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Grave of Gan-Ganowicz in Lublin

Rafał Gan-Ganowicz (23 April 1932 in Wawer – 23 November 2002 in Lublin) was a Polish soldier-in-exile, mercenary, journalist, member of the National Council of Poland, and a political and social activist.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Rafał Gan-Ganowicz was born in Wawer-Warsaw on 23 April 1932. His family had Tatar origins. His father served in the French Foreign Legion for a time, and later traveled to Argentina for financial reasons before returning to Poland. His mother was killed by Nazi forces during the Invasion of Poland. His father later died during the Warsaw Uprising.

As a teenager and now an orphan in post-War Poland, Gan-Ganowicz created an underground resistance that spread anti-communist information to the public through leaflets and signs.

In June 1950, Gan-Ganowicz escaped to West Berlin and a few months later traveled to France. There he attended military officer school, organized by NATO, and received the rank of Second Lieutenant from Generał Władysław Anders.

Mercenary activities[edit | edit source]

In 1965, while living in Brussels, he enlisted to fight for the State of Katanga during the Congo Crisis. There he commanded his own battalion that contained several other Polish soldiers fighting against the Soviet Union backed opposition.

In 1967, Gan-Ganowicz traveled to Yemen under government contract from the King of Saudi Arabia to train local tribal insurgents against the Soviet backed communist rebels during the North Yemen Civil War. His main activities there included the shooting down of a MiG aircraft piloted by one of the leaders of the Soviet military fighting for the communist side in Yemen.

References[edit | edit source]

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