Major Papers


Polonia, Second World War, Windsor, Owen Sound, Recruitment, Polish Armed Forces


Following their retreat to Great Britain in 1940, the Polish government and its military sought out fresh reserves to reinforce their depleted armed forces. With mainland Europe being overrun by the enemy, the Poles turned to the prospect of recruiting from the Polish émigré community on the American continent (Polonia). A generation earlier, over 20,000 Polish-Americans had enlisted to fight for the liberation of their homeland in the Blue Army. Seeking to recreate this success, the Poles established a recruitment center in Windsor, Ontario and a training camp in Owen Sound, Ontario. Despite their efforts, by 1942, the Poles only managed to attract just over 800 recruits to their military. The lack of recruits can be linked to several factors such as the Polish government’s mistreatment of Polish-American veterans from the First World War, a changing and more North Americanized youth within the Polonia, and a lack of cultural awareness on the part of the Polish government in terms of what North American Poles prioritized.

Primary Advisor

Robert Nelson



Program Reader

Adam Pole

Degree Name

Master of Arts



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year