German intelligence operating in England never knew about them. There were 316 of them (including one woman) and they never stood togetherside by side at a military assembly in one row.
Also they never formed a typical armed or military unit. During the Second World War Cichociemni - commandos prepared and best trained by the SOE (Special Operations Executive)
in Great Britain - were individually or in small groups transferred to occupied Poland.
At the turn of 1941/1942 in the training camps scattered over misty and hilly Scotland the great nickname was coined,perfectly reflecting the character of the military elite's activities,
who were prepared for silent operations in the darkness of the night.
It is the words that characterize the conditions in which they fought - silence and darkness - gave rise to the charismatic name – Cichociemni
(literally: the Silent and Dark).
At the beginning, they were called this name because they disappeared from their units suddenly and quietly, for unknown reasons.
Candidates for Cichociemni recruited by Section VI (from 1942, Special Section) of the General Staff of the Supreme Commander, passed a series of Polish and British courses.
The training program was improved over time. It comprised four groups of courses: basic, specialist, supplementary and apprenticeships.
The trainings lasted several months and were different for jumpers intended to be saboteurs or commanders of insurgent units, and different for radio operators, intelligence officers,
staff officers or instructors of armored weapons, aviators, propaganda specialists or counterfeiters.
One of the rules was that everyone had to finish the parachute course and the final course.
During the war they were individually or in small groups parachuted into occupied Poland.
Out of the 316 Cichociemni:
- 6 died during their flight to Poland,
- 3 died during their jumps over Poland,
- 35 were killed in Gestapo (German secret police) torture chambers,
- 12 died in concentration camps,
- 25 died during partisan battles,
- 18 died in the Warsaw Uprising,
- 3 took poison while they were being arrested,
- 6 were executed after the war.