Strona główna » Tadeusz Tanski – Polish genius and inventor who was imprisoned and murdered by the Germans in a concentration camp

Tadeusz Tanski – Polish genius and inventor who was imprisoned and murdered by the Germans in a concentration camp


He was characterised by stubbornness and eccentricity. His difficult character was balanced by his genius and extraordinary innovation. Tadeusz Tanski constructed the first cars for Poland and fought in the underground.

Born on 11 March 1892, as a young man, Tański was involved in fighting to regain independence for Poland, which had been enslaved since the end of the 18th century by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. He studied in Paris and constructed aircraft engines for the French and British. At the age of 23, he developed a twelve-cylinder aircraft engine – the largest of its kind in the world at the time.

After Poland regained its independence in1918, he returned to Poland. At an extremely fast pace, he constructed one of the first Polish armoured cars, which was sent to the front in 1920. The Poles were then fighting Bolshevik Russia, which was trying to conquer Europe on behalf of criminal communism. 

In 1922, he began working at the Central Automobile Workshops. There, within two years, he constructed the first car based on a Polish design called the CWS T-1. The vehicle could be assembled in a large part (including the engine) with a single spanner. Cars of Tański’s design were bought by the state administration and the military department. The first buyer was the then President of Poland Ignacy Mościcki.

The Polish inventor also entered a competition for the development of a two-cylinder engine (capacity 750 cm³) to power a field radio station. One of his competitors was the British giant Douglas. The engine produced by the English stopped working after 400 and the Tanski machine after 1,000 hours. It would have run longer if it had not been for the fact that the competition committee considered the result sufficient to win and switched off the engine. 

In 1939, Germany unleashed the Second World War and began the occupation of Poland. Tadeusz Tański then became involved in underground operations on behalf of his country. When the Third German Reich launched “Operation AB”, which was aimed at murdering Poland’s intellectual elite, Tański was also arrested on 3 July 1940 and taken to the German concentration camp in Auschwitz. The Polish inventor refused to cooperate with the Nazi regime and was murdered by the Germans on 23 March 1941. 


You may also like