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I'm trying to write a story in which the main protagonist is a fictional Polish spy, who has to retrieve a 'macguffin' that's been captured from the Germans. It is set in the spring of 1943. She therefore needs to get into German-occupied Poland, and back out afterwards (which is the main focus of the story), avoiding Wehrmacht and Gestapo patrols.

What kind of aircraft would be used for the drop, and where would it have flown from?

I'd originally envisioned a Lysander flying via Scandinavia, but then realised that there was no allied-controlled territory there at that time, so I'm assuming it would have been a parachute drop from a long-range aircraft directly from the UK?

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    @DavidRicherby Although I'm not aware of any female agents active in Poland, there were many female SOE agents active elsewhere in Europe during the war. – sempaiscuba Oct 13 '17 at 18:30
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    You'll probably be interested in this and this. I think the first one even talks about the planes they use at some point, though it's been quit some time since I watched it. – canadianer Oct 13 '17 at 18:52
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    Did Gestapo have patrols? – Grzegorz Oledzki Oct 13 '17 at 20:23
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    ... or maybe it was SS which was meant here? – Grzegorz Oledzki Oct 13 '17 at 20:27
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    As it happens,the macguffin is actually going to be documents, so a courier is probably a more accurate description. There were several female Polish agents at that time, including Churchill's favourite, Krystyna Skarbek, although she was operating in France by then. – Nick C Oct 14 '17 at 8:26
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The earliest air drops of aid to Poland were made in February 1941 using Whitley bombers. To the best of my knowledge, none of these drops involved parachuting agents into Poland.

By 1943, Halifax bombers attached to 138 Squadron were being used by the Special Operations Executive to drop agents and supplies into Poland.

There is an excellent PhD dissertation on the operation of the Polish section of the SOE. Appendix 1 has details of the British air operations to Poland to drop agents. You might find it to be helpful background information.

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    Thanks - you've also answered my next question, which was going to be "Was there a Polish equivalent of the SOE"... – Nick C Oct 13 '17 at 13:53
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Halifax bombers were used for some of these missions

For an explicit example of a plane used (as referred to in an accepted answer) - Elżbieta Zawacka may be an interesting inspiration for your story. Her life reads like a movie - and she was in fact parachuted into Poland in September 1943 from a Halifax bomber.

  • I should have remembered her! I always think of her as being a Polish Army Brigadier, rather than an SOE agent though. – sempaiscuba Oct 14 '17 at 10:47
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    @KorvinStarmast Frankly, I don't get how does giving an actual historical example of person that parachuted into Poland (together with aircraft type) does not answer the question about plane that could be used for that. – lukeg Oct 14 '17 at 13:16
  • @lukeg hmm, ,OK, I take your point. What I was trying to get across is that you can create your own answer, with that precise example, and it would be a good answer rather than offering a comment on another answer in the form of an answer. As it is, this answers the question with an example that you cited. – KorvinStarmast Oct 14 '17 at 14:49

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