Time to disturb Sikorski?

According to this Telegraph article, both Lech and Donald have called for Polish wartime hero Władysław Sikorksi to be exhumed from his resting place in Wawel to be examined properly for signs that he was done-in by bad guys, possibly even British double-agent bad guys like Kim Philby.

Sikorski was a Polish hero. He didn’t invent any helicopters though, that was Igor, a Russian, but not involved in this affair as by the time of WWII he’d already been in the USA for 20 years. No, our Sikorski was the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of Poland and was in exile in London during WWII. He fell out with Stalin (not a hard thing to do by all accounts) over the question of the Katyń massacre, which he wanted to be investigated.

Falling out with Stalin was dangerous enough on its own but unfortunately for him he fell out with Stalin at a time when everyone else was kissing his ugly backside to try and bring an end to the war (Yalta and all that). The fact that his plane crashed on leaving Gibraltar in July 1943 was therefore treated with some considerable suspicion and has given rise to many conspiracy theories. More or less everyone and everything has been blamed for the crash, apart from simple mechanical failure. Winston Churchill, the Czech pilot, Kim Philby, a member of Soviet ambassador Maisky’s party (also on Gibraltar at the time) and even the possibility of the involvement of some bad Poles have been put forward as the culprits.

Suspicion of the Brits is fuelled by the fact that papers relevant to the case are still classified as secret and will not be released for 50 years or more. Those papers that have been released are not conclusive. Suspicion of Polish guilt is fuelled by the arrest and subsequent death of Stefan Rowecki and Ignacy Oziewicz, two of Poland’s top commanders who were betrayed to the Gestapo (by bad Poles!) in June 1943, only one month before Sikorski also died. In the space of two months, Poland had lost three very significant figures. Coincidence?

So, what are we expecting to discover from a 65 year old corpse that will shed light on all this? A bullet hole in the skull seems to be where most of the money is being put. I imagine that might have been noticed at some point prior to entombment, but maybe not. If there is one, I suppose that means he was shot by the Czech pilot who then donned his life-jacket (for the first time ever, apparently) before crashing the plane and becoming the only survivor of the crash. If that’s the case then the whole circus will rumble on about who the pilot was working for and we won’t really be much further ahead in identifying the real villain. If there is no bullet hole, then it seems to me that we’ll have disturbed a hero for no good reason.

That’s assuming the exhumation goes ahead at all.

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3 thoughts on “Time to disturb Sikorski?

  1. A theory I heard today: The plane was overloaded with whisky and other contraband being smuggled from the officers’ messes of Gibraltar to the UK black market. (Shades of M&M Enterprises in Catch 22) Killings were being made by fairly senior officials; the tail-heavy Liberator couldn’t drag itself into the air. The Brits were so shamed about the whole affair they decided to keep quite about it for a bit. Yeah, like 150 years.

    And what was Kim Philby doing hanging around Gib?

  2. Ah! So somebody did read this post then! :)

    If your theory is correct they should find his bones were soaked in alcohol?

    Philby. Hard to say. He was in charge of the region at the time so I suppose he didn’t need to give reasons.

    There’s an article in the current Polish Newsweek about it. They say the flight path of the plane is not consistent with the idea of faulty controls. Looks like the plane was flown into the sea deliberately. Presumably this throws suspicion on the pilot having shot Sikorski and then ditched.

  3. Pingback: Newsround « Polandian

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