Poland has cultivated one of the most varied and fascinating histories of military camouflage in Europe.
During the Second World War, the Polish 1st Independent Airborne Brigade supported the British 1st Airborne Division during Operation Market Garden. Under the command of Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski, the Brigade were outfitted mostly with British issue uniforms and field equipment, including the hand-painted "brushstroke" camouflage pattern Denison paratrooper smocks.
Despite heavy losses during this campaign, Polish airborne troos fought valiantly and delayed a significant number of German troops in Holland, thus preventing complete annihilation of the 1st Airborne Division which was unable to secure the Arnhem bridge and ultimately forced to retreat. Despite a deep connection to their British wartime allies, Poland fell under Soviet influence in 1944 - becoming the People's Republic of Poland (1944-1990) and did not continue to use the "brushstroke" camouflage design. Yet neither were the Polish armed forces particularly influenced by Soviet models. Instead, the majority of designs seem either to have a nominal connection to German WW2 patterns, or to be completely innovative in origin. From the 1950s into the present era, Poland has always supported the use of camouflage for military personnel, not only airborne and special operations troops but for the common infantry soldier as well. They were the first Warsaw Pact nation to utilize "rain" pattern camouflage (a design that would later appear in at least half the nations within this alliance), but were also quite pioneering in their use of distinctive designs such reptile skin and leopard hide patterns. Finally throwing off its Communist shackles in 1989, Poland became a constitutional Republic in 1990 and enjoys full membership in NATO, the European Union, and the United Nations.