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Pre WW2 Polish Badge of the Lwów Military Police

Brass 48mm x 39.5mm. , 1918/1919, Lwów (?)

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Oval badge in a laurel wreath. In the middle there is an uncrowned Polish eagle sitting on the amazon’s shield and two crossed Mannlicher M1895 rifles. On the wreath, the inscription “Żand.W.P” (Żandarmeria Wojska Polskiego – Military Police Polish Army) and the dates “1-22.XI.1918” (1-22 November – Defence of Lwów). At the bottom of the wreath, the coat of arms of Lwów.  One of the rifle tips is broken.

 The badge is soft die stamped, on the reverse a two-digit number. The number has been covered, interested parties can receive photos with a visible number.

The list of the Lwów Defense Military Police lists 105 names, but it is not complete. It is estimated that in total there were no more than 150 people and badges made. One of the rarest badges of the period of the Second Polish Republic.

“The first Polish Military Police unit in the Defence of Lwów was established on 2nd November in the Sienkiewicz school. It was to perform the so-called defense task in the part of the city occupied by the Polish Army, which included tracking Ukrainian spies, carrying out searches in search of hidden weapons and war material, preventing abuse, interning and investigating prisoners of war and suspicious civilians and public security service. Initially commanded by Captain Tadeusz Zubrzycki, and from November 6 by Officer Cadet Hippolit Wyrzykowski.

This unit turned into a branch of Military Police, when the Supreme Headquarters by No.3 Order of the of November 6 ordered the organization of the Military Police (Gendarmerie) for the defense of Lwów, initially appointing Jan Marian Schaff as its commander. The gendarmerie command was then subordinate to the Supreme Headquarters.

The proper organization of the gendarmerie of defense of Lwów was carried out at the moment of appointment by order of the General Command No. 8 of November 11 as the commander of the gendarmerie, Adam Hełm-Pirgo, and his deputy and organizer of the gendarmerie Major Wiktor Sas-Hoszowski. From November 7, 2nd Lt. Edward Gott also worked on the organization.

The gendarmerie consisted of an executive company and a patrol at the Military Police headquarters, as well as branches and outposts in each section. The main task of the Lwów Defense Military Police was to maintain security behind the fighting army, to protect civilians and their property. The gendarmes also performed communication and intelligence services, and their observations and reports were often helpful in making tactical decisions in individual sections. They tracked down spies, suppressed banditry, and were also repeatedly pursued to strengthen the front as a combat reserve of the High Command. A branch in the building of the former Austrian gendarmerie at ulica (street).Leona Sapiehy 1 was a constant reinforcement of the front of the second section, and the executive company effectively participated in the fight on November 14 on the Mount of Death (Góra Stracenia) and Kleparów to Zamarstynów. The gendarmerie was assisted by the military, civil and railway militia. After Lwów was liberated, the Defence of Lwów gendarmerie became the basis for the organization of the field and Polish national Military Police.