30 September 1900 – 9 March 1976
He was born on 30 September 1900 near Lwow, where he participated in the fight to defend Lwow from the Ukrainians. During the Second World War, he was forcibly deported with his family to Siberia in the vicinity of Novosibirsk. In the fall of 1941, the Siberian deportees received word about the ‘amnesty’ that set them free, and about the formation of the Polish army under the command of general Anders at the southern border of the USSR.
In 1944, Michał Wojdyła was with the 3rd Carpathian Rifle Brigade in the Polish 2nd Corps in Italy. He was heading towards Monte Cassino, the place of resistance of the Germans in Italy. He participated in the conquest of Monte Cassino.
The Polish 2nd Corps was ordered to capture the monastery that was being defended by the excellent German paratroop division. The monastery on Monte Cassino was attacked several times, ineffectively, by British and American troops, but the route for the allies to march to Rome continued to be blocked.
After seven days of hard fighting, the Poles managed to conquer Monte Cassino. In the fight for this monastery, the Poles lost 4,199 soldiers, including 924 killed. It was one of the greatest victories for the Poles in the period of World War II. Unfortunately, it did not change the political situation of Poland in a fundamental way.
Michał's next stage was his participation in operations along the Adriatic Coast, as well as in the conquest of Ancona on18 June 1944. On 21 April 1944, the Polish 2nd Corps liberated Bologna and thus ended the victorious march in Italy.
Michał died on 9 March 1976. He is buried in the town of Grodziec (woj. Opole) at the parish cemetery, along with his son Jozef.
SOURCE: Original Polish text at: Ocalić od zapomnienia / Opolskie ·
Michal Wojdyla in his Polish uniform, wearing the Monte Cassino Cross that he was awarded.
Copyright: Wojdyla family