- Polish–Soviet War
Bohdan Urbankowski, "Józef Piłsudski: marzyciel i strateg", (Józef Piłsudski: Dreamer and Strategist), Tom drugi (second tome), Wydawnictwo ALFA, Warsaw, 1997, ISBN 8370019145, p. 83] while the Bolsheviks did proclaim the partitions null and void.Urbanowski, op.cit., Pages 291] Piłsudski thus speculated that Poland will be better of with the Bolsheviks, alienated from the Western powers, than with restored Russian Empire.Urbanowski, op.cit., page 45 (second tome)] By his refusal to join the attack on Lenin's struggling government, ignoring the strong pressure from the Entente, Piłsudski had likely saved the Bolshevik government in Summer–Fall 1919. He later wrote that in case of a White victory, in the east Poland could only gain the "ethnic border" at best (the Curzon line).] In such conditions, there was little difficulty convincing Petlura to join an alliance with Poland, despite recent conflict between the two nations that had been settled in favour of Poland.Richard K Debo, "Survival and Consolidation: The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1918–1921", [http://books.google.com/books?id=gQfUB0CXBO4C&pg=PA210&lpg=PA210&sig=h6VOdNEyN1vXvCG5O-UctzERPNc pp. 210–211] , McGill-Queen's Press, 1992, ISBN 0-7735-0828-7.] By concluding an agreement with Piłsudski, Petlura accepted the Polish territorial gains in Western Ukraine and the future Polish-Ukrainian border along the Zbruch River. In exchange, he was promised independence for Ukraine and Polish military assistance in reinstalling his government in Kiev.
For Piłsudski, this alliance gave his campaign for the Międzymorze federation the legitimacy of joint international effort, secured part of the Polish eastward border, and laid a foundation for a Polish dominated Ukrainian state between Russia and Poland. For Petlura, this was a final chance to preserve the statehood and, at least, the theoretical independence of the Ukrainian heartlands, even while accepting the loss of Western Ukrainian lands to Poland."In September 1919 the armies of the Ukrainian Directory in Podolia found themselves in the "death triangle". They were squeezed between the Red Russians of Lenin and Trotsky in the north-east, White Russians of Denikin in south-east and the Poles in the West. Death were looking into their eyes. And not only to the people but to the nascent Ukrainian state. Therefore, the chief ataman Petlura had no choice but to accept the union offered by Piłsudski, or, as an alternative, to capitulate to the Bolsheviks, as Volodymyr Vinnychenko or Mykhailo Hrushevsky did at the time or in a year or two. The decision was very hurtful. The Polish Szlachta was a historic enemy of the Ukrainian people. A fresh wound was bleeding, the West Ukrainian People's Republic, as the Pilsudchiks were suppressing the East Galicians at that very moment. However, Petlura agreed to peace and the union, accepting the Ukrainian-Polish border, the future Soviet-Polish one. It's also noteworthy that Piłsudski also obtained less territories than offered to him by Lenin, and, in addition, the war with immense Russia. The Dnieper Ukrainians then were abandoning their brothers, the Galicia Ukrainians, to their fate. However, Petlura wanted to use his last chance to preserve the statehood - in the union with the Poles. Attempted, however, without luck."
Oleksa Pidlutskyi, "ibid"]
Yet both of them were opposed at home. Piłsudski faced stiff opposition from Dmowski's National Democrats who opposed Ukrainian independence. Petlura, in turn, was criticized by many Ukrainian politicians for entering a pact with the Poles and giving up on Western Ukraine.Prof. Ruslan Pyrig, "Mykhailo Hrushevsky and the Bolsheviks: the price of political compromise", "
Zerkalo Nedeli", September 30–October 6, 2006, available online [http://www.zerkalo-nedeli.com/nn/show/616/54623/ in Russian] and [http://www.zn.kiev.ua/ie/show/616/54623/ in Ukrainian] .] Timothy Snyder, "The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569–1999", Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-10586-X [http://books.google.com/books?id=xSpEynLxJ1MC&pg=PA139&lpg=PA139&sig=FdpjUHK5s9CgwEYKaDXPKvoyeH0 Google Books, p.139] ]
The alliance with Petliura did result in 15,000 pro-Polish allied Ukrainian troops at the beginning of the campaign,cite book| author=Subtelny, O. | title=Ukraine: A History| location= Toronto | publisher= University of Toronto Press | year = 1988 | pages = 375] increasing to 35,000 through recruitment and desertion from the Soviet side during the war. But in the end, this would prove too few to support Petlura's hopes for independent Ukraine, or Piłsudski's dreams of the Ukrainian ally in the Międzymorze federation.
By early 1920, the Red Army had been very successful against the White armies. They defeated
Denikinand signed peace treaties with Latvia and Estonia. The Polish front became their most important war theater and a plurality of Soviet resources and forces were diverted to it. In January 1920, the Red Army began concentrating a 700,000-strong force near the Berezina Riverand on Belarus.
By the time Poles launched their Kiev offensive, The Red Southwestern Front had about 82,847 soldiers including 28,568 front-line troops. The Poles had some numerical superiority, estimated from 12,000 to 52,000 personnel.Davies, "White Eagle...", Polish edition, p.106] By the time of the Soviet counter-offensive in mid 1920 the situation had been reversed: Soviets had about 790,000 people - at least 50,000 or more than the Poles; Tukhachevsky estimated that he had 160,000 "combat-ready" soldiers; Piłsudski estimated enemy's forces at 200,000–220,000.Davies, "White Eagle...", Polish edition, p.142–143]
In the course of 1920, almost 800,000Davies, Norman, "White Eagle, Red Star: the Polish-Soviet War, 1919–20", Pimlico, 2003, ISBN 0-7126-0694-7. (First edition: New York, St. Martin's Press, inc., 1972.) Page 142] Red Army personnel were sent to fight in the Polish war, of whom 402,000 went to the Western front and 355,000 to the armies of the South-West front in Galicia.
Grigoriy Krivosheevgives similar numbers, with 382,000 personnel for Western Fron and 283,000 personnel for Southwestern Front. Grigoriy Krivosheev, "Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the 20th Century", p. 17] Norman Daviesshows the growth of Red Army forces in the Polish front in early 1920:Davies, "White Eagle...", Polish edition, p.85.] :: 1 January 1920 - 4 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry brigade:: 1 February 1920 - 5 infantry divisions, 5 cavalry brigades:: 1 March 1920 - 8 infantry divisions, 4 cavalry brigades:: 1 April 1920 - 14 infantry divisions, 3 cavalry brigades:: 15 April 1920 - 16 infantry divisions, 3 cavalry brigades:: 25 April 1920 - 20 infantry divisions, 5 cavalry brigades
Bolshevik commanders in the Red Army's coming offensive would include
Leon Trotsky, Mikhail Tukhachevsky(new commander of the Western Front), Aleksandr Yegorov(new commander of the Southwestern Front), the future Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin, and the founder of the Cheka(secret police), Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky.
The Polish Army was made up of soldiers who had formerly served in the various partitioning empires, supported by some international volunteers, such as the
Kościuszko Squadron. Janusz Cisek, "Kosciuszko, We Are Here: American Pilots of the Kosciuszko Squadron in Defense of Poland, 1919–1921", McFarland & Company, 2002, ISBN 0-7864-1240-2, [http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=0786412402&btnG=Search+Books&as_brr=0 Google Print] ] Boris Savinkovwas at the head of an army of 20,000 to 30,000 largely Russian POWs, and was accompanied by Dmitry Merezhkovskyand Zinaida Gippius. The Polish forces grew from approximately 100,000 in 1918 to over 500,000 in early 1920.Davies, Norman, "White Eagle, Red Star: the Polish-Soviet War, 1919–20", Pimlico, 2003, ISBN 0-7126-0694-7. (First edition: New York, St. Martin's Press, inc., 1972.) Page 83] In August, 1920, the Polish army had reached a total strength of 737,767 people; half of that was on the frontline. Given Soviet losses, there was rough numerical parity between the two armies; and by the time of the battle of WarsawPoles might have even had a slight advantage in numbers and logistics.Davies, "White Eagle...", Polish edition, p.162 and p.202.] Logistics, nonetheless, were very bad for both armies, supported by whatever equipment was left over from World War I or could be captured. The Polish Army, for example, employed guns made in five countries, and rifles manufactured in six, each using different ammunition. The Soviets had many military depots at their disposal, left by withdrawing German armies in 1918–19, and modern French armaments captured in great numbers from the White Russians and the Allied expeditionary forces in the Russian Civil War. Still, they suffered a shortage of arms; both the Red Army and the Polish forces were grossly underequipped by Western standards.Davies, Norman, "White Eagle, Red Star: the Polish-Soviet War, 1919–20", Pimlico, 2003, ISBN 0-7126-0694-7. (First edition: New York, St. Martin's Press, inc., 1972.) Page 85]
The Soviet High Command planned a new offensive in late April/May. Since March 1919, Polish intelligence was aware that the Soviets had prepared for a new offensive and the Polish High Command decided to launch their own offensive before their opponents. The plan for Operation Kiev was to beat the Red Army on Poland's southern flank and install a Polish-friendly Petlura government in Ukraine.
The tide turns: Operation Kiev
Until April, the Polish forces had been slowly but steadily advancing eastward. The new
Latvian government requested and obtained Polish help in capturing Daugavpils. The city fell after heavy fighting in January and was handed over to the Latvians, who viewed the Poles as liberators. By March, Polish forces had driven a wedge between Soviet forces to the north (Byelorussia) and south (Ukraine).
On April 24, Poland began its main offensive, Operation Kiev. Its goal was the creation of independent Ukraine that would become part of Piłsudski's project of a "
Międzymorze" Federation. Poland's forces were assisted by 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers under Symon Petlura, representing the Ukrainian People's Republic.
On April 26, in his "Call to the People of Ukraine", Piłsudski assured that "the Polish army would only stay as long as necessary until a legal Ukrainian government took control over its own territory".pl icon,
Włodzimierz Bączkowski, [http://www.omp.org.pl/index.php?module=subjects&func=viewpage&pageid=8 Włodzimierz Bączkowski - Czy prometeizm jest fikcją i fantazją?] , Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej (quoting full text of "odezwa Józefa Piłsudskiego do mieszkańców Ukrainy"). Last accessed on 25 October 2006.] Despite this, many Ukrainians were just as anti-Polish as anti-Bolshevik, and resented the Polish advance.
The Polish 3rd Army easily won border clashes with the Red Army in Ukraine but the Reds withdrew with minimal losses. The combined Polish-Ukrainian forces entered an abandoned
Kievon May 7, encountering only token resistance.
The Polish military thrust was met with
Red Army counterattacks on 29 May. Polish forces in the area, preparing for an offensive towards Zhlobin, managed to push the Soviets back, but were unable to start their own planned offensive. In the north, Polish forces had fared much worse. The Polish 1st Army was defeated and forced to retreat, pursued by the Russian 15th Army which recaptured territories between the Western Dvinaand Berezinarivers. Polish forces attempted to take advantage of the exposed flanks of the attackers but the enveloping forces failed to stop the Soviet advance. At the end of May, the front had stabilised near the small river Auta, and Soviet forces began preparing for the next push.
On May 24 1920, the Polish forces in the south were engaged for the first time by Semyon Budionny's famous
1st Cavalry Army("Konarmia"). Repeated attacks by Budionny's Cossackcavalry broke the Polish-Ukrainian front on June 5. The Soviets then deployed mobile cavalry units to disrupt the Polish rearguard, targeting communications and logistics. By June 10, Polish armies were in retreat along the entire front. On June 13, the Polish army, along with the Petlura's Ukrainian troops, abandoned Kiev to the Red Army.
String of Soviet victories
The commander of the Polish 3rd Army in Ukraine, General
Edward Rydz-Śmigły, decided to break through the Soviet line toward the northwest. Polish forces in Ukraine managed to withdraw relatively unscathed, but were unable to support the northern front and reinforce the defenses at the Auta Riverfor the decisive battle that was soon to take place there. [http://www.hetmanusa.org/engarticle1.html Battle Of Warsaw 1920 by Witold Lawrynowicz; A detailed write-up, with bibliography] . Polish Militaria Collectors Association. Last accessed on 5 November 2006.]
Due to insufficient forces, Poland's 200-mile-long front was manned by a thin line of 120,000 troops backed by some 460 artillery pieces with no strategic reserves. This approach to holding ground harked back to
Great Warpractice of "establishing a fortified line of defense". It had shown some merit on a Western Front saturated with troops, machine guns, and artillery. Poland's eastern front, however, was weakly manned, supported with inadequate artillery, and had almost no fortifications.
Against the Polish line the Red Army gathered their Northwest Front led by the young General
Mikhail Tukhachevski. Their numbers exceeded 108,000 infantry and 11,000 cavalry, supported by 722 artillery pieces and 2,913 machine guns. The Soviets at some crucial places outnumbered the Poles four-to-one.
Tukhachevski launched his offensive on July 4, along the
Smolensk- Brest-Litovskaxis, crossing the Autaand Berezinarivers. The northern 3rd Cavalry Corps, led by Gayk Bzhishkyan(Gay Dmitrievich Gay, Gaj-Chan), were to envelope Polish forces from the north, moving near the Lithuanian and Prussian border (both of these belonging to nations hostile to Poland). The 4th, 15th, and 3rd Armies were to push decisively west, supported from the south by the 16th Army and Grupa Mozyrska. For three days the outcome of the battle hung in the balance, but the Soviet' numerical superiority proved decisive and by July 7 Polish forces were in full retreat along the entire front. However, due to the stubborn defense by Polish units, Tukhachevsky's plan to break through the front and push the defenders southwest into the Pinsk Marshesfailed.
Polish resistance was offered again on a line of "German trenches", a heavily fortified line of World War I field fortifications that presented a unique opportunity to stem the Red Army offensive. However, the Polish troops were insufficient in number. Soviet forces selected a weakly defended part of the front and broke through. Gej-Chan and Lithuanian forces captured Vilnius on 14 July, forcing the Poles to retreat again. In Galicia to the south, General
Semyon Budyonny's cavalry advanced far into the Polish rear, capturing Brodnoand approaching Lwówand Zamość. In early July, it became clear to the Poles that the Soviets' objectives were not limited to pushing their borders westwards. Poland's very independence was at stake. Jerzy Lukowski, Hubert Zawadzki, "A Concise History of Poland", Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-55917-0, [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0521559170&id=NpMxTvBuWHYC&pg=PA203&lpg=PA203&dq=Polish+independence+1920&sig=UPANmW8JC1oZuaBL6mx2o-6xExw Google Print, p.203] ]
Soviet forces moved forward at the remarkable rate of convert|20|mi|km a day.
Grodnoin Belarus fell on 19 July; Brest-Litovsk fell on 1 August. The Polish attempted to defend the Bug Riverline with 4th Army and Grupa Poleska units, but were able to stop the Red Army advance for only one week. After crossing the Narew Riveron 2 August, the Soviet Northwest Front was only convert|60|mi|km from Warsaw. The Brest-Litovsk fortresswhich was to be the headquarters of the planned Polish counteroffensive fell to the 16th Army in the first attack. Stalin in charge of the Soviet Southwest Front, and was pushing the Polish forces out of Ukraine and then disobeyed orders and closed on Zamość and Lwów, the largest city in southeastern Poland and an important industrial center, defended by the Polish 6th Army. Polish Galicia's Lviv (Lwów) was soon besieged. So opening up a hole in the lines of the Red Army as at the same time the way to the Polish capital lay open and five Soviet armies approached Warsaw. Polish politicians tried to secure peace with Moscow on any conditions but the Bolsheviks refused.
Polish forces in Galicia near Lviv launched a successful counteroffensive to slow the Soviets down which stopped the retreat of Polish forces on the southern front. However, the worsening situation near the Polish capital of Warsaw prevented the Poles from continuing that southern counteroffensive and pushing east. Forces were mustered to take part in the coming battle for Warsaw. [A. Mongeon, [http://home.golden.net/~medals/1918-1921war.html The Polish-Russian War and the Fight for Polish Independence, 1918–1921] . Retrieved 21 July 2007.]
Diplomatic Front, Part 2: The political games
With the tide turning against Poland, Piłsudski's political power weakened, while his opponents', including
Roman Dmowski's, rose. Piłsudski did manage to regain his influence, especially over the military, almost at the last possible moment—as the Soviet forces were approaching Warsaw. The Polish political scene had begun to unravel in panic, with the government of Leopold Skulskiresigning in early June.
Meanwhile, the Soviet leadership's confidence soared.At a closed meeting of the 9th Conference of the Russian Communist Party on September 22, 1920, Lenin said: "We confronted the question: whether [...] to take advantage of the enthusiasm in our army and the advantage which we enjoyed to sovietize Poland... the defensive war against imperialism was over, we won it... We could and should take advantage of the military situation to begin an offensive war... we should poke about with bayonets to see whether the socialist revolution of the proletariat had not ripened in Poland... that somewhere near Warsaw lies not [only] the center of the Polish bourgeois government and the republic of capital, but the center of the whole contemporary system of international imperialism, and that circumstances enabled us to shake that system, and to conduct politics not in Poland but in Germany and England. In this manner, in Germany and England we created a completely new zone of proletarian revolution against global imperialism... By destroying the Polish army we are destroying the Versailles Treaty on which nowadays the entire system of international relations is based.....Had Poland become Soviet....the Versailles Treaty ...and with it the whole international system arising from the victories over Germany, would have been destroyed."
English translation quoted from
Richard Pipes, RUSSIA UNDER THE BOLSHEVIK REGIME, New York, 1993, pp.181–182, with some stylistic modification in par 3, line 3, by A. M. Cienciala. This document was first published in a Russian historical periodical, Istoricheskii Arkhiv, vol. I, no. 1., Moscow,1992 and is cited through [http://www.ku.edu/~eceurope/hist557/lect11.htm THE REBIRTH OF POLAND] . University of Kansas, lecture notes by professor Anna M. Cienciala, 2004. Last accessed on 2 June 2006.] In a telegram, Lenin exclaimed: "We must direct all our attention to preparing and strengthening the Western Front. A new slogan must be announced: 'Prepare for war against Poland'."Lincoln, W. Bruce, "Red Victory: a History of the Russian Civil War", Da Capo Press, 1999, ISBN 0-306-80909-5, p.405] Soviet communist theorist Nikolay Bukharin, writer for the newspaper Pravda, wished for the resources to carry the campaign beyond Warsaw "right up to London and Paris". Stephen F. Cohen, "Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888–1938", Oxford University Press, 1980. ISBN 0-19-502697-7, [http://books.google.com/books?id=BUg-lWpZcsIC&pg=RA1-PA101&lpg=RA1-PA101&sig=XDCGVZcc6Gn_kyaGX0F3OJvrm3U Google Print, p. 101] ] General's Tukhachevskyorder of the day, 2 July, 1920 read: "To the West! Over the corpse of White Poland lies the road to world-wide conflagration. March on Vilno, Minsk, Warsaw!" and "onward to Berlin over the corpse of Poland!"
By order of the
Soviet Communist Party, a Polish puppet government, [Evan Mawdsley, "The Russian Civil War", Pegasus Books, 2007ISBN 1933648155, [http://books.google.com/books?id=LUhXZD2BPeQC&pg=PA255&dq=Provisional+Polish+Revolutionary+Committee+puppet&sig=ACfU3U0QER3FRoaFy0YloNaxzDRFeGY_7g Google Print, p.255] ] the Provisional Polish Revolutionary Committee(Polish: "Tymczasowy Komitet Rewolucyjny Polski", TKRP), had been formed on 28 July in Białystok to organise administration of the Polish territories captured by the Red Army. The TKRP had very little support from the ethnic Polish population and recruited its supporters mostly from the ranks of Jewswho were opposed to Polish rule.Fact|date=September 2008 At the height of the Polish-Soviet conflict, Jews had been subject to anti-semitic violence by Polish forces, who considered Jews to be a potential threat, and who often accused Jews as being the masterminds of Russian Bolshevism. [David S. Wyman, Charles H. Rosenzveig. [http://books.google.com/books?id=U6KVOsjpP0MC&pg=PA103&dq=Polish-Soviet+war+jews&sig=ACfU3U1v67rfHLwdhJ6qiaDN1x6-g2BXrQ The World Reacts to the Holocaust.] Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.] [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA89&dq=Polish-Soviet+war+jews&sig=ACfU3U1FAOmAtcpDdQH_UL_Oe3rG2hGMnw#PPA89,M1 Poland's Threatening Other.] University of Nebraska Press, 2006.] [Ezra Mendelsohn. [http://books.google.com/books?id=5_OXOwvjqjwC&pg=PA40&dq=Polish-Soviet+war+jews&sig=ACfU3U0l-Mc7QW2bQk2lgVhw3MFbIbzi-Q The Jews of East Central Europe Between the World Wars.] Indiana University Press, 1983.] In addition, political intrigues between Soviet commanders grew in the face of their increasingly certain victory. Eventually the lack of cooperation between the top commanders would cost them dearly in the decisive battle of Warsaw.
Britain's Prime Minister,
David Lloyd George, who wanted to negotiate a favourable trade agreement with the Bolsheviks pressed Poland to make peace on Soviet terms and refused any assistance to Poland which would alienate the Whites in the Russian Civil War. In July 1920, Britain announced it would send huge quantities of World War I surplus military supplies to Poland, but a threatened general strike by the Trades Union Congress, who objected to British support of "White Poland", ensured that none of the weapons destined for Poland left British ports. David Lloyd George had never been enthusiastic about supporting the Poles, and had been pressured by his more right-wing Cabinet members such as Lord Curzonand Winston Churchillinto offering the supplies. On the 11 July, 1920, the government of Great Britain issued a "de facto" ultimatumto the Soviets."The Military History of the Soviet Union", Palgrave, 2002, ISBN 0-312-29398-4, [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0312293984&id=ZBNrnEcRNjsC&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=11+July+1920+ultimatum&sig=k29sbe-Ds_qJYf7Ab3pb-ZwHSGs Google Print, p.41] ] The Soviets were ordered to stop hostilities against Poland and the Russian Army (the White Army in Southern Russia lead by Baron Wrangel), and to accept what later was called the " Curzon line" as a temporary border with Poland, until a permanent border could be established in negotiations. In case of Soviet refusal, the British threatened to assist Poland with all the means available, which, in reality, were limited by the internal political situation in the United Kingdom. On the 17 July, the Bolsheviks refused and made a counter-offer to negotiate a peace treaty directly with Poland. The British responded by threatening to cut off the on-going trade negotiations if the Soviets conducted further offensives against Poland. These threats were ignored.
The threatened general strike was a convenient excuse for Lloyd George to back out of his commitments. On August 6, 1920, the British Labour Party published a pamphlet stating that British workers would never take part in the war as Poland's allies, and labour unions blocked supplies to the British expeditionary force assisting Russian Whites in
Arkhangelsk. French Socialists, in their newspaper " L'Humanité", declared: "Not a man, not a sou, not a shell for reactionary and capitalist Poland. Long live the Russian Revolution! Long live the Workmen's International!" Poland also suffered setbacks due to sabotage and delays in deliveries of war supplies, when workers in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany refused to transit such materials to Poland. Lithuania's stance was mostly anti-Polish; and the country had decided to support the Soviet side in July 1920. Lithuania's decision to not join forces with the Poles was dictated by a desire to incorporate the city of Vilniusand nearby areas into Lithuania and, to a lesser extent, Soviet diplomatic pressure, backed by the threat of the Red Army stationed on Lithuania's borders. The conflict culminated in the Polish-Lithuanian War, often considered part of the Polish-Soviet War, occurred in August 1920.
Polish allies were few.
France, continuing her policy of countering Bolshevism now that the Whites in Russia proper had been almost completely defeated, sent a 400-strong advisory group to Poland's aid in 1919. It consisted mostly of French officers, although it also included a few British advisers led by Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Carton De Wiart. The French officers included a future President of France, Charles de Gaulle; during the war he won Poland's highest military decoration, the Virtuti Militari. In addition to the Allied advisors, France also facilitated the transit to Poland from France of the " Blue Army" in 1919: troops mostly of Polish origin, plus some international volunteers, formerly under French command in World War I. The army was commanded by the Polish general, Józef Haller. Hungaryoffered to send a 30,000 cavalry corps to Poland's aid, but the Czechoslovakian government refused to allow them through; some trains with weapon supplies from Hungary did, however, arrive in Poland.
In mid-1920, the Allied Mission was expanded by some advisers (becoming the
Interallied Mission to Poland). They included: French diplomat, Jean Jules Jusserand; Maxime Weygand, chief of staff to Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Supreme Commander of the victorious Entente; and British diplomat, Lord Edgar Vincent D'Abernon. The newest members of the mission achieved little; indeed, the crucial Battle of Warsaw was fought and won by the Poles before the mission could return and make its report. Nonetheless for many years, a myth persisted that it was the timely arrival of Allied forces that had saved Poland, a myth in which Weygand occupied the central role.pl icon Janusz Szczepański, [http://www.mowiawieki.pl/artykul.html?id_artykul=404 KONTROWERSJE WOKÓŁ BITWY WARSZAWSKIEJ 1920 ROKU] (Controversies surrounding the Battle of Warsaw in 1920). "Mówią Wieki", online version.] Nonetheless Polish-French cooperation would continue. Eventually, on the 21 February, 1921, France and Poland entered into a formal military alliance, Edward Grosek, "The Secret Treaties of History", XLIBRIS CORP, 2004, ISBN 1-4134-6745-8, [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN1413467458&id=rpFFhoPerwcC&pg=PA170&lpg=PA170&dq=1921+21+February+Poland+France&sig=Na4zlHyyO_Gyo5euH3QLS1iUGfA Google Print, p.170] Dead link|date=October 2008] which became an important factor during the subsequent Soviet-Polish negotiations.
The tide turns: Miracle at the Vistula
On August 10, 1920, Soviet
Cossackunits under the command of Gayk Bzhishkyancrossed the Vistulariver, planning to take Warsaw from the west while the main attack came from the east. On August 13, an initial Soviet attack was repulsed. The Polish 1st Army resisted a direct assault on Warsaw as well as stopping the assault at Radzymin.
commander-in-chief, Mikhail Tukhachevsky, felt certain that all was going according to his plan. However, Polish military intelligencehad decrypted the Red Army's radio messages,pl icon Ścieżyński, Mieczysław, [Colonel of the (Polish) General Staff] , "Radjotelegrafja jako źrodło wiadomości o nieprzyjacielu" (Radiotelegraphy as a Source of Intelligence on the Enemy), Przemyśl, [Printing and Binding Establishment of (Military) Corps District No. X HQ] , 1928, 49 pp.] pl icon Paweł Wroński, "Sensacyjne odkrycie: Nie było cudu nad Wisłą" ("A Remarkable Discovery: There Was No Miracle at the Vistula"), " Gazeta Wyborcza", [http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/1,53600,2855976.html online] .] Jan Bury, POLISH CODEBREAKING DURING THE RUSSO-POLISH WAR OF 1919–1920, [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3926/is_200407/ai_n9458625 online] ] and Tukhachevsky was actually falling into a trap set by Piłsudski and his Chief of Staff, Tadeusz Rozwadowski. The Soviet advance across the Vistula River in the north was moving into an operational vacuum, as there were no sizable Polish forces in the area. On the other hand, south of Warsaw, where the fate of the war was about to be decided, Tukhachevski had left only token forces to guard the vital link between the Soviet northwest and southwest fronts. Another factor that influenced the outcome of the war was the effective neutralization of Budionny's 1st Cavalry Army, much feared by Piłsudski and other Polish commanders, in the battles around Lwów. The Soviet High Command, at Tukhachevski's insistence, had ordered the 1st Cavalry Army to march north toward Warsaw and Lublin, but Budionny disobeyed the order due to a grudge between Tukhachevski and Yegorov, commander of the southwest front. Additionally, the political games of Joseph Stalin, chief political commissarof the Southwest Front, decisively influenced the disobedience of Yegorov and Budionny."Stalin: The Man and His Era", Beacon Press, 1987, ISBN 0-8070-7005-X, [http://books.google.com/books?id=A1eYKftgwgYC&pg=PA188&lpg=PA188&sig=_e0xasWyvPEw8iaZgY9EL8v_6yg Google Print, p.189] ] Stalin, seeking a personal triumph, was focused on capturing Lwów—far to the southeast of Warsaw—which was besieged by Bolshevik forces but still resisted their assaults.
The Polish 5th Army under General
Władysław Sikorskicounterattacked on August 14 from the area of the Modlin fortress, crossing the WkraRiver. It faced the combined forces of the numerically and materially superior Soviet 3rd and 15th Armies. In one day the Soviet advance toward Warsaw and Modlinhad been halted and soon turned into retreat. Sikorski's 5th Army pushed the exhausted Soviet formations away from Warsaw in a lightning operation. Polish forces advanced at a speed of thirty kilometers a day, soon destroying any Soviet hopes for completing their enveloping manoeuvre in the north. By August 16, the Polish counteroffensive had been fully joined by Marshal Piłsudski's "Reserve Army." Precisely executing his plan, the Polish force, advancing from the south, found a huge gap between the Soviet fronts and exploited the weakness of the Soviet "Mozyr Group" that was supposed to protect the weak link between the Soviet fronts. The Poles continued their northward offensive with two armies following and destroying the surprised enemy. They reached the rear of Tukhachevski's forces, the majority of which were encircled by August 18. Only that same day did Tukhachevski, at his Minskheadquarters convert|300|mi|km east of Warsaw, become fully aware of the proportions of the Soviet defeat and ordered the remnants of his forces to retreat and regroup. He hoped to straighten his front line, halt the Polish attack, and regain the initiative, but the orders either arrived too late or failed to arrive at all.
The Soviet armies in the center of the front fell into chaos. Tukhachevski ordered a general retreat toward the
Bug River, but by then he had lost contact with most of his forces near Warsaw, and all the Bolshevik plans had been thrown into disarray by communication failures.
The Bolshevik armies retreated in a disorganised fashion; entire divisions panicking and disintegrating. The Red Army's defeat was so great and unexpected that, at the instigation of Piłsudski's detractors, the Battle of Warsaw is often referred to in Poland as the "
Miracle at the Vistula". Previously unknown documents from Polish Central Military Archive found in 2004 proved that successful breaking of Red Army radio communications ciphers by Polish cryptographers played great role in the victory. [Grzegorz Nowik, "Zanim złamano Enigmę. Polski radiowywiad podczas wojny z bolszewicką Rosją 1918-1920", 2004, ISBN 83-7399-099-2]
The advance of Budyonny's
1st Cavalry Armytoward Lwów was halted, first at the battle of Brody(July 29–August 2), and then on August 17 at the Battle of Zadwórze, where a small Polish force sacrificed itself to prevent Soviet cavalry from seizing Lwów and stopping vital Polish reinforcements from moving toward Warsaw. Moving through weakly defended areas, Budyonny's cavalry reached the city of Zamośćon 29 August and attempted to take it in the battle of Zamość; however, he soon faced an increasing number of Polish units diverted from the successful Warsaw counteroffensive. On August 31, Budyonny's cavalry finally broke off its siege of Lwów and attempted to come to the aid of Soviet forces retreating from Warsaw. The Soviet forces were intercepted and defeated by Polish cavalryat the Battle of Komarównear Zamość, the greatest cavalry battle since 1813 and one of the last cavalry battles in history. Although Budionny's Army managed to avoid encirclement, it suffered heavy losses and its morale plummeted. The remains of Budionny's 1st Cavalry Army retreated towards Volodymyr-Volynskyion 6 September and was defeated shortly thereafter at the Battle of Hrubieszów.
Tukhachevski managed to reorganize the eastward-retreating forces and in September established a new defensive line running from the Polish-Lithuanian border to the north to the area of
Polesie, with the central point in the city of Grodnoin Belarus. In order to break this line, the Polish Army had to fight the Battle of the Niemen River. Polish forces crossed the Niemen River and outflanked the Bolshevik forces, which were forced to retreat again. Polish forces continued to advance east on all fronts, repeating their successes from the previous year. After the early October Battle of the Szczara River, the Polish Army had reached the Ternopil- Dubno- Minsk- Drisaline.
In the south, Petliura's Ukrainian forces defeated the Bolshevik 14th Army and on September 18th took control of the left bank of the
Zbruchriver. During the next month they moved east to the line Yaruha on the Dniester-Sharharod-Bar-Lityn.
Soon after the Battle of Warsaw the Bolsheviks sued for peace. The Poles, exhausted, constantly pressured by the Western governments and the
League of Nations, and with its army controlling the majority of the disputed territories, were willing to negotiate. The Soviets made two offers: one on 21 September and the other on 28 September. The Polish delegation made a counteroffer on 2 October. On the 5th, the Soviets offered amendments to the Polish offer which Poland accepted. The armisticebetween Poland on one side and Soviet Ukraine and Soviet Russia on the other was signed on 12 October and went into effect on 18 October. Long negotiations of the peace treaty ensued.
Meanwhile, Petliura's Ukrainian forces, which now numbered 23,000 soldiers and which controlled territories immediately to the east of Poland, planned an offensive in Ukraine for November 11 but were attacked by the Bolsheviks on November 10. By November 21, after several battles, they were driven into Polish-controlled territory.cite book| author=Kubijovic, V. | title=Ukraine: A Consice Encyclopedia| location= Toronto | publisher= University of Toronto Press | year = 1963| ]
According to the British historian
A.J.P. Taylor, the Polish-Soviet War "largely determined the course of European history for the next twenty years or more. […] Unavowedly and almost unconsciously, Soviet leaders abandoned the cause of international revolution." It would be twenty years before the Bolsheviks would send their armies abroad to 'make revolution'.Davies, Norman, "White Eagle, Red Star: the Polish-Soviet War, 1919–20", Pimlico, 2003, ISBN 0-7126-0694-7. (First edition: New York, St. Martin's Press, inc., 1972.)Page ix.] According to American sociologist Alexander Gella"the Polish victory had gained twenty years of independence not only for Poland, but at least for an entire central part of Europe. Aleksander Gella, "Development of Class Structure in Eastern Europe: Poland and Her Southern Neighbors", SUNY Press, 1988, ISBN 0-88706-833-2, [http://books.google.com/books?id=8keIXDyF_EoC&pg=PA23&lpg=PA23&sig=e4aU5iIjo6Khe0AHopBdgU988dw Google Print, p. 23] ]
After the peace negotiations Poland did not maintain all the territories it had controlled at the end of hostilities. Due to their losses in and after the Battle of Warsaw, the Soviets offered the Polish peace delegation substantial territorial concessions in the contested borderland areas, closely resembling the border between the
Russian Empireand the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealthbefore the first partition of 1772. Norman Davies, " God's Playground. Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present". Columbia University Press, 1982. ISBN 0-231-05352-5. [http://books.google.com/books?id=DMoPXktGwiUC&pg=PA504&lpg=PA504&sig=E3HryJOv-w5PtFlx4fMKSuBjy4U Google Print, p.504] ] Polish resources were exhausted, however, and Polish public opinion was opposed to a prolongation of the war. The Polish government was also pressured by the League of Nations, and the negotiations were controlled by Dmowski's National Democrats: Piłsudski might have controlled the military, but parliament ( Sejm) was controlled by Dmowski, and the peace negotiations were of a political nature. National Democrats, like Stanisław Grabski, who earlier had resigned his post to protest the Polish–Ukrainian alliance and now wielded much influence over the Polish negotiators, cared little for Piłsudski's Międzymorze; this post-war situation proved a death blow to Piłsudski's dream of reviving the multicultural Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealthin the form of the Międzymorze. More than one million Poles were abandoned in the SU, systematically persecuted by Soviet authorities because of political, economical and religious reasons (see the Polish operation of the NKVD).
The National Democrats in charge of the state also had few concerns about the fate of Ukrainians, and cared little that their political opponent, Piłsudski, felt honor-bound by his treaty obligations;
Norman Davies, " God's Playground. Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present". Columbia University Press, 1982. ISBN 0-231-05352-5. [http://books.google.com/books?id=DMoPXktGwiUC&pg=PA399&lpg=PA399&sig=i3vknEXAKsMRzbdbyuxKdq9e1XE Google Print, p. 399] )] his opponents did not hesitate to scrap the treaty. National Democrats wanted only the territory that they viewed as 'ethnically or historically Polish' or possible to polonize. Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman, Elisabeth Glaser, "The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment After 75 Years", Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-521-62132-1, [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0521621321&id=zqj-oHp4KsgC&pg=RA1-PA314&lpg=RA1-PA314&q=Kingdom+of+Poland&vq=Kingdom+of+Poland&dq=eastern+marches+poles&sig=yCDNar7HfvJokGQ9LbFcG4-UGd4 Google Print, p.314] ] Despite the Red Army's crushing defeat at Warsaw and the willingness of Soviet chief negotiator Adolf Joffeto concede almost all disputed territory, National Democrats ideology allowed the Soviets to regain certain territories. The Peace of Rigawas signed on March 18, 1921, splitting the disputed territories in Belarus and Ukraine between Poland and Russia.Snyder, op cit, [http://books.google.com/books?id=xSpEynLxJ1MC&pg=PA140&lpg=PA140&sig=73zB4psPZRf5gOdcfoM4uX6Ztao Google Print, p. 140] ] The treaty, which Piłsudski called an "act of cowardice", and for which he apologized to the Ukrainians, actually violated the terms of Poland's military alliance with Ukraine, which had explicitly prohibited a separate peace; Ukrainian allies of Poland suddenly found themselves internedby the Polish authorities. The internment worsened relations between Poland and its Ukrainian minority: those who supported Petliura felt that Ukraine had been betrayed by its Polish ally, a feeling that grew stronger due to the assimilationist policies of nationalist inter-war Poland towards its minorities. To a large degree, this inspired the growing tensions and eventual violence against Poles in the 1930s and 1940s.Snyder, op cit, [http://books.google.com/books?id=xSpEynLxJ1MC&pg=PA144&lpg=PA144&sig=5kSKOnXipwsTitk7w_hotRTooPQ Google Books, p.144] ]
The war and its aftermath also resulted in other controversies, such as situation of prisoners of war of both sides,pl icon Karpus, Zbigniew, "Jeńcy i internowani rosyjscy i ukraińscy na terenie Polski w latach 1918–1924" (Russian and Ukrainian Prisoners of War and Internees in Poland, 1918–1924), Toruń 1997, ISBN 83-7174-020-4. [http://www.ksiegarnia.uni.torun.pl/karpus.html Polish table of contents online] Dead link|url=http://www.ksiegarnia.uni.torun.pl/karpus.html|date=October 2008. English translation available: "Russian and Ukrainian Prisoners of War and Internees in Poland, 1918–1924", Wydawn. Adam Marszałek, 2001, ISBN 83-7174-956-2;] pl icon Karpus, Zbigniew,
Alexandrowicz Stanisław, Waldemar Rezmer, "Zwycięzcy za drutami. Jeńcy polscy w niewoli (1919–1922). Dokumenty i materiały" (Victors Behind Barbed Wire: Polish Prisoners of War, 1919–1922: Documents and materials), Toruń, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, 1995, ISBN 83-231-0627-4.] treatment of the civilian populationcite book | author=Мельтюхов, Михаил Иванович ( Mikhail Meltyukhov)| title=Советско-польские войны. Военно-политическое противостояние 1918—1939 гг. (Soviet-Polish Wars. Political and Military standoff of 1918–1939) | location= Moscow | publisher= Вече (Veche) | year = 2001 | id = ISBN 5-699-07637-9|url = http://militera.lib.ru/research/meltyukhov2/index.html (in Russian).] "‘Having burst through the front, Budyonny's cavalry would devastate the enemy's rear - burning, killing and looting as they went. These Red cavalrymen inspired an almost numbing sense of fear in their opponents [...] the very names Budyonny and Cossack terrified the Ukrainian population, and they moved into a state of neutrality or even hostility toward Petliura and the Poles..."’"
from Richard Watt, 1979. Bitter Glory: Poland and its fate 1918–1939. New York: Simon & Shuster. ISBN 0-671-22625-8] Courtois, Stephane; Werth, Nicolas; Panne, Jean-Louis; Paczkowki, Andrzej; Bartosek, Karel; Margolin, Jean-Louis (1999). The Black Book of Communism. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-07608-7] and behaviour of some commanders like
Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowiczru icon [http://rovs.atropos.spb.ru/index.php?view=person&mode=text&id=42 Станислав Никодимович Булак-Балахович] at modern Russian pro-White movement All-Russian military Unionsite.] or Vadim Yakovlev.Isaac Babel, "1920 Diary", [http://books.google.com/books?id=ZFKtD0ahKW0C&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&printsec=8&vq=yakovlev&sig=t97ff37ax8TOgMH6Pa6qPOc0gLE p. 84] , Yale, 2002, ISBN 0-300-09313-6] The Polish military successes in the autumn of 1920 allowed Poland to capture the Vilnius region(Vilnius) region, where a Polish-dominated Governance Committee of Central Lithuania("Komisja Rządząca Litwy Środkowej") was formed. A plebiscitewas conducted, and the Vilnius Sejmvoted on February 20, 1922, for incorporation into Poland. This worsened Polish-Lithuanian relations for decades to come. However the loss of Vilnius might have safeguarded the very existence of the Lithuanian state in the interwar period. Despite an alliance with Soviets ( Soviet-Lithuanian Treaty of 1920) and the war with Poland, Lithuania was very close to being invaded by the Soviets in summer 1920 and having been forcibly converted into a socialist republic. It was only the Polish victory against the Soviets in the Polish-Soviet War(and the fact that the Poles did not object to some form of Lithuanian independence) that derailed the Soviet plans and gave Lithuania an experience of interwar independence. [ Alfred Erich Senn, "The Formation of the Lithuanian Foreign Office, 1918-1921", Slavic Review, Vol. 21, No. 3. (Sep., 1962), pp. 500-507.: "A Bolshevik victory over the Poles would have certainly meant a move by the Lithuanian communists, backed by the Red Army, to overthrow the Lithuanian nationalist government... Kaunas, in effect, paid for its independence with the loss of Vilna."
Alfred Erich Senn, "Lietuvos valstybes..." p. 163: "If the Poles didn't stop the Soviet attack, Lithuania would fell to the Soviets... Polish victory costs the Lithuanians the city of Vilnius, but saved Lithuania itself."
Antanas Ruksa, "Kovos del Lietuvos nepriklausomybes", t.3, p.417: "In summer 1920 Russia was working on a communist revolution in Lithuania... From this disaster Lithuania was saved by the miracle at Vistula."
Jonas Rudokas, [http://www.nasz-czas.lt/519/na_lamach.html Józef Piłsudski - wróg niepodległości Litwy czy jej wybawca?] (Polish translation of a Lithuanian article) "Veidas", 25 08 2005: " [Piłsudski] "defended both Poland and Lithuanian from Soviet domination"] Another controversy concerned the
pogroms of Jews, which has caused the United States to send a commission lead by Henry Morgenthau, Sr.to investigage the matter. Joanna Beata Michlic, "Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present", University of Nebraska Press, 2006, ISBN 0803232403 [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0803232403&id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=RA4-PA118&lpg=RA4-PA118&ots=xijChxBTMJ&dq=Lida+Dabrowski&sig=NczNKzboFjdGBDwgLWoJ0lGALHk Google Print, p.118] ]
Military strategy in the Polish-Soviet War influenced
Charles de Gaulle, then an instructor with the Polish Army who fought in several of the battles. He and Władysław Sikorskiwere the only military officers who, based on their experiences of this war, correctly predicted how the next one would be fought. Although they failed in the interbellumto convince their respective militaries to heed those lessons, early in World War IIthey rose to command of their armed forces in exile. The Polish-Soviet War also influenced Polish military doctrine, which for the next 20 years would place emphasis on the mobility of elite cavalry units.
In 1943, during the course of
World War II, the subject of Poland's eastern borders was re-opened, and they were discussed at the Teheran Conference. Winston Churchillargued in favor of the 1920 Curzon Linerather than the Treaty of Riga's borders, and an agreement among the Allies to that effect was reached at the Yalta Conferencein 1945. [cite web|title=Winston Churchill and Eastern Europe|publisher=The Churchill Centre|url=http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=90|accessdate=2008-04-25] The Western Allies, despite having alliance treaties with Poland and despite Polish contribution also ceded Poland to the Soviet sphere of influence. This is known as the Western Betrayal.
Until 1989, while communists held power in a
People's Republic of Poland, the Polish-Soviet War was omitted or minimized in Polish and other Soviet bloccountries' history books, or was presented as foreign intervention during the Russian Civil Warto fit in with communist ideology. Marc Ferro, "The Use and Abuse of History: Or How the Past Is Taught to Children", Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-28592-5, [http://books.google.com/books?id=hDkeOWop9TsC&pg=PA262&;lpg=PA262&sig=gJ_rvqbpe1H7D8Qkf5aV-3ahstY Google Print, p.262] ]
List of battles
For a chronological list of important battles of the Polish-Soviet War, see
List of battles of the Polish-Soviet War.
* D'Abernon, Edgar Vincent, "The Eighteenth Decisive Battle of the World: Warsaw, 1920", Hyperion Press, 1977, ISBN 0-88355-429-1.
* Babel, Isaac, "Конармия" (original 1926), "Red Cavalry" , W. W. Norton & Company, 2003, ISBN 0-393-32423-0
* Biskupski, M.B., "Paderewski, Polish Politics, and the Battle of Warsaw, 1920," "
Slavic Review", vol. 46, no. 3/4 (autumn–winter, 1987), pp. 503–512.
* Fiddick, Thomas C., "The 'Miracle of the Vistula': Soviet Policy versus Red Army Strategy," "The Journal of Modern History", vol. 45, no. 4 (Dec., 1973), pp. 626–643.
* Adam Zamoyski, "Warsaw 1920", Harper Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-00-722552-1
* Thomas C. Fiddick, "Russia's Retreat from Poland, 1920", Macmillian Press, 1990, ISBN 0-333-51940-X
* Himmer, Robert, "Soviet Policy Toward Germany during the Russo-Polish War, 1920," "
Slavic Review", vol. 35, no. 4 (Dec., 1976), p. 667.
* Jędrzejewicz, Wacław, "Pilsudski: a Life for Poland", Hippocrene Books, 1982, ISBN 0-88254-633-3
* Kahn, David, "The Code-Breakers", New York, Macmillan, 1967.
* Palij, Michael, "The Ukrainian-Polish Defensive Alliance, 1919–1921", University of Toronto, 1995, ISBN 1-895571-05-7
* Wandycz, Piotr, "General Weygand and the Battle of Warsaw," "Journal of Central European Affairs," 1960.
* Watt, Richard M., "Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate, 1918–1939", New York, Hippocrene Books, 1998, ISBN 0-7818-0673-9.
* Cisek, Janusz, "Sąsiedzi wobec wojny 1920 roku. Wybór dokumentów." ("Neighbours Attitude Towards the War of 1920. A collection of documents." - English summary), Polish Cultural Foundation Ltd, 1990, London, ISBN 0-85065-212-X.
* Czubiński, Antoni, "Walka o granice wschodnie Polski w latach 1918–1921" ("Fighting for eastern borders of Poland in 1918–1921"), Instytut Śląski w Opolu, Opole, 1993
* Drozdzowski, Marian Marek (ed.), "Międzynarodowe aspekty wojny polsko-bolszewickiej, 1919–1920. Antologia tekstów historycznych" ("International aspects of the Polish-Bolshevik War,1919–1920. Anthology of historical texts.'), Instytut Historii PAN, 1996, ISBN 83-86417-21-8
* Golegiewski, Grzegorz, "Obrona Płocka przed bolszewikami, 18–19 sierpnia 1920 r." ("Defence of Płock from the Bolsheviks, 18–19 August, 1920"), NOVUM, 2004, ISBN 83-89416-43-3
* Kawalec Tadeusz, "Historia IV-ej Dywizji Strzelców Generała Żeligowskiego w zarysie" ("History of 4th Rifleman Division of General Żeligowki in brief"), Gryf, 1993, OCLC|32178695.
* Konieczny, Bronisław, "Moje życie w mundurze. Czasy narodzin i upadku II RP" ("My life in the uniform. Times of the birth and fall of the Second Polish Republic"), Księgarnia Akademicka, 2005 ISBN 83-7188-693-4
* Kopański, Tomasz Jan, "16 (39-a) Eskadra Wywiadowcza 1919–1920" ("16th (39th) Scouting Escadrille 1919–1920"), Wojskowy Instytut Historyczny, 1994, ISBN 83-901733-5-2
* Kukiel, Marian, "Moja wojaczka na Ukrainie. Wiosna 1920" ("My fighting in Ukraine. Spring 1920"), Wojskowy Instytut Historyczny, 1995, ISBN 83-85621-74-1
* Łukowski, Grzegorz, "Walka Rzeczpospolitej o kresy północno-wschodnie, 1918–1920. Polityka i dzialania militarne." ("Rzeczpospolita's fight for the northeastern borderlands, 1918–1920. Politics and military actions."), Wydawnictwo Naukowe Universytetu Adama Mickiewicza, Poznań, 1994, ISBN 83-232-0614-7
* Pruszyński, Mieczysław, "Dramat Piłsudskiego: Wojna 1920" ("The drama of Piłsudski: War of 1920"), Polska Oficyna Wydawnicza BGW, 1995, ISBN 83-7066-560-8
* Odziemkowski, Janusz, "Leksykon Wojny Polsko-Rosyjskiej 1919–1920" ("Lexicon of Polish-Russian War 1919–1920"), Rytm, 2004, ISBN 83-7399-096-8
* Rozstworowski, Stanisław (ed.), "Listy z wojny polsko-bolszewickiej" ("Letters from the Polish-Bolshevik War"), Adiutor, 1995, ISBN 83-86100-11-7
* Szczepański, Janusz, "Wojna 1920 na Mazowszu i Podlasiu" ("War of 1920 in Mazowsze and Podlasie"), Gryf, 1995, ISBN 83-86643-30-7
* "Dramas of Ukrainian-Polish Brotherhood," "
Zerkalo Nedeli" (Mirror Weekly), March 13–19, 1999, available [http://www.zerkalo-nedeli.com/nn/show/231/20879/ online (in Russian)] .
* (in Russian).
* [http://sergeant.genstab.ru/pol_main.htm#3b I.I. Sukhov, White Eagle against the Red Star. Soviet-Polish War of 1919–20.] (in Russian)
* [http://www.electronicmuseum.ca/Soviet-Polish-War/spw.html Electronic Museum of the Polish-Soviet War] Dead link|date=October 2008
* [http://home.golden.net/~medals/1918-1921war.html The Polish-Russian War and the Fight for Polish Independence]
* [http://www.geocities.com/hallersarmy/index.html Józef Haller and the Blue Army]
* [http://www.york.cuny.edu/~drobnick/russo.html The Russo-Polish War, 1919–1920: A Bibliography of Materials in English] by
John A. Drobnicki. Originally Published in the Polish Review, XLII, no. 1 (Mar. 1997), 95–104
* [http://raven.cc.ku.edu/~eceurope/hist557/BiblPt2.htm#32 Bibliography of the Polish-Soviet War] by
Anna M. Cienciala, University of Kansas
* [http://pygmy-wars.50megs.com/ Pygmy Wars. Eastern Europe's Bloody struggles 1918–1923]
* [http://www.onwar.com/aced/nation/pat/poland/fussrpoland1919.htm Russo-Polish War 1919–20 at Onwar.com]
* Maps of the Polish-Bolshevik War: [http://www.geocities.com/hallersarmy/maps.html Campaign Maps (Battle of Warsaw) by Robert Tarwacki]
* [http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/004430.html A Knock on the Door] - chapter three of Wesley Adamczyk's memoirs of the Polish-Soviet war, "When God Looked".
* Sławomir Majman, [http://www.warsawvoice.pl/archiwum.phtml/12706/ War and Propaganda] ,
Warsaw Voice, 23 August 1998
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Polish–Ukrainian War — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Polish Ukrainian War partof=Ukrainian War of Independence caption=The map showing breaking the siege of Lviv by Poles (November 1919) and the Polish border at the Zbruch River by the wars end, with Eastern… … Wikipedia
Soviet war crimes — gives a short overview about serious crimes committed by the Red Army s (1918 1946, later Soviet Army) leadership and an unknown number of single members of the Soviet armed forces from 1919 to 1990 inclusive including those in Eastern Europe in… … Wikipedia