Swiatecki bomb ejector by Paweł Gielej, class Ib

Swiatecki bomb ejector – was slip bomb device of Polish inventor Władysław Świątecki used in many allied bombers during World War II.


Świątecki designed a bomb-release system in 1923. His invention was patented in 1926 in Poland. The first use was planned for the Karaś P.23 light bomber and for Łoś bomber but not used. From 1930 the inventor produced the “Swiatecki bomb slip” in own branch in Lublin. First use of his invention took place in 1925 when the Polish Navy mounted it in imported aircraft – Cant Z-506B.

After the Invasion of Poland in 1939 Świątecki evacuated to Hungary and via Yugoslavia and Italy to France (Paris) where he worked as engineer in military industry. Then, when France collapsed in June 1940, he escaped again, with his family, travelling to North Africa and then by ship to England. There he demonstrated his device to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. He went on to serve in the Royal Air Force as a Flight Lieutenant.

The slip device was modified for use in the Lancasters of 9, 12 and 617 Squadrons of the Royal Air Force for the use of the Tallboy and Grand Slam giant aerial bombs. The Boeing B-29 was modified to carry Grand Slam and Tallboy and the giant 42000lb T-12 bomb, the slip device (The D-9 carrier) was a modification of the Swiatecki bomb slip. These weapons were the largest air-dropped bombs before the atomic bomb. In Project Harken and Project Ruby the Swiatecki devices performed flawlessly.

His slip device was the subject of debate at the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors from 1946 to 1955. The Ministry claimed the device was invented at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough and developed by Vickers Armstrongs. The family received an ex gratia award of £350.

In 1943, an updated version of Świątecki invention was created by Jerzy Rudlicki for the American Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

Władysław Świątecki

Władysław J. Świątecki (1895 – 28 April 1944) was a Polish inventor and airman.


Early life

Born 1895 in Poland. His father was a General Practitioner in St Petersburg, Jan Swiatecki and his mother was Josefa Papreska. He flew in the War of Liberation for Poland 1918 – 1920. Decorated with the order Virtuti Militari, a high Polish decoration for bravery.


Świątecki invented the slip bomb device, which he patented in 1926.The device was planned for the Karas light bomber and for Łoś bomber but not used, though the device was handed over to the Polish Air Force before the war and used by other European air forces. Escaped from Poland in 1939 through Hungary, Yugoslavia and Italy to France (Paris) where he worked as engineer in

military industry. Then, when France collapsed in June 1940, he escaped again, with his family, travelling to North Africa and then by ship to England. There he demonstrated his device to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. He went on to serve in the Royal Air Force as a Flight Lieutenant at Blackpool. There he used his technical skills to translate British technical documents into Polish.

 Death and afterward

 Died on the 28th April 1944 at the Paderewski Hospital, Edinburgh, of kidney failure and is buried in Edinburgh.

His slip device was the subject of debate at the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors from 1946 to 1955. The Ministry claimed the device was invented at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough and developed by Vickers Armstrongs. The family received an ex gratia award of £350. The basis of the family claim was a letter written to the Ministry of Aircraft Production by Władysław Świątecki in 1944, just before he died. On a visit to Farnborough he noticed that Lancaster aircraft were being fitted with his bomb slip device. In his letter he claimed patent infringement which the Ministry denied. The family claim was put forward by his sons, the eldest son also called Władysław Świątecki and Tad Świątecki. The former was an eminent physicist who died in 2009.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie by Grzegorz Zając, class IIa


(7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934)

Marie Skłodowska-Curie was a Polish-French physicist  and chemist.

She was the first person honored with two  Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry.

She was the  first female professor at the University of Paris.

She  was born Maria Salomea Skłodowska in Warsaw.

She shared her 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with the physicist Henri Becquerel.

Eight years later, in 1911, she received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

She the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium.

While an actively loyal French citizen, Skłodowska-Curie never lost her sense of Polish identity.


She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. Her parents were teachers.

She had older siblings were Zofia (born 1862), Józef (1863), Bronisława (1865) and Helena (1866). Her paternal grandfather Józef Skłodowski had been a respected teacher in Lublin, where he taught the young Bolesław Prus.

Her father Władysław Skłodowski taught mathematics and physics and was director of two Warsaw gymnasia for boys.

Her mother Bronisława operated a prestigious Warsaw boarding school for girls.

  She died when Maria was twelve. Marie was wife Pierre’a Curie and mother two daughter Eve Curie i Irène Joliot-Curie.

Madame Skłodowska

Jan Czochralski

Jan Czochralski (pronounced cho-HRAL-skee; October 23, 1885, Exin, Poland – April 22, 1953, Poznań) was a Polish chemist who invented the Czochralski process, which is used to grow single crystals and is used in the production of semiconductor wafers.


Czochralski was born in Kcynia, then in the Prussian Province of Pomerania. Around 1900 he moved to Berlin, where he worked at a pharmacy. He was educated at Charlottenburg Polytechnic in Berlin, where he specialized in metal chemistry. Czochralski began working as an engineer for Allgemeine Elektrizitäts Gesellschaft (AEG) in 1907.


He discovered the Czochralski method in 1916, when he accidentally dipped his pen into a crucible of molten tin rather than his inkwell. He immediately pulled his pen out to discover that a thin thread of solidified metal was hanging from the nib. The nib was replaced by a capillary, and Czochralski verified that the crystallized metal was a single crystal. The experiments of Czochralski produced single crystals that were a millimeter in diameter and up to 150 centimeters long. Czochralski published a paper on his discovery in 1918 in the Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, a German chemistry journal, under the title “Ein neues Verfahren zur Messung der Kristallisationsgeschwindigkeit der Metalle” [A new method for the measurement of the crystallization rate of metals], since the method was at that time used for measuring the crystallization rate of metals such as tin, zinc and lead. In 1950, Americans Gordon K. Teal and J.B. Little from Bell Labs used this method to grow single germanium crystals, which began its use in producing suitable semiconductors.


In 1917, Czochralski organized the research laboratory “Metallbank und Metallurgische Gesellschaft”, which he directed until 1928. In 1919 he was one of the founding members of the German Society for Metals Science (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Metallkunde), of which he was president until 1925. In 1928, at the request of the president of Poland, Ignacy Mościcki, he moved to Poland and became the Professor of Metallurgy and Metal Research at the Chemistry Department of the Warsaw University of Technology.


During World War II he was one of the engineers behind the development and construction of the R wz. 42 hand grenade, better known as Sidolówka, for the Armia Krajowa. After World War II he was stripped of his professorship due to his involvement with Germany during the war, although he was later cleared of any wrongdoing by a Polish court. He returned to his native town of Kcynia where he ran a small cosmetics and household chemicals firm until his death in 1953.

Mieczysław Bekker

Mieczysław Gregory Bekker (1905 – 1989) was a Polish engineer and scientist.

Bekker was born in Strzyżów, near Hrubieszow, Poland and graduated from Warsaw Technical University in 1929.

Early Career

Bekker worked for the Polish Ministry of Military Affairs (1931–1939) at the Army Research Institute (Wojskowy Instytut Badań Inżynierii) in Warsaw.There he worked on systems for tracked vehicles to work on uneven ground. In the Invasion of Poland he was in a unit that retreated to Romania and then he was moved to France in 1939. In 1942 he accepted the offer of the Canadian government to move to Ottawa to work in armored vehicle research. He entered the Canadian Army in 1943 as a researcher and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Decommissioned in 1956, he moved to the U.S..


Career in the United States

He was assistant professor at the University of Michigan and worked in the Army Vehicle Laboratory in Detroit. In 1961 he joined General Motors to work on the lunar vehicle project. He was a leading specialist in theory and design of military and off-the-road locomotion vehicles, and an originator of a new engineering discipline called “terramechanics”. Bekker co-authored the general idea and contributed significantly to the design and construction of the Lunar Roving Vehicle used by missions Apollo 15, Apollo 16, and Apollo 17 on the Moon. He was the author of several patented inventions in the area of off-the-road vehicles, including those for extraterrestrial use. He wrote many papers and articles, and the book “Theory of Land Locomotion”. Bekker died in Santa Barbara on 8 January 1989.

PZL.23 Karaś

The PZL.23 Karaś was a Polish light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft designed in the mid-1930s by PZL in Warsaw. It was the main Polish bomber and reconnaissance aircraft used during the Invasion of Poland.

File:Pzl23 karas.jpg

Design and development:

The aircraft was developed in 1931 to replace Breguet 19 and Potez 25 aircraft in the Polish Air Force. The main designer was Stanisław Prauss who based the design on a passenger transport project PZL.13 that was only a “paper” proposal. The design was of modern all-metal construction with wings built around light closed profiles instead of spars (introduced first in PZL.19). The P.23/I first prototype flew on 1 April 1934, followed by the second P.23/II prototype.

In the third P.23/III prototype of 1935, a pilot’s seat was raised and the engine was lowered to obtain a better view. This prototype was accepted for a production, with the name Karaś (in Polish – the crucian carp). The first series, PZL.23A was fitted with a Bristol Pegasus IIM2 radial engine of 670 hp (500 kW) produced in Poland under licence. Since this engine proved to be unreliable, the final variant PZL.23B was fitted with a newer Pegasus VIII of 720 hp (537 kW).

The aircraft was a low-wing cantilever monoplane of all-metal, metal-covered construction. The crew consisted of three: pilot, bombardier and a rear gunner. The bombardier’s combat station was situated in a gondola underneath the hull, where he could also operate an underbelly machine gun. The fixed undercarriage was well spatted, but despite a massive look, it was not suited for rough airfields. Bombs were carried under the wings: the maximum load was 700 kg (1,500 lb) (6 x 100 kg and 2 x 50 kg). The aircraft were equipped with one of the following engines: Bristol Pegasus IIM2 normal: 570 hp (425 kW), maximum: 670 hp (500 kW) – PZL.23A; Pegasus VIII normal: 650 hp (485 kW), maximum: 720 (537 kW) – PZL.23B. Regardless of the engine, the aircraft had a two-blade propeller.

The Bristol engines were licensed for use in Poland only, so for export purposes the Gnome-Rhône 14K was used in a variety of PZL designs. In this case the 14K-powered PZL.23, with some changes to the airframe, became the PZL.43 Karaś. Final export variant was PZL.23A, with 1,020 hp Gnome-Rhone 14N-01 engine. 52 PZL.43s were made in total, all for Bulgaria only. The new engine improved the aircraft’s performance considerably, maximum speed increased to 365 km/h.

In 1936, 40 PZL.23As were produced. Between late 1936 and February 1938, 210 PZL.23Bs were produced with the new engines. They were also known as Karaś A and B or Karaś I and II. All PZL.23s had military numbers from 44.1 to 44.250.Sometimes the aircraft is called the “PZL P.23”, but despite an abbreviation P.23 painted on a tail fin, the letter “P” was generally reserved for fighters of Pulawski’s design (like PZL P.11). In November 1936, one aircraft was shown at the Paris Air Show, where it was met with interest.

During this period, PZL developed the PZL.46 Sum, a new light bomber, partly based on the PZL.23 design, but only two prototypes were completed in 1938. There was also a single experimental variant of the Karaś, PZL.42, with double tail fins and a modified bombardier gondola, retractable into the fuselage.

Operational history:

Forty PZL.23As were delivered to the Polish Air Force in late 1936. Due to engine faults, their service ceiling was limited and they were used only in the training role, being fitted with dual controls. A total of 210 PZL.23Bs were delivered to the Air Force from 1937. They became the main armament of Polish bomber and reconnaissance “line squadrons”, in the 1930s replacing Breguet 19, Potez 25 and Potez 27 biplanes. By August 1939, there were 23 crashes, what was an average safety result.

By 1939, the aircraft was obsolescent. Its main deficiency was its low speed but a lack of manoeuvrability was also a problem (it was noted, that the maximum speed of the PZL.23B was 365 km/h, but it was forbidden to exceed 319 km/h due to dangerous flight characteristics). At the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, during the invasion of Poland. Some aircraft were also used in wartime improvised units, 114 PZL.23Bs were deployed in combat units (a further 75 PZL.23B and 35 PZL.23A were in air schools, held in reserve or under repair). The PZL.23Bs were operational in five bomber squadrons (Eskadra Bombowa) of the Bomber Brigade and seven Army reconnaissance squadrons, each with 10 aircraft (other squadrons of the Bomber Brigade were equipped with PZL.37 Łoś). In addition two PZL.43A from the Bulgarian order were impressed into the Polish service in the 41st Squadron.

File:Pzl.23 3.jpg

On 2 September 1939, one PZL.23B of the 21st Squadron bombed a factory in Ohlau as the first bomb attack on the German territory. The PZL.23 bomber squadrons attacked German armoured columns, especially on 3 September 1939, while the main mission of Army squadrons was reconnaissance. The five squadrons of the Bomber Brigade delivered about 52-60 tons of bombs during the campaign, the Army squadrons added about a dozen tons of bombs as well.

Due to the type’s low speed, lack of armour and especially fighter protection, PZL.23s suffered high losses. Many were shot down by the German fighter aircraft, but they also shot down a few in return. Despite lack of armour, crews often attacked German columns from low level, making their aircraft vulnerable to AA fire. Some 20 aircraft crashed on rough field airfields. About 120 PZL.23s (86%) were destroyed in 1939, but only 67 due to direct enemy action. Only a small number were destroyed on airfields with the only successful Luftwaffe attack on Polish combat units on an airfield during the campaign occurring on 14 September, at Hutniki, against PZL.23Bs of the Bomber Brigade.

At least 21 PZL.23s were withdrawn in 1939 to Romania with 19 used by the Romanian Air Force against the USSR. Fifty PZL.43s and PZL.43As (two were delivered by the Germans) were used in Bulgaria for training until 1946, known as the “Chaika”. No PZL.23s were left in Poland after the war.

File:Pzl.23 2.jpg



Błyskawica submachine gun

The Lightning (Lightning / Flasher) was a submachine gun produced by the Home Army, or Home Army and the Polish resistance movement fighting the Germans in occupied Poland. A successful construction, it was probably the only bridge weapon designed and mass produced covertly in occupied Europe besides the Sten (British submachine gun)



In 1942 engineer Wacław Zawrotny proposed to the Armia Krajowa command that he and his colleagues prepare a project of a cheap, home-made machine pistol for use by the Polish resistance. Its main feature was its simplicity, so that the weapon could be made even in small workshops, by inexperienced engineers. The idea was accepted, and Zawrotny, together with his colleague Seweryn Wielanier, prepared a project of a sub-machine gun, soon afterward named Błyskawica (Polish for “lightning”). To allow for easier production, all parts of the weapon were joined together with screws and threads rather than bolts and welding, which were commonly used in firearm production ever since the 17th century.

The design was based on two of the most popular machine pistols of the era. The external construction with a retractable butt and magazine mounted below the gun was borrowed from the successful German MP-40. The internal design of the mechanism was modeled after the British Sten. Blow-back, with an open bolt, it offered good performance and high reliability. Unlike the British Sten (and its Polish clone called the Polski Sten) it employed a free-floating firing pin.

File:Błyskawica and other insurgent weapons.jpg

The documentation was ready by April 1943, and by September a prototype was ready. After extensive tests in the forests outside of Zielonka near Warsaw, the weapon was presented to the commanding officer of the KeDyw, August Emil Fieldorf, who found the design acceptable. In November the plans were sent to a number of workshops spread throughout occupied Poland and a serial production started. The name was coined after the three lightning bolts carved on the prototype by its designers, pre-war workers of the Elektrit company that used a similar logo.
Polish soldier firing a Błyskawica during the Warsaw Uprising

The production started in a workshop officially producing metal fence nets in Warsaw. After the tests of a prototype series of five pistols, the KeDyw ordered 1000, and later an additional 300. Until July 1944 and the start of the Operation Tempest roughly 600 pieces were built in Warsaw. During the Warsaw Uprising an additional 40 were built. It is also possible that the Błyskawica was also produced in small quantities outside of Warsaw.

File:Uprising defender.jpg


The Lacida (or LCD) was a Polish rotor cipher machine. It was designed and produced before World War II by Poland’s Cipher Bureau for prospective wartime use by Polish military higher commands.



The machine’s name derived from the surname initials of Gwido Langer, Maksymilian Ciężki and Ludomir Danilewicz and / or his younger brother, Leonard Danilewicz. It was built in Warsaw, to the Cipher Bureau’s specifications, by the AVA Radio Company.

In anticipation of war, prior to the September 1939 invasion of Poland, two LCDs were sent to France. From spring 1941, an LCD was used by the Polish Team Z at the Polish-, Spanish- and French-manned Cadix radio-intelligence and decryption center at Uzès, near France’s Mediterranean coast.

Prior to the machine’s production, it had never been subjected to rigorous decryption attempts. Now it was decided to remedy this oversight. In early July 1941, Polish cryptologists Marian Rejewski and Henryk Zygalski received LCD-enciphered messages that had earlier been transmitted to the staff of the Polish Commander-in-Chief, based in London. Breaking the first message, given to the two cryptologists on July 3, took them only a couple of hours. Further tests yielded similar results. Colonel Langer suspended the use of LCD at Cadix.

In 1974, Rejewski explained that the LCD had two serious flaws. It lacked a commutator (“plugboard”), which was one of the strong points of the German military Enigma machine. The LCD’s other weakness involved the reflector and wiring. These shortcomings did not imply that the LCD, somewhat larger than the Enigma and more complicated (e.g., it had a switch for resetting to deciphering), was easy to solve. Indeed, the likelihood of its being broken by the German E-Dienst was judged slight. Theoretically it did exist, however.


Jan Szczepanik


Jan Szczepanik (born June 13, 1872 in Rudniki (near Mostyska), Austria-Hungary (Occupied Polish territory by Austria in 1772-1918) – April 18, died 1926 in Tarnów, Poland) was a Polish inventor.

Some of his ideas influenced the development of television, such as the telectroscope (an apparatus for distant reproduction of images and sound using electricity) or the wireless telegraph, which greatly influenced the development of telecommunications.

–         1897 Jan Szczepanik patented Telektroskop the device to transmit a moving color picture with sound at a distance.

He managed to create a bulletproof vest, silk fabrics from thin steel sheets. This invention brought Szczepanikowi fame, because he defended before the bombing of Spanish King Alfonso XIII, who in gratitude Szczepanik furnished to the highest state decoration. I just wanted to make Nicholas II, but for patriotic reasons Szczepanik refused to accept the medal, and the car gave him a gold watch studded with diamonds.

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