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Record 513/678
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Description Belt: leather strap with double tongue brass buckle; leather keeper; stamped metal plate attached to belt with image of Polish eagle. The stamped metal plate is from the front of a French Adrian Helmet, which would have been worn to distinguish members of the Polish Legion from French soldiers. Used by a member of the Polish Legion or Haller's Army.

Prior to the First World War, Poland had ceased to exist as a nation. France provided the support for the creation of a well trained, well equipped, modern army. It would come to be known as the Polish Army in France. This was the fruits of Ignacy Paderewski's labors. Although France was the nation that provided the first opportunities for this Polish Army, both Canada and the United States were invaluable in its creation. Jan Ignacy Paderewski, touring in the United States, had developed the idea of recruiting Polish American volunteers to help fill the ranks of the Polish Army in France. President Woodrow Wilson made the executive orders to allow the recruitment of persons on American soil for duty in a foreign army. The Canadians agreed to provide the training camp for the main body of the army in a town called Niagara on the Lake, close to where the officers would train. This camp became known as Camp Kosciusko. An estimated 20,000 Polish persons answered the call to fight for freedom and the opportunity to regain Poland's independence during World War I in the Polish Army in France (in Polish, Armia Polska we Francyi). The Polish Army in France was also called "Haller's Army," after the general who commanded it, or the "Blue Army," for the blue uniforms the soldiers wore. The first campaign fought by Haller's Army was at Champagne in France in 1918.
Year Range from 1917
Event World War I
Year range to 1919
Object ID 2005.48.2
Object Name Belt
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009