The special mission of the only unit of the Polish Army to station outside the territory of the Republic of Poland would last in Westerplatte for 13 years, 7 months and 20 days. The Polish soldiers performed their duties in isolation, surrounded by hostility. the unit in Westerplatte may be compared to special task forces created in today's armies to be deployed in particularly dangerous locations. the seven day defense in September of 1939 may evoke the heroic stand of the Spartans in Thermopylae or the defense of the Alcazar in Toledo during the Spanish civil war. The heroic stand at Westerplatte has come to epitomize in the Polish national tradition the whole Polish war effort.