By Polish National Bank ……
On Tuesday, February 16, the Polish National Bank (NBP) issued a silver coin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first air drop of the Cichociemni, a team of elite paratroopers of the Polish Army trained in Great Britain after the Nazi occupation of their home country.
The obverse of the coin features a jumper during his descent by parachute. Arches around the outer edge of the coin symbolize the open canopy and lines descending radially towards the center of the dial symbolize the links connecting the soldier to the open parachute. On the reverse is a similar scalloped central ring surrounding an eagle holding a wreath and the Fighting Poland symbol. The background is filled with 316 birds, representing the 316 Cichociemni. On the outer ring of the coin, three birds symbolize three athletes that participated in the first drop. The coin, designed Urszula Walerzak, will be issued in a mintage of 15 thousand pieces. From February 16 onwards, the commemorative 10 zloty silver coin will be available in the regional branches of the NBP and online at www.kolekcjoner.nbp.pl at a retail price of 120 zł.
The first group of Cichociemni, soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces, were trained in Britain and infiltrated occupied Polish territory to serve as support staff for the Union of Armed Struggle, later called the Home Army. They landed in Polish territory starting the night of February 15, 1941 and continued through the next day. The operation was also the first contingent of skydivers sent from the UK to the continent. This pioneering flight, despite difficulties, proved that covert operations such as this into the occupied countries was not only possible but effective. By December 1944, 316 Cichociemni and 28 couriers had managed to enter the country.
Trained in sabotage and subversion the Cichociemni were sent to the organization “Fan”, the Association of Retaliation, and fought as guerrillas. Others worked in a support facility. More than 90 participated in the Warsaw Uprising.
Another issue of collector coins from the National Bank of Poland was released on the 25th of February. Two coins commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Warsaw University were issued: a gold 200-złoty coin and a silver 10 złoty.
The Polish National Bank has the sole right to issue banknotes and coins in Poland. All coins and currency issued by the NBP – including collector coins – are legal tender in Poland. More information can be found on the NBP website and in the Commemorative coins section.