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pre-WW2 Polish KOP Commander Presentation Cigarette Case


Solid Silver, 1934, Warsaw, 119 grams. 104mm x 83mm.

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Pre-World War Two Polish Cigarette Case presented to Lt.Colonel Józef Kalandyk. Commander of the KOP Battalion “Czortków” (Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza, Border Protection Corps). Later commander of the 40th Lwów Infantry Regiment. One of the commanders of the defence of Warsaw in September 1939.

 The case was presented to Lt.Colonel Kalandyk most likely when he was leaving the command of the unit by his fellow officers. 

 Engraved front and back with signatures of 17 officers from KOP Battalion Czortków including one signature in applied gold. In the corner of the case applied initials in gold of the owner – JK.  On the reverse the dedication:


“Panu płk. Józefowi Kalandykowi 

Dowódcy Baonu “Czortków”

Korpus Oficerów Baonu

W Marcu 1934 r.”




“To Colonel Józef Kalandyk

Commanders of the “Czortków” Battalion

Corps of Battalion Officers

In March 1934 “


 Hallmarked inside for Warsaw 1931-1939 production by Krupski i Matulewicz. 

 In the engraving the engraver most likely missed a “p” in “płk” in place of “ppłk”. Meaning Colonel in place of Lt.Colnel.

Lt. Col. Józef Kalandyk was born on February 22, 1898 in Niechorze near Rzeszów in the family of Stanisław and Katarzyna from Rzepków. He graduated from six years of classical gymnasium in Rzeszów. On August 25, 1914, he joined the Polish Legions and was incorporated into the 2nd Infantry Regiment, where he served until February 15, 1915. Later he fought in the ranks of the 1st Brigade of the Polish Legions. After the oath crisis, he was drafted into the Austrian army and sent to the Italian front. He fought in the ranks of the 20th Infantry Regiment, the 46th Infantry Regiment and the 40th Infantry Regiment. In August 1918 he was directed to the Officer’s School of the XV Corps in Mürzzuschlag near Vienna. He stayed there until October 28, 1918.

On November 3, 1918, he joined the Polish Army, and on November 10, seven days later, he was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant and was delegated to the 23rd Infantry Regiment in Lublin. From December 1918 to July 1920, he fought in the ranks of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, commanding the 6th company. On May 25, 1920, at the Battle of Ambrozyjki, with the forces of one company, he stopped the attack of a many times stronger opponent and threw him far back, saving his act with a highly threatened part of front.

He served in the 23rd Infantry Regiment until 1922. From April 29, 1922 to May 23, 1927, he was a lecturer at the Central Shooting School in Toruń, later he served as:

– head of the Armaments Department in the Infantry Department of the Ministry of Military Affairs in the period from May 24, 1927 to March 13, 1931,

– commander of the 21st Infantry Regiment, in the period from March 14, 1931 to March 23, 1932,

– commander of the Battalion of the KOP “Czortków”’ in the period from March 24, 1932 to 1935.

In the years 1935-1938 he was the commander of the Central School of NCOs in KOP in Osowiec. He completed the course of regiment commanders in Centre of Infantry Training. in Rembertów. From September 1938 he was the deputy commander of the 40th Infantry Regiment in Lwów, and from March 10, 1939 he became the commander of this regiment.

In September 1939 he fought in the defence of Warsaw, acting as the commander of the Wola and Ochota section. After the surrender, he was captured by the Germans and stayed in the Oflag in X A Itzehoe, Sandbostel and Woldenberg.

After the war, he returned to the country and worked at the GAL maritime agency in Gdynia. From 1949 he lived in the capital, where he died on January 20, 1952.

For his actions he was awarded:

Virtuti Militari Cross, Class V and IV (No. 3654, 00211) 1,

The Cross of independence,

Cross of Valor Three Times,

Gold Cross of Merit and other awards.

Prepared by: Kajetan Szczepański


Source of information and last photograph of Józef Kalandyk:,Jozef-Kalandyk.html