The activity of the silesian branch of the Air Defence League and the Air and Anti-gas Defence League in the years 1924–1939

Marta Domagała
Original title: Działalność śląskiego oddziału Ligi Obrony Powietrznej Państwa oraz Ligi Obrony Powietrznej i Przeciwgazowej w latach 1924–1939
Śląski Kwartalnik Historyczny Sobótka 2010

The Silesian Branch of the Air Defence League was founded on the 24th of January, 1924 (in 1927 the name was changed into the Air and Anti-gas Defence League – LOPP). As other local branches of the organization, it played a crucial role in making the idea of the development of the Polish civil aviation and the air and anti-gas defence popular within the society. During the 15 years of their activity, the Silesian Branch reached impressive results thanks to the exceptional generosity of the population of the province. A significant achievement of the organization was carrying out a program of civics: ‘Let’s learn to fly’ which in practice was the beginning of the training of the Polish air defence staff. Silesian LOPP led numerous air modelling works hops which attracted lots of young people. The most talented pupils could continue the education and improve their skills at Silesian schools for airmen which were created also thanks to the contribution of the League. It was also proud of excellent effects in civil population training: it arranged periodical training presenting the methods and means of neutralization of chemical weapons, prepared people for such dangers, built shelters supplied with filters, respirators and oxygen cylinders. Paramilitary organizations between the Wars, the League included, were the training centre for units of the National Defence. They trained reserve officers, sub-officers and privates, obviously strengthening defence of the country. The outbreak of the WWII destroyed the output of the League, but their members distinguished themselves in the combat.

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