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Cichociemni (Polish pronunciation: [t͡ɕixɔˈt͡ɕɛmɲi]; the "Silent Unseen") were elite special-operations paratroops of the Polish Army in exile, created in Great Britain during World War II to operate in occupied Poland (Cichociemni Spadochroniarze Armii Krajowej). Altogether 2,613 Polish Army soldiers volunteered for training by Polish and British SOE operatives. Only 606 people completed the training, and eventually 316 of them were secretly parachuted into occupied Poland. The first operation ("air bridge", as it was called) took place on 15 February 1941. This operation was conducted by Captain Józef Zabielski, Major Stanisław Krzymowski and political courier Czesław Raczkowski. After 27 December 1944 further operations were discontinued, as by then most of Poland had been occupied by the Red Army. Of 316 Cichociemni, 103 perished during the war: in combat with the Germans, executed by the Gestapo, or in crashes. A further nine were executed after the war by the Polish People's Republic. Altogether 91 operatives took part in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
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