Fighter jets streaked through the sky and long lines of military vehicles thundered through the streets of the southern city of Katowice, attracting some 200,000 onlookers, according to news reports.
Troops from other NATO countries joined the parade, among them American, British, Romanian and Croatian units stationed in Poland to help strengthen the Western military alliance’s eastern flank.
More than 60 aircraft roared overhead in a flypast. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel
Among the hardware on show were tanks, armoured vehicles, howitzers and missile launchers, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
This year’s parade on August 15 was exceptionally held in the southern city of Katowice, rather than the capital Warsaw, to mark the 100th anniversary of an uprising against the Germans in Poland’s Upper Silesia region.
President Andrzej Duda speaks during the "Faithful to Poland" military parade in Katowice on Thursday. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel
The parade, entitled "Faithful to Poland," was followed by a military picnic at which people could get inside some of the vehicles and inspect a variety of army hardware.
The August 15 celebration marks Poland’s landmark victory against the Russian Bolsheviks in the 1920 Battle of Warsaw, in which Polish troops led by Marshal Józef Piłsudski defeated an advancing Red Army.
The day was first celebrated as a holiday from 1923 to 1947, and then restored as Armed Forces Day in 1992 after decades of Soviet-imposed communism.
Source: TVP Info, IAR