhine to reach the British red devils. After 3 days about 200 Polish troopers reach the British 1st Airborne Division only to cover their fall back.
Till the end of the war the 1st Polish brigade was attached to the 1st Polish Armoured Division in occupation duties in Norther Germany.
The commander of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade in Driel was Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski.
During the invasion of Poland he was colonel and he partecipated to the Siege of Warsaw keeping the position. After his success, Sosabowski was assigned to command of all Polish troops in the area of Grochow. Despite constant bombardement and German attacks he repelled the enemy attacks. Following the Polish surrender, he was made prisoner. Escaped he reach the Polish governement in exile.
After the war he found a job as a factory worker in London. As well as many other Polish officers he was unable to return to Communist Poland so he decided for the exile. He died in 1967. Only in 1969 his remians were returned to Poland at Powazki Miliary Cemetery in Warsaw.
In the movie A Bridge too far he was portaryed by Gene Hackman