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Edmund Roman Orlik
Born (1918-01-26)January 26, 1918
Died April 8, 1982(1982-04-08) (aged 64)
Place of birth Rogoźno, Poland
Place of death Opole, Poland
Allegiance  Poland
Service/branch Polish Army (1937-1939)
Flaga PPP.png Armia Krajowa (1940-1944)
Rank PL Epolet plut 25.svg podchorąży
Unit 71st Polish Armored Squadron
Awards Cross of Valour (Poland)
Other work architect

Podchorąży Orlik and his driver near the TKS tankette

Tankette TKS armed with a 20 mm cannon

Edmund Roman Orlik (January 26, 1918 - April 8, 1982)[1] was a Polish tank commander who destroyed 10 German tanks during the September Campaign. In World War II literature he is mentioned as Roman Orlik.[2]


Early life and World War II

Orlik was born in 1918. After graduation he volunteered for military service and completed his training in Armoured Warfare Training Centre (Centrum Wyszkolenia Broni Pancernych) in Modlin in 1937. Then he began to study at the Warsaw Polytechnic.[3] In August 1939 he was mobilized and took part in the September Campaign in the 71st Polish Armored Squadron.

On 18 September 1939, during the skirmish of Pociecha in the Kampinos Forest, Orlik's half-platoon, composed of three tankettes TKS (only Orlik's one had a 20mm cannon; the others were equipped with machine-guns) destroyed three German tanks, probably the Panzer 35(t) from the 1. Leichte Division. As a result of the battle the commander of the German platoon, the 23 years old lieutenant Victor IV, Duke of Ratibor, was killed.[4][5]

The next day Orlik participated in the battle of Sieraków. Initially the Germans were repelled by the Polish 9th Uhlan Regiment and 7th Mounted Rifles. Enemies counter-attacked with the support of tanks belonging to Panzer-Regiment 11 and Panzer-Abteilung 65. Poles destroyed 20 tanks with the help of artillery; Orlik hit 7 of them and took two prisoners. His driver was Bronislaw Zakrzewski.[6] Then he led his tank to Warsaw and took part in its defense. During the occupation Orlik joined the Armia Krajowa.

Post-war career

After the war ended, Orlik graduated from the High School for Plastic Arts (Wyższa Szkoła Plastyczna) and worked in Łódź where he designed campus buildings. He was the creator of the Łódź University Library project, built between 1956-1960, and considered to be the most elaborate architectural work in the town of the communist period.[7] Orlik also designed the dormitory for foreign students (called the Tower of Babel) and the Department of Foreign Languages. Then he graduated in architecture at the Wrocław University of Technology. From the beginning of 1970s, Orlik lived and worked in Opole. He died in an accident in 1982.


POL Krzyż Walecznych (1940) BAR.PNG Cross of Valour (Poland)


In Pociecha, where the battle was fought, a memorial stone dedicated to Orlik was erected. (Located at 52°20′02″N 20°44′15″E / 52.33389°N 20.7375°E / 52.33389; 20.7375).[8]

In Culture

In the video game World of Tanks, the Orlik's Medal is awarded for destroying two or more enemy tanks or tank destroyers with a light tank. The targets must be at least one tier higher than the player's tank.

Further reading


  2. Janusz Magnuski: Karaluchy przeciw panzerom. Warszawa: Pelta, 1995. ISBN 83-85314-06-7.
  3. Janusz Magnuski: Orlik uderza pierwszy w: "Za Wolność i Lud" nr 20/1978, s.15
  4. Janusz Magnuski: Orlik uderza pierwszy w: "Za Wolność i Lud" nr 20/1978, s.15
  6. Janusz Magnuski: Karaluchy przeciw panzerom. Warszawa: Pelta, 1995. ISBN 83-85314-06-7.

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